2021 Comes To An End

I can hardly believe that it’s been a year and a half since I last blogged. Like with many things in life there are seasons. Seasons of certain activities, traditions, hobbies and blogging! I hope to blog more in 2022 but for now I’ll just recap our 2021!

Natasha turned 18 in March, graduated in May and started working full time at the bakery. She continues to write and made a decision to join an author conservatory program developed by Brett Harris. It’s a three year commitment that will focus on everything related to becoming a published author. It’s quite amazing to watch her spread her wings, so to speak, and make these types of important life decisions. Because of the time commitment required for the author conservatory she had to let go of a few piano students but held on to her two favorite.

Mikayla turned 16 in May and is currently in her junior year of high school. She was blessed with an opportunity to spend two weeks with her dear friend, Miranda and her family, visiting The Ark Encounter, Creation Museum and other interesting places. In July, Mikayla auditioned for a part in a local Christmas play production and was offered the part of Martha Cratchit in A Christmas Carol. This was an amazing production with rehearsals starting in August and continuing through early December where they had six performances at The King Opera House in Van Buren. She absolutely loved being a part of this and looks forward to the next production.

Alex turned 13 in August and is currently in 8th grade. She has quite a school load as she’s working on combining her 7th and 8th grade years to be on track with others her age. She is very diligent at school and, of course, still has her nose buried in a book any time she can sneak away to a quiet corner. She started taking piano again in the summer and was part of the Christmas piano recital in December.

Jonathan turned 11 in September and is in the 5th grade. He, too, started taking piano in the summer and spends quite a bit of time practicing the songs assigned to him from his piano teacher but also learning all kinds of songs that he finds on YouTube. You should hear him play the theme song to Pirates of the Caribbean! Jonathan is also part of the local Trail Life group and continues to thrive in that environment.

Katherine turned 7 in March and is in the 2nd grade. She loves reading, crafting, roller blading, and her American Girl doll collection. She loves taking piano lessons and practices nearly every day. In January of 2021 she started taking ballet lessons and absolutely loves it. Her ballet school performed a shortened rendition of The Nutcracker, also at The King Opera House, and she’s excited to continue ballet lessons in 2022.

Maga continues to bless us with good food, sewing projects and dog sitting.

Phil continues to work at the post office. During the holiday season of 2021 he was working 6, sometimes 7 days a week, 12 hour days. Needless to say we are happy that busy season is over. He has had to miss several Sundays for work but it looks like he’ll be able to join the family for church more often now that life at the post office has slowed down. He also fixes all the things the kids and I break around the house but he’s usually passing that knowledge onto Jonathan at the same time. Truly, we have the best husband and father we could ever ask for!

I am working from home for good friends who own a small real estate investment type company out of Florida. I keep asking my boss when she’s going to require in-person training but that doesn’t seem to be a requirement for this position ;-). Most importantly, I continue to homeschool. While I’m not a huge fan of homeschooling in high school as it can be daunting to figure out how to get all of the boxes checked and make sure they are prepared to graduate, I can’t imagine doing it any other way. There are so many resources, co-ops, curriculum choices, and support that, really, high school is less hands on for me. It’s more of an overseer role.

Ultimately, my number one job as a parent is pointing my kids to Christ. It doesn’t matter what GPA they have, college scholarships, amazing careers, or wealth if their soul is lost. Mark 8:36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?

Now, before I get hate mail, NO homeschooling does not ensure my kiddos will go to heaven. If only, our kids came with manuals and formulas right?!!?!? However, I am able to bring God into every single school subject, all throughout the day, in hopes of drawing them closer to Christ. Helping them see the grace, mercy, kindness and redemption that is Jesus.

Until next time, I’ll leave you with Psalm 62, a Psalm I’ve been studying quite a bit this new year.

To the choirmaster: according to Jeduthun. A Psalm of David.

1 For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. 
2 He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken. 
3 How long will all of you attack a man to batter him, like a leaning wall, a tottering fence? 
4 They only plan to thrust him down from his high position. They take pleasure in falsehood. They bless with their mouths, but inwardly they curse. Selah 
5 For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. 
6 He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. 
7 On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. 
8 Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah 
9 Those of low estate are but a breath; those of high estate are a delusion; in the balances they go up; they are together lighter than a breath. 
10 Put no trust in extortion; set no vain hopes on robbery; if riches increase, set not your heart on them. 
11 Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God, 
12 and that to you, O Lord, belongs steadfast love. For you will render to a man according to his work.

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