We took our annual trip to the pumpkin patch mid-October, and the children had a great time choosing their pumpkins and jumping in the bounce house. It was quite warm, however, and we were all sweating the whole time we were there. Ahh, fall in Florida
It’s frustrating to always be running late on this blog, but I am thankful for a blessed, full life that makes it so difficult to stay current. Connor turned 8 on September 24, and for his birthday we took a little trip down to Grammy and Grumpa’s house. The reasons for this little get-away were three-fold: Connor wanted to celebrate his birthday with grandparents, hang out with our good friends the Worleys and Loerops, and play at Chuck E. Cheese’s. Lucky for Tim and me, we do not have one of these establishments in Gainesville, so we occasionally allow the children to enjoy the delights of brain-numbing over stimulation when we’re in S. FL. Connor’s birthday seemed like a good opportunity to do that. We had a great visit down there, and Connor really enjoyed his birthday celebration.
I’m not sure why, but our family decided to visit to the Jacksonville Zoo in the heat of summer again. Seriously, what were we thinking? We’ve melted both times, but we keep going back. The favorite attractions continue to be feeding the giraffes, riding the zoo train, riding