Sunday, June 29, 2008

Finding Community

This weekend, B and I took the kids for their first ever camping trip. Now, don't get all misty eyed. Stop thinking about backpacks, bear whistles (not this girl!!), canteens, indistinguishable food in vacuum pouches...

We didn't completely "rough it." We rented a pop-up camper from MCCS and headed to the closest state park-- about 20 minutes from home. C was THRILLED at the little "house" and was even more excited that it had air conditioning. Ah, such a girl!! (And don't you even doubt that she HAD to wear a dress or skirt for camping!) After about 30 minutes outside, she decided she wanted to go inside and play Barbies. SIGH! She spent most of her time in the A/C.
M loved playing outdoors, and once he got over the whole "It's dirty!" thing, he was into this camping thing. He loved digging in the dirt, peeing in the bushes, watching the bugs, the dogs, and the people, and being outside with Daddy. He thought our regular "tick checks" were hilarious.

While camping, we rented bikes with a small trailer for the kids. Though we only stayed on the roads within the park, it was a great time. One evening I went for a ride by myself. It was about dinner time and most people were outside of their tents/campers/RV's, sitting or playing outside. Kids were riding bikes all over, people were walking dogs, and some were riding their "fun buggies" (golf carts) through the park. Each time I'd pass a campsite or another person, greetings were exchanged. Everyone seemed relaxed. And then it struck me-- this is a sense of community. Here we all are without TV (though I did see a few in RV's and we're guilty of bringing the portable DVD player), computer, telephones, talking amongst ourselves, visiting, sharing ketchup and whatever else we forgot, and I felt my sense of community restored. Life felt simpler, easier, more enjoyable. I felt my stress at keeping up with the world vanishing. I felt a swell of well being in myself, my family, and my life. I actually heard God's still, small voice encouraging me on. My spirit needed that.

I guess that's why we parents take our kids camping. Not just for the fond memories we recall from our own childhood, but to show our children that this amazing world offers more than TV, computers, toys, toys, toys. To slow down and reconnect with each other, and God. The chance to feel like we are the only family in the world. The chance to depend on one another, listen to one another, play together, just to BE.

Though I'm tired, and the laundry is trailing down the hallway, I wouldn't trade this weekend for anything. It has reminded me what's important in life: being with my family in a close space for an extended period, living simply, living in the now, listening for God's encouraging and supportive voice, and bug spray!

Kids' Birthday Party

On Thursday, we had the kids' birthday party, complete with huge inflatable water slide. Cadey zipped right down the slide, went under water, and then wanted nothing to do with it the entire time her friends were here. She did play in the pool and outside with them.
Matthew played with his blocks inside the sliding door and only came out for cupcakes and after everyone left! SIGH!!
After everyone left, the kids and I tried out the slide. It was BIG fun. We played out there together for over two hours.
B and I talked about it and we can't believe that our kids are 3 and 5!! Where did the time go???

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Daddy's HOME!!

B made it back from Yuma on Friday. We were all so glad to have him home. It seemed like a lot longer than 3 1/2 weeks. When the kids went running to B on the flight line, it was all I could do to hold back my tears. I don't know that there is anything more precious than seeing your children run to their father with pure glee on their faces and in their words, yelling, "Daddy! Daddy!" It was a sight I'll cherish forever.

On his first morning back, B was having a little trouble adjusting to the 3 hour time change and was a little sleepy. Not wanting to miss out on anything Daddy was doing, the kids "helped" Daddy with his nap!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

More TN pics

We had a great time in Tennessee. Here's a few more pictures of our trip. As you can see, we spent a good amount of time in the pool, playing dress up, and playing the new guitar!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Thanks, Nana & Papa!

Just returned from a visit to Tennessee to see Nana and Papa. Had a great time, spending most of it in the pool. Here are a few photos. I'll post the rest after I finish unpacking and find my way to the bottom of the laundry!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Birthday "Moneys"

Matthew was given some birthday "moneys" that he chose to spend today at WalMart on a new guitar. One of his friends has a guitar and Matthew plays with it all the time when they're over at his friend's house. As you can see, Matthew is ecstatic about his new guitar. Major Rock Star!!

And, apparently, wearing pants while being a rock start is strictly optional!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

He's THREE!!

ACK!! Where did the time go? Our baby boy turned three today! SIGH!! He has become such a big boy, using the potty, talking up a storm, starting to write his name, singing, playing Play Doh... He is a true character and a wonderful blessing to our family!


May has been a very, very busy month for us. From recitals, to a trip to Florida, to Field Day at school, to our first trip to the dentist, to a visit with our friends Kara, Connor, and Olivia, to a visit with Great Grandma Grey, Nancy, and Paul, to getting a new BIG BOY car seat for Matthew, to a visit to the local fire station with our MOPS group, to trying out the new indoor entertainment place called Island Playground!!!

We've had a very busy month and hope you enjoy seeing the highlights in our pictures!!