homeschool: dealing with a strong willed or rebellious child

If you read my first post about how our family got started homeschooling, you know it was almost accidental. It was one of those “try-it-and-see” deals.

Not at all planned. But we did like it. We saw good results with our oldest son, Corey. Since he was going into second grade when we started and hadn’t cared a whole lot for his prior experiences with both public and private school, it was a comparatively smooth transition.

Once his brother Casey, four years younger, was actually old enough to “officially” start working on lessons, he had already been “playing school” along with us as Corey did his work.

I’m not sure if that’s what led us to problems with Casey’s schooling or if it was truly his hard-headed nature!

The early years weren’t terrible. I saw right away that Casey was NOT going to work or study the way his brother did. Corey liked to learn, he appreciated books and was comfortable with abstracts. Casey, on the other hand, had a learning style more like his dad in that abstract concepts frustrated him more than anything. He liked the concrete, the hands-on, the logical. He wasn’t a bit interested in reading fiction, not even those adventure books most boys love or anything of the sort unless it had to do with some game they had created together. But if it had very much reading, he was done.

Casey didn’t mind doing math lessons and was okay with science unless it included writing. Like I said, his mind dealt better with things that were obviously either true or false, right or wrong. He just wanted nothing to do with lessons that included possibilities or imagining various endings or scenarios. English, spelling, and reading were things he despised.

I finally realized that he had a bit of a problem with reading, probably a mild form of dyslexia. His dad and grandpa were the same way. They had lots of trouble reading, often turning small words into something other than what they were. For instance, “that” would become “then”, “what” would be interpreted as “where”. At least, that’s how his dad would read. His grandpa had a bit more trouble than that, but had made it through seminary, and Casey’s dad had done well enough, I thought we should be able to handle the issue.

The thing was that it made Casey mad, I think. He resented not being able to do things as easily as his big brother did. If it was the least bit challenging to him, he didn’t want to do it. He liked to do what was easy for him, what came naturally and what he could excel in. He loved knowing how things worked, much like his daddy. He was forever taking things apart as a toddler, and so he loved working on vehicles the way his dad did.

As he got older, it just got harder and harder to get him to complete his lessons. By the time he became a teen, we were almost at each other’s throats all the time with me showing, telling, demanding, begging him to finish his school work and him just simply NOT doing it. He would piddle, he would just write “stuff”, he would doodle…anything to pass and avoid his lessons. He would never read what he was supposed to but could read through a magazine about cars in record time. I KNEW he was capable of doing it, he simply didn’t want to and wouldn’t.

I’m sure some of you are thinking I could have and should have just “made” him to his work, but after trying everything I knew to do, he still refused. Not outright to my face, but he just wouldn’t do it. His daddy and I weren’t communicating the best at that time in our marriage, and it’s possible he didn’t even think it was as bad as I was saying. Whatever the reason, Tommy wasn’t as supportive as I wanted and needed him to be. When I realized, with only a few credits left to go, that Casey wasn’t going to finish school, I talked with my husband and we sat him down and told him he needed to either get busy or get a job but I wouldn’t give him a diploma he didn’t earn. It broke my heart, but it was getting to the point that I would be irreparably damaging any relationship with him if I continued pushing him in school.

And yes, we did consider putting him in public school, but only for a split-second. We had seen another family put their sons in the local high school after a divorce and since they were my boys’ good friends, we saw them go through a really bad, reckless time. I know the divorce itself had a lot to do with it, but I also knew with the very rebellious attitude that Casey had, putting him in public school would only intensify that and widen the chasm between us. I knew that if he found that he was the least bit behind in a public school, he would just shut down and not try at all. That tends to lead a child to trouble. I wasn’t going to do that to him, even if he was throwing away his education.

I felt that protecting his soul and mind as much as possible was more important. I think he would agree with that today.

And speaking of today, Casey is happily married now, to an RN who is continuing her college education, so it’s done him a lot of good to see her working on her lessons to make a better future. With her encouragement, he is now taking his GED and wants to go on and get his Master Plumber certificate, which requires a written test. He reads very well now and is a hard-working, contributing member of society. I’ve come to the conclusion that his struggle with high school was more about maturity than anything else. That and a very strong-willed, sort-of angry attitude. That combination doesn’t make for a very good student.

But God has provided, He’s worked things out to his good and I still have a relationship with my son that I might not have had if I’d pushed him to finish high school.

Don’t let this discourage you if you’re a new homeschooling mom. Next time, I’ll tell you about the more willing student I had who probably spoiled me a little with his love of learning.

Did we do it perfectly? Um, NO! Did we do the best we knew how at the time? You betcha. And I relate these things, these memories of mine, to you in the hope that it may somehow help you in your quest to educate your children at home and have as much overall joy as we did.

Blessings!

another brand new thang…

Lately, my husband and I have had a longing for community. For a group of closer friends who we could share with and encourage and who could encourage us. At our church, the staff has been struggling a bit with how to make groups a very integral part of our congregation. We go to what some might call a “mega-church” although realistically, it’s not that in the true sense of the word. But for our rural area, it’s certainly a much larger church than usual.

Anyway, the church experienced some sudden growth spurts at different times, which always makes for some trials in how to handle the influx of people in the different areas of ministry.

At one time we were in a “small group” with our lead pastor. We loved it, it was a great way to get to know him a little more personally and of course, to meet others in the church that we may not have otherwise gotten to know.

As time went on, however, the group grew too large for one room so we split and somehow we ended up in the group without our pastor, which turned out to be okay, we just would have chosen differently. And so this new group did well for several months until one night, the leader and his wife didn’t show up. There were about 3 other couples there and two new people showed up as well, so we all just kind of went on with things the way we usually did. The next week, the same thing happened and another new person showed up.

I was concerned about the situation because I’d seen the couple who were leaders of the group at church that morning, so I sent a message to one of the associate pastors asking what we should do or if he knew if there was something wrong with the other couple. The reply I got was “Congratulations! You have just become group leaders!” Hahaha… um, no. 🙂

Actually, we didn’t mind, it was just a little scary to be given that title and so we asked the other two couples who were regular attenders if they wanted to lead and were told emphatically NO, so we carried on with the group.

After about a year, things changed, the church began to want groups to meet in homes instead of the church which made ME nervous and then things happened like one couple’s job schedules changed drastically and they couldn’t meet the same night anymore, then another couple had some scheduling issues and finally, our group just kind of fell apart. Soon after, though, the church tried a new approach to groups and asked two of our regular couples to become leaders of their own groups.

