An awful lot of big changes crammed into 2 very little weeks...makes for overwhelmedness and tiredness. I thank the Lord for wonderful friends!
We got home from our church camping trip (the hot, humid, buggy one...remember?) on Thursday, 8/5. Spent Friday and Saturday doing laundry and dishes and repacking the camping gear away so it's ready to go for the next trip (currently set for next summer sometime). Sunday after church we began to move every piece of furniture that was anywhere near a window, in every room of our home, either to the center of the room or, if not enough space for that, we moved it out of the room and into a larger one that had space.
Monday morning, August 9, at 8am, a crew of 4 showed up at our home to begin replacing the windows. Not just some of them...ALL of them. They worked until 7pm that night, then came back at 7am on Tuesday and worked until 7:30pm, and had it done. Wednesday everything "rested" while caulk set up, and then on Thursday morning, 8am, the paint/stain crew of just one arrived to stain the wood interior frames of the windows. He stayed until almost 7pm and hadn't made much progress (the day was largely spent taping and prepping the windows for staining) by the time he left. Friday he arrived at 7am, and 2 more cheerful men joined him a couple hours later for the entire day, and things were looking more optimistic at the end of the day when he left at about 7pm. Saturday he was here from 9am until about 5 or 6pm, and the job was FINALLY done.
During this entire week, temps were in the 90's and we had miserably high humidity. But with the stain and polycoat fumes, we had no choice but to open the windows a bit. We packed cots and sleeping bags and spent the nights at my mom's house (she lives 15 minutes away). PTL for mom! She made us dinner every single night of that week, and was I ever grateful.
Now, this week, the cleanup began...and stalled. There is a fine layer of construction/wood dust on every...single...surface. Every table, every chair, every picture frame, every dried flower in a vase, every pillow, every cushion, every piece of paper that sat on a table. (Did I mention that they came 3 days after we got back from a camping trip? And that we didn't have time to totally de-clutter the house and clear off every stick of furniture?)
Dust gathered in the panels of a 6-panel door.
After spending an entire day cleaning my bed/bathroom,
So I gave up for a few days, and we still have lots of dusty rooms to go. I had some wonderful visits in these last few days with dear friends, and simply ignored my dusty house, and my spirits have picked up wonderfully! I do not know exactly when I'll get my sweaty clothes back on and clean again, maybe after Nathan and I get back from the college on Monday afternoon...but it'll happen, just in little chunks. I think I can handle that better! Maybe by Thanksgiving...
Homeschool High School & College Notes...
I am feeling a little more stunned every day that Bryan will be going full time with college courses beginning Monday. I've known it for a few months now, but the reality is hitting more and more. I think because he's communting to a neighboring county's community college, rather than moving away and into a dorm somewhere far from home, that I don't "process" this like he's gone. But 90% of my homeschooling with him is done. He'll be giving me a speech by tomorrow evening to complete the 1st semester of high school communications/speech class which he did over the summer, and then we'll be doing intensive (I hope) exercises to help with his dyslexic symptoms (getting the perfectly clear thoughts in his head to come out of his mouth in a similar form, and/or to write them on paper in a similar form, and spelled so you can at least recognize them!) for the remainder of "communications" class; geometry he's pretty much doing on his own, and is about 1/2 done, and American Lit is reading and composing short papers, which I don't need to do too much on other than advise and grade. Lord willing, it'll all be over at the end of December, and then it's him and the college from there on out. I'll still be helping him, critiquing work, helping him study, of course; but I will not be responsible for teaching or keeping records once he's graduated. Whew.
