Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Family Fun Plus One

It has become a tradition to go swimming on Father's Day.  This is not necessarily a tradition born out of my husband's love of swimming.  It is the type of tradition that is born out of the ever-expanding memories of our children that constantly remind us of things with statements that begin like this, "You remember that one time you ______ (fill in the blank). Can we do that again?"

In my old age I must admit I have become somewhat of a "Debbie Downer" or "Negative Nancy" - especially when it comes to swimming in the summer.  Swimming in the winter is somewhat more bearable, in my opinion, because it involves heated indoor pools, warm (not scorching hot) walkways and does not require the use of sunscreen.  Given the unusually cooler temperatures our area has been enjoying this spring I was certain the water would be nowhere near the temperature in which I prefer to fully submerge my body.  That said, out loud.  We journeyed to the local YMCA water-park and embarked on our annual Father's Day swim. 

The water was COLD.  I do not know how our children can splash right in and never blink an eye.  After several minutes of slowly walking across the pool we were finally able to breathe again.  Preacherman was certain hypothermia had began to set in.  We spent some time in the pool (debating if we could leave yet) then moved on to a few rounds in the Lazy River and then back to the main pool.  

Many of you may know that we are in the process of taking some foster parenting classes and hope to add  another child (or two) to our family.  This Father's day outing to the pool gave us an unusual glimpse of what that might look like.  

I was no longer interested in being "in" the pool, so I sat on the edge and watched Rockstar on the lily pads and began tossing some Splash Bombs to Crazy Horse.  Rockstar and Little Princess moved on to the feature area with Preacherman as Crazy Horse and I continued our game of catch.  All of a sudden with no warning a male child, likely near Crazy Horse's age, jumped in the pool between us and entered our game.  Now I was throwing the splash bombs to two children of similar size and age and watching them, with a smile on my face, as I saw for the first time what another child might add to our family.  I was amazed that out of all the people at a pool on a Sunday afternoon that this child had decided to join us.  They were fun to watch as they both called for the ball to be thrown to them and the "fight" to catch the ball that ensued with each toss.  The smiles across their faces, the feigned frustration with each other and the pure enjoyment they were having warmed my heart.

Preacherman soon joined us, as did Little Princess who immediately wanted all the balls tossed to her.  The young boy quickly added Preacherman to the game of toss.  I kept looking around thinking his parents might show up and wonder who we were and why we were playing catch with their son.  No one ever asked.

We don't know this young boy's story.  We do know that we had fun and enjoyed sharing our game with him.  Preacherman asked the boy if he was there with his family.  No.  He was there with his coach.  I'm not sure what the boy's family life is like, but I am happy to know he has a coach who cares enough to spend Father's Day taking him to the pool.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Book Review: A Kingsbury Collection by Karen Kingsbury

I recently had the opportunity to read the three novel collection, A Kingsbury Collection, by Karen Kingsbury.  I have read several of Karen Kingsbury’s books and usually enjoy them to tears.  I had not previously read any of the stand alone novels in this collection.  The novels in this collection include: Where Yesterday Lives, When Joy Came to Stay and On Every Side.

Where Yesterday Lives follows Ellen Barrett, a prize winning journalist, as she examines her present, revisits her past and dreams of her future.  When Joy Came to Stay is a story of Maggie Stovall.  A woman who appears to have it all together and finds herself falling apart at every turn.  The novel, On Every Side, tells the story of Faith Evans and her fight to save a precious community statue of Jesus in a city park and the heart of a boy she knew long ago.

I enjoyed each title in this collection.  A couple of the stories included story-lines related to adoption which is very close to my heart.  I love how Karen Kingsbury creates characters and story-lines that are real, relational and relevant.  I would recommend her books to any avid fiction reader.  I strongly recommend the e-book format.  I found the size of this book to be a bit cumbersome to read and carry.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

2013 Reading List

Here's to another year of enjoying some of my favorite authors and finding new ones!

1) Simple Secrets - Nancy Mehl
2) Where Yesterday Lives - Karen Kingsbury
3) Shattered - Dani Pettrey
4) When Joy Came to Stay - Karen Kingsbury
5) On Every Side - Karen Kingsbury
6) Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother - Amy Chua
7) Created to be His Help Meet - Debi Pearl (I do not recommend this book)
8) Vanished - Irene Hannon
9) The Longest Ride - Nicholas Sparks
10) Unspoken - Dee Henderson
11) His Mistletoe Family - Ruth Logan Herne
12) Christmas in the Air - Irene Brand/Dana Corbit
13) Bring Me Home for Christmas - Robyn Carr
14) Stranded - Dani Pettrey