Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Sargents are Back to School!

Happy Sigh.
When the last two years of your life have utterly and completely worn you thin and it's almost summer and you know you won't have much to give your sweet home-schooled children come fall if you don't take a really really long break...
You take that break. In the middle of graduating your second son from high school and throwing him two goodbye parties and celebrating three special birthdays and having two cars bust in the most expensive ways so that you are a serious Taxi Mom for many days...
You take that break.
And so then, when the end of summer rolls around, and you are pulling out those wonderfully familiar history books and math books and science books, and you are piecing together schedules and lists to give your bee-hive some sense of order, you find yourself being very glad that you took a break.  Even though your kiddos were certainly almost *bored* some days, although we aren't allowed to use the word *bored* in this house...because boredom is not an option.
And then...when that first day of school does roll around (TODAY!!) you find yourself happy sighing through the day.  Because you love what you do.  You love your children. You love the books and the new school supplies and the lists.  You love the simple questions that turn into complex conversations.  You love the sweetness of your younger ones and the growth in your older ones. You love giving them God's Word as seeds in their hearts.  You love actually planning your meals again (yeah, not so good this summer on that one....) You love order, even when some may not think that what we do is orderly, to us it is. You love the fact that while you are still learning, you are not a newbie anymore.
Oh yes, you definitely love that one.
Thankful for this sweet day.
Happy sigh.
No, I did not give my children bags full of candy to celebrate the first day of school.
And no, they did not eat all of that candy in one morning.
And no, we did not have hyper-activity issues this afternoon. 

Not sure why Pictionary Man is in this picture, but the kiddos enjoyed their goodie bags nonetheless.

Ready to Learn

Ellie was pretty excited to be starting some kindergarten work!

And another tooth lost to boot!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Last of Our Summer Days

Summer is winding down around here...Grandparents arrive tomorrow morning.  The temperatures are heading toward the 70's. And the children and the school books are itching to get re-acquainted.
Soon we will be switching from salad to soup.  From free time to study time.  From T-shirts to hoodies.
Once more, one season gently lessens and another takes its place.
Once more, we get to see the handiwork of God.  In the yellowing of the leaves.  In the cooling of the breezes.  In the falling of the apples.  In the routine replacing the romping. His invisible hand amazes me.  Every season, it amazes me. 

August 2 was our One Year Anniversary for buying this home.
We celebrated with tres leches cake and writing more blessings from the last year to fill our jar.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

To Camp or Not to Camp?

Last weekend was our church camping weekend up in the Rockies.
I grew up camping. My husband did not.  And he still wonders why we would want to subject ourselves to all that stress just to see some trees.
So, we have never gone camping.
I am a firm believer that a wife should not nag her husband.  Not a perfect example, but a firm believer!
However...I really wanted to go with the church.  Because when your children get invited each year to go with other families and you just sort of...stay's not very fun.
So...Kenny was kind enough to take us down for an afternoon, to check it out. To see if he even liked it one bit.  To see if he would even think it might be possible to load up our crew and head down for a few days next August.
Man, the drive was amazingly beautiful.  Pike's Peak on our left, trees all around, 75 degrees, bright blue skies.  God is amazing!! Therapy for this Mama.
We spent the day fellow-shipping and playing cards and walking around.
And perhaps, just perhaps, we might be back next August.  With the church.  And a camper.  And all the hassles.  And all the beauty.
Because my husband didn't hate it.
I'll keep you posted.

Emma took Sarah and Ellie up to the Dragon's Eggs.

Love the hands in the pockets. And the rubber boots.  Michael lives in those boots!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

He Has Wings

 It's a strange thing, saying goodbye.  Part of you wants to put it off just a little longer, most of you wants to get it over with.
Last weekend, we drove Joey out to Kansas City where he will attend a ministry/music school for the next four years.
You don't really know how much you love someone until something changes.
As he is looking forward, his Mama and siblings spent some time looking back.  Back to his childhood, his growing into manhood.  Back to where all the children were younger and things seemed simpler. Back to the time it seemed nobody would ever really leave home. Because when you home school, you are just about always together.  Kind of like one giant living thing.  With many, many mouths.
We got him settled into his wonderful new place.  He has a family to live with.  A warm family. A family with eight older children. A family who home schooled. 
He has a roommate.  David is kind and happy and quiet.
He has good neighbors.  He has a good school.
He has the Creator of the Universe.
He has wings.
Joey at his High School graduation, complete with two cool bro's.
Joey and Sarah, climbing the Castle Rock, on the 10 siblings' last full day together.
Kenny and I, heading down our driveway, taking Joey to school.
Little Mikey, waving goodbye.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

We Have One Out of His Teens!!

