Wednesday, March 26, 2014

They Are Back

On Friday, hubby and Nature Girl got back after being gone for 7 days.  They biked 168, removed a popcorn ceiling, did yard work, handed out flyers for their concert, surveyed the neighborhoods, played with the kids at the children's home and sang.

They were tired but happy.  Again, this year, hubby had nothing but fantastic things to say about all of the kids that went.  Worked hard.  Didn't complain.  Had fun.  And sang their hearts out.  They stayed most of the week at the facility of a children's home which was very nice.  And they had lots of work things and fun things for the kids to do.

Nature Girl did great again this year.  Although she did manage to fall off a merry-go-round, fall on a treadmill and have a minor crash two stops from home.  The worst of the bunch was the treadmill accident.  The kids, on Thursday night, were playing a game on the treadmill.  NG hopped on and then kind of fell while trying to hop off.  When she fell she held on to the bar while the treadmill was still running.  (She said because she didn't want her face to get hurt and she really didn't know what else to do.)  Everyone just kind of stood for a minute also not knowing what to do.  Finally, one of the teenage boys, hit the emergency button and rescued her.

By that time her legs were pretty well treadmill burned.  It looks painful but she says it only really hurts when she stays still for any length of time.  She had to dance for about 4 hours on Saturday but she said it was fine.  She is one tough cookie.

It is hard for me to describe the feeling I have when I see those men and all those kids ride over the hill, home.  Relief, pride, thankfulness and gratitude.  I know I have said it before, but when I saw those kids singing over 2 years ago, I just knew I wanted my kids to be a part of whatever they had going on in that youth choir.  God loving, hands and feet of Jesus serving teenagers.  Led by a bunch of men willing to put the time in to hang out with them.

It is/was crazy hard for me to let my baby girl go.  She is growing up and I struggle to adjust.  But, this is totally one of the blessings of my baby getting older . . . .

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Move

Almost two weeks ago, on a Thursday night, after ballet, all of us jumped in the car and headed to Grandma's house.  For the last time.  The really great house that she was living in was sold and she needed to move.  So, she thought it was a great time to move to where we live.

We packed her up on Friday, drove 5 hours and moved her into a great little apartment on Saturday.  The house she was living in was beautiful and big.  So, it has been a little bit of an adjustment trying to figure out where everything goes in her cute new apartment.

Since she has been here she has been able to hear Nature Girl sing on Wednesday and be there when they left for the bike trip.  Saturday, after we finished our stuff at home, we were able to go to her house and help her move some things around.  And last night we all celebrated her birthday!

I know she loves being able to be a part of what is going on in each of our families. . . .

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Bike Trip and Spring Break

The annual Youth Choir Bike Trip just happened to be scheduled this year during Spring Break.  While lots of kids enjoy a little down time during their week off from school etc., these young people will be singing and serving.  Because we homeschool, biking during Spring Break isn't that big of a deal.  In all honesty, we can make up sleep, school or whatever.  But, for many of these kids who only get the week off, it is so cool that they chose to do this.  (That just kind of dawned on me last night.)  

Both daddy and Nature Girl have been training a little bit.  They were each at a disadvantage because we have been so darn busy this spring.  Neither one were really able to ride in the weekly group trainings so had to make it up on their own.  Which, sometimes, just didn't get done.  To say I was a little bit nervous when they left would be an understatement.  I couldn't wait for that first phone call to tell me that everyone was doing fine!  I just kept praying for supernatural physical, mental, emotional and spiritual strength for both of them.  And for everyone! 

They got loaded up in about 45 minutes.  They lined up for the picture and then they were off.  It happened so quick.  I barely got a chance to hug and kiss and say goodbye!  As you can see, it is a big group.  They kids really, really look forward to this.

Hubby has a little bit different role this year.  He and another fellow, a retired police officer, are taking turns leading a group.  So, they switch back and forth riding and driving.  And NG is in her daddy's group.  It is kind of cool because both of NG's friends have their daddys going.  They are also still some of the youngest of the group.  I think there is only 2 6th graders going and 3 7th graders.  Mostly girls.