We met, last week, with the folks at the college who approve the accomodations for kids with special needs or learning disabilities. Brayn spent countless hours this summer going through testing to "diagnose" his learning difficulties, which ended up being exactly what I told them they were when we went in for the first meeting (gee, what a surprise!). We took in all the paperwork which was finalized, of course, the day that we had to meet with the college (raced around that morning driving all over 2 counties from end to end), and, PTL...Bryan was given every single accomodation that we had requested (and prayed for), no questions asked. On Thursday Bryan and his brother, Nathan, and I all went out to the college again for the official student orientation program. Bryan drove, then I took his car and Nathan and I went down the street and killed a couple hours looking at the campers and trailers at the RV store a mile down the road. Fun fun fun! (I know, Shani...not so fun!!!)
Nathan has been doing nothing but playing for this last week since he finished taking the final math test of his summer course. He took it the day they started the windows job (I left Bryan there to watch things), and because all the teachers were on their official break, it has to sit until Monday before it gets scored. But Nathan felt really good about it, so we haven't really even thought about it! He's so glad to be done, and I've been more than happy to just let him sit and veg-out for a couple weeks.
My Creative Side...
I have nothing to share other than that the wonderful, ever-patient and talented Tamara finished my blog overhaul a couple days ago, which is why it is so pretty and colorful here! The template she used is such that I should now be able to use my own backgrounds and things that I find that I like, rather than just being locked into the blogger stuff, though it wasn't too bad, I must admit. When I open my blog, I feel at home again. For me, that's really important, because writing is very personal to me. If I don't feel comfy in my "space," it's really hard for me to post.
Mary and Shani, keep with me...I'll be knitting in just a bit, I can feel it! Once I vacuum the dust off of my sofa... Thank God I decluttered a little bit a few months ago and had some empty bins with lids just the right size for yarn in my craft room, so it's all safe and dust-free!
Again, my mom has bailed me out during our construction time, and this week we've been eating up these frozen meals I had stocked up on for just such occasions. We've eaten out a couple times, too (been away from home this week every day). I am sooooo ready for homecooked food again. My stomach is, too.
In the Garden...
Dear friends have had successful gardens this year, and I have been blessed to recieve wonderful tomatoes and zucchini. Now, with my little peppers that mangaed to grow this year, I am ready to make salsa. Yumm, yumm, yumm.
Perhaps this would be the place to mention a farmers market happening...Bryan and I worked our final market of the season...YAAAAHOOOOOOOOOO!!! Can we just share that it has been a miserable summer market season with just about no money earned (last year was BOOMING but we had a different location that we got closed out of this year) and little other than dangerously high heat and humidity in which we sat, week after week, for 6 hours at a stretch to make, oh, maybe $10? PTL he took in about $150 on this last day, and it was about 88 degrees with low humidity. Still not enough to make it worth it to do all the work it takes to sharpen "mobile-ly" at the market. He can make that doing it at home well enough. We are soooo glad this is over!
Where the Lord and I Walked This Week...
These times of being overwhelmed and exhausted keep me coming back to Isaiah 40:31...
Yet those who wait for the LORD
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.
These last few days of waiting and praying and enjoying the fellowship and friendship of brothers and sisters in Christ, rather than in focusing on a dusty house, have been such a help to me. Thank you for your prayers, and for those who are nearby, for times of fellowship. I am feeling more ready to tackle this home of mine, and am excited to simply throw and/or give away much of the dusty stuff rather than keeping it. May it bless someone else who can really use it, and may I be left with only what is truly necessary here so the focus can be on Christ and what He wants to do with this place.
It has been a long, busy, and difficult summer for me and the boys in various ways. Fall is on the horizon, what with school beginning in just 2 days. I can close my eyes and feel the cool breezes and see the tawny colors, and I am praying that God will bring the very big and very needed changes to our home now that summer is behind us! I look forward to a less cluttered home, an extra couple hours each week for crafting, hospitality, and encouraging my sons who are young men and coming ever-closer to flying this coop for coops of their own, crackling fire in the fireplace with the smells of supper on the stove, 2 feet of wet, heavy snow to shovel...
...Ahem...sorry, I think I fell asleep there! Let's just stop with the supper on the stove and leave it at autumn for a while! Quite a while!