Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Weddings, Birthdays, and Bachelor Parties

I'm so behind on here it's almost funny, but it's really not, because I have a whole lot of writing to do and y'all are probably wondering if I gave up on blogging...

I did not.

But it might take a while to get back on track... Also, there's no telling how much I'll remember of what has taken place the past *gulps* 6 ish weeks, so I'm sorry if you are sad to miss details. I'll try to hit all the big stuff.

Days in the Life...

Monday (in mid July) I was surviving working my last week watching all five children, the oldest of the bunch being six. Ava went with me to help and it was awesome to have another pair of eyes.

A typical day with all of them looked something like this:

Ava and I arrive at 8:30
Everyone goes outside
She watches the bigger kids play
I chase the baby
Snacks at 9:15
Baby to nap
Everyone upstairs to play
*Insert a lot of yelling and bouncing and mostly pleasant playing*
At some point we all play a game
At another point I read aloud
Lunch is anywhere from 10:45 to noon
Baby is awake
Big kids go outside with Ava
I feed the baby
Everyone settles down to read
Mom finally returns about 2:00
Ava and I race home to take naps.

The lunch scene

On this Monday I went home to clean and do laundry and exercise and shower and leave again. 

I played with Kate for an hour or so and fed and bathed her while her mom finished things up in preparation for their small group. After Kate went to bed I got to hold Blaire for a while and then babysat for the group.

One of my very top favorite forms of therapy.

I'm sorry, I have no idea what the others did that day. My guess would be that Chloe and Christian had class and Gabe likely went to gymnastics. 

This post and the ones to follow are all based off of whatever notes I took in my planner so unless something interesting happened, all I can give y'all is what my weeks looked like for the most part. But, the good news is, everyone had a pretty similar schedule all summer, so nothing super different took place. 

Tuesday I had a whole bunch of assignments to complete for my Art Appreciation college class.

I did most of my reading by the pool and got in the water whenever I got too hot from the sun. It was a good system. Mom and Dad swam some too and the littles were in and out between swimming and playing legos inside. (Chloe and Christian had class.) 

Art Appreciation assignment- draw a head of lettuce. 
I have not missed my calling, I much prefer portraits!

My day was broken up between studying, swimming, running errands, and making dinner. I finally finished all of my assignments after dinner and headed out to visit a dear friend before she left for college. *Tear* 

Wednesday Ava and I went back to work. In the evening we had friends over to swim and eat dinner. 

Thursday Chloe and Christian finished their class for the week and Ava and I finished work for the week and we all went out that evening to go see "The Jungle Book." 

Friday Chloe and I got up at 6:00 to attempt to run in the neighborhood. The sunrise was gorgeous, but it got hot fast! I think we made it about a mile and a half before we were beat. 

I worked on assignments and did some stuff for Dad and finished things up as best I could. I didn't get as far as I hoped in some areas, but as an UGS (unrealistic goal setters) member, I'm used to it. 

I had a wedding to attend in Dallas that evening and so left mid-afternoon to try to miss the traffic. Aunt Lauren and Uncle Phil offered for me to have dinner with them beforehand and it was fun to get to visit. 

Happy to be representing my family at our friend's wedding.

The wedding was so so so beautiful! All glory and honor was given to the Lord and I cried plenty.

Reception room and dance hall.

It was fun to visit with other friends at the reception and get dragged into some dancing even though I had absolutely no idea what I was doing... 

I stayed the night with Aunt Lauren and Uncle Phil as the reception was not over until 11:00. Don't worry, I had someone walk me to my car.

Saturday I drove home and got to study until time for church. 

We all got to ride in the same car for the first time in a long while! 

Sunday we all got up a little earlier (earlier than we usually do on the weekend...) and prepared to celebrate Mom and Gramma's birthdays with Dad's side of the family. We decorated a little and welcomed the Mexican feast that Grandpa, Chloe, and Christian went to pick up from a restaurant. Then everyone visited and enjoyed the pool late into the afternoon. 

