Friday, August 16, 2013

Long Days and Short Nights

I know I've been posting a lot of school related posts and curriculum reviews lately. Much of the science and curriculum posts were written a while back, and lately, other than a few review products we're enjoying... school has been the farthest thing from our minds. We do take a pretty good break from May Day to Labor Day. This week all of the local schools are starting up, and I am SO thankful we aren't. This summer has gone fast enough!

The theme of the summer seems to be long days and short nights, and not just because the sun stays up later than in the winter. I don't know how year-round schoolers do it, frankly! From garden bounty to can, to summer sports and fairs, we haven't had a break!

In June we had baseball and softball. With all four kids playing, we were at the ball-fields 6 days a week. Most of the games ran from 6-8, but some from 8-10... or back to back and we did 6-10! We had practices called off for snow, and games in 100 degree heat. It was a crazy time. The final games finished up the day before the 4th of July. We celebrated the 4th by climbing the local landmark, Scott's Bluff. It was a 3 mile round trip in the dark, but watching the city fireworks from the top was totally worth it. I just shouldn't have worn my sandals.

The next weekend was our 13th anniversary, and the local parade. The following weekend we had my in-laws as houseguests and Tyler's 12th birthday. The weekend after that we enjoyed a visit from my cousin Andi and her boys, and we hiked the Bluff again. Only two days after they left, my brother and his sweet wife and son came to stay for a week. It was a wonderful time, and of course... we took them hiking up the Bluff. ;) That put us well into August.

The day after they flew home we began the county fair, and spent an entire week driving across the county to care for our animals at the fairground.  The week went quickly and we tried not to miss a thing. Tyler and Emma both participated in Poultry Showmanship, Breed Showing, and Market Showing. Mayda participated in Cat Showmanship and Poultry Showmanship. Wyatt behaved himself very well considering he was bored and tired most of the week. :)

Finishing out the weekend was another great visit from Hubby's folks, and they got to watch the kids in the 4H auction! Wrapping up the fair by attending a concert with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band really topped it all off. And all the while all I could think of was: "Would it be crazy to cat nap during a super-loud concert?" I was SO tired!

In June we had to completely replace the motor in Ben's truck, and are only just now getting caught back up on those bills. Due to the crazy ball schedule, my garden nearly died of neglect, but it's finally coming around. I put up my first batch of jelly, and can see salsa season coming right around the corner.

The kids really pulled out all the stops and helped put up 200 ears of corn on Monday. Emma did all the blanching herself, and Tyler did all the cob cutting. That left me with shucking and bagging. They are getting to be such a great help! And did I mention my hubby butchered all the fryers the day the fair ended? That Grand Champion Cornish Rock is now in the freezer in an unmarked gallon freezer bag.

All this isn't to complain, but really just so I can write it all out, and remember later why we didn't go camping this summer (although our camper turns out to be a really handy guest cottage!).

And to be thankful... for all this!
The health to enjoy it.
The energy to accomplish (9 miles of up and down the Bluff in less than 30 days!).
The garden to enjoy.
The chickens to entertain us.
The cool nights.
The hot days.
The generous friends.
The cousins and family visitors.
The neighbor dogs we pet-sat. (all 6 of them, from 4 households!)
The beans replanted.
The weeds pulled.
The clothes we get to wear and enjoy. and wash. and dry. and fold. (maybe)
The sunsets we photograph.
The sunsets we savor.
The hugs and snuggles.
The late night conversations.
The early rising sun.
My early rising son.
My Father whose grace is enough.
A woman mentor who helps me see how to fill up, so I can pour out...
    and pour and pour and pour...
The farmer's markets.
The special granola orders.
The wonderful rains.
Beautiful flowers.
The flood in the basement from a freshly burst pipe.
The basement floor now nice and clean.
The guests coming tomorrow, and Saturday, and Monday...
The great review products we've enjoyed.
Our love for each-other.
The sweet spot of parenting (kids old enough to help and care, young enough to like to be with us!)
The anguish on my knees.
The friendships mourned. missing.
The friendships beginning anew.
The loneliness that draws me to my Father.
Enough stuff to get us through.
Of late nights.
And early mornings.... where His mercy is new.

All is grace.

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