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Tuesday, March 04, 2014

March Madness

Hello, March.  How are you?  I'm so glad you're here!  We celebrated by taking family trip to the zoo on Saturday.  What a really beautiful, really fun day!
We took pictures at all our favorite spots, the pictures every time.  The tigers were riled up today.  They were pacing and roaring.  I think it scared Hannah Kate a bit.
Mason was most excited to get an up close and personal with the alligators.  This is the first time we've ever seen them out of the water and this close to the fence.


This little mess had a great time!  She explored and walked and ran nearly the whole way around the zoo.  We had to put her in the stroller towards the end though because she got really tired after we played on the playground.
And, of course, Hannah Kate wanted her picture taken with the pink flamingoes.
It was such a warm day, too, and a nice change from the unseasonably cold and sustained periods of freezing temperatures we've had this summer.  The kids even complained about being hot when we left.  So we took them to get an ice cream.  It was 80 degrees on Saturday.

But March, what happened?  This is what my yard looked liked today.




In case you don't know what you're looking at, the limbs of my crepe myrtle were wrapped in ice.  Icicles were hanging from the top of the trampoline.  For the third time since the end of January, we were iced in.  The interstate was closed, the bridges were closed.  We topped 35 degrees.  And that was it.  The average for this time of year is 70 degrees.

Besides the fact that it was just really cold (and now I'm seriously wishing we'd have installed heated floors in the bathrooms when we built our house, but who does that in south Louisiana?!?), it was no big deal.  School was out today for Mardi Gras break.  Seth is working out of town this week so he didn't get stuck in it like last time.

March, please come back!  I miss you already!

So we have gone from 80 degrees to 35 degrees in three days!  And if this weather is not crazy enough, we've had another interesting turn of events.  About nine miles from our house is a canal with a swing bridge.  The bridge has to open for tugboat and barge traffic.  This is the way we go to school so we have to cross this bridge to get to school, as do the school buses.  Friday night a barge slammed into the bridge, causing significant damage.  One side of the bridge shifted about six inches, the concrete was knocked off of the pilings down to the wire and the swinging mechanism was obliterated.  So.  Obviously the bridge is closed.  And it will be closed for quite some time.  This means we can not go that way to school anymore.  We have to go the long way around, which includes driving down the interstate.  The really long way around.  

So instead of getting to school in 20 minutes, it'll take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour.  I don't even know how long it's going to take the buses.  To miss the horrible traffic and get the children home before suppertime, it was decided that the kids who live on this side of the canal will dismiss school early at 2:15.  Dismissal is 3:20 so they'll miss over five hours of instruction a week!  This is a really bad situation, and there is just no good way to do it.  Fortunately, it won't affect us much.  Well, it does, but we're just already used to it.  I already pick the children up from school on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays for therapy and dance.  So I'll continue to do that, and they will be able to stay the whole day without missing class time.  We've also decided that I will pick them up on Thursdays and Fridays now because we don't think it's a good idea for Mason to miss that much school that he's still responsible for.  He continues to do so well this year, and we don't want anything to jeopardize that, especially this late in the school year.  I certainly don't mind doing this, but it's the very long way around, and my Ellie girl will just have to spend even more hours in her carseat than she already does.

It's inconvenient.  It's costly.  It's time consuming.  But there's nothing we can do about any of it.  And we're so close to the end of the school year.  It's just going to be a very interesting ending, I guess.

Today really was a good day though.  I had a really great, really fun conversation with my cousin.  Miss her!  And I got to talk to my bestie, too.  Miss her lots!  Today is also my parents' 41st wedding anniversary.  FORTY ONE YEARS!  That's such a rarity these days.  It's so special to me that my parents and my parents-in-law have been married for a combined whopping 92 years!  That's a lot of love and promise and commitment and sickness and health and good times and bad times.  But I'm sure they'd tell you it is worth it, and they wouldn't change a thing!

I've spent a lot of time today just thinking about how blessed we are, how much I enjoy my time with my family and these little people the Lord has given us.  The sweetest times have been our family prayer and devotion times.  We say the blessing before every meal we eat together.  I always say the blessing at breakfast time because my sleepy heads aren't quite awake enough.  At supper time, Mason and Hannah Kate take turns.  This is a big deal in our house.  I have a hard time keeping up and remembering whose day it is so that's their responsibility.  And if they don't agree or can't remember, someone gets upset.  But most of time time it works out.  And at bedtime, we read a passage of Scripture from the Bible each evening, and we all take turns saying our prayers.  Everyone says a prayer.  But, again, Mason and Hannah Kate take turns going "first."

I also love these little prayer and devotion times because I just never know what's going to come up or what the kids are going to say.  We talk about our day, and I give the kids some reminders and instructions about the day ahead.  Mason will spend the next two days going on field trips.  Tomorrow isn't necessarily a field trip.  It's a trip to the bowling alley and arcade for the kids who won awards at the district science fair.  He is so. excited.  He told me tonight when I tucked him in that he would probably sleep with his eyes open just like he did in 2nd grade the night before a field trip!  So, just for kicks, I asked him how in the world he knows he slept with his eyes open.  And he was so seriously explaining this to me!  It was just the funniest thing.

One of the things I'm really loving right now is Ellie's "prayers."  After we all get situated around the supper table, I'll ask, "Whose turn is it?"  Either Mason or Hannah Kate will raise their hand and say, "Me!"  Yes, we require our kids to raise their hands before speaking at the table!  No.  Not really.  I think this comes from school.  Anyway, about two weeks ago we were going through the same routine, and Ellie yelled, "Meeeeeeee!"  I turned to look at her, and she had both hands in the air!  The same thing happened again at bedtime that night when I asked whose turn it was to say prayers first.  This has commenced every night since then, except now she doesn't even wait for me to ask.  She starts yelling, "Meeeeeee!" as soon as I put her in the highchair or as soon as we gather together on the bed.

One night last week we all sat down at the table.  I looked at Ellie and asked whose turn it was.  Here she is with both hands in the air: 
And then when we tell her to bow her head and close her eyes for prayer, she puts her head down and usually covers her eyes with both hands. 

So sweet!  We always stop and give her an opportunity to pray.  We are trying to encourage her to say, "Thank you, God." and "I love you, God," but she usually gets really shy and just keeps her head bowed.  You know, the prayers of children are always so heartfelt and genuine and sweet.  But let's be honest.  They can also be quite interesting and, at times, even funny!  I can't wait to hear Ellie's prayers one day.  Because I'm sure hers will be all of the above!

These are some good times for sure!  Just when I think it can't possibly get any better, it does!

1 comment:

Kori Page said...

Another precious look into your life, Julie. I love reading your blogs and I really admire your dedication to your little people! We also pray before each meal and try to do a regular devotional, although Satan has really fought us through it all. I always find your stories so encouraging & inspirational! I'm so glad I chose you as a penpal many years ago & I am also happy we've been able to reconnect through facebook!