Monday, June 7, 2010

Bittersweet Weekend

I thought I'd start this post off with a reality-check. This is the kind of yuckiness I live with since being converted to Dog Owner. Rhodes was so good during his visit to the vet on Friday, that I thought I'd start my weekend review with this photo of him and his best bud, Graham.

Our children never officially learned to dance (they'll be so mad at me for this). But when we caught wind of a particular dance, we got curious. A google search led us to a lesson, and we had a spontaneous bit of family fun. The dining room in our rental serves as many things: sewing room, office, school room, and the latest, dance hall. Craig had a long, busy week at work, so we staged a way to give him a lift when he arrived at home on Friday. First, the Cha-Cha Slide, followed by this dance to which I refuse to own up. We all danced together (except Graham), but in this photo, I had resumed my internet browsing in the background, and I'm not sure where Craig was.

Later that evening, we revived one of our family traditions: drawing together, which we did while listening to the audio version of O, Jerusalem. This time, though, rather than drawing, I updated my nature journal with a list of the birds I've seen so far in Moçambique, South Africa, and Swaziland.

Morgan has inherited Craig's artistic gift. Neither of them ever produces anything that satisfies his or her perfectionism. I, on the other hand, admire every jot and tittle from them both.

My man's skilled hands


This cutie loves to draw her own fashion designs. I'm amazed at the amount of detail she includes in her drawings of ladies' boutiques. She's a perfect balance of the two of us: Craig's talent and my passion for retail.

I'm cherishing every moment with this young lady. This fall will be marked by her temporary absence, and that's a sobering truth to accept. I was supposed to be that mommy of all of those toddlers and preschoolers...

I think Graham was still contemplating what to draw. By the way, in our house, the guys like to go shirtless. Don't worry, though. They always keep a shirt nearby, just in case company shows up.

Craig Grayson is looking more and more manly as the days go by.

My friend, Sue, says that we're raising our children to be foodies. She may be right. While Craig and I checked email on Saturday morning, the children were fixing breakfast for us. I'm so glad to have these people!! This colorful display was transformed into...

zucchini and spinach quiche:

Now I come to the "bittersweet" part of our weekend. On Saturday night, we attended the graduation of some friends of our children. These teens hail from all over the globe, and we are thankful to have had the time to get to know them. I can't wait to see how they make their mark on the world. The ceremony went very well. We thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.

Until very recently, I proudly purported myself as one who doesn't cry easily. Well, the Lord has given me a tender heart these days, and I was the sap in the back of the banquet room crying over the graduation of someone else's children! In truth, though, I've come to love these guys, as they have been very good friends to our children. We've enjoyed sharing memorable times with them. Starting today, one by one, they are going to different parts of the world to begin the next chapter in their lives, and we will miss them.

We're going to miss Jason and Tyler so much. They are remarkable young men of godly character, who possess leadership qualities that are rare among today's youth. (Of my six family members, someone could have warned me that my hair was sticking out on the side.)

Our family has thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Arun. He has a big heart and a dedicated focus on his future goals.

Last night, we met with two other families to pray for our three graduates. The lesson I learned during our time together was that mascara is inappropriate for such an occasion -- especially if we're having dinner out at a nice restaurant afterward. (Vain, but true.) In all seriousness, though, my heart was truly blessed by the prayers offered by each member of our three families on behalf of Jason, Tyler, and Caelyn. Their friendship has been one of the things that has made our time in Moz so special, and now they're all going in separate directions. This is both the saddest time and the most exciting time.

I'm off now to see how Michelle and her friends spent their weekend. Thanks for reading!


  1. Oh, soft hearted as you are, of course you would cry...who wouldn't, graduating your first baby! (and yes, you ARE raising "Foodies"!) I've been tearing up since Meghan turned 16....and now realizing that I will have a 12 grader, 11th grader, 3rd grader...and (I'm so thankful) a 1st grader...I know how quickly time went since Meghan was that 1st grader! My friend...where will Caelyn be in the fall? Wherever she is, we'll be praying for her! 'HUGS' to the mother of the graduate! Love, Sue

  2. I enjoy reading your blog!!!
    The Cha Cha slide is super fun - even though I am TERRIBLE....
    and YUM that quiche looks super good......

  3. I really enjoyed reading your post. It's wonderful to see how close your family is and thank you for sharing with us.

  4. Graduation I really can not imagine what that will feel like. My oldest is now will be fifteen in the fall however so her homeschool time is fast coming to a close. YIKES!!!

    Congrats to your family on the recent graduate!

  5. Congats to Michelle. Oh such exciting times a head!

  6. You have a beautiful family.

    And I feel somewhat connected to you because you are from Alabama... even though I have only lived here 2 years and will likely be moving soon! =)

  7. Mrs. Whitlock,

    This was a wonderful post.

    I laughed out loud at your comment about the boys in your house going shirtless because my brothers are the exact same way.

    Also, I've had the exact same thought about hair and photos - "Why didnt someone tell me I had all those flyaways?!" Most of the time though, I'm the only one who notices anyway. You look beautiful in that photo!

    The quiche looks phenomenally delicious... mmmm!