That didn’t work so well as we were put into a large room with a sign telling what sort of group we had (age range, location, meeting day, etc) and then people would come and “join” whichever group would work for them. We had one couple in our new group and they seemed to always have some conflict and didn’t often show up, so that fell apart too and we had no group at all.

It’s been that way for a couple years now so we finally just gave up and filled out a form to be put into a group. We ended up being put into a group lead by a couple we know and love, but they’ve had a group for years and still had one couple in it that had been there from the start. The other couple was nice, we knew and liked them as well, but it was really hard with so much history between them to feel as if we belonged. Maybe that was our own doing, but there it is. We just felt so outside the loop it was uncomfortable to try and belong. As it was, this all happened just before Thanksgiving so we put off scheduling a meeting til after that and Christmas since our church does a MAJOR Christmas event that draws thousands and so many of us volunteer to help with it.

And so here it is the end of February and we hadn’t had the first meeting. I wasn’t sure if they’d been meeting without us or what, but found out that they hadn’t started meeting yet. I guess life is crazy for all of us!

And so, while I was serving at camp for a young girls’ Emmaus weekend, one of the pastors called and asked Tommy if we would lead a group. He immediately said we would, which kind of surprised me, but I was glad.

The fact was that I’d been talking with another lady that had discussed desire for a group to join and was contacting another to see if we could just start our own study group. What was even funnier is that after this lady and her husband said they would love to start a group with us, we got this call and they also got asked to lead a group!

—February 27, 2016—
(that’s what happens when I get interrupted repeatedly during a post! LOL!)

The other thing that was going on during this same time is an Emmaus friend of ours and her husband were starting LIFE group at their home and asked if we wanted to join them. (read about what LIFE group is at the link above)

The first week there was only one other couple there and it was nice, we got excited about it. The curriculum revolves around the real meaning of the Tree of Life and the Tree of The Knowledge of Good and Evil. So far, we really like it.

So, here it is a week later and last time I checked, there are three people signed up for our discipleship group. One of them is my sister, which we’re not sure about. I mean, one of the objectives we’ve been given is to get people to open up. That’s NOT as ominous as it sounds. The idea is to form a close, cohesive group that comes to love and depend on each other and what better way to do that than by sharing about our lives? As you may or may not know, my sister and I have had a pretty non-functional, almost non-existent relationship most of our lives. Lots of things contributed to that, but nevertheless, we have just in this past year been able to deal with it in a more productive way. Once she went on an Emmaus walk for herself, frankly, she almost became a different (better!) person! Her inward, self-focused thinking changed and it’s been a really great thing.

For the past several months, she’s actually been going to our church which is a big change for her all by itself. Much the same way it was for us. She’s really been loving it and learning more than ever. So anyway, it’s NOT that the relationship is still so strained, it’s just that, well, she’s my sister so I would think either it’d be easier to open up with other people or that it would just be nicer to chat with people she doesn’t have history with. I guess she just wanted to be where she knew someone, but we are hoping that either it works EXTREMELY well, or that she’ll see the wisdom in moving to another group. I’m hoping there is a women’s group she can get in since, for the time being, her husband isn’t going to be coming with her.

So anyhow, the other two people in the group is a couple that we sort-of know. Well, we know the husband very well. He and I went to school together from kindergarten through high school! This is his second wife, so I don’t know her, but it’ll be interesting to see how this thing works.

We were under the impression that the staff would be putting people into groups, but apparently, they are able to choose which group they want. I’m not sure, but from what one staffer told us, I think maybe they are surprised by this too…I think they assumed it was set up so that the people were only signing up with their info and not actually able to choose a group!

We had our second week at LIFE group and more people were there, including Corey, our eldest son and his wife! I was so glad they agreed to come and hope they will continue. Corey’s a youth pastor at another church and they are both always just stretched to the limit with church activities. I get a little irritated (okay, a LOT irritated sometimes!) because of the way the church will schedule things that require Corey’s involvement without consulting him. Just last weekend, they took the group to Winter Jam and then had a lock-in at the church and the next day he was responsible for much of the Sunday service then they had a belated Valentine’s dinner planned that, of course, the youth are supposed to be in charge of. WHY would anyone schedule all that stuff the same weekend?!?! It happens all the time and I really wish Corey would just tell them NOPE sometimes, but he usually picks up whatever they throw at him and deals with it. *sigh* He’s much more patient than me, obviously.

So there it is… I’ll post again with news of how the discipleship group goes. Maybe we will have more people by Wednesday and it will all balance out. 🙂

Blessings!

you wouldn’t believe me if I told you…

Well, hello there & happy new year! (why yes, it IS January 26th! I’ve been busy, okay?)

Where to start…the Christmas season was great. We stayed home this year instead of booking a week at a cabin for the family. It just seemed we were all a little too tight on money and everyone couldn’t get off the same time, etc, so we just had Christmas at home. Actually, we always do. We don’t get a cabin the actual week of Christmas (do you know how much they charge for that?!?!) We always book the first or second week of December and then when Christmas rolls around, we just have our usual family gatherings: Christmas Eve at Mom’s or my sister’s or one of the kids’ houses and then Christmas morning breakfast at our house.

kids opening gifts
A very sad (quality-wise) pic! I was trying to get spontaneous shots! *sigh* This is my boys with their wives.

It was crazy because it POURED the rain all day on Christmas and the temperatures were so warm we had the heat pump off and the windows open! Talk about kinda mind-boggling! It didn’t feel like Christmas at all except for having everyone over.

Hubbs had a four day weekend, so the day after Christmas, we got up fairly early and went out to our shop/garage and started cleaning. Yep. All kinda fun right there.

building the walls
See the upper level? We have just got the framework of studs up & are starting to put the plywood on!

Hubby has this huge 30 x 60 shop with two large garage bays, one with a car lift, an “office”, a bathroom with shower, a room with a small garage door for our lawn mower and another room that was originally intended to be a “tool room”.

what a mess! ACK! too much stuff!
Here’s a small sampling of what we are dealing with!

Now, before you go thinking we’re rich, let me stop you. Hubby bartered for most of what’s in there (that 6000 lb lift? yep, $200 and a day spent clearing garbage) so even though it’s really REALLY nice considering what we spent on it, we just “squeaked by” to get it completed and enough of the insides done to use it.

