I'm sitting in a quiet house this morning. Rick took the boys to the library, lunch, and to the craft store for some supplies for a school project that Vaughn is working on. We had planned on a quick camping trip to Zion National Park this weekend, but yesterday as I looked at a two week pileup of clean laundry that needed to be sorted and put away, I just couldn't mentally handle accomplishing that, packing camping supplies, and arranging food. So we decided to stay home this weekend, catch up on housework and homework, and take park and canyon trips with friends instead. We will get up to Zion soon. I must see it before fall is over!

I love Rick so much. Already this morning he sorted through all the laundry, got the boys to put theirs away, then whisked them away for a couple of hours so that I can have a couple of hours to read, write and relax. It is the one thing that I crave the most with young children still at home. Quiet, uninterrupted time in the comfort of my home. Sometimes I complain to Rick how much I need the quiet time, and he will tell me that I should go away for the weekend. Stay at a nice hotel and go to the spa. "No," I tell him. "I want you all to go away. Just leave me alone at home. Pleeeeeaaase!" I feel mean sometimes asking for the people I love most to go away, but he knows how much I love them. I get so little of these moments that I savor them. I also make sure to give Rick these moments in return. He needs time to read, draw and work on projects in quiet too. I'm grateful to have such an artistic, hard-working and caring partner in life, and that we care about each others needs, and make time for each others interests. I think it is one of the most important things that keeps our marriage and love for each other strong.

This school year we have started something new in our home that so far, is working well for us. Rick works four ten-hour shifts, Monday through Thursday, and the boys go to school Monday through Thursday, so we have a three-day weekend every weekend.  I wanted to make our Fridays a little more special as a family, and so we decided to have them be a no media day. No TV, movies, video games or computer games. Minimal phone use (though I might start turning mine off on Fridays). We've tried to make our focus on Fridays be on outside time. Parks, hiking, camping and rafting. We spend time as a family and with friends, playing games, reading, creating and resting.

I have fallen in love with our Fridays. The things the kids make and create, the friends they play with and the placees we go as a family. I always feel so much more refreshed after the day-- like we have spent our time well. It has been a good thing for me and our family.

So here I am, signing off to enjoy the rest of my quiet morning. I hope you all enjoy your weekend!