Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

I am not even sure that it is officially “summer” on the calendar, but it is definitely summer on the thermometer. It was 103 in downtown Covina today at 3pm. I am sure that it was hotter where we live because the mountains block the air or trap the heat or something. Don’t quote me on that. I am not a scientist. 🙂

My oldest daughter started going to summer school this week. The first day, it was just her and I. We went to McDonald’s before it was time to drop her off, so that we could share some breakfast and talk. That was very lovely to spend time with my delightful girl.

My oldest son had his ingrown toenail operated on on Monday afternoon. While that was not “nice” that he had an operation, it was good to get to spend some one-on-one time with him. He is a pleasure and a joy to be around. 

I love my kids. I am so happy when it’s summertime because I get to spend more leisure time with them. Now, with two kids in High School I am feeling our time together is slipping away so fast. I hope to get more opportunities to spend time with each child individually. 

Monday night, my younger daughter asked me to wake her up in the morning too, so that she can walk with me when we drop her sister off at school. So, Tuesday morning we three girls went to high school, one stayed to learn and two went for a walk. We held hands and put our arms around each other and did some arm exercises while we walked and realized that it was getting hot at 8am. It was too hot at 8:30am. By that time we made it back to the McDonald’s where the car was parked and we cooled off in the restaurant and had a nice chat.

Tuesday night, my youngest son asked if I could wake him up in the morning to join us on our walk. (He must have heard us talking about all the fun we had on our walk that morning.) So, four of us rode to high school on Wednesday and three of us walked, after finding a parking spot at McD’s. We had a pleasant walk. We played. We went a little slower for little brother. We almost caught a lizard or two. (We were going to let the lizard go after a bit, because that is my rule. Return critters to their homes.) We saw some interesting plants, including a cactus that looked like it was going to bloom or make fruit. We saw a blue bird and people walking dogs. 

We did another walk the next morning. The cactus that we saw the day before had two new white blossoms on it. We saw a lot more lizards and got scared by a couple of them. We saw a hummingbird, a snail, a slug, some sowbugs (rollie pollies), and the people with their dogs said Hi to us this time and let us pet the dogs. We examined some strange moss and some fragile looking mushrooms. We watched a squirrel climb a tree. 

Somehow the walks seemed less and less like exercise and more like a nature class and bonding experience. That’s quite alright with me. It was like it was meant to be like this; Families having time together, not spending all their time apart at school and work… Well, I will enjoy the luxury of summertime with my kids, as much as I can.

On Thursday, the local bus company was having a “Dump the Pump” day. Anyone with a coupon could ride any of this particular bus line’s buses all day long if they wanted to. The kids and I decided to give the bus ride a shot. We waited for summer school to get out and we had lunch and plotted our trip. We walked a few blocks from home to the bus stop. That was hot work. We had about ten minutes till the bus showed up, so youngest son and I walked back across the street to buy some soda. He was so nervous that we wouldn’t make it back to the bus stop in time that it looked like he was doing the potty dance. We (the younger kids and I) jumped up and down when we saw the bus coming and chanted… “We’re gonna ride the bu-uus! We’re gonna ride the bu-uuss!” But alas, that bus turned the corner. Which gave us time to drink some more of our sodas. Another bus came soon, and it WAS our bus! We did jump up and down again, singing our song… in case you were wondering. We didn’t even get to finish our sodas and had to throw out the remainder in order to get on the bus. 

It was a fun ride to the little mall. The air conditioner was pumping. The driver was being nice to us. We had the whole bus to ourselves. We were on an adventure… and I didn’t have to drive us there. We got out of the bus and realized that we had to walk a ways in the heat to get to the stores. We chose the closest one. We had our Walkie Talkies with us (I told you it was an adventure) so the boys went to the toy section (computer games section) and the girls and I went to the clearance clothes racks. We decided we would turn on our Walkie Talkies at 4:30 to find each other so we could get back to the bus on time. While I was in the checkout stand, the kids went and bought two soft pretzels and we scarfed them down before we got to the bus stop. It was almost as good as a day at the fair. I am so glad that my kids are easy to entertain. 

On Friday, the kids stayed with their grandparents while I drove out to meet Jason for lunch. We had a nice Italian style lunch and good conversation. I love dating my husband. And he gets excited to be dating me! That is so cool!  Jason took the rest of the day off and we ended up taking the kids swimming at their cousin’s house. Except, Michael can’t swim because his toe is still healing… but he was happy to stay inside and play video games. All in all, summer so far, has been very good but also very hot.  

That’s all for now. I hope that whoever reads this is having a good summer with family and friends and adventures of the best kinds. God be with you!



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Another school year has begun. You know how to tell that another school year has begun? Well, if you have kids that are high school age or under, and you are not homeschooling them, you have probably spent way more money than your budget would allow, paying for school supplies, school clothes, school shoes, and school related expenses. If you don’t know what “school related expenses” are, you don’t have kids, or your kids are too young for you to have that experience. I advise you now, to go to a friend with school age kids and get informed. Do it now! Start a second bank account. Don’t get caught by surprise! Depending on how many kids you have, you might be out on the street corner right now, begging for someone to sell you their slightly used lunch boxes and backpacks. You might be digging under seat cusions and in ash trays to see if you have enough money to buy a 59 cent, extra large McDonald’s coke, that you intend to share with your various offspring (except the very gross, slobbery, straw biting one, only mom will share with that kid).
Another way to tell that a new school year is underway, is the traffic. What? You haven’t noticed the traffic change? Then you must live far from any school campus. You probably have a neighbor that owns livestock. You cannot feel my pain (except maybe on days that the circus comes to town.) I wish it was the circus that had come to town, but no, it is just the adrenaline charged, tardy bell driven, overwrought parents, driving their precious cargo to centers of learning, drama, and peer pressure, otherwise known as school.
This traffic is sure to cause me great distress. I talk to the other drivers. I try to reason with them. I even tried a little behind the wheel traffic directing today, but it was to no avail. Morning traffic, on the way to all the schools (I have kids at 3 schools now.) makes me crazed. Not half-crazed! Fully Crazed! I had to pray for patience today… Out loud… with the accompanying deep breaths. Maybe you deal with bad traffic every day, I usually only have to do that when school is in session. My dear husband, Jason handles most of the tricky driving during the summer.
Weblog friends, let’s all take a moment to breathe. Let all the stress of the day lift off of you. Give your burdens to God. He can handle them, the empty wallets and checkbooks, the driver’s fatigue, the homework assault, give it all to him. Ask him for help in dealing with it in a way that brings life and peace and goodness to those around you. Let’s stop poisoning our environment with our lousy attitudes and foul, grouchy words. We are made in the image of God. We are co-heirs with Jesus. Let’s start behaving in ways that reflect that truth. Let’s love one another as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us. Remember to do this every day. Even when it is the height of the most stressful part of the year, we are made in God’s image. Are we living as a reflection of his Glory and goodness? I don’t think I have been. Especially not in traffic.
Heavenly Father, Let your kingdom come and let your will be done, on Earth, in my car, at school, at home, and wherever we go, as it is done in Heaven. Amen.

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