In the part of the shop where those rooms are, he was able to get a set of metal stairs so he built an upper level with the intention of closing it in for more household-type storage.

But we somehow never got around to putting up those walls. For one thing, the money just wasn’t there to buy the material, then what material had been left over from building the shop that we’d hoped to at least start on the walls with ended up getting used in some other project. So over the years (yep, YEARS) with each of the boys getting cars that needed parts and then having parts taken off of things that they’d sell… (yeah, right)…well, that upper floor got covered in all manner of stuff!

There was also all the stuff from the house that we just didn’t know what to do with…the dining set that was my grandparents that we used for awhile until my mom gave me a nicer set, the two chairs the boys had used when we were homeschooling, bookcases, books, lamps, sports equipment, weights, siding, trim and tile from projects in the house. You name it, it was out there and open to all the elements a shop can present…dust, black soot from the wood stove that heat the place, sawdust, welding “dust”…it was just filthy up there.

We had a small attic that we’ve used for storage all this time. We had to keep our Christmas stuff up there because it was the only place we had. Because of the way our ceilings are made, we had to put the entrance inside a closet in one of the spare rooms. That makes what little space is up there almost more trouble than it’s worth. So, we decided that we had to get those walls up so we could store the Christmas stuff out in the shop. It’ll be MUCH easier to load a dolly with totes and roll them down the wide steps and into the house than to wrestle them out of the attic. AND we would have enough space to move all my craft stuff out there plus all the other seasonal decor we have stuffed up there.

We decided that it’d be nice to run lights up there, of course, so we could see what was up there, but MORE lights and set up a table so that I could actually work on craft projects out there and not have to gunk up the house every time I wanted to paint something or do a project.

installing the door with no lights yet
See how dark? Hubby’s installing the door, with Samson’s help, it looks like. 🙂

So, we spent a lot of time running metal conduit and electric through those, wiring the lights & getting them hung. That was after framing and covering the walls. We even added a small window so you could see out into the shop from up there. It was out of our old kitchen door!

let there be light!
Hubby ran this metal conduit all across the ceiling & over those beams

After working almost every evening for a week, and I mean, working the whole time he was off for Christmas, then the next four-day weekend for New Year’s and then every evening after work til late, we got really, REALLY tired! Just burnt out, really.

LIGHTS
Let’s shed some light on this mess!
Walls completed! What's next?
Got the walls covered! See the little “peeking” window? 😀

The thing is while we had got a LOT of stuff done for the upstairs and the actual storage area, we were also cleaning and clearing and fixing things in the main shop area too. For instance, Hubby had a work bench he needed to put a new top on. He had kept a big piece of marble-like material he’d gotten from somewhere or other and so we got that down and used the table saw to cut it to the size he needed, cut another piece to make a small shelf over the bench then made another top and corner shelf out of the rest of it. Of course, he had to round all the edges and make it perfect (sheesh!) so that took a lot of time. Now he has a very nice workbench with the shelf above it and a light mounted underneath. He ran wiring for a switch and an outlet.

What's that? The FLOOR! Ladders now have a home!
Hey! There’s the floor! And now the ladders have a home! Woo!

Another project he’d wanted to do for awhile is to get some way to play music out there. The old boom box he’d been using was great…when it would pick up a station. But in a metal building, radio reception is hit or miss, and stations would “wander” so it really frustrated him. Our oldest son told him how he could stream music through his phone. He had run ethernet cable out there from the house (underground!) several years ago so he could do research about stuff he was working on without coming back and forth to the house. So since I’d just upgraded my phone, we had my old one to use solely for streaming music…we just needed something to stream it to. He pulled out another of his “I can use this for something” items…an older car radio with mp3 capabilities. He got our daughter-in-law’s brother, who is a whiz with computers, to come up and help him rig it all up. Then he got into the stack of speakers he’d been amassing. He wired all of those up that sounded decent and so now he has full stereo sound in the shop with clear, crisp streaming music!

So as you can see, our “build walls and clean up a storage area” project was anything but cut and dried!

At this point, we do have a lot accomplished up there. We got the big piles of just STUFF that Hubby had saved from various and sundry building projects sorted and categorized and put into milk crates that are stacked along a wall. the bigger items we put into totes. We built a hook thingie to hold all the remaining conduit and other long, thin items up off the floor and easy to access. We threw out a bunch of junk along the way, used a lot of stuff in the building of the room and moved some out to the shop below.

Yesterday, I wiped down all the Christmas totes that had been stacked in the shop so Hubby could carry them in. While we don’t have the area where we plan to put them completely finished (we need to insulate the outer​ walls and cover them) we do have room to put the totes where they’ll be kept clean and out of the way. I now have them all stacked in the family room (yep, in the middle of everything) which I don’t really care for, but at least I can work toward getting Christmas put away and getting the house back to normal. Hopefully soon I can start carrying craft items out of the back room. First, though, I have to get some shelves emptied and a bit more junk out of the other part of the room.

One more sort-of bump in our road to organizing and cleaning the shop…our youngest son had an accident a couple weeks ago. Praise God, he wasn’t hurt because his Jeep flipped end over end and he could have been seriously injured or killed just as easily. But his Jeep is pretty banged up. The frame was twisted slightly, so the insurance company totaled it and our son bought it back for practically nothing and he wants to fix it.

upsidedown Jeep!
Thank God, it looks a lot worse than it is!

That means it’s in our shop now. *sigh* It’s been okay. He’s been up here for the past week helping Hubby do work out there in preparation (& probably payment​) for his dad’s help fixing the Jeep and a place to work on it. But tonight, they brought it home, so now they are out there messing with it.

I told them they really needed to finish the project they’d started a couple days ago which was putting wall board up in the office (which had been just studs and bare insulation til now) and tin up on the ceiling. So now all the stuff is moved out of the office into the shop and while the walls are done, the ceiling has only one run of metal on it. I’m hoping tomorrow they will get back on that.

Another dilemma there is that we want to move the chest freezer out of the office (yeah, that was the only place we could put it at the time…we got it from his parents) into the mower room, but that, of course, requires a whole ‘nother clean up and move stuff and organize project. We started that tonight, but didn’t get finished. We did get a piece cut out of the roll of carpet we’d had for years big enough to put under our bikes so we could throw the rest of it away and get it out of the floor in the shop (after it had come from upstairs) We got part of our camping supplies out of the mower room moved upstairs and most of the shelf that has to move to make room for the freezer emptied out.

