Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My Sweet Jason!

This has not been the best week as far as my relationship with my older two kids. It seems that aliens have overtaken their bodies and caused them to make me crazy. They have been in a lot of trouble, just one thing after another - all little things in the whole scheme of life, but constant little things are frustrating. So, in the midst of all this, I was out for breakfast with my dear friend Amberly, who I so appreciate because I can tell her all my frustrations and my failures (in my parenting this week) and know that she still loves me and my boys. Thanks Amberly!!! As we were ending our time together this morning, she was telling me how great my boys are and just giving me a good reminder of that, which keeps things in perspective. As she was telling me that, I recalled a precious conversation I had with Jason last week and just wanted to post it, partly so I can refer back and remember and partly because it was just so wonderful!

We were in the car and for some reason we were talking about foreign exchange students. I said something about talking to James about those opportunities (not that I would really let him go, I don't think!!) because I think I would have liked that as a teenager had an opportunity posed itself. And James is a teenager now. Anyway, Jason said, "James would never go away for a year." We continued to talk about it for a few minutes, and he again said James would never go, so I asked him if he would, and he said he could never be away for that long. I said something like, "When you are older, you might think it would be fun. I would have enjoyed it when I was a teenager." To which he responded, "Mom, we are too connected to you to leave for so long."

I can't tell you how that warmed my heart. I know over the next seven years, he will grow and be ready to spread his wings and fly, but it brings me great joy that right now, he is so connected to us that he cannot fathom being anywhere else! What a sweet kid! I love him! I love them all, even when the weeks are difficult! This too will pass, but my relationship with my kids never will. They are still grounded, but I think after some time of venting with a friend and thinking through what's important, I owe them an apology and big hugs when they get home in a few minutes!!! Parenting is tough stuff! Those little glimpses that I am doing something right are precious!

Monday, August 25, 2008

I Proved Him Right!

This evening while I was driving the kids home from swimming/gymnastics, James made the comment that he thinks technology makes us "dumber." His point being that we use so much technology that we don't have to use our brains like previous generations of people had to. I argued with him, though I did not have a good rebuttal. A few minutes ago, I was helping him with his algebra. I had no idea how to figure out the problem he was on, and none of the examples jogged my memory. In a very sweet voice, he said, "This is what I meant earlier when I said we are getting dumber. If you didn't have a computer to help you do all of this, I bet you would remember from when you were in school - no offense mom." I don't think he realized what he was saying until it had already left his mouth. Kind of funny! He caught me between a rock and a hard place because what I wanted to say is that I would never use that math even if there wasn't technology because, practically, it is unnecessary, but I don't want to say that and give him an argument for not liking math! I guess on some level he realizes it's not real practical because some where along the line he said, " . . . like when you do your taxes and stuff." I hope I am not making him seem sassy because he was really being sweet and just matter of fact in the conversation, not at all mouthy!

I don't know if James is right or not, but I definitely don't get an intelligence boost when I am helping the boys with math, either one of them, and Jason is only in 5th grade. And the thing is, I liked math and did well in it when I was in school. UGHH!!! How will I help them through high school, and how little will I remember when Sarah is going through all of this???

Thursday, August 21, 2008

How Cool is Facebook!

Several months ago, our great friends, Jeff and Courtney, got us signed up with Facebook. Some of our younger friends laughed at us after we joined because we are not using it for the intended purpose. I guess it wasn't so much set up to find long lost friends as it was to see what is going on and when and where the next event is, but I love it for the purpose that I use it. I love it when I find people I haven't heard from in a long time.

Yesterday I located a friend from high school, who I had not had contact with in probably 16 years - she's a little younger than I am, so I mentioned to her that it was half of her lifetime ago. The last time I saw her, she visited me at college my Freshman year. Years ago, finding people like her was unheard of, and yet we connected yesterday and got caught up on each other's lives. I heard about how God has been working in her and shared about how He has been working in me. We have both had a significant amount of heartache in the past 16 years and some amazing joys as well! I love the internet, and I love Facebook! Just wanted to share this fun little connection in my life that makes me smile!

If you happen to read this, Jenn, I'm praying for you, and I am so excited to have connected!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

First Day of School

Here are a few pictures of our first day of school, which went very well. The first two are taken at home before they left for the day.

