Summer’s end

This Monday morning starts our last week of summer.  Summer wasn’t particularly kind this year, but as it goes sometimes after a season of hardships the reminders of goodness come.

This last week was simply that.  Many reminders of goodness and care came to tend my weary heart.

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I don’t like to be preachy, but God just stopped me in my tracks and reminded me that He is taking care of so many details in His timing.  I saw that this week so clearly.

There were rainbows of promise.  While I don’t read into every rainbow as a specific promise to me and my situations, this one was a comfort to me.  I had to stop and capture it.

There were the best chocolate chip cookies known to man.  I got to lick the spatula. That is a small thing, but just a reminder that the best pleasures in life are often small and seemingly insignificant.

There was the joy brought to our home with a new pet.

Lastly, God showered me with provision by providing the funds for my trip to Thailand this October.  He really just took care of it for me and our whole team.  Tickets are to be purchased this week and I was feeling a little frantic that we would have our funding on time.  God called His people to rally and provide what we needed so very quickly.  It was a greater testimony to the truth that He is never late.  He is always on time and often answering in unexpected ways.  I’m so grateful to those  servants who are standing behind us.  It still seems so unreal.  I’ll never be able to fully explain how much I have missed Asia, and Thailand particularly. I’m just staring at my computer screen because there are just no words to communicate how I’m feeling.  You kind of have to come along for the ride to understand how much a place has been part of my story. I’m excited, but still a bundle of nerves about leaving my family home this trip. It’s a mom thing.

This is my good.  This is my fun.  This is certainly not random.

Linking with Good.Random.Fun.

 

 

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What summer looks like now.

We are in the final countdown of summer’s vacation.  We’ve just 9 days to go.

Summer has morphed into lazy days of TV and lots of it.  We are watching marathons of Full House, 19 and Counting, and something on Sasquatch hunting.  I dunno. Don’t ask.  No idea where that came from.  I think it is a sure sign that summer is ending when you seek to be entertained by Sasquatch shows.  I’m not watching that.  I’m more looking on with disbelief.

Summer days

Summer days

Summer Days

Summer Days

Summer days

Summer Days

Summer days

I’m relieved that this odd summer is finally ending. I need a change. We all do.

But for one more week, TV marathons sound pretty good. Sans Bigfoot.

Linking with Photo Friday.

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Little Things Thursday

Do your kids love airports?  Mine sure do. Our little thing this week was getting to go pick up my husband from the airport.  There is something about walking around an airport with all the energy you see in travelers that makes a little kid excited.

I remember so well, and even way beyond my childhood years was this feeling present.

Atlanta Airport-web

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta

Pre-9/11 of course.

I remember the days before this age of tight security when we could ride the concourses and just walk around. My husband and I even had little dates at the airport way before marriage and kids where we would just walk the airport and try to find the most outlandish destinations at the gates.  There was something about the feeling of going that made one long for an adventure.

No big adventure in this airport trip, but the kids still love going in to welcome their daddy home.

I’m getting a little excited for my adventure in two months!

Share your adventures!

Link up with Little Things Thursday:

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Light Through Yonder Windows

Light through yonder windows

Light through yonder windows

Light through yonder windows and freshly scrubbed boys. The perfect ending to a summer’s day.

Boys have the uncanny ability to get absolutely filthy.  Thank goodness for nightly showers.

Linking with Good.Random.Fun. Wednesdays Around the World and Black and White Wednesday.

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Little Things Thursday

Well, Little Things Thursday Friends.  Here we are again. It seems that Thursday comes so quickly, which proves my theory that this summer was way to0 fast.

I’ve slowly moved from denial to acceptance regarding school’s imminent start. The school room has been tidied.  Supplies have been purchased.

Now, I am busy trying to figure out exactly how to implement it all.

school prep-web

We are beginning a new writing program called Institute For Excellence in Writing (IEW) this year and I’m really excited about that. I’m still figuring out what this program entails. But, at least I am putting together folders and plans.  My daughter is still doing Sonlight, but our boys just need a year to work on specializing in a few subjects. This year will be very Language Arts intensive for them.  Loads of writing will be on the menu.

I am really looking forward to the benefits of giving ourselves permission to do exactly what we need. I can tend to be a “do it all” person and that’s just not going to work this year in our schooling.  I want this year to be purposeful in how we educate our children.  It always has been, but I’m giving myself a little more wiggle room than I have in the past.   Slow and steady is my motto.

So, yeah…I’m feeling a little more grounded about summer’s end.

How’s your summer?

