Friday, May 20, 2011

what a day

Okay, it's Friday night and yes, I posted this morning, but today's events need to be shared. The original plan for today was to relax in the morning then make our way down to the beach and enjoy our final day at the beach. That's exactly how it all began. The day was nice and warm with almost no wind. We walked on the beach, we played in the surf, we ate a snack, we looked for and found some seashells and shark teeth. Then we decided to build in the sand. The girls worked on some sandcastles while I started working on my annual sand sea turtle. That's when things changed. As I was digging in the sand I looked up and saw a little boy walking by along the edge of the beach nearest to the dunes. I thought nothing of it because there were many people around. About ten minutes later I looked up again and the same little boy was walking by again going in the opposite direction, crying. I knew he was lost. I got up to catch up to him to see if I could help or call his mom on the phone or the police but as I got closer he started running toward some people so I thought he found his family. I watched him to see, but then I realized he was still alone. Tim and I took off after him, caught up to him and asked him if he was lost. He was. He didn't know the name of the condo he was staying in, he didn't know his parents cell phone number, he didn't know. He was little, maybe five. We took him with us back to our spot on the beach, another mom near our stuff was on the phone with police when we got back. The police talked to the boy and then we waited for his mom to come. She was already with the police fearing that he had been abducted and so grateful that he had been found. At that moment the sky opened up and poured down a torrential downpour. We waited under our tent and watched as the lights of the police truck came closer and closer. Then finally the truck stopped, his mom jumped out, and was completely relieved. The boy, Jason, had walked about a mile from where his family was staying. A mile! He must have passed hundreds of people on the beach as he searched for his family. Hundreds. I am so thankful that he was protected while he was alone and vulnerable to abduction or worse. Needless to say, I kept an even closer watch over my girls for the rest of the day, and so did the parents near us on the beach. Our neighbors this week have 3 kids, 10, 8, and 7. The seven year old is a girl and very sweet. My girls played with her for the rest of the afternoon. I chatted with the parents as we stood in the pouring rain, yes it kept raining, while we watched the kids playing in the surf. They are homeschoolers, too. The kids had so much fun and called each other beach friends. I talked with the mom and we thought it would be fun for the the kids to be pen pals. They are from Georgia and because they became fast friends it was hard to say goodbye when it was time to leave the beach. While we were preparing for dinner the girls made cards for their new friend and I added a note with our address and we slipped it under their door when they were out for dinner. When we finished dinner in the condo the doorbell rang and the new friend had spent some time making cards and pictures for my girls and her mom added a note with their address. It was all very exciting. They can't wait to send their first letter to Georgia.
So the rest of the night included one last load of laundry so I don't have to wash anything when we get home, packing up all of our things, showering, waiting for the rain to stop, and relaxing while reliving today's events and sharing them with you. Now I need to go. Tomorrow is going to be a long day and I need to get some sleep.
Keep an eye on your kids. Give them some extra hugs and kisses. Make sure they know your cell number.
xo ANG

beach brain overload

This week has been pretty nice. The temperatures have been a little cooler than normal here at the beach, but at home in Virginia it's been cold and raining. The grass in my yard should be nice and tall by now. I am hoping that my garden is growing nicely. Yes, I know we'll be moving soon, but with all of the unknowns of the house buying process I didn't want to miss this gardening season. I did plant some things in containers in the event that we would be moving so I could take them with me.
Anyway, my brain is full so I'm just going to unload here.
*we have found some shark teeth, not as many as last year, but still, we found some
*there haven't been as many shells this time around, not such a bad thing I many shells do we really need anyway?
*we have found some live creatures this time on the beach...a blue crab-that didn't want to let go of the sand shovel and pinched Tim's finger...two starfish-both beautiful and amazing, one with a regenerating leg...a sea urchin-small and spiny....a whelk-like a beautiful giant snail
*I've been a bad blogger...I didn't take nearly as many pictures as I normally do. Sometimes I just completely forgot to take my camera and sometimes it was more fun to be in the moment that to just watch it all through the lens of a camera
*the work that is waiting for me at home tends to overwhelm my thoughts at times
*the house we are moving into needs some and painting mostly, which I am actually looking forward to
*paint colors fill my thoughts when I try to go to sleep at will be so nice to have something besides white walls
*we did see dolphins one had a baby swimming with her..very cool
*today the ocean looks like glass and sounds heavenly. it's been pretty choppy all week
*we must have walked a hundred miles this week, no one is sunburned, but our legs are tired
*the full moon on Tuesday night was huge and orange as it rose in the sky
*Tim took me on a date, the dinner was good, the time was relaxing, the computers at the restaurant crashed so we got a free dessert while we waited for the check...homemade key lime pie...eventually they had to actually use their brains to manually add taxes to find a total.
*the water in the condo doesn't stink like it normally does but it's doing a number on my curly hair...the frizz is almost unbearable
*the girls have a tv in their room this time and they have loved watching cartoons
*I brought my yarn and knitting needles...I'm trying to relearn what my librarian taught me last year so that I can expand my knitting skills
*today I have to pack again so that tomorrow morning's departure will be quick and painless.
I promise to share pictures with you next week. I've got some good ones.

Monday, May 16, 2011

because my toes are in the sand

We're at the beach. A much needed vacation. The school year for us is just about over. Maybe one more week when we get home to finish up and get end of the year testing done. Then we'll be enjoying summer vacation. It'll be a busy summer. We'll be moving! I haven't really mentioned the possibility of moving here on the ol' blog because it has been a crazy roller coaster of unknowns and maybes and yeses and nos. Then finally, as I was packing for this trip, I got the call and the confirmation email that the house we have waited for since January is finally going to be ours. I will soak up every ounce of relaxation, every minute with my feet up, every drop of sun, every seashell hunt, every long walk on the beach, every moment of coloring with my girls, every moment of down time while we are here at the beach because I know, oh yes, I know, that as soon as we get home we'll be kicking it in to high gear to clean, pack, and prepare to move.
Now I must go. The beach is calling and it would be down right rude not to answer.

Monday, May 2, 2011

on lunch meat and lying

...and being a mom.
Just when you think you know your children, what they think, how they behave, things they like, things they don't like, things they continually do, and things they would never do...they make a change. Sometimes that is a wonderful thing. A change for the better. A change that shows independent thinking. A change simply because they are growing and maturing. A change in preferences like clothes, hairstyles, or toenail polish. What a joy it is to be a mom. It's the most rewarding part of life and sometimes the most difficult.
I'm not gonna lie. Sometimes it's really tough but often times that's when I learn the most about how to be the mom that God wants me to be. It's definitely a lifelong journey and there is always something new just around the bend. There is never a dull moment. Busy moments, yes. Frustrating moments, oh yes. Fun moments, absolutely. Rewarding, amazing, wonderful moments, more than I deserve. Dull moments...never. Which brings me to a recent event in the Clothesline household. An event I was not prepared for, but met head-on.
It was lunch time. We ate together as a family. The girls had lunch meat as part of their meal. Because we are gluten free the lunch meat (which was the requested turkey...because there has been a new aversion to ham and roast beef) was rolled up with a toothpick. Fun, I know. Anyway, when the girls were finished eating it was time to use the bathroom and wash up for rest time. Yes, my girls still have rest time. Okay, mostly it's for me so I can let my ears and my brain have a rest, but they need rest, too. Then to their room they went. Tim was heading back to work and saw something strange in the toilet. Hmmm...could that be turkey? Why yes, it is turkey..floating in the toilet. What?! and Eeewww! One little kiddo had some 'splainin' to do. Now this particular kiddo is notorious for being a hard nut to crack. And way back when she was four-ish we had an issue or two with a lying tongue and a hard heart. Surely we're not going down that road again. We shall see, I thought.
After rest time was over I asked the suspect kiddo if she ate all of her lunch.
All of it?
Even your turkey?
Yes, I finished swallowing it in the bathroom when I washed my hands.
The responses from said suspect kiddo quickly turned to tears when reminded about how God hates a lying tongue and how He knows our actions and thoughts even before we do. More tears.
So, did you eat all of your lunch.
What did you do with your turkey?
I threw it away.
In the...
In the....
Choose to tell the truth. We are always given a opportunity to make the right choice.
In the toilet....but I flushed it.
There were more tears, an apology (first for lying, second for wasting food, third for potentially clogging our toilet), some discipline, and lots of hugs. It's tough being a mom, especially when there is a piece of lunch meat floating in the toilet. But you know what? I wouldn't change a thing. It's the most wonderful blessing, gift, and responsibility that I could have ever been given. So, Happy Mother's Day Mama. Oh, and Mama, sorry for feeding my liver and onions to the dog. At least I didn't try to flush them down the toilet. :-)