So, the school year is now underway!
Relaxing weekends won’t always be happening as obligations set in; however, THIS weekend was the kind of weekend that I love – love – love and need – need – need.
I love going at my own pace – and I need to re-connect with my family when they spend so much of their days away from me. Miriam & I are doing just fine so far while everyone else is at school – but we are certainly much happier when our family is complete.
Our lives aren’t really that exciting – we are just an ordinary family (although we have talked about this & think we are probably NOT your average American family by any means!!), trying our best to raise our children, do what is right, and spend as much time as possible together.
We live a simple life – somewhat out of necessity but any more, just out of a desire to avoid the drama, stress, and busyness of modern “conveniences” and entertainment. Tonight someone mentioned the VMAs … and I thought to myself why would this person be interested in the Virginia Military Academy – then I realized it actually meant Video Music Awards. Sorry, America, I just don’t care!
Sometimes, I’ll admit, I’d love to have something modern like a huge front-loading washer up on a pedestal with a matching dryer that leaves clothes wrinkle-free or a phone that could do about anything or even a GPS – and most of all, I covet a nice minivan! One where seats fold down and things are stashed easily, and I could take along someone outside just my own family … but we’ve made choices in life that these things are just absolutely impossible to attain – and thus, I choose to remain content to be home, happy with what I do have, and try hard to just ignore what all there is “out there” that might lure me into wanting more stuff and experiences.
All that said, this is what a perfect weekend looks like to me NOW …
which is totally opposite of what weekends looked like to me just 5-10 years ago!
The family that shops together, drops together! Or something like that …
Actually, it was Erma Bombeck that said, “The family that camps together gets cramps together.”
Or you could use the spiritual application that states: “The family that prays together, stays together.”
In all cases, the family takes part in something together – and the end result affects each member the same as well.
Well, for the most part, our family grocery shops together. It is largely due to the fact that (1) my husband LOVES to grocery shop for some bizarre reason, and (2) he thinks he finds bargains better than I do! And thus, over the last few years, we have developed a little once to twice monthly routine of going to a near-by town that has a grocery surplus store, a Big Lots, and an Aldi’s… oh, and we usually hit up their Goodwill too! That is the only way we manage to stay remotely within our grocery budget which happens to be a ridiculous $300 a month! Since starting the “envelope system” that is the amount we determine we could “afford” though I’ll be honest and say that often we can’t stick to that amount and end up “borrowing” from other envelopes or our slush fund.
This Saturday we also set out to buy some shoes for our girls because their feet seem to get bigger each day?!! My Anna was given a slew of cute size 7-7 1/2 shoes this past Spring – most in great condition, barely worn – and I thought we were set for her life!! Or at least the next school year – but alas, we had to purchase SIZE NINE (9) shoes for her on Saturday – and I already shared how I gave her MY old tennis shoes
to wear on the first day of school because she had already grown out of a pair of brand new tennis shoes someone else had given her over the summer.
Thankfully, Payless Shoes was offering BOGO 1/2 Off – so Miriam ended up getting some CUTE fall shoes as well. She also scored a pair of Sketchers tennis shoes (and I wouldn’t care about the brand name except that they hold up 100 times better than cheap Walmart shoes) on a 50% off Clearance sale at another shoe store!
After all that shopping, we all came home and took a nap (well, except Andrew, I think, he is a boy abounding in ENERGY!). Anna had spent the night with a friend and was EXHAUSTED. I took a 3 hour nap – and Miriam took a 4 hour nap <— which I paid for later because Miriam ended up being awake until after midnight!
After our nap – and a simple dinner – the boys threw the baseball around while we girls just took in the warm summer evening. Our neighbor’s goats had gotten out of their pen (our neighbor is from Nigeria – and he keeps goats for their milk and for an occasional “goat roast” for all his African family and friends) … Miriam had fun watching them as they ate the grass in our backyard … guess they think “the grass is always greener” as much as we humans do!
Sundays aren’t really a day of rest if you are in the ministry … my husband goes in to church early to make sure things are set up and cleaned up and to touch base with our pastor in case something came up over the weekend that he needed to know or deal with …
and my kids go with him – which isn’t a great sacrifice as there are donuts and orange juice available for the early comers!! I’d rather have a few moments of quiet myself and so I opt out of the treats.
Oh, if only I felt like the put-together church member like the lovely lady above. I feel more like the harried, tired Hausfrau that I am. After working for Doorposts
this summer, I was convicted that I don’t really make an effort to make SUNDAY a special day
– God’s day – a Sabbath. To do this, one should really prepare the night before … and sometimes I do, especially when I plan to attend our church’s weekly potluck for lunch. Unfortunately, on Saturday night I did end up with a severe migraine in the evening – and I didn’t prepare ANYTHING except some really strong narcotic-like medication for my brain. I don’t like arriving at church feeling discombobulated – it makes me cranky – and that isn’t a good way to spend God’s Day with God’s people. I can’t say I was directly cranky today, but I will admit I tried to avoid the chatty people as much as possible.
I did gain a few reminders and poignant thoughts from the lessons and sermons … and for that I am thankful! In Sunday School, we are working through SURRENDER: The Heart God Controls by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. I haven’t bought it yet – but I think I should … SURRENDER seems to be a re-occurring theme in my life! I haven’t done it enough or very well …
Tonight we just had some down time … the boys went to buy ice cream – and brought me back chocolate chip mint – my FAVORITE!!! :)~ And I won’t bore you with any more details of our very simple, very boring life … but I am thankful for the quiet days … as my husband often says, “These are the best days.” Our children are still at home – we have enough – we have our health – we have God.