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July 2015
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September 2015

Our Time...Or Lack Thereof

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I was at the dentist yesterday to get some cavities filled. Notice the plural on "cavities." :) This is what happens when you wait too many years to go to the dentist. Ahem.

No matter, I am glad I went. I am not glad that I had to miss a couple hours of work, but this could not wait any longer!

We had a beautiful weekend weather-wise here in southern Ohio, but through it all I could not help but feel a little discouraged and here's why.

All throughout the week, I build up so much creative energy. I have many, many projects I'd like to tackle. I have visions of spending time teaching my children crafts and skills, and learning new ones together.

But when it comes down to the short (but wonderful!) 48 hours we have in a weekend, the reality is that very few of my ideas ever actually come to fruition. This can be really frustrating!

When I stop to reflect, however, on what we did do and get done, I realize that I am doing just what I need to be doing in this season of my life. Really, it is nothing short keeping all of our balls up in the air.....my own and my four kids.

In an attempt to make myself feel better because of my lack of time for creative pursuits, here is what we did do this weekend.

Saturday 
-Slept in! 
-Drank coffee out of a real mug and not a to go one .
-Mowed the lawn
-Watered and weeded the garden
-Laundry from the week
-Went to the pool for 3 hours to soak up the last ray's of this season's sun.
-Had a great conversation with my friend and neighbor we met at the pool.
-Grilled chicken and made spicy vodka pasta sauce. Yum!
-Watched Mockingjay with my two oldest girls in preparation for Part 2 coming this fall.

Sunday
-Went to church...a new one we've been visiting.
-Went to lunch afterward with a lovely family from the church and the kid's school 
-Took my youngest two to a birthday party and met some great new folks - parents of my son's new classmates.
-Hung out with kids and worked on planning his 7th birthday party
-Took him to soccer practice and went grocery shopping with my 10 year old daughter....she is learning how to coupon.
-Packed lunches and prepared for another week....already!

I think we did what we needed, with not an hour to spare. My overarching goal is to NOT be preoccupied by some big project, but to spend time with my kids. Work scattered with bits fun is just about right for us these days. I am adjusting to becoming strictly a creative visionary with lots of ideas that I never do....but that's OK, right?

Hoping you are all off to a great start this week doing what is just right for you!

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the Cost of Camping

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I'm hanging onto summer here, folks.  I cannot seem to get away from these camping pictures when the hard, fast truth is that school starts on TUESDAY!  Less than 48 hours from now, I will be responsible for having all four children dressed for school and myself for work, lunches and backpacks packed, some semblance of a healthy breakfast served and out of the door and into the car by 7:45 a.m.

Doesn't that sound fun?

Really the point of this post is not to lament my upcoming morning schedule, but to share how a little camping trip 2 hours away can feel like an honest-to-goodness vacation with a very affordable price tag.

Now, I grew up camping so I do have a level of comfort with it.  We have also camped as a family several times over the years and therefore have acquired all of the necessary gear.  By the way, the gear doesn't need to be fancy. We did invest in a good, waterproof two-room tent years ago, however several camping items were received as gifts, like our camp stove. Many other things from our camping stash have been bought from garage sales or thrift stores.  

Total Cost Breakdown of Our Hocking Hills Camping Trip

3 nights at campground (We chose a KOA because of the many amenities and good online reviews) -  $111

Groceries for 4 days - $95

Ice for cooler - $20

Firewood - $28

Ohio State Parks - Free

Gas for van - $22

Total Cost of Camping Trip 

$276

 

For us, this is a very affordable option for a summer vacation and we love doing it.  We usually choose a campground with a pool and other fun activities, but we equally enjoy time hanging around the campsite relaxing and unwinding or preparing for the next meal. There is work involved, but we all agree that outside kitchen work in the great outdoors is the perfect mix of work and play!

 

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(If you are planning a tent camping trip, there are 2 items I highly recommend.  The first is a good air mattress and the second is a camp potty for the tent at night.  I am all for roughing it, but these two gems sure do make a lot of difference in my world!)

 

 


In Reality....What Doesn't Get Done

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These once-beautiful tomatoes from our garden have met their demise.  They rotted right on the kitchen counter for several days before they found their final resting place in my trash can.  I had every good intention of canning this first batch over the weekend, but then.....life happened.  And then life happened again and again....and again.

As a single mom of four, I often hear this phrase:

"I don't know how you do it all."

Well, these rotten tomatoes that ended up in my trash is a very good indicator that there are many things around here that don't.get.done.  As much as I was looking forward to canning these tomatoes from my very own garden, it just didn't make the cut this weekend.  On one hand, it kills me to see them go to waste.  But on the other, it is another good lesson learned in being OK with cutting things free from my to do list when I simply cannot squeeze them in.

Truth be told, we had a lovely weekend with friends and swimming and sleepovers and soccer practice and a gourmet meal prepared by my daughter and her friend.  (More on this to come!)   And these tomatoes are just one of many things that did not get done around here this weekend.

But at the end of a day and the end of a weekend, I know there are four healthy children up sleeping in their beds.  We ate, we played, we worshiped, and we had clean clothes to put on.  We spent time together.

I am glad for all we did do this weekend.  And I think that if the tomatoes could talk, they might even be OK with their sacrifice on our behalf. ;)

Happy Monday, Friends!


At Camp

We've been away camping this beautiful weekend and having a marvelous, campy time with sparse cell signals and a whole lot of being outside.

As I sit in a camp chair, I see my children build a homemade zip-line and my dad read a book and I feel tired and smell camp-smokey. But I am also peaceful and happy and so glad for this little getaway.

Wishing you a wonderful Saturday, my friends!