It's taken me a month, sorry, to get back to this. How has this computer, meant to simplify life, added so many more tasks to my day??? I must sit down and figure out what I must keep in the routine and what must go, because life is too full right now!
Let's see now, school started the week after I got home from Europe. Bekah is now a sophomore and attends Culinary courses at the local Berks County Technical Center every afternoon- loves it too. Erin is in 7th grade and playing field hockey, also loves what she's doing. Isaac is a 4th grader, has moved to the Intermediate School, and enjoys not having a sport to play but rather focuses now on fun boy stuff and scouts.
Wow, my list is shorter this year,... No longer at home, but ever on our minds and hearts, Kate is having a wonderful experience living in Switzerland. L'Abri is exactly what she needed. The other "students" there and the staff folks are all living in community and learning about themselves in relation to "the God who is there". Some of the students are staying for the whole term as Kate is, but others come and go for shorter periods of time.
Kate has already taken a "side trip" down to Rome to see friends who are living there for a year. The DePiantes are really more like family for us since Jim and I have known them since our Nathaniel and their Anthony were babies. now Anthony is 20 and he and his brother Alex squired Kate around the city of Rome; more entertaining, knowledgeable and simply delightful guides you'll never find.
As for Nathaniel, the word is he'll be leaving Iraq within a few weeks. He called twice last week and said that he's not sure of the exact date, and couldn't tell me even if he did know it. Good enough for me! We expect to get a call from either Kuwait or a stopover somewhere in Europe when he is actually on his way. He will return to his base in Hawaii- poor kid- before going on any post-deployment leave. The plans for leave are still just that, plans, so I won't speculate here... but they sound great!
For Labor Day weekend Jim and the kids and I went camping; yes, in a tent! We tested the proverbial waters by going to a nearby campground and over the weekend got firmer ideas of what we'll need to still purchase and what kind of campground to look for next time. The experience was overall a positive one for us, chilly and smoky, and we are looking forward to camping again.
Jim has been working primarily from home lately, which is wonderful. His job changed slightly within DHL and he doesn't need to be in an office. Our own wireless internet and his blackberry are sufficient most of the time. An unexpected benefit to his being home is that he now has an "office cat". Milo has made Jim his personal project. He will interrupt Jim's day several times to make him stop and rub his ears or belly, jump onto Jim's workspace to lay on his paperwork and even chase the computer mouse. His funny little "miao" is enough to bring an ear-to-ear grin to Jim's face as he waltzes in demanding his share of attention. I'm sure that if we were to have it checked, we'd find that Jim's blood pressure is lower! He'll often call me in to have me see what new antics Milo is up to. We do need to have an office built in the basement so Jim can truly set up an office, but when we do there will be a hole cut into the door for Milo!
I've been busy getting my scrapbooking out and back in progress. I'd put everything away when we moved here and hadn't pulled it back out. Whether I feel I have the time or not, it must be done! So I joined Creative Memories since I'll be purchasing quite a lot just for myself, and in hopes of finding some friends who'll scrap with me.
I've also agreed to help teach the Women's Sunday School class at church which has been a blessing to me already. Then we just had our Women's Retreat at a nearby location, having Andree Seu come as our speaker,... oh, what a blessing! There's always so much to do, but I must- again- cull my routines down so that I can spend more focused time in Scripture and prayer and simply have time to "be". My head is always so full of the next ten important things on my list that I am never right where I am. The scrapbooking helps slow me down as does digging in the dirt outside. We'll see how successful this is. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me...
Here's a slide show of a little bit of what's been happening. To see the captions just pass your mouse over each photo as it slides by. Unfortunately I kinda lost the photos from camping- computer glitch, ...sniff.