Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Vacation Restoration

We enjoyed our week away. Here are a few highlights:
*daily trips to the beach
*lots of bike riding
*campfires, campfires, campfires
*spiders and snakes and bats (oh, my!)

The highlight for my children were all the hands-on nature programs run by the state park naturalists. They got to handle worms (two kinds), hold snakes, explore a creek for such finds as crayfish and waterbugs and snails, see hundreds of black widow spiders and a tarantula too. These are not girlie-girls. Or maybe they are, but they're not the squeamish kind. Thank goodness for them.

The highlight for me were the times of quiet and stillness I found: standing in the woods listening to the birds and the rustling leaves(while waiting for the Uber-princess to catch up on her little bike), standing in Lake Michigan watching the waves sweep in over and over, sitting beside a warm fire as the sun began to rise, sitting on a sand dune watching the sun set.

The commonality in all that for both the girls and I? Nature. We got good and close to it, in our own ways, closer than we can get in our suburban environment. It was good for my soul and good for their minds.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Returning Home

I am back from a week away from home. It was a good break and the R & R did us all a lot of good, but of course home is better. Home is always better.

I think of that this morning after learning of a church friend's departure for "home". Her time away from home - here on earth - was relatively short. But I'm guessing today she is experiencing that great relief and joy of being where she truly belongs.

I brought Leslie and her journey through cancer to you some months ago, asking you to pray. Now that her journey is over, the journey for her husband and 3-year-old son has just become tougher and perhaps lonelier. Please pray for Tyson and TJ.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Fresh Air

Feel it blowing? Oh sure, it's a little hot, but it's fresh. See, it was getting a bit stale in here. So I thought I'd open things up a bit, do a little cleaning and some updating too.

First of all, I've added some new blog links (so these folks will see a little bump in their Technorati authority). These are pretty much the bulk of what resides in my iGoogle tabs and feeds. You'll find a bunch of writers, a few speakers, agents and any of my friends who have blogs (that I know of).

I also updated my list of what I'm reading. That changes often enough that it's hard to keep up with. And really it's an incomplete list. I'm also currently reading Guerrilla Marketing For Writers and Publicize Your Book - any hints as to what my current project might be? Plus I picked up a Nora Roberts novel at the library today out of curiousity.

That's about it so far. Like my home, this blog gets a bit neglected in the Summer. It's hard to take care of either when you're spending hours at the pool or off on Friday Fun on Thursday outings (I rarely manage to hold Friday Fun on Friday - what's up with that?). Hope it feels a little fresher and more welcoming.

Thanks, as always, for stopping by. And no matter how dusty it gets, remember you're always welcome here.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

New Shoes

These. Are my. New. Shoes.

(WARNING: Silly dithering about totally superficial stuff to follow. Read at your own risk. Unless you love shoes. Then you'll understand).

Aren't they lovely? I think I've said it here before that I don't like to shop. Really. Except for shoes. And especially when there is a great shoe sale. Today I found one. I knew Carson Pirie Scott department store was having a big clearance sale and I had some coupons to sweeten the deal. So I went in looking for: a bathing suit and adorable shoes.

Bathing suits this year just weren't working for me - and that's with them on the hangers. A lot of browns. But never mind the bathing suits. Now for the shoes...oh the shoes!

The entire stock of Bobbie Blu shoes was 60% off. I saw the sign. And I saw the shoes. And I told myself to breathe deep. Because I love that entire line of shoes. Bobbie Blu shoes were made for this girl. There's not a pair I wouldn't wear (just maybe one or two that would be dangerous for me to wear). They are funky and cute and...and...I just love them! But being the woman of restraint and frugality that I am, I told myself that it simply wasn't an option to buy (or even try on) all of them. So I picked the two most adorable, sweet looking, catch-your-eye pairs of flats to go with jeans. And I tried them on.

Can I say that they are even cuter on my feet than they are on the shelf? These shoes give me happy feet!

Now, while I wait for jeans weather, just what other outfits can I pair these fantastic little shoes with?

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I'm Still Here

Just doing stuff like taking kids to swimming lessons (LMH is going to learn a flip turn tomorrow. I'm jealous. I never learned how to do that and I think it would make my lap-swim workout so much more effecient), having picnics at parks with friends or watching Musing Dad play volleyball at lunch.

We've been camping, bike riding, disc golfing and pulling weeds. I've put nearly eight coats of varnish on these perler bead circles that the girls have made to sell as markers at disc golf tournaments. And they sold twenty-plus bottles of frozen lemonade at last month's tournament.

We've memorized about a third of Philippians 4 and worked through hundreds of workbook pages. Each of the girls are learning new things like how to write lower-case letters, how to play the flute and piano, how to improve their disc golf throw and how to juggle.

I've read Ninety Minutes in Heaven, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince and am three-quarters of the way through with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (if you've read it all, don't share any spoilers).

Hope that explains the occasional lapses in blog posts. Hope you're out doing fun stuff too. If you have any fun ideas for things we can try this summer, let me know in the comments below.

Happy middle of Summer (yes, we passed the half-way mark here in our fair city)!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

You Gotta See This

My dad pointed me to this amazing video today. It is unlike anything out there, so it's hard to describe. It's beautiful and funny. And it captures this great global sense of community. Don't let the brash title keep you from watching it.