A Week Briefly (4/23/18)

It is late Saturday afternoon.  We are home from our final dance performance of the 2017-18 school year. 

(Many thanks to our director who manages to both direct and take pictures at the same time!!!!)

Mamma Mia

When Johnny Comes Marching Home

Ready for Let's Twist Again

Fifty Nifty United States

High Horse

Ready for Jailhouse Rock and Rockin' Robin

Mississippi Mud

Little Bitty Pretty One

Soul Man

She'll Be Comin' 'Round the Mountain

Dance to the Music

Jailhouse Rock

My Stripes!  Ready for Old Dan Tucker

9 to 5
Oh, Susanna

Swingin' on a Star

The new season begins again on August 2nd with a mom's meeting, and rehearsals to start on August 23rd.

It will be good to start again.

For now, it will be good to rest.

We are tired . . .

but content.

I was tempted to just tuck everyone right in bed, but the sun is shining brightly, and I know some unstructured outdoor play time will help all of the littles to unwind more than quiet time in their beds will.

(Perhaps the early-to-bed idea was me projecting my desires onto my kids!)

The teens are getting ready for the homeschool prom!

Rose Red went off to get ready at a friend's house, but the remaining teens have a friend over here.  Their happy chatter makes me feel young again . . . even though I am decidedly not!

None of them have dates, but they will meet up with forever friends and dance the night away.

Pixie's hair--she did it herself.

Super Star's hair--Pixie did it for her.

Pausing for a group photo--courtesy of awesome mom chaperones. :)

Rose Red and her friends arrived in style!

Honestly, though I declared May 17th to be the end of our school year, I think we are done.  As I wrote last week, we're finishing up books and not starting new ones.  The kids are spending their days out-of-doors, and the teens are whirling with spring activities and summer plans.  Book learning feels unimportant right now--it's place is the winter and early spring.  Now is the season of dreaming in tree houses, wielding hammers, hefting stone, picking dandelions, watching clouds.

I'm still in the kitchen and laundry room most of the time, but I've once or twice gotten out, and I promise it will happen with increased frequency.

The teens and I finished reading Frankenstein, and we participated in our classics book club meeting on Friday.  Boy, that Victor Frankenstein was a whiner!  We had the liveliest book discussion and movie discussion we've had in our whole two years of having this book club.  Opinions were strong, and kids ran hot with passions to express.

It was tremendous fun!

The vote is to have one summer meeting, and then to continue next year even though some of the kids are graduating and moving on.  We've got a few friends in mind to invite to fill the holes left by our graduates, and we hope we'll grow in number and experience.

It rained one day this week.  I sent the littles outside to play as long as they could before the drizzle turned serious, and I had too much mud to clean up.  Then we spent at least half an hour pulling out all of the boots and rain gear so we could go to the zoo.

More than once in that getting-ready time I nearly lost my cool and wondered if it was worth it, but then we suddenly were ready, and a few minutes later we were at the zoo--almost alone on that rainy day--and it was worth it.

What fun it is to just sit back and be while the kids run and look and shout.

I'm so glad we went.

It was a week of intense concern over Rose Red.  More than once I wondered (justifiably) if she was alive or dead.   Sir Walter Scott and I mostly just put one foot in front of the other, trying to not drown in the waves of fear, but one night we talked . . . we don't want to lose faith or give up on loving our girl, but it is hard.

So hard.

I'm grateful I read Daring to Hope this very week.  I've clung to truths the author testified of that she learned in the crucible of hard service.

We are in our own crucible, and we have no happy ending in sight.  We are having to love and serve and pray and trust even with no promise of getting the happy ending we hope for.  God is good, and he loves us even if we lose our girl.

She's not lost yet.

We're still fighting for her!

Nature Angel and Little Princess helped Daddy take care of the 6 youngest kids while I was out with the teens.  I left prepared meals that they served and cleaned up.  They kept track of the littles, got bandaids when needed, sent me texts if they needed answers, dressed and tucked Baymax and Lola into bed, and were generally marvelous home managers.  What blessings they are to our family!

