Time for a little life update.
Life in our house right now is so beautifully happy. This doesn’t mean we are without stress, but the stress for now seems to be bouncing off our backs rather than weighing on our shoulders. I obviously had a day or two last week where I was tempted to let that stress ruin my outlook, but speaking life-giving words quickly countered that. I’m happy to have learned this trick. 😉
We are more than halfway through the school year. Homeschooling has been more wonderful than I imagined. The biggest transformation I’ve seen is in my oldest child, who was struggling this time last year. After six months of homeschooling, he has gone from critical to encouraging, from depressed to joyful. The one who hated to write ANYthing, yesterday wrote a beautiful page-long descriptive essay all of his own desire. He has discovered within himself the wonderful thing that is motivation. Oh what a young man can accomplish when he is self-motivated! The boy who used to stomp around with a scowl has been miraculously replaced by one who initiates cuddle time with mom and helps with chores around the house without being asked.
Another beautiful thing: my kids have become better friends this year. They’ve always been one another’s best friend, I’d say. But this year, with all the time spent together, they’ve matured in their friendship. Certainly they still argue, and sometimes they slam doors, but that happens so rarely now that when it does, it catches me by surprise. The new normal is that they spend hours every day playing, reading and laughing together. They have even been spotted giving each other random hugs. They go out of their way to make sure the other one is doing well, and happy. Even *gulp* sacrificing bigger portions of desert for each other.
Something clicked this year.
I am thankful to have had this year with them. Homeschooling has been like a vacation we needed. Starting our mornings with family bible study and prayer on the couch has changed things. Allowing them to set their own pace for learning has empowered them. Reading books like crazy has made them hungry for more books. What a great school year so far!
Blake has asked to continue homeschooling next year (actually he said through high school, but I agreed to at least next year.) However, my youngest, Grace,very much misses being part of a bustling classroom full of little people, and no matter how hard I try to keep her social schedule full, it still isn’t the same as recess every day with 30 friends. So, she’s asked to enroll back in public school this fall, and we agreed. I will miss her a lot, and if she decides next year that she misses homeschooling, I will definitely let her give it another shot.
That’s where we’re at with school stuff. Besides that, I am busy planning and preparing for an upcoming mission trip to Nicaragua. Andrew and I are still involved with the college ministry at our church, and loving it! The young men and women we get to do life with are inspiring and fun – and God is totally up to something awesome. Our kids like to hang out with us and our group of college friends because there’s always yummy food around!
I am still gluten and dairy free, and it’s been good for me. I am feeling, though, that I may need to go back to cutting out most caffeine and sugar from my diet again as well. One change at a time! 🙂
Andrew is still faithfully working hard at his business, and he continues to add new clients. Business may ebb and flow, but the Lord is always faithful to provide just what we need. Andrew is seriously looking into colleges in the area, with the hopes of enrolling in classes once again this fall. I’m so excited for the chance to help him reach his goal of a degree! He is such a gift to me, and I am so thankful for this man who continually pours good and encouraging words over my heart.
Hope you and yours are doing well, and I would love an update on what is going on in your lives as well!