Rolling in the Deep

I am a big fan of Adele’s music.  She’s got a hip vibe that I really like and sings with a lot of sass.  My dad has most – if not all – of her CDs, which is saying a lot where he’s concerned.  My kids even enjoy it – it’s like you KNOW she means what she sings.  At least that’s how she comes across, especially when she sings “Rolling in the Deep”.  Lady can WAIL!

The past couple of weeks – school ending, work schedules changing, temperatures rising rapidly – oh my goodness, things have been rough.  Choppy.  Uncomfortable.  Exhausting.  Combine that with not sleeping well, unsettled kids, and a rumbling preteen – and it has NOT. BEEN. FUN.

I always have high hopes for summer.  I really do.  I make plans – which are quickly derailed – and it gets discouraging.  But I haven’t given up!  I have dug in my heels and focused on my goals and decided that I was going to just take one step at a time, adjusting my pace as needed.  I didn’t have all my supplies to have my kids’ summer binders ready for our first full week of summer, but they still got started on their workbooks, albeit things have been mainly one-step-forward-two-steps-back.

Curly just doesn’t even want to THINK about schoolwork.  At. All.  She wants to be on the phone, or on her tablet listening to music.  I have been a little indulgent, but we have continued to move to a more structured schedule with each passing day, so she is slowly adjusting.

KitKat did a couple days’ work with much wailing and gnashing of teeth.  Lots of groaning and crying.  She doesn’t want to work either but is quite vocal about it while she’s sitting at the table and figures if SHE has to work, then MOM has to work with her.  I’m still wrangling her situation out…

Little Man – well, I don’t have to say “workbook” more than once and he is flying through his pages.  In fact, he’s far ahead of where he “should” be and I am already looking for printable resources to boost his work through the summer.  He will do 10 pages if I let him, when I’ve only asked him to do 4 at a time.  He doesn’t need help per se, but has to be redirected to READ THE DIRECTIONS before starting…

Needless to say, I know for a fact that I was NOT called to be a school teacher!

But that hasn’t been my main challenge.  I have been battling some dark moments for more than a couple of weeks, and I had hoped with an easier work schedule and “Summertime fun” that things would have eased up.  But they didn’t.  They got worse.  They got hard.  They got deep.

I have been wrestling some monsters in my life.  It has been ugly.  I have been taken under a couple of times.  I have lost my footing.  I have regained my wobbly pace one step at a time.  This particular time of year – the annual remembering of my abortion – usually brings some emotional tension with it, but I find that even that is being overshadowed by my current wrestling.

I am reminded of Jacob who wrestled with an angel (Genesis 32) and I feel as though I am fighting with all my might for a Blessing.  I have some dry, cracked desert places in my life and I want these dry bones to come alive.  I may come out of this wounded in a new way, like Jacob was, but I do know that by His wounds I am healed.  I am holding out for some healing and some restoration.  And I know He goes into the deepest dark with me.

How do people go through life without the hope of Christ?  I mean, even in the dark when I FEEL alone, I am not because HIS WORD says He is with me.  But living life with an idea that God does not exist or that he is detached from us – even when I have felt it in recent moments – I am comforted by His endless pursuit and dogged determination to have a relationship with me.  Frail, weak, and broken as I am.  So thankful for Him.  So very thankful.

If you need a little get up and go this morning, check out Adele:

Sum-Sum-Summertime!

I am a little bit bummed – had to change my theme so the links would show up, but they are worth seeing, so I made the jump (temporarily I hope!)  These are some fun summertime resources for moms!

SUMMER ACTIVITY PAGES

100 Free Summer Activities by Natural Beach Living

40 Summer Bucket List Ideas (and Free Bucket List Printable) by iowa girl eats.

CUTE Summer Bucket List by Simply Kierste Design

101+ Free Summer Printables by the Dating Divas (even a link for printables for Your Spouse!)

 

SUMMER LEARNING

Summer Printables from BusyBeeKidsPrintables.com

Printable Summer Binder from Thirty Handmade Days

Summer Printables and Activities from ReadBrightly.com (themes from Thomas the Train, Junie B., and Berenstain Bears)

These are workbooks (via Amazon) I’m ordering for my kids for summer to hopefully prevent their brains from turning to mush, but I will also be interjecting various free printables into their summer binder for fun, too:

Summer Brain Quest: K-1

Summer Brain Quest: 3rd-4th

Summer Bridge Activities: 6th-7th

SCREEN TIME RULES

No Screen Time Until  by Your Modern Family

Summer (Holiday) Break Screen Time Rules by Natural Beach Living

Summer Screen Time Rules by Savvy Spending

Screen Time Punch Cards by Play Dr Hutch (an option for earning screen time)

Tips for setting screen time rules:   A simple way to set screentime limits

SUMMER SCHEDULES

Creating a Summer Schedule by My Frugal Adventures

Summer Schedule Printable by The Frugal Navy Wife

 

Oxygen Mask

My last post shared the fact that I was having some difficulties here at the blog.  I had to step away from it for awhile because I could NOT. FIGURE. IT. OUT.  It was so frustrating.  I finally had my blog looking the way I wanted and then little things wouldn’t work.  Some of that is MY lack of knowledge, but some was just a mix of other issues.

