Archive for the tag “the beach”

the focus

these people that i love so much.

the blue of the water and sky.

the white. frothy foam.

the cool breeze.

all of them blessings from a God Who is so. so. good.

those lashes. that smile.

silvery painted toes. sparkling like the flecks of sand.

a nap on a crisp. cotton sheet.

a yummy picnic lunch.

all because daddy needed a day off.

we all need a day off sometimes

to look for sand crabs.

and to find one another.

among the quiet noises of the great outdoors.

so as to keep the focus where it needs to be.

on God.

and on each other.




by late summer. the water. the sound of the waves. their treasures. innocence. watching them laugh. and walk. good food. eating outside. new recipes. stacks of books. un-opened markers and paintbrushes.  new notebooks and learn-to-letter paper for my kindergartener. new shoes.

but don’t envy me too much. this surreal dream world i have been living in has its’ drawbacks: i was waaayyyy behind here at home. it took me a bit to get caught up on my laundry. those piles have a way of growing. we have a mouse in the house. and  an impromptu meeting with my facilitator thursday morning made me realize i have to “hit the books”. and come up with lesson “plans”. quick.

or do i? can’t we just sit under the great big, shady elm. read hamlet together. and color pictures of dinosaurs…….yes, that is what we are going to do. start slow. and steady. because i don’t want to be like that angry lady i saw in target yesterday, yelling at her kids as she checked off items on the school supplies list from her kids’ school. though at the end of our trip i sort of was. but what do they expect when they “hide” packages of cookies and kit kats in my basket. later, after a glass of red wine with a popsicle i somehow felt better. like i could conquer the world. the world of homeschooling my 4 children all at once, that is. i swore a new schedule is in order. it is time to rally the troops. they have been slacking too much. and i can’t do everything by myself.

so while we will be spending the next week adjusting. prioritizing. and going to bed earlier. i am not ready to stop having fun simply because it’s back-to-school time.



i am just ready to adjust to a fall-ish rhythm. slow things down a bit. shut out the call of summer to go and do. the idea of order and schoolwork has me sort of bewitched too. balance friends. isn’t that what life is about? figuring out just what it is- and for every family it is different-is half the battle. so what are you doing to achieve it? and why does it seem so elusive….part of being thrown out of the garden you think?

keeping them close

isn’t easy. on beach days. or any day for that matter. i remember when the bigger ones were little they were so snuggly. cuddly. and needy. i never resented that needy-ness. even though it wore me out. but this new phase. this phase of venturing out. further. deeper. it scares me to death. especially when i see my littlest following their lead. and while sometimes i am content to sit and watch on the sidelines. other times i feel compelled to get closer to them. sure, they are out there with their father. he will watch them. and protect them. but those rocks are so jagged and slippery. that water, deep. it is, after all, the ocean. i felt hindered because i  didn’t change my clothes after mass. we didn’t plan on staying that long as there was a late afternoon basketball game which would cut our visit short.

so our roles have switched. i am the needy one now. sort of. they just don’t realize how much they need me. the world is so big and dangerous. and the time for keeping them close is fleeting. slipping through my hands like the sand through my toes yesterday. and i must have faith that no matter where they go, their Father IN HEAVEN  is always with them. HE is never hindered. and even in those instances when something terrible might happen, i have to hope that it is HE who will ultimately keep them close forever.

the big ones are gone again today. off to the same place. a day trip to the beach with dad. it is probably better that i stayed home. they left in the wee hours of the morning. tiptoeing quietly looking for dry towels and their shoes. most of our stuff was still in the truck from yesterdays’ excursion. besides, i have mountains of laundry to wash. lessons to plan. and maybe even some sewing to do if time permits. i am taking the little ones to a concert tomorrow. i look forward to something less daunting. i am such a wimp. i was so content to sit in my chair and watch them. that is until i saw they were crab hunting. and i am so glad i got up because i even spotted about 7 dolphins swimming just beyond the farthest surfers. my oldest and i got to see this sight together. it was very special. but i have to go now. i just got a call that they are on their way home. and they’re bringing crabs. three to be exact. how that is going to turn out, i cannot even imagine. any ideas on keeping salt water crabs as pets……???

ps. and yes, my toes are still blue. that is the only color i didn’t throw away when we moved, so all summer long it has been blue toes……








wiped out




it was a long day. but beach days are always good days. we have a special cove that we like to frequent because the life guards are close. there are bathrooms, showers, picnic tables, a play ground and a basketball court. this has become their favorite place to go and even though it is a bit farther south than a few other beaches, it is definitely worth the drive.

the whole ride there was filled with memories of our last visit. how we got stuck in a cave because the tide was so high. and how that same tide almost wiped out all of our stuff. the yummy dinner we had at the fish market. and then of course guesses and ideas of all that we’d see and do today.

the sun disappeared just as soon as we got near the 101. but it was absolutely wonderful weather. we really could not have asked for a better weather.

normally i am so quick to share photos. but for some reason i am feeling like maybe i might be exploiting their innocence. so i’ll keep certain ones to myself.

i do want to share with you how i beheld so many special, precious moments. moments between siblings that took my breath away. a big boy who ventured out a little too deeply into the ocean for my liking.  loving his time in the water. i am guessing that the element of danger is all part of the growing up process. the middle kids were content to stay near the shore, the waves touching their feet and sometimes knees. holding onto their little brother together. and a tiny boy, who once tired from so much play, settled down nicely in my lap and sighed, “mama, i just love the beach so much.”

camraderie was in the salty air. and i guess the only reason i am telling you is because i saw a few other things that made me sad. a mother and daughter sitting completely separate. one was asleep. the other texting on her cell phone almost incessantly. i don’t know their story. and i certainly know how those teenagers can be so distant. but just for today, we were blessed with the gift  of a beautiful day together as a family. this is probably one of the main things that sets homeschooling families apart. the bond. all that time spent together is certainly not always great. but there is a very, very serious bond that is cemented when your children learn together on a daily basis, seeing each other as fellow classmates, fellow humans. instead of  just some pesky burden to be shoo-ed away. 

of course there are those moments when this totally does not apply, but i did just have one of those semi-perfect days. the kind where your faith in humanity is restored. your children are behaving. and you feel like all is well with the world. yes, everyone needs a bath. wet towels and suits need washing. there is sand in everything ( i am sure you know what i mean). but just this once i hopei wake up with a little sand on my pillow. so that i’ll know today was not just a dream.

for those of you that are far, far away from any beach, i hope you enjoy this tiny glimpse of one of the most beautiful things that california has to offer. i am pretty wiped out myself. so i guess i’ll be going. oh, and  i am reading an awfully good book about thomas jefferson, so if i don’t get back on here before the holiday, happy independence day!


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