Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Hearing the Sun Set

Click on this link and then on the picture of the Swamp Cicada http://www.musicofnature.com/songsofinsects/iframes/cicadas/cicadas.html and then finish reading this post.

One night after Story Hour at Camp, the boys and I were heading back to our room just chatting about the Bible story they had heard that night when all of a sudden Stephen made a comment that once again made me amazed at the brain God gives little boys. He heard this Cicada choir start in the trees and he said so excitedly, "Mommy, listen! I can hear the sun setting!" I wasn't sure what he was talking about at first, but then I realized that these Cicadas would make the most beautiful song at night and he always heard these insects at night time as we were heading back to our room just as the sun was setting.

Enjoy this song of the cicada! I will never be able to listen to it again without thinking of Stephen and his setting sun!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Up With The Birds

The boys have always been early risers. I think there's a lot of George Pavkov blood in them because they are awake and would be out of bed at the crack of dawn if we'd let them. When Stephen was three, we had to buy him a digital clock and teach him that he was not allowed out of his bed until the clock showed 7:00. I guess we forgot one small detail: the 7 had to be at the front of the numbers! We heard him playing downstairs one morning at 4:30 and couldn't figure out what was going on. When questioned, he simply replied, "But my clock DOES say 7! It says 4 - 2 - 7!" Now he knows that 7:00 means that only the first number counts.

Anyway .... this morning was the first day of swimming lessons for the summer. I wanted to have them early because the boys are always up anyway, so why not get the lessons out of the way and then we can still have the rest of the morning for whatever. We have the first lesson of the day: 8:30am. We have been so blessed by having this early bird class because Timothy is the only one in his class!! This is his first time taking lessons and he was NOT thrilled about this whole idea in the first place. Now with one-on-one instruction (and a fantasticly patient and encouraging teacher), he went from not wanting to put his feet in the pool this morning to being in the middle of our friends' pool with water up to his waist in the afternoon! For this reason alone, I am thankful that my guys are up with the birds in the morning! Who wants to get their kids ready for swimming lessons at 8:30 in the morning during summer vacation?! ME!!

We'll be at our early morning swimming lessons for the next two weeks. My boys will have been up, dressed, fed, and taught before most other kids are even out of bed! I'm thrilled with having our lessons done early, but I never thought about the one negative of this whole thing: what do we do with the rest of the day?!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Prayer Requests

Last week at Camp, my highlight, as it is every year, is the one-on-one time that I get to spend with my friends, many of whom I see only once a year at Camp. This year, as all others, my dear friends and I got together to talk and catch up on our lives, and also to pray together. My heart burns for my friends because, even though we shared joys and laughter with each other, each one shared personal prayer requests that are heavy on their hearts. I've come home with a list of prayers for marriages, relationships, teenage children, young children, church issues, health issues, financial issues, career changes, grandchildren, salvation of loved ones, aging parents, birth complications, moves, weddings, personal struggles, job situations, etc. Everyone seems to have something that is causing pain or concern in some area. God has brought so many of my converations to mind this week and I'm thankful for that because I could pray for my friends!

When I think of you, my friend, I pray for you! I know God puts you on my mind for a reason. Be comforted with that. I may not always be able to call or e-mail or even snail mail you to let you know that I'm praying for the things we shared together, but be assured that when you come to my mind, I am immediately praying for you! Please do the same for me!

Home Sweet Home

I have a few moments to think now, so I'll bring you all up to date on our lives here. We've been back from our eighteen day vacation for four days now. Let me just say first that eighteen days is waaayyy too long for a vacation because it ends up feeling more like torture than a vacation toward the end. Especially when your five year old boy wails, "I just want to go home!" and you still have a whole week left to go before you can leave! But all in all, we had a nice time doing things that we don't normally do and our summer has been fun!

We had a wonderful week at Camp again this year. There were about 770 campers (+/-) and the weather was beautiful for a change! I was thrilled to be able to attend more classes and forums and sermons than I have in the last five years put together, I think! The older the boys get, the easier it is to participate as an adult once again. It was nice. I was also asked to participate in a forum on grieving this year. Our forum covered the topic of grieving the loss of loved ones at different ages and how that affected us. I was asked to share my experiences of having a miscarriage. It was not an easy forum to participate in, but I knew that God wanted me to share my experiences and to be very open and vulnerable. II Corinthians 1 speaks about us being able to comfort others with the comfort that we ourselves have received and I know that God has given me many opportunities to comfort others who suffer miscarriages with the comfort that I received when I experienced mine. There were no dry eyes in that large room full of people that day as several of us shared our experiences with grief, from my miscarriage, to a mother who watched her four year old die of cancer, to another's loss of his wife of only 2 1/2 years to a husband who had been with his wife for over forty years and only on her deathbed did she finally ask Jesus into her heart. This was definitely an emotional day for me at Camp, but one that I'm thankful I could experience.

After Camp, we got to go to Dianne's again to drop off Karen (who was a second mom to Christopher, especially at Camp! He started calling HER Mama!!!). The boys were thrilled to have a sleepover at Lily's and have asked several times since when we'll be going back for another one. As we were driving out of Dianne and Gabe's driveway, Stephen asked where we were going this time. Home, I replied. "Which home? OUR home?" Yes. And then I heard him sigh a soft and very contented sigh and muttered under his breath, "Ahhh. Home sweet home."

