Tuesday, March 17

Sharks, wolves, and bears, oh my!

My little tribe loves the ocean.  They love it so much, they have been known to frequent the ocean all times of day and night.  Occasionally the thought crosses my mind, 'Hey, there are sharks in them thar waters.'  Sharks who like to eat.  Eat at like, dusk and dawn.  Just when my kids are in the water.  Yikes.  Okay, maybe I'm paranoid, but just the thought of providing the local sharks with a tasty little snack in the form of my offspring makes me shiver. 
 Mind you, I'm no baby when it comes to wild animals.  For instance, during our annual "Sariah and Michelle Plus our 9 kids and their friends" camping trip to Alturas Lake that we take every summer, I--me, just little ol' me--traipse through through the woods to go the bathroom. 
At night. 
 A looong, stinkin' way from the cabins.
 Usually without a flashlight.
(I can't find anything in a cabin with 15 people in it.)
While Sariah, my dear sweet Sariah, requires company to go the loo.  In the form of moi, yours truly.  Or whomever else she can con into walking in the dark with her.  You see, Sariah's afraid of bears.  And wolves.  Anything with claws and teeth, really.  But this year, Sariah's got it all figured out.  Get this.  Sariah is the proud new owner of a old-fashioned chamber pot.  Thanks to her thoughtful grandma.  Yessirree.  No more scary walks in the dark for us.  We're not proud.   Just watch out for the full moon(s) in August.           

Back to my shark issue.  I think I've got that one figured out too.  Skim boarding has become one of my kids favorite water activities.  Notice how shallow the water is.  No self-respecting shark would dare venture there, so... dusk-time skim boarding it is!   (At least for this tasty little family.) 

The local sharkbait.
(They really are happier than they look here.)

Friday, March 13

Mmm...hmm...that's my man...

Hey there handsome...
I know you rarely visit blogland (you don't know what you're missing darlin'), but in honor of our 15th anniversary, I thought I'd just say...

 you're hot.

Thursday, March 12

Maui Textures 1

I can't seem to get enough of the beautiful textures here on the island...or find words to describe them, so here's a visual taste.

Maui Textures 2

Maui Textures 3

Wednesday, March 4

Surprised by Joy

Have I ever mentioned how much I love teenagers? Raising little ones has its perks--wilted dandilion boquets, cuddling up for bedtime stories, chubby cheeks begging to be kissed. But there's something about the conversations that one can have with a teen that have me hooked.

Take tonight for example. These are just a few things Sweet Sixteen and I discussed--atheism, human nature, politics, drugs, fast food and its resulting fat cells, forgiveness, poetry, Jane Goodall, the plot of Lord of the Flies, ear-piercing, the stimulus package, and God. Three hours of heart to heart. I wouldn't trade that time for anything. I can't seem to get enough of watching my teens grow into themselves. Questioning. Thinking. Changing. Becoming.

It scares me when they voice their confusion about their testimonies and what they are unsure of in their lives. But then I walk by their bedroom in the middle of the day and catch them on their knees in prayer or absorbed in the scriptures, and that's when that I know that they will be okay. Someone who loves them even more than I do--perish the thought--is in charge.

I guess I just didn't expect parenting to get more rewarding as my kids got older because all I ever heard (and experienced--sorry, Mom and Dad) was how hard teens were supposed to be.

One of my favorite authors, C. S. Lewis, has a book titled Surprised By Joy. And that's just how I feel. I must admit there are times that I also feel Surprised by Pain, or Surprised by Disobedience, or Surprised by Lack of Common Sense...but for the most part I am grateful to have been surprised by joy.