Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Continuing the Theme

The quick overnight trip to Cincinnati certainly continued my recent theme of ups/downs, highlights/lowlights..... It was lots of fun, two days filled with adventure. It also taught the boys (and reminded me) about life's disappointments and priorities.

The trip can definitely be divided into two parts: the great day and the day of disappointments. (I should have known better than to go on a "Totally Terrible Tuesday!")

Monday was the great day. Mom, Carter (my nephew), the boys, and I had a nice (sunny!) ride to Cincinnati. We went to *Entertrainment Junction* and had a very fun time. Carter and Adam loved running around the play area and going through the fun house mazes. Ray, of course, loved the model trains.

After that we headed to *Great Wolf Lodge.* It is AWESOME! I hightly recommend it! We stayed in a really cool room that included a "cub den" for the boys - bunk beds with their own tv. We enjoyed a nice dinner and then headed to the water park. We had a blast! (The only down part is that I forgot to take my camera to the waterpark.) The boys loved whooshing down the "medium sized" water slides, floating through the lazy river, swimming in the big pool, and hopping across lily pads while holding onto ropes. We left the water park right before it closed, got our pajamas on, and went to story time in the lobby. After that everyone (especially mom and I) plopped into bed, happy but exhausted.

Then came Tuesday - all too soon. Ray woke up at his usual 5:15am time. Mom and I tried to keep him quiet, but I ended up taking him to hang out in the lobby around 6:00. Ray was "starving" by 6:40 so we headed to McDonald's for breakfast. When everyone was up, around 7:30, we headed BACK to McDonald's to get them some breakfast. I was joking that you know it's a bad day when you're at McDonald's TWICE before 8:00am.

Then Carter fell off of a high stool and cut his chin wide open. So, we went to the ER for stitches. Carter was very brave and the hospital staff were wonderful. My mom was also very brave as she held him through the stitches and then called Colleen (Carter's mom) with the news. Meanwhile, the boys and I went back to the lodge and packed up our room. The boys were very worried about Carter. They decided to buy him a souvenir from the lodge to cheer him up. They picked out a small stuffed wolf.

The very worst part of the day was when we told the boys we could not go back to the water park because of Carter's stitches. The wailing was impressive! When everyone stopped sobbing, we told them what a great time they would soon be having in the play area at *IKEA*. Of course, we got to *IKEA* and the play area was full. The boys were very well behaved as we picked out the things we wanted from *IKEA* and ate some lunch there. They were all very exhausted though, so we headed home.

As we pulled off the exit to my mom's house two hours later, Ray said "Are we back at the water park yet?" He's never one to give up easily! It was only 2:00, but I was ready for bed!

Fortunately, the rest of the day went pretty well. The boys played out in the backyard for a long time and Jon came home for dinner. At dinner we had a good talk with the boys about life's disappointments and about taking care of one another, especially when someone is hurt. I really think it was a good life lesson for them.

The final straw for me came last night. I stayed up later than I wanted to and typed out a lovely post. (My sister Reenie really gets on my case when I don't post for a few days!) I thought I hit "publish" --- but ended up losing the whole thing. So, I turned off the computer and gave up for the day. It took about two minutes for me to fall asleep.

Fortunately, today is a new day. Already we are remembering the good and laughing about the disappointments. Carter seems to be doing fine. We are very thankful to my mom for taking us on this trip.

I apologize for the long chatty post. The main point --- the thing I'm reflecting on today --- can be summed up in this quote I read on another blog last night:

"The only way to make it in this homeschooling life..." (I have to add - in life in general) "... is to reach for God instead of for happiness... Contentedness will not come from being more organized, sleeping longer, being a better wife, keeping a nicer home, using higher-quality materials, taking more time for yourself, or whatever it is you think might help. Contentedness is learned by accepting life each day as God gives it to you, and adjusting your expectations to life's limitations." (from Seasons of a Mother's Heart by Sally Clarkson)

And so, let's embrace the situation God has put us in today, with all its blessings and challenges... all the ups and downs.... let's live contetedly in the present moment for and with God.

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