April Update

I cannot believe today is the last day of April.  Where has this year gone?  (Oh, yeah… foster training, a cancer diagnosis, India trip, homeschooling… on second thought, that’s a lot to cram into 4 months!)

Boyd had his dermatology follow-up today.  They cut two more spots off, but both were deemed “totally fine and normal.”  Yeah, that’s what they said about the last spot.  We’re praying each of these will come back clear and ask that you pray that for Boyd as well.  They were very thorough, which put my heart at ease.  He will continue these check ups every six months, so it was good for me to know they were so meticulous in checking him.  Because, you know, I’d kinda like for him to stick around for a while.  🙂

We finally got our next (hopefully final) home study scheduled!  It is next Thursday, May 9th.  I know I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: I love our HD worker.  She is fabulous.  I also found out that she’s been in training for a new position for several weeks, which is why things have been quiet on her end.

We have finished our year at CC!  And SC made Memory Master!  For those who don’t know, Memory Master is a special recognition at CC where the students have to recite every piece of information we’ve learned this year.  7 subjects, 24 weeks of info per subject.  It’s a very big undertaking.  We spent 2 weeks diligently preparing for it.  SC did wonderful, and we are SO proud of her!  I gave her a week off of school as a reward, and today we started back.  Clearly she had gotten out of the habit of doing school work.  There was much weeping and gnashing of teeth today.  🙂  We’ll get back in the swing of things.

We will continue to homeschool through the summer.  We’re beginning her next math book and will wrap up her phonics this summer.  We’ll also concentrate more on spelling and grammar (we use All About Spelling and First Language Lessons).  We’re also going to go through the first book of Story of the World and review what we learned at CC this year.  There is an awesome (free!) lapbook another mom made for SOTW, so we’ll be putting that together.  I also bought some lapbooks that cover what we learned in science at CC this year.  SC is a very hands-on learner, and she loves to write, so I see a lot of lapbooks and notebooking in our summer school plans!

Now that the busy-ness of CC has ended, I feel like I’ve been able to focus a bit more on the fact that, hey, we’re about to get a baby up in here!  And I’m getting excited – really excited.  My kids (and parents) at CC gave me an awesome end-of-year gift, and it is enough to purchase the crib bedding I’ve been dreaming about for our sweet girl. I haven’t gone to get it yet, but I’ve already told Boyd I’m planning a trip to Baby Depot soon.  🙂  I am trying not to flip out too much because it’s been seven years since I’ve had a newborn.  I hope I haven’t totally forgotten what to do!  My friend did lend me her What to Expect book.  I’m sure I’ll need it more than once!

A few serious things, just stuff I’d like to remember:

  • Our pastor has been doing this amazing sermon series based on Ephesians 4:4, and each week we are going through the book of Ephesians reading and studying each time one of the “one” words is used.  Last week, after teaching the 4-5 year olds at church (and I won’t say whose genius idea it was to let them paint with “snow” paint, but let’s just leave it at this: sometimes when you make your bed, you have to lie in it), I was weary.  Not depressed, not sad, just weary and drained to my very core.  I told Boyd I needed some alone time and I went and crawled in bed.  I pulled out my Bible to read my 3 chapters of Ephesians for that night, and I couldn’t get past the first half of chapter one before I was crying.  I took out my notebook and started writing down all the blessings listed in the first half of Ephesians 1 (never mind the fact that I completely ignored the heading “Spiritual Blessings” above the passage… duh).  Clearly I needed to miss the heading because I just needed to soak in the word.  I think I counted 14 or 15 different blessings in the passage.  As I sat there and let the truth of everything God has done wash over me, the weariness disappeared.  I was supposed to be looking for “Lord” in the book, and instead I got stalled at chapter 1.  But I needed it.  This has happened several times since we began the Ephesians challenge (to read 3 chapters a day so we cover the book 3 times in one week).  I start to read for one reason and the Lord totally speaks to me in a different way.  And that’s OK.  In fact, it’s more than OK – it’s awesome.
  • I feel like I’ve been walking a balance beam in regards to SC’s education lately.  Her achievement of Memory Master is such an awesome thing, but I’ve definitely had to keep reminding myself that the goal of her education is not for her to be the smartest, or get into the top college, or to have a 6-figure-salary job, but to equip her for wherever God will use her in His kingdom.  It’s blatantly clear to me that she’s been given many gifts, and my job as her mother is to help her sharpen and hone those gifts so that they will be used to bring God glory.  As someone who has always been academics-driven and (for many years) measured my personal success and worth by academics, this is a hard balance beam to walk.  I know it was no mistake that God spoke to me while I was pregnant with SC and told me my goal as her mom was not to raise her to be the smartest, or the most artistic, or the most athletic (though that one wasn’t really a risk), but to be a daughter of the King.  Right now she wants to be a scientist, an author, and a mommy (love all of these) and wants to go into science so she can help people.  My prayer is that, just as God has helped her daddy excel to his fullest potential in school, that He would help SC to excel to her fullest potential so that whatever she does, whether in word or deed, will be done for His name and His glory.  I’m telling you, it’s a balance beam.  I look at Paul, an incredibly intelligent and well-educated man, and he used his gifts to spread the gospel over the majority of the Roman empire.  What plans does the Lord have for my little girl?  For what great work is He equipping her?  What will be made of the numerous gifts He has given her?  How will He receive praise & glory from her life?  I’m excited for the answers to those questions!

