1. I didn’t mean for almost two weeks to pass in between blog posts. It seems that the Polar Vortex has affected my ability to write sentences. It’s been so, so cold this week and it snowed again. I’m officially DONE with winter. I came to this decision when the temperatures were in the teens, and we had a wild hair to go sledding.
That’s actually not Max and and his friend in the photo on the left, but you can see that our hill is a pretty good one for sledding. And the expression of total happiness on Max’s face in the photo on the right is priceless.
Well, not really. Evidently I can put a price on that happiness. It cost one 25-minute interval of insanity as I stood out there freezing my patootie off. I met my sledding quota for this winter.
Oh, the kids were so sad that we went home much earlier than they had hoped. They looked at me with bundled up faces and bodies and red cheeks and runny noses and begged to stay longer. And begged some more when we got home. And begged some more the next day.
I gave reason after reason about how the hill probably re-froze at night and that sledding would be hazardous (it wasn’t that icy the first day at all) and the answer was N-O with a possibility of zero chance I’d change my mind. I had that certain look in my eye. I was not budging.
And while Max knows some history of the meaning of this certain look in his mom’s eye, Mini is five. She still thinks she can work on it. Before lunch the next day, she prayed, “Dear God, thank you for our food. Please let Mommy take us sledding and take the madness out of her.”
Hahahaha that tickled me to pieces. But I was NOT taking them sledding again.
2. Maybe one reason that I had a harder time with the cold this time was that last week at this time it was sunny and 50 degrees. And it was even Summer & Sunshine at Jr. High on Sunday night.
The students dressed up in summer clothes and we did the limbo and had Hawaiian Punch with little umbrellas and fruit kabobs. And of course, Oreos.
3. Mike went on a ski retreat for four days with our high school group. Every year when this retreat rolls around, I reflect on how much has changed since the first time he went. Five years ago, he was brand new in full-time ministry, brand new to high school ministry, and, as a couple, we were adjusting to this new life and calling.
Mike was a software engineer before sensing God’s call to switch careers and become a pastor, and it wasn’t exactly something we saw coming. I love to tell the story of how he woke me up at 1:30 in the morning to discuss the matter because he was restless about what God was leading him to do. He had been thinking about it on his own for days, and finally was ready to bring up the subject to me!
At first, even though my love for youth ministry runs deep, the idea wasn’t something I did backflips about. But it was only a day or so before I recognized the Holy Spirit nudging me. I knew Mike’s heart and it was clear for me to give my full support.
We’ve both grown so much in these 5 years, and God has confirmed that this was the right move over and over again. Being in ministry is, as you can imagine, a mixture of things. There’s a feeling of fulfillment and usefulness when you pour yourself into something that was designed for you to be apart of, but there are always growing pains in the process. Mike made a 5- year plan when he first came on staff. I recently asked him about it and he chuckled at how the past 5 years have looked NOTHING like his plan. And WE are nothing like we looked five years ago, either.
Thank you, Lord, for that.
4. Mini is about to turn 6 years old. She is the cutest thing, full of spirit and imagination, and busy, busy, busy. She’s Type A all the way and loves to ask what we have planned each day (and the next, and the next). That part wears me out thin, but I love her joy so much. Parenting her sassy strong will and CEO-in-training personality takes WORK but I love her to the ends of the earth.
I made a collage of some of the things she’s been up to lately:
5. Max has been doing great. We just had our mid-year review, and he’s been working hard in 5th grade. He would not say that he loves school work, but I’m so happy to see his progress and see that he likes to learn independently. He does love taking classes. He took art, chemistry, acting, PE, and writing in classes with other homeschoolers his age. At home, we did history, reading, grammar, vocabulary, spelling, Bible, and math. Most of the subjects aren’t graded except for writing, grammar, and math, but the nice thing about homeschooling is I know learning is taking place even when there aren’t tests.
It kills me that Mini scooted herself underneath the couch. So funny!
6. Mini still loves gymnastics. Another nice thing about homeschooling means that there are certain classes we can take during the school day. These two girls (and now a third friend, too) are the only ones in their class. They work hard for an hour and come out of there sweaty! It’s close to having private instruction. These girls have a blast!
Thanks for stopping by and reading this (long) update. Hopefully I will get back to blogging more regularly, but if you’re on Instagram, you can follow me there. I’m sincerelyannablog.