SHEW!!! I’m just about to get overwhelmed with all this stuff!! What I want to do once the majority of this cleaning is done is have a sort-of open house so people from the homeschooling community can come and buy all (hopefully) the tons of books and supplies I have sitting in FOUR bookcases down in the shop covered with a tarp!! I’m still going to have to dust all that stuff, even with the tarp, they’re a mess, but they’ve been sitting there for about 3 years now!

So yeah… we have got a ton of stuff done, but we have SO much more to go! And I’m halfway trying to clear, toss, declutter and organize in the house too.

I hope I get most of this stuff done before it kills me! That way at least when people have to go through my stuff, it won’t drive them bonkers too! LOL!

More updates later.

homeschooling: the early years

I worked for a family-owned natural food store when my eldest was about two years old. I was there a little over a year working mostly part time, but I ended up doing a lot of work from home after I became manager.

They were an Adventist family who homeschooled their four children. I had never really heard of homeschooling before then and honestly, hadn’t even thought about it even though I had a child of my own!

Yeah, I’m not really the plan-ahead or worry-about-the-future type of gal, I guess.

So anyhow, while I worked there, other homeschooling families who knew the owners would come in, so I got to talk with them and the owner-family’s mom would bring books in about homeschooling and I’d look through those.

It piqued my interest in the prospect of homeschooling even though I really still didn’t feel like “school” was a real “threat” in my future. I was still relishing my little toddler and spending all the time I could with him. I really loved being a mom!

Homeschooling Concept
By the time he was ready to start kindergarten, we had another baby and I had had a few medical issues that had left me in pretty bad health. I was always so fatigued and I didn’t feel there was any possible way I could attempt to homeschool.

We arranged with the local private school that was just starting up to work out part of the tuition so we could just barely afford to send Corey to preschool. It was okay. I grew stronger during that year and by the next year, tuition had gone up, of course, and we had to decide what we were going to do.

I had made friends with another young mom and her son had become friends with Corey, so I was able to send him to the city school where her son was going to attend first grade.

That’s when we started seeing all the benefits of educating him at home. First there was the shortage of reading books. Part of the time, he was sent home with one, part of the time he wasn’t. When I asked his teacher about it, she told me they didn’t have enough books for all the kids.

I know. I was like, “SERIOUSLY?!” I then began to see the pattern of sending a ton of “homework” home with him to do. I’d ask him, “What did you do at school today?”

“We watched The Lion King!” he’d answer while unloading his little backpack of all the papers he was supposed to have done for tomorrow. They had started to implement whole language at that time, and it was the most idiotic thing I’d ever seen. He would bring home pages of scribble and when asked what it was, he’d tell me it was some story he had been told to write. There wouldn’t even been one letter on the page that was recognizable, let alone any words.

They put up work papers on the walls at school with smiley faces on them and tons of misspelled words. Written on the top in mostly-legible handwriting was the word “Spelling”.

By the time that school year was over, I was just sick of the whole thing. It was just ludicrous to me that I was sending my child to spend 7 hours a day, being nickel​-and-dimed to death every time I turned around (and they STILL didn’t have enough books?!) and he seemed to be getting nothing for that time investment. We were spending several hours each evening doing the work he could and should have done at school instead of watching Disney movies. And that’s not even counting the fact that I was the one teaching him to read at home.

various stages of homeschooling
I think I’m at stage 8. (thanks, GFH!)

Tommy and I talked it over, prayed about it and decided to bite the bullet and homeschool the next year…“Just to see if it will work and if we like it.”

We ordered A Beka‘s second grade set of curriculum and then stood mouth a-gape looking at the two stacks of books that came. I guess I felt relieved that we got something tangible for the money we’d spent, but I mean, the stack of books just for Corey was almost as tall as he was!

And yet, we plunged in. To clarify, I ordered A Beka because that was the only thing I knew! That’s the curriculum the private school had used. I figured it was good enough for them, we could certainly do just as well with it.

I didn’t know any other homeschoolers at that time, other than the people I’d worked for at the food store and I didn’t really know them well enough to call up & ask questions. So ignorant me, didn’t know enough to realize that actual classroom textbooks are full of “busy work”. I thought we were supposed to do every single thing on every single page.

Needless to say, we cried a lot that first year.

*sigh*

We evaluated things after that and I had started chatting online with several veteran homeschoolers who helped me realize that I was overburdening us both with trying to do EVERYthing in the textbooks.

I ordered from Alpha-Omega the next year.

Things went much smoother that year. Even though we now had a toddler getting involved in things, it was still a lot less stressful using AO for school. The only thing I found was that some of the subjects were a little shallow for our liking.

The thing that stands out most to me is when Corey got to a section about Loius Pasteur and the booklet just sort of skimmed over his contribution to science but Corey had more questions about him and what he did.

I ended up finding some library books he could read to satisfy that curiosity, but it showed me that we still hadn’t found “THE” curriculum for us.

By then, I had finally met some other real-life homeschoolers in the area and began getting more tips and insight into ways of homeschooling. And by the end of that second year, we had decided that we were comfortable enough with it and Corey enjoyed it enough that we would continue.

homeschooling works!
For our family, it really did! Marvelously!

And so began our journey of learning at home…stay tuned. More memories of those years to come!

why we don’t “do” halloween

First of all, let me say that I am not condemning any of my Christian friends who are posting pictures of their kids dressed up in costumes and preparing to help at their church’s “Fall-Festival/Carnival/Whatever” alternatives for Halloween.

This is just MY opinion and the reasons behind and the way we got to skipping Halloween.

Halloween

My two sons are grown and married now, so this is ancient history. But the subject of Halloween and whether to do or not to do it came up with a good friend who has small children and is facing the same questions I did at this stage, so in light of the season, I thought I’d share with you also.

First, some a-little-more-than-ancient history (we’re talkin’ stone age here) my birthday is the day after Halloween. As you probably already know if you’ve visited here before, I’m also a type 1 diabetic for the past forty-some years. Me and Halloween had issues, okay? We celebrated it when I was a kid growing up in a Christian home. Most often, it was combined with my birthday. I both loved and hated it. Loved the dressing up (I often made up my own costumes, so that’s always fun) but hated collecting a bunch of goodies I couldn’t eat. I was often the very sickest each year because of stinkin’ Halloween/birthday because I could always figure out where the stash was hidden or would overdo it on birthday treats. What can I say? Such was the life of a child with diabetes in the seventies. It was a lot harder to figure how to dose to cover candy and other treats. But I (hugely) digress…

My boys are four years apart. When the youngest was still a toddler, we always dressed them up in very non-scary costumes. I had the crayon, lion, Mickey Mouse and scarecrow costumes from my eldest that my baby son just had to wear, of course. We didn’t think much about the consequences of participating in the traditions. Not only were our babies babies, but my husband and I were babies ourselves, both spiritually and emotionally…and physically for that matter. We just hadn’t put any thought into how we’d handle it when they were older nor what the holiday even meant or represented.

