Thursday, May 31, 2012

Spoiled for sure. . .

I slept in this morning.  Well. . . at least I woke up at 6 and went back to sleep. . . woke up at 7 and went back to sleep.  A few minutes later I gave up.

It's colder than I expected here in the Windy City.

Yesterday, we were having trouble figuring out the trains from the airport to our hotel (imagine that. . . ), and a couple of guys on their way to the Cubs game helped us out.  The said it was in the 90's last week.

This week?  Not so much.

More like 50's.

Add to that the winds. . . don't get me wrong - I'm used to wind!  But coming off Lake Michigan the wind is COLD.

SO I bundled up with everything sort of appropriate for running that I had in my suitcase. . . and headed out to Lake Shore Drive.

Turns out running is just as hard here as it is at home.

But colder.

And then it started raining.

I'm not complaining, mind you.  The fact that I CAN run. . . on the shore of Lake Michigan. . . by myself. . . at 8 on a Thursday morning.

Is truly awesome!

The Venti half-caff skinny mocha warmed me right up.

Have I mentioned how very SPOILED I am feeling right now?

Thanking the Lord for this amazing time.

Now I think I'll hit Michigan Avenue to find a warm jacket!  Ha!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Every now and then. . .

I'm sitting in a lovely hotel room in Chicago.  Looking out on a view of the city. . . knowing the water is just out of sight in one direction. . . and Michigan Avenue is just out of sight in the other.

The best part of all?  Those countless moments in the last few weeks when I felt like yelling, "I need a vacation!!"

One was on it's way.

I haven't been to Chicago in about 20 years.  It's an amazing city.  It's humorous to me how much it looks the same - I recognize much more than I thought I would.  So many memories.

And trust me.  I wouldn't be on the computer if the Coach were here.  But our reason for coming was a school administrators conference of some sort that he's attending. . . so I'm just tagging along.

So happy to be tagging along.

SO very grateful for the sweet friends and family (in four different places) who are pitching in to keep up with the troops for me so I could come.

This room is so quiet.

And there are so many channels on the TV (I don't get out much).

A big bag of Garrett's Chicago mix is on the counter of our kitchenette.

Starbucks is right around the corner (I'm on my way here in a bit).

Endless shopping (of the window variety) goes on for blocks in every direction.

Leaving home doesn't change anything in the long run.  When we get back, there will still be eight kids, relational struggles, discipline problems, and the never-ending WORK of life.

But for now?

It's nice.

Really nice.

Every now and then the Lord gives us a beautiful break.  A chance to catch our breath.  Rest a bit.  Talk through things.  Spend some time away.

I'm grateful.

And I sure hope the Coach isn't expecting any of this popcorn to be left when he gets back from his meeting!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Waking Thoughts

Don't you love it when you wake up, bleary-eyed, as the alarm is going off, way too early for your liking, and your first thought is that you never went back and cleaned up that red icee that someone left in the car from our after-school On Cue run that spilled all over the car on the way to get pizza before the 1st grade author's tea at school last night?


This has never happened to you?

Apparently I'm all alone.

And we were late to the author's tea in spite of the fact that I didn't stop to clean up the icee.


We are tired at the troops.  Something every night this week.  Friday was a LONG time coming, for sure.

I would say it's quieter with two of the kids gone on school trips. . .

But it's really not.

Maybe we sent the wrong two kids?

I would say that we are ALMOST there. . . almost done. . . almost to the end of the school year.

But ohmyheavens the calendar for the next two weeks is full.  And for the three months after that, honestly.

I would say that once Summer is here, the troops can RELAX.  Finally.  Sleep later than 6 am.  Not rush the little ones to bed on beautiful evenings when everyone is playing outside (I really hate that!).

That maybe, just maybe, I'll get caught up on my "cleaning out" projects (every drawer and cabinet in the house, for starters).  That maybe I'll finally finish switching out the girls Winter/Summer clothes - that I started a month ago.  That maybe I'll get the school stuff that has already started coming home by the dump truck load organized BEFORE August.  20th.

