What a difference a month makes! From the carefree days of summer to routines, music lessons and the challenge of the new tardy policy at school, things have changed a ton since our last 10.
Here’s what we’ve been up to and a small glimpse of some things we are doing as we prepare to move next summer.
1. Home sweet home alone
The kids were excited to play all by themselves in our home after weeks of travel and houseguests. Of course that didn’t last long, so we were glad to be able to spend yet more beach time with our Wilmington friends whom we didn’t get to see nearly enough over the summer.
Getting passports for children is really a topic that deserves its own blog post. I will just say it was an adventure, albeit a small one compared to what it could have been, only because we learned our lesson the first time around when Natalie was a baby. The hardest part is trying to get pictures of the kids not smiling. Tell them they can’t smile and they suddenly get the church giggles. The mugshots are complete, paperwork in, fees paid. Now we just wait for the passports for our little US citizens to arrive any day!
3. Back to School, just like everybody else.
However, not like everyone else, we are blessed to have Granny and Grandaddy nearby, so every now and then the kids get to spend the night with them on a school night. Picture Day was one of those overnights at Granny’s. Because Granddaddy has no sense of style and has just in recent years learned (maybe) that black tight dress socks are not to be worn with tennis shoes, and because Granny still can’t see exactly perfect since the stroke and because Sutton probably asked to wear socks with his Crocs, this is what Nate found when he picked Sutton up on picture day.
Yep, his sister’s pink socks in Crocs. Luckily, we’re pretty sure these were just the yearbook head shots. What good is a school picture anyways if it doesn’t embarrass you in a decade?
4. Natalie turns 7
Celebrating birthdays is one of my favorites, but celebrating Natty Gee’s birthday is always extra sweet. The years are flying…
Our tomboy of a girl tripped over a kid in PE and got herself into another splint/sling. Having your own Orthopaedic Dr is never a good thing.
6. Mailchimp! I am excited to report that I was finally able to figure out and use the incredible email newsletter services at mailchimp.com. Click HERE for the newsletter if you missed it and subscribe for our next quarterly update.
7. Stuff we won’t do in Africa
ABC is filming a tv series, Secrets and Lies, in our neighborhood. A couple weekends ago they filmed just a couple doors down. It was fun being in the middle of the mix while they were filming.
I’m still trying to be as excited about college football as my husband and his family, but it doesn’t come easy for me. I thought I did pretty good to remember to dress the boys in their OU gear on game day…while Dad wasn’t even at home to remind me. In all honesty, I do feel like this is one of the small sacrifices Nate is faced with in the decision to move to Africa. He was born and raised on football and I’m afraid the love of that game will be harder to instill in his own boys when football will have a totally different meaning for them growing up in Africa. Here’s to our last first college Gameday for a while at least.
Natalie drew a few pictures for us to guess and this was one of them. While it may look like a roller coaster or a castle, it is neither. This is the great Rift Valley with our new neighborhood in Africa and up on the hill is Rift Valley Academy, where she and Sutton will start school next Fall. I love that she is already looking forward to life in Africa.
10. Selling stuff
There is SO much to think about and plan when you take on the small task of moving a family to another continent. The latest thing I’ve been spending a bit of time doing is cleaning out our house. I’m kind of a compulsive, constant cleaner outer, but this time it’s serious. I’m trying to get rid of things over the next 10 months instead of waiting for the last minute. It is a crazy thing to try and guess what we should sell and what we should take to Africa with us. I’m sticking with less is more! Just hoping I can talk everyone else in our family into loving my mantra.
As you can see, our life is a little bit of normal mixed with a little bit of not-so-normal. Some days we just go with the flow. Other days it’s overwhelming and emotional. But through it all, one thing remains the same. There is always great joy. We continue to be in awe of God’s provision and His daily grace. We are trying to prepare and be wise, but also challenged to just enjoy every day we have, every season He has given us.
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven” Ecclesiastes 3:1