We are back home again in Indiana. My parents have been coming on the weekends to mow and hang out in our house while we've been gone. They've also been busy little beavers inside, too. My dad installed a new kitchen sink fixture which I love and my mom organized my kitchen cabinets. What a great surprise!!
The kids were ecstatic to be home again. As we crossed over the Ohio River and entered Indiana Elizabeth yelled, "Look for dolphins everyone. This is your last chance because we're in Indiana!!"
Though life now must get back to "normal", there are a few things I gleaned from this past month that I will hold onto and cherish. It really was good for me to see my family in a different setting. I learned some things about them that I didn't know or now appreciate more fully.
Sean really is a people person. It suits him that he is a teacher because he gains a lot of energy from being around others. We had new neighbors all of the time at our condo. He was always out in the driveway meeting them and learning about their plans. Then he would come in and write their names down so that he wouldn't forget. Once he was gone for far longer than I anticipated. When I asked him what was up he explained that he was learning all about our neighbor's recent walk with the Lord. Of course, he also thrives in a setting where there is learning to be done. I really liked being a part of that scene and learning together.
Hannah needed this vacation perhaps as much as anyone. She has had a long school year and often has much responsibility being the oldest. But since mom and dad were there full time she got to step down and relax. I'm glad. We had a lot of great talks while walking on the beach and in the late hours of the night. We were able to share our frustrations and expectations about our own relationship and have grown closer. She's growing up.
Hannah also loves museums. She wanted to spend time reading all of the displays and really learning the material. I see a lot of her dad in her.
Lydia's love for nature and animals has expanded because of our time. She was the first one up every morning (this is no surprise) and couldn't wait to get outside. On every trail she was up ahead discovering and exploring the next thing. One of the highlights of the trip for her was getting "stranded" on an island with Sean and the kayak during a storm.
Her world is growing bigger and bigger.
Miriam spent a lot of her vacation reading at her leisure. She has become quite the bookworm and enjoyed the Cape Canaveral Public Library quite a bit. Since we were unable to check out anything, she would leave a small bookmark and pick up where she left off.
Miriam has always loved games/sports and being challenged. She found shuffleboarding to be an enjoyable sport and even outwitted the family and won a game of Blokus. But at the beach she was always in the water catching the next big wave.
I guess I never realized what a homebody Elizabeth was until this trip. She would easily get teary and sentimental at the mere mention of home. When Grandma and Grandpa came she cried and when they left the poor girl wailed. Sweet, tender Betsy.
She had her seventh birthday in Florida and I'm amazed at the changes since last summer. She is no longer afraid of the water and jumps right in. Several times I heard her having talks with the little ones and encouraging them. "When I was small, I was afraid, but now I trust in God and I'm not..."
Joseph thrived at Kennedy Space Center. For a five year old boy, he sure can sit and listen well. He really just took it all in every day. Even when he was tired and I'd encourage him to rest he would say, "But mom I don't want to miss anything." At night we would find him up in his room making sketches and inventions in his space suit. Oftentimes, he would fall asleep with it on.
Rebekah has proven herself to be the independent spirit that we've known all along. That girl will not be left behind. She is determined to keep up with the big kids. Her favorite phrase now is "Mommy, I old enough." She played in the ocean and rode the rides without batting an eye. Also, she has learned to identify quite a few animals like bald eagle, alligator, manatee, armadillo, dolphin, lizard.... Even though she is talking most of the time, I guess something is getting in there. Her other favorite phrase has become, "I love space." That makes her daddy smile.
What did I learn about me? For starters, I really enjoy my family and want to play with them more than I have been. Also, I love being in God's creation. I always have and years of motherhood have not taken that out of me. I thought that passion had left me, but it has not. I'd rather walk through the woods in 95 degree heat with a baby on my hip than not at all. Along the way, I hope to pass this same love onto my children.