Friday, July 17, 2015

7 Quick Takes Friday

July seems to be a month of big decisions this year; my brain is so very tired and ready for a break! Here are some of the big things going on. This post is brought to you by the letter H!

I realized I have two tests to grade, and the packet to put together and send in their work and report cards for last year! I plan to do that by the weekend. I finally registered the girls for their online courses and grading support this year. I need to do a blog post with a summary of this last school year and a plan for next year. I've chosen to register for quite a bit of support for the 7th grader. I pray that it was the right decision for her; it was an agonizing decision for me to figure out all of her courses! 

This week we began in a major way the renovations we will do on our current house. We got new siding and back doors installed. We have spent the past year trying to decide whether to live in this house or lease it and move. I look at homes online almost every day and we've looked at many in person too. As much as we would love to have more space both inside and outside, I think for the time being we are choosing to find contentment right here where we are. Our house and yard might be smaller than I'd like, but we are in the best location and we have the opportunity to fix this home just how we'd like it. Our neighborhood has made tremendous improvements over the past few years, we have some neighbors we love, our park and pool are blocks away and have both been redone, and Steven's commute isn't as bad as it would be if we moved farther out. So in the coming weeks and months this may very well become a bit of a home renovation blog! I can't wait! Though I do reserve the right to change my mind if a dream house comes on the market!

It's been awhile since I've made my own health a priority. After my shingles outbreak, I had a little wake-up call that my body isn't what it was in my 20s! I can't lose the pregnancy weight like I used to, and I've got to start being proactive about my eating and exercise habits. One of the moms in my homeschool group started a weight loss challenge a week ago. Whoever hits 10 pounds first gets some cash! So I've gone back on the My Fitness Pal app to track my calories, and I'm trying to stay more active. I've been doing some water aerobics at the pool, and I'd also like to find another consistent form of exercise for myself. It looks like a few pounds have been shed in the first week, although I'm not sure how accurate my scale is!

We're dealing with some pretty serious health issues among my family and friends. I briefly mentioned that my dad was hospitalized a couple weeks ago. He had a scary seizure episode in the middle of the night, but is doing well now. I also have my dear friend Beverly going through a new "chemo cocktail" to try to eliminate the gastric cancer she was diagnosed with this spring. Sometimes life can be depressing and anxiety-inducing. There are so many factors in our day-to-day lives that affect our health and can cause us anxiety and concern. But watching my friend be so positive and hopeful in her cancer battle helps me to see the bigger picture, that virtue of HOPE that we're striving for. We hope for a good future for ourselves and our children, but even moreso we hope for Heaven. When it comes down to it, our lives here are all short, and hopefully our souls are purified through the suffering as we realize that our home is truly in Heaven.

Helping Hands
Helping Hands is the name of the calendar website that our community is using to coordinate meals and help for my friend. What generous hearts people have when they are willing to take a few hours out of their week to make a meal, run errands, or grocery shop for a friend in need. It's also a reflection of the generous heart of the receiver, because her family has been on the other end for all of us, always giving of themselves. Still in the midst of this trial they have offered help to our family at various times, as have other generous friends recently. It is so nice to read an "Absolutely Yes" to a question of help with childcare or something else. I hope as we heal from these little trials of this summer we can find more ways to give of ourselves. The above photo was taken when a generous friend came from across town, in rush hour, with five kids and husband, on their anniversary, the night before a road trip, to do a last minute family photo session for my friend before she loses her hair. A true gift of herself. Mary Clare enjoyed being back-up photographer.

Healing Waters
One thing that always helps us to have a joyful and relaxing summer is spending time in the water. This is how my childhood summers were spent too. While living in Corpus Christi, we got to take lots of trips to the beach throughout the year. Here back home, we have the blessing of a nice pool just two blocks away. We have spent many days there this month, getting our Vitamin D, cooling off, and visiting with neighbors. I also love that rejuvenating evening water aerobics class when I can make it. This week we made a trip to my parents' neighborhood pool too. I was hoping to take some trips this summer but it turns out that with illness and Steven's work schedule we will have to wait until September to travel. I'm so pining for a few days away, but am trying to find my happy heart right here at home. 

Happy Heart
Speaking of having a happy heart, our little love does so well at helping us to be happy in the midst of a kind of stressful time. I found her a shirt that says this and it is so true! She accompanied me to the hospital to be with my dad and to his doctor visit too. Her snuggles brightened my mom's days. This weekend she had a little bug and fever with major teething which took away that always-smiley baby for a couple days, but we are glad to have her back! I am so grateful to God for the gift of little Katie. I can't imagine life without a baby to love on. I'm afraid we may end up having to add more room so we will have space for all those children I want to adopt after we can't have anymore! That's another thing we told the children about staying in this house: it could allow us to reach the financial spot where adoption could be a reality. We will see if that's God's will for us, but for now I'm enjoying the happy heart that most of the children have had during a generally carefree summer!

A few unrelated snapshots for good measure...

Mom's Night Out on the weekend many of us were a little sad to not attend the Edel Gathering

A LaMadeleine lunch with the kids after a library outing 

Cow Appreciation Day at Chickfila!


Andrea said...

Your hope-filled, positive attitude is such a beautiful gift to all of us who are blessed to have you in our lives! Xoxo

Kiernan said...

His Hands.

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