Sunday, August 30, 2015

Back to School


       My family is back to school again, all of  us.  Beginning her semester in MedSurge and Maternity and OB, my wife has already begun full bore.  It will be a busy semester for her at a time when her parents from the Philippines are coming to visit.  My sons are returning to Clinton Grace Brethren Christian School in the third and fifth grades.  They have gotten off to a good start and are enjoying themselves immensely.  My elder son has begun taking trumpet lessons which he is enjoying.  Once again I am in the high school library.  Since the beginning of the school year is when I get the most requests for laminating, I have been extremely busy. Added to that was the fact that I had to reload the printer on all of our computers in the library, and I have a large number of book donations to catalog.  However, the early part of the year is always a bit frenetic.  Things will slow down eventually.  Right now the challenge will be to develop a good routine with the boys here at home.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

My Son, I Am Sorry!

     Yesterday, I had an epiphany that hit me like a ton of bricks.  My sons and I were doing some yard work, pruning trees and pulling wild grape vines om some of our trees.  After working for some time together, my younger son became weary and sought refuge inside the house.  My elder son, however, continued to work alongside me throughout the afternoon, stopping to rest only when I went inside for a drink.  About five minutes after I returned to my work, my son rejoined me.  Time and again as we worked together, Matthew made comments such as "Daddy, this is the best day ever" and "This is so much fun."  I know that I was exhausted from pruning thick branches and using all my strength to haul heavy grape vines that were entangled in the from their grip upon the trees so I am sure he was exhausted too.When my wife called us in for dinner, I tried to get him to go in to clean up while I finished a couple of minor things in the yard.  He refused to go, wanting to stay with me until we were completely finished.  After dinner he came to me, looked up at me and asked if he could come to the school library with me on Monday to help me with some work in the library. "Ï get bored at home without you,"he said.   I realized that this little boy (not so little anymore) was just hungry for his daddy's complete attention.  I knew for a long time that he was close to me, but suddenly it struck me that at a time when peers are becoming more important to children than their parents, he was saying, "Daddy, I want to be with you."  It is so easy to become so involved with other things, we miss out on some of the most important things in life, like the needs of our children.  My son,, I owe you an apology.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Summer's End

     A summer that just flew by is now coming to an end.  Long trips punctuated by rather short periods at home have provided our family with an entertaining summer albeit somewhat tiring.  Starting with a lengthy trip to Florida to visit Disney World and ending with a short hop up to Frederick, Maryland for a day of fun with my sister-in-law and her family, this summer has been a memorable one.  Our trip to Disney was a whirlwind of activity with as much stuffed into it as possible, including visiting with old friends.  Despite high temperatures and high humidity, we enjoyed tremendously our time at Disney.  On our way home, we once again were reminded of how much we have the Lord to thank for safety while traveling when we came across an accident that closed four lanes of a highway in north Carolina for a half mile, totally destroying a tanker and two other vehicles including another truck by fire.  Praise the Lord we were not there at the time it happened.  We slept overnight at a nearby motel, and when we left the next morning, the road was nowhere near ready to be opened.
     Our next journey was to South Carolina to visit family.  We all had a great time together and enjoyed a picnic at Myrtle Beach.  The kids enjoyed the beach and the ocean waves and then enjoyed family time together swimming in a small outdoor pool and playing baseball outdoors.  Returning home, we soon were preparing to attend a concert featuring Hillsong United, Kari Jobe, Lauryn  Daigle, Passion, Jesus Culture and a couple of other groups.  My older son really enjoyed the concert, but it was a bit too long for my younger son.  Next we spent a day fishing for large mouth bass. Shortly after the concert and our fishing trip, we were packing up once again for another trip to my in-laws in Indiana and a visit to friends in Ohio.  The boys had a great time on the farm meeting new friends and helping with chores.  In Ohio, they met more new friends and enjoyed some archery, shooting hoops, jumping on the trampoline, riding on a four-wheeler and playing foosball.  Rounding out our summer was a day excursion to Frederick, Maryland, where the boys had great fun playing in the pool with their cousins and playing baseball.  My older son started the summer playing wiffle ball but has ended by spending some serious time developing his hitting with the hardball.  I think the boys will be ready to start back to school just to get some rest!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Making New Friends

     When we went out to Indiana last week, my boys were at a loss as to what to do with themselves at first; however, they soon became fast friends with my to sisters-in-law's neighbor's boys.   Since they knew the boys and their parents, we felt secure in our boys getting together with them.They started with a little game of baseball during which time they were very tentative at first.  By the end of the game they were already close, commenting on all the things they had in common.  After I had met and chatted at length with both parents, I felt secure enough to allow our boys to sleep out in a tent at their house that night.  It helped that we were able to connect through a mutual interest in home schooling.  As it turned out, the boys never did sleep outside but went inside after an hour.  By the time we left for Ohio, the boys had exchanged addresses with a promise to write each other.
     Upon arriving in Ohio, I discovered that my good friend from my college days with whom we were staying was going to babysit his son's four children.  Again, it did not take long before my boys were having a hilarious time with his grandchildren.  It was really nice observing the boys interacting so well with their latest friends.  They were truly disappointed when we had to leave.  Having made these new friends, my boys were able to feel really at home in both Indiana and Ohio. 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Back to the Farm!

    Just returning from a week spent in part on the farm in Indiana, my sons are now recuperating from exhaustion.  A week spent with new friends in Indiana and Ohio along with many activities that they are not accustomed to left them weary and ready to return home.  While it may appear as though they spent much of their time riding around the farm, the exact opposite was really true.  They did have fun riding in the skid loader and then in the cart pulled by the lawn tractor, but most of the time they spent exploring around the farm and helping with some of the work.  The work was not hard, but it did keep them busy and they enjoyed it.  They helped with husking corn and feeding the husks to the heifers and then picking and snapping green beans.  Actually, they really enjoyed doing that with the adults.  We got around 19 quarts of sweet corn and approximately 25 quarts of green beans...enough to keep us busy for a while.  The beans were a Jade variety and were beautiful, 8 to 10 inches long and virtually unmarked.  We will also enjoy eating the vegetables this winter.  Meals on the farm are especially appetizing featuring fresh vegetables and delectable Pennsylvania Dutch cooking.   Of course, the boys always enjoy spending time with their aunts and uncle on the farm.  In the evening we all had great fun playing a game of scrabble.  In the morning the boys were able to find some friends with whom to play baseball.  Life on the farm is enticing to my boys.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Going Fishing

     What fun for a summer's day!  My boys have been begging me to take them fishing for a long time now.  Finally, their wish was granted when we went fishing with a wonderful couple from church.  We had a truly enjoyable time, spending two hours fishing and then going geo caching and taking in a small celebration at a colonial farm.  Above my two sons are pictured with their rods.  My wife, my older son and I all caught large mouth bass, my son catching two including the largest catch of the day.  Matthew's largest was sixteen inches long and three pounds.  He was thrilled with his success. My wife and I both hooked a large mouth about ten inches in length.  Unfortunately, my younger son caught no fish this time despite having an excellent cast.  He caught on extremely quickly.  Far from being discouraged, he focused on the good time he had. While fishing, we all were elated when a huge bald eagle wheeled in the sky above us before departing for parts unknown.  This day was one which has whetted our appetite for more fishing trips.
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