Licking County DYW 2017

Exciting month for the one of the Dear girls. This month Hannah will be representing Licking County in the Distinguished Young Women Competition.  This was formally known as Jr. Miss competition several years ago.  I wanted to compete when I was a senior in high school, but was unable to. I know many people who competed in local and state competition in Mississippi. I was a big deal if you won the local “pageant”.  In the state of Ohio there are three local competitions to qualify for the state competition – Vinton County, Knox County, and Ohio-at-Large.  Hannah competed in the Ohio-at-Large this past November and qualified to move on to state.  It is quite and honor to be selected.

This month she will compete in Mt.Vernon, OH in the state competition. She will compete in interview, talent, scholarship, self-expression, and physical fitness. She will be playing her Rachmaninoff on the piano for her talent. This is a great opportunity to meet other girls from across the state and earn scholarship money for college.  If you would like to come support her on Feb 24th & 25th, tickets are available for purchase at We are looking forward to seeing her shine.

Feliz Navidad 2016

Our family would like to wish you the very merriest of Christmas. God has blessed us more than we deserved. It has been an interesting year for the Dear family.  We have traveled across the South a couple of times to see family and to have a little vacation time.  We entered our 12th year of homeschooling this school year. The older girls split their time between homeschool classes, classes at the local high school, and college classes for Hannah.  I am thankful that Hannah can drive herself to her classes.

Here are a few highlights from our family this year:

Noel is in his 11th year as senior pastor of FBC Heath. God is blessing our church and looking forward to the new year. He is also half way through having is doctorate degree from Southern Seminary.  I am very proud of how far he has come in his education, and we can’t wait to see him walk across that stage one day.

Hannah is a senior in high school this year.  She was co-captain of Granville High School girls tennis team and also earned her varsity letter playing first doubles. She is still excelling academically having been inducted to Cum Laude Society at GHS as well.  She is busy with her all of her classes and as well as working on all her college applications. She is excited to be accepted into one of her college choices – University of South Carolina. Hannah is still active in her musical pursuits of piano, flute(where she made district honors band), piccolo, marimba ensemble, jazz band, homeschool band, and steel drums.  Another activity Hannah is pursuing is journalism. She is the new editor of the school paper, and has had several articles published on their website as well as in print form.  One big this she has coming up is the Ohio Distinguished Young Woman scholarship competition in February.  She is representing Licking County and is very excited for this opportunity. It is just hard to believe we will be planning her graduation party soon.

Emily is a sophomore.  She just recently got her driving permit and will beginning to drive – watch out! She is keeping us busy with all of her bands.  She still loves playing her trumpet and is becoming quite accomplished with it.  She is currently playing in two bands – Granville High School Symphonic band (3rd chair) and homeschool band(1st chair). As if these two were not enough, she is in the jazz band for both Granville and the homeschool jazz band. Like Hannah she is in the steel drum band as well too.  As a result of her love for music she has been accepted into two honor bands this year – Ohio University and Cedarville University.  Currently she is working diligently on her trumpet solo she is taking to solo & ensemble this January.   In addition to all the music, she is also on the GHS girls tennis team this year as well.  She got a lot of playing time this year in singles and doubles and earned her varsity letter as well.  She would also like it to be noted that she did challenge up to and make 2nd chair in band, but because of a minor technicality she is still at 3rd. She is happy at 3rd though. One other exciting thing Emily was part of this year was spending 6 weeks of her summer with the IMB’s Endeavor program serving in Southern Mexico.  She really loved her time there serving God and ministering to the local people. She is hoping to go back this next year.

Rae is still making great strides in her reading and math.  She still works with a reading specialist and math tutor. She may complain about having to go, but she looks forward to Fridays with her friends there. She has really developed a love for science and looks forward to her little science co-op.  She is also enjoying her art co-op with Ms. Lynd and Ms. Krumm.  She is quite the artist and loves to draw manga characters.  This school year she was able to start beginner band.  Rae is learning the clarinet and is doing really well.  She has had a challenging year medically with the increase of her seizures.  This month she had epilepsy surgery to help reduce or eliminate her seizures. Everything went well, and we are happy to be home recovering.  We are thankful for how well everything went and praise God for it.  It will be at least 6 months before we will begin knowing how effective the surgery was.  That had to be the scariest day with any of our children. She went back around 7:30 am and we saw her at 6:00pm.

