I've been absent from my blog for a while. We have had a very, very busy summer here -- so much so that I hardly have time to stop and collect my thoughts.
The summer started with a three-day basketball program that my kids have done now for several years. They look forward to it and always have a great time -- this year was no exception.
That week was also busy with vacation preparations, and the (early) morning after b-ball ended, we left for a much-needed vacation.
Our first day of driving was quite a long one. We had been on the road a couple of hours when my daughter commented to me that this was the first vacation that we were taking with just the four of us being our whole family. (Sometimes she is a 'master of the obvious'.) It was just a simple statement of fact, but that phrase, 'family of four' - has been hard to get used to. I had to take a deep breath before replying to that one. . . . The kids did great on the drive, and we arrived safe and sound. We started out by visiting the Creation Museum. We had heard about it, and the kids were really wanting to go. They enjoyed it greatly. Now, they talk about going back in a couple of years when the 'Ark Encounter' opens. If you have the opportunity to go, you should.
From there, we continued on to Pensacola. I hadn't been back there in 8 years, but having lived there for nearly 7 years, it always feels like 'going home' when I return. We stayed with friends, and had a good visit. I wanted to keep things simple, so I only made 2 promises to the kids for our time there -- the beach and the Naval Aviation Museum. Both were a hit with the kids, and we even made a quick trip to Fort Pickens and they were able to see several osprey on the way. My friend Amy did me worlds of good those days -- she had the meals planned for the week, and she decided our schedule, too. That was such a blessing to not have to be in charge of every minute detail. It was a wonderful reprieve!
After our all-too-short stay in Pensacola, we started the trek home. My kids have heard me talk about Lambert's Café as a great memory from my college days, and I wanted them to have the experience, too. We stopped there for dinner, and then I decided to drive 2 more hours before stopping for the night -- I wanted to make that last day of driving just a little bit shorter.
My oldest got the idea in his head that he would really like to see the Gateway Arch . We were so close that I couldn't really turn him down, so that was our stop before we started the drive for the day. The kids really liked getting to go to the top of the arch. It was a good start to the day.
We arrived home late that evening, and we hit the ground running. We have had one thing after another since we got back home.
We have also had two birthdays this summer. It started with my oldest turning 13! The following month, my daughter hit double digits.
This week was our first week of the summer that nothing was on the schedule, and so we were finally able to make plans to meet up with some friends that we haven't seen in a long time. We walked to the park near their home, and we had not been there even 2 minutes when my youngest fell and broke his wrist. Now, we have several other things to add to our schedule and plans. (Yes, he will be fine. He's currently splinted well, and we should be getting a cast this coming week.)
The facility where I took him is the same place I took Trent initially last year. I hesitated just a moment, knowing that sometimes memories can come on strong and kind of knock the wind out of a person. I couldn't be a puddle of tears when I needed to focus on J's needs. I prayed for God to rule my emotions. I didn't have a problem going in there, but I had forgotten about the family medical history form and the fact that I would have to list his dad as 'deceased' -- that caught me off guard momentarily. I breathed a quick prayer, and the 'moment' passed quickly as I felt God's strength and peace wash over me. What a wonderful God we serve!
We are in full swing here preparing for camp. Since my kids have food allergies, camp means that this mama has a great deal of work preparing their meals for the week. I have two of my three that are old enough for camp this year. I like to go along as kitchen help, and that is the plan again this year. My youngest will get to spend the week with an aunt and uncle and cousins (though he's not sure about being away from me for those days), and it sounds like the schedule for follow-up appointments for his wrist should work out with that being a week we do not have to go in for a check.
As soon as we return from camp, it will be time to get ready for the new school year.
It is rarely a dull moment around here. There is always something needing to be done. Just when I think there's a lull, things - like a broken wrist - pop up.
Through all of our daily happenings, I see God's continual faithfulness and His wonderful blessings and care for us -- even in the circumstances surrounding J's broken wrist. Since we had been planning to be out for the day, we had lunch packed. That meant that the older two did not have to wait until 4 p.m. to have lunch. It also was perfect in the setting. Since there weren't others in the waiting room, the staff let my kids choose the channel on the TV ( and . . . since we don't really watch network TV, they chose PBS). I didn't have to be concerned about what inappropriate content might be on the afternoon talk shows. It is easy to second guess myself these days; and after I found out that the orthopedic clinic has a walk-in urgent care, I wondered if maybe I hadn't made the right choice about where to bring him initially. God gave me reassurance today when I found out that the orthopedic clinic is not set up to do conscious sedation; so if we had gone there, J would have had to be awake when they set his arm (and it did not set easily). I'm thankful God led me to the Urgency Room instead of the clinic.
So, that is a snapshot view of what our summer has been thus far. We are keeping busy, for sure; and continuing to move forward, asking the LORD to show us the steps He would have us to take along this path He has put us on in life. I am thankful for all the things that God has done for us in this journey and for who He is, and I look forward to what God has for us in His perfect plan. God is good!