Well, I had to change up the look of the blog again – but finally got the link situation figured out.  It wasn’t major, but I had to change themes.  It’s kinda like having to change to a new coffeemaker.  Which for me can be a good thing. =)

And it just so happened that school ended and we were thrown into our summer schedule all at once.  Whew.  We have had miscommunication and missteps already.  I wanted our first day home to be relaxing-spend-the-day-in-pajamas, but it did NOT turn out that way and it was really just the beginning of several days that piled up all over one another.

Change is not always easy.  It is not always comfortable.  It is not without problems and obstacles.  And our change has been full of all kinds of surprises.  But we will get there.

I have spent some time viewing a couple of different webinars for moms and was reminded how much I need to put on my oxygen mask.  I am not talking about spa days and manicures – I am talking about digging down deep and getting my roots what they need.  Getting Nourished.  and Being Enough.

One thing I restarted was my prayer journal.  So of course, difficult times only got MORE difficult.  I have been committed to reading one chapter of Hebrews every morning and sometimes 2 or 3 mornings in a row.  I am finding some wonderful Scriptures that are both convicting and uplifting.  I have been Bible Journaling, too, and it has really been refreshing.  These are just a couple of verses I LOVE so much…  Hope they give you some oxygen too!

For me, my oxygen means getting into the Word every day.  When I don’t – I shrivel up and wither away at the slightest pressure.  These verses remind me of Who fights for me.

Sometimes I Just Don’t Get It!

So I have been working on a post or two, but have run into something I can’t quite figure out!  (FYI – Blogging used to be so much easier, before it became a “thing” and some of the advancements have only complicated the process…)  I have a post with multiple links – only when I want to post it, the links don’t look like LINKS!  It’s hard to know what to click when the link isn’t obvious, right?

I have been a little bit frustrated and haven’t figured out the problem.  I have googled.  I have checked with my blog theme source.  I am still researching.  So I have been a little bit bummed cuz I can’t post what I want to post!

We did spend most of the weekend working on our yard.  We have a house sitting on just about one acre of land, and most of it is yard – not wooded, no brush, etc.  Although if I want to be honest, about half of it could be considered “field” which I think means it does NOT have to be mowed, but my husband differs in his opinion on this, so we have typically kept it mowed.  The field area is a runoff for a neighbor’s pond, so it generally stays somewhat wet until mid-Summer when things get hot and sunny.  Riding a mower through a wet field, while trying to mow wet knee high grass is just not pretty.  On top of that, our riding mower is having some issues with starting – so it is a bit wild right now.

If we had a horse, it wouldn’t be an issue.  But that would require housing and fencing and we don’t have that just yet, either.  NOT that we want a horse.  I’m just sayin’.

Instead, we worked on the projects we COULD manage.  Greg & I spent time pushing mowers through the jungle, er grass, around our house.  Kids helped do some weeding and cleaning up.  We got some plants and started working on some landscaping around the front of our yard.  We bought 3 Lavender plants for the yard.  I also got my planter with Thyme, Lemon Balm and Chocolate Mint!   We got Curly a small rose bush to learn to take care of, as well.  In between rainstorms, we sat on our back deck and enjoyed watching the birds, bunnies, and squirrels in neighbor’s yards, while our kids played and had a water gun / water balloon fight.  We ate lots of watermelon, got together with friends and feel like summer has already come to stay!

This is the last week of school for the kids.  Mostly fun stuff for them, and my work schedule is shifting back to 2 days a week.  Greg is settling into his new schedule, and we look forward to some blooming fun!

What do you do to get ready for Summer?

Blackberries, Baby!

We have lived in our house now for 3 1/2 years.  One of the great things we heard from neighbors when we moved in is that the blackberry bush in our back yard would produce the biggest, juiciest blackberries.  I was SO excited!

But we have not been able to take advantage of a blackberry harvest yet.  They had overgrown and needed some tending.  Two years ago, I cut them way back and thought if they didn’t grow we could buy more to plant.

Last year, they grew, but there were only a few berries – and most of them got eaten by birds before we could get to them.

This year.  THIS YEAR I hope to see a change in that!

Blackberry blossoms

I don’t remember seeing so many blossoms in previous years. Whether it was due to needing some pruning or weird weather cycles, I don’t know – but I can’t believe how many blossoms our blackberries have this year already!

And there are SO MANY BLACKBERRIES already growing! I am really excited and HOPE that we can take advantage of these berries this year!

I have HUGE sweet memories of picking blackberries with family friends who lived in Oregon while I was still in high school.  I can still taste the warm blackberry cobbler and vanilla ice cream, after spending some time picking some of the biggest, sweetest blackberries I’d ever seen.  The blackberries in our yard – the few I have been able to enjoy – have been very big, but not as sweet as the ones I remember.  (I do think the flavor memory is definitely enhanced by the company and sweet friendship we shared!)

I have to say, while I am interested in the medicinal properties of blackberries, this year, I am hoping to really reap the benefits of just eating the fruit in a few different ways!!!

As you can see there are blossoms that have yet to bloom, blossoms in mid-bloom and rapidly growing berries. I don’t know the variety of berry, but I do know they produce 2 crops (and can you believe we’ve never really been able to harvest them?) per summer.

My hope is to make a blackberry cobbler for my family to enjoy and maybe WE can make sweet memories together, too!

Do any of you have any berries growing in your area?  Do you like to pick them?  What’s your favorite way to eat your berry harvest?