Good afternoon! As I write to you I’m seated at a large table inside a library, and I’m happy to be spending time in this building once again. I really enjoy being surrounded by so many books and patrons interested in learning and growth. Zack and I are re-watching Downton Abbey, and in one recent episode, the cast associated “change” with learning new things, and deemed both necessary. I couldn’t agree more.
Speaking of learning…
Learning certainly takes up a lot of my thinking space these days! As my family is gearing up for a new school year, I’ll be homeschooling three students and beginning my second online graduate class with Moody. I’m already into week 2 of class :)
Mid-way through the summer I made a list of read-aloud & workbooks the kids will need for the upcoming year. Very shortly I’ll be teaching 3rd grade, 2nd grade, and Kindergarten. It amazes me how much growth children are able to have in just one year. I love watching (and helping) them grow into their personalities and interests. My mothering work is endless, but so is the opportunity for joy.
Books I read in July
During my summer break from grad school (I had 5 weeks off), I was able to read a handful of books, including Loving The Little Years by Rachel Jankovic, Parenting by David Paul Tripp, Running on Empty by Jonice Webb, Florence Nightingale by Pam Brown, I heard God Laugh by Matthew Kelly, and Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature by Linda Lear. I devoured them and mostly read in the hidden pockets of the day. My books follow me around the house and yard like a brand-new puppy.
We have had a really nice summer, and I’m soaking up this last bit of warm weather together. Some of the things we did together include…
- Driving to Tennessee for an extended family visit in the mountains
- Taking our oldest child to overnight camp
- Zack taking a 5-day canoeing trip
- Reading a lot of books
- Celebrating with a baby shower, and a retirement party
- Enjoying many morning cups of coffee with Zack outside
Lastly, to wrap up our “big plans”, Zack and I spent a weekend reorganizing our home centered around the book The House That Clean’s Itself by Misty Starns Cleark and the concept, “everything has a place and everything in its place.” My friend Courtney is very talented in this area, and she helped me simplify the inside of our home.
Our 1,000-square foot home feels so much more spacious now that we’ve pared down the number of things we own (which wasn’t all that much to begin with), relocated items so they’re in better locations, and cleared away clutter.
And you guys. YOU GUYS. It has already made a significant, noticeable difference. I noticed a difference on day #2.
I was honestly terrified my children would come home and freak out / cry that the house looked so different, especially their playroom (which we transformed into a homeschool room), but they didn’t. They all squealed and laughed as they had fun noticing the differences and enjoying their favorite toys/things that were not easily accessible and organized.
This home project was largely influenced by my next graduate class starting this month, but also that we’ve lived here for 5+ years and it was definitely time to review how we use our home.
Many of you asked how my first graduate class went, so I’ll share a summary here. It was phenomenal. It was a lot of work (as expected) and I learned a lot (my hope). I really leaned into being able to spend time learning something I’m deeply passionate about, and I’m thrilled that I’m working towards a Master’s degree.
The class was entirely online. There were over 600 pages of academic reading to complete in 8 weeks, including seven papers to write. I finished my Hermeneutics class with a 94%. Even though it was a lot to process, I felt so happy learning and studying.
If I had been on the Chicago campus last week I would have attended Open Chapel and been recognized for my Cum Laude achievement. I’m really proud of myself, and I thank you for your interest in my graduate studies. More info on this HERE, if you missed the big, happy announcement! :)
So that’s a wrap of “life around here” for the current season!
How are you holding up? What are you looking forward to this week? Share what are you learning! What is bringing you a lot of joy? Do share below in the comments.
PS. This weekend I’m going on a 2-day trip to Indianapolis with some girlfriends! We’ll be attending a women’s conference, drinking a lot of coffee, T A L K I N G about “all the things”, eating meals (we didn’t cook), and playing tourist. Yippeeee!