Week in Review {2013: Weeks 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 – wow!}

So, really, this is more of a month (and a half) in review.  Sheesh.   This post has literally been in process since February 18.  Sad.  So sad.  I don’t even remember half of what happened in that time frame.

So we’ll hit the highlights….

We had snow.  Lots of snow.  Much needed, but we’re now over it.  I saw tonight the weatherman predicted more snow for next week.  Possibly several inches.  I may scream.

We waited for adoption news.  We rejoiced with others who got good news.  We grieved with those who have not.  And we prayed.  A lot.  For everyone at our orphanage in this process.

And then we got good news!  And more good news!  And tomorrow we travel to bring our girl home.  Still so entirely unbelievable.  And all the big stuff is finished, but several little, non-important things still hang out there.  I had planned on getting them done tonight, and still may.  But since we dropped the girls at Matt’s parents a little bit ago, it’s as if the emotional weight of the past month just hit me and I’m exhausted.  So I may just go to bed early and trust the Lord that those little things will be there when we get home.  Because they will.  🙂

We were blessed to go on a beautiful little family get away in early March.  We headed out to Denver where we visited the Science and Technology Museum, the state Capitol, and ate dinner at Casa Bonita (horrible, horrible food; cheesy family memories).  We stayed with wonderful adoption friends Tracy and Christy and their three girls and visited our adoption agency and met our wonderful caseworker Patrick.  So good to finally put a face to the man who has walked so much of this road with us.

Then we journeyed on down to our favorite family place – Lost Valley Ranch.  We hiked. We rode horses.  We endured blizzard conditions.  The girls went sledding.  It wasn’t as picture perfect as we had hoped, but it was still a wonderful time away and something we will remember for a long time.  I’m already itching to go back.  😉

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The Colorado State Capitol

Ellie at one mile above sea level

At the Science and Technology Museum

Yeah.  We’re that cool.

Ah, Casa Bonita….

The Lost Valley cattle guard.  Oooo Ahhhh!

Matt about ten minutes after we arrived in Lost Valley.

Lost Valley beauty

Waiting for dinner.

Even the stuffed animals get turn down service.

Got snow?  Still we ride.

Goldie and Remington. Goldie hated me.

I waved the white flag on 7.  At least on the clothing portion.  The two week period in which we were doing clothes has experienced temperatures ranging from 86* to single digit wind chills and six inches of snow.  AND I had two days to spend at an arts competition with a fairly strict dress code.  There was no way to do that with seven items of clothing.  Not to mention that I discovered by day 2 that I apparently stink when I re-wear clothing.  I was offending myself with my odor.  So, wave the white flag, I did.

We also had the girls’ fine arts competitions.  They all did well and I had wanted to post pictures of them with their art and ribbons, but those pictures have not been taken yet and if I wait to post this after I get those pictures this may turn into a year in review post!

That’s it for me tonight.  Have a wonderful rest of the week, friends.  My next post should be of our “official” family of seven!

For His Glory ~

Signature

Random Wednesday

…the back to school version.

This year we are doing three different Sonlight cores with four different students.  If you are not familiar with Sonlight click here to learn more, but let me summarize by saying it is a LOT of really great reading, which means a LOT of books to order and that can get pricey fast.

Historically, I have always just simply ordered the Sonlight core from Sonlight itself.  It’s fast, easy, and worry-free.  Almost everything in it is reusable, so I know we will always get our money’s worth.  This year, however, I was inspired by a friend who was going to try to piece together her own core.  So, I spent a morning comparing prices and instead of doing the simple “click and ship” from Sonlight, I also decided to piece together my own set from Amazon and used books and fill in with Sonlight where necessary.

Here are some pro’s and con’s on that experience:

Pro’s:

  • You can save almost enough on the (almost) two cores ordered to offset the cost of one brand new version of Teaching Textbooks (another item I had to buy) and a few other items.  No small savings!
  • You will be “green” and recycled by buying used books whenever possible.
  • It is like Christmas for a solid week as all the books come in one by one.  (I can only imagine what our mailman thought of all the packages we were getting!)