Belle planted parsley and rainbow chard on the farm.  She came home with bleeding fingers (her gloves were too bulky for such delicate work) and an ear-to-ear smile on her face.  Other than many years ago when she was able to take riding lessons, I've not seen her so happy.

The two little ones had their first ever trip to the dentist this week.  They did a great job, and we celebrated by going to visit Pixie at work and having frozen yogurt samples.

Our Morning Meetings are the mainstay of our days.  I love sharing the scriptures with my children.  Today I read the story of David and Goliath.  Every eye (under the age of 12) was riveted on me as I shouted insults in Goliath's voice then called out David's ringing reply:

"Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.  This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand . . . that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel."

Seriously, is there anything better than scripture?!?!

Faith matters.  

I've despaired often this week . . . but faith is better.

Today I choose faith.


  1. I always thought the cartoon character “Calliou” was a huge whiner. There was a meme that said, “The hardest part of parenthood”, and underneath was a picture of Calliou. Someone commented, “Yes, I agree, it’s all the bills you have to pay.” What? No. Even childless people have bills. No one got the point. I deleted it.

  2. reI am so sorry you are in such a place with Rose Red. I finally had to let go and just pray that all would work out for Goldilocks. I still fight for her and try to benefit her wherever I can, but my emotional attachment is diminished and has turned more into a loving caregiver than a mother. Honestly, it is easier to keep my head. I am not sure it will continue when the real dangers arise in the next year.
    On another note ~ Where did you find such gorgeous prom dresses?! They are beyond marvelous.
    Blessings, Dawn

    1. Those gorgeous gowns came from a local church that hosts a prom boutique each spring. They were free! Every year, this church collects used dresses, shoes, jewelry, handbags and more, cleans them, mends them, organizes them, and then opens their doors to the public offering every teenage girl who arrives one complete prom ensemble! They had 3,000 dresses this year. They also have an entire bank of sewing machines and seamstresses to do on the spot alterations! All as a service to the community. It's simply a miracle. We paid a whopping $6 for some artificial flowers for the girls' hair and thrift store shirts to cover their shoulders and backs.

  3. Your girls look stunning in all their prom finery. I think it's amazing that you still manage to facilitate so many happy activities for everyone, while you have the constant worry about Rose Red gnawing away at you. I love Lola's tee-shirt. Its message is so true and especially applicable to your family. Hoping the freedom of late spring adds a little joy and lightness to your days.

    1. I'm so impressed that you could read Lola's tee-shirt! I love the message, too. I picked it up on clearance last winter, and I was so happy to bring it out of storage now the the weather is warm.

  4. So glad the little boys could join in Soul Man--looks so fun! And the limo!--WOW! The dances, the prom, the dresses, the trip to the zoo, the yogurt samples--all wonderful. Continuing prayers for Rose Red--and you parents, who have the hardest part...

  5. My heart goes out to you for Rose Red. I "feel" your love for her as her mother. I'm so glad you have faith. What a blessing to be able to pray to a loving Father on behalf of one his precious children in our care. The activities your kids are involved in are amazing! I'm so impressed! The prom dresses are gorgeous. And the up-do's. I love the picture in the rain. All the raincoats and rain boots. You are such an amazing, nurturing mama!

  6. Lovely hair, lovely dresses. What a fun event. The zoo looks marvelous. The dancing costumes are fun. Your kids are blessed to have so many things to do and feel. Sorry about Rose Red. She did look lovely next to the limo.

  7. Those dresses are gorgeous! How nice they can be involved in a prom. I LOVE pics too. It is so nice that spring seems to be here to stay and that your children are able to spend a lot of time outdoors! I'm praying for your girl. I know how hard it can be. I spent many, many hours in tears of despair when my oldest had her difficulties. On one of the hardest days I cried out to God that I just couldn't keep going on with the rest of the children trying to make things normal when things were so bad. I felt a peace in my soul and a verse that reminded me to Trust in the Lord with all my heart. It was a hard road but we did get her back in our life and she got on a much better path.


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