Believe it or not, it was 70 degrees this weekend. It was beautiful. The sky was clear and we were able to spend most of the weekend outside. It was so warm Saturday that the kids insisted on playing in the hose in the yard. The water was cold but they didn’t seem to mind.
We also took the kids to the Children’s Workshop at Lowes that morning. Even Miller was able to hammer in the nails in order to make a game. The project we simple enough, with adult supervision. Lowes gave each kid a work apron and goggles to bring home along with the completed project and an iron-on badge. It was fun, educational, and free!
After church on Sunday we all headed over to Maddie’s soccer game. We brought a picnic lunch for us to eat and a blanket to sit on. I haven’t done that in ages. The kids could play on the playground (supervised by their older cousins) or run around on the field. This is when I really appreciate having all of my family in town. By the end of the game the whole gang was there: Lisa, Brian and their kids, us, my dad, and Doug and his kids. It is so wonderful to have everyone together, laughing and supporting each other. Lots of love.
Tom and I were supposed to go out on a date on Valentine’s Day, but we opted for a much better date yesterday: Snowboarding! We arranged for my dad to watch the three kids yesterday, all day, so that we could drive the three hours up to the ski resort here in North Carolina to go snowboarding. We hadn’t been riding together in over four years…maybe longer, but we couldn’t remember!
We woke up early Tuesday morning and hit the road by 6:30am. The drive was about an hour longer than I thought it was going to be, but that just gave us more time to spend together in the car. We rarely get to drive down the road together without the kids in the car making lots of noise and interrupting us. This gave us plenty of time to chat while we headed up to the mountains. We arrived and were on the slopes by 10:00am. Not bad for driving three hours.
The conditions were great! There was hardly anyone there since it was the day after a holiday, and it was a Tuesday. We were able to get to the top of the lift, ride down, and get back up to the top in under 15 minutes. I think I counted 5 runs in the first hour. That is pretty good! Because it had snowed the week before the runs were nicely groomed and there wasn’t any ice….unusual for east coast skiing. The weather warmed up a bit while we were there which softened the snow but didn’t make it slushy. The temperature was in the high 40’s and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. It was nice to get out to do something fun and different together. We were able to relax, laugh and do something that we used enjoy doing before we had kids. I love snowboarding. It is fun to cruise down the slopes, challenge myself a little bit, and go as fast as I feel comfortable. It makes me feel a little more alive!
We had a great time at Beech Mountain yesterday. We hope to return someday soon and bring the kids. A family that skis together, stays together.
I have been struggling, again, with the tuition that we pay for Faith’s school. I know that it is terrible to complain about such a “problem of privilege”. Many would love to have this internal struggle. I know that she is supposed to go to this Christian school. She loves it and I love it. The Lord has provided the money for her tuition for two years in a row. He has even given us the money early so that we can pay it up front before the school year even starts. So what is my problem? My problem is the self sacrifice that I have to give. For Faith to go to this school I have to give up having a new kitchen, driving a nice car or going on a nice vacation. It is I that has to sacrifice in order to give my daughter the best that I can.
Today at Community Bible Study I had a revelation. I was reading the verse that says, “where your treasure is, there your Heart will be also.” One of the ladies in my group said, that earthly treasure is temporary and asked “what is our treasure?” I realized that my treasure is a new kitchen, a nice vacation, or a car. That is only a treasure of wordly items. Those are things that break and get old. The real treasure is Faith going to a beautiful, loving, Christ-centered school where she is cared for and loved, and treated like the child of God that she is. That is a treasure that is worth spending money on and a treasure does not rust or fade. It is a treasure that you can take with you when you die.
Today I was finally able to see in written Word exactly how I was feeling. I knew that I was being selfish and jealous. I knew that this was not how God wanted me to act and feel. I knew these things but couldn’t help it. I am still going to struggle every year with this cost (and it is only going to get worse with each child), but now I know that God is calling me to put away my earthly desires and focus on His desires. He desire for me to send my child to a Christian school. He even blesses me with the tuition by the end of the school year so that I can put it behind me and not pay each month, which would be a constant reminder. I have to “trust in The Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding” Proverbs 3:5.
I feel blessed and at peace with our decision to send Faith to Covenant Day School again next year. I will continue to pray that God will take away my desire for wordly things and treasures here on earth. Wanting things is not wrong, but if it over-rules what God wants then it needs to change. Thankfully, God’s Word also says “Delight yourselves in The Lord and He will give you the desire of you heart”. I know that as I continue to do His will for my children and myself, he will still grant me that new kitchen….:)
We have had snow on the ground since Tuesday. As I posted my last blog post on Wednesday morning at Bruegger’s, the snow was coming down and it really started to stick while I was there. My dad called me at 10:00am and said, “You need to come get your kids NOW.” I jumped in the car and drove over there to get them. He was right. The snow was really coming down and it was making everything very slick. I got the kids and tried to drive home, but they had already closed the bottom of hill on Sardis Road – the way I needed to go. Thank goodness for GPS! I wiggled through a neighborhood and made it to another road that could get me home. Of course, in order to get to the house I had to go up a pretty big hill in our neighborhood. I didn’t make it up on the first try, but I made it on the second. Needless to say, we didn’t go anywhere else until Friday morning.
