Well, I'm trying to accustom myself to running long distances. I ran thirteen miles last week, and today I ran "the hills." (Or tried to.) These people that I run with are tough holy honkeroos! Our normal route is six miles, but the nut jobs in "the fast group" tack on an extra five or so (I'm not sure what the actual mileage is) in the hills. This Alton people, have you seen those hills?! I've not tried it before. I always had the excuse of having to get home to get the kids up to get ready for school. And I was quite happy to have the excuse. Well today that excuse was gone. So, when they said "Do you want to do the hills?" I went. That was really really hard! They pretty much ran up Broadway till they got a mile or two away from our normal route, then they ran up and down every hilly street on the way back, then they tacked on the hills from the Challenge of the Bluffs run. I really don't think that I'm ready to hang with these guys. Will I attempt it again on Thursday? Will they ever ask me again? I proved that I am a wimp in comparison.
Well, the kids' summer vacation has officially begun. Yesterday they went to school long enough to pick up their report cards, then they were done for the summer. Sigh, this part is always bitter sweet for me. The beginning and end of a school year always reminds me that they are growing up. Lydia will never be a third grader again, Ross will never be a first grader again. Lydia is moving on to a new school. Sigh, sigh, sigh! I even decided that it was time that I told her about the female cycle. She listened, but didn't say much. She is such a wonderful girl! Always VERY helpful!
Anyway, I've decided to take the summer to teach some responsibility to my children. It's past time that they should be pulling their own weight. So, we are going to do some good things this summer. First off, we are signing up for the library's summer reading program. Therefore they will have to keep their reading skills sharp. We are going back on our TV control program from last summer. I've also been doing a laundry thing that's been helping out immensely! I haven't gotten stressed out over my laundry in 2 months! As that was a huge problem before, this is wonderful! It is pretty simple, everyone has their own laundry basket. I wash it, and when it comes out of the dryer, I put each person's stuff in his or her basket, and they are responsible for folding and putting away their own cloths. It's great because I don't have to hunt for half an hour every morning so we can get dressed. They have to fold their stuff at least once a week, and even if they don't. They can still find their own cloths. I'm copying Amy's bean jar idea. They have to keep their stuff cleaned up, their rooms clean, their laundry folded, stick to their TV charts, and do one household job everyday. They get beans for doing their stuff. They get to buy back their toys from me with their beans. (I have practically a whole roomful of confiscated toys that didn't get cleaned up.) Anyway, so far it's been great! (It's only been two days.) I love it when I have their help. We can get so much more done! Yesterday I cleaned one bathroom, Lydia cleaned the other, Ross did the dishes, and Mark vacuumed all at once! Do you know how much time it would have taken me to get all of that done?!!
A furniture store near us burned down yesterday. It was a HUGE fire. It happened around noon, and they were working on it into the night. In fact, there were firemen there at around 11:00 this morning when I was out. Bruce drove by there on his way home from work today and said that it is still smoldering. They had traffic diverted all day yesterday, and the neighborhood had no power until about 4:00 this morning. (The fire took out a power line.) We had such a nice evening though last night! Its amazing how we let TV and things like that keep us from enjoying each other. I walked to Taco Bell with the kids for dinner last night. That was fun to go for a stroll. Then we came home and sat on the porch lit sparklers ate marshmallows, read the Friend by candlelight and told stories until 11:00. It was such a wonderful night. We all thoroughly enjoyed each others' company. Well, I'm getting long winded, so here are my recent pics:
Mark at his last Thursday School Graduation
Someone left the peanut butter out The kids working together today
It's amazing how many emotions one person can feel in one day. Today truly has been an up and down day. A good friend of ours lost her only child today. He was in his early twenties, and himself a dear person and friend. Words cannot express how my heart aches for Beth. I wish I could help! I can't seem to pray enough. Such Sadness.
Today was a beautiful day outside. I dropped by the hospital. The family wasn't there at the time, so I just dropped a note and a tear or two. Then I went home and blew bubbles outside with my two youngest who weren't at school. I treasured them all today with new appreciation. Such Joy.
Bruce totalled our van yesterday, and today we got the rejection letter from a company we were hoping to get hired from. Darn! I haven't figured out why, but the Lord apparently has some reason for which He keeps us just shy of complete poverty. It's a true testimony of tithing how we always manage to barely scrape by. But He hasn't failed us yet, and I have faith that He won't fail us now. We've always had just barely enough, but no extra. And that's all we really need. So, I'm okay with our new batch of financial worries. We'll be alright. (I just wish that whatever lesson I'm supposed to be learning from all of this scarcity, I'd hurry up and learn so it could be over.) There are worse things than being poor. I've been happy so far. Oh well, such is life.
This evening, Justice was squatting down in the kitchen with that look on his face that any parent would recognize as the "I'm pooping" face. I said "Are you pooping, Justice?" He continued on about his work. When he was done, he popped up, threw up his hands and sings out "Ah Duh!" Just like "All Done!" We all laughed!
Well, I have pictures to post, but I just don't feel like it. And it doesn't feel right to put up happy pictures on such a sad day. It can wait for tomorrow. Here's a hug for Beth O! We love you bunches! We'll miss you Nathan.
Mark has a friend called To. To is four years old, lives just down the street, and comes over nearly everyday. He is often here for lunch, and on occasion has offered the prayer. The last couple of times that he has prayed at our house, he has asked Heavenly Father to bless the "dinosaurs and dragons."
Tonight when Mark said the family prayers, I had to fold my lips to keep from laughing out loud when Mark said this: "... and please help To to understand that dinosaurs are all dead, and that the dragons are just pretend."
This spot is reserved for my a select few favorites, which are guaranteed to be wholesome and wonderful in every way. EVERYONE should check these things out!
Of course I love the scriptures, but you already know that, right?