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Thursday, July 2, 2015

School May Be Out, but the Learning Doesn't Stop

June flew by this year! I can't believe 2015 is halfway over! I began the month at High School Camp with Hannah and Rebecca, and later in the month, each of them flew on an airplane for the first time.  Abigail & Elisabeth went to camp without me for the first time and had a great time. 

With so many new experiences, I have learned many things this month. Here are a few of them:

1.  Suitcase manufacturers and airlines measure luggage differently.  I am I did not learn this lesson the hard (meaning expensive!) way, but figured it out via the internet. Luggage makers measure only the body of the luggage, but airlines include wheels and handles. I'm really glad I knew this before buying new luggage for our travels this summer.

2.  Dove Chocolate Covered Blueberries are delicious. And I can convince myself that eating chocolate is healthy! Win/win!

3.  An introverted child will blossom when she is in an environment full of people who share her interests and passions. I sent Rebecca to the One Year Adventure Novel Summer Workshop, and she had such a fabulous time that sometimes she didn't even call home because she was spending time with her new friends. I so enjoyed hearing her tell me of her incredible adventures (which included her first flight, accompanied only by a friend of hers.)

4.  The Crowder Neon Steeple concert is as good the fourth time as it is the first. (Maybe even better because we were only a few rows back.) It was super fun for our church to host Crowder, and I also learned how to take tickets using an app on my phone.

5.  Abigail & Elisabeth love emojis! We gave them access to Hannah's old phone for camp, and they had the most fun sending me emojis (and asking for pictures of our cats!).  
**I tried to insert some emojis, but Blogger can't do that. :( 

6.  I have really missed doing in-depth workbook Bible studies. After a couple of seasons of doing different kinds of Bible studies, I am doing Kelly Minter's What Love Is study this summer and am so enjoying studying the Word this way again.  

Friday, May 1, 2015

What April Learned in April

April was a rainy, busy, fun month. We celebrated Easter, had a Spring Break that flew by, and three of the girls danced in a beautiful ballet recital. In the midst of the ordinary, I learned a few things. 

1. The Frosted Lemonade at Chick-Fil-A is amazing!

Chick-fil-A<span class='reg'>®</span> Frosted Lemonade

It is sweet and a little tart and so creamy! I know it is going to become a favorite summer treat!

2. I can run. Because of my love for sweet things like that Frosted Lemonade, I realized I needed to amp up my workout routine a bit. I always thought that I was incapable of running, but I have surprised myself this month. I'm still not a Runner, but I have run farther and longer than I ever thought possible. 

3. I am late to the Ellie Holcomb party, but I am glad I'm finally here. I've been hearing so many wonderful things about her newest album, and I finally listened to it on Amazon Music. I loved it so much I purchased a CD. Her music has been a wonderful accompaniment to several evening walks - beautiful music for beautiful evenings.

4. Thanks to Foyle's War, I learned that the Nazis tried to create Nazi units made up of traitorous British POWs. The unit was very small, but it did exist. 

5. I realized that I need my own space. I'm planning on writing more on this soon, but the living room couch is too Grand Central Station to provide the alone time I need sometimes. I'm looking forward to creating a space of my own in my bedroom using the Cozy Minimalist self-guided course

I know May will be a month filled with new things, since Hannah graduates this month. I wonder what I will learn...

Friday, April 24, 2015

Doctor Seuss Was Right

"Don't cry because it's over; smile because it happened." ~ Dr. Seuss

This spring I am experiencing God's grace for the season I am in. Up until this year, when I thought about Hannah graduating high school, I just knew I would cry so much as all the Senior rites of passage occurred. I could even tear up a little anticipating all the feelings. 

But I haven't cried at all. (Yet. I still have Senior Sunday at church and her Gradation Celebration to go.) And I wondered why I would tear up thinking about Hannah's graduation when she was a sophomore or junior but not now that it's actually happening. After all, so many things are now over.

I think the answer is that when I would anticipate her graduation in advance, high school wasn't over. We still had so much left to do and experience.  The last couple of years have given us chances for her to develop more freedom and independence, which she has used wisely and well. And we have begun that beautiful transition from just mother-daughter to true friends. God has allowed our family to grow into being ready to close the high school chapter of Hannah's life and open the college chapter. 

