What I did this summer

Given that we’re starting school on next week, I suppose this is an appropriate title.   During the week that I wrote my last post, there was also Vacation Bible School (VBS).   


This picture doesn’t fully capture the work that was put into transforming our church gymnasium into a high seas adventure—ocean-like wallpaper and all.   The backdrop to the kids’ final performance is a pirate’s ship.    This was a tremendous effort on all parts; this year, we had 60+ volunteers and approximately 200 kids!

The day after VBS ended was our littlest one’s 7th birthday.   It was a quiet, intimate celebration with our immediate family as I had work-related meetings that day, and I think the kids were happy to relax for a change.  We’ve had so many events this summer until I’ve intentionally tried to pare down the daily running around.   With that in mind, going somewhere, even to church, every day, can be draining for the kids, and especially for me.   


We’ve also cooked up a storm, or at least, I’ve taken more photos of my cooking.    Here’s my seafood kabobs (shrimp, scallops, peppers, red onion, and mushrooms),



my four-bean enchiladas,



and my vegetarian chili with tofu and beans.




I am trying to consider our growing son’s dietary needs as a forethought and not an afterthought, so I’m deliberately incorporating more vegetarian dishes into our regular diet.    He shot up 6 inches and counting in the last 10 months.   Yesterday, I cooked a 13-bean soup, and I’ll experiment for the first time with grilled tofu later this week.   Uh, oh!

What I’ve done this week is finalize the plans for the school year beginning next week, and come to the revelation that there will never be enough hours to fit in every book and make use of all the neat tools that are now available to us.    In fact, Internet Café Devotions contained a wonderful devotion entitled “MommIdentity” on yesterday, and I could readily identify with who I am.   I also recognized the tendency to always look at who others are and what they do well rather than realizing that each of us has places of brilliance amidst an otherwise perhaps hum-drum home education model.    This was the crux of my conversation with Karen on last night—the darker side of homeschooling, where comparisons between children can leave us feeling defeated, inadequate, and insecure.    I appreciated the chance to pray with her as she makes decisions about home education in the midst of a fight with breast cancer; it is amazing how the Lord can speak into you when you think you are speaking into others.

In all this activity, I have yet to do something that is totally self-indulgent, and for right or wrong, I want that time.   My plan is to blow the dust off my scrapbooking tools, and to finally put together the kids’ dance photos of more than 1 year ago.   I might have a window this weekend while our youngest spends the night with her grandparents and 5-yr old cousin.    The house should be quieter 🙂 and I’ll have a day to get pages completed.   That is, unless we have to drive to pick up a new hound dog.    I’ll pick up on that story the next time.   God bless.

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6 thoughts on “What I did this summer

  1. A new hound dog! Hmmm! My oldest is researching dogs at the moment. He may get one that is his alone. Of course, the rest of the family would get to play with it. We are not sure how our old dog would do with a new buddy around. I am glad that I am not the only one starting back to school next week. I often feel out of sync with everyone else.

    1. I’m not sure that our old dog wants a buddy, either, and the last thing we need in this house right now is another mouth to feed. 🙂 However, both of our younger children “sacrificed” all birthday gifts in the hopes of a new puppy. The things you do for your children, you know?

      We are starting early because I really want to be finished by April’s end, and so this year, I cut summer short in order to have 36 weeks of school (with breaks). That meant a sacrifice of a few weeks of summer, but it will work itself out after next school year.

      Many blessings to you, too!

  2. I thank GOD for your authenticity and your love for others. You may never know how much our talk meant to me. And just think… I called for no reason in particular. 🙂 God had other plans, huh?

    Love the birthday cake!! Is Savannah a Princess Tiana fanatic too?? 🙂

    1. Yes, God had different plans, and His plans are always better than ours.

      Savannah is not a Tiana fanatic, but we have a problem with at least one local bakery not having any of the cakes that they advertise. Her first choice was an iCarly cake (a Nickelodeon character, if your girls don’t watch that channel), but it was unavailable. We ended up at Wal-Mart, where we found Princess Tiana. It worked out well, though she spent a minute upset about the lack of her favorite theme being in stock. Tiana saved the day, and all went well.

  3. MMMMmmm the food looks good. the mama comparisons are horrendous aren’t they?

    At the pool this summer i was a spectator to this same phenomena between public schooling parents–what teacher their kid got, how many friends their kids have made, how easy was it for them to learn to read with such and such teacher…Satan is busy, i wasn’t part of the conversation, but even witnessing it I felt like a simpleton of sorts –like they were sophisticated and i was some “countrified homebody”…thankfully i was too busy to dwell on these negative feelings–and frankly, I AM a countrified homebody and THANKFUL FOR IT…so there!

    1. You’ve hit it on the proverbial head, so to speak, A.J. I have had two opportunities, within the last 48 hours, no less, to remind myself that I am EXACTLY what this household needs (the point of the MommIdentity devotion), whatever my strengths and weaknesses are. I pray that the Holy Spirit will continuously bring this to my remembrance. God bless you, Angela!

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