Link up with Little Things Thursday:

◾Post your Little Things Thursdays on your blog. Link will go live at midnight on Thursdays for linking up.

◾Please include my Little Things Thursdays button or a link back in your post. You can grab it on the sidebar!

◾Submit the URL/permalink for your post, not your home address, please. Flickr entries welcome!

◾Visit other blogs and leave some encouragement! We all love feedback! Please visit as many others as you can.

◾Please do not submit giveaways, inappropriate content, images other than your own, or link more than one post per week, thank you!

◾May I humbly request that our posts include images that you have personally captured as this is primarily a photography link up? Personal Journaling +Photo is A-OK.


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Walkin’

We will be taking full possession of Rosie this coming Monday.  It’s time for her owners to wrap up here and begin their move.

Meanwhile, we’ve been learning what it’s like to have an active dog.

dog walk-web

dog walk-bw-web

It’s been very different to have a dog that requires walks, toys, and chewing. Gigi, being a snub nosed dog cannot walk without tiring quickly, and she has never really played with toys outside of her baby years. Gigi has never required a lot and in those early family years we loved her for that. She has been the perfect dog for us. Doesn’t she look cute here?

Rosie is adding a new kind of fun because her temperament is perfect for kids in the older child- tween and teen years. Ball tossing, walks, chase and all of those doggie traits are fun for the kids. There is also lots of face licks that are new.  The other unspoken reality is that Gigi will turn nine this fall.  That’s on the older spectrum for pugs.  We may only have a couple more years with her.

The only thing we will really need to work on with Rosie is the freaking out whenever the door bell rings and barking up our guests. Gigi absolutely loves everybody and thinks everyone is there to see her. Rosie wants to check everyone from the outside. We will work on that because I’m not a big fan of chaos at the door with dogs.  I want guests to be able to come in and relax without being barked up.

So, Monday, the little mutt is ours!

Oh…and that boy needs a haircut!

Linking with Wednesdays Around the World and Black and White Wednesday.

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The pity train stops here.

I’ve concluded that there is no use crying over the spilled milk of a summer that just won’t stop.  At this point it is best to just roll with it.

I had a mini-pity party on Saturday when it dawned on me that school’s start was just a mere 3 weeks away.  Yep.  3 Mondays from today, that school bell will ring.  3. Mondays.

I felt sorry for myself because I just didn’t get the summer that I sort of hoped for.  I knew that I wanted to work on my business as much as possible, so I don’t regret that.  Mid-July

I mean, that’s what you do. You want something, you work hard for it. You persevere through the hard stages.

But… I guess I thought some of the other stuff would come, too . There wasn’t a beach trip. There were no fun GNOs. There were no outings. No parties. No tacking on the words “with friends” on our Facebook statuses. Nothing grand.  The only date with my husband was a quick burger from Five Guys one afternoon because it was all we could muster.  There weren’t all these special little things, and bucket list check-offs.  There were lots of times of having to say no to things that we wished we could say yes to.  But we couldn’t. We are working hard.  Like dogs.  In this season, there is very little to show for it.  We are discouraged, but not beaten.

It’s just been a busy, hard season for us.  I just need to throw that honesty out there . Maybe it will encourage you, too.  Somehow.

I like to keep this space positive and always searching for the blessings.  Believe me, I’m still finding them.  They just aren’t material.

Like empathy.

I’m thinking twice before posting something that may accidentally hurt someone else.  I’m all for counting the goodness of life.  I’m all for sharing it.  But, I’m thinking twice about how I share it and say it.  And I’m learning that if we measure our “blessing” in terms of what we have, we may actually be the poorest of people.   Does what I share glorify God, or myself?  Am I seeking my significance in the having?  Do I need validation? Do I need others to tell me I am the most, the greatest whatever? And when someone does compliment us, how do we handle it? Do we receive it with grace and thanksgiving? Or do we pretty much agree that we are awesome?  I have always tried to temper and measure these things in my sharing, but sometimes where I get twisted is in my viewing of  what the world calls necessary for happiness.

I’m learning a lot about excess and about being careful not teach my children to count wants as needs.  I want them to find joy in the simple goodness of life, not to expect entertainment and bounty.  I can only teach this as I go through the detox of expectations myself.  I like to think I don’t have them.  But I do!  It’s easy to fall prey to the mindset that if I am not creating fun, fun, fun or doing, doing, doing that we are somehow less and our kids are being short changed.  And we are being short changed.  If the supply isn’t endless, we are being short changed.  Let that sink in for a minute.

