Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Summer endings...

Summer is quickly coming to an end, and we've been trying to squeeze out every drop of it.
Some things have been planned, others completely impulsive, but doesn't that make for the best mix of memories and fun? 

Jetty Island is a fun place to visit.  It's only open during the summer months.  It's not quite the beach, but it's pretty close with real sand (not rocks) and salty water from the Puget Sound.
One morning I surprised the kids with my plans for Jetty Island and had them eat breakfast on the table while I finished mopping the kitchen floor.   




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A friend of a friend had a loaded apple tree.  Free apples for anyone willing to pick.  
We gathered some large bins and picked them all.  



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Another fun day was spent at a friends house - picking blackberries and more apples. 
My "adventure" friend is also in the same season of life with Olders and Littles and homeschooling.  She inspires me to press on and look for fresh approaches to this sometimes daunting path.


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One lazy morning I got a call from a nearby neighbor.  Her green beans were ready and we could come pick if we wanted some.  
The Lord is so good and faithful to provide such abundance and all for free.  Even though canning is a lot of work, when the produce is free, it's sure worth it. 
We ended up with 10 quarts of green beans, 35 quarts of applesauce (with plenty leftover for cidering), 6 pints of blackberry jam, and 6 half pints of plum butter.  

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Eric's company picnic is always a fun event. 
Lots of free food and swag.  This year was a Hawaiian theme.



They have lots of bouncy houses, and blow-up slides for the younger crowd.  
This year they added a blow up water slide.   Perfect for the 90 degree day.





A group of Hawaiian hula dancers performed while others played the ukulele. 

And so hula lessons, of course. 

Also a zip-line for the adventurous. 







We were adventurous too.







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 And a family day at Jetty Island.

The clam was still inside locked up tight. 

The tide was waaay out.  They had fun in the wet sand.  



Still tackling her summer reading list







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We've had a lot of fun this summer.  I'm not really ready for cooler, cloudy days, but school days with routine is always nice to return to.  
The summer garden was truly a flop except for the beets and basil, surprisingly.  
When I work in the garden the Lord brings to mind so many parallels.  Since we have expanded the garden, it's clear to see that the dirt in the new section is not very fertile. 
I want my heart to be able to receive His Word, like rich soil that produces an abundance of fruit. Just like a plant is known by the fruit it produces, I want to produce spiritual fruit that even those who don't know me see something beautifully different.  

Faith results in hope.  (well, depending in what you put your faith) and hope results in joy! 
I pray these three things are abundantly evident in my life.  (The source of my faith is God, the hope I have is in Christ and His finished work of the cross, and this is the joy of my heart.) 

Until next time... and I'll try not to be gone so long.
~Carol 

Monday, August 22, 2016

25

My firstborn turned 25!  That's just so hard to believe.  
We of course, wanted to celebrate this special day with her, but meshing schedules with adult children, especially adult children that work two jobs is no easy feat. 
We ended up celebrating with her at her apartment the following day with gifts and ice cream.






Birthdays seem to make one stop and assess what's been accomplished in life.  I'm sure Sarah herself can hardly believe she's 25 - a quarter of a century.   But more than a college degree or marriage or children or world travel I pray for a heart that seeks hard after God and His will... and a willingness to do whatever He shows her.  What does HE want for her?    
With her being on her own and super busy with two jobs, and me with a full house and lots of responsibilities we don't get to see each other often enough.  But these are the things I admire about her. 
She has a beautiful smile and great laugh!  She is a hard worker.  She's a gift-giver.  She is tender with animals.  She is self-motivated (so maybe a little impulsive?  but also so creative.)  She has blessed my life so much.  That first born - that helped me to grow as a parent, helped me understand better loving unconditionally, even helped me to see my ugly side.  

I remember so well those last days of pregnancy feeling unwell.  I remember holding the tiniest of newborns with cords and wires and alarms.  I remember the smell of the hospital, but I also remember the sweetest newborn smell.  I remember the hot tears streaming down my cheeks in utter amazement of God's grace in bringing both of us through.





Dearest Sarah,
When you arrived there was so much that I didn't know about mothering, but you have endured my
sharp learning curve through the years.  I am thankful that God gives an extra measure of strength and bravery to first-borns - and to mothers   ;-)
If you know nothing else, KNOW this...that I love you with the deepest love that only a mother has.

Love,
 Mama