The truck with the big orange sign, in the background, is hauling all of their stuff.  That driver and truck and trailer run behind the riders, ensuring their safety.

They rode 40 plus miles yesterday afternoon and arrived at about 7pm at the church they were staying the night in.  Hubby called about 10:30pm and everyone was tucked in ready for some well deserved sleep.  He called about 40 minutes ago and they were on the road again for another 40 plus miles today.  Then they will be at their destination tonight for the week.

This year, the trip is different.  In years past they would ride and sing at different churches and nursing homes along the way.  This year, they rode to a children's home and will spend the week there serving and then singing at night at different churches.  It is still the bike trip but more service oriented.  Which I thought was cool.  So, they will stay at the children's home or a church near by and work and sing all week.  Then Thursday, they will start back and be home by Friday.

It is weird being home without NG and daddy.  It seems a little quiet.  We all get excited when the phone rings to get the latest update.  We will keep busy and take a little bit of an advantage of "spring break" but will try to keep things normal.  

I love this time of year.  Happy Spring Break everyone . . . 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Little Mama's Birthday Party

Little Mama's agreed to have a bonfire birthday party this year.  The weather in our part of the country can be beautiful during the day and cool at night so we decided to take advantage of it.  We decided to organize games outside.  We were able to have three legged races and sack races.  We had bought a couple of jump ropes and had a Frisbee.  I had read somewhere, a long time ago, about making tic-tac-toe games in the grass so we did that.  All of the kids, which were a wide range of ages, decided to have a bunch of running races.  It was great to see all ages competing together!  Even one of the dads got in on the action.   

When the sun went down we lit the bonfire and the kids could eat outside.  We had a taco bar.  Some of our friends stayed and helped us out which was a huge blessing because we ended up having a bunch of people.  Just the way I like it and I think it turned out wonderfully!  Little Mama enjoyed all of her gifts, many of which were monogrammed, which I guess is the latest thing.

I can't believe my sweet girl is 11.  Where or where does the time go . . . 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

30 Miles

In 10 days, Nature Girl will be going on our church's annual youth choir bike trip.  We were caught a little off guard because historically the trip has been in the summer time.  This year it is during Spring Break.  And NG and LM have already committed to a performance of a story ballet at the end of March.  Which is rehearsing a lot right now.

Last year, in preparation for the long bike ride, the kids would practice together every weekend.  But this year, because of NG's commitment to the story ballet, she has only been able to ride with the group twice.  Soooo, that means she had to make up miles on her own.

This week they were to have ridden 30 miles.  Our only option was to have daddy take her somewhere to ride Monday morning.  The plan was to ride 20.  They would start at the trail head and ride to 9 mile park.  And then back.  Nature Girl talked daddy into riding 4 more miles to a little snack shack.

That meant riding 4 miles back to the park.  And then 9 miles back to the trail head.  And daddy's truck.  The most hubby had ever ridden was 10 miles.  So, needless to say, he was a little out of shape for such an adventure.

He called me when they were done.  He said his legs were liked wet noodles.  Of course, NG was no worse for the wear!

She has 35 miles to ride this week and I am not sure how that is going to work.  Maybe hubby and I will have to tag team!  Nothing like having a kid who needs to exercise to make us all realize how much we need to exercise. . . .

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Daddy/Daughter Dance

At the beginning of the month, our church organized a Daddy/Daughter Dance.  The girls each got a new dress (well, except EG because she has plenty of hand me downs.)  And daddy dressed up in a suit.

At the beginning of the night, a well known dad in town (former college football player and fellow homeschooler), shared briefly about the Godly role of a dad in a daughter's life.  I have heard him speak before and he is a great encourager!

Then it was food, fun and frivolity.  The dads and daughters danced the night away.  And at the end, all the dads circled around their daughters and prayed for them.  What a great ending to a great night. . . .