So while this little season has been somewhat painful, I am thankful to be learning something of deep value.  I think in one way it is preparing me to enter in once again to how the rest of the world lives as I go back to Thailand.  Maybe it is a refresher in that old familiar culture shock boot camp that is sure to come.  Both in the going and the returning.   I’m thankful to have experienced both sides.

Philippians 4:12 comes to mind: I know what it is to be in need, and I now what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

I want this to be true of me.

Linking with my sweet buddy, Tamar.

 

 

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Little Things Thursday

Taking in a new pet is certainly not a “Little Thing”.  Yet the little things like love, comfort, friendship, and provisions make such a huge difference to man and animal kind alike.

Here’s the little story about how Rosalie (Rosie) has come to be a new family member for us.

Rosalie

Rosalie (nee Kitty) lives next door with our wonderful neighbors. They are going through job relocation and their home has sold quickly. They do not currently have another place to live in their new state, and will be living in a hotel for a while. 3 adults, 1 preschooler, and 1 dog in a hotel for months. You understand their situation, I’m sure.

It’s never easy to have to let go of a beloved pet, but sometimes it is necessary even when not part of the original plan. We understand because when we left Thailand there was a huge hurdle of getting Gigi home with us. It almost didn’t happen due to airline embargoes.

Our neighbors asked us to help spread the word about Rosalie needing a new home and well, it just made sense for us to take her. She knows us and is well-loved by all. The transition would probably be much harder if she were moved out of her known spaces. Everyone feels a little easier about what is to be. Still, I know this is very hard on our neighbors.

Rosalie has been coming over daily for several hours to get used to things, and goes back home in the evening. It seems to be the right thing to do. We will acquire Rosalie permanently in a couple weeks when the neighbors move.

So everyone, meet Rosalie, new doggie at Little by Little!

Everyone is happy…except the cat.

How’s your week?

Link up with Little Things Thursday:

◾Post your Little Things Thursdays on your blog. Link will go live at midnight on Thursdays for linking up.

◾Please include my Little Things Thursdays button or a link back in your post. You can grab it on the sidebar!

◾Submit the URL/permalink for your post, not your home address, please. Flickr entries welcome!

◾Visit other blogs and leave some encouragement! We all love feedback! Please visit as many others as you can.

◾Please do not submit giveaways, inappropriate content, images other than your own, or link more than one post per week, thank you!

◾May I humbly request that our posts include images that you have personally captured as this is primarily a photography link up? Personal Journaling +Photo is A-OK.


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Summergrams

It’s been a really long time since I have posted any Instagram collages here and that is really just due to Adobe Flash Player not working in Internet Explorer.  Which is really Internet Explorer being a repeated pill! I have had so many techie difficulties lately.

Chrome it is.

I could back track a couple months, but I’ll stay current.

summer2014

I feel as if this summer has completely gotten away from me. It’s been such a busy little window of time. I’m fretting that school begins again in just under 4 weeks because I’m the teacher.  I don’t really feel that I have relaxed at all this summer.  A nice long vacation would have been such a balm to weary souls.  But that isn’t happening this year.

Still….there is much to be thankful for:

I’ll be traveling to Thailand in October for the first time in 7 years! I’m so excited about that!  We’ve enjoyed a summer’s bounty of tomatoes from the garden. I’m learning so much about my business and taking a few crash courses in the school of hard knocks.  Doesn’t sound pleasant does it? But learning and amending will only prove beneficial to my future. I’m so thankful for my behind the scenes support system.

We’re adopting this Pomston “mutt” pup who we are naming Rosalie.  We have a soft spot for providing succor for those in need.

We’ve slept in most days.  That has been good for recharging.

And yet in a moment of total honesty, I feel overwhelmed and drained this summer.  I’m finding it hard to see how far we have come and can only see the rocky places yet to travel at times.  Do you know what I mean?

You know life just has those rough spots that get hard to traverse at times.   Nose to the grindstone.  All work and no play…  and a thousand other cliches.

I want to thank all you friends who come here and offer kind works and encouragement.  I feel blessed to have this community, even though I have struggled to keep up lately.  I know things will even out here soon, because I need it.

I’m going to start with a bowl of ice cream and a long tub soak.  Who is with me?

Linking up with Wednesdays Around the World and Black and White Wednesday.

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Newborn

This past Saturday I had the pleasure of going to my friend’s home to take a few portraits of her family with their new baby, Malcolm. I just love Newborns.  Always have.

Malcolm blog 1

I love how they change so quickly!  Happy.  Not happy.  I just love capturing the real.  You can see more of this session on my website.

That’s my slice of Good.Random.Fun. this past week!

 

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