Between my own two kids and the two boys that I watch, I have two different elementary schools and a preschool drop off and a pick up, several day a week. After school, there's always ballet. I also drive a lady around to different places that she needs to get to as part of my work with this program . Add my own errands, and I'm in my car a lot! Sometimes I complain, but not today. The sun was shining and I had my camera. I took these photos throughout the day as I drove around. And yes, I pulled off to the side...most of the time. I'm going to make a point of keeping my camera with me more often in the car. Photography always helps me to look harder for the beauty that's all around me. I didn't have to look very hard today. I'll probably always yearn for circumstances, like living downtown, where a car is unnecessary, but until that day comes, I can make peace with what is. And what is, right now, isn't too bad at all...beautiful views, a comfortable car that's reliable, good music on the stereo, and the chance to visit with loved ones as I taxi them around. I would like to add some new tunes to listen to in the car though. Any ideas? What are you listening to?
Trent made breakfast for the family on Saturday morning...bagels, canned peaches, and strawberries. He was so excited and proud to put it together by himself, insisting that I take a picture of him in action. The rest of the day had its challenges. We were worn out from the stress of having a sick dog all week. Thankfully, she is doing much better now. At one point, when things were particularly tense, I heard Trent say, "Well, at least we all had a good breakfast, so the day wasn't totally ruined!"
That's my boy! We do love our food in this family. Today (Sunday) was much better. Not only did we enjoy a delicious breakfast before church, but afterwards, we took a drive to the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle for a special treat. Below, Trent is contemplating the wonders of a chocolate mint gelato waffle cone. Wallingford is a quirky, eclectic neighborhood, full of charm. It's a bit of a drive from where I live, on the Eastside, but I had a Groupon coupon to use at Fainting Goat Gelato. With a name like that, I couldn't resist! Besides, I love exploring different neighborhoods with my family. Was it worth the drive? Absolutely. It was scrumptious. After that little treat, we decided to look around. Here are a few of my favorite sights from today....
Outside my window....afternoon, dark and rainy. The rhododendron is blooming though…such pretty pink flowers!
I am thinking…..about a vacation getaway, sans laptops, cell phones, etc. I’m tired. So is my husband. He’s been working around the clock lately. Technology allows him to work from home, which is good, but it also means that his work never goes away…not even at three in the morning.
I am thankful for….coffee. I need coffee. I love coffee…the aroma, the ritual, the taste. Most of all, I love coffee that’s made for me by my sweet husband.
From the kitchen....something easy tonight- probably fish sticks and steamed veggies.
I am wearing... green cords, a gray Roxy sweatshirt, and black Hannah Anderson clogs.
I am creating... order around my house. I actually like Mondays, for this reason, cleaning up the disarray, left over from the weekend. I’m weird like that.
I am going...to another “choice school” meeting tonight, for my daughter, who starts Jr. High this fall. Hundreds of people apply, only thirty or so will be accepted at each school, and it’s all based on a lottery. We're applying to two different schools. This process is nerve-wracking.
I am reading...The Fixer Upper. Nothing deep, just some escapist chick lit.
I am hoping... for a solid nine hours of sleep tonight. That would be bliss.
I am hearing....a zipper clanging around in the dryer, little boys playing.
Around the house...lots of little boys. I’m watching a couple of Trent’s friends, twice a week now, before and after school. I love having a house full of kids.
A few plans for the rest of the week…..another trip or two to the grocery store (boys eat a lot), driving people places (I will be in my car a lot), filing taxes, school applications. Exciting, right?
A picture to share:
There's something remarkably restorative about a little time out in the middle of the week, spent with a friend, browsing through a shop called Joyworks. I thought you might enjoy it too, so I took some pictures.......
This shop was in the little town of Snohomish, WA. I wrote about a summertime trip to Snohomish here. Today was different, so cold and wet, but still fun. As long as there's good company and good food, I'm happy. I had both. Below, is the old house where we had lunch.
The town is story book cute, but below is the only outside picture I took, taken from the warmth of the dining room at The Cabbage Patch.
Children deserve to see the world as a good and safe place. I’ve done my best to filter the information that my children receive by limiting their exposure to the news and to adult problems. As they get older, more of what they take into their hearts and minds is out of my control. I see those early efforts to guard their childhood, as one of the most precious gifts I could give to them.More recently, I’ve been thinking about putting stronger boundaries around the information I choose to take into my own heart and mind. I think I need to be more selective about what I choose to read and listen to. Negative news, contentious debates, and sad stories are everywhere. I can’t take on the problems of the world, but sometimes I try. It brings tears, a short temper, unnecessary worry, it sucks away my energy, and it doesn’t help anyone. Last night, a friend said something about being mindful of where you choose to invest your heart, and in turn, your time and your energy. She was talking about friendships, but I believe this advice holds true for the information I choose to take in as well.
I keep coming back to three words: true, kind, necessary. As I’ve said before, I’m choosing to focus on these words as something to think about before I say anything. In addition, I’m going to think about them in regards to the information I choose to take in. Truth is sometimes hard to determine, but I can carefully consider the sources I choose to get my news from. When I think about whether something is kind, I can consider if someone else’s failure, embarrassment, or tragedy is being exploited or if it’s serving as entertainment at their expense. I’m probably most guilty in this area….gossip magazines. And when I consider whether something is necessary I can think about why I’m choosing to focus on it. Does it affect me or those in my life? Is there something I can do to help? Can I learn from it? Or is it just pulling at my heartstrings for no particular purpose?
Putting boundaries on the information I choose to focus on is a gift that I can give to myself. Through my example, it’s also gift I can give to my children. My children will continue to gain access to more and more information as they get older, and they will have to learn to how to filter it on their own. They will eventually learn that the world doesn’t always seem like a good and safe place, but I hope that they will carry with them, throughout their lives, the belief that it really is good. The ability to keep their hearts and minds guarded from the onslaught of bad news in the media will be of great benefit to them.
Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:23