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Friday, July 16, 2010

Bicentennial Park

Splish-splash Sasha, my 5-year-old neice

Here's my neice, Leyla (aka "Leyla-bug)

These are my two, Alisa & Aaron

These characters are my grandmother and Hubby

Most of the kit and kaboodle: Xavier, Leyla, Alisa & Sasha (my other neice)

I am thankful that I have kids who appreciate the simple things in life. If you have read previous blogs then you know that I am a recent nursing school graduate and am currently looking for a job (i.e., unemployed). Money in our household has been tight for some time. Needless to say, it hasn't been the most exciting of summers for my kids. We rent an occasional movie from the Redbox (and make sure to return it within the alotted 24-hour timeframe) and snack on microwave popcorn. We make weekly trips to the library and participate in their summer reading program. Last month we attended several "free concerts" at a new outdoor venue downtown. Enough of that, though. I think I'll change my blog name to "MakeDoMama".

My daughter decided she'd like to have a picnic with her cousins just for fun. My mind automatically started racing-do we have enough sandwich fixins to feed everybody? (money really is just that tight!) Won't it be too hot for a picnic in Texas in the middle of July?! The big kids probably won't have fun, etc...I had to catch myself before saying an automatic "no" because when you think about it, how much fun is a little picnic at a park with some sort of water play area, even in the Texas heat? I remembered all of the "tell your kids 'yes' ten times for every 'no'" teachings and realized I fall short of that. It's usually the other way around. I thought of all of the sappy emails where people lament the passage of time and regret missing all of the little treasures that go along with childhood because they were in too big a hurry or working too many hours. Finally, I recalled an absolutely dreadful, expensive "motivational" weekend workshop from years ago. I thought it was a big hoax and got my money back, but one thing I remember is them saying that we build our own mountains between where we are and where we want to be. For example, I am here in Texas working nonstop as wife and mommy. I want to be in Hawaii leaning to hula. I begin with the base of my mountain (the big problems): I have no money to travel. I don't want to leave the kids. Hubby doesn't have vacation time right now. Who will teach my Sunday school class?...we keep going until we reach the tip of our mountain with such menial excuses as: I have nothing to wear. I might miss my favorite re-run episode of _____ on TV. The moral of that lesson was sometimes we have to say "yes" in a have a little faith/"build-it-and-they-will-come" sort of way. So, I asked myself, "What would Mama Hen do?" and had to say "yes" to my sweet daughter for doing her best to have a little fun on an otherwise uneventful day.
I dug in the freezer and found a pack of hot dogs and a package of buns and threw the hot dogs in a skillet on the stove and the buns in the microwave to defrost. I grabbed the two bags of chips from the pantry and cut up the watermelon that I bought on sale last week. I filled an insulated cooler with ice water and also grabbed the Kool-aid jammers that had been chilling in the freezer (they were on sale for 69 cents/six pack, so that was a "splurge" even I could afford!). I loaded one of my reusable shopping bags with a plastic table cover, hand sanitizer, paper plates, cups and paper towels. I picked up my grandmother and neice, Sasha, from my mom's house (mom and dad were heading to a memorial service for a church friend), and my brother-in-law met us back at my house. We all headed to the park-Hubby included since he is on vacation this week.
It was hot but not unbearable under the tent-like canopies covering the picnic table area. The kids splashed around a bit then ate their picnic lunch and splashed a bit more. By 12:30 when the sun was high up in the sky and even the water offered little relief, we packed up and headed home to the air conditioning. It was a nice little getaway to spice up another ordinary day! I'll have to remember to tell Alisa thanks for suggesting it. Until next time...


  1. Eastlyn these pictures are great! It looks like everyone had so much fun! Your children are beautiful and your neices are little cuties! Have a great night!

    Mama Hen

  2. Thanks! As always, I'm looking forward to checking out what's going on at the hen house in just a bit. -EW

  3. Such a fantastic day, and a motivational post. I feel like that sometimes too. But I know its going to get better. This life has so many things to teach us, that I really believe we couldn't learn the things God wants us to learn, if everything came easy. And I'm sure that on most occasions, as with yours on this hot Texas day, the kids wouldn't have had any more fun if you had spent $1000 or $10, they were just happy to be with you and in the company of those they love.

  4. Lovely family photos and bonding. Now following your blog. Please feel free to visit sometimes.

  5. Great post! You built a wonderful memory!

    I hadn't heard that saying about saying "yes" 10x for every "no." I think we have way too many "no's" going on in our household.

    And, the "What Would Mama Hen" do thing cracked me up! I love her too...she's such an inspiration!