It has been so long since I've blogged that I thought some of you would think I had given it up entirely! Let's just say that this morning was the first morning in some time that I stood in my clean kitchen, realized that the boys were playing happily, Baby Girl was napping, and there were no chores screaming for my attention. (The chores always yell, but you can ignore them sometimes, haha!) So, here I am, sneaking a few minutes to update you on our crazy life, and maybe give some words of encouragement for yours!
School ended with a bang! We had a great awards night, giving encouragement and recognition to all the students for their hard work. First-Born managed to squeak out taking home the award for Highest PACE average, but he was given a run for his money by another student and Middle Biscuit. They were all within a very small percentage of difference between them, and it was down to the last few grades to see who would come out on top. We told him he would have to work extra-hard next year if he wants to hold onto the title! Both the older boys played their recital pieces in front of their biggest audience yet (probably over 70 people were there that night!) and did really well. Middle Biscuit was a true performer, playing his piece with a hastily bandaged finger from a paper cut he received right before he was supposed to go on stage! A little trooper!
Since school let out, we have been trying to prioritize "family recovery time." Many things got put on the back burner in the last few weeks of end-of-year chaos. So, we have been spending time working as a family, having fun together, and re-visiting some training issues that had been let slide in the busy schedule. We had been seeing some behavior issues cropping up, and we knew it was simply because the consistency of training was lacking due to Mom and Dad's busy-ness. The home has been recovering as we spend time nipping negative things in the bud, rather than letting them flower into full-grown "weeds."
I have been enjoying spending lots of one-on-one time with Baby Girl. I had tons of mom-guilt about having to head right back to work as soon as I was able to. This was the only baby that I haven't been able to be at home full-time with, and it was tough, let me tell you! She seems to have done fine though, and we are making up for it now! :)
One sad note this summer is that due to the recent decision made by BSA, our family will no longer be participating in Cub Scouting. We came to this hard decision after much time spent praying and discussing the ramifications of this decision. I know it will be hard for some to understand, but sometimes the right choice for your family is not always the easy choice. We will miss our Scouting adventures, and we plan to keep in contact with our new friends made through our local Scouting chapter.
This leads me into a topic Hubby and I have spent much time discussing this summer. It came up partially due to the decision concerning Scouting we had to make, but also it's been something we have been dealing with in other areas of our life as well. It is the idea of the importance of making hedges around your family. Not walls, because as Christians, we are called to minister to the world around us. It is difficult to see and minister to the needs of others from a fortress! Hedges give protection, but still allow others to see your testimony, and allow you to minister as you are called. But the hedges have to be maintained, which is the difficult part. With walls, you can just build them up, and then stay behind them. Hedges require a balance of "pruning" and allowance for growth. Cut them all back, and you are left unprotected from the elements of the world. Grow them too high, and they become isolating from the people you are called to minister to. Striking this balance is a daily challenge for us. Not only as a family, but also as a Believer. So, I encourage you to give some thought to the idea of "hedges" in your life. Are yours too low, allowing too many negative things to enter and cause problems in your family? Are they too high, keeping you from sharing Christ's love with those around you? Are they thick enough to act as a filter through which you can catch problems as they creep in? Give your "landscaping" a check...prune or fertilize as needed!
Well, this post is getting long enough, so I will wrap it up for now. Hope everyone is enjoying their summer. Hope to write more frequently, but we all know about "best laid plans" don't we? :)