Con’s:

  • When you buy mostly used books, you lose that magical “new book” smell.  This is not the end of the world, but that smell does make the start of a new school year much more exciting.  You also never really know what you’re going to get when you buy used on-line, so some of your books may be pretty beat up.
  • You can easily spend at least 3 or 4 hours comparing prices and ordering items.
  • In your weariness after switching between so many windows on Google Chrome, you may inadvertently order multiple copies of a book.  Or of more than one book.  And you may forget to order other books entirely.
  • Sellers may accidentally send you the wrong book.  Then you are stuck with a crappy book that will cost more to return than it did to purchase and yet it’s still worth nothing.
  • When you order close to 100 items from various sellers on Amazon, you end up with a 23 page receipt print out and your credit card will get flagged for fraud.  🙂

Even with all of those negatives listed (and I’m laughing as I write them out), I think I will still order our Sonlight this way in the future.  The savings were definitely significant enough to offset the hassle.

In other home schooling news, I may or may not have handed the following document out first thing in the morning on our first day of school:

A School Year Agreement

I understand that school is for my benefit and is not some form of punishment devised by my parents to make my life miserable because Mom and Dad have nothing better to do with their time.  I realize that my parents are sacrificing to provide my education and because of that and because my future success depends upon it, I agree to the following:

1.  I will not argue or complain about the schoolwork given to me, either by Mom, Dad, or by any outside teachers.

2.  I will do my best to understand the assignment independently.  If I am unable to do so, I will politely and calmly ask for assistance without interrupting someone else’s time of instruction.

3.  I will resist the urge to take the fast, easy route by doing the minimum amount of work required.  Instead, I will complete my assignments thoroughly, making sure all questions have been answered to the best of my ability, even doing extra research if necessary.

4.  I will use my time wisely.  I will not be a distraction to others either when I am working, or when my schoolwork is complete.  I will do my schoolwork during the school day as much as possible. I will not purposely save significant amounts of reading to be completed at bedtime, unless I intend to go to bed very early to do said reading.  When I am finished with my work, I will find ways to be helpful to Mom or Dad.  If my help is not needed, I will find constructive ways to spend my time.

I understand that school is hard.  I realize that if it were easy, very little could be learned from it, and so I will rise to the challenge and expectations that my parents and teachers have set before me because they have faith in my ability to complete the work.  This year, I purpose to work hard, do my best, and do all for God’s glory.

And, yes, I made them all sign it.  🙂  I credit this little document (and God’s grace) for how well the past two days have gone.

I think that’s it for today.  I hope your Wednesday is wonderful, wherever it takes you!

For His Glory ~

~ Sara

Random Wednesday…..

….where I write about the random things rolling around in my head.

This summer has been really good.  Busy and fast, but super-productive and fun most of the time.  I haven’t posted any photos of the other redecorating projects I’ve done, and I will soon enough, but I counted the other day and I think I have painted at least thirteen individual pieces of furniture this summer.  That’s not including frames and other things that have been painted, purchased, or hung.  It’s been so long since I did any real decorating I had forgotten how much I loved it.  I’m so thankful for Matt not complaining about it all and helping me with some of the finishing and all of the rearranging.

This summer has also been really hot.  Ridiculously hot.  Hot enough that this summer-loving girl is dreaming of snow days.  I’ve realized I enjoy the hot hot hot much more when all I have to do is lay by some body of water with a book and watch the kids swim.  I do not, however, enjoy running when it is 85 degrees and 90% humidity at 6 in the morning.  That’s not fun at all.

The girls have really been good this summer.  They’ve spent countless hours playing with Legos.  They’ve gone to camps and been creative here at home.  We painted part of their playhouse, but then it got too hot, so maybe we’ll finish that this fall.

We’ve enjoyed watching the Olympics the past several nights.  It was so fun to watch the women’s gymnastics last night.  I can’t get over what those athletes can make their bodies do.  Unbelievable.

