It's hard to believe we are nearing the end of summer (and 40+ days of 100+ temps in Dallas) and I have only blogged once. In some ways, there hasn't been much to write about, and then again, we have been incredibly busy. So here's a quick synopsis of summer so far!
- Aidan, Noah, and Becky all went to Xtreme Youth Camp in June. They had a great time and Becky survived dorm life with 60 junior high girls. (I think she came back very thankful she has boys).
- Tucker & Cade thoroughly enjoy Backyard Bible Clubs while Aidan and Noah helped out. They didn't even notice it was so hot since they were having so much fun.
- Aidan and Noah served in Mission McKinney. Aidan helped dig up posts at the McKinney Housing Authority while Noah cleared brush at a local horse therapy center.
- Noah went to Arkansas as part of the Trailblazers Mission trip with a hundred other junior high students. He thoroughly enjoyed during yardwork and sharing his testimony on Sunday morning at the church he visited.
- Tucker & Cade were ring-bearers in their cousin Jeremy's wedding to his new bride Lauren. (Jeremy was a ring-bearer at Becky and I's wedding 17 years ago). Aidan & Noah ushered, and Titus was quiet during the entire ceremony.
- Our family vacation to Jacksonville, FL and Charleston, SC was full of fun and adventure (including car troubles in Mobile, AL and being pulled over in Meridian, MS because the rooftop carrier was bouncing.) We enjoyed the beach, our friends, good food, and good times. (And spent 4 days in the car together)
- Paul delivered a keynote address at the Growing Families International Family Conference in Charleston. His 'Raising Daniels in a Technological Babylon' was well received and he's had the opportunity to deliver it several times in Ohio in August.
- A second family vacation in August took us to Ohio to visit good friends (and escape the heat). The boys went 4-wheeling, corn-picking, cow-milking, and hay-tossing with friends.
- From Ohio, Becky traveled to MI (with another car breakdown - same issue as in Mobile, AL) and is still in MI with her sister with the boys. She'll be attending the Life Action Ministries 40th Reunion this weekend. The boys have canoed, kayaked, picked grapes and peaches, been to the county fair, and shivered in the cooler weather.
- Aidan took his first solo flight home from MI to start THEO (the Home Educators Outsource). He will be attending 2 days a week this semester.
- Titus has been a super trouper with all the travel and sleeping arrangements this summer. Except for an ear infection, he has had a great summer. He LOVES being in the pool and LOVES the DVD player in the car (when it works). He is such a funny traveler and reaches over to grab Aidan or Noah if they are not paying attention to him.
- Tucker & Cade have started 1st grade - and the beauty of homeschool is that when the books arrive in the middle of the summer, you can go ahead and start doing a few lessons on those hot summer days when it's too hot to go outside. They are enjoying being 1st graders.
- Tucker is signed up to play flag football this fall. He cannot wait - and I will say, the boy can throw a perfect spiral.
- Noah started football practice prior to going to Ohio - nothing like practicing in full pads when it's 105 outside. He will be playing 6-man football this year and can't wait. This year, he's not the tallest kid on the team (and I think that makes him a little more comfortable hitting people). My 5'8",180lb, size 11.5 shoe, 2nd boy son turned 13 this summer. We now have 2 teenagers in the house (and I"m enjoying the time now before they both start driving).
- Tucker turned 7 in July - quite a milestone for my little charmer who is taking hours from my life with his exploits. Tucker is all boy and 'oh-boy' does he make life interesting.
- Becky and I celebrated our 17th year of marriage right after I turned 50 this July. It's funny, I don't feel 50 years old, nor does it seem like we've been married for 17 years.
- Our annual 4th of July trip to our friend's lake house in Cedar Creek is alway a highlight. Even with the water very, very, low, Noah still got his birthday morning jet-ski ride.
- Aidan has learned to water-ski, along with his knee-boarding. And Tucker is also knee-boarding behind the boat - while I have learned that knee-boarding is not on my list of talents.
- Vanessa, our night-time nurse for the last 3 years, moved to Atlanta. It was hard to see her go. We now have Ada (who makes Titus laugh everytime she walks in). God is good to bless Titus with great nurses. Ada stated the first night she was there as a temporary nurse to fill in - but she said by midnight the first night she had fallen in love with Titus and had to stay on and care for him.
In between all of that, we did our best to stay cool during the heat. As fun as it has all been, I think we are all ready for some schedule and routine with school starting. Titus will be attending school 5-days a week this year. I'm sure it will wear him out the first few weeks, but he really enjoys school. I think the biggest challenge will be getting him (or us) out the door at 7:20am this morning.
I told the boys this summer that I know traveling with Titus can be challenging. It's a lot of work to travel with a special needs child and all the equipment and oxygen. But Titus, like all my boys, is family. And as family, this is what we do. And I love that my boys never complain about the work and extra effort that it sometimes takes to travel with Titus. I want them to know, life is what you make of it, life is the opportunities you use that are presented with you, life is a choice to make the best of all situations, life is meant to be lived and experienced.
While driving to OH last week, we drove through Cincinnati - right past the Children's Hospital where we spent those critical days in Nov, 10. A part of me wanted to stop and shows them how Titus is doing. I wanted them to see a little boy who is happy, content, and with his family; not at home with a trach and vent. I wanted them to see a boy who is taking steps in his walker not confined to a bed. I wanted them to see a boy who can roll around the floor to get to the toys he wants, not a child tethered to a machine.
And then I realized, we never really know what life will be, but we do know the One who holds tomorrow.