Sunday, August 2, 2009

Praying, Praising!, Planning, Playing, Partying!

Just what have I been doing this summer???...


My summer has turned out to be a season of prayer as I have had so many things swirling around my head, so many decisions that need to be made, so many opportunities to weed through, and many situations outside of my control.

Our summer started out by prayerfully saying goodbye to Brittany as she embarked on a lifelong desire to try her hand in missions. She was gone for three weeks, with minimal contact for much of that time, yet God gave all of us complete peace. You can read more about her amazing trip to Guatemala on her blog.

Once Brittany left, it was time to prayerfully consider curriculum and extra-curricular choices for next school year. Since homeschooling has become a mass-marketing niche, there are SOOOOO many things from which to choose. At times, I am paralyzed by all of these "good" choices. I am finally learning that if I am still-fully (not a word, I know) praying, God, who always knows what is "best" for each of my kids, will begin to close the doors to "good" and "better", leaving what is "best" wide open for us.


So, this summer, I am praising God for closed doors! God has graciously eliminated many options in our schedule -- homeschool tutorials, classes at the community college, etc. -- while gently confirming what is best for our family. I am still seeking Him regarding upcoming service opportunities, and I trust that He'll lead us to and through the best door.

I also want to "publicly" give God praise for leading us to a new place of worship and teaching! We had visited many, many churches when we first moved here, and being unable to find teaching like we had left behind in WI, we eventually settled into a very large, convenient church. However, I never lost the desire to find a church with meaty expositional Bible teaching and had asked a few friends and family members to pray for us to find such a church home. I am so excited to say that God has answered that prayer!!! We have found a relatively small, friendly, Evangelical Free church, where God's Word is taught without compromise. It feels like home :o).


I've spent countless summer hours in my study, sifting through the oodles of books, maps, activity pages, etc. comprising Tapestry of Grace's Redesigned Year 3. In hopes of freeing up my time during the school year, I set a goal to have each of the 36 weeks of Tapestry ALL planned, printed, and ready to go before summer's end. Actually, after many late night planning sessions, all 36 weeks are already planned and in files, ready to be pulled out and implemented week after week :o) :o) :o)!! I am still working on planning math, science, language arts, etc., but these are quick and easy in comparison to Tapestry planning.


In case you were starting to doubt, I have photographic evidence that we have managed to squeeze in some summer fun! Our favorite place to hang out this summer has been at our zoo's "riverbank". My littles love to play in the sand and splash in the water of this little manmade river/beach.

I've been told that this July was S.A.'s hottest on record! Our pool has been such a blessing this year, and the kids just L.O.V.E to swim! Brock is totally swimming...he is even jumping off the back of the pool (the deep end) and swimming all the way to the shallow end....YAY!!! Brielle is making progress, as she just recently started jumping off the little ledges, putting her face in the water as she "swims" forward. They are SOOO cute!


Our summers have become FULL of birthday fun, with my birthday in June, Brock and Brielle's three days apart in July, and Max's in August!

Brielle still pretends to be our little kitty, meowing and crawling around the house for much of the day. So, we were not surprised when she announced that she wanted a Hello Kitty cake for her birthday!
A Birthday Morning Tea Party

A gift from China...Brielle was born in the Year of the Rooster!

A gift from Guatemala - A traditional Mayan blouse

Our Little Kitty is FOUR!!!

Thanks for the cards, everyone!!

Just when we finished off the last piece of Brielle's cake, it was time to dive in to Brock's birthday cake. He picked this particular one out from among all of the cakes in Target's cake book!?! I think he liked the fact that the tank transformed in to a robotic-like man :o).

A gift from China for our son born in the Year of the Dragon!

A gift from Guatemala...

Brock is NINE years old!

Brock loves, loves, loves Legos!

He had the entire garage set put together SO fast!

Hoping that your summer has also been full of praise,

prayerful plans for the future, carefree play,

and even a little partying :o)!

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