School starts next week.  I’m finally ready.  Sort of.  The girls are ready, though none can admit it.

I think that’s it for me today.  Hope your week is going well!

For His Glory ~

~ Sara

A Random Wednesday Post

True confessions time:  I am completely burned out on running.  Like I think I could go the rest of this year without running another step and be perfectly happy.  Now, I know that this is not true and I would feel rotten if I attempted this, but the notion strikes me regularly and most often at about 9:00 the night before I’m scheduled to run.  And at 5:00 a.m (or earlier) when my alarm goes off.

One of my running partners has been gracious enough to walk with me the past couple of times we’ve gotten together and it has been so refreshing!  My other running partner is training for a half marathon, so she needs to run, but it seems we’ve been having a hard time connecting to run lately.  Still, I know she’s ready for a break too after months of training through injuries.  I’m so proud of her for persevering!

In other news, Grace’s broken arm prompted me to follow through on an idea I had on my own and then saw again on Pinterest:

Source: imalazymom.com via Sara on Pinterest

Grace has long been our family “sock folder”.  Well, this became a little cumbersome when she spent more than a week not really able to use her right hand at all and with limited movement still.  So, in our laundry cabinet each of the girls now has a hook with her initial on it and a mesh laundry bag hangs from the hook.  They are responsible to put their socks and underwear in their bag.  When the bags start to look a little full, I throw them in with the laundry that day and everyone gets to fold their own socks and underwear.  Unfortunately for Grace, I hate folding socks, so she still gets to do Matt’s and mine.  But since her work load has been cut in half, she’s not complaining.  (In case you’re wondering, the bags run $.99 at WalMart.)

It has occurred to me that I haven’t posted about my 40 Bags in 40 Days experience since early in Lent.  Well, let’s see…I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity and the experience and I will do it again, but I confess it did not take long to cease being about making room for Jesus and become about checking another item off of my “to do” list.  Totally not the point, huh?  As we neared the end of Lent and I realized what had happened, I did a major slow down on my plan and refocused my heart on why I was doing this whole thing to begin with.

In the process of clearing out space, I did go through a lot of stuff and move it out of my house.  It also had a major impact on this adoption nesting thing I’ve got going on, so that + Pinterest have me in major “redecorate the house” mode.  Matt’s totally lovin’ this as our garage is now full of furniture to be painted and I’m regularly coming up with new things I’d like to do around the house.

I honestly need to do the 40 bags again this summer, as I only made it through about half of the house before I realized I was missing the point.  I like the idea of doing it for the 40 days leading up to my birthday, but that’s also the exact same time we are getting back to school.  So, maybe the first 40 days out of school?  Who knows…  🙂

In miscellaneous adoption news, IBESR in Haiti has recently closed to new dossiers in an attempt to “clear out current dossiers” by June 1.  Praise the Lord, we are one of those in there now, and who knows what will actually happen, but we are praying that ours would be processed in the next month and moved on.  How awesome would that be?!?!  When we entered IBESR in March, we were told 4 to 12 months.  To be out in less than two?  Only God!  Won’t you pray with us?  As we look at the things He is doing in our hearts and lives we can’t help but wonder if He’s not preparing us for her to come home soon.  We hope cautiously, as this road has been so treacherously long for so many.  But we see movement in Haitian adoptions, in the adoptions of friends adopting from the same orphanage, and we can’t help but hope with expectation.

That’s it for me today.  We finished up our school books today.  All except for Grace and her Sonlight, but that’s no big deal for me.   Thinking we may head over to KC and the Deanna Rose Farmstead tomorrow as a treat.  Woot!

For His Glory~

~ Sara

Getting Some Words Out….

Where do I start?  So many thoughts have been in my head for so many days.  My computer remains in the shop, so my opportunities to chronicle our days have been limited.