I have seen heated and ugly debates online between Christians about whether or not it was appropriate or whatever to celebrate this holiday and I DO NOT want to do or start that here. PLEASE understand me when I tell you I am not looking for any division to come from this. I just want to offer you, perhaps, another perspective and give you some things to think about.

To begin, let me share the testimony my friend had found on Facebook that started the discussion between us.

A Former Witch’s View on Halloween by Carol Komancki

“I see images of Christians being slaughtered for their faith—- blood everywhere, children- young adults -grown men/women- willing to die rather then deny Christ—— it takes my breath away.
What I don’t understand is when Christians celebrate Halloween, decorate with gory bloody images, put up skeletons and images of death and darkness, without a second thought! And they will argue and debate trying to make it okay and refuse to give up celebrating that nite!
I am an ex witch, saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, when I was practicing witchcraft, Halloween was the biggest night of the year for those practicing the occult. People try to say it’s about the candy and fun, it goes way deeper then that!
The roots of this highly pagan holiday remain the same, it’s a night of death -darkness- gore—- and no matter how much you dress it up to make it pretty, no matter how many excuses you make, it’s a night to celebrate Samhein——– the god of the dead!
I don’t recall those who practice paganism coming on Christmas morning to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ the Lord of life.
Yet Christians will celebrate the pagan ritual of Halloween —–the god of death and darkness. …..
I don’t care to debate….
You can do whatever you choose —-but it won’t change the truth or the facts!!!!”

I think we all know that the origins of Halloween are not particularly good. As we often do, though, we’ve ‘tamed it down’, we’ve turned what can be dangerous into something cute and fun. We’ve said “It’s just for fun. We’re not playing with a Ouija board or anything, for crying out loud!” I have read many different articles and books about what Halloween means, what it represents and how it is diametrically opposed to all that God represents. As Christians, we serve a RISEN FROM THE DEAD Savior who’s all about LIFE. Halloween is all about death. No matter how much fun dressing up is, how innocent that is on its own, when I do it to participate with Halloween, MY belief is that it ceases to be innocent.
occult

So our experience…once the boys were a little older and we were in the beginning of our homeschooling adventure, we started to discuss what Halloween was and talk about what we, as a Christian family, should do or think about it. We came up with this idea of dressing up as Biblical characters. At the time, I thought, “Sure. That’s a great trade-off. They can “witness” while they trick-or-treat.”

I went to great lengths to create this Goliath suit for my eldest and a shepherd costume for the youngest. The shepherd was easy. We even got a patch of leather and some leather “string” and made an old fashioned sling! For Goliath, I spray painted an old pair of his tennis shoes with silver metallic paint. Made him a breast plate, shield, arm and leg guards out of poster board and painted those too. I then used some of the leather strap to tie them on and drew in the details with a black sharpie. It was pretty awesome looking if I do say so myself! (of course, I can’t locate a photo of it to show you!)

The day finally arrived. Hubby and I headed out with the boys, armed with a couple weeks’ worth of studying the story so they could tell people about who they were and many discussions about why we were approaching Trick-or-Treating this way. They were so anxious for someone to recognize who they were, but no one had a clue. Most of them would ask, as people usually do, but when the boys told them, almost every single person just got a blank look on their faces. No one even knew who David and Goliath were and the one time our eldest tried to explain, the person wasn’t interested. Once he said, “They are people from the Bible who…” the person just sort of cut him off and proceeded to do something else. The youngest didn’t really perceive what had happened, but our big boy? He was certainly disappointed and my heart hurt for him.

Besides this awful experience, there was everyone else’s costumes. Most all of the other ones we saw were gory, monster-y type of costumes. Some of them were really hideous with lots of bloody guts and such. I could tell the boys were a little shocked, if not scared at the sight of them. I felt like it was something we shouldn’t be exposing them to.

I was rethinking my idea of “trade-offs” with Halloween. Later, it came to me that wiccans don’t show up at church for the Christmas play with their Book of Wiccan in hand, ya know? Why were we, as Christians, trying to share Jesus with people on a holiday that has NOTHING to do with our faith? Even if not all of them were celebrating “the true meaning” of Halloween, why were we trying to shine a light in the middle of a holiday with its roots firmly planted in very dark, and yes, fully evil, ideals and origins?

I’m not saying, of course, that we shouldn’t try to shine God’s light when we are in dark situations or places, but should we step into a very dark holiday, to shine it there while we sorta-kinda participate in it? While we play with the fringes of it?

That’s something I contemplated and chewed on for many years, even before this Halloween that I just described to you. After that experience, we just decided as a family that Halloween would be an extra special family-fun night at home. My kids never suffered any ill effects from not going door to door to beg candy while dressed in a costume. *smile*

jesus-pumpkin

For a couple of years, we took part in Halloween alternatives at different churches. I don’t think if I had young children now that we’d do this. The first time we did it, it was actually fairly well-done, and by that I mean that it really didn’t have a lot to do with Halloween at all. However, many people that showed up didn’t really seem to “get” that this was something to do instead of traditional Halloween activities. I DO understand the idea behind churches having these events at all…that it’s an attempt to give church kids and families a way to do fun stuff on a night when most everyone else is taking part in more dark-themed parties and such. But it’s not presented this way for the most part. Now I have also had friends or seen other churches do a “Reformation Day” event, and I’ll admit that I don’t fully understand what that is other than a celebration of Martin Luther’s nailing of his 95 Theses to the door of “The Church”. [I’ve linked some words so that you can research more if you want] This is linked primarily to the Catholic and Presbyterian churches. Because I was raised in a different denomination, this event wasn’t emphasized or really taught to me. However, when I have seen photos of one of these events, they were also dressed up, but as historical figures from that era, not as random characters or superheros or monsters. Now, that may not be the usual practice for Reformation Day at churches. This was a congregation made up of mostly homeschool families, so that might have just been unique to them, ya know? ALLLL that to say this:
halloween-alternate
I think IF a church is going to do something like this, it should be markedly different from a Halloween event. And that’s just my opinion because the last time we did this at another church, it was very disappointing to me and confusing to my kids. Don’t host a Halloween alternative event at your church and then have it look exactly like what the world’s doing, right? I mean, that’s how I see it.

