Thursday, June 26, 2008

Summer Fun

These first few weeks of summer have been jam packed with social activities and just plain fun. So I thought I might share some of the great things we've been doing, just in case you were running out of your own ideas.

  • Pick some local fruit--We went to the Owasso Tree and Berry farm and picked six pounds of blackberries. At $3.00 a pound it was a bargain and lots of fun, although they should have charged us for all the berries that the 1 1/2 year old downed before any made it into the bucket. There are still several weeks left in berry season and peach season is next month. One caveat, I had a friend who ended up buying 12 pounds because she took several older children, so unless you are ready to freeze a bunch you might limit the amount they pick.
  • Cool off--Yes, I know water parks are a no brainer, but look outside your local area. We went to the River Country Family Water Park in Muskogee and had a blast. It's smaller than Big Splash, which is here in Tulsa, but that was what made it so great for us. Since my kids are all under 6 a smaller park was just perfect for them and at $5 and $4 for admission we could easily afford the gas to get us there.
  • Make friends--A lazy summer day is always more fun with new friends. We have had friends over at least once a week and Mommies and Kids love to socialize. For the cost of chicken salad sandwiches and brownies any summer day can be a party. Sometimes we want to wait and have people ask us over, but go ahead and decide to be the neighborhood hostess for the summer.
  • Join a group--Most bigger churches have Mommy and Me groups and lots of communities do as well. We have Bible study every Tuesday, it has a class for moms and a class for kids. Our church nursery has a Mommy and Me group every Friday, usually we go to a park or kid themed restaurant.
  • Community Freebies--Several local theaters have free kids movies once a week in the summer, they are usually movies that are several years old, but fun nonetheless. Tulsa is brimming over with great libraries, not just filled with books, but reading programs and puppet shows and activities.
  • Community Outreach--One of our best days this summer was visiting an older friend from church, who was homebound because of a recent surgery. She was delighted with the children and she let us clean her kitchen and bathroom and make her lunch. Talk about a great way the spend the day, you should never underestimate the joy of helping others. Your children will get it.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Charmed Life

Recently, I was working at my desk when my screen saver slide show caught my eye. Photos of our children at various ages, Christmas pictures in front of the fireplace, friends on water skies, the traditional family photo album slide show. I've seen all these images flash by a hundred times, but for some reason this time I was moved by what a charmed life I lead.

We have a very ordinary American life. We have a beautiful, blessed, amazing life. Of course we have bumps and setbacks, but what are they compared to those snapshots of joy and abundance? I live, any very likely you do too, the dream that people are willing to lock themselves up in a freight container and cross the ocean to achieve. Warm holiday meals, get togethers with mobs of friends and family, lazy summer days punctuated with a cracked open watermelon and kids dripping with pool water, dark evenings on the couch with my husband and Netflix, lake excursions that send you home exhausted with fun, school plays more satisfying than I could go on indulging myself with the sweet moments of my life.

I am constantly telling my children to stop being upset about the things they don't have (typically a popsicle) and be thankful for what they do have (probably a peanut butter & jelly sandwich) I am determined to apply this principle to my own life as well, so I am off to enjoy my new home and quit fussing about all the new furniture I don't have to fill it.