Playing Hooky

Image taken by Avodah

Today, this girl and I are blowing off school and heading to Busch Gardens. We could have done this after school, or on Saturday, but there’s something about skipping school to have a fun day with Mom that’s extra special.

Sometimes playing hooky is the right thing to do.

Sometimes they need you all to themselves.

Sometimes they need to know that time spent alone with Mom is fleeting and special and a little bit exciting.

Sometimes they just need to see that building a memory is more important than reviewing spelling words.

Sometimes playing hooky is right because I want them all to know that family is fun and life is an adventure and it’s okay to get away now and again for no other reason than just to have a good laugh. I also want them to know that this is not something that we do all the time and it’s only to be done with Mom and Dad’s blessing and involvement.

Sometimes you just need a break. Today I get my break with her and her alone and we are both giddy with excitement.

What are you up to today?

The Date

Lee has the day off so we are taking advantage of cooler temps and an overcast day to go to Busch Gardens.


Just me and him.


We’re going to ride all the fun roller coasters that we haven’t been able to ride because we’ve always had the kids with us.


This is an unexpected and lovely treat leading us into our weekend. A date. During the day.


I’m not excited or anything…

What’s the most fun or creative date you’ve ever been on?

Busch Gardens Fun

Alternately titled: Proof that I’m getting old because two days later I’m still worn out.

First order of business – I am over at (in)courage today talking about being uncomfortable. I’d love for you to read about the hope that God has placed in my heart despite the unsettled place I am in. Thank you for reading and for your support as I continue to work out the struggles of moving.

And on to my second order of business. Telling you random bits about my life…

We entered into our final ten weeks of curriculum this week and let me just tell you something – home schooling is exhausting. I’m wiped. Some days are jazzy fun. The kids get it. I’m happy.

Birds flit about the house chirping in perfect harmony.

But other days it appears that someone has tied a ten pound stone about all our necks, thrown us into the deep end of a pool and yelled, “Swim!” We stay afloat, but Lawdy we have to work hard.

The only things keeping me sane motivatedĀ are frequent scheduled breaks and Cuban Espresso. I like to call it caffienated sludge. It’s somethin’ potent, but it gets the job done. IĀ feel great once my hands stop trembling. Come to think of it, the cartoon birds only flit about when I drink my sludge. Interesting…

Last week I laid out the kid’s lessons and gave them a great, big goal – finish it all by Friday and we will head to Busch Gardens. I wish I could adequately explain the zeal with which they attacked their Math books. Little tongues stuck out of their mouths in deep concentration as they worked through each lesson mothodically. Then they moved on to spelling and writing and Russian and reading and each time someone would start to complain I’d raise an eyebrow (which, incidentally, I never knew how to raise one eyebrow until I became a mom. It’s like I inherited that magic brow when my first born hit two) and they’d snap their mouths shut and put pencil to paper.

Call it motivation, bribery, reward – We went to Busch Gardens.

I don’t have great pictures of the picture perfect reward day because who wants to carry a mammth camera around an amusement park?

Well, actually, I kind of do. I am going to bring my good camera next time because there are a lot of great photos to be taken there.

The photos I did get, though, were filled with three grinning, laughing, blond headed children who deserved a break. I am proud of my kids and the hard work they’ve put in this year. I’m not sure if we are going to home school again next year. We are still praying about it and looking at our options, seeking what’s best for them, for me and for our family. But for now, I am cherishing this sweet and challenging year I’ve had with my children. We have all grown and learned in different ways. I wouldn’t trade these months for anything.


This was his first big kid ride. I'm hoping he will be my child who likes roller coasters. No one else in my family will go on them with me.


Like my new tennis shoes? I was hoping they would provide a bit of motivation to work out. Turns out they aren't magical. They're Disappointing.


"Mom, I'm pettin' a Wallaby!" That might be my favorite quote of the day. Tia was enamored with these creatures.

Happy weekending everyone! May your days be filled with sun, laughter and maybe even a Wallaby or two!

The one where we go on a date.

I gave him a goal to start the year. A goal for my first born with a natural bent for learning, but not a love for the process. “If you finish two books before the month is over, I will take you some place extra special – just you and me.”

That’s all he needed. Motivated by encouragement and a promise, he zipped through two books in less than two weeks. Perhaps the goal was too easy, but I wanted it to be attainable. I wanted him to succeed because I wanted to reward him. And today, the reward comes to be.

Sloan and I are headed to Busch Gardens today, just the two of us. Wendy wrote a whole series of posts on dating our sons (and daughters) and every post was precious, but I was particularly fond of this one. One of our Christmas gifts from my parents was season passes to Busch Gardens and I am so excited to break in those passes with Sloan.

Of my three children, fostering a relationship with Sloan has been the most difficult journey, mainly because he and I are so very much alike in a lot of ways and so very different in other ways. Add to that the fact that he is simply getting older and he needs to be fusing more to his Dad at this time in his life, and you have a recipe for hard moments in our sometimes long days.

Sloan and I need to have some uninterrupted, do what we want, no-one-pulling-my-attention-away fun and tomorrow will be that day. The weather is going to be beautiful (seriously, I totally get why people come to Florida for the winter – it’s freaky awesome), and we are going to ride rides, play games and simply enjoy one another with no set schedule.

It’s been way too long since I dated my son.

So that’s where I am today. I’m building an altar with my cherished first born; an altar of remembrance to look back on with grace and fondness and, hopefully, a few secretive giggles. A lifetime’s worth of memories awaits us.

*happy dance*

Happy Tuesday, everyone.