Coming back . . .

Four months!  Can you believe it's been so long??  I didn't have time to write.  Then I had too much to write.  Then I couldn't figure out where to start!  So I'm skipping the past four months . . . my "end of school" recap.  My end of Ranch Year.  A miscarriage.  An amazing summer vacation.  The new start to a school year.  Fast-forwarding so to speak to today.

We have five boys with us now, ages 8-12.  We started school on Monday.  My own kids started home school on Monday, as well.  Home school "lite" really.  We are easing and teasing our way back into routine, but none of us could wait another day really.  I'm learning to jump in and not wait until things are "perfectly planned," whether that be new chore routines or cooking lessons for Shannon or school days.  Heidi is growing up too fast and has entered a very intense season of parenting.  I keep telling her she is too young for some of this behavior nonsense but she doesn't listen!

So all in all- life is full and I love it.  Is it crazy?  Totally!  Trying to train a wild 8 year old to fold clothes and make a bed, to be quiet when it's time to be quiet.  To be respectful.  That life here is safe.  It takes a lot of talking and teaching.  And he is just one.  Days can be like a marathon from 6 am to 8 pm (when all are in bed), filled with many sprint moments (7-8 am and 7-8 pm are my crazy hours, pray for me then!).  But at the end of the day, I wouldn't trade it for the world!

I HOPE to get back here more regularly, but for now . . . a photo recap of the last months!  Because pictures do tell the story!

Waaaaaaaaaay back to April- we rented an amazing condo with friends and explored Saint Augustine!  Early mornings at the beach and old city!  Love this place!

 The fort is an amazing historical and interesting place to visit!

And not much beats an early morning at an empty beach!

As we moved from April and into May . . . lots of tree and rope climbing!

Pushing through with school!  We finished an amazingly hard "read aloud," and both kids surprised me with their desire to listen and enjoy a hard book ("The Wheel on the School").  We pushed through with very routine mornings, which worked very well.

Little glimpses of goodness (as my friend Janet would say) delighted me, in a hard emotional time (which I now know was because I was in those early weeks of pregnancy, ugh!).

Heidi continued to enjoy her "best friends."

And be everyone's favorite entertainer!

We watched Shannon prepare for her ballet recital (at this crazy colored studio!!).

And then we did some hair and makeup and got to watch an amazing worship-dance recital!!

Forest and I had a great time at Shannon's recital! It was at the Holy Land Experience, decorated by the TBN . . . so for example, toilet stalls with MIRRORS!  I mean, who doesn't want to watch themselves use the loo?  Ew!

We finished FIRST GRADE!!!!!

We had some amazing rain storms and some awesome puddles! 

We celebrated a few last birthdays (cupcakes in a cone!).

I printed 100 pictures from the school year and we enjoyed the memories during our last few weeks as a cottage.  

Someone got her hair cut!

I cranked up the exercise in preparation for a summer hiking trip and because I couldn't figure out why I was gaining weight (again, now I know it was pregnancy!).

Lots more pool time! 

Good-byes to the boys.

Summer sunshine!

A whole lot of packing . . . 

And then off to the airport and summer vacation we went!  Not only were we ready for a break because goodness, it was a long year . . .but four days before our boys left, we unexpectedly lost a baby.  Unexpected because I hadn't known I was pregnant.  Unexpected because once I realized I was having a miscarriage, I didn't realize I was between 15 and 16 weeks along.  Unexpected because we didn't expect to lose a baby.  So I was MORE than ready to get on that airplane and go on vacation!

Post-it notes buy some great time on an airplane!  If one happens to be travelling with a wiggly and non-sleeping almost 2 year old!

Taking random pictures of ourselves bought some time too! 

And then we made it!  NY!  I truly was refreshed in all ways through exercise and nature. So amazing!

And with that, I pause for today . . . . 


Setapart1979 said…
A whole lot of joy, accomplishment & blessings shared in this post. Thankful friend to see many good days, good memories & new beginnings in the midst of the hardship & unexpected loss. I'm sorry. My heart hurts for you guys & I'm praying for you for all kinds of things... for the everyday, for all that is on your plate & for grace about all you've walked through this summer.
Hey friend! It was so great to see you this summer. I loved it so much. You've had some crazy months .. with more to follow. Praying for grace for each day. With all those little boys, and of course with your own kiddos! It's going to be a great school year!

Let's chat soon!!!!

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