After the party we cleaned up, rested, and made our brunch meal. 

49 pancakes, 10 eggs, 6 large sausages, 
and two skillets full of vegetables

We finished the weekend by watching "War Room." SO GOOD! 

I've been pondering...

Every week God blows me away; He meets me where I am and gives me exactly what I need. I can not imagine living without Him and not meeting with His body weekly. 

Church is not just for me, though. It's not about, "What can I get out of this tonight?" But rather, "How can You use me to serve and minister to Your body?" 

I don't want to be a consumer. I don't want to go to church to benefit me and serve me and get me what I need. I don't want to drop God and pick Him back up whenever He fits into my schedule and it's convenient for me. Nor do I want to treat the gathering of His body that way. 

I don't want God to be a part of my life. I want my life to be consumed by Him. 

I don't want to "have Him around sometimes". I want to live every moment aware of His overwhelming presence. 

I don't want to approach His body with the attitude, whether conscious or unconscious, of "How can you serve me?" I want to allow Him to use me to serve His body.

That Moment When...

This happens at lunchtime... *cue the outside voices, a little less than perfect table manners, and ineffective pleads for a little less noise* "I bet babysitting kids is hard for you. I bet sometimes you wish you could quit. I bet you wish that you could quit right now." -the six year old.

When you are finally getting take your socks and shoes off after 7 hours. 

The Herd: Quoted 

"I hate to tell you this, Lydia, but one of the guys in the truck was staring at you." -Ava

"Did your groomsmen keep you up all night before the wedding?" -Me
"Yup. None of us slept, the bachelor party lasted all night." -Dad
"Yeah, single men think that's funny." -Mom
"But how many of your groomsmen were still single?" -Me
"All of them." -Dad
"Oh." -Me
"That's why it's called a bachelor party, no one is married yet." -Mom
"...oh." -Me

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Don't Worry!

I promise, I will blog again, and I will get all caught up. I have quotes and moments and ponderings all to share, but they will have to wait a while longer.

I am leaving town for two weeks, but when I return my schedule should be much more open.

Hang in there, it will be worth the wait. *wink*

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

So...Mom was gone...

Days in the Life...

Monday was so exciting I have no memory of anything significant taking place. Aka not very exciting...

I went to work and Ava went with me since I was still watching all five children.

Chloe and Christian had class... Oh yeah! They started a new one! Chloe and Christian are now taking Speech. I also started a new class, Art Appreciation.

Gabe had gymnastics.

I came home from work to exercise, shower, do some cleaning and laundry, and then leave to go play with Kate and hold Blaire until time to babysit for the small group. I love those precious girls so much...

At home I logged on to my new class to discover I had deadlines that night!! (So my resolve to not cut it that close again...yeah...out the door in less than a week.) So I spent the next three hours meeting those deadlines to save myself from literally being kicked out of the class. (Another welcome to college event.) I made it, though, and then gratefully went to bed.

Okay, some stuff did happen on Monday, I just had to get going... 

Tuesday we all had a sort of slow morning. Chloe and Christian went to class and then I took the littles to Chick-fil-a for free food day Cow Appreciation Day. It was busy, but we arrived a little before noon and were able to get in before it really got slammed.

After lunch we ran a few errands and then went home to check on the filling pool that was still not full. Every day we went to bed saying, "Surely tomorrow we can swim," only to wake up to "Nope, not until tomorrow," once again.

Mom and Dad were still walking around the house in their swimsuits and spending time on the patio (no kids were home, so...). They told us just wearing swimsuits made it feel like vacation.

We all had things to work on during the afternoon and then prepared for engagement group.

Everyone knew the pool was getting close so they brought us a cake:

It was a good cake. 

Group was really good. There was lots of admiring the so-close-to-finished pool, sharing of praises and prayer requests and encouragement, as well as laughter and fun conversation. Just another night at the Linns' group. 