I have had quite a busy year between homeschooling, photography, and doing the farmer’s market.  HER Baking Co or also know as “cinnamon roll lady” had another great season at our local farmer’s market with many repeat and new customers.  I was blessed to have several weeks where I sold out.  I am teaching art again to our teens in our homeschool group. It has been a great year with a smaller group where we have been able to focus on making art as well as art and music appreciation.  Like my girls, I am still involved in our homeschool band playing the clarinet as well as our adult steel drum band, Pandamonium.  We are all looking forward to going to Virginia Beach in May to an international competition. I am still accompanying different people and choirs as well as still playing on the praise band at church.

This year we have learned to trust God more, and that He is bigger than anything we can ever imagine.  We praise Him for all things great and small.  He is truly a Good, Good Father.  We wish everyone a Merry Christmas and that you experience the joy of this season and seek Christ more in the coming new year.  


Should I sing the Adele song? I know it has been so long since I have posted, but I just haven’t found the time or been motivated to. We are doing well and ready to take on our summer. I thought last summer was strange with our sabbatical, but this summer may top it. Our family will not be all together for 7 weeks this summer.

This summer Emily will be spending 40 days in Oaxaca, Mexico with the IMB Endeavor program. She will train in NYC for 5 days before flying to Mexico to help the Zapotec people in the mountains of Southern Mexico. She will be sharing the love of Christ with the people as well as encouraging the current believers. God has provided much of the funding for her trip, and we can’t wait to see what God will do through her and the team. Thank you to all who has support her. Please pray for her and her team as the prepare. Pray that her team will bond together and be effective.

Hannah will have a busy summer as well. This summer she will be working on getting her college applications ready to submit this fall. That is her main focus this summer, and I can’t believe it is time for that already.  She is also doing some traveling. She is one of the girls representing Licking Co. American Legion at Buckeye Girls State. She is looking forward to meeting many other girls from all over the state and to participate in a mock government for a week at Mt. Union. She is also getting to go back to Super Summer at Cedarville. It is her 3rd year to go, and it has been one of her highlights of each summer. I’m excited about it as well, because I am going for the first time as well as a family leader. We are also going together on our church’s youth group mission trip as well to Cleveland. I am looking forward to spending these two weeks with Hannah. Hannah is also one of the captains of the tennis team, so she will be busy running some practices before the season starts in August.

Rae’s summer is a little less busy. She is hoping to get to play some tennis and do some swimming. She is only a little excited about getting to go to summer camp. She was accepted to the Flying Horse Farm Camp for Hematology/Oncology Week. She has not been away for a camp like this, but it should be very good for her and very fun. It is not far from where we live, so if there was a problem we would not be far away.

I will try to keep y’all updated on Emily’s trip as well as our other adventures.  Here’s to a great summer!

First Day of Homeschool 2015-16

Wednesday was the first day of Dear’s Homeschool for Girls.  We were going to start the day before, but an expected medical issue came up and we had to delay the start.  One of the perks of homeschooling is that you don’t have to worry about what you are going to wear or rushing out the door or buying all the school supplies.  It is almost like any normal day – get up breakfast but instead of goofing around – we started school.  It was a little slow going, but we started back into the groove.  I had been working on getting rid of clutter and cleaning up the schoolroom for us to start this week.

I had not finished everyone’s lesson plans, but we were going to start – ready or not.  Not every subject was starting, but we had a nice start. I am excited about this new year.  I will have 2 in high school and 1 in elementary.  Hannah is somewhat self-motivated and get her stuff done and we just have to double check and keep her motivated.  With Emily, we have to keep her focused on task which we have had to do since she was little. Rae just wonders why she has to do all of this and why she is not doing the same thing her sisters did when they were her age.  She is a different kind of learner, and so many things have changed since they were in 4th grade.

I asked them all the same question about the new year. What subject are they looking forward to? Favorite school activity? Least favorite?

Hannah – She is looking forward to her AP English 12 class. She loves reading and writing and this was easy for her.  Favorite activity that she currently is enjoying is tennis. She is not looking to some of her college classes where she has to drive to multiple places.

Emily – Now being in high school (YIKES!!) she is looking forward to her Spanish and Writing class. As far as activities it is drama because she moves up to the high school homeschool drama group. Her least favorite, which has been the same every year, math (Algebra 1)

Rae – She is excited about learning Astronomy and starting tennis back up. She is not looking forward to history. While taking this pic she also informed me she doesn’t like school at all.


