Oh, What Do You Do in the Summer Time?

Tomorrow is Brianna’s last day of school. Tomorrow is Olympic Day, and it’s going to be hot and muggy. It definitely feels like summer here. We went to Aunt Pam and Uncle Tim’s house yesterday to go swimming. It was the perfect day for it. When we left the house at 10:30 it was already 90 degrees!!! By afternoon it was 94! The water felt great and the kids splashed and played for hours. I mainly sat under the covered patio and enjoyed the breeze and the luscious watermelon and cantaloupe we had cut up upon our arrival. It was a glorious day and it got me thinking about what in the world I was going to do with three kids, all day for the next three months! I started to feel a little panicked at the thought of it, but then with the help of the trusty internet I started to find a bunch of great resources to help me make a plan.

One thing I knew for sure was that every Thursday (weather permitting) we have a standing play date at my friend Lisa’s house. They have a great pool, and Brianna is BFF’s with her granddaughter Alex. A few other friends bring there kids and we spend the day splashing and playing. So every Thursday on the calender is swim Thursday and we look forward to it! But that’s only one day. What can we do for the other 4 days of the week while everyone is at work?

Our public library has some great programs this year, including a reading challenge. For reading (or listening to) 5 books they return a log to the library for a free book prize. After 10 books they get a t-shirt and entered into a raffle to win a new bike. Even children under the age of 2 can get in on the fun with special prizes just for them! They have several story times, art times, and movie times throughout the week that we might take advantage of, especially when the weather is bad.

Our local mall has a great indoor play place. They recently remodeled it and the kids love to play there! Plus, it’s air conditioned, a really nice break on those days when the heat index in the Ohio River Valley tops 105 degrees…and it will…often! Thinking of play places also reminded me that Chic-Fil-A has kids eat free Mondays from 10 am-2 pm and they have a wonderful play place so I think we might end up there on almost a weekly basis! lol

But, it looks like gas is going to be really expensive this summer as well. So what can we do in order to help conserve gas and money? My friend, Kaysi posted a great link on her blog to a wonderful list made by Crystal at Crystal and Co, 80+ Inexpensive or Free Summer Activities. She has some great ideas, broken into different categories (Go, Make, Play & Do) I spent some time wandering her blog…really fun! Check it out! And of course, there is always the kiddie pool, the slip-n-slide and the sprinkler!

I have a feeling we’ll survive, and I’m sure some days will be better than others, but I hope we’ll make some fun summer memories this year! I’m sure we will! What are you planning on doing with your kids during summer break this year? Please, share…I’d love to hear your ideas!

Today

Today I feel very content in my life. We have some sun peeking out of all the clouds. The kids are outside running in the yard, riding bikes and finding frogs. Steven is trimming plants and flower beds, laying out mulch and all the fun yard things that come with early summer. As I was looking out the window watching Brianna riding her bike she caught me and gave a little wave. As I waved back I realized how peaceful I felt. It’s amazing what a little sun can do for your attitude, but more than that I realized for about the millionth time how blessed I truly am. Yes life is crazy. It’s unpredictable. A lot of times it’s hard. But times like these I thank the Lord for the life He has blessed me with. It feels like the storm is passing through, and I’m excited to see what might be on the other side.

I Will Praise You in the Storm

This song has been playing in my head a lot over the past two weeks. Sometimes it’s hard to believe it’s only been two weeks…the time has really dragged on and sometimes it feels like forever since we lost our baby. I have moments that catch me completely off guard and I find myself sobbing. I never knew that you could miss something so much that you never really got to know. I always felt bad for women who had miscarriages, but I never really understood their pain. Oh boy, do I understand it now! It’s a pain that I would never wish on any woman, or any family.

Steven has had a hard too. Some men don’t get attached until the baby arrives, but not Steven. He gets attached the minute I say “I’m pregnant!”, so he has taken it very hard. The kids have done OK. Brianna will occasionally come over to me and say “Mommy, I’m sad the baby died.” I just hug her and say that I am sad too. And then, life goes on. And that’s exactly how it should be. We can’t stop forever, even though some days it’s harder to get moving then others. But I make myself get up, get dressed, make my bed (it’s less tempting to crawl back in it if it’s made!), brush my teeth and hair. Luckily I have two little guys at home with me all day, so I’m forced to get on with life. And more than that, they keep me laughing and playing and for that I am very grateful!

This weekend Steven and I are going with some great friends to Gatlinburg. We have a cabin up in the mountains, with a view and a hot tub (holla!!! lol!) It’s going to be a great trip, and one that we really need! We haven’t been away, just us, since Brianna was 11 months old. And that trip was to Gatlinburg too! But we’re glad to be going with this group of friends (there will be 6 couples total, all from our church) And after the last two weeks, the time to be alone, and just be Steven and Kari, and not Mommy and Daddy will be very welcome time.

Here’s a video I found on YouTube for the Casting Crowns song “I Will Praise You in the Storm”. This song has helped me a lot over the past two weeks. It’s my reminder that no matter what path we are walking in our lives, Jesus is right there beside us, and we never walk it alone. I learned a long time ago to praise Him in the storm…and we’ve been able to do that even now. It’s been a great comfort!

My Heartbreak

Thursday, May 4, 2011, our baby went home to meet Jesus. It is so hard to write those words..it makes it feel so very real! Right now my heart is so broken that I wonder how I can breathe! I now have 4 children, 3 in my arms, and one waiting for us in Heaven. I know that one day I will hold this baby in my arms, but at times that does little to help the hurt in my heart! I want to know what you would have been. I wish I would have gotten the chance to hold you in my arms. But for now I have to let you go with the angels, and trust that one day I will get to see you, to hold you, to love you the way I want to now. I love you so much, my dear sweet baby! I will always remember you, and I will forever be thankful for the short time you were here with us!

Love always and forever, your Mommy

Tonight I’m Very Proud to Be an American

We were laying bed tonight when my mom came upstairs and asked us if we were sleeping. We said no and she said “I wanted to tell you that President Obama is coming on at 10:30 to make a statement.” My first thought was “Oh ****, this can’t be good!” We sat up and turned on the TV. My brother, who works for a US Senator on Capitol Hill called my mom a few minutes later and said “You aren’t going to want to miss this…the buzz on the Hill is that We have killed Osama Bin Laden and we have his body in our possession. We don’t know for sure, but that’s the word!” Once again, I was glad to have a brother in the know. 

10 minutes later the TV stations started to confirm what he had said, OSAMA BIN LADEN IS DEAD! The man who 10 years ago this September caused such great heartache in our country, who single handedly started a war that has been raging for years, is dead! After all the fighting, the loss of so many troops, pain and sorrow, the terrorist of all terrorists is dead!

So, what does this mean for us? Will the war end right away? Will our boys (and girls) come home? Are we safer? Well, no, no and probably not! Afghanistan needs to be stabilized before we pull out. We will bring our troops home, but it’s not going to be tomorrow! And unfortunately, we still have plenty of groups out there besides Al Queda and Bin Laden, who hate us and would like to see our downfall. But, for 10 years we have wanted to see the mastermind behind 9/11 and so many other attacks against our Embassy’s over seas finally get what he deserves. He has gone home to meet his Maker, and I’m just guessing here, that Allah is not going to bless him the way he was expecting to be blessed!

A job well done to the troops who brought him down! Thank you to all the men and women who work so hard and risk their lives on a daily basis to protect our freedoms and to protect us from people like Bin Laden. Stay safe and come home soon! God Bless our Troops and God Bless the United States of America!