Welcome to Our Journey of Faith. My blog is a place where I share the joys and trials of living a faith-filled life as the mother of an extra large (12 children) homeschooling family, and my prayer is that it brings encouragement to others to live their lives as an adventure of faith, as well.
Thanks for your prayers as I'm traveling. I've been away from my computer for a couple of days, but am having a GREAT trip.
Yes. Friday was a Record Breaking Day. The traffic in the Seattle area was the WORST I've ever been in, and it took me the LONGEST to get through as it ever has. (not a fun record to break)
We moved North from Puyallup 12 years ago. We've made the trip back and forth probably hundreds of times. When we drive mid-day (avoiding rush hour), it usually takes us 2 1/2 hours to go the 150 miles. The longest it has ever taken was 4 hours. However, on Friday it took me 4 1/2 hours. Ugh!
For those of you who know the area ... Hwy. #405 usually takes about 30 minutes to go 28 miles. It took 1 1/2 hours on Friday. Then, Hwy. #167 should take about 30 minutes to go 24 miles. It took another 1 1/2 hours.
I met Gregg & Kayla for coffee in Puyallup ... and visited for 1 1/2 hours, trying to avoid getting back onto the ugly freeways. I left Puyallup at 6:00 for the 1 hour (55 mile) drive to Centralia ... which then took me 2 hours. Seriously.
Funniest thing about the day ...
I was so nervous about getting into a fender bender in the crazy traffic. I've never been in one. I never worry about it. But, this time, I was driving a car that I am selling. I could not imagine anything happening to the car, on my way to sell it. So ... I was probably the nicest driver on the road that day.
"Anyone want to change lanes? Oh yes. I'll slow down and let you in. I'm in no rush. I really don't mind driving 8 hours for what should take 4. No problem. Just stay away from my car."
I was, seriously, so mellow. All I wanted was to make sure my car stayed nice, clean, and without dents ... which it did.
After the extraordinarily long drive, my 30-year-friend Debbie served me dinner when I finally arrived. Then, we had a 3 hour visit.
Mama gets to take a "little" Road Trip ... and Mama is EXCITED!!!
A week or so ago, I "advertised" the sale of my little Ford Focus on my blog. Well ... turns out ... one of you sweet Bloggy Friends decided that was just what you needed.
However ... you happen to live in San Diego ... 1300 miles away.
Mama to the rescue.
Mama happens to LOVE to take Road Trips.
Mama happens to have friends along the way that she would LOVE to visit.
Mama happens to be in need of some "quiet down time" ... and a few days in the car with Jesus and some Worship Music sounds absolutely WONDERFUL.
Papa happens to be out of work right now, so he can hold down the fort, the kids, and the homeschooling.
Mama won't be starting work at the bookstore for another week or two.
So ... do you all think these things "just happened" to happen?
Oh. My. No.
God is the AMAZING orchestrator of each and every one of these details.
Mama will stay with a dear long-time friend on Friday night (after lunch with Gregg, and hopefully Kayla).
Mama will stay with a Bloggy Friend, who has become a dear real-life-friend over the past couple of years, on Saturday night.
Mama will have a quiet night in a hotel on Sunday night.
Mama is hoping to spend much of Monday and Tuesday with a Bloggy Friend, who has become a sweet "Little Sis" over the past couple of years. Mama will spend the night with her family, and meet her sweet new baby, on Monday night.
Mama will meet up with Car-Buying Bloggy Friend in San Diego on Tuesday evening, and hand off the car keys.
Mama got a steal of a deal on a room at a waterfront hotel in San Diego for Tuesday night.
Then ... Mama will fly home on Wednesday.
Mama gets a much-needed VACATION.
Bloggy Friend gets a GREAT little car.
Papa & Mama's bank account gets a nice little shot-in-the-arm, while Papa is unemployed again.
Looks like a Win-Win-Win Situation all the way around.
If you happen to live near the I-5 Corridor anywhere between Canada and Mexico ... and you would like to meet up for coffee or a meal in the next few days ... just pop me an email and I'll see if I can make it work. (I will be starting the trip less than 5 miles from Canada, and ending the trip less than 10 miles from Mexico ... with a whole lot of Washington, Oregon, and California in the middle.)
Please keep me in your prayers over the next 6 days, as I hit the open roads ... just me, and Jesus, my worship music, and my iPhone (for safety, gps, and conversation).
Thankfully, Track is Ben's #1 Sport ... and Cross Country is his way to keep in shape while waiting for track. He had a good season. He ran well. He had fun. We're all sad that he must miss the last 2 meets of his Senior Year, but thankful it isn't more serious. Something tightened up somewhere, that tweaked something in his knee. We were quite concerned that it could be an ACL or Meniscus tear (as 3 members of the Big D. Family had 7 knee surgeries in 7 years, just a few years ago), but the doctor was sure it wasn't so serious. The doctor just wants him to do some swimming and bike riding to even out the muscle usage in his legs.
