"Fear not, I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.
I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my righteous, upheld by my righteous,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.
(Hymn #85 How Firm a Foundation, verse 3)
I know God lives and loves me just as he knows, and loves each one of us. I know where I came from, who I am, and where I am going. Nothing else really could be more important. Nonetheless, here is what else happened lately:
1. Brandon and Cannon got rear ended on their way home from the hardware store. They were in our old paid for-white car. (the one that's not the minivan so the kids think it's a real joy ride) The brakes on this poor guy's truck apparently didn't work. It smashed up our trunk pretty good but nobody was hurt except for a little whiplash.
2. We had a wonderful family getaway to St. George to celebrate my birthday #36, but who's counting? and an early celebration of our anniversary #16. I got to do all the things I love to do and don't get to do very often: shopping, going out to dinner and a play, swimming, reading by the pool, and exploring nature. The Shakespeare Festival's production of Peter and the Starcatcher was highly entertaining. Loved every minute of it. We came home late to a clean condo and all the kids in bed. Thanks Kate! Lastly, we enjoyed a fun-filled hike to Kanarraville Falls, where the trail crosses through the creek so many times we finally resigned to sloshing right through the water in our shoes. We passed through slot canyons, hiked up a waterfall, and slid down another one. How refreshing! Not one, but two rattlesnake encounters on the trail back, had us feeling very alive and jumpy.
3. The kids all started school! What do I do all day, you are wondering, with my kids all in school now? I clean up all the messes they made before they left! Cannon declares Kindergarten, "awesome!" Kate is loving all the social interactions that another year of middle school brings. Adrie and Brynn have great teachers and everything is going swimmingly. Two changes have made this year better already. a) No carpools. My kids either ride the bus or their bike. b) No home lunch--No longer do I have to bust my brain thinking of lunches that are not only healthy and budget-friendly but also require no heating or refrigeration and still taste delicious. I gave up! Except for Fridays, when they can come home early, they are all eating school lunch and it is worth every penny.
4. Besides, domestics I also am getting back into the routine of doing my own learning-- reading, music, French. Brandon says learning French is the nerdiest thing I do. I prefer the term C'est Magnifique, especially because it is fun to say. Besides, I am going to France someday and I don't want to be a total ignoramus.
5. I have loved, loved, LOVED, getting to know all of my foreign exchange students and their wonderful host families. It's been exciting to hear about all their American firsts--first dream in English, first date, first time at IHOP. I love hearing their observations about where we live. Anna from Finland said, "Everyone in America is so happy and smiling all the time!!" Renato from Brazil observed, "Americans don't eat very healthy food, everything is too sweet!" Maren from Norway said we have this weird stuff called peanut butter and it is in everything! It has been very rewarding for me to hear how the students feel like they have the perfect family for them and the families feel like their student is one of their own. I am so excited to host our own student next year. A French girl, perhaps? Oh la la!
I feel really grateful that living in a little town, I can have, with these students, a connection to the great big world. Plus, they are just so darn cute!
Well, I think that's a wrap until next month, or week, or whenever I get my durned basement put back together...carpet coming soon!