It is the beginning of our weird summer. Last summer we had ALOT of together time being on sabbatical, but this year – not so much. Almost 2 weeks ago we started out on our road trip adventure. Our goal was to see all of the parents, get Hannah to Baltimore for her flight home, and Emily to New York to meet her mission team. We were pretty crazy to attempt this, but we did. Our first stop was Mississippi to see my mom. There I was able to get a few a Hannah’s senior (YIKES) pics done on the campus of Miss. State. We also were able to get some good MS BBQ and fried catfish from one of my favorite college restaurants – Little Dooey’s. We also drove down to my hometown and showed the girls where hubby and I met and got married. I also visited the cemetery where my dad is buried. It was a nice to relieve the memories.
Our next stop was Alabama – we were on our way to visit hubby’s mom and Jim. One exciting thing was having dinner with a friend in Birmingham.We had a great time with her and her daughter. While there we decided to do something cultural – see the Vulcan! After our visit, we headed on to Anniston. We got to have good time with Rita and Jim visiting and talking with them. We also got to see the chickens and goats. We hoped to see hubby’s sister, but it just didn’t work out on this trip.
Up next was traveling through Georgia to get to South Carolina to have lunch with hubby’s dad. That was a nice visit as well with some good BBQ again.
Next up we gave the girls some options because the next location to be at was Baltimore/DC. We didn’t have a large amount of time so we had to choose one thing we wanted to do in the DC area – they chose the National Zoo. It is a great little zoo, and we got to see pandas! Our time in the DC area was the last time we would be together till July. It was a fun day, but also a little sad at the same time.
The next day we had to put Hannah on a plane back home so she could get ready for Buckeye Girls State. Her event and Emily’s events overlapped with each other, so we had to work it all out. After leaving her there to fly home, we headed on to NYC.
With our now family of four we picked a few things we wanted to do. The girls and I went to see Matilda on Broadway. It was so fun to see the show and watch the girls laugh. Sunday was a beautiful day in the city. We headed to out The Met Museum. It was truly the coolest thing. So much to see in so little time, or we lost track of time as well as got lost in there. If you are ever in NYC – to the The Met. Also, if you are looking for the best cheesecake, go to the Two Red Hens Bakery – YUM!
After being on the road for just over a week it was time to leave Emily. We left her with her team there, and the little one became an only child for the rest of the week. Just her and her mom and dad for entire week. Our next stop – Hershey! Who doesn’t love chocolate. It was a nice trip with the little one touring the Hershey Story, making a chocolate bar, and drinking chocolate from around the world. Although, the little one’s favorite thing may have been getting her bookshelf/table for her Legos from IKEA.
So this trip we went through – Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and back to Ohio – wow what a trip.
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!
It has been a year filled with ups and down in the Dear family, but one thing we do know is that we have been blessed far more than we deserve. As we get ready to celebrate the birth of our Savior. I am humbled that our Father in Heaven would do this for me. Why would He choose this way to save His people? He sent His Son to be born in a lowly stable far away from the crowds without any fanfare. A Son that was born to die for me. It is something that is hard to wrap my brain around. For this, I am SO thankful. He loves me more than I can ever love Him back. He deserves more praise and glory than I could ever give Him.
May you experience the wonder of Christ’s love for you. O Come Let Us Adore Him! Our Redeemer has Come!
Every week I’m at the market I am amazed at all the dogs and the occasional pig that come to the farmer’s market. I do not think I have seen any felines come to the market. There are always a lot of families and their kids that come thru the market. I see them come through with cake pops, popcorn, various pastries (including my sweet rolls), honey sticks, green drink, and the occasional veggie. If you are a people watcher, you would enjoy seeing all the people that come each week.
One thing I have been fascinated with is people and their dogs. There are big dogs and smalls dogs. There are dogs on leashes or in strollers(really??). Some people hold them as they walk through. There are some cute ones and some not so cute. Some are dressed up for the day with bows or sweaters. I always love seeing the English bulldogs come through. The dogs are just fun to watch as well as their owners trying to handle them. The dogs love to greet the other dogs, and I do feel they may carry on some type of conversation in addition to the traditional sniffing of each other. You will see the really fancy breeds to your run of the mill mutts. Most of the dogs are cordial to each other, but we have seen a couple not so nice.
So come to the market and pick up a cinnamon roll and check out all the pets that come through, or just bring your own.
As many of you know, I have lost a little weight. While great for my bottom line, not so great on the budget line. I made it through the summer with some strategic items that I purchased that could carry me into the fall like jeans and some light sweaters. As I look in my fall/winter closet, there are not many options available to me. I have items in my closet that I had just purchased last year and are not even a year old. All of my jeans that are too big, but I am saving for our service project in December.
Now that I have lost all this weight, there are stores that have been previously unavailable to me. I find myself going into stores that I could not even go into. My hubby is very frightened by this because it has renewed my love for clothes shopping. I am always looking for a great bargain, and I rarely play full price for anything I buy.
While I am rebuilding my wardrobe, I am trying to give my look a fresh update. I am trying not to buy anything that is grey or black. I am also not getting t-shirts and other items I can just fade or hide in the background in. I have been inspired by a blog that I follow called the Pleated Poppy to get out of the rut of boring clothes and to put for a little more effort to what I wear. I am also buying pieces that the girls can potentially borrow or things I can mix and match with other items.