This was in his classroom at his desk. It was hard to believe David was going to kindergarten. He really liked it. My favorite part of the day was picking him up. I asked him how it was, he said, "It was awesome! But I missed you mom!" It made my day. I couldn't have asked him to say anything more perfect.
Sarah missed him terribly. She kind of just moped around the house. At one point I asked if there was anything I could do for her, she said, "Go pick up David." It was sweet and sad. She did better today.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Pics from Avila Beach

Today we had a nice final family day before school starts - we went to Avila Beach, recommended by some friends. It was a really nice beach! The waves were not very big at all, which is a bummer for the older boys but nice for David and Sarah. While Sarah still wasn't sure about the water, she did get in up to her chest eventually. We had a lot of fun climbing in tide pools, finding sea urchins, swimming and digging deep holes. We finished with snow cones and a long walk down the pier. We had fun watching the pelicans diving straight down into the water after fish. I never realized that they sunk their whole bodies when they went after fish. It was fun to watch. We also saw a seal out in the water swimming. It was a fun day!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Yes, I'm Alive

Yesterday I received an email asking this question!!! It's nice to know someone was wondering! We have had a busy, but good week. I thought I would post some pics. We are really trying to do a good job of taking a Sabbath for our family. We really need it after the hard weeks that we have. So we have been trying to do Sunday afternoon through Monday morning or all day Monday or something. It is going to be more complicated when school starts, but right now it is working well. Often we are so tired on Sunday afternoon that we (Brent & I) just sleep, but this week we decided to go and see the Kern Canyon. We have heard it is beautiful, and it begins at the northeastern part of town, so there really was no reason that we hadn't seen it, so we headed up there, and ended up driving through the whole canyon up to Lake Isabella. We got some good pics of the day.
This is one picture of the Kern Canyon and the Kern River. We have heard that it is one of the steepest rivers in the world, as well as one of the deadliest. It is beautiful, though!
Jason on top of some rocks on the beach of Lake Isabella.
All the guys on top of some rocks that were actually out in the lake, but not very deep.
James at the base of those same rocks.
Here are the kids playing on the beach.
Our intention was not for them to swim. I looked at a map before we went up and did not see any swimming beaches, but people were swimming when we got there, so plans changed. The kids all got in in their clothes. Sarah traveled home in her carseat in only wet panties!!! We wanted to stop and get ice cream - we ended up going through a drive through! It was fun, though!

We finally had approval from the insurance company to fix the wrap on Kaleo's ice cream truck, so Monday we had to take the truck down to LA to be left there for the install. Brent drove down in the truck and we followed him to pick him up and decided to spend the afternoon at the beach. Jason reminded me a couple weeks ago that he hadn't been at all this summer. If we are going to live that close to the ocean, we should be enjoying it, right? So we went to Santa Monica. The water was pleasantly warm for the Pacific Ocean. Even Brent and I swam. Sarah did not really like the waves, so she spent her time on the beach in the sand or cuddled under a towel. We ended the evening with dinner at Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles in Hollywood - a popular little dive. It was yummy!!! Here are a few pics from the beach.

We had something interesting happen at Santa Monica - there was a family swimming next to us. We noticed that the little boy was in his underwear, but we just figured he had forgotten his trunks (and probably he had). But when the parents got out of the water, they changed out of their wet clothes and into dry clothes, right there on the beach in front of everyone!!! They were not quick about it either. They took their time air drying and such. We concluded that they must be from Europe because they did not seem to think anything of what they were doing. There are some beaches around where that would not be unusual, but Santa Monica is not one of them!!! It was interesting. Amazingly enough, though they were right next to us, the kids never looked that direction. They never even knew it happened until we talked about it later.

It was a fun two days.

As for the earthquake, we did not feel anything. We didn't even know about it until Brent's dad called to check on us. Apparently some of our friends did feel it, but not us. My one friend who said she noticed it, said she did not really feel it, but she noticed her lights swinging randomly in the house. For those of you who wondered, thanks for thinking of us. Brent has felt an earthquake, but I have yet to experience one. There was one late at night one night when Brent was awake, but I was sound asleep and didn't feel a thing.

Brent, James and Jason are going overnight tonight on a day long mission trip to help build a house in Mexico. I am excited for them. You might say a prayer for their time away if you think about it!!! This is Kaleo's Gone for Good for the month! Pray for a friend who is going with them. It is a person who has really been asking lots of questions and seeking the Lord but who does not know Him. He wanted to go on the trip, though, so Brent will have some time with him. It's pretty cool. I have to go and work on getting things packed for them.