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Showing posts from August, 2016

Launching 2016-2017

We have never had summer homework.  I have never assigned it and they certainly have never requested it.  We never had a need for it before.  Most of our nature studies occur in the summer and this year was no exception with our super fantastic whale watch, seal viewing, shark tracking, insect photographing, drought calculating, aquarium visiting, weather watching, etc.  Lilah took a writing class and Grace went away on a student leadership retreat.  Lilah read all the Harry Potters and the entire Selection series and Grace decided officially she wants to be a photographer and took a class and had her work hung in a local exhibition.  They babysat, dog sat, and bird sat.  They earned a lot of money.   Grace began teaching piano lessons and Lilah continued her cello lessons.  They took two art appreciation classes at Yale.  They volunteered for a week at Vacation Bible School and Lilah was a teacher's assistant in Student Ministry.  She acted for the first time and loved it.  


14 things about my 14 year old girl

1) She is a storyteller.  If she continues to work on the craft and mechanics of writing, one day her books could line the shelves at Barnes & Nobel.  The characters and images she creates through words live on in the reader's memory long after the story is over.  

2) She is patient.  To see her with children warms my heart.  She has the patience to build fairy house after fairy house, read book after book, and play Minecraft for hours just because that's what her little friend wants to do.  She will be an excellent mother someday if that is what she chooses.

3) Her art....oh her art.  Given the chance, she would create all day long.  

4) Books are her best friends.  Her blog is her baby and her TBR pile is growing and growing.  Her goal this summer was to complete the Harry Potter series and she will achieve that goal with just a few more hours to go on the final book.

5) She is a leader.  She may not think …

Faith is a Verb: Lead Week Day 4

This summer I have been savor ink Unshaken by Crawford W. Loritts, Jr.  Chapter 4: Faith is Obedience really speaks to me this week.  To paraphrase "To live by faith is more than a suggestion in the Bible; it is a command.  Therefore, living by faith is an act of is a willful choice to turn to God as our source and sufficiency to meet every need and challenge we have (insert challenge you are facing).  In all of these circumstances, when we choose faith over doubt, we are choosing obedience over disobedience." (pg. 51)

I prayed and prayed that the time would come when Grace, and eventually Lilah would be ready to leave home.  When they were younger I wanted to them to experience a retreat, a mission trip, or simply an overnight at a friend's house.  Our church at the time did not offer opportunities like these, but now these choices and more are available to them.  I did not always want to be a chaperone.  I believe that other adults need to serve as role …

Each in her own Way: Lead Week Day 3

Lilah has never had the opportunity to be an "only" child.  Grace has never left, and while I try to catch some alone time with the girls when I can, the truth is, we are together a lot.  A lot.  Lately it has become an issue and arguing and general irritation has been on the rise, which is understandable with two teens having polar opposite personalities and little living space.  This is one reason why we joined the educational coop, to give them room to breathe,  away from one another, to break up our week and expand our living/learning space.  

During this time is has become so evident to me why we have been having so many conflicts lately. Grace is ready to venture off and Lilah is not.  Grace loves being outdoors and Lilah does not.  Grace prefers busy and Lilah prefers slow.  Grace is get up and go and Lilah is get up and read.  Grace is a signer-upper and Lilah prefers to stay home.  Unlike Grace who gets bored easily when faced with a no-plans kind of day, Lilah relis…

New Heights: Lead Week Day 2

Maybe this week was not only about giving Grace wings to fly, but also about learning what kind of mother I will be as I enter into the phase of parenting more independent teens.  I have complete peace about Grace being at Lead Week.       Her leaders are Godly men and women I like and trust.      The focus of the week is to learn how to lead peers in a Christian life.      Her friends are there to give her support.      The activities are awesome.      The facilities are clean and safe. Still, a Mama's heart worries and while I am at peace, I also wonder what she is going, how she is feeling, if her allergies are acting up, if she is taking her supplements, if she is making wise food choices, if she is feeling included, if she is homesick, if she is sleeping well, if she is warm at night.....the list goes on and on and my phone has been silent.  

It is so tempting to reach out and text "How are you?"  or "What are you doing?" whenever I feel the worry, but that is no…

Wings -- Lead Week 2016 Day One

We are supposed to give our children roots and also give them wings to fly, but knowing exactly how to do this is not always clear.  A cohesive family unit grounded in love and respect and infused with traditions and the opportunity to make memories will grow roots.  Giving them wings to fly....well how do you know what kind of bird they will be? Will they be an eagle and soar gracefully through life, respected by peers, seemingly able to reach incredible heights with little effort, or will they be a peacock, graceful and elegant, proud and capable, able to lift off the ground always finding a safe place to perch.  Or, will they be a sparrow,  the little bird that Matthew refers to, reminding us that God cares for even the smallest creature.  

I think that it is up to the child to determine what bird they will be.  We give them the opportunity and what they make of it is how far they will spread their wings.  Grace has had opportunities to leave home.  She has been asked to do sleepove…

Writing Workshop with author Gail Carson Levine

In the spring, Lilah came to me giddy with the news that Gail Carson Levine was going to teach a free writer’s workshop to teens this summer.  This news had been posted on her Goodreads account for a week before Lilah discovered this.  Immediately I called the library in Brewster, NY to see if it was possible to add Lilah to the class list.  It was late Saturday night, but I wanted, no, I needed, to get Lilah into this class.  How amazing would it be to kick off your high school experience with a class led by Gail Carson Levine??!!  I called and left a somewhat frantic message on the library voice mail, begging and pleading for Lilah to be added to the list.  
The library called me back Monday morning to assure me that Lilah was first on the list.  They did not know that Ms. Levine posted this class and while I was panicking we would be on a wait list, they were chuckling over the urgency of my voice mail.  We waited and eventually July came and Lilah never lost her eager anticipation …

Crosby Beach, Brewster, Massachusetts

"Get outside. Watch the sunrise. Watch the sunset. How does that make you feel? Does it make you feel big or tiny? Because there's something good about feeling both." Amy Grant

Chatham, Massachusetts