I am wondering how to help Sarah respond to people when they comment on the fact that she is short (and all 3 of her younger siblings will probably pass her up pretty soon).
Sunday's conversation ...
A woman at church approached the table that Sarah, Rachel, and I were standing by. She said, "You're the lady with the van, right?" Which I thought funny ... as if I'm the only lady with a van ... but laughed and nonchalantly said, "No. We actually sold our van and bought an SUV."
She then (without even asking my name or introducing herself to me) turned to the cute little African children Sarah and asked,"What is your name? How old are you?"Then to Rachel with the same questions. (Sarah will be 13 next month, while Rachel is 10.)
She looked back and forth between them, finally turning to Sarah to say,"She's almost as tall as you."(as if Sarah wasn't aware of this fact)"Oh well. Over the next couple of years you will grow a lot more."(as if there were something terribly wrong with her being short, and her sister possibly passing her up in height).
I casually turned to the woman and responded, "Actually, no. She's done growing. This is as tall as she'll get." To which the woman hurriedly rushed off.
I didn't try to embarrass the woman. But, at the same time I wanted to show Sarah that she could respond honestly, without being embarrassed of her height.
When you look at the 2 girls, Sarah is clearly older. Her facial features and build are much more mature than Rachel's. However, the fact is: Sarah didn't get much nutrition until she was nearly done growing. The lack of nutrition in her childhood stunted her growth. Period. Our doctor told me last spring that she appears to have reached her adult height, which I think is under 4'8".
Now, the funny thing is that in our family we are certainly not all the same height. Two of Sarah's big sisters are 5'3" - 5'4" and two of Sarah's big sisters are 5'9" - 5'10". Thankfully, they aren't all 5'10", to which Sarah would really feel short. Interestingly, all four of our Big Boys are within an inch of each other at 5'10" - 5"11.
Two of the Big Girls didn't reach my height (5'6"), and none of the Big Boys reached Jim's height (6'2"). It will be interesting to see where the Young Ones end up on the yardstick. I actually don't expect Rachel to continue growing much longer. While the girls' birth certificates show them as 10 and 12, they are actually at least 12 and 15. I expect neither of them will reach 5'. While in Ghana, I met 3 of their older brothers; and two of the three are extraordinarily short, as well.
Anyway ... let me know if you have dealt with this issue, and what the best response might be for people that make comments implying that it is a horrible thing to be short. Sarah and I did talk about it after we left church, and I told her that she can just smile and say,
While my blog has been pretty quiet this week, we have been busy with our re-decorating project. Since Papa doesn't have any outside painting jobs lined up right now, he has had time to do a LOT of painting around here. I would guess that he has painted nearly 1,000 sq. ft. this past week. In addition to the main bathroom, he has painted the stairwell, the hallways, the entry, and the kitchen, dining, and living rooms. Woo Hoo! I can't wait to show you pictures. He has also done some trim work ... put up wainscoting ... put up new curtain rods ... and put together 3 new bookshelves for our schoolroom. Thanks, Papa!!!
Meanwhile, Mama and Hosanna have been busy sorting, organizing, putting the library together, putting together a new end table for the living room, ironing and hanging the new curtains in the living & dining room, decorating, etc ...
Pictures coming soon ... when I get some things hung on the walls.
Oh yes ... in the midst of all of the re-decorating ... we are also keeping quite busy with our homeschooling, our homeschool enrichment classes, piano lessons, etc ... Honestly, our homeschooling is more organized and scheduled this year than it has ever been. Yes. Ever. After many, many years of homeschooling with babies, toddlers, and kids that can't read ... this year I am really able to focus on "just" the 6 homeschooling kids we have at home. No babies. No toddlers. No non-readers. Wow! It's amazing how much more can be accomplished (although, I absolutely LOVED having babies and toddlers and non-readers around all of those years). Yes. Homeschooling is really going well ... and we are MUCH enjoying our new designated "classroom" (rather than all homeschooling taking place at the dining table).
Off to more organizing and putting things away. Excited to put the 3 bookshelves into place that Papa put together this afternoon ... and get more books organized. Oh yes!
for a visit this weekend to surprise "C" for "C"s birthday.
It was WONDERFUL to spend time with "J" again.
Mama met "A" at Family Camp 13 years ago.
We have seen each other at camp on and off
through the years, but haven't really been in
touch the past few years. "A" is a friend of "C"s.
and lives in the same town. So, "A" and kids also
came over for "C"s birthday party on Saturday night.
It was truly a BLESSING to spend time
with these 3 PRECIOUS friends.
We chatted ... and prayed
... and chatted ... and prayed
... and chatted ... and prayed.
Oh. My. Yes.
I think I got more hugs from friends this weekend, than I've had in the whole last year combined. I am BLESSED with several very special long-distance friendships, but don't get face-time with friends very often.