Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ziggurats, Swings, Sand, & Tents...Life

Okay, here are the kids posing beside the ziggurat they built a for school a few weeks ago. Quite exciting! Only, I didn't have enough brown paint on hand, so I added cinnamon (the dollar store kind) to try and darken the paint...which gave the ziggurat a stomach flipping odor. Something about paint, cinnamon, grits, and dirt all together that was rather unpleasant! Regardless, it graced our table for a solid week.

Our curriculum has had us studying Mesopotamia. We've also been learning some art terms and studying ancient Mesopotamian art. 

Pulling out my college art history book and having my children pour over it's pages, fascinated, grinning, pointing, firing off questions...well, it's made me so happy!

And while there are really precious and wonderful moments - the "ah-hahs" of teaching and the tenderness of God teaching us, changing us, working in our lives, there are also hard and long days.

Little Man was with a friend for the afternoon. Little Bit was napping. I told Sister she needed to "rest" so I could have an hour without interruptions. Ha. My attitude was rotten. And then my friend ripped the scales from my eyes and said something profound..."go for the eternal. In the midst of the noodles, go for the eternal. You'll never regret it." By God's grace, I am trying. Trying to go for the eternal. Rugs come and go. Accidents happen. My daughter is eternal.

Fun times!

The Engineer and I took a little adventure a few weekends ago. We got to help chaperone the youth in our church on a white water rafting trip! The grands graciously kept the children!

We pulled out a little before six. Most of our van was asleep before we made it outside the city limits.

The Engineer was driving a 15 passenger was a little surreal.

We did more than just raft...we also did a high ropes course.

Part of that course included a swing...

That was crazy high...

And required a full body harness...

And my crazy husband impressed us all by soaring through the air, arms spread wide! NO fear.

Once hooked in, a team (of around 10 kids) pulled you up...

I think I remember hearing it was 40 feet high.

Y'all, that is really high!

Once you were at the top, you had to pull your own release...

If you're me, on the way up you think, "what if these cables break? I might die. I mean, I would die if they break. And they might. And I would die."

And then you pull the release and you SCREAM with everything you have in you!

And then you remember your husband's awesome example and you think, "If I'm going to die, I might as well die having fun. Hanging on to a falling cable isn't going to save me." (Morbid, I know.)

And you throw your arms wide and you know what? It was SO. MUCH. FUN!!!

And we rafted. And that rocked. And we played lots of games requiring massive amounts of running. I cannot out run high school athletes. Period. Hopeless. And in one game I was being chased by a crazy soccer player athlete and I knew outrunning her was hopeless, so I thought I'd turn abruptly and dive past her. That was a dumb decision. I NAILED my head. I fought the tears. My head throbbed. After an hour, I gladly accepted a packet of Goodies Headache Powder. That stuff is awesome. A few minutes later...GAME ON. Bring it. I still got nailed. Again. And again. And again. I'm so not a teenager anymore.

And then we drove home. The scenery was beautiful. We had so much fun. Those kids are awesome. 

What is love? Love is when some of your closest friends, who happen to be your neighbors, call you one Saturday morning and say, "We want to do something really special for y'all. We want to give you two nights in a brand new hotel at Orange Beach. And, we want to keep your kids while you're away." 

We were speechless. And elated. Who does that? Who gives someone two nights in a brand new hotel on the beach? AND offers to keep their children? To say we were touched would be a tremendous understatement. 

The anticipation and excitement was so much fun.

We ate at some fabulous restaurants. We splurged and rented chairs down on the beach. You know, the ones where the guy comes by and offers to move your umbrella for you. (He also nailed me in the head with said umbrella while wiggling it into the sand. We laughed.)

Our room had a balcony and chairs. We sat outside both nights. The weather couldn't have been more perfect. We walked and walked and walked. We held hands. We talked. Uninterrupted. It was so good to have that time away. With nothing to do, but be. It's been several years since we've gotten away to just be. I hadn't realized how badly we need that.

Thank you, sweet friends. Words don't express our gratitude. 

This little munchkin was VERY happy to see us leave and VERY UNHAPPY to see us return. (Think screaming fit, kicking legs, reaching for the neighbors...and every time we've set foot outside since, she calls for them...)  Little Man told us they prefer our friends to us because, "They're so much nicer." Ha. Sorry kid. Life's tough.

The Engineer helped me organize and plan our homeschool week. As he flipped through the curriculum he read a suggestion to let your children sleep in a tent all week - sort of like what Abraham and Sarah would have done...sort of. I would have skipped over that. But not The Engineer.

He bought a bag of air heads, set that tent up, carried all the sleeping bags out, told the kids to load up on books, slapped on his head lamp, ran a power cord to the tent, plugged in his alarm clock, brought the dogs in the tent, zipped it up and I didn't hear from them until a little after five this morning. 

This picture cracks me up. 

This one does too. Sister is in The Engineer's lap.

I've been archiving pictures and ran across these. Sister and I went to a 50th wedding anniversary celebration and I told her to dress in her Sunday best.

I nearly died when she came down in those boots. And then I swallowed my pride and rolled with it.

I'm so glad I did. A french hand-sewn dress and camo cow-girl boots. She rocked it. 

Happy Wednesday, y'all!


  1. Ahhhh!!!! I am sooooo happy that you guys got away to the beach. PRAISE the Lord for those sweet neighbors! Can they move on into our neighborhood, by chance. The photo of you and T made me smile. And kinda blush. And reminded me of your sweet email to me a while back that I am not even sure I responded to. Thank you for sharing that stuff. Am just so happy that you got that time happy. Can I say that again?!

  2. Here's to living life fully. You and the Engineer do that so well. You inspire me. Really.

    {Love the smooch}

  3. The comment from Little Man about the neighbors being nicer owns me. Harper does that same kind of thing...awesome.
    Also Love that you let Sister wear the boots. I wish I had her confidence!!

  4. So happy you got away. What a HUGE blessing!

    "Go for the eternal". I'm taking that one with me for today. Thank you so much! I needed that.

    Loved this post. It sounds like you are doing really well.

    Blessing my darling, beautiful friend! It is a priviledge to call you that.


  5. Glad y'all got to get away for a while. What a treat!

  6. Go for the eternal.

    Oh, this speaks to me!

    (ps-I am swooning over lil' bit's haircut!)