Just a quick run-down of our week's highlights:
1. The first one has to do with Nicolas. I don't want to say too much on the blog because it is his story/experience to share, but suffice it to say that one night this week we had a blessed time of prayer and spiritual conversation with him.
2. The Friday of Thanksgiving Mr. Frederik Meijer passed away. He was the founder of the Meijer stores. (similar to Walmart, but founded before Walmart). The front page of the GR Press this week featured several stories of him and his life with special focus on his philanthropic activities. He was a generous man.
3. On Tuesday evening, areas very close to GR experienced 8-9 inches of snow. We didn't even have a snowflake. I was trying to figure out where all the chunks of snow came from on the bottom of the minivans and cars in the Homeschool Building parking lot on Wednesday morning. I think Kevin DY had a cute blog about snow days this week which was inspired by all the snow Lansing received. Of course, our kids were disappointed. We did have several sunny days this week, but the last few have just been wet and rainy. Brian (next door neighbor) is all set up for his ice skating rink, but it hasn't stayed below freezing enough for him to get it started!
4. One of the kids' highlights of the week was watching Smokey catch a mouse in the homeschool room Wednesday morning while I was in the room trying to gather up materials to take to the Homeschool Building. I am not what they enjoyed more: watching me stand on the chair shrieking or Smokey actually catching the mouse. I hate to admit this, but this is the 3rd mouse she has caught in the house in not very much time. We thought we knew where they were coming in, but this old house has lots of secrets.
5. Another highlight for the kids this week was putting up Christmas decorations. (No big tree, though, as we will be gone for a couple weeks over Christmas). We usually put on Christmas music and have apple cider or hot chocolate and go through the boxes together. I do have several decorations that I can't get rid of because of sentimental reasons, but I don't usually put them out because they are gaudy or dated. Lydia loved them all, though, and when I went to bed that night I found that she had decorated our bedroom with all the "leftovers" and had put an adorable pop-up Christmas card she had made on our pillow. What a sweetie! Seth whispered in my ear while we were decorating, "I have so much joy in my heart. Christmas is coming and we get to celebrate Jesus' birth and go to Orange City!" Too cute.
6. Saturday night we shared a meal with Dr. and Mary Beeke and family. It was fun to visit with them and their kids in a more relaxed atmosphere.
7. Russ and I met with the athletic director at NorthPointe HS on Tuesday afternoon. They would like Russ to coach their track team this spring, so we were finding out more information. I told Russ I would assist him if needed so they wanted to talk to me as well. If Russ wants the job, it is his. The seminary professors are all supportive if he decides to take the job. Caleb would love to have him as his track coach, too!
8. Russ ate pumpkin pie. This was the pumpkin pie I made for Thanksgiving, but forgot to add the sugar. (I found via several cooking incidents that I do not cook/bake well while carrying on conversations with my sister Cora!) I did not take it to the Bleeker's for that reason, but Anna loves pumpkin pie and wanted to try to eat it anyway. We found that with plenty of whipped cream it actually wasn't that bad. Anyway, I took the leftover pie out on Monday or Tuesday and the kids said something about Russ eating it. "Daddy ate some of this pie?" "Yep, one or two pieces." "But it has two eggs in it." Since we figured out that eggs were the source of all Russ' stomach discomfort earlier this fall, he has avoided anything cooked/baked with eggs. Since he would be so miserable, he was extremely vigilant about reading labels or asking me if something had eggs. So, when he came home from seminary, I asked him to confirm the rumors. He affirmed that, yes, he had indeed had at least two pieces of pie without incident! (He forgot to ask if they had eggs; he thought the pie looked so good, he just ate a piece without thinking). Since that time he has had a couple of cookies and a bowl of custard, all containing eggs, all without incident. Someone had told us that often if you take a complete break from the offending food, your body may "reset" and you can return to the food in a few months. It seems that this may be the case for Russ.
9. Today was a busy Sunday. I know they are not supposed to be, but I think that God is getting our family ready for that! We had church both a.m. and p.m., and we also went with Russ to Sheldon Meadows, the nursing facility that he preaches at the first Sunday of every month. The kids usually prepare a few musical numbers. This week the girls both played a Christmas carol on the piano and Caleb, Nicolas and I played a piece together (violin, cello, piano) and then Caleb and I played a duet (violin and piano). We rushed back to get Caleb to youth group at 4:00. It was an especially busy day for him.
Those are the "non-school" related highlights of the week. Russ is also battling a nasty cold/cough. Not a good time to be under the weather as he has lots of work to complete the next few weeks. He has been burning the candle on both ends, so maybe that is part of the problem. He is officially done with Hebrew; no more class this year, and no more Hebrew courses to take. Although the class was difficult, he found he really enjoyed the professor and the challenge. Now if he can get just get through the rest of the courses on Greek...