Our family’s journey to really rejecting Halloween was sort of meandering and wandering more than anything. It wasn’t some decision we made all of a sudden. And it’s still kind of a fuzzy area, even now that our kids are grown and married. I mean, we still have friends who don’t feel the way we do or maybe haven’t arrived at the place we did after our own journey, ya know? But I believe it is definitely worthy of discussion and civil, loving debate. It’s something that families should talk about and decide where they stand on the topic. What is your opinion and how does it line up with what scripture says? I believe it’s something we should settle within ourselves, within our families if you have young children. The topic is going to confront you…halloween-shouldChristiansRomans 14:5 – “…Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.”

how blessed

To The Husband of the Wife Living with Chronic Illness

Almost perfectly describes my life.

love, life & how I don’t deserve either

That title though, right?

I know, I know. Super dramatic. I didn’t mean for it to be, but it’s true. None of us deserve anything good that we have.
stay married
As a Christian, I am grateful to God for everything I have. Even things like diabetes and achy, stiff joints, and headaches. Yeah, even those things.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (ESV)
” give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

So okay, I give God all the credit for my life, such as it is. And if it is inferior in any way, that is my own doing. I long to be all that He has planned for me and I know I fail horribly every day.
embrace contentment
I’ve posted about the things going on in my marriage…the physical and emotional struggles that I have faced personally and that my husband and I have overcome together.
long-lasting-marriage
I have been reading lately about the things it takes to make a good marriage, to build a firm foundation for a new marriage, to sustain a strong, lasting marriage.
marriage
I like to think, and at this point in my life I believe, that we DO have a strong marriage. And at thirty years in, I think we can safely say it is a lasting one. I know, I know…longer marriages have ended in the past. But not ours.

After all those years of struggling to stay together, not because of a lack of love, but the inability to be physically close and now…now, we are finally learning how to be a ‘normal’ couple. A couple who isn’t avoiding physical intimacy. A couple who can actually share everything with each other. Now that we’re finally to that point, to realize that God preserved us to this point, I know that He didn’t put us together and preserve us though all this to let us fall apart now.
marriage box
It’s hard to talk to anyone about all this. Even though my therapist at the pelvic health office has been beyond amazing in helping us deal with the physical problems and almost being a ‘counselor’ to help us learn to talk about these things, it’s hard to not have others to talk with, to not really be able to tell anyone about this stuff.

I have spent so much time trying to cover up the fact that there was a problem in our marriage, to hide that there was a void where there should have been deep intimacy. Not joining in conversations and giggly, knowing glances with other wives talking (conservatively!) about loving and being in love with their husbands.

I didn’t understand the way they really desired to physically be with their spouses because for me, that was painful. The fact that it hurt made me want to avoid it at all costs, made me feel like a failure, guilty, damaged and worthless. If I tried to just “grit my teeth” and “bear it” for my husband’s sake, it made him feel bad. It made me feel like I was letting him down. (What husband wants to “make love” to a wife who’s crying and telling him to just hurry?)

Maybe you can see why I have spent most of my adult life in some stage of depression. Sometimes very deep, very dark depression. I wondered for probably those first eight years how long before he’d just leave me. How long before he got sick of it and wanted out? Once when I was desperate enough to actually say as much to him, he let me know he loved me and he didn’t want out of the marriage.
good marriage
I was pretty stunned, but grateful…and then even more depressed. I didn’t deserve him. Later, after nothing had improved and when I got desperate enough again, I told him to go find someone else. As long as no one knew, no…as long as our children never knew (because I just KNEW other people would eventually find out) that he should find someone who could fill that void for him. Someone who wouldn’t wince and cry with pain. Someone he could actually enjoy. But we would stay together for the boys and I wouldn’t begrudge him having another woman who wasn’t damaged like me.

Looking back now, I am SO SO SO thankful to God that he never took me up on that offer. Most any other man would have done it gladly I think. If he had sought physical companionship with someone else, there would have never been any healing between us. We could have never got to the place we are now, where we’re able to be a “regular” married couple, where I could be unafraid of physical contact with the man I love most in the world. This place where we are learning to heal from the last three decades of hurt, confusion, fear and depression.
marriage-on-Christ
God apparently had a plan. If we had “fixed it” our own way, how much we would have destroyed. Much the same way that Sarah and Abraham messed up God’s perfect plan (to make a nation of Abraham’s children…when he and Sarah had reached almost 100 years of age without bearing one single child) [See Genesis 18]

When Sarah chose to not believe God when He told them Sarah herself would give birth, she and Abraham decided to “help” God with Sarah’s idea to give one of her servants to him so she could “give them a child”.

Okay, now if you’re not familiar with Scripture, all this is sounding pretty far out to you. Just trust me that back in the first century, things were a little different. People had servants and polygamy was common. While Abraham just had the one wife, it was common to make concubines of servants. The prevalent reasoning was that large families with lots of sons were necessary to maintain farms and businesses and multiple wives were needed to bear all those children.

I know. Seriously, it sounds so barbaric, doesn’t it? So foreign! But even though it was NOT in God’s plan for men to take more than one wife, as usual, mankind does what it wants and God, in His mercy, works with that.

In this case, if you will read the story, you’ll find that Sarah’s “plan” was “a success”…at least by their standards, and the slave girl, Hagar, bore Abraham a son. However, God’s plan was NOT to create His nation from Hagar’s son, Ishmael, so in a few years, Sarah did indeed bare a son by Abraham. When you read the conflict that came from this tense, at-least-awkward situation and how it has ultimately affected the world, you’ll see that while God will mercifully work through the messes we make when we jack with His plans, He does not wipe out the consequences of the jacked plans.

Our world is today, several thousand years later, paying for the “plans” of Sarah and Abraham. Nevertheless, God remained true to His plan to make Abraham the “father” of His chosen people-nation.

