Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tampa Adventure

After much thought and consideration, we decided as a family to join Andrew at a conference he was speaking at in Tampa, Florida. It didn't take a whole lot of convincing to leave our snowy and cold province and spend some time in a warm spot. As it turns out, it actually hasn't been all that sunny and certainly not tanning weather, but there are times when an escape from the sameness of our days, is necessary. My biggest concern was the girls missing 5 days of school at the beginning of their second semester. They have, however, brought their assignments for the week, and will be working on them today and tomorrow so they will not be too far behind on Monday. They are both excellent students and I have every confidence they will succeed in whatever they choose to do.
Lately, I've been thinking about my role as a wife, a mom, homemaker, ministry assistant, administration assistant and wondering what all this will look like in 5 years.
We are still in the process of raising 2 teenagers which can be exhausting and challenging, but we wouldn't change anything. They are beautiful and amazing girls and as their parents we hope we can fulfill our God-given responsibility to raise them with an eye for beauty, a desire for simplicity and vision to see beyond themselves. So this trip has provided an opportunity for me, as their Mom, to connect with them and to try to chip away at the masks that very often get in the way of seeing the reality of what is going on in their lives. The girls very much live their lives 'in the moment' and there is always the constant communication with friends that is an integral part of who they are. We have not had our cell phones with us and even though we did bring the laptop, there has been a somewhat limited connection with their 'budddies' at home.
Now to give you a glimpse of our trip thus far ~
Anna and her friend Leanne enroute to Tampa!!
Sarah and Anna in front of our hotel - lovin' the palm trees!!
Tuesday morning family trip to the aquarium - awesome!!
Purchased tickets to an NHL game - Tampa Bay vs. Buffalo - so much fun to see this live, cheered on the home team but they ended up losing 7-4 in the end, even experienced the fists flying a couple of times!! I would say highlight of the week.
This is downtown Tampa, at noon, on a weekday. Notice there is no one around - everyone here seems to drive a vehicle wherever they go. We really didn't see anyone walking anywhere - we were definitely the exception and felt rather out of place when we decided to walk.
Wednesday, the girls and I head off to Busch Gardens. Lots of wildlife and roller coasters. Anna, so happy to finally see an elephant for real.
Lots of roller coasters - can you spot the girls? Mama wasn't so brave!!
End of another fun day.

As we wrap up our week together here in Florida, I pause to think about the joy my children have given me over the years. The memories we have made together will always make me happy. Whether it was as simple as a picnic in the park, watching them try out different sports, cheering them on in their achievements in school, giving them the extras as we were able, but most of all loving them unconditionally. My musings go to the next generation that is coming along and hopefully I will be able to cheer them on as they experience the full and abundant life that God has intended for them.