The break from the computer has been incredibly refreshing and eye-opening.  Two weeks without it at the beginning of December was just frustrating.  But the past ten days of it being buggy, unreliable, and out of commission have actually been kind of nice.  Freeing, almost.  I have realized how much of a habit my computer had become; an incredible time-eater.  Having it out of the house and not even as an option to go look at has made me aware of just how much of my time and attention it was getting.  Clearly, I need to redefine the relationship.  As part of my goal setting and planning for the new year, I have spent some time making up an early morning schedule that (in theory) should allow me to get the bulk of daily computer work done in the morning, before the girls get up.  After that, I think I need to just turn it off.  I can do just about anything I need to on my phone, but it’s small size and touch-screen keyboard prevent me from wanting to do excessive browsing and time-killing on it.  I have realized that I am very tied to my computer. It is an incredible asset in helping me keep our family running.  Menu planning, list making, calendars, bill paying….almost everything is on that machine.  But so are a lot of opportunities to be distracted from that which is most important and real.  And I need to have my attention here, in real life.

Which brings me to something new for this year.  I am doing something I have seen others do; I am choosing a word or a theme for this year.  My word is attentiveness – showing the worth of a person or task by giving it my full concentration.  My mind is always going, always moving (albeit, sometimes very slowly), and typically it is on the next thing that needs to be done.  I am task-oriented to the core and I can go all day without noticing people.  I go through WalMart and never notice those around me, except to think that there are way too many people out.  I want to pay attention this year.  Pay attention to my husband and children; not just what they’re telling me, but what they’re not necessarily telling me, to hear their hearts.  I want to pay attention to those around me when I am out.  One of the most convicting things I read last year was in Francis Chan’s book Erasing Hell, where he talked about sitting in Starbucks and stopping to look at all of the other patrons and began to wonder about the eternal destination of their souls.  I see and encounter people every day.  They are not just the cashier at Aldi, the drive-thru clerk at Wendy’s, or the frustrated driver in the other lane.  They have real lives, real stories, real hurt, real joy.  And the least I can do is notice them and interact with them and (even without words) share the love of Christ with them.  And most of all, I want to pay attention to the voice of God.  I want to be attuned to that still, small voice.  I want to hear Him when He leads my heart or my day in a direction I hadn’t planned.

And because I can’t ever do the simple thing, I have a second word and it goes with being attentive to God.  That word is yield.  It came to me this morning as I looked at my calendar and saw another day filled with crazy.  I’ve written about this and fought this for the past six or eight months.  No matter how hard I try, I cannot get our schedule to behave itself.  And I know God has some purpose for taking my scheduled self through this and as I said before Christmas, it’s time I stop fighting and learn to yield to it.  Yield to the interruptions, yield to the constant going, yield to the fact that my time is actually His time and I am simply to do with it what He tells me to.

Attentiveness.  Yield.  My words for the year.

I have read some incredible quotes this week.  Quotes I want to remember…

First, this one, from Ann

“Contentment isn’t a state of organization, a weight on the scale, a state of better: better kids, better marriage, better health, better house. Contentment is never a matter of circumstances; contentment is always a state of communion — a daily embracing of God. A thankfulness for all the gifts – and moments and life, just as He gives it. Trying harder may only bring harder trials and contentment, it won’t be be found in the resolutions, but in the revolutions – in the turning round to God.”

And this one, the same day, in my quiet time…

“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]” (John 16:33 AMP)

And this blog post today, shared by a friend on Facebook.

