Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Busy weekend, Birthdays, and Back to School

Wow, so much has been happening I haven't had a chance to sit down and update the blog! 

Last weekend Russ and I tag-teamed the PRTS Conference on the Holy Spirit.  Russ went Thursday night, and Caleb babysat so we could both go Friday morning.  Friday afternoon Russ went to get our "new" Montana and I watched the Ude's kids so Marieke could go with Nicodemus to the conference.   I made up Becca's meatball sub recipe and invited the Ude's to stay for supper when they came for their kids late afternoon.  We enjoyed wonderful fellowship discussing the conference messages, difference in worship services in Nigeria vs FRC in GR, our children, etc.   The Ude's left to go to the evening conference messages which I was also able to attend.  Russ went to Caleb's soccer game with the rest of the kids.  Neither of us was able to attend the conference on Saturday morning.  I had BSF Leader training as I agreed to be a children's leader this coming year and Russ stayed home with the kiddos. 

Since I had so much going on with  getting Caleb ready to start school, BSF training, preparing for homeschool, keeping up with the housework, and trying to shepherd  the hearts of five children I was getting a little overwhelmed.  The conference and the leader's meeting were both like water on a parched desert!  Why do I think I have to muster some light or some goodness within me that God can use?  Why do I feel I have to do all of this "leading" on my own?   Why am I not willing to just empty myself and be a channel for the Spirit--the same Spirit of Jesus Christ?  I was wonderfully comforted and encouraged this weekend for which I am so grateful as we usher in a busy school year. 

That leads us to birthdays.  I celebrated #41 on Sunday.  We had a quiet day, attending the FRC both services, and hearing great messages from Dr. Murray.  Dave and Mary Beth had invited us for Sunday dinner so I didn't even have to make a Sunday meal.  I did bring pear pies for dessert, though.  (I have to do something with all those pears!).  I was glad to have a nice chat with Lynn, my birthday partner, as she and her family were leaving Iowa for Haiti the next day.  Mom and Dad emailed last night that they did arrive in Haiti safely yesterday.

On Monday, my baby turned 5.  Seth was so excited to finally be five.  Now he could homeschool with the other kids, learn to ride bike without training wheels, and a few other things that he had preferred not to do until "I turn five."  Waiting for Caleb to be done with school and his soccer game to open his gifts was almost too much for this five year old.   But he did wait and we enjoyed eating a pirate cake afterwards that we put together that morning. 

Lydia took the two bike pictures with my camera.  I thought she did a pretty good job.  I was probably canning pears or something :)

Still in jammies!  One of the advantages of homeschool.

And the final topic:  we all went back to school this week.  The kids all started Monday and Russ went back on Tuesday.  Caleb seems to enjoy NorthPointe as he comes home after school and soccer practice quite chipper and chatty.    We found that hot lunch is all a la carte and quite expensive so he has been either taking a lunch or supplementing his lunch with fruit, yogurt, etc. from home.   He says he feels like a pack horse as he goes to school with his gym bag for soccer, his violin (orchestra meets every day), backpack and a lunch bag.  Caleb worried a little bit about finding someone to share a locker with so he was relieved when one of the freshman boys on his soccer team asked to be his locker mate.

As I mentioned, we started homeschooling on Monday as well.   So far, so good.  We are on the second year of My Father's World five year rotation and are studying Creation to the Greeks this year.   I will try to continue to give a weekly update on what we are studying, favorite books, activities, etc.   Seth will be the biggest challenge and I pray for the energy and creativity to teach that boy a simple kindergarten curriculum.  Up to this point all the kids have known how to read and the older three had a good handle on math facts.  Teaching one to read seems a little daunting, but we will take it one letter at a time...

Russ started class yesterday.  He says he enjoys his Greek professor's sarcastic sense of humor--no surprise.    He is currently scheduled to take 18 credits, but with his math tutoring at NorthPointe four periods/students on Monday and one student every day he is wondering if he may need to eliminate a class.  He enjoys working with the student he meets with on a daily basis and is looking forward to getting to know the others as well.

Actually, he just returned from the seminary and, after visiting with his academic advisor has decided to only take 15 credits this semester.  He will take 3 credits in January, 16 next spring and then 3 in May.  Overall this will keep him on track for total credits and hopefully also sane and without a heart attack.

At this time we have no plans for the long weekend.  Caleb does not have class Friday or Monday, nor soccer practice on Thursday.   We will get the house ready for our visitors who arrive next Tuesday (Mom and Dad)!   

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