Closing summer and making plans.

 Our boys survived their first week at a brand-new school! This week didn’t look anything like we originally thought it would, a couple months ago. I told the boys we would probably be settled in our new place long before school started and have time to scope out the area and meet some kids at the parks, etc.

Instead, we chewed our fingernails to bits (figuratively speaking, of course!), waiting and waiting for the answer to prayer that was sure to come before school started…..only to have the answer not be the one we hoped for. I am SO proud of my boys for doing as well as they did this week. They did a whole lot better than their mama, that’s for sure.

The 2nd and 3rd days of school went a lot smoother than the first (the drop-off was frustratingly chaotic) and the boys had some really good things to say. Samuel even got rewarded for good listening at school on a behavior chart all the classes have. He felt really good about that!

My grandma has been hauling us all over town for the past month since Ben started his jobs. The kiddos are in a tight squeeze in the back of her little Taurus, which makes for many repeated reminders that we are in a small space together and need to keep our voices DOWN. But they are happy kiddos, even if ornery:)

Last Saturday, we got to spend some much-needed time with Grandma and the boys cousins! We had a very full day, starting with brunch! We ate, then played at a cute park, went to Target, had frozen yogurt and ended up at the river to throw rocks:)

4 boys and one little princess:) (one boy is missing from the picture!)

That’s Eliana carrying her brother’s pirate sword around. She’s pretty ferocious, isn’t she?!

They had so much fun it was hard to tear them away!! We had such a nice day:)

On Tuesday, my trio and I decided to have one last little hurrah before the busy school season started. We headed over to the pool and were one of the first to arrive! It was a pretty low-crowd kind of day, for which we were very thankful.

The boys had SUCH a good time and actually spent time swimming (finally!) and did not want to leave. I feel like they finally got the hang of swimming and relaxing at the pool, only to have the season end!

Buddies:) (Well, okay, let’s be honest here. This came after some screaming on Eliana’s part and a refusal to scoot over on Z’s part. But finally the law won and peace was made.)

Chillin’ in his own chair:) He has begged to go back to the pool every day this week!

And something fun! Guess whose book is out?! That’s right. Check out that name at the top!

And it’s a doozy, too, coming in at 508 pages. Yes, sirree Bob, that’s a whole lotta work that went into that book. 4 years to be exact….Oh, well, 5 if you count the painful process of editing!

Don’t be asking for a copy anytime soon, though. A) You probably won’t understand very much of it:) and B) It costs a whopping $160 a book. Wow.

Ben likes to say that it also doubles as a fly-swatter, a cure for insomnia or a great window-holder upper. His joking aside, I am super proud of him! He accomplished what few people can with his studies and even though we can’t exactly see how God will use his knowledge and giftings, we are trusting that someday we will!
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And as for other updates, Eliana got into preschool! It’s been very difficult to sign up for anything at all since our whole life has been up in the air but we found a place for her 2 days a week and she is SOOO excited! She was bringing her book bag to her brothers’ school open house and wanting to put her supplies inside their desks (break my heart!) so we kept assuring her we would find something soon! This just fell into place a few days ago, very easily. And as I am needing to count all of my blessings right now, however big and small, I am very thankful for this! She starts in just over a week.

Also, we are trying to learn not to be stressed out by deadlines because we are learning that our timelines and God’s are apparently not the same. Boo. We only have until September 1st here before we absolutely have to leave. The only way we could get a really brief extension would be if we could tell them a specific date we were moving into a new place. The board has been gracious enough to allow us to stay here all summer but the time has come for us to move on.

Not that we haven’t been trying. I admit, I have been incredibly discouraged and frustrated this week by all of the dead-ends and bizarre experiences we have had with trying to find a place to live. We have never ever had trouble like this. Some days I really want to give up and move to England. Please pray, of course, that this would be the week God would open up something for us, but most of all, for me to fix my eyes on Him and not on things that I think would make things easier. Like, I don’t know…..having a place to live and being able to settle and make plans. Things like that. I’m having a hard time letting that go and keeping my eyes upwards and I really need some prayer for grace.

After all, drawing close to our Father, in the midst of trials and pain, shows us that nothing here on earth can really ever satisfy us or give us true peace. I need to learn where my true source of Peace is and draw from it (Him), instead of assuming I’ll feel peace once my prayers are answered. Tough lesson to learn.

And I think I’d rather learn my lesson asap instead of feeling the way I have this past week or two….

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It’s finally come!

My dearest friends and family, tonight and tomorrow I am asking you to pray! After 8 long (very long) years of hard work, Ben is finally defending for his Ph.D tomorrow at 11:30am!!! This is such a huge, huge day for us and will only be topped by watching him get hooded at graduation next month! We are both a little nervous and would appreciate prayers for peace and celebration!

Also, I am feeling very sick tonight with a cold or a flu and I really want to feel better so I can be there with him tomorrow! I won’t go in the room with him for his defense because a) I have Eliana and that would be totally distracting for him:) and b) I’m too nervous to be there and I’d probably make him nervous! But E and I will be in the building and as soon as he comes out to wait for the “verdict”, we will go down to join him.

Can’t wait to share the good news tomorrow! Thank you!