Great Moments

I love summer. I love the changing of seasons; not seasons of nature but seasons of life. The coming of summer and the end of school inherently provide a time to regroup.

I often need time to regroup.

Here is the truth of my life: I think I am getting better at it. 

I am not perfect. Obviously. But I am also not a perfectionist, I am a pragmatist. What I am constantly trying to move toward is a life that works. For me that means my calendar matches my priorities. In quantity of time my family comes first, but in priority of time my faith comes first.

This season is working for me because, as it turns out, I love to learn. In church and Bible Study I am in a fruitful season of learning God’s word and how it applies to life. In parenting, my girls are in a fantastic school–on campus a few days a weeks and at home the others. Reagan is completely in charge of her own learning, and Ryan is homeschooled a few days a week.

After four years, I may be getting the hang of it. I actually finished the school year with momentum…and I am excited about the coming year.

It’s crazy, I know. I was actually…organized.

I want to push pause on a moment. In one of our homeschool days this spring, there was a breakthrough.


This is an activity we have done many, many times. Baking soda, vinegar, water, corn starch and food coloring have provided hours of entertaining engagement. This day we were using it as our fine motor activity. All of the squeezing and pinching making her little hands stronger on our road to learn to write.




Mostly I sat back and watched, letting her explore and combine.



The breakthrough came…for the first time, ever, Ryan did not combine all the colors into one big brownish-greyish gloomy mess.





Obviously she is still a bit messy. ($3 clear shower curtains get a lot of use as craft-table covers in our home.) But she was more careful than I have ever seen her.

This summer we want to continue to strengthen her foundational skills so that we can embrace the curriculum more thoroughly this fall. We intend to read more and exercise more. In August she and I will head to Connecticut to get a thorough evaluation and several sessions with an expert in Oral Motor Placement Therapy. It is our attempt to progress in teaching her to talk.

We are not ready to give up hope.

Meanwhile, we will do all we can do to enjoy this season, these moments, this child.

“And God looked at all He had made, and indeed it was very good.”

Genesis 1:31

Summer Adventures

My kids.

They are so precious and they are growing so fast.

Last summer my youngest and I went on an adventure. A friend (who I connected more with on Facebook than I did in high school) was getting married. She was elated…after years of praying and being faithful her day was coming. I wanted to be there.

My hubby? Not so much. And our middle was off to church camp the day AFTER the wedding so the 7 hour journey to get her on the bus the next morning seemed exhausting to think about, ESPECIALLY for a guy who had no desire to be social.

So my peanut and I hopped on the road together…


She was an incredible traveler, never complaining in the 7 hours it took us to get to Anaheim. (Which should be a 4 hour trip.) We stopped at McDonald’s, took a deep breath, and hopped back on the road. The traffic was intense. God and I chatted as car after car speeding recklessly by made me face the fact that I have some issues with fear…that’s another discussion.

By the time we reached San Diego and our hotel–almost ten hours after we began–I was so relieved and tired I pulled into the valet parking without even asking how much it was. (Good thing. Not cheap.)

Ryan and I snuggled in our glorious hotel bed and slept soundly, EXCITED about Sea World the next day.

She cracks me up. She is feisty and determined. She loves to laugh.

Once we got to Sea World, she became possessor of the map.



Remeinder…she can’t talk. She doesn’t yet read. But doggone it if she couldn’t navigate our way through Sea World following that map, perhaps even better than I could.

This was a unique experience for me. As a mom of three kids, spending precious time, away from home, with just one little person was a gift. My son is now grown and on his own. My girls are so different. Reagan, my middle, is incredibly bright and transitioning into a mature, free thinking, not-quite-a-kid anymore. Our “easy” one, she is diligent and academic but she tends toward a bit of melancholy…

Ryan, my youngest, has special needs. She can’t talk but has some words, some signs, and finds many methods of making a point. She can’t yet read and we are painstakingly learning what numbers are and what value they have. Her run, really isn’t. She smiles often. She spreads joy, but rush is not in her. She just can’t.

So. This. I could follow her, at her speed, to her appointed point on the map and let her enjoy.

She wanted to go here:


Oh my.

First, I dislike heights. Second, there is NO WAY I can send her up by herself. It is not a reality in our life. So, because this was a YES journey all about her, up we went.

Sea World Net

She looked at me, pointed between her legs and I had to say, “Sorry, kid, keep going.” Up was really the only option, but it was hard work. 

Let’s just be frank with one another, I am not in shape. My thighs are mushy and my belly does not look great over the top of my jeans. I am fighting not to have to get larger clothes, but the fight is not going my way. This stupid structure at an amusement park was like a long, long day at the gym.

I pulled my way up, up, up the rope net and climbed through the tunnel. Once at the top, a father was also entering the landing from a different direction. He gasped, “They should warn you about this thing. My back hurts, my knees hurt and I have broken a sweat.” He was a dozen years younger than I was, tanned and fit. I was not sympathetic.

“Your wife is clearly much smarter than I am,” was all I could mutter.

We climbed and crawled until we got back on solid ground, and although I knew she had wet her pants, I didn’t care. Changing her clothes was a distant second in priority because…this:





I love a character photo. After, I bought her a new shirt, we changed and went on our way.



We ate ice cream, watched penguins, cheered the dolphins, walked, walked and walked some more.

I wouldn’t trade this sticky, messy, hard world of mine for anything. Days like this illustrate in vibrant colors the unique beauty of my preciously imperfect life.