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According to Us

One Husband, One Wife, Five Children and Everything in Between

Honestly, I have contemplated wether or not to even post this. It would be my only post of the year. I no longer have many pictures on my phone because I recently loaded them to the computer for storage. Finally, it’s all a blur. Every year it becomes a blur because it is no longer the long and slow days or early childhood/mothering. We are now in the light speed years and I can’t make it stop.

And then I looked through my calendar this afternoon. That, and previous years posted came up and I decided to write a reminder of the year.

Sorry in advance about using pictures previously posted in social media. I have a love/hate relationship with posting so much for the world to see, but honestly it’s just a good place to store memories.

So without further ado, this is 2017, according to us::

January: Alan left for Brazil with a group of students the first couple weeks. We finished up the break and quickly fell into the fast paced routine. I had intended to try to write a verse a day on my calendar, and as you can see, like most goals I set each year, I didn’t even make it past 2 weeks.

It was full of events for work and school, doctors appointments and the usual mundane. This was the beginning of the end of the school year, even though it was only January. It was the beginning of “lasts” for Alex and Angel as they finished up their senior year of High School

February: I realized that I no longer had the free time I once did to make our home it’s seasonal self. I didn’t decorate for Valentines Day, as normal. Instead I was busy helping the Seniors prepare for their last Dinner Theater at school. Alex was the White Rabbit in Alice. I helped to make table decorations. At the same time I was working on the side for their Senior Showcase. Mackenzie competed in her first Archery contest, which she really enjoyed.

March:

As I mentioned above, in March, Alex and Angel produced their Senior Showcase called Once Upon a Time. They wrote, directed, and produced the entire show. I helped by making costumes. It was a great experience, but it was full of frustration, stress and all the things that challenge you to push and work harder. Victoria also participated in a Band Festival where she was awarded two Superiors. As always, we visited the zoo a couple times, but only the younger 3 were interested.

April:

Began with Prom night, college visits, final musical, Bye Bye Birdie, Easter, and like a flash April was over. I’ve always felt that the spring time was just as busy as Christmas, minus all the parties, cookies, and presents.

May:

And with May came end of year craziness. There were band concerts, birthdays, and graduation. Josiah participated in a special Percussion Recital, which honestly will forever be my favorite! We also enjoyed a Christmas present watching The Lion King Live as a family, minus one boy who had a Band Concert that night. Alan also left at the end of the school year with a touring team that went to Israel, his first trip. Before we knew it the year was half over.

June:

My parents hosted a family reunion at their home, so we went down and enjoyed a fast visit. I was able to see my bookend siblings, oldest brother and youngest sister, and their families. We left Mackenzie to visit with my parents, since she had never done that. There were also camps for Josiah and Tori. Towards the end of June the younger girls and I went to Nebraska to help a church. They still talk about that trip and wanting to go back.

July:

We had decided not to take a vacation this summer. Everyone was so busy, it’s hard to leave Alan’s mom for long periods, and I wanted to save my vacation time for now, so we took the little kids on a mini vacay. We went up to Tulsa for a couple days. I’m obsessed with Rt 66, so we checked out a couple places, and added some fun things for the kids. VBS was the following week, which is always a huge event. Alan and Josiah also started a Summer project to build a musical instrument with PVC pipe. We took it easy the last couple weeks knowing the Summer was coming to a fast close.

August:

With August comes new routines again. Tori and Kiki were in Middle School, Josiah was the only high schooler (and Marching band had started in July), Alex and Angel had their big move to college, and even sweet Titus started all day school in PreK. I was the only one to not be in school. It was definitely a year of transitions!!

September:

I don’t know what happened in September. It was hard for Kiki to adjust to Middle school. There was more work, less guidance and frustrations. September brought Friday Night Light for the Band an preparations a for Marching Contest for Siah.

October:

More Marching contests, in fact back to back weekends. I also took a trip with a small group to Peru. I entertained kids while the parents had various classes and was that laughter and love are universal languages. (I came with a bag of fun, not sure what to expect. To my surprise, I was the only one who didn’t have a translator, but it was really a great time). The month closed with Fall festivals and Trick or Treating. Titus was done after 5 houses so we enjoyed just passing candy out at home.

November:

I have no idea. Oh November! There were mundane things like appointments, school, etc. I, personally, challenged myself to reflect on a month of gratitude. We enjoyed Thanksgiving with two of my brothers and my parents. Like a flash it was over.

December:

And then there was December. More band concerts, parties, and events. For our church, we planned a new event that I’m so excited to repeat coming years. I am so glad I’ve had the free time the last couple weeks. For Christmas my parents came for a visit. Unfortunately two of the kids got sick, and we had to cancel plans to see my brothers in Tx. The last couple days I’ve spent reflecting on this past year and goal setting for the next.

I want to be more intentional, with everything. I want to stretch Myself and not be satisfied with enough. I want to challenge my kids to seek Christ, love others, and take care of themselves.

I’ve thought a lot over the last couple days. There are unseen days ahead. Most likely very challenging, sad days ahead. I’ve thought and prayed through my word for the year. How would I like to be challenged by the Word and truth? I’ve thought about perseverance- pushing through. I’ve also considered the word embrace, like appreciate the time I have or even embrace a challenge, but there one word I keep coming back to. I think it encompasses both the previous words, and that is surrender. With one hand I choose to push on and the other I grasp to cling to what is truly important, but more than anything I want to surrender to God’s will, in everything, and let go of everything else.

Happy New Year

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