The weather is starting to get a bit warmer. We have enjoyed sitting with the kids out on the swing. I love to see Steve sitting with his kids and talking with them. We have a wonderful view of the Klickitat Mountains from our backyard. The sky is vast and beautiful as well. Summer is finally here and we are making the most of it!
The summer is starting to get busy, a few weekends ago, we put on a 25th anniversary party for Dad and Diana. Is was crazy the week before, but my sis, SIL, and I pulled it off, with the help of many other people. The vow renewal was a blessing to watch and a wonderful testimony to their grandchildren. The reception afterwards was simple, yet delightful!
This last weekend I was able to get away with two very good friends! We call ourselves the "Three Musketeers". Catherine, Margaret and I are different ages and stages of life. Our ages range from 65-36! But God is the glue in our relationship. We are brutal accountability partners and delight in the fact that we get to call each other to the carpet! But we also know that we could be next. We don't let each other get away with anything. It is a real blessing and God has allowed the fruit of refinement to come out of these relationships. So what did we do for two days? Talk, eat, sleep, talk, eat, make a few cards, take a drive, sleep, talk, eat! I feel very "full"! It was wonderful to really get caught up with each other and ask for wisdom and break out in a praise song, if we were fairly bursting with joy! Oh, I love these ladies! A special thank you to my MIL, Ethel. She came and watched the kids for the first night because Steve was working. I think she had a lot of fun with them and they loved having Nana come up.
One of the things that came out of this mini-retreat is that I have decided to take a full summer break. I have homeschooled all year around in the past. I'm going to see how this goes. I feel that not only do the kids need a break, but I do as well. It might really help my stress level go down if I can stop being so serious all the time and just have FUN with my children. This way too, I can get a bunch of extra projects done around the place and take them on picnics and museums and such. The kids and I are really excited about it. I have decided to keep a half an hour of required reading time every weekday. It will keep us going on that, and it will hopefully be a fun and relaxing time in the morning or afternoon. I don't want them to lose any reading skills over the summer.
This week will be very different. Dad and Diana are keeping the three older children in Dufur while they run them back and forth to basketball camp. I am really going to focus on the three little ones and try to do some fun things with them. They love to "work" beside mama. We have lots of raspberries and peas to pick right now.
I will have time this week to prepare more for our Voice of the Martyr's themed VBS which is coming up in July. The persecuted church is one of my passions, so I am delighted that we will be teaching our kids to have courage in the face of physical, but more importantly psychological persecution. I will have them write over a hundred letters to prisoners around the world, and we will learn how to pray for their needs. We even have a man in our church build up an actual jail cell and an underground church meeting place! The kids are really going to get to feel and experience just a taste of what it might be like.
On a sad note, please pray for our pastor. Pastor Steve ( our senior pastor) is in the final stages of his battle with cancer. They probably calling hospice this week. Pray for Marilyn, his wife, and Jamie and Jared who are his children. Our church will be taking on an interim pastor July 5th to help us with our grieving and to also help us transition. This is a very difficult time for all. Pray that they can keep his pain under control and that he will not suffer. He is the godliest of men and we all know where he is going, but we love him so much that it hurts knowing that he is in pain. Thank you!
I have so much to look forward to this summer. I am living a blessed life and am so grateful to God for friends, family, health and the Body of Christ.