An Update

I’ve been a bit quiet here lately. To be honest I just haven’t felt like writing about much of anything. And so instead of giving into the blogging pressure of the need to post, I took an unannounced break. If you follow me on facebook you have seen sporadic peeks into our days, but even that has been pretty random.

The quiet started back in January when we said goodbye to my husband’s grandmother who is finally home with her Savior after a long battle with cancer. Her legacy of faith extends far beyond our family. She welcomed me as a granddaughter the first time we met even before I was engaged to my husband. She loved my girls well and they always looked forward to the cards she sent.

This was the first close family member my girls have said goodbye to. It was difficult in some ways and beautiful in others. My girls all have accepted Jesus as their Savior so they had a very good perspective filled with hope. As family gathered to celebrate her life my girls met some they never knew and heard over and over how their great-grandmother led many to know Christ. It was really a good experience overall.

Still…grief is hard.

I had many praying for us just before the funeral because I was concerned about how my girls would react to an open casket and just the funeral in general as they had never attended one before. I remember telling someone that part of my concern was that I didn’t feel like I handled my own pain very well in front of them. I don’t grieve well.

My friend’s response was, “Does anyone?”
Thinking on this and reflecting on our life as a family, I decided if I was going to grieve well I needed to take away any unnecessary pressures. So I took a break from publicly sharing our life. I’ve kept on reviewing for the many wonderful companies with whom I partner, but that has been about all you’ve seen for several weeks around here!
I’m ready to jump back in however! Here are some tidbits and highlights from the last 3 1/2 months…
The Girls 
Narnia Room Transformation
Click the arrow on the right to see more of the room!

  As a Christmas surprise the girls got a room redo! Their once purple/pink room with a few princess stickers on the wall has turned into a Narnia wonderland! The room is split between winter and spring. We used color pictures from the actual novels to decorate the walls and have various items around which are themed to the various stories. My favorite part is the tree which has a page from each book hanging from it. We spent 2 years gathering what we needed. Yeah, that is a long time! We just kept having trouble finding a time to work on it and get it done as a surprise. Our patience paid off and we were able to create the entire room decor for under $150. The quilts were a Christmas gift from my parents which completed the look. 

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School has been wonderful since the Christmas break. We are still following a 6-week school model although as you can expect sometimes we get our break earlier than 6 weeks depending on our needs as a family. 

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Rose has just finished up her first unit in Heart of Dakota’s Resurrection to Reformation and she loves loves loves it! When she started looking at all the books she would be using in this guide she said, “Mommy! I’ve hit the jackpot!” Such a sweet girl and so eager to learn. 
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Beth has just past the half-way mark in Preparing Hearts for His Glory. This is sooner than I expected, but I’m finding in general each guide flows more smoothly for her. I have suspicion this is because she has heard most of it once before. Her favorite school-book is Grandpa’s Box and I don’t blame her! It is a favorite for all of us and one of those books that all three girls eagerly listen to during school time. 
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Grace is motoring right along. While everything comes incredibly easy for her, she’d rather be playing than doing school so sometimes we do have a bit more complaining. I also know this can be an age factor because I remember the second half of 6 being a bit rougher for my other two than many other seasons. Still, she bounces everywhere and life is always full of new and exciting things to explore! 
Me
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I celebrated my 9th birthday! Crazy right? Well that’s what happens when you are born on Leap Year! This birthday was really fun because all of the girls understood what it meant to me. 
 
I’ve been trying to get life in order. I have done some major, major purging around the house. It was one of those jobs I’ve been putting off due to the overwhelming enormity of it all. Between clothing, kitchen stuff, and household decorations I have gotten rid of hoards of stuff. I should have taken pictures to remind myself of how good it felt! Getting rid of all the “stuff” we don’t need has been so freeing. I paid for very little of it as we are blessed to have a lot of generous people in our lives, but as Cary Farrel, a good friend and professional organizer, says “When a blessing becomes a burden, it is time to get rid of it.” So I waved goodbye to things that were at one time a blessing and have felt so good in the process! 
I’ve begun taking a nap every afternoon. About 3 years ago I discovered my iron levels had dropped to dangerously low levels. I could barely function. While I’ve been working hard to get them where they need to be, and they are improving, I still found myself completely exhausted by early afternoon. I work from home teaching piano every afternoon for about 3 hours so I needed to find a way to fix this. My afternoon nap is only 30-45 minutes long, but it has been life-changing! 
I’m exercising more regularly. I actually started this back last year, but I’ve been walking about 2 miles through our neighborhood with my dear friend and neighbor. If you want to start being more active grab a friend! It’s great motivation, support, and accountability! This has been difficult previously because of the low iron issue.
 
Our Family
P1060184Our family has had some great opportunities to just spend time together having fun. We have just enjoyed playing games together, listening to Adventure in Odyssey, reading aloud more, playing the Wii, watching movies, and visiting fun places. My husband and I have always been intentional about our parenting, but we have been focusing on intentionally having fun.

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We have added two new family members! Penny, our puppy, joined us the day after Christmas on our way to FL to visit my husband’s parents. We stopped at the Humane Society and fell in love! She’s such a sweet little thing, a Rat Terrier/Chihuahua mix, which is funny because I thought she was a Jack Russel Terrier which I had my heart set on. In honesty if I’d know there was any Chihuahua in her she probably wouldn’t have come with us, but I’m so glad she is part of our family now. (This coming from a non-dog person too!)

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 Lucy joined us in February. Again I had my heart set on a Balinese kitten because they are supposed to be better for allergies and have a sweet temperament. We came across her at our local shelter and she is just a wonderful part of our family!

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Lucy and Penny get along really well. They spend half their time wrestling and half their time cuddling! 

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We recently took a really awesome trip over spring break with a high school friend of mine and her family. It was one of the most relaxing and restful vacations we’ve ever had! 

And now as life is setting into routine once again I’m ready to start sharing our sometimes hectic, often imperfect, wouldn’t-change-it-for-anything life again.

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