 Momastery:  2011 Lesson #2:  Don’t Carpe Diem

I love it.  I have so long wanted to write something similar, but could never find the words.  I, too, have struggled with the well-intentioned grandmother-types in the grocery stores telling me to “Enjoy every minute!”, “These are the best days!”, “It goes so fast!”.   Yes, that is all true…these are the best days and it does go so fast.  But let’s be honest, it’s really, really hard.  And some days you just want to make it through to bedtime without losing your cool or running away to Jamaica.  I’ve often wondered how much we gloss over the hard days as time goes by….kind of like pregnancy and child birth.  Although, I still remember both of those very vividly and there’s a reason why I really don’t want to do either again.  I equate it more with running, actually.  I love running.  Rather, I love how running makes me feel.  There are days when I love the action of running.  But most of the time I hate it.  It’s hard and I can’t breathe.  I have to get out of my warm bed on dark, cold mornings and it’s highly inconvenient.  But I love finishing the run. I love how I feel afterward.  I love time with my friends that run with me.  I love that post-run feeling so much that every once in a while, I’ll go crazy and sign up for a half marathon which only multiplies the hard and inconvenient.  And for 13.1 miles (not to mention the countless miles of training), I will ask myself Why in the heck did I do this to myself?  And then I cross the finish line and it feels amazing and I ACTUALLY THINK OF DOING IT AGAIN!  I think that’s what these older women do in the grocery stores.  They are trying to encourage us by telling us how great it is.  But like the author of this post, I would rather they be gently honest.  Not dumping on me about every bad thing ahead, but just empathize – These days are hard, but you will get through and you will look back on them fondly.  Take a moment to enjoy this season a midst the crazy.

Well, it’s time to go pick up my oldest from art.  Here’s to a wonderful 2012 – filled with paying attention and yielding to the will of God.

For His Glory ~

~ Sara

Tuesday Night Musings

So, I had such great plans of keeping this week’s posts focused on Christmas and preparing our hearts, but life, well, it’s life and it does it’s own thing sometimes.

Instead, tonight I’m sitting here typing as I watch The Polar Express with the girls, trying to piece together a cohesive thought after two short nights of sleep.

Apparently this is the month for the Lord to work on my electronic dependencies since the iMac crashed at the beginning of the month and then last night, while trying to upgrade the OS on my iPhone, it crashed too. I bought the software to upgrade my Mac from Leopard to Snow Leopard and then Lion but, in spite of how easy everyone says it is, I’m genuinely afraid to do it with the way things have been going. Matt has made me promise not to even try until after Christmas for fear of the fallout if it goes wrong.

Today we did a full-on purge of Chandler and Ellie’s room. They also rearranged their furniture and Grace and Ellie swapped desks. I’m not sure what will become of all of Ellie’s belongings, as they were simply boxed up and put in a storage area for her to “earn back” as she shows responsibility with what was left for her. Truly most of it probably needs to just go in the trash.

In other news, I feel like I need to make a confession….I quit using the home made laundry soap. 😮 I really did like it and especially enjoyed the savings, but began noticing early this year that our exercise clothes had the horrible stench of perma-sweat. I tried a variety of methods for getting the odor out and even went so far as to just throw away two or three items that seemed to be beyond restoration. I added in Febreze Sport and that made a huge difference, but still I had some odor. So, I decided to try All Free & Clear. Our odor problems are over. Sadly, so is my love affair with home made soap. 😦

I think that’s it for me tonight. Maybe in the morning I’ll be feeling more reflective. 😉

For His Glory ~
~ Sara

Random Wednesday – Some Catching Up

Thoughts roll through my head, it’s hard to know where to start.  Every day last week I intended to sit down, to write.  Every day filled up, life too busy to linger long at the keyboard.  And this week, it is Wednesday already, and I finally steal a few moments, but what to write first?

The girls are playing outside, enjoying weather that finally feels like summer.  Swimming began this week and (Hooray!) no one has cried, fussed, or complained.  We have worked this week to restore order to the house, cleaning, laundry-ing, and implementing summer schedules.  After a month of what felt like floundering, it’s good to feel order returning.

Since our trip we have had graduation parties, a ballet recital, and painting at Amania’s house.  Pictures linger on the camera.  Hopefully they’ll come off soon and I’ll share them with you.

Today is June 1.  We can officially begin our adoption paper work today.  Woot!

I have had so many emotions related to our adoption in the past few days, ranging from desperately missing her to being anxious to meet her to wondering if we’re really doing the right thing for everyone involved.  I know all these emotions are normal but, much like a “normal” pregnancy and all it’s ensuing emotions, we still must wrestle through it for ourselves.

