May flowers are in full bloom and I grasp at moments to try and slow down enough to smell them. They say the older you get, the faster time goes. My eldest has a friend that has some sort of theory on the matter. It’s all over my head.
Mama has been tired for most of this year so far. Emotionally and physically draining, this year stands as one of the most difficult I’ve managed to weather. Have you ever heard of the sandwich generation? Worrying about aging parents, teenagers and little ones makes my sandwich a double decker.
I’m doing good to keep the bills paid and everyone bathed and fed around here with how fast our world has been spinning lately. I’m not complaining, either. Being busy keeps the ghosts in the distance. It keeps you propelling forward.
I love the quote by Hotch on Criminal Minds… “The past is our definition. We may strive, with good reason, to escape it, or to escape what is bad in it, but we will escape it only by adding something better to it.”
And so we strive to add the better in each day. Smelling those flowers while we hustle to get it all done qualifies as better for certain.
So, to you, my die-hard readers who haven’t flinched when my blog projected radio silence for weeks on end: thank you from the bottom of my heart for sticking around and praying and letting us have time to focus on life. For you, I’ve left a little update below…
The “What We’ve Been Up to List”:
1. Floors. Yes, we knew that eventually that 1-year carpet we put in when we were considering selling the house was going to get “grosser than gross”… and so the tile work has begun. We don’t even care that we have no idea what we’re doing. YouTube has to have answers, right?
2. Year End Party at Homeschool Co-op. YES! The school year is out for my little punks. They are going to continue doing bible, memory verses, art, reading, phonics, science, and math for the summer.
3. Upcoming Graduation for my senior son. July is our final homeschool stop for my eldest. He’s cramming in those last few classes and tying up loose ends, reading a ton of literature, and perfecting his transcript for college. He’ll probably take 6 months off … well, 4 months – and start school in January (but he’s not sure where yet, or which of his two degree paths he wants to invest in, so this may be a gap year in the making). Last week they had a really nice senior banquet for him and other teens from our church. It made things seem so much more REAL when I had to stand up and give a speech to honor him and watch images of his childhood on a slide-show. It was like someone finally pinched me and I realized he’s grown up.
4. Conventions galore. You already know I’m an event photographer, and if you follow me on Facebook you’ll know I’m a bit of a grassroots political purist… so we’ve been convention-ing for both reasons lately. We attended the THSC Arlington Convention last month (me as photographer) and the GOP State Convention as delegates. Two conventions a month is tough. I needed a breather. Thankfully June is a spot of fresh air on my agenda. In July, I’ll be going to the THSC Woodlands Convention near Houston. That’s my favorite convention of all time. If you haven’t been to a homeschool convention, please consider it (and of course, if you do – look me up).
5. Shift-Con. Another passion of mine is healthy eating, preserving the ecosystem from poisons and GMOs, and correcting the lies about nutrition put out by big pharm and the FDA. So it was just bound to happen that Shift-Con, the “eco-wellness influencer conference” would reach out to me and hire me to be their photographer. Match made in heavenly green pasture-land for sure. If you are part of that amazing and delicious culture of healthy consumers and cooks, I’ll be seeing you in December in New Orleans!
6. Lots of books. I’ve got a ton of reading material to share with you for children and teens and moms. I also have a ton of books to go through and give away or sell after our re-model downstairs is complete and the book cases get re-attached to the walls. I have piles of books all over my living room floor right now and now that my youngest is 5, we are going to part with a ton of younger books for little ones (sniff, sniff).
7. Paperwork. I may never dig down to the bottom of it…. #storyofmylife (and then there’s Criminal Minds re-runs on Netflix to reward myself with when the desk becomes visible).
8. Photobooking. I just created the photo book for my last wedding and I can’t wait to see it all in print. Something magic happens when digital images escape their binary world and make it on to REAL LIVE TREE-KILLING PAPER. Sorry, I love my trees as much as you do, but a photo book is worth it.
9. Saying Goodbye to my sponsored kid at Compassion. My little tan “son” in India is graduating the program with Compassion. I’m trying to save up as much as I can to give him a parting gift to help him with his future life. I didn’t know this, but your final gift to your sponsored child can be up to 2,000$ and they give 90% of it to the “child” and keep only 10% for administrative work and helping with other kids who are waiting to be sponsored. Just so you know, 1800$ in India is $121,783.40 Indian Rupees… and I have a feeling it would substantially help remove him from lower caste poverty if I was somehow, miraculously able to send this to him. Praying hard about it…
I sponsored my guy from the time he was 6 until recently and he even went to college for a year or so during his stay in the program. I highly recommend Compassion as a way to get your kids involved with giving and thinking about others who are in need, learning about other cultures (goes great with homeschooling), and being a light in the darkness for children in abject poverty.
If you want to donate to my sponsored kid, I have until the middle of June to get enough money together for him to send him off well. I’d love help! Email and ask me how you can donate if you are so led. He grew up on a dirt floor and wrote me letters about how I probably would not like to visit him. I want to show him that an ocean can not separate my love for him, and that even though I have never met him face to face, I truly care about his future enough to make his cause shine.
I have a photo of this young man right above my computer and Compassion wrote on the page: “Pray that he will know the Lord and grow strong in Him.” Amen to that. May your life be a light in the world, sweetie!
10. Eating peppermint. Heavens to Betsy, it’s been difficult trying to wean myself off of Spry Peppermints. I just about gave up chocolate due to my infatuation with them – if that’s even possible! The jury is out on whether Xylitol is good for you to consume, but now that I’ve read more on it, I’m giving up my mints…. slowly. Anyone know of a good peppermint made with organic good ingredients? I just don’t eat cane sugar, so this makes mints and gum nearly impossible.
What have you been up to, love? Are you ready for summer? I can’t imagine anything I’m ready for more… I need a vacation.