Lake Rim Park

Today we ventured out to Lake Rim Park and fed the ducks. We had a ton of leftover hot dog and hamburger buns from the Fourth of July picnic, so I thought we could put them to good use. The kids loved it! Zion had a hard time at first, varying from throwing half of a bun and choking the poor water fowl to pinching tiny microscopic crumbs that could not be detected by a duck's beak. Here's a video showing him perfecting his throw with a little bit of Green grace thrown in there at the end.


And he's back for more bread. I love the ducks there because they are nice and polite little mallards, not the nasty greedy geese that chased my sister and I around when we were little kids. The actual park is across the street and it has bathroom facilities, picnic pavilions, a nature trail, and two playgrounds. More stuff from the bucket list accomplished!


Splash Pad!

 Sorry about the finger in the pic.

Today the kids and I knocked another one of our bucket list items off the list. We headed out to the Splash Pad at Christina Smith Park in Fayetteville. The park opens at 10 am and sight unseen I wanted to get there early to beat the crowds. It was great. There is a fenced area to keep the kids inside and a covered picnic area and bathrooms situated very close to the pad. Adjoining the area, but outside the fence is a sand box and just a short distance away there are playgrounds as well.

Summer Magic and a Bucket List

Summer is always such a magical time for kids. As I remember it was never long enough and the only time that I would ever complain to my parents about being bored. Oh for the good ol' days. This year the family sat down and made a list of what makes summer summer to us. I put it in list form and as soon as all the girls were out of school we began checking off the list. I'm not sure if we will get it all accomplished but we'll have fun trying. Here it is.

  • go to the beach
  • go camping
  • see an outdoor movie
  • visit all the parks in Fayetteville
  • splash pad
  • make popsicles
  • chalk painting
  • bubbles
  • pool
  • picnic
  • fireworks
  • make homemade ice cream
  • roast marshmallows
  • Jordan park hike
  • Clark Park
  • snocones
  • feed ducks
  • plant flowers
  • bird feeders
  • petsmart
  • play in sprinklers
  • late night ice cream run
  • library
  • breakfast on the deck
  • read Winnie the Pooh
  • fingerpaint
  • fly a kite 
As you can see, we have already put a pretty big dent in the list, but summer's not over yet!


Words for the Journey

This blog post comes as a request by my beloved sister in law. Love ya, Jess! Yesterday the two of us had the opportunity to witness a most beautiful wedding ceremony in downtown Fayetteville. While we were waiting for everything to start Jess was telling me about the difficulty she had in finding an appropriate wedding card. Among all the choices on the shelves she couldn't find a single one to express the words she had in her heart for the couple. Things like "many years of happiness" and "everything you deserve and more" seem wonderful, but shallow when referring to the life altering covenant of marriage.
What do you say to a loved one embarking on a journey that should only end with death? I don't mean to sound morbid, but that's what marriage is...a never ending road. So many people enter into it with misconceptions. Marriage is no vacation, no pleasure cruise. When you are blessed enough to find the one you can link arms with and continue plodding forward, it is indeed a miraculous occasion. The burden of life is now a shared one. You will have paved roads and gravel, straightways and curvy, hills and valleys. Sometimes you will have a fine tuned vehicle and at other times you may find yourself broke down on the side of the road. The wonder of marriage is not the absence of trouble, but the beauty of having someone to walk with. Put that in a hallmark card!


A Mother's Guide to Surviving College

I need one. We were at a bookstore recently and Tony jokingly picked up a book with a title something like, "Surviving Freshman Year for College Students." Ha, ha. When I was eighteen all I wanted to do was leave home, and live somewhere else while my parents footed the bill. No worries, what's there to survive? Mothers of college students on the other hand...I've been in a state of denial all year and here we are in July and I'm filling out form after form and feel like I'm signing my kid over to someone else. Most days I'm so busy that it stays far enough in the back of my mind, but today I'm undone. I hover somewhere between wanting to appear stoic and unaffected so that its easier for him to leave, but then wanting to hold on to him sobbing that I don't want him to grow up and move along. I haven't had to let him go before this. There is no first day of kindergarten for home schoolers, nothing to prepare a mommy. Its horrible thoughts that run through my head like can I really trust these people to teach my son and can I drive away and leave him to live in this place and know that he's going to be okay? NO, I don't have that guarantee and suddenly he's my little boy crying because he fell down and hurt himself or somebody hurt his feelings and I just want to punch somebody or something to make him feel good again. My heart aches as I look at my boy turned man and realize I can't make it better for him and I shouldn't. His choices are his own and I have to stand back and watch him get hurt and get back up in his own strength. I can't rush in to kiss the booboos and brush off his hands this time. This is that moment I've been preparing him for. Pouring all my love into a little boy's heart and directing him down the right way. Giving him the little assurances that even when things don't go our way there is still a Plan and its going to work out. My voice tells him about my plans for his room once he's gone. My arms bring him boxes to pack. But in the meantime while he packs his things and decides what to take and what to leave, I stand back and watch him with my heart toggling between fear and pride, pain and love.


Sacred Parenting

Over the course of my life I've read a lot of books on marriage and parenting and how to get a perfect life in 10 easy steps. This is not one of those books and I loved it. Each chapter left me with hope, not a list of do's and don'ts. I must admit that I cried through each chapter, some out of laughter, some were tears of release and remembering. This book takes you from those early days of sleepless nights with a newborn to letting your kids go. Everything is looked at from the perspective of the act of parenting one of God's children and its ability to draw us closer to Him. Parenting is tough, there is no book in the world that can make it easier to navigate, but this one sheds light on the truth that God has ordained parenting and gives us the grace to do it well.
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