Some fun things coming up:

  • Boyd is graduating!  I am so, so proud of him and how hard he has worked these past 7 years!  If there is one thing I can say about my hubby, he puts 110% effort into what he does.  He has done such an amazing job providing for our family, leading us, pouring himself into ministry, performing well at his job, and maintaining his A average.  I’m so proud of and thankful for him!  Glory to God for not just carrying him through this time, but equipping him to excel!
  • Our annual family beach trip with my parents is coming up.  I may or may not (ok, definitely may) be counting the days till I am sitting in the sand under an umbrella, re-reading my copy of The Well-Trained Mind and finishing up Lynn Austin’s Chronicles of the Kings.
  • This year SC and I have decided to accompany Boyd to Houston for the SBC conference.  We’ve invited one of SC’s friends to join us and we’re really looking forward to the trip.  We plan on taking the kiddos to NASA at one point, and will hopefully get to check out some other family-friendly things to do in Houston while we’re there.  Although, if the girls just want to spend all day at the hotel pool, I won’t complain.  🙂  Oh, and we’ll hit Ikea because OF COURSE.
  • I’m getting excited for CC next year.  I’ve cut back to tutoring just Essentials (this summer will be an exercise in knowing my limits) and I could not be more excited.  I find myself jotting down notes of Bible verses and silly puns for my kids to diagram next year.  I asked another (former) Essentials tutor if she catches herself diagramming sentences she reads in the Bible or (this is terrible) on the projector during worship.  Thankfully she does, so I’m not alone in this plague!  Grammar geeks unite!
  • Speaking of Essentials, I got teary-eyed saying goodbye to my Essentials kids this year.  I got teary-eyed reading their names for their certificates at the EOY ceremony.  I got really teary-eyed reading their (and their parents’) sweet messages in my cards.  Those kids have kind of taken up residence in my heart.  And it doesn’t help that I’m a total mushball.
  • Speaking of Essentials one more time, I made up a new math game for the fall.  I modeled it after “math baseball” (developed by another Ess. tutor).  It is – you guessed it – math football!  I’m stoked because, a, I hate baseball; and b, I love football.  I just hope the kids love it as much as I do!  If nothing else, I will at least teach them what a first down is.  😉
  • Did I mention I’m excited about our foster certification coming to a close?  Because I’m really excited.
  • A friend recommended that I read The Connected Child in preparation for our foster care journey.  Need to get it ordered and in my hands!
  • I’m very ready for the pool on campus to open.  Now that SC can (finally!) swim, I have a feeling we’ll be spending many afternoons there!
  • I know it’s not even May yet, but I feel like it’s already summer around here.  And that makes me happy.  Remind me that I was once happy about summer when I start complaining about the 100* days.  🙂
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