But more than likely. . . we won't.  And I won't.  And it won't.  And I'm pretty sure the eight that the Coach and I are responsible for will NOT magically become everything we hope and pray for them to be, overnight, giving us the peaceful, happy, restful Summer of our dreams.

Sure would be nice, though. . .

However. . . on this cool, cloudy Friday morning (only one more Friday left in the school year!), as I sip my coffee and contemplate how best to clean up the mess in the van. . .

The God of the universe who is sovereign over all. . . loves me.

And that's enough.

So I will be thankful that I can clean out the car IN the garage (it just started raining).
I will be thankful that the coffee is hot.
I will be thankful that the Coach asked me to go on a date, tonight.
I will be thankful for a Little Man who makes me laugh, even if he talks incessantly ALL DAY LONG.
I will be thankful that it's Friday.  Finally.
I will be thankful that the two traveling troops will be home, today.
I will be thankful that the second thing I remembered this morning was that the girls' school pants were in the wash and needed to be in the dryer asap.
I will be thankful that the house is sort of clean.
I will be thankful for new babies and cousins and family.
I will be thankful.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Quick Catch Up!

The school year is marching on to the end. . . and the troops are finishing well.  We've had a lot of fun in the last couple of weeks.  Not all of which was captured in photos, but here are a few things. . .

Land Run day for Daughter (#5).  Here's her "claim" with Little Man.  It was a COLD, wet day!

Some of the activities were in our gym, to minimize the time we spent outside freezing in the cold wind. 

They played pioneer games and sang songs and did some "skip to my louing", as well.

Then there was "Annie" weekend.  SO MUCH FUN!  Daughter (#2) was an orphan.  With LINES, forheavenssake!  If you know her, you know what a huge deal this was.  And she loved it!  Son (#3) was Bert Heely.  "You're never fully dressed without a smile!"  And a servant in the Warbucks mansion and a ticket booth attendant in "NYC". 

This is all of the family that had parts in the play, with the Coach's parents.  Not many grandparents can go to a school play and have SIX grandkids participating.  (And they had just gotten in from the 6th grade Washington DC trip with two OTHER grandkids!)

Here are my two with their amazing, awesome, MUCH BELOVED director.  She does a fabulous job!  The rest of the troops didn't even know "Bert" could sing!  Ha!

Sweet little cousin audience members.  Daughter (#5) second from left and Daughter (#6) on the right.  They went to ALL three performances!  It was THAT good!  I'm sure it had nothing to do with the homemade cupcakes for sale during intermission!

And the same weekend, we had the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon.  I had to sit this one out (stupid leg), but I LOVED watching the Coach and Son (#3) finish in UNDER two hours.  Unbelievable!  Think I might slow the Coach down a bit?

Here is the Coach and Son (#3) with Grandmother, who ran the half. . . and Granddad who did the FULL MARATHON in his hand-cycle.  Do I have amazing parents, or what? 
(And yes, Granddad raced in his JEANS!)

And then among a multitude of other fun, year-end things this week. . . Son (#1) finished up his year in YLX (Youth Leadership Exchange) with a "graduation" last night.  Here are all of the kids from our school who participated.

And my handsome boy with my handsome Coach.  Love them.

(Note to self:  When wearing "flowy" tops, do not lean forward in pictures.  I've spent enough of my life pregnant without looking that way NOW!  Ha!)

Time to make cookies for Daughter's (#7) Author's Tea, tonight.

We sent Son (#4) off to Creation Nation Science Camp, yesterday morning.  And Daughter (#2) off on her Freshman Oklahoma History Trip, this morning.

Too bad we won't be home, tonight, to enjoy having ONLY six kids in the house!

Thanking the Lord for His ever-sufficient grace and strength. . .

Happy Thursday!