The snow was beautiful. It snowed nonstop for over 24 hours. This rarely happens in Charlotte. The kids and I played outside with Abigail, Erik, and Ella from across the street numerous times throughout the days. The kids rolled around in the snow, threw snowballs, walked around in the woods out back, and just played in the street. It was so peaceful and safe feeling. Everything was white, there were no cars driving by, no fear of strangers snatching the kids….it was quiet and safe. I loved it! I wish it were like that all of the time.
On Thursday afternoon the sun finally came out around 3:00pm and immediately the snow on the trees began to melt. It sounded like it was raining. We decided that this would be the perfect time to try to go sledding in the backyard. Tom found some boogie boards in the shed that could double as sleds and we all went to find a suitable hill. We practiced on a small hill and then realized that the backyard would be perfect. We loved it! Even Miller got in on the action! We would sit on the boogie board, sled down the hill and end with a jump off of a fallen tree. Lots of fun!! Here is the video to prove it:
The next day some friends invited us to go sledding with them at the Siskey YMCA. The snow had stopped and people were beginning to venture out of their homes. I decided that it was time for us to do the same. I am so glad that we did. We had so much fun sledding. The hill was a big and fast one. We brought our boogie boards while our friends had two disks to go down on. Me and the kids were there for over two hours. We borrowed a two man sled from another girl and the kids were able to go down by themselves. Sidney and her two kids found us and sled for a while as well. It was so refreshing to be able to do something so fun together as a family. I can’t wait for it to snow again so that we can sled!
Here are two videos that Adam Berke took of all of us:
This past summer Faith was given two day passes to Rays Splash Planet uptown. None if us had ever been until today. I had all three kids with me at school this morning so I thought it would be the perfect day to go since we were all together and almost uptown already. We headed over right after school, got changes and were ready to swim.
At first glance it didn’t seem like there was a lot there to do but the kids loved it. There was a large splash ground area with water falling from the sky and three slides. I thought that the kids would play there the most but they didn’t. I think my kids are already outgrowing playground equipment. Every time we go to the playground they would rather run on the soccer field. We had the same experience today. Luckily there was a graduated pool and a ball for Miller to play with. He spent most of his time there. The older two kept going back and forth between the lazy river and the Cyclone pool (a circular pool with a serious current). Luckily they required, and provided, life vests for the kids. This made my job easier because I didn’t have to be right there with them the whole time. I could be across the room with miller and let the life vests and the life guards do the job for me.
We stayed for over two hours. I think the kids would have stayed longer but I was ready to go. It takes us forever to shower and get dressed so I knew we had another half hour ahead of us. I would definitely recommend Rays Splash Planet in the winter. I bet it is a zoo in the summer. We had a great time together.
It has been the craziest winter so far. We have had record low temperatures which have caused schools to either close or have a delayed start. It has already snowed once which caused schools to be closed for a day and a half. It snowed again yesterday, schools are closed today, and it is supposed to continue snowing for the rest of the day. Right now I am at Bruegger’s Bagels enjoying a coffee, catching up on things, and am enjoying watching the snow come down. It is snowing now, but later on in the day it is predicted to ice. Here in NC, ice is not uncommon. The only problem with ice is that if there is too much of it, the power will go out. Yuck! We are praying that this doesn’t happen.
The snow is beautiful! Everything looks so pure and clean. It is quiet. I love it when it snows. When it used to snow at night in Frisco, Colorado I would walk down the middle of the road and enjoy the quiet. There were no cars on the road and the snow would fall in silence. It was just me and the snow. I loved that feeling. Charlotte is much busier than Frisco, but it still takes me back.
Yesterday the kids enjoyed playing in the snow. Miller just walked around in it while dragging his feet. He and I would laugh because it was all over our heads and on our clothes. Later on, Faith and Wilson went out in the yard and into the woods to play. Today they are at mom’s for the morning and are out in the yard playing with Gabriel and Shepherd. It is going to be a fun couple of days!
Miller and I were at the library when it really started to come down….
My silly Wilson was outside in his bathing suit, sneakers, hat and gloves. He was throwing snowballs at the glass.
Little Miller on the library lawn enjoying the snow…
Today is my moms birthday (I won’t say how old). :). Of course, it was a typical Monday for her. The kids were there all day: four kids in the morning and more showed up as the day wore on. At the end of her day I showed up with a nice cream cake. The kids were very excited. The little ones helped out the candles on the cake….
Then we lit the candles and sang Happy Birthday to her. Here she is with most of the kids…
Mom works so hard helping all of us. She takes care of the kids, feeds them, hems our clothes, does our taxes, and lets us have all of her hard earned gardening goods. She is a woman to be admired and in awe of all of her special talents and abilities. Did I mention that she is also modest? :).
Thanks for all you do mom!