Earlier this year I did nine posts in a series called Weekend Gratitude. Well, it’s time for the Perfect 10. Or even just an imperfect one. It has been a good weekend and I want to give a Father’s Day shout out to the father of my 10 children, Mr. Thaddeus Knowles.
The weekend started bright and early Saturday morning with a large home school used curriculum sale. Two home school groups, Willow Creek and The Regent Academy, joined forces to present the biggest sale in the Orlando area this year, with over 200 people bringing books to be sold and/or given away. (I brought 3 boxes.) The volunteers did an amazing job of organizing the thousands of books, helping customers find what they wanted, and running the pay stations. I was truly impressed — and grateful!
I got a bunch of cool stuff, including four books I needed for assigned curriculum for the home school co-op program we are rejoining this year. An Algebra 1 book for 5 bucks? Sweet! I had three of my kids with me (ages 10-14), and they were scouting around for educational CD-ROM games. They grabbed several that we’d had before that had gotten broken. Even my adult daughters were cheering at the sight of some of their old favorites like Jump Start and Amazon Trail. Our grand total was about $35, and I saved/earned more than that amount just by buying the four assigned books there and selling my old books. I would say that was a successful deal. I’m looking forward to sitting down and reading some of the “extras” I bought, like Kathy Peel’s book The Family Manager Takes Charge: Getting on the Fast Track to a Happy Organized Home, or Life Skills for Kids by Christine Field, or in preparation for teaching co-op English, Teaching Reading in Middle School by Laura Robb. Call it continuing education for the home school mom. I’m thankful to find some great books at great prices!
One of the books I bought for Melody, The Rhyming Bible, is one I had read to my older girls when they were little. I’m not sure what ever happened to that copy! Mel’y is still learning to read, and she loves to put on Mommy’s glasses to look more studious. I’m thankful that my kids like to learn, each in their own way.
I sure didn’t have much chance to read after the sale, because as soon as we got home, we had to scramble around to get ready for a poolside picnic with some of Thad’s relatives who are in town. It was really hot out, but we had a good time. I am thankful for our aunts, uncles, cousins who like to visit with us whenever they can.
I was totally exhausted in the evening when we were trying to get the house cleaned up, but my boys called me outside to see the oddly colored sky with dramatic clouds. These pictures don’t do it justice. I am always grateful for the beauty of God’s creation.
This morning, I got up early to make sausage quiche and “puffin mumpkins”, blueberry muffins, and fruit salad for Father’s Day breakfast. As I prepared it, I thought about how a good brunch includes (at the very least) a protein dish, baked goods, and fresh fruit. Works for me! See Friday Favorites #10: On Puffin Mumpkins and Pringles (And Being Broken and Real) I’m thankful for good food to eat, and family to serve.
Our daughter Julia had told us that her engagement to Alex would be officially announced this morning at their church, Metro Life, where we had attended for several years as a family. It is a sweet tradition for the members of the happy couple’s Bible study home group to march down the aisle with either helium balloons or flowers, and then for a pastor to pray for them as their friends and family gather around.
We hadn’t been to Metro Life on a Sunday morning for about 11 months, so it felt a little awkward at first. However, we try to keep in touch with our friends there and we were very warmly welcomed. As a side note, I was delighted to find out this morning that our family is going to be able to register under Metro Life’s home school Regent Academy enrollment program this year, even though we are no longer members of the church. This option (for folks who are not MLC members) is only open to families in the Providence home school co-op since they are doing an administrative partnership. So this morning, I made sure to express my gratitude to at least two of the pastors of Metro Life for their kindness to these families. Keeping official records and figuring out high school credits and Bright Futures scholarship requirements is a bit of a headache, so this makes a real difference to me personally.
Next up, our older daughters planned an elaborate Father’s Day lunch for Thad. They bought and prepared everything! Yes! The menu: steak stuffed with cheese and topped with a cream cheese & serrano peppers mixture, spicy roasted red potatoes, rolls, asparagus wrapped in bacon, and strawberry lemonade. Those are some of the potatoes in that picture. I’m told that the seasonings are rosemary, thyme, oregano, parmesan cheese, onions, and minced garlic. They were roasted in the oven for a while, then slowly sauteed a bit more in our big electric skillet. Delicious! I am thankful for daughters who are excellent cooks and who wanted to serve their dad!
Time for presents next! I gave him a T-shirt that reads “Commander and Chef” with pictures of a spatula and fork on the official federal seal. Thad is wonderful in the kitchen and fixes dinner for us at least one night a week. In small print, “Daddius Maximus.” Daddius rhymes with Thaddeus, does it not?
As I gave it to him, I noticed he was wearing a T-shirt we gave him for Father’s Day several years ago, one that reads “Authentic Dad of Dads – King of Kings was Already Taken” and “I am Loved This Much XXL.” And we are much loved by our Heavenly Father, who is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. (Can I get an AMEN to that?)
Since Thad has often talked about the four o’clock tea times he remembers from his year in a British boarding school, the girls also bought Earl Grey tea and an assortment of pastries to serve at the appropriate time. All four of our adult daughters, my son-in-law, Julia’s fiance, and Thad and I have traveled fairly extensively overseas (mostly on missions trips) so much of our conversation centered on the adventures and hazards in Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. Always fascinating when our family gets on this subject! Melody is oblivious to most of it as she is sipping (or shall I say unceremoniously guzzling) her Earl Grey heavily spiked with milk and sugar. The dainty pansy tea cup is a treasure from my trip to Scotland in 1979. I am grateful that I’ve had a chance to get out and see the world, not only in my travels, but also via the World Wide Web.
The kids also took the time to tell Thad the things they appreciate about him as a father — everything from drawing maps for them so they wouldn’t get lost, to playing basketball, to helping them with college admissions details.
The weekend is almost over. I’m on my laptop typing a blog post while Thad is at a youth meeting at Lake Baldwin Church (our mellow little Presbyterian congregation) to get the last details for the summer camp that Andrew is going to for several days in Tennessee. I envy him the white water rafting! I am thankful that we’ve settled into a sweet little church and that my teenage son has something exciting and inspirational to do with his friends.
P.S. Thad just got home from his meeting and said, “Virginia, I think this is the best Father’s Day I’ve ever had!” Yay! Thank you, God!