Daniel Stephen, our very first child, turned 20 last weekend.  He's just a great guy.  His name means "God is my judge".  When he was younger we used to tease that he got it mixed up and thought it meant "I am the judge of my siblings!"
 We celebrated with a meager 30 people.  It seems that our tradition of having just one family over for dinner is now long-gone.

Young men's minds amaze me.

Funny faces with cute little sisters!

We had literally piles of food -and per Danny style, it was the same fare as every year...Burgers and ice cream pies. One friend bought six bottles of Vernor's  ginger ale for the birthday boy.  Danny loves the stuff, and so did my Grandpa Robert, who Danny reminds me a lot of.
The jar full of birdseed was a gift from me. When Danny was ten, I made a bunch of I Spy jars for the guests.  I filled the jars with a mix of birdseed and small trinkets.  Then tied on a tag with lists of the trinkets to find in the jar.  There were extra guests that year, and Danny gave his jar to one the guests.  I promised I would give him a new one.  And it took me another ten years, but I made good on my promise!  This new jar not only had trinkets, but gift cards as well!

Chocolate-Oreo-M&M Pies. Not a crumb was left for the next day.

Emma and her buddy, celebrating Danny!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Potty-Training Tales

How can you tell we are potty-training? 
Just look at these pics...
A stack of books on the bathroom counter to keep him busy...

Crackers and cheese, and plenty of water...

Strewn clothes in the bathroom...Apparently someone was in a hurry...

This morning Michael walked into my room, with nothing on except a shirt.  He was holding his underwear, and it was obvious he had messed them before taking them off.  
Mom: Uh, Mikey, did you go p**p?
Mikey: Yup. (with a cute little smug smile)
Mom: Um...Okay, well, where is the p**p?
Mikey: (still smiling) Oh... I will go look for it.
(seconds later, from the hall) I hear "Oh! Here it is!"
Mom pulls out hair and grabs the paper towels.

Nate Goes to the E.R.

When your big family van starts smoking and the mechanic tells you it will be $850 to fix it, you go to plan B and figure out how to get 4 of your men to their places of work, each in a different city, with only two cars.  Then, when your husband's Subaru freaks out and the mechanic tells you it will be $1,500-$2,000 to fix that, you sigh a little and suck it up and realize you will be spending the rest of your summer as a taxi driver.  Juggling children of all ages. In 90 degree weather.  With no air conditioning in the car.  
1 car x 4 workers x 4 different cities = Taxi Mom.
And when you have two weeks to get everything ready for your son to go to music school in Kansas City- your very first child to leave home- and everyone is weepy and his housing situation has changed at the last minute and you still need to get your school books and plans together for your remaining children and your littlest boy is only sort-of getting this whole potty-training thing and your third son wants to change his plans for his early college just when you had decided on them then you may find yourself thinking that this. is. a. lot.  But you can handle it, because it's your life.
Then, on park day, when one of your boys has your only car in Denver, and two boys are in Castle Rock, and one boy is at a friend's an hour away (just about near Kansas!) and another boy is down the road at a friend's, and your husband is working on getting a ride to a church men's meeting, you might be a little surprised to get a call from the friend down the road telling you that your 8 year-old just broke his arm.
And when you hear his crying in the background of the phone, your start to cry yourself. And when you climb into your friend's car and sit next to your little boy, you kiss his fuzzy head and look reassuringly into his eyes and you think, "You know, all that other stuff will take care of itself.  This is what I'm doing.  I get to comfort this little guy all evening."  And the rest of the night you get to be his best Mom.  
I think that's the best thing in the world.

Nate didn't even fall off the trampoline.  He fell on it.  Problem is, his arm was under him.  And he had been bounced very high before he fell.
He was so tough in the ER.  I was really proud of him.

Waiting for the green light to go home.  He was pretty loopy here.  His eyeballs were just not doing normal things.  And in between saying loudly, "This is weeeeeeird!" he would look for me and ask for me.  And I was right there, rubbing his fuzzy head.