Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Be Brave. Be Kind

Bit of a mess last night.
I always loathe the start of another school year.
It just drives it home.
These kids keep getting older and older, faster and faster.
Tomorrow, high school.
And there is only so much I can say and so little I can do.
I just hope they know.
All of it.

I had all the feels this morning. All of them. Too many. So many that the lump in my throat barely allowed me to croak "Be brave and be kind" as he exited the car. It didn't help that the whole way to school the kids talked about how weird it will be at Seton without their big brother there.
Oh help.
Be brave. Be kind.

Dear God in heaven,
please be with my children as they start a new year.
Help them to work hard and do their best.
Keep them safe, happy, and healthy.
Give them a love for learning.
Help them to grow in confidence and independence.
Show them how to be compassionate.
Let them be a friend to all, kind, and loving.
Let their failures motivate them to try harder.
Let their successes humble them.
Help me, Lord, to be patient, understanding, loving, and wise
in guiding them through this school year.
Be with my children, Lord.
Let your light shine in them and through them
and keep them close to You.


Monday, September 4, 2017

Summer Reflections

We have quickly come to the end of summer. It seems like I barely got to feel summer's warmth and it was already gone. Because so much of my focus was on school this summer I was feeling guilty thinking that the kids didn't really get a funfilled summer as I'd hoped. As I looked back on my pictures I realized they did do quite a few fun things.

We spent a bit of time exploring our city at the farmer's market, parks, and arts festivals. We had smoothies and tried bubble tea!

We hung out at our favorite spots on the lake, skipped rocks, climbed trees, and walked out to the lighthouse.

We went on bike ride and walks around the neighborhood.

We even got to hit up our favorite swim spot a few times, though not as often as we would have liked seeing as how the weather didn't really want to get hot enough for us.

It was a cool, rainy summer but that didn't stop us from taking a couple of road trips. I took the kids to Madison for the day and showed them my old stomping grounds. It was certainly bizarre being there with my FOUR children. We toured the capital building and the kids saw the Supreme Court where their dad has appeared a number of times, we ate at a popular restaurant, saw Camp Randall Stadium, and of course, did a little shopping on State Street. 

We had a very special treat at our very own county airport. Many of the war planes that were going to the EAA stopped at our airport and put on a show. The boys, being the huge plane fans that they are, walked right out onto the runway and started chatting with the pilots. 

The pilots were so impressed with the boys' plane knowledge and enthusiasm that before long the boys were getting private tours of a B-25 (one of only 20 in the world). Grace and I hustled out there to join them and soon we were all getting our turns sitting in the pilot's seat. It was pretty amazing.

Of course we made it up to the cabin a few times. One of those times it was good and hot and windy. A perfect day for playing on the lake. 

And in the lake.

And a perfect day for relaxing.

Not only did we see planes at our county airport we went to the EAA Airventure and saw the Blue Angels. It was quite the experience. One the boys will not soon forget.

On a personal note, Grace got her ears pierced on a whim. Her cousin, Hannah, happened to be working one day when we stopped in at Walmart and Grace decided right then and there that she wanted her cousin to be the one to pierce her ears. Hannah did a wonderful job and Grace was a happy girl.

Both Joey and Tommy got their braces off this summer. Tommy had his off at the beginning of summer and Joey got his off last week (just in time to start high school).

Ben played baseball again this summer and though his team struggled to win games Ben had a pretty great season. One of the first games of the season Ben's team was losing by a couple of runs. In the last inning Ben went up to the plate, with bases loaded and two outs, and proceeded to get two strikes. With two strikes and two outs Ben took his pitch, swung the bat, and hit a massive ball into the outfield for a GRAND SLAM winning the game. The team and crowd went wild. What a moment! I was so proud of him for being brave enough to swing even though he already had two strikes. Such a great lesson.   

As summer wound down so did we. One of the last trips was up to Green Bay to visit the Wildlife Sanctuary and then hop on over to Bay Beach. It was a relaxing and beautiful day to hang out.

Looking back, I guess we did have a good summer. But it still went far too quickly.

I guess all we can do know is try to enjoy the fall. Just thinking about the upswing of school, football, cross country, dance, and everything else makes me tired.

Welcome back, fall, you beautiful beast. Please be kind. I'm already exhausted.

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson