Monday, August 10, 2009

Summer Fun

So, most of our summer is spent right our pool. We swim, play shark and keep away, and pretty much just hang out in the cool waters on those hot summer days. Our temps regularly get into the 100s during the July and August months. Our pool has someone in it from March (I have kids who are just plain crazy) to October (still in the 90s around here).
This past week Eric's sister and her family came out for a visit. They live in Nebraska so this was kind of a big deal for them. One of the first things for them to do was to visit Eric's gravesite. The National Cemetery where Eric is buried is well kept up even though it is seriously out in the middle of nowhere. They have a few memorials for different wars and a flag that is set on a hill that you can walk up. They play bells every hour. Quite a beautiful tribute to those who have served or died for our Country.
We have one of the best county fairs around. Most people do not know this but the fairgrounds was built as an Japanese Intern Camp during World War II. After finding this out you can totally see it in the architecture of the different buildings.
We usually enter exhibits but this year we were on our trip around these United States when we had to fill out entry forms so we took a year off. There's photography, horticulture, art, veggies, cooking and baking, crafts, and animals. These along with carnival food makes for a fun summer evening. We steer clear of the carnival rides though...I just can't bring enough Purell to clean off all the germs and I don't trust men who have missing teeth and tatoos all over their bodies to be careful in putting together the rides. No inspectors? No way!

Every year they have a free stage for performers. Every night there is a top act playing at the free stage. One of those nights is Christian night. This year it was the Newsboys that were playing. I called my friend back from my college days and asked if he could get ahold of Mike Tait who is now the lead singer of the Newsboys. You see, I went to school with Mike....twenty years ago! We enjoyed lunch together quite often in SAGA (Soviets Attempt To Gag America) at Liberty University in Lynchburg.
So, here's my gang with the Newsboys....
....and here is Mike giving me a big muscle hug. I seriously didn't think much of this but my kids were on cloud nine! They finally believe me when I say that I know Kevin, Toby, and Mike from those days gone by. It is just too funny that DC Talk came from one of the most conservative schools in the Country!
A few days later we headed over to the city....again! By city I mean San Fransisco. It is such a beautiful city when you know where to go. This is Eric's sis and family on Treasure Island before heading into the city.
Brooke and me.
As I looked through my pictures I was stunned to see such a family resemblance with these three. I shouldn't be shocked...I have always felt like Daisy and Boo looked a lot more like Eric than me.
We were up at Coit Tower when the kids started getting all excited. I wasn't quite understanding what they were all worked up about until I saw in the sky the Blue Angels. Come to find it was just an impromtu exercise which made our trip into San Fran even more special. They were practicing for an air show held a bit further south a couple of days later.
One of my favorite spots in San Fran is the Golden Gate Park. It was incredibly busy the day we went because the first Wednesday of every month is free museum/zoo day in the city. The Golden Gate Park holds two wonderful museums: The Steinhart and the DeYoung Museum of Art.
But, also in the park are a herd of Bison (I am not kidding!), many soccer and baseball fields, walking paths, lots of lakes, and a wonderful playground. Lil' Cowboy swinging from some "Dinosaur bones" in a sand box.
I had to add this one...I rarely have great pictures with one of my children.
There is a pretty cool play structure and a slide. These were some of the pics of the kids enjoying the slide. They were preoccupied with this slide for quite a long time.

Daisy has decided that she doesn't like having her photo taken...whatever! That is not an option in our family. This candid photo turned out pretty cool...but, what do I expect! She is a pretty cool young lady!
One of Mal's artistic shots of the bridge of which we have too many pictures of already!
Doggoneit! She is such a cutie!
Walkin' the bridge!
We learned from our last excursion to get to the city early and leave early. We headed to IKEA in Emeryville/Berkeley for dinner. Next to Costco it is the cheapest way to feed a family. The lighting was so eye caught this perfect pose of Miss M....
....and then she took a pic of me.
The day that we headed to San Fran was my neice's birthday so we stopped by an ice cream place to celebrate her 10th.
A few days later we headed to Yosemite where we spent the day enjoying God's incredible creation with the thousands of others who were doing the same. We visit this National Park at least twice if not three times a year but we usually avoid the summer months when everyone else in the world is likely to do the same.
This is what the bottom of Yosemite falls looks like in the middle of summer. Do a google search on Yosemite falls and you will se an enormous, grand waterfall. Not in the middle of the summer though and particularly not in the middle of a summer after years of drought. The kids love it though. They like the opportunity to climb all the bolders leading up to the bottom of the falls. It is rather funny to see so many people out on the rocks....they look like they are all trying to reach some shrine!
A tradition for our family is to hike to Yosemite and then on the way back enjoy an ice cream cone. Well, the ice cream place does not exist anymore and so we have to content ourselves with drumsticks and such. The kids could care cream is ice cream!

After these few trips I found myself utterly exhausted. I mean to the bone exhausted. I spent the weekend hanging with the family. By Sunday night I laid on my bed at 9:30 and found myself so relaxed that I was contemplating just staying in that position for the rest of the night rather than get inside the covers.

After much reflection I realize that the past six months has been non-stop. We have had so many people in and out of our home, day trips, and long road trips. I kept wondering why I was so tired but really I shouldn't be surprised. One of my closest friends reminded me that I have taken on the responsibility of managing a house by myself. Entertaining without the help of a spouse and having no one to "debrief" with takes a toll after a while.
So, I am now having to restrict my time and save my energy. Hospitality has always been so important to me but I truly can't continue at the pace I have been or I will find myself in serious physical trouble. This is one of those sad realizations of my current position. I hope the Lord will allow it to change in the near future but until then I need to be content and trust.
The school year is just about to begin...there are books to go through, a library to organize, and school binders to fill. I hope to get it all done in the next week or two before we go to our church's family camp.
Yes, life still has its busyness but at least it is not a physical labor. I actually like the feeling of being means that I worked hard (hopefully for the Kingdom). But, I have to guard myself from the over busyness that causes physical exhaustion. How are you doing in this area?


{Camille} said...

LOL! Love the pics! Especially the ones of Daisy and Miss M.

eric said...

What a fun summer! I'm in awe of your picture with Michael! LOVED DC Talk as a teenager and my kids still love the Free at Last CD (they think it's funny that I know all the words still!) I keep up with your blog and your family is my thoughts often.
Kerri Stetler

SarahF said...

Heather, enjoyed seeing all the pictures of your summer! I just have one question (please don't be offended, I know you're a sensible lady, but I just had to ask) - i noticed you have lights strung across the pool. Is that safe? I was just thinking that if they're electric and they fell down into the water...
Sarah Fiodorova x

Simply Tiffany said...

What fun pictures! It looks like y'all have enjoyed your summer and have been keeping busy. The fair grounds look so lovely and I LOVE the one of you and Miss M...SO CUTE!!!

Oh, and tell Mal that I liked her bridge shot. :)

ROSIE said...

I'm finding that I have to guard myself from the kind of overdoing that leads to exhaustion, too. When I'm exhausted, I'm so much more susceptible to attack on so many levels. My focus tends to not be where it should be. When I get my rest, I can stay healthy, be the best wife and mom I can be, and stay focused on ardently seeking His face...


Nan said...

Jealous of your pool! What fun!

Martha A. said...

What a fun summer! Hey, I have a friend who knew one of the Newsboys too...I wonder if you know the same people!

Joy said...

I really like Boo's haircut. :-)