I had my last run before the Hospital Hill 10k this morning.  Another woot! fits well here.  I keep telling myself it’s only 6.2 miles, but the hills are notoriously tough.  But we’ve trained and I really believe we’re ready for it.  Now we’re just praying for perfect weather Saturday morning.

The troops in the back yard are getting restless.  Direction is needed, so I must go.  Wishing you a wonderful Wednesday!  Hopefully the next post will include photos.  🙂

~ Sara

In Review

The past couple of weeks have been an odd mix of boredom and busy.  April has seemed to drag on and on as we have anxiously awaited the end of school and an upcoming road trip.  But the last day of school has finally arrived, and by lunchtime I will be the mother of a sixth grader, fourth grader, third grader, and first grader. Wow.

In the midst of finishing up school, we’ve been doing some spring cleaning.  I know I posted a couple of weeks ago that I wasn’t going to do a massive spring clean this year, but rather go room by room methodically.  Well, I started getting a little twitchy about the fact that I would never experience that wonderful “all clean” feeling that comes after the whole house has been scrubbed.  So, we scrapped that plan and went back to the old way of doing things.  I enlisted the girls more this year than in the past, so it’s probably not quite as clean as it could be, but the overall experience was much more pleasant.

Wednesday I went a little nuts being Suzy Homemaker.  Home made yogurt, granola, six loaves of bread, and more, all in one day.  I slept like the dead on Wednesday night.  Over the past year and a half I have really come to enjoy cooking more than I ever imagined.  It started when I received the Pioneer Woman cookbook as a Christmas gift.  Her visual-learner-friendly format (lots of pictures) made new recipes so much less intimidating and built in me the confidence to try new things.  Since then, I’ve branched out and find a deep sense of satisfaction in preparing my family’s food from scratch, or as close to scratch as I can get.  Food preparation has gone from feeling like a giant burden and chore, to feeling like more of an art.  And anyone who’s known me for more than a year will probably be quite amazed by that last statement.  😉

Things are quiet on the adoption front, and probably will be for a while.  The house is coming along.  We’re hoping to have it ready to paint in the next couple of weeks.

We have six ballet classes left for the year.  Well, nine if you count rehearsals.  Either way it’s in the single digits and that’s a good thing.  😉  I really do enjoy the girls’ ballet, but am always ready for the year to be over.

We let the girls swap bedrooms a couple of weeks ago.  It was Grace / Chandler and Emma / Ellie; now it is Grace / Ellie and Emma / Chandler.  They’ve honestly done better than expected, particularly one pair that I was concerned about.

I’m training with a friend for a 10k in June.  It’s a notoriously hilly run, so we’ve been trying to acclimate to that.  I won’t lie, it’s been brutal.  😦  I came up with a plan this morning that will hopefully help us push past this road block we seem to have hit.  I am really thankful for this upcoming race as it has pushed and will continue to push me to be more disciplined in my running, at least for another month.  But on the other hand, I’m still on the fence about doing another half in the future.  I just hate when running becomes a chore and an obligation, and that seems to be how I start to feel about it when I have to do a certain number of miles each week instead of just going out and running because it feels good.

Tonight we have a planning meeting for the Haiti ministry we have kind of “fallen” into.  This is the ministry that oversees the orphanage where our daughter is, and since Matt’s return from Haiti our involvement has become significant, adoption aside.  I’m excited; God’s hand is so clearly upon this ministry, this orphanage, I’m thrilled to be part of what He’s doing.  I feel like He’s been preparing me, us, for this for a few years now.  Using books like Crazy Love and Radical and The Hole in Our Gospel that have challenged my way of thinking and broken my heart….He’s been leading us to this point.  And who knows if adoption and serving in this ministry are all He has planned.  I’m just thrilled to be part of the story He’s writing in these kids lives.

I think that gets us up to date.  Wishing all of you a blessed weekend!