Keeping it real for what it is like to take pictures with these 3. Life in our school.


My prayer for our new year is that we do everything for His Glory. We strive to always do our best even when it is hard. I also pray we will not get caught up in the busyness of the world around us, and we focus on what is important and do what God has called us to do.

Hears to a new year – may it be the best one yet!!


Tennis Love

We are in full tennis mode around the Dear House. The day after returning from our sabbatical was the first day of tennis practice. Originally, Emily was the only one playing this year on the high school team.  Hannah had decided before school was out that due to her pain, she just couldn’t do it. It was a tough decision, and many of her teammates were sad not to have her on the team.  Emily was nervous about being on the team, but Hannah went with her so she could help out even though she wasn’t playing.  I could tell that Hannah was sad not to be playing.  Emily had a good week with the challenge matches, and was proving to be a good player on the team.

The teams first match was a tournament against 2 other teams in the county – Watkins and Newark.  Granville dominated the tournament and won. Emily played 5th doubles and her wins counted for her team’s win. It was tough for Hannah to sit there and watch her friends play.

Emily's medal from the tournament

Emily’s medal from the tournament

On Sunday, Hannah seeing how much she wanted to try to play, she asked her dad to go out and play with her to see how she would do.  We played some this summer, but I could just see on her face that she wanted it.  The doctors had told her she could play and that she would have to put the pain out of her head.  She played with her dad, and decided that she wanted to give it a go.  We contacted the coach, and he said that he would love to have her back – get her paperwork done.  That Monday we moved heaven and earth and got all of her paperwork and physicals done – she was back on the team!  She was so happy as were her teammates.

So far, both girls are doing well in their matches. Emily has played singles and doubles, while Hannah is playing just doubles.  They both have wins and losses. It is just fun seeing them both out there playing.  This past week the two of them were suppose to play doubles together, but the match got rained out.  I can’t wait to see the “Dear Sisters” playing together.

We are looking forward to a great tennis season. Go Lady Aces!

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The Dear Sisters are getting ready

Hannah and Melodie after winning against Wellington

Hannah and Melodie after winning against Wellington

Tennis Time Again

We came back from our family sabbatical and hit the ground running.  The day after returning was the first day of high school tennis practice. It was time to start getting all the tennis clothes together, snack schedules, preparing protein packed breakfasts, and making sure all the paperwork done.  Emily was going to be the only one playing this season due to Hannah’s chronic pain.  It was a tough decision for her, but she was going to be the team’s big cheerleader and supporter.

This past Saturday was the teams first match which was the Licking County Tournament with Granville and two other teams in the county.  Our girls dominated again this year.  Emily played 5th doubles and her court counted in the tourney toward the teams points.  I was unable to watch due to working the farmer’s market, so hubby would text me updates.  So proud of how she played, and I can’t wait to see more.


Licking County Tennis Tournament Champs!

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Emily’s medal

Hannah was there but was sad not to be playing. She started to rethink her decision about not playing.  She was going to the practices but only running and picking up the balls for the team.  She missed playing.  She talked with her dad and decided to go play some with him to see what she could do. After playing, she decided to give it a go.  We talked with the coach and he was good with her being back on the team.  The big hurdle was getting all of her paperwork and a physical done in less than 24 hours – WE DID IT!! Her team is so happy to have her back playing again. She will have to take it easier than most, but she is just happy to be playing.

Can’t wait to watch both of me girls playing this season and the rest of the team as well. Let’s go Lady Aces!!

School Time Again

It’s that time of year when school is starting and all of us homeschool moms are trying to stretch summer just a little longer.  While Hannah has started her one class, our official school has not.  Hannah is taking one class – AP English – at Granville High School this year under her tennis coach.  We felt this class would be great college prep at this time for her and something we could not teach her to the best of our abilities. I get to participate in the morning carpool line at the school, something I didn’t know if I would ever get to do.  We are thankful that our school district is very welcoming and accommodating.

Tennis is also in full swing. Multiple matches and practices have been held. Many trips to the school and courts each day. Both girls are having a good season, and I hope they continue to improve throughout the season.

We are hoping to get our new school year started after Labor Day. I will finish getting everything organized and find my desk. I need to get old books put away and get the new all out and organized.  The girls are somewhat excited to start back. They are mostly excited about drama, art, and band starting back.  I am looking forward to seeing all the moms again.

Here’s to a new school year. I am trying to come up with an inventive first day of school pic.

hannah's first day of high school