So we are home. Our laundry is washed, put away, and already worn and soiled again. The suitcases are back in their spots. The lawn (jungle!!) has been mowed. The family is settled back into their routines. Time to mess it up again next week when swimming lessons start!

It's good to be home!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Middle of the Night Mishap

Christopher, 22 months, has decided that he is as mature as his older brothers who are almost 4 and 5. As a result, he has graduated from a crib and now sleeps in the bottom of the bunkbed by himself without rails or anything. He's been doing very, very well with this new "independence", I must say! He doesn't climb out of bed after going down for his nap or for the night. He doesn't play around in there. He does what every dream child should be doing in bed ... sleeping!

As I said, he has been doing well for the past several weeks, until last night! I woke up around 3:30 or so to Christopher screaming. I went into the boys' room to see what the problem was, but Christopher wasn't in his bed! I could hear him crying (screaming, rather), but the room was dark and I couldn't quite see what was going on. I thought maybe he had fallen out of bed so I got down on my knees to pick him up. Hmmm. Still no Christopher. Still lots of screaming.

In my half-asleep stupor, I could tell that the crying was coming from someplace low, but I just couldn't see him. I finally clued in that the screaming was coming from UNDER the bunkbed. ?!?!?!?!?! Even after lying flat on the floor and trying to scoot under the bed with only a 10" opening, I found him shoved way back into the corner, not sure which way was out anymore. I felt like I was rescuing a cat from under that bed as I kept groping for him in the dark and eventually pulled him across the floor to safety.

Christopher was so funny. As soon as he was out from under the bed, I tried to hug him for comfort, thinking that he would want Mommy's reassurance that all was well, but no. He pulled away from me and climbed back into his beloved bottom bunk and promptly went back to sleep.

Yep. That's my big boy, Christopher. Give him a bit of independence and not even a hug from Mommy is necessary. Good thing he still loves to cuddle when he's awake!

Friday, July 11, 2008

What Day Is It?

Timothy asked me today what day it was. I fumbled around for an answer because I wasn't quite sure. We've been gone for so long, it seems, and I'm not sure where we're at anymore when it comes to what day it is.

We've been busy, that's for sure. While Fred, Christopher and I were in Vancouver for Henry's wedding (pictures coming sometime!), Stephen and Timothy were enjoying the good life with their aunt, uncle, cousins, and grandparents. Every day they tell me more stories about things they did and places they went ... and video games that they played. They were in their glory at Aunt Liz's house! Then I found out that Grandpa and Grandma took them to a park and an ice cream place that gave them chocolate and vanilla swirled ice cream! Wow!! That was a treat for them! They have been having a great summer so far!

As for Fred and me, we've been having fun, too, but with frustrating twists. On our way back from Vancouver, we were circling our connecting airport for over an hour due to thunderstorms. Can you believe that we eventually landed, but had to sit on the tarmack for another hour or so and then had to stay overnight in a hotel only 45 minutes away from our home before getting a connecting flight to Ohio to pick up the boys?! Forty-five minutes from home!!! We had no car. It was 11:30 at night. We were stuck! Well, we enjoyed another day of "vacation" and spent the night oh, so close to home, and yet so far away. Sigh.

Today the boys and I went to Dianne's to spend the day with her and my chatty nieces. The boys had a blast playing with Lily and Maci and splashing in the pool on such a hot day. Dianne and I did yard work and laundry and had a great time as well. Somehow doing work at someone else's house is always a lot more fun.

Tomorrow we're moving on to Mom and Dad's and then we'll be on our way to Eastern Camp from there. It's been a long vacation so far and we've still got a week to go, but the boys are troopers and we have had laundry facilities, so we're doing good!

Now, as for what day it is? Stephen, our little Fact-o-meter, informed us that today is Friday. He's been counting the days until we leave for Camp, because (get this) he can't wait to see what kind of cereal they're going to have for breakfast. Hmmm. I guess as a five-year-old it's still ok to look forward to the cereal at Camp.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Happy Canada Day

Happy Canada Day or Happy Dominion Day to all! Canada is 141 years old today and the nation is celebrating pretty much like they do on all the other holidays ... with a day off! Canadians love their days off and this is no exception. Since the actual holiday is on a Tuesday, most places even celebrated by taking yesterday off as well.

The boys asked me, "What do we do on Canada Day, Mommy?" Good question! First of all, I guess we don't get to sleep in. The flu bug has been going through our family this past week and last night was Timothy's turn to get hit with it. I've been up since about 2:30 this morning and it's not looking like I'll be getting any naps in today. Still, we've had a leisurely morning. We have all day to pack our bags and head for family fun and weddings and vacations. We get to(Notice my choice of words here! I'm trying to remain positive!) mow the lawn, clean out the van, finish all the loads of laundry that have puke all over them, and then we get to play!! Daddy is promising Riverside Park because they have Canada Day celebrations there today for kids as well as fireworks in the evening. Whether we'll last until that time or not remains to be seen. No matter what we choose to do though, we are going to enjoy our Canada Day holiday!

Happy Canada Day everyone! And happy Fourth of July on Friday, too, since mentally that is still my holiday even after nine years!