By His Grace ~

~ Sara

Random Wednesday (and a tiny update)

We have completely lost our rhythm around here this week.  I’m not sure how it happened.  But my part of the school day has been dragging on and on.  I can’t get caught up on laundry or dishes or the endless blanket-folding that occurs in the winter.  One child is in and out of consciousness (not literally) with some weird fever-sore throat-upset-stomach-but-otherwise-fine bug.  It’s nearly lunch time on Wednesday and I’m sitting here instead of doing history and science (which typically start at 10) because I can’t find two of my students.  **sigh**

In other news this is in the mail as of this afternoon!

I LOVED Ann’s post this morning.  In this my year of intentional slowing down, it struck a chord.

Wishing each of you a blessed Wednesday, friends!  May you enjoy your Maker today – He loves you so much!

~ Sara

Week in Review and Random Thoughts on a Saturday

The past two weeks have been good. Christmas was wonderful and hopefully I’ll upload some of those pictures before Valentine’s Day.  😛

We enjoyed a blissfully restful break between Christmas and New Year’s complete with sleeping in, no outside activities, and no exercising. For the first time in quite a while, I didn’t feel utterly exhausted all the time.  The sleeping in and breaking from exercise did bite me in the tail this week as my body readjusted to real life. I maintain, though, that the rest was worth it.

Matt and I started doing the 30 Day Shred this week. For the first few days I was convinced that Jillian Michaels was trying to kill me. Finally on Friday (day 5 for me), I was able to walk without pain. I don’t like exercising everyday; I believe the body needs to rest. I am, however, going to attempt to do this for the full 30 days and see what kind of results I get. After that, or when the weather warms up for more consistent running, I may adjust it a bit.

We went back to school on Tuesday. The first day was as I expected: slow and somewhat painful for all. On Wednesday and Thursday, though, there was some sort of transformation in our second born child. I’m still delightfully baffled by it. It was as though, all of a sudden, she “got it”. She worked through her school quickly and with focus. She did everything that was asked of her cheerfully. She even CHOSE to get up early on Friday morning to finish up some corrections before Friday classes. I am thankful for those two days and for this glimpse of what she is capable of and I’m praying it’s a lasting change.

We had Chandler’s first Upward basketball game today. Oh my, what fun!  Our sweet child had no idea what was going on, but she hung in and tried hard. By the end of the game you could tell she was starting to figure it out, at least a little bit. I can’t wait to watch more games!  🙂

I need to start using more photos in my posts again. I have a few hundred pictures on my computer that  need to be sorted and edited, dating back to before Thanksgiving. I just haven’t had time. I guess I had time the week after Christmas, but we were all really busy resting. 😉 One of my goals for January is to get through those photos.

I have developed what I have self-diagnosed as a repetitive stress injury in my right shoulder. It seems to be the equivalent of carpal tunnel and is made extremely painful by lengthy periods at the computer. Yet another reason for my unedited photos.

I decided last week, after our pastor’s message at church, that I am going to read all the way through the Bible again this year. As I’ve been working my way through Genesis and Job this week, I thought of the last (and only other) time I’ve accomplished this feat. It was 1997, and it turned out to be a pivotal, life-changing year in my walk with the Lord. And it never occurred to me until this week that it was the sheer amount of time I spent in God’s word that made it so. That led me to wonder what this year will bring!

I have also been contemplating the role of blogging in my life. I find the exercise of writing extremely beneficial and almost a necessary part of my life. I find that when I am writing a  lot, I am more attentive to the details of life around me and I’m more purposeful about  lot of things  But it takes a lot of time to write every day. Last June, when I moved over to WordPress, I challenged myself to post five times a week, and I think I met that goal pretty well all the way through the end of the year. That it still a goal of mine, but if I am honest with myself, I know that two to three posts per week is much more realistic right now, especially during the school year.  So, just know that I will still be posting regularly, but maybe not quite as often.

I hope you all have a wonderful rest of the weekend. We are headed out for dinner tonight with some really great people.  Can’t wait!

For His Glory ~

~ Sara