Wednesday was a normal Wednesday until about 4:00. At that point I was laying on the floor Mom was coming up with a plan to get me off the floor for the evening that involved reviving me with water our first swim!! (All this took place while I was on the floor after my workout.) Chloe and Gabe went to Walmart to buy cheesecake and strawberries, Christian went with Aunt Cendei to get Babe's for dinner, and the rest of us got ready to swim as soon as the food arrived and Dad returned from his meetings. 


As soon as Aunt Cendei had the video camera going everyone except Mom and Dad ran and jumped into our pool! It was rather cold since the water had not sat for long, but it felt so good and we were all very excited. Then we got out and ate our yummy dinner on the patio and swam and then finished the evening with cheesecake and strawberries and showers. 

Everyone else went to bed to sleep really well after the good swimming workout and I prepared for another close call with deadlines. (So apparently it's just a fact of college.) 

Thursday I left for work and Dad took Mom to the airport to leave for her high school reunion and weekend with her two closest friends. 

Chloe and Christian went to class and finished their first week of Speech class strong. They both did well with their first speeches and Chloe actually said she preferred this class over the previous one! 

I got home and decided to try that "feel like you are on vacation because you are wearing a swimsuit" thing. It's true! 

After a bit I took Gabe to his gym class and ran a few errands with Ava. 

At home we eventually made it into the pool for the rest of the evening. 

In case you were wondering, 
if you get less than 6 hours of sleep, 
4 nights in a row, by the fourth day 
you will be pretty sleepy.

Dad picked up Gabe and came home to swim until it got dark. 

Friday we all slept in.

Beautiful stormy view to wake up to!

We all had a slow morning. 

I finished this book and was so blessed by it. It took me less than two weeks to read it and I have not been reading things very quickly lately. I would definitely recommend it.

The littles were a little at a loss of what to do until I set them up with a story and coloring books (adult ones). They spent several hours doing that until it cleared up outside and they were able to then spend 6 hours in the pool. (Without sunscreen.) 

I worked really hard the rest of the day meeting school deadlines so that I could NOT have another late night. 

At 5:00 Chloe and I rushed to throw dinner together for the others and then raced to meet friends in Roanoke to see "Finding Dory" and eat dinner at Chick-fil-a for not free food day

We had SO MUCH FUN!! 

The movie was really cute and we had a blast at dinner talking about all sorts of random things until 9:00 pm. 

Saturday we all slept in and then the littles eventually found their way to the pool again (with sunscreen) despite their burns from the previous afternoon. 

I ended up spending a solid block of time working on my class before leaving for church.

The others went to Costco while Christian did computer slides and I played the piano. 

After church and visiting for a while (and answering everyone's questions as to the reason for the sunburns and where Mom was) we all went to see the latest showing of "The Secret Life of Pets" in 3D. 

Sunday we all REALLY slept in and had a late brunch. Everyone wanted to swim (I can't imagine why...), but we had some rest time first. 

After rest time Dad gave us cake left from engagement group. 

Dad is great,
He gives us chocolate cake.
When Mom is gone,
We don't put sunscreen on.
We swim all day,

And our tans aren't spray.

(Except I have obviously not swum enough 
to have a tan 
and we really miss Mom. 
We also had M&Ms.)

After a couple of hours in the sun...
(I am NOT the darkest, I just don't have pictures of the littles...) 

Everyone came in before it got terribly late and took showers. Then the others watched...something. I have no memory of what... 

We went to bed a little earlier, but not really. Remember, Mom was gone. 

That Moment When...

That moment when you are playing the piano and out of the corner of your eye you observe the little boy next to you lick his finger and then, before you realize what he is doing, he has wiped his finger on your face saying your face was dirty.

The Herd: Quoted 

"Let it be known that writing an entire research paper in one afternoon/evening is a really stupid idea and will leave you feeling cranky and in need of chocolate." -Chloe finishing her class the previous week.