So as I ramble through these thoughts, I am reminded that God doesn’t toss us out with the mess we make of His plan when we think we know better. He wipes off the dirt we wallowed in and sets us back on His path. He brings His plans to fruition, in spite of our meddling and gives us strength to cope with the aftereffects of what we’ve done.
bravest thing I ever did was continue to live when I wanted to die
I’m thankful to Him that my husband and I didn’t mess things up any worse than we did trying to wait for His conclusion in our marriage. We have a lot of healing to do because of our ways of “coping” all these years. How grateful I am that infidelity is not one of the things we have to deal with!

My parting thought for you is this…don’t give up. Don’t throw in the towel. If God can preserve a marriage like mine, He can save or rebuild yours. If you believe that He is the Almighty, do not discount His power in your marriage!

God’s got a plan. Try to stay out of His way!

Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

30 whole years!

Okay y’all… you’ll have to extend some grace here.  I had my 30th wedding anniversary last week and I’m just now posting about it!

weddingtoast

Yes, we were just babies in 1985.

There have been times, over the years, that it wouldn’t have taken much for either of us to just walk away.  It’s been hard at times.  There have also been amazing, awesome, wonderful times, of course.  But those storms when it seems there’s no chance of escaping in one piece can shake you to the core.

But God…  If not for having Him in our lives and in our marriage, we surely would not have made it for thirty years.  Of course, we can do nothing on our own, but we like to think we can.  We so easily forget that it’s only by the will of God that we even breathe let alone move, think, walk and talk.

I’m so thankful that He intervened so many times in our marriage.  I have always felt really glad that both Hubby and I had intact families (neither of our parental units have divorced) and have two examples of half-century marriages to look to, although… *giggle* our marriage looks nothing like either of theirs.

And we don’t want it to!  We exchange knowing looks of agreement when either set of our parents are doing something we find annoying and we’ll laugh or commiserate later that we’re SO glad we don’t “___whatever___” like they do.  I’m sure our kids have the same feelings about us and I guess that’s how life is.

We make our own lives and our own favorite ways of being a couple.

Speaking of the kids, July has become Anniversary Month around here.  Our oldest son and his wife

wedding-victory

wedding-smiles

celebrated seven years of marriage the week before our 30th anniversary, after which our youngest son & his wife

victory

Casey-Taylor-bw-reception

had their first-ever anniversary!  Yep, all within three weeks.

I’m not sure how that happened, but I think it’s kinda cool.  And convenient too in that none of us can quite forget any of the others’ anniversaries.  Ha ha!

I have to admit…I was feeling pretty bummed that we didn’t have any kind of “real” celebration for our 30th though.  I mean, that’s supposed to be some kind of milestone, isn’t it?  I sure don’t know many couples our age who have been married even half this long.  I remember having “dreams” if you will, of being able to take a cruise for our 25th anniversary, but that didn’t happen.  Not for lack of wanting on either of our parts, but for lack of funds?  You betcha.  So five years ago, we plunked down a chunk on a room for the night way high on this mountain, and it was awesome.

It just would have been more awesome if I hadn’t worried about money the whole time.  *sigh*  And here we were five years later, and once again, absolutely no funds for any kind of get-away or even a room for the night somewhere.

I was getting really bummed.  We talked about maybe going to do the Virginia Creeper trail, which is a cycling thing, and that would have been great, but the drive was so long that we’d have been killed to have driven there, ride the trail and then drive back home in one day, so we didn’t even attempt it rather than go and not enjoy it.

After having to replace our air conditioner system (lighting hit it) and then just the week before our anniversary, our water heater broke, saturating the carpet in our bedroom and adding another big expense we couldn’t afford… we just didn’t have any extra money for anything big.

I had spent the week being really sad over it to the point I just didn’t want to do anything.  However, the day arrived, a Sunday, and my best friend from high school, who I hadn’t seen in probably 10 or more years, who has recently moved back here with her newly-adopted TWO YEAR OLD son!!!  She was coming to our church and wanted to see if we could meet and at least sit together.  Of all days for this to happen, on our 30th anniversary had to be a “God thing” because this sweet lady was my one and only “bridal party”..my maid of honor!!!  How cool is that??

So, we got to meet her adorable little guy, visit for a bit, then we took off.  We’d gotten a coupon for a free appetizer at a restaurant we like, but there’s not one near us, so before I even knew what he was doing, Hubby was on the interstate and all he’d say was we were going to eat.

We drove 100 miles away, found the restaurant and had a great meal.  By this time, God had worked on my sour attitude and I was just enjoying time with my husband of 30 whole years.  I began to think about how hard-working and caring he is.  How he’s encouraged me to try harder and do more than I ever would have attempted myself.

30yrstogether2

Later, we stopped in a couple of surplus home goods stores and bought a few little items, found a gorgeous duvet cover with shams for our king size bed for just $18!!  Then we walked through the other place, that was more for builders I guess.. it had furniture and decor and we saw some gorgeous items that gave us some inspirations for future improvements on the house.

Then we went to a couple of health food stores and he helped me pick out meals for the coming week.  His request, saying “since it’s our anniversary”… LOL! is for me to start eating better.

*sigh*

Well, okay.  So, we ended the day at Whole Foods, where we ate a slice of “wholesome” pizza and drank his ever bottle of kombucha tea (which I’ve been thinking about attempting to brew myself)kombucha-WF

and then stopped at the Walmart at home to pick up some batteries we needed and I bought us a selfie stick.  See?

selfiestick

This is the photo I sent to the kids showing them how techno-savvy their parents are.  HAHAHA!!

And so, our 30th anniversary came and went and left me with a sense of satisfaction.  I am sad that I’ve wasted so many years being dissatisfied with things, life, people, myself… but I am doing my best to change things now.

And I’m looking forward to reaching our 50th anniversary and yes, still hoping we might have a bit bigger celebration by that time.  But if not, I know that’ll be okay too.

We have each other and we’re happy.  That’s enough.

Philippians 4:11-12Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.”

it’s official: I have amazed myself!

So a few weeks ago, I wrote this in a post:

“I still can’t see myself ever getting to the point that I could do a century like Hubby and the rest, but I would like to attempt a half-century, just me and him one Saturday.”

My hubby pulled the above post up and showed it to me a couple nights ago. He said, “Do you remember writing this?”

The reason? I had actually accomplished that half-century ride this past Saturday, June 13! Yep. I actually did it.

