Saturday smiles: Life is messy edition

Phil and I like to watch Food Network, especially the competition shows. We’re currently catching up on Next Food Network Star. Last night, I had a dream that Bobby Flay asked us to host a cooking show on the network.

I wish.

Well, not really. Because the two of us don’t really have a culinary point of view, as the network execs like to say. Really, the only thing that defines our cooking is that we’re sure to make a mess of the kitchen. And generally, we turn out something tasty. Maybe even a little unusual. I always say, we’re the messy chefs.

In reality, life is messy. We intend to reflect that in our ministry and in our lives. We aren’t afraid to get our hands dirty with other people’s messes because, let me tell you, we’ve had plenty of our own.

This week, though, we took “messy” literally.

The kids are almost two weeks into their summer reading program, which is all about night-themed stuff. So, for one of their projects, we cut stars out of construction paper and decorated them with glitter. I didn’t even remember that I had glitter until we started planning this project.

I learned one thing about glitter: It doesn’t matter how careful you are not to make a mess, you’re going to walk away covered in the stuff. We’re still finding glitter on our faces, our feet and our arms and legs.

Most importantly, we had fun. And the kids got to work with a new art supply. And their stars (not pictured) are on display at the library for the duration of the summer. Totally worth the path of glitter trailing from our house to the library.

Corban really liked shaking the glitter canister, which accounted for most of the mess. I tried to save as much of the excess as I could, but my efforts had only partial success. We don’t have an art supply budget in our house (or a craft room — sigh) so we’ll make do.

Most of the rest of the week was unbearably hot. With our future uncertain, Phil and I made the decision to not bring the air conditioner down from the attic. (Because it’s heavy and a beast and an electricity guzzler … no offense to the dear friends who have loaned it to us!) We did put the kids’ air conditioner in so they could sleep comfortably. (Underneath layers of blankets. In 90-degree heat. On the first day of summer. Sometimes I wonder if these are really my children.)

So, when we got a short system of rain, Phil and the kids took advantage of the temporary relief.

Like a mama with ducklings. They were in search of a puddle.

I’m not sure anything makes me happier than this picture right here.

Innocence, joy and the trademark tongue all rolled into one. Although this child is often the source of my frustration (because she needs people all the time and I don’t), she is also the source of many giggles. Take this conversation, for instance:

Daughter: “Mom, will my name still be ‘Izzy’ when I grow up?

Mom: “It will be whatever you want it to be. You could go by Isabelle, Izzy, Belle …”

Daughter: “Or Cinderella, or Cindy, or cup.”

Mom bursts out laughing and forgets the rest of the conversation.

Our son, also, has his moments of favor. We are more alike¬†temperamentally, so it takes a lot more from him to cause me frustration. One of my favorite things lately is when he comes into the bedroom just after I’ve gotten dressed for the day and says, “Oh, you look pwetty.” (Is your heart melting? Mine has. Numerous times.)

This time next week, our kids will be out of our hands for almost a week and in the more-than-capable hands of their grandparents. I look forward to the relief but know I’ll be a basket-case the whole way home after we make our exchange.

I mean, really. How could I not miss this:

Life is messy. Parenting is hard. And this moment was one highlight among a lot of lowlights this week. But I’ve decided I’ll endure the lows, though they be frequent, if it means I get to experience the highs, though they be rare.

Happy weekend!

And if you see my dad, wish him a “Happy Birthday!”

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