Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Just Stuff

How do you like the new fall skins for my blog?  I hope it makes you wanna take a hike through a gorgeous forest, toss a football, or roast a marshmallow!  

I am  really hoping autumn truly is here to stay, and I'm not just being teased.  I would be bummed if the temps shot back up or if we just by-passed the perfect fall coolness and hit freezing cold!  

NO!  I need fires and hayrides and orchards and pumpkins and leaves and cinnamon and colors..............

You've probably guessed which season is my favorite huh?  

*Favorite of the day: FALL!* (I know that doesn't really count since it doesn't help anyone with word-of-mouth review of a product, but this is my blog so I'm saying FALL! Ha!) with that excitement out of my system, I will tell you about my super-special, amazing walk with my Trey today.

It started off a "normal" morning around here.  I forgot to set my alarm and didn't crawl out of bed until 9:30!  Yes, sadly, that is normal for me when Tom is out of town.  I don't sleep as well and end up awake until the wee hours of the morning it seems.  I hate it.  But, at least homeschooling allots me some extra shut-eye.  Thankfully I have trained my boys how to start their morning if I am not quite ready to jump up when they are! (smile)

Because I haven't been feeling the best lately, I am determined to get back to a workout routine as well as a steady daily schedule.  I totally slacked over the summer.  

Today my intention was to awaken early and get our day started, but it just didn't happen and that's life.  I decided I was going to take the time to read a quick devo, stretch out my muscles, and take at least a 20-minute walk before I tackled teaching.

Alex and Trey wanted to join me, but Alex discovered there are no tennis shoes anywhere in our whole house that will fit him.  Guess I will need to shop this weekend!  (Oh darn!!!) (smile)

Trey was able to tag along, and we had the sweetest time.  He talked my ear off!  It wasn't even anything major...just completely random topics that popped in his head, but he held my hand...which he had grabbed for...and I don't know, it just felt nice to be wanted and loved, ya know?

I don't often get much one-on-one time with any of my guys.  We kinda just flow as a unit!  It was just really precious, and I tried to cherish it, even wondering when it might all change.  I just want to take nothing for granted!

In passing, I spoke with another mom at martial arts tonight.  I was supposed to send her some photos, and I had just plain forgotten with all that has been going on.  She was telling me it was okay...that she understood busy.  She was telling me all the stuff her son is involved in and then said, "And it's all on me because my husband is terminally ill with ALS."



And just like that, everything about how I saw her and her son was changed forever. 

We just never know what our days on this earth will hold.  There isn't time to be selfish!  There isn't time to play manipulate and wallow in self-pity!

I was talking with a friend the other day, confessing that I was struggling with my love growing cold...especially toward other believers.  I was sharing with her how there is a verse in the Bible that says, "In the last days the love of many will grow cold." I find myself teetering on the edge of this!   

I don't want to feel this way.  I don't want to feel impatient and lack compassion for others.  It's hard though!  

I'm just so over seeing people assume, accuse or back-bite, and manipulate.  I'm weary of it.  It's on the news, on T.V. shows, on Facebook.  I feel smothered!

I know it's just people's insecurities and defenses, but ugh!  And, I know that I am supposed to love them all like Christ does, but it is getting increasingly harder to not get frustrated.  How does God do it?!!!

So...I fell asleep writing this last week, and I am just now posting it so update:  *ANOTHER FAVORITE: ZAPPOS SHOE OUTLET* where we found Alex new shoes for a GREAT price!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Truly No Greater Joy

Checking in to say hello!  Photos will follow later (smile).

What a GREAT long weekend I had with good friends!

Friday was kinda blah because hubby was supposed to be coming home after a week in D.C., but sweet thing accidentally booked his flight for 8:25 A.M. instead of P.M. and therefore got a terrible surprise when he arrived at the airport that night (after a not-so-good week and a head cold).

He made it in Saturday and after Martial Arts training, Alex and I headed for one last pool day with Toni and Jamey.  I am still laughing that it was 102 degrees that day and today I needed a sweatshirt!  But, I love Autumn so bring it on!  Cinnamon smells, s'mores, and vibrant colors.  So glad to be in the midwest again!

Sunday we enjoyed a family breakfast at the ole IHOP (gift cards rock!)...a rare treat for us, but we needed some reconnecting time with Dad!  We had lots of laughs and yummy pancakes!  We did a little shopping, came home, and fixed a feast in honor of Toni and Jamey coming over and Chris, Crystal, and Conner arriving that evening.

We played Phase 10 (my WORST game ever...stink!) and enjoyed seeing how big baby Conner was getting.  Crystal and I stayed up talking about motherhood and how her life has changed until 4 A.M.  It was great!

Monday we headed out to our favorite ice cream place (Homemade Ice Cream and Pie Kitchen), the mall...where the boys traded in some games, and then to our favorite pizza place (Wick's).  We ended the night late (again) with Euchre and Tri-Bond.  Crystal and I were slap-happy and sleep-deprived by this time!  Hilarious!

Today we went for free (yay!) breakfasts at Chic-Fil-A, did some shopping, and toured the Muhammad Ali Center (nice Groupon find).  It was a very nice facility and neat to learn about another's life story.  Dinner on the river at Joe's Crab Shack (can you say gift card again!) and back home in time for Martial Arts class, where sadly, Alex pulled a muscle in his chest...yikes!

