Showing posts with label winter fun with kids. Show all posts
Showing posts with label winter fun with kids. Show all posts

Thursday, January 28, 2016

God, Angels, And A Mountain

Share time, k? Two secrets about me that you may not know, I'm deathly afraid of heights, and I get big time lost on many of the adventures I find myself on. One or the other isn't really all that bad per se, but combine the two and watch out honey, you're in for a wild ride. 

The other day, both girls had friends over for the night and it was an unusually warm winter's day, seemed like the perfect day for a little hike. There was a nearby mountain that my girls had been wanting to explore and it sounded like a perfect fit for the day.

The mountain is pretty high and sports some beautiful views of multi counties at it's peak. The girls' particular attraction was in the fact that the mountain top is all rock and a favorite place for hikers both young and old alike to paint the rocks in some way leaving their mark. I've seen pictures that others have posted on Instagram and Facebook and it's breathtaking, not only the views but all the beautiful colors and writings on the rocks.

Sounds perfect. Off we go. Me, four teen girls and Matthew, I know, I know, poor little guy, he's used to being surrounded by lots of girls!

Once we found the gravel road entrance, I began looking for a parking lot of some kind. Didn't see anything, no apparent signage or anything like that so I continued down the gravel road. I began thinking that, whew, this is the longest lead in road to a hike that I've ever been on before, but I remained confident that I'd see somewhere to park soon. 

The road began to narrow making it hard to imagine that another car could pass in the opposite direction, not that I'd seen another car, we were apparently the only folks hiking the mountain on this winter's day. I noticed that we were definitely heading up, and up,  and up.  Okay, this is a little weird I'm thinking, the road was really bumpy with large potholes from all the recent rain we've had, our suv struggled a few times. The road had without a doubt become a one car at a time road, making it impossible for me to change my mind at this point, I found myself with only two options, back  down {yes, I do mean put the car in reverse and literally back  the car downthe way we'd come or keep going. Yeah, I chose the keep going, backing down a mountain road is not an item on my bucket list y'all. 

So, it's winter ya know, all the leaves are off the trees so I'm beginning to get a pretty good view off the sides of the mountain, and let me tell you, I'm not liking what I'm seeing, everything's really tiny y'all, houses, cattle, farmland, teeny, weeny.

Okay, at this point I'm starting to wonder if this road is even supposed to have a car on it, what if somehow I messed up and I'm driving on the actual trail, the walking trail, freaking out y'all, literally freaking out, and,  still driving up. 

As I look out over the mountain's edge, my fear of heights maxes out and panic sets in. Gotta stay calm, gotta keep my cool, five kids in the car, it'll be okay.

We continued on and I see the colorful rocks just ahead, what?! ,  the colorful rocks?, people hike to those, more freaking out........ the girls start squealing, here we are, here we are, they're so excited and oblivious to my panic-stricken-about-to-have-a-panic-attack-at-any-minute self. Let's get out, they say. No, not just yet, I say. I know that I've got to keep going as much as I don't want to because I have to find a way to turn around on top of this mountain. We keep going, still up, just a little further to the summit, where praise God, it's large enough for me to turn around.

I turn around and instead of feeling better, my panic increases by leaps and bounds because now I'm terrified about going down. It had been a bit of a struggle going up, so I began thinking that there's no possible way I can get down without slipping and plummeting off the side of the mountain, I was paralyzed by fear, completely paralyzed. I'm thinking of my kids and the two precious girls that have been entrusted to my care, and what have I gotten us all into?

I drive slowly down back to the colored rocks and pull over slightly to let the overjoyed girls out, they have arrived at their destination and they're thrilled, me, I'm a basket case. I've managed to keep my sunglasses on hoping that they can't see my eyes and my struggle to keep the tears at bay.

The girls run off and begin painting their names on the rocks, they're having a blast. Me, not so much. I pull out my cell phone and pray big time that it will have a signal, I need to call my hero, the bravest one I know, I need to call my husband. To my surprise, the phone works and my hero answers on the other end. He tells me all the things I need to know, all the practical advice that heroes are so good with, but my fear, it's hard for him to help me much with that because it's my  fear, and it's fully irrational. I thank him and tell him how much I love him {Lord knows I'm thinking I may never see him again} and I walk over to the side of the mountain sheltered by a huge boulder, now I call on my other hero, God above. I begin praying big time y'all, praying for God to send my guardian angels, because there's no way I can do this on my own, no way. I fight back the tears.

I walk back over to the car and try to find peace and a calm spirit. I talk to little Matthew just like it was any other day. He says, mama, are you afraid, I know you don't like being up so very high? No, I assure him, it's all good I say. I'm not sure he believes me, but he goes on along exploring the rocks anyway. 

What happened next is the whole point of this really, really, long story. It's amazing and miraculous and hard to even believe, unless of course you're a believer and you already know that God's going to show up. He showed up right on top of that mountain and saved me from my own irrational fears, He saved me from my own self. 

I heard a noise and looked up the road where we had turned around at the top of the mountain, and down was driving a truck, the most beautiful blue truck I'd ever laid eyes on, I swear it had the wings of angels. Where could it have come from? I had just been up there at the top of the mountain and turned our car around seeing nothing and no one. I swear I leaped for joy and went running over to the truck which slowed upon seeing me. The driver rolled down her window and I began to unload my burdens upon her, she must have thought I was nuts, but no matter, it was a truck, a truck that was going to drive down the mountain, and if they could drive down with no problem so could I. I was as light as a feather and positively giddy. Thank you God for hearing my pleas {as ridiculous as they may have been!}.

When the girls were all done painting, we loaded up and started down the mountain. I was a little shaken but my fears had mostly subsided and I felt pretty silly for being so worried. 

I'll have you know that I praised God all the way down that mountain, all the way down. As we were pulling out of the gravel road back onto the main street to leave, I saw this tiny little turn around that is the 'parking' lot for the hike, you've got to be kidding me? For whatever reason, on this particular Friday morning, God and I needed to meet up on a mountain top.

xo, Amy

Linking At:  Thoughts From Alice

Friday, February 20, 2015

Help: I'm Going Crazy Cooped Up Inside With These Kids

This cold weather is really starting to wear on my nerves. I have a seven year old boy who must  go outside every day or bad things will happen. Can anyone relate? Today it's so cold and windy there's no hope of getting my little guy out- yikes! What's a mom to do? Help me Pinterest, help me! I checked my DIY board and came up with a few ideas.

Art to the rescue! I started by covering my table with craft paper for easy-peasy clean-up, then put out the pencils and watercolors for some crafty fun. If you don't have paper specifically for watercolors, pick some up, it really makes a big difference in the end product. I put out a little fruit still life and stood back.

I had this picture in my mind of my kids doing their artwork, you know, all smiley and everyone cooperating and beautiful masterpieces being turned out, oh my gosh, so didn't happen. First there was total confusion from Matthew about how to draw the bowl, and then a dog joined in and ended up with a watercolor heart tatoo on her belly, then Matthew turned over his cup of water and it puddled all onto the floor. This is pretty regular if you know Matthew. Bless his heart. So much for picture perfect.

On the bright side, they had fun, we passed some time and some really great art was made. A giant Pinterest fail,  but I don't think the good life is really meant to be pin-worthy. 

If you're pulling your hair trying to figure out how in the world you can make it till warm weather arrives, give art a try,  not the pinnable kind, but the real life kind. And take heart, it can't possibly be any worse of a mess than ours!

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