One item I have been wanting, but has just not been in the budget is a lace extender tank. I look at them in stores, but I just can’t justify paying that price for one. So with my sewing abilities in hand, I found a tank on clearance and purchased(with a coupon) some cute lace from the fabric store and made my own. No sewing machine was even needed. I am planning on making some more in other colors and for my girls. I am even planning on repurposing some of my too big for me tees into new shirts with the lace extensions. I hope to make one for some skirts we have as well. I love these extenders because they add a feminine touch to my clothing and some added length that is always good.
This weekend I found the best store called Altar’d State. While many items I would love are out of my budget, I would definitely shop the sale rack. There is a chance I would pay full price if it is some something special. I had seen this store before, but never ventured in because of my previous size. This time I decided to go in and give it a shot. I LOVE THIS STORE!!! Not only do they have cute feminine clothes, but they are also a Christian store. Part of their proceeds go to missions, and they fully fund their employees to do volunteer work in the community. What is not to love about that! They also have jewelry, shoes, cute purses, and artwork/home decor in their store. And like Hobby Lobby, they play Christian music in the store. This is a store I can get behind and support. It was like a breath of fresh air when I went into the store.
I know I have been a little absent around here, but I just have not been able to think of what to write about. We have not done anything too exciting. Here is a quick list of what has been going on with us.
1. high school band concert – It was Emily’s first concert with Granville High School. They did an awesome job, and we are looking forward to the next one.
2. last week of this session for the little one’s swimming lessons.
3. hematology appointment for the little one – standard appointment with nothing new to report. numbers are good.
4. pain clinic for Hannah – not too encouraging but I did make her happy with a strawberry & creme frappuccino.
5. Friday night fun with the little one – they big girls were at teen night and we took the little one out for dinner and games. we tried a new food for us – guacamole. i know, we really liked it.
6. Emily and I were back at the farmer’s market. She had been off because of various commitments and I took off for the little one’s birthday. We had a good week. Emily learned that granola sells quick at the market.
7. Hannah was inducted into the National Honor’s Society. She was not sure if she would make, but she was very excited that she did.
The last time we were at Children’s for a treatment, the social worker mentioned to me about Team Impact. She wanted to know if she could nominate Rae for the program. Team Impact matches children with terminal or chronic conditions with college teams in a sport they love or wish they could play. I didn’t know if we would get accepted or even be matched.
A fews weeks ago the organization called me to get more info on Rae and what she likes and enjoys doing. I was not sure if they would find a college that would want to partner with them. A little over a week ago they called me and told me that the Denison women’s tennis team would love to have Rae as a “member” of their team and to partner with Team Impact. We were excited since we already knew a member of the team.
I am not sure if all the publicity stuff is done, but we did go watch the team’s first home match last week and cheer the BigRed on to a victory. Rae got to meet the coach and several of the team members. The girls gave Rae a couple of t-shirts as well. They are looking forward to getting to know Rae thru different things. She is also looking forward to being on the court with them and hitting a few balls.
Thank you Team Impact for what you do to help kids get their minds off of their illness.
It is hard to believe that the little one is now in double digits. It was just yesterday that we were waiting to travel to China to get her. She has come so far in the last 4 years of new experiences. Birthdays have been one of them. We do not believe she has even known what a birthday was before she was in our family. Her first one with us was a little hard to explain, but here we are almost 4 years later, and she has fully embraced what it is. She knows when all of our birthdays are, and she especially looks forward to planning hers out.
This year was a big one – turning 10. She planned out what all she wanted to do for her birthday. She wanted waffles with fruit, her and her sisters to put on a My Little Pony show, cake pops, dumplings and spicy noodles. Her birthday was originally on a crazy busy day, but thanks to the Lord and some bad weather – we were able to make it all work out. We had a day of celebrating her. It was fun watching her truly embrace her birthday and enjoy unwrapping her presents.
You may wonder – what is Invisible Illness Week? Why? I have never heard of it before now either. An invisible illness is a variety of different illnesses that someone may suffer from on the inside (epilepsy, fibromyalgia, Chron’s, lupus, etc) but on the outside they look perfectly healthy. Hannah is one of those people. She suffers from undiagnosed chronic pain. She has been to multiple doctors, and been thru multiple tests only to find nothing wrong. She just lives with the pain. There is not a day that she does not have pain. It is very frustrating for her. Her pain can go from her abdomen to her elbows, wrists, or ankles.
Due to all of this she thought she was not going to be able to play tennis this year or do much of anything else. We talked with a neurologists and she told us that since there is no injury she should do her best to play thru the pain. Her brain is just sending signals to something that is not there.
So, for this week Hannah decided to bring awareness on her social media and to the local high school. We became aware of this on her instagram account when we saw this –
I was really nervous about posting this, but it matters a lot to me. Some of you may know that for the past year I have suffered from chronic pain in my abdomen and joints. It has been rough not knowing what is going on and trying out treatments that don’t work. What I have is known as an invisible illness because it is not immediately noticeable to those around me. Having an invisible illness can be incredibly isolating because it feels as if you are the only one who suffers from one. However, I have recently discovered that I am not alone in this struggle. This is my picture for the #sufferingthesilence campaign where we write our illness on our arms and cover our mouths to depict silence. But we will not be silent about it any longer.
Our hearts just break because that someone at her age is having to deal with this. The doctors are not sure if the pain will ever go away.