Yes, this post is a few days behind. I'm finding I need to put blogging on the reward side of things. Practicing what I preach, "Take care of your responsibilities, then you can have computer time." This is really hard! I'm mostly caught up! I also tell them, "A mother's work is never done." This way, I get some time. ;)
Vincent helping Dad set up the camper.
When the chairs aren't out, build some with Legos!
The kids caught fish and frogs! Lots of them. To restock our pond. One time, Gabrielle came back from the watering hole early with the bucket. Luke came back a little later stating, "I need to change my shirt! Gabrielle left with the bucket and look at all the frogs I caught! Only one jumped out of my sleeve, but I got it back!" Yes, picture this, shirt tucked in, frogs between his bare belly and his shirt, one hopping out of his short sleeve; Luke containing the others as he re-caught the escaper, and hiked to our site with a wet shirt full of leaping bullfrogs!
Gina and Vincent "sharing"
-5-Gina: "I Gina Princess! Dad, you the King!" I wish I could have captured the melting of Daddy's heart when she said this. His smile and hug to his little princess said volumes!
The Ritual "Tea Party"
Come and Get It!
The boys were playing soccer with our neighboring camping boys. One of the neighbors should have earned a few red cards. I think my boys had enough. Their cousin was being taunted by this boy, and John ran over to tell them to leave him alone and not mess with him. Then Daniel ran over. He placed his hands on his hips, gave a stern look and made himself look strong. I was a bit worried about a physical fight, but wanted to see how they would handle the situation on their own, so I kept my distance. We adults could see an exchange of words, catching a few words here and there. Michael walked over for reinforcement. Luke thought they had it under control so waited for them to disperse. They worked it out! Maybe the neighbor boy realized he was outnumbered, but I was happy to see my boys stick up for their cousin.
Dad, Grammie, and the kids went on a couple bike rides, leaving 'big mama' at the campsite. I managed to hold back the urge to go into town and pick up my house and relaxed with the book Left to Tell. Immaculee Ilibagiza shares the reality of humanity: our struggle to live in love; and our union with God as the means to accomplish such a feat.
After reading this book, I am reminded that we only receive love by fervently praying to the One who gives love. By uniting with the One who is love and forgiveness, we are able to hand ourselves over to His will in each situation. We begin to recognize that He IS always with us; giving us the love, strength, peace and wisdom to share with those around us. Someone recently reminded me, "Love transforms the most horrible into the most beautiful. Just look at the crucifixion, the killing of God."
All for a greater good!
Some of the crew saying goodbye
Elizabeth, Daniel, Michael, Andrew, Gabrielle, John
"Love until it hurts, and your will find that there is no hurt, but only more love."
*Last 6 photos courtesy of Grammie. Thank you!