Rick, Lauren, and Abby just left to go shopping at the outlet mall in Castle Rock. That should be interesting. We talked about all of us going, but decided that it would not be fun for those who don't like to shop which would make it not fun for those that do like to shop.
I baffle myself sometimes. I know without a doubt that I am an extrovert, BUT I find that during school breaks(Fall Break, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring Break), I just want to stay home and be a recluse. I think it is because I am going SO MUCH on a daily basis, that I just need the down time. The weather here does not help that. It has been snowing and cold and I DO NOT want to get out in it. If Spring Break here meant swimming and sun, I would be all over it. I just want to keep on my jammies and read a good book. I am getting to do some of that this week. It is nice.
We took Cody, Lauren, and Abby to see "The Thorn" on Friday night. It is an amazing performance that goes from creation to Jesus' Resurrection. We saw it last year with Lauren and left there thinking we need to take the other big ones. It did not disappoint. I pretty much cried through the whole thing. Easter does that to me. It is such a time of reflection on the ugliness of humanity rivaled by the fierce, beautiful, extravagant, sacrificial love of God. I feel like observing Lent this year has added to the sacredness of this season. I still plan to share my thoughts on Lent when it is complete. It was an experiment that I learned a lot from.
There are a lot of extremes that people proclaim during this season. It reminds me of the debates that go on at Christmas over making Jesus the center vs. the consumerism that is so prevalent in our culture. I really am a person who believes in balance. We have several traditions that are focused on Jesus where we embrace all that this time represents(Good Friday service, Easter Service, watching "The Passion", Family Communion, Resurrection Eggs, Making Tombs and Resurrection Cookies). We also color Easter eggs, do an egg hunt, and have a little scavenger hunt on Easter morning. All of these things together make this a special time of year that set it apart as a holy time. I stopped buying Easter outfits a couple of years ago because I just couldn't justify the expense in light of all that I have seen around the world. BUT, I don't really fault those who do. It just seems like the right decision for our family. Heck, clothing 8 people in Easter duds is much more expensive than 4. Enough rambling. I have just been thinking a lot about this and get so frustrated by the extremes in both directions especially among the Christian community. There seems to be a lot finger pointing over the "correct" way to celebrate Christian holidays. Why can't we just all get along? That became way more of a soapbox than I intended for it to be.
Last week, Rick and I went to a student-led parent/teacher conference for Laila. If you don't know this already, she is painfully shy. That morning she was sitting on the stairs in tears anticipating the time. She kept saying, "But, I can't read." She was so upset and nervous. She was afraid she would mess up. It broke my heart, but inside I knew this would be a good challenge for her. I also bribed her with cotton candy.
She was very solemn the whole way there, on the verge of tears. I kept talking her through it. We met Rick and had a chance to look through some of her classroom photo albums before we went in. Those served as a distraction to her.
This was her "lesson plan" as the teacher
Sorting the animals
Writing the number (16)
Counting with the pointer
Notice her expression. The part she had been dreading
She did beautifully and even remembered some very hard words that are not a normal part of her vocabulary. (She did not read the book, but they had memorized it as a class)
Her presentation was showing us the picture she had made out of a square.
It was an alligator in a river. I could see the alligator.
Guess who got herself some cotton candy? I bought her 2 bags because I knew she would share it all with her siblings and not have any left for herself. She is so giving.
This is my ride for the week, a 2013 Yukon XL, while our truck gets fixed.
Not nearly as cool looking as my truck with the smooth rims, but brand new with some nice features.
My favorites are the camera in the back that comes on when I am in reverse and the XM radio.
A rare moment where 4 of my children are getting along(something that must be captured on film)
Speaking of getting along. I have a funny story that I don't want to forget. Sam and Isaiah have been fighting quite a bit lately. During one of their "double time-outs"we were talking through their feelings and making sure they had resolved everything. Then, Sam says to me, "Don't we have to hug now?" That is something we do with the younger ones, but not necessarily with the older ones. Thinking he would not want to do it, I asked, "Do you want to hug?" Sam's answer, "Kind of." That just melted my heart.
That is who Sam is. At his core, he is such a sweet, tenderhearted little man. His smile literally does light up a room. One day, he said to me, "I tried to smile all day today, but it started to hurt." I don't know many 9 year old boys who attempt a day of smiling. Even at 9, he still hugs and kisses me without prompting. I can't even express with words how much I love him.
Rick and I got Starbucks yesterday. When I went to put my drink in the fridge, I saw Rick's drink on the left. So, I added my on the right. Later, when I opened the fridge, Cody had created the Starbucks cup in the middle. That gave me a good laugh. I am really impressed with his artwork!