So, even though so many familiar things are over, I can be happy that my daughter is graduating as a smart, caring, Jesus-loving, responsible, amazing young woman. That is truly something to smile about!

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Year of Lasts

Sometimes in my mind she should still be twelve, playing with Barbies and American Girl dolls. We should have years of homeschooling ahead of us.  But twelve is years ago, and this week was Hannah's last first day of school at home.  And if I think too much about all the lasts we will experience this year, I may become blinded by nostalgia and not fully savor the everyday joys.

This will be our last year to fully control our schedule. Even if she attends the local university and lives at home, we won't be able to take a week off of school to go to Disney World. I can so easily so entangle myself in the daily chaos of our life, that I don't savor the small things that are so important.

I want to document those small things this year. Before, I always felt that our little life was nothing special. And it may be that way to other people.  But it is special to us, which is what matters.

Right now, Hannah is attending a pro football game with her dad. They'll stay the night and make a day of the Big City tomorrow. Rebecca is giving her younger sisters dramatic makeovers.  A comfortable quiet permeates our home.  Yes, this will be a year of lasts, but, for right now, I am at peace with it.  

Saturday, March 1, 2014

February Reflections

Even though February is such a short month, I learned many things.

1. Rebecca's 4 1/2 month old kitten can (and did) go into heat! The poor thing was pitiful, meowing and rolling around. Fortunately, she never was very loud, and it only lasted three days! The vet wants us to wait a few weeks after the rabies shot she got this week before we spay her, so we will have that done as soon as we can.

2. Some things are worth missing the Super Bowl. Hannah had ballet intensive auditions several hours away on Superbowl Sunday. This is the school she most wants to attend, and she was accepted into the program.

3.  The Frozen Sing-Along was awesome! I loved the movie just as much the second time around. And since we've been listening to the CD in the car, we knew the songs really well.

4.  Our DMV will only conduct road tests for drivers' licenses by appointment. The downside of this is that getting hold of someone to make the appointment took an hour of calling. (I can't believe that I kept getting a busy signal. It felt like 1987!) The upside is that we didn't have to wait for hours for Hannah to take the test, which she passed.

5. I was not as nervous having a newly-licensed driver as I thought I would be.  (But I did use the Find Friends app to check on her when ballet ran late. That really gave me peace of mind.)

6.  We can survive a house full of boys! We hosted 9th and 10th grade boys for D-Now. They were good kids, and Paul really enjoyed having some guys around. But I was glad to have my girls home when the weekend was over. 

7.  I clean the house best when I have external motivation. The week before D-Now, I was more motivated to clean than normal, even though high school boys probably wouldn't notice or care. I guess that means we should have people over more often.

8.  Being fussed at for something I thought I was doing well is disheartening!  I had a terrible visit with a new doctor (who I don't think I'll be seeing again) this week.  She has some rather out-of-the-mainstream views that she is adamant about. I'm still processing this, but plan to post about it soon. The visit really opened my eyes to how non-Christians may feel when well-meaning Christians confront them.  

I'm looking forward to the things I'll learn in March. And to the warmer weather!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Deck the Halls

We made these great ornaments tonight! I love my girls' creativity and I enjoy opportunities to be creative myself. 

 The most challenging part of this was obtaining the supplies. I learned that there must be a lot of people making ornaments, because only Hobby Lobby had any left. (And the ones I ordered from Amazon were late. They came today and were also not what I expected. They come in two parts with a seam in the middle. Those will be returned!) And the floor wax that all the tutorials recommended was not to be found. I risked a different one from the dollar store, and it worked!

Then we got creative with the rest of our sugar cookie dough. We had a Harry Potter snowman, a gingerbread man who was morphed into Legolas, a wreath that I decorated like a cat face, and several abstract cookies. 

Now it's time for some wrapping!

Important Obilgations

I didn't post last night because I was doing something very important: watching Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince with my girls. And drinking butterbeer (not pictured).