All of my best intentions to continue with regular posts here have been brushed aside in the past couple of months by the stream of events which have flowed in such a constant fashion that I've not had a chance to catch my breath. My last post was in the middle of Nathaniel's visit here and our trip to the Glenn Beck rally in Washington D.C. Since that time we have delivered Kate to her new home in Lancaster, where she is attending the Pennsylvania College of Art and Design, (PCAD) we enjoyed the rest of our month-long visit with Nathaniel at home, Erin and Isaac began their school year, both of them running with the Cross Country teams for Mifflin, we took Rebekah to Hyde Park, NY to begin her education at the Culinary Institute of America, (CIA) and we returned home to yet another adventure- educating Erin and Isaac at home.
I'm sure that there was more in between, but those are the highlights. (I need to catch my breath here, gimme a second.)
Yes, the time has been flying by. Kate is thriving at PCAD. Not only does she love her school and studies, but her church and the RUF group have been a blessing. To hear the excitement and delight in her voice on the phone just makes my heart sing. Art school is no fluff business; she has a lot of studying and homework to do after hours, which she is pursuing with diligence. Being only 30 minutes away means that Kate can come home more easily for a weekend here and there, which was a big help when it came time for us to deliver Rebekah to school.
Meanwhile, Erin had been running with the Cross Country team all summer, training with Coach Jack Heim and the girls at the school and around town, running in Nolde Forest on Saturdays. Erin's strong sense of self-discipline and determination feature prominently in her running. Coach Heim has been training runners for over 20 years, and his girls are often the best teams out there. He has fostered a tightly knit team on the field and off. The girls would have sleep-overs and dinners together and made t-shirts to wear as a team before meets. From local dual meets to invitational meets farther from home, Erin has loved running with the team. An undefeated season was topped off quite nicely last Wednesday with a team win at the County Championship in Kutztown. Not only did the girls' team win, but the undefeated boys also won, and the top runners for boys and girls were also from the Mifflin teams- so they literally "ran away" with every possible victory!
Isaac has also been running with the Jr. High Cross Country team. Attending practices diligently, running at the dual meets, he has been a real trooper, according to his coaches, and has grown stronger and set high goals for himself. I especially appreciate the way the meets are run, with the Jr. High and high school teams going to the same places on the same days for their races, so that I can cheer for both of my kids instead of having to choose between them. The strength of will required for running the distances for cross country has been impressive to watch in Erin, though not unexpected, and almost startling to see in Isaac.
In the midst of this we delivered Rebekah to the CIA in Hyde Park, NY. A dream come true for her and still amazing to me, we packed up the car with her belongings and drove four hours away to the beautiful campus on the shores of the Hudson River. We spent the whole weekend there, orienting ourselves to the area, finding the nearest grocery store, attending a church that we thought might be a possibility for her, (and ruled it out) and getting to know the campus. Sunday afternoon we moved her into her room in the residence hall on campus. Her sweet roommate, Jennifer, told us that she had been praying for a Christian roommate, which answered our prayers as well. Sunday evening Jim and I had a bit of a parent orientation with the Residence Hall advisors before hugging Bekah goodnight and leaving for our hotel. Rebekah had a dinner on campus following her RA orientation, which was a peek into what her meals would be like for the foreseeable future, (and motivated her to check out the workout facilities at the recreation hall!). Jim and I found a fabulous little restaurant not far from the campus and enjoyed a quiet dinner. The next morning was parent orientation for us while Rebekah continued with her freshman orientation. We were able to see her here and there between things, but her schedule was rather tight. In the middle of our lunch in the Apple Pie Bakery and Café, which was magnificent, our sweetie stopped by for a final goodbye hug, having determined that there wouldn't be another chance to see us before we left. Sniff.
Long drive home… in the rain.
Since there is quite a bit of overlap between all of the aforementioned events, it would be fruitless to expect any downtime now. See, a mere three days before we left with Bekah for Hyde Park, Erin asked me if I would withdraw her from school and teach her at home.
(Insert smelling salts here)
All that I will say at this point is that we are now homeschooling both Erin and Isaac. The rest of that story will be a post all its own.
God has blessed this whirlwind of activity and shown grace upon grace to us, more abundantly than we could have asked.