I wasn’t so sure I was going to make it back, but amid random bouts of tears, I made it. The ride was actually 54 miles, so once I hit 50 on my computer, it was all I could do to make myself keep pedaling! We even had some impromptu SAG support following us. But I thought, I can’t be the ONLY one who gets driven back to the trailhead!
Me & Hubby
We went with a large group that ended up breaking off into about 3 different groups. We rode from Livingston to McKee and back. It was just as beautiful and nice a trail as I had been told. It was a hot day, but we had shade almost the whole time and hardly any traffic at all.

I’d been told we would eat lunch at a pizza place in McKee, but when we (the slower group) got to town, the group was all at a Walgreens eating packaged food and fueling up outside the store. The other two ladies I was with and Hubby and I decided we’d go on to the pizza place, though, so we rode a quarter-mile on into town.

Boy, you sure forget that not everywhere is like home. We walked into that place, that looked extremely run down, and it smelled like an ashtray. I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to stand it in there the way my lungs react to cigarette smoke. I hacked and coughed most of the time, but Hubby and I ordered an 8″ pizza and it was really yummy.

I was able to eat and not choke to death and then we iced up our bottles, hit the restrooms and headed back for the return.

The time spent in that resturant was enough to get my lungs all messed up and I hacked and coughed and wheezed for about 10 miles. We stopped a few times to let me get a couple more hits off my inhaler or gag and spit, and finally, thank God, the coughing stopped. You can’t imagine how much harder it is to ride a bike while you are struggling to breathe!!

My sugars did pretty good and my pump was suspended (turned off) most of the time. I guess I did at least 10 tests while we were riding!

When the big group first started, Hubby rode on ahead with them. Once me and the group I was with go to about the 15-18 mile mark, Hubby came riding back and rode the rest of the way with me. I’m not sure if he had gotten worried about me or just wanted to ride with me or both, but I was immensely glad he was there for those last few miles. I think I’d have stopped if he hadn’t been.

My wrists were hurting, my saddle was killing me, my toes were going numb and my neck and shoulders were aching. I was downright miserable!

When I rolled into the parking lot where we’d left from, the other two ladies who had riden with me all day were already there, cheering. I got to the back of our pickup, unclipped and leaned over on it and just bawled for a second. Next thing I knew, Hubbs was right beside me, bawling too, hugging me and telling me he loved me.
My first half-century!
I was a mess, lemme tell ya! I have NO CLUE how these people can ride TWICE that far and still talk, let alone walk or eat or breathe!!

I would NOT have made it to the finish without this man right here, cheering me on, believing in me and convincing me to believe in myself.
filtered
I have been greatly blessed!!

wonder dawg

max-kayak-May2015

So, here’s our Maxie.  We had been talking about a canoe/kayak trip for Memorial Day with our youngest babies for a few weeks.  This is the day before that, when “they” (meaning not me) decided we had time to make a practice run down a closer river than the one we had planned for Memorial Day.

I’m not sure what possessed us to think Max ought to go, but go he did.  And he did awesome.  He is such an amazing little boogar.  I’m always impressed with him whenever we take a leap and take him with us somewhere.  He’s such a good boy.  He never seemed the least bit scared on the water, although he did simply step or roll out into it a few times.  We’re not sure if he thought all the pollen on the surface meant there was solid ground where the water was still so he should be able to walk on it or if he needed to potty and was determined to get to a good potty spot.

As unafraid as Max was, I, on the other hand, was not so brave.  Almost from the start, we hit a bit of rough water, or rather the Hubby was moving more than I was comfortable with and I panicked.  That just set the mood for me.  I suddenly remembered how little I actually liked canoeing.  The kids have a couple of kayaks but Hubby has a canoe, so that’s what we float in.

I don’t much like a canoe.  I don’t much like water, actually and especially if it’s moving at all.  In case you didn’t know, the very first time Hubby took me canoeing we went with his buddies to a river he’d never been to himself, with class 3 rapids and he had never been in the back of a canoe (where you steer from) he’d always been in the front!

As a result, I got dumped out no less than three times, each time in a section of rapids.  It was everything from unnerving to terrifying.  My insulin pump got water damage and one of the buttons get broken from hitting the solid-rock river bottom so I spent the next few days giving shots because I had no pump, not to mention that my sugars shot up during the remaining 2+ hours of water-time and 3 hour ride home.  I think that’s one of the biggest reasons I don’t like being on the water.  It’s a constant fear that my pump will get damaged.  Other than that, I would like the water except that I can’t swim…and I hate getting water in my nose and ears.

Yeah so I probably won’t ever be liking water so much.  Heh.

I learned on that first trip that moving water is POWERFUL and if you are dumped out in it, you won’t just casually wade to the shore and stroll out of the river.  And if you are pinned on top of tree roots or anything else by said water, you might as well forget getting out of the water on your own.

So yeah, those things might have been flashing through my mind every time the canoe rocked back and forth and each time I heard the boat scraping rocks.  Then there was the moment when, for some reason, Hubby couldn’t steer the canoe fast enough to keep it from ramming underneath a tree.  Since I was in the front of the canoe, I was rammed into and under the tree too, and when I grabbed the limbs to keep them from taking my head off, the canoe tipped just enough to spill me out and Hubby either got dumped or jumped out, leaving poor little Max in there, floating off by himself. After him jumping out on his own, it was funny that he was the only one that stayed in.  I came out with a couple of fingernails ripped off and one bleeding with a hunk of meat hanging off the side of one finger.

I wasn’t  happy, as you can imagine.  I wanted to go back right then and there, but um… well, you don’t “go back” in canoeing.  Nobody comes to “pick you up.  We had to go on, but my babies suggested we use their kayaks and let them use the canoe.  DIL #2 insisted we switch since the kayaks are easier to control in the water.

So Hubby and I got in the kayaks and let Baby Son & DIL #2 in the canoe.  I still wasn’t completely comfortable, but it was indeed much simpler to navigate the water and in all honesty, I very much enjoyed the floating down the calm water… but the “bumpy” areas are SO not my favorite!

I decided by the time I had paddled to the take-out point, that I wouldn’t go back with them the next day on the originally planned trip.  My neck and shoulders were horrifically tight and they’re still sore today.

This is Max on the trip back home.Max: Post-Kayaking
I think we are both done with river running for awhile.

The Baby kids, hubby and a friend of theirs went and had a good time.  When it took them about 9 hours to run the section they did, I was very glad I’d chosen to stay home, even if it was boring.  Maybe I’ll go on the river again, but probably not until I’ve had time to forget that I don’t much like it.

Ha!

Genesis 41:51 –  “….“God has made me forget all my hardship and all my father’s house.”[