Back-to-School

Happy Back-to-School Day, friends!

My house is quiet this morning and when my house is quiet my mind can think. full. thoughts. Yay!

Today we dropped off a 9th grader (high school – eek!), a 7th grader, and a 3rd grader. At no time is it more apparent than the first day of school how quickly life goes!

As I was praying for my children this morning, I started to pray simply that their days would go smoothly. But that thought was interrupted by this thought from God: How will they learn to rely on God if everything goes smoothly?

(thank you, Jesus, for your divine interruptions! your ways are always better)

It’s so true, isn’t it? The times in my life when I learned the most, trusted the most, and grew closer to God weren’t when things were going smoothly. If I want my kids to seek after God and follow Him all their lives, then they need to NEED him. And then learn to RELY on Him.

So I prayed instead that they would feel His presence with them today, let the Holy Spirit guide them, and that He would provide whatever they need for every situation.

Amen and Amen!

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Back-to-School Perspective

I hope you all don’t mind that I often just post to give you links to other blogs!

But sometimes I find something that just needs to be shared.

This post really hit me, because as I’ve mentioned before, God’s got me on a journey of trusting Him more and relying on myself less.  I do not need to be in control of everything (and, wouldn’t you know it?  I’m really not!!)  and I don’t have to get everything perfect (and, again, do I even need to say that I don’t?)

And with that in mind as I send my kids back to school, this just fit in perfectly.

So here you go… even if you don’t have kids going off to school in the next week or so, I highly recommend this…

http://www.susiedavis.org/back-to-school-promises-for-parents/

Enjoy!

more evidence…

When my babies were little, I really didn’t believe those experienced moms who told me to “enjoy this time” because it goes “so fast”!

I couldn’t help but thinking, “What are you talking about, I’m not getting any sleep here!?!”

Well, in my 11 1/2 years of mothering, I guess I’ve just been gathering evidence that, in fact, those moms were right.

Here’s the latest evidence:

My oldest started 6th grade last week, and my youngest started kindergarten.  Major milestones!

And just so my boy doesn’t feel left out – he started 4th grade.  🙂

Who knew the time would go so fast?

Who knew that I would look back on their infancies with such fondness and wistfulness?

Those moms didn’t.  I guess they weren’t crazy after all.

So here’s a poem for all you moms of little ones out there who feel like the long days and sleepless nights are just not passing by fast enough…

Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing and butter the bread,
Sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I’ve grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren’t her (his) eyes the most wonderful hue?
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).

The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
For children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

~ Ruth Hulbert Hamilton

So now the irony is not lost on me that I am the one telling those mommas of babies to enjoy the time because it goes by all too fast!  But it really does!

And if you need a visual reminder of this, make your own beautiful wall art printable of the last verse of this poem here.  (Thanks DIY Mommy!)

Summer’s over? Already?

I cannot believe that school starts tomorrow!

We really have had a fabulous summer.  I thought I’d wind it down by posting pictures of a few of my favorite memories from the summer.

Mini cherry pies for the Fourth of July (this recipe was definitely a keeper!), with cherries from our own backyard.  Overall, it wasn’t a good summer for backyard fruit.  Wet and cold through June, a hot, hot, hot and dry July, and then an average August do not make for good produce!!  My homemade jam stash is meager!

And then there was the day that I gave Miss Bella a much-needed bath and then she proceeded to roll in fresh-cut grass.  She ended up dyed a beautiful shade of green.  Note to self:  bathe the dog the day BEFORE the grass gets cut!

We had a great time at Lamb Farms for the MOPS summer get-together in mid-July.  We learned a lot about cows, including that they have big runny noses and they pee right where they’re standing.  Great fun.  (Actually, we really did learn a lot of useful info about cows.  But I thought I’d share the stuff the kids thought was the funniest). 

We also had ice cream.  Fortunately not while watching the cows pee.

I was refreshed and renewed at the MOPS Convention in Nashville.

We made all sorts of crafty stuff.  Miss L made a crocheted scarf, and here’s a picture of her making a rug using old t-shirts.  (Instructions at http://familyfun.go.com/crafts/hula-hoop-rug-995304/, if you’re interested).

Mr. D, on the other hand, was busy with legos.

And Miss A, as always, marches to her own beat:

We went camping at Jellystone and had a great time at the waterpark there.  Here you can see Miss A, still marching to her own beat and always on a mission.

And Miss L and Mr. D had a “way better” time than last year because they chose to actually GO on the slides:

And we cannot forget our day at Hidden Valley Animal Adventure.  They had a large variety of animals and getting up close and personal so that we could feed them right from the trolley was a treat. 

The girls have been getting along great – including Miss L doing the little one’s hair on occasion!  What a nice break for me, and she does a great job!

And last, but not least, I made some homemade peach cobbler today to go with our labor day celebration.  There is nothing better than the smell of baking peach cobbler!

Happy Labor Day, and may all your back-to-school adventures go smoothly!

Bittersweet Back-to-School

For about 30-some years of my life, I excitedly anticipated the arrival of fall.  I was (maybe still am?) a total nerd growing up, so I loved back-to-school time. 

Cooler weather,

new clothes,

a return to routine,

new school supplies,

beautiful landscapes,

the anticipation of what lay ahead.

I find these days that the approach of fall is a bittersweet time for me.  Yes, I enjoy all of the above (only now the new school clothes & supplies are for my kids :-)).  But I also feel

time slipping away fast,

a countdown to my kids leaving our household,

like maybe I haven’t used these years with them wisely,

like I haven’t done as good a mothering job as I would have liked,

a sadness that they are growing so fast,

a wistfulness about their infant years.

(Gosh, you’d think I’m sending them off to college…)

As moms, we are preparing our children to be independent.  Preparing them to not need us.  Who knew it would be this hard?