Well, summer is officially here in Florida. It is HOT! In Florida you either stay inside to stay cool or you go swimming. So we are doing some of both. Ellie is doing well. She has decided to cut 3 new teeth at once. She is still very high maintenance and vocal about whatever she is not happy about, but she is our girl and is very much a part of all we do. A friend got her the little outfit that says "All American Girl" and I loved it so I took some pictures of her in it. Then I decided to try a trip to the beach. Oh my....it is a lot of work to get a whole bunch of kids to the beach and I have what feels like a whole bunch of kids! The church youth group was going so we met them there. It was Ellie's first time of course and surprisingly she loved it. No tears at all as long as I didn't try to leave her with anyone other than our gang. We stayed all of about 3 hours and would still be there trying to pack up if the youth folks hadn't had pity on us and helped with our stuff. I would like to get it down to a system like my friend, Abby, but I don't know if that is possible...I'm not very organized. But, hey, we made it and I got those photos to prove that we took her :) Sometimes being a mom feels like having a check list and as long as we do the things on the list then we are a good mom. Oh my...I want my parenting to be so much more than that. No matter that much of parenting is doing the same training over and over and over until one day they say "yes ma'am" to a complete stranger....or that we have to tell them thousands of times to put their dishes in the dishwasher or to put the dvds back in their case when they are done...yes the truth is that the majority of parenting is training...but it must be more than that. It must be the commitment to share life with the people God blesses you with and to enjoy their presence in your life. It must be an adventure to watch and see who God is going to turn these little people into. It needs to be a privilege that I value so highly that I lay aside my lazy tendencies and do all to the glory of God. James Dobson was right when he said, "parenting isn't for cowards". Somehow though God took a coward like me and made me a mom and is teaching me to value my job...not just for Christian women's rights....but for my children...to value to time He gives me with them...to pour myself out for them and to watch in stunned amazement as they rise up and call me blessed. I don't know how God does that, but He does. He honors our commitments even when we have lost the passion for them. He makes us our very best and brings honor to Himself through our measly efforts. He is amazing! Awesome! There is none like Him and I can't begin to do this or any other job without Him. I am a blessed woman and privileged to be a mom. God Bless! Much love and don't forget to enjoy your kids this summer!