This is the month of getting things done. And by done I mean FINALLY getting the trees under control from the storm. It only took 4 months to find a tree guy that we felt gave us a fair price for the large amount of work we needed to get done. Not sure if you remember the tree climbing kit that came in the mail for one particular person (I won’t name names) to try his hand at taking down some serious limbs and dead trees. Well, that Mr. No Name got smart and let these trees guys DO EVERYTHING. Including the big cedar tree in the front yard. GONE. Not even a stump left!

    Not going to say I didn’t have a weird feeling in my stomach all day hearing those huge limbs hit the ground. It took me right back to the night of the storm and wondering what was happening all around us! And to watch their machines today haul everything away IN ONE DAY left me remembering how much work it took to clear our own property after the storm. Don’t get any ideas Rad that we need a front loader…although this one today would be awesome to own. I could think of a few projects that would be checked off the list quicker if we had one.

    I love that my boys love to work. Gress was right in there helping the guys pick up branches and offering them drinks. He has a great heart for people. And often when Mcree gets tired of working he always makes himself useful with animal wrangling. And speaking of animals, we were having a joy ride on the mule the other night and Gress yelled, ” STOP, PIGS!!” We really thought he had lost his mind. But sure enough there were three little piglets foraging in the field. Only one let us pet her and then they heard their dinner bell and ran off. OH SO CUTE!

    Side note, if you take your boys to a restaurant dressed like this you better expect some comments about being farmers. OH that made us smile!

  • Get Away to Ponder

    It’s been quite awhile since the 5 of us took a trip together. There’s nothing better than hours of “windshield time” with Rad. A lot of deep, honest, rich conversations happen during those stretches of open road. We joke that maybe our dates should just consist of driving around for a few hours!

    We took a trip to Florida. The main point of the trip was to see a sailboat in Bradenton that a man owned and was willing to let us see and pick his brain. This man (who was an older gentleman and a triathlete…talk about an inspiration) was getting ready to sail it to Cuba if that tells you the capacities of this vessel. It was an unbelievable sailboat and the type we thought we would soon own. But as Rad and I departed the boat, we realized it was not at all what we could manage during this time in our lives. I’m not going to lie and say I didn’t have a few dreams right there on the boat of one day sailing away with just Rad for months on end. But truth is, our life is busy and to make this kind of investment which will just sit idle at a marina until we can sail….it just didn’t seem like a smart idea. We both knew it. Oh how it crushed my dreams in that moment. It’s that struggle with wanting something so badly, yet knowing it’s not the right time. The windshield time on the way home was a lot about what is next for us. Not sure we totally figured that one out yet.

    Thanks to my mom’s Marriott status, she graced us with an unbelievable hotel on the beach in St. Petersburg/Treasure Island. What a treat in so many ways. It was a respite for our family, a place where the kids didn’t want to leave, it gave Gress and I hours of conversation as we walked along the beach, and every morning I got to walk alone on the shore and have evenings to sit and ponder watching the sunset. WOW! It was a treat for our family to be together for days on end with no agenda. We did take a tourist day and went to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium to see Winter the dolphin (who lost her tail in a crab trap when she was little and now swims with a prothesis). We had watched a documentary some time ago on her and the kids really wanted to see her in person. We also took a little boat ride and they seined the ocean floor and the kids got to explore all the finds that were pulled up. It was a great experience.

    Lots of memories made on this trip and lots of things to think about as we ponder on our next adventure of how to get on the water. All 5 of us love the ocean. I think I hear it calling our names!

  • Why Thank YOU!

    Lucky for us our neighbor has a Meyer lemon tree. Because one person can’t possibly consume all that was growing on it, she told us to help ourselves. Oh and did we. Gress went crazy squeezing tons of them and we got jars and jars of lemon juice. We even made a pitcher of lemonade. I think it only made us crave summer days even more.

    We were extra excited because we painted a still life with fruit just the day before. And we are talking some of these beauties to our art class at co-op so I can create a still life while I teach. I love when things connect like that. We did a bird study Wednesday on Blue Jays and while we were sitting on the back porch for lunch, the rain brought them all to our backyard…almost 20 of them.

  • Hello Again

    I can’t seem to get here….to sit down and lay my thoughts on the page. Most days I’m feeling like I just have my head above water. We are lucky if we get all of our homeschool done before the afternoon, and then just when I think I have accomplished a lot, I turn around and a little person has made a tornado out of every room in the house. Some things make me smile really big (like hearing Mcree read and seeing Gress’ new love for writing “novels” as he calls them.) But then I get humbled really quick when I see how we have to repeat a concept over and OVER again, or how spelling has a long way to go. And then I remember that my job is to bring glory to God in ALL that I do and that these little things and days upon days will add up to a full childhood for these kiddos. I remind myself I need to be consistent, and grace filled, and loving. And boy is that sometimes hard when you have to repeat the same phrase for what seems like the 10th time.

    Life is busy, and full, and crazy, and I don’t want to miss the richness that seeps into it all.

    What’s new lately. So much.

    The boys started swim team again last week. Gress wasn’t so sure he knew what he was doing. Then his coach told him he was built for swimming and he could really succeed at it after watching him. It’s his favorite thing now! Mcree is happy to just be in the water. Excited to keep building strong swimmers. We plan to be in the water a lot this summer!

    We have been to the library weekly and the kids love of reading is really growing!

    Girls aren’t the only ones that love sewing. We made valentine’s cards (some sewn) for the neighbors. Mabry was so adamant about putting one in “Mr. Barry’s” mailbox (an older jewish man we hardly ever see or talk to). He came over and told her thank you! It was a small way we could show them we cared for them.

    Lots of learning, and messes, and life happening in our home.

    More to come soon.