CFE Class of 2017

I guess I am still in denial, but my oldest is a senior in high school now. I have almost successfully homeschooled her since she was in kindergarten. It has been quite a ride. We have been a part a wonderful homeschool community for over 10 years and yesterday we did a photoshoot with her “classmates”. Many she has known since they were wee ones.

The CFE class of 2017 will be the largest one in our homeschool group’s history. Because of this, we decided to do a group photoshoot.  We decided to have a little fun and have a theme – hipster Disney. The girls really enjoyed it with the guys playing along.  We had a wonderful time. It did prove a little hard to get a date – but we finally did it yesterday.  We were missing a couple of their friends, but we worked with who could be there. I had fun shooting these kids, and I let them take charge and do what they wanted.  I laughed so hard at them creating what they wanted. What a fun memory that I will share with my daughter and her friends. I will have editing these pictures. I am also thankful for all of them and the bond they share.

senior17preview

A huge thanks to Orchard House for allowing us run of your property for pictures.

 

10 Years

When you saw the title, you think – celebrating marriage or birthday? No. Ten years ago our family moved to Ohio.  It is kind of strange how I remember when we moved here, but it was the same time Hurricane Katrina was bearing down on the coast of Mississippi and Louisiana. We moved out of AL before the hurricane hit the coast.

the girls were so little when we moved here

10 years ago – the girls were so little when we moved here

Moving out of the South was a big change for us.  We had been married for 10 years and had 2 girls.  We had spent all of our lives in the South, but God chose to move us out of comfort zone.  While many may be scared of moving to a totally different area, we were not.  It was new adventure for us. The girls actually thought we were moving to Idaho or Iowa.  They had never really heard of Ohio till we came here.

We started talking with our church in the spring of that year, but we did not tell our girls because it would be hard for them to understand.  We had to be a little creative in how we told them, especially because they were getting to ride on an airplane for the first time to come to Ohio to visit with the church. They had never been part of a church move before.  In our last church move I was pregnant with Hannah.  They only knew Alabama and their friends there.

In the last 10 years we have been thru a many things – good and not so good.  Some of my favorites –

  • CFE – Finding this wonderful homeschool group has been the best thing. All of the parents and kids in the group mean a great deal to us and our girls. So many memories and experiences we have had and done.
  • Our church – They are a wonderful group of people who love us, pray for us, and miss us when we are away. It has been truly amazing to do life with the people of our church. We love you!
  • Blessings – I could write multiple posts on the blessings God has given our family, but God has really been so good to us more than we deserve.
  • Adoption – God chose to truly burden our hearts about after we moved here. It was truly one of the best blessings we have had outside giving birth to our two girls.
  • Travel – Living in almost the middle of the country, we can get to many fun locations easily.  We have been able to see some new and exciting areas we would not have been able to do if we didn’t follow God’s leadership to move here. If we didn’t drive to some of these locations, flying was often cheap and easy.

The past 10 years have been really great. We have often said that we could spend the rest of our lives here if God so chooses.  The downside of living here is that our girls have not been able to grow up around their grandparents and extended family.  That is one thing many ministers’ families have to deal with.  It comes with choosing to follow God’s leading and go where He wants you to go.

Our family has grown in so many ways over the past 10 years. We are looking forward to the next 10 or more years.

Friendship

This post has been in my mind for several weeks, but I just have not been able to get all my thoughts together to get it written.  My prayer is that you will be encouraged.

Over a month ago one of my best friends I had known since kindergarten ended her life. While we were not as close as we should have been in the last few years, all my school memories include her. I still remember her parent’s phone number that I called so many times to talk with her. I remember all the field trips, playground time, Girl Scouts, band, classes we had together, and even sharing a locker in high school. I recently showed my girls my old yearbooks, and I found notes where she had signed it and even a letter she wrote to me while we were still in college.  We were best friends.

After college, life took us in different directions. We would talk occasionally, but not like when we were in school. Before I left Alabama, we had reconnected. She was getting married, and I was able to attend her wedding. She was very happy. We stayed in touch a little better, and then Facebook took over. We connected again there. We could see each others children.  Our conversations slipped after we moved to Ohio, and I now wish we had connected better than just a Christmas card.

Life was too busy, and I didn’t reach out like I should have. We “talked” some over Facebook, but nothing more.  We are all guilty of “friendship” on Facebook. We come to realize this too late when a tragedy strikes.

I will never forget my hubby calling me to tell me my best friend had ended her life. WHAT?? WHY?? Why had I not reached out more? Why had no one seen? This has really caused me to think. While we have many “friends” on social media, do you really know what is going on in someone’s life.  Hubby and I have talked – Facebook is a snapshot in someones life. It is just the happy highlight reel. We often do not talk about what is really going on in our lives.  We “like” people’s post and pictures. It makes us happy to see who comments or “likes” what we do. This is all temporary. A temporary high. I started thinking – when is the last time I called someone or texted someone something encouraging or just to see how are they doing. Why am I worried about what others think? Why do we get caught up in other people’s drama?

So, I unplugged from Facebook. It was taking too much time away from what was important. I am finding who I am in Christ so I can be what He wants me to be for my friends. Friends that I call, text, or have meal with. I need to know what is going on with my friends – how I can pray for them or just be someone they can talk to.  You may wonder that I may not know what is going on – well, if you need me to know – email or call me.  I just recently read that with all the social media to connect people today we are MORE LONELY and feel more isolated! I do not want to feel that way. I love being around people and talking to them. Why do we have a phone if we do not use it to call people or even text them?

I know unplugging from Facebook is not the whole solution, and many people can be on Facebook and not get sucked in like I did. But for me, this is a good place to start.

I do not want another call saying a friend has ended their life due to fact that no one knew what was going on in their life.

I love this verse – Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD you God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. Deut. 31:6 – God is never going to leave us, He will not, He will not, HE WILL NOT! You have the best friend in Him.