But now...the Rourkes have gone home.  Daddy is on the road again.  I have sleeping boys all around me...oh and one lazy dog.  

My belly is full (too full...back to healthy eating tomorrow) house is bed is comfy...

Why am I so blessed?

No matter what I do in a matter how great of a time I have...memories of the faces and eyes I have looked in don't leave me.  They are a part of me friends in other countries and poor cities in my own nation.

I am so glad I remember them.

I never want to forget what so many in the world live in while many of us live in something so vastly different.

I find myself thinking on my pillow tonight, "What else can I do Lord?  What else can I do?"

Boys~Why are you so blessed?  It's simple.  Don't make it complex or deeply theological!  You are blessed TO BE A BLESSING.  You are not blessed to hoard.  You are blessed to give.  It's okay to have fun and treats like you have had this weekend, but those things should never rule your life and cause you to hold on too tight and be greedy.  Your earthly father delights in lavishing you with gifts that you need and want, but it is meant to teach you to pay it forward.  It truly is more fulfilling to give than to receive.  My heart thrills at watching you get understanding of that even now.

Trey~I was so excited for you when you offered to pay your own admission to help Dad today.  That was incredibly thoughtful, yet you offered it up with so much gusto and so little thought.  You saw a need and you were ready and willing to give aid!

Alex~Your care for Conner and offers of help to Ms. Crystal did not go unnoticed by any of us.  Over and over, we caught ourselves amazed at your consideration of him and his needs.  You could have went off playing, too busy to help with a baby, but you humbled yourself and assisted your guests!

Garrison~You never fail in looking after your brothers and guiding them to do what is right.  I appreciated that even while you were trying to have a good time at the museum, you kept a watchful eye out and reminded your brothers when they were starting to get too rowdy.  Even when Alex got hurt at class tonight, you stopped what you were doing and came specifically to pray for him.  You could have been self-centered and focused on your own wants and fun, but you laid down your life for your brother!

It is my absolute honor to get to watch you all grow into men of integrity and truly train your own hearts to be selfless even when it is hard!  Great love this weekend guys! 

There is truly no greater joy than to see my children walking in truth.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Math, Dogs, & Mullets!

*Favorite of the Day:  The Five Finger Paragraph and Essay*

(I've decided I have lots of favorite things and would like to share them in hopes that you will also share some favorites with me.  I love to hear about products via word-of-mouth from friends that actually use them and have good results rather than wasting my money!) other news...

What a day!

What a week really.

I am truly stunned by how much ONE subject out of ALL that the boys and I do in a day can give us so much grief!


The very word makes me feel enraged at the moment!  (I'm not even kidding people...that angry!)

Those of you who "get" math are thinking, "What's the big deal?"  Those of you who don't "get" it (like me) are thinking, "Tell me about it!"

And those of you who are homeschooling parents who don't get it are maybe breathing a sigh of relief right now that somebody else who loves their children, wants to keep teaching them as God has called, and truly enjoys every other part of the day with them can understand your frustration!

It's been rough.  We enjoy our day learning together and then BAM!  We are at the table, and I am thinking today will be different...better.  

Nope.  Within minutes all of us are fighting back tears.  Literally.  No exaggeration here.  (Not Garrison...I mean he is off doing his own thing with genius algebraic equations, that little Jimmy Neutron...and thank heaven because I sure can't help him!)  

The dad who could teach this HORRID subject just fine is no where to be found because you know, somebody has to make a living!

Lord help me.  I need some guidance right now.  Prayers appreciated.  I don't want to give up in frustration!!!

Enough of that...

Not much else to say.  Just feeling quite overwhelmed trying to get it all done in a day.  We celebrated my dad's 66th birthday yesterday with a homemade pizza party and card games.  We've gotten haircuts (mo-hawks and faux-hawks and more). We've karate-chopped people and played with Adalee.

For now, I will just leave you with Trey's essay on dogs (in his own spelling).  At least composition is growing leaps and bounds around here! 

We have been using the Five Finger Paragraph and Essay, which I highly recommend to help learn how to write a great paragraph in a pretty easy way.  Essays are just made up of paragraphs so the sooner a student can get a good paragraph format down the better!  We have studied this the last three weeks and it seems to be clicking.

Dogs make fun pets.  They have special features.  They requier responibity.  They have things they love.  Dogs are great but not always cute.

Dogs have some things in comin.  There noses are usily wet.  Most dogs have fur.  Some dogs bark alot.  Dogs mite be difrint from each other but they all need the same things.

Dogs can be a bunch of work.  They need a kenal or a bed for sleeping.  All dogs need to eat two times a day.  Evry dog has to go to the batroom and needs exersize.  Dogs must have help, but they can be fun to.

There are many ways to enjoy dogs.  They love to be petted.  You can teach them how to do tricks and reward them with treats.  Dogs are happy when they play with there owners.  Usily dogs are more joy then they are work.

Dogs are great pets.  They may not always behave, but they can be enjoyd.  If taken good care of they will be freinds with you.  They can do cool tricks and even make you laghf.  Dogs can bring fun to your home.

Written by Trey William
September 2011
Grade 5, age (almost) 9

And now...drumroll.....

A funny from Trey:

As we are driving down the road today, the boys are discussing hairstyles.  Trey says, "Jesus probly took Dad's hair away because he use to have a mullet and He knows Dad can't be trusted with hair!"


(I think he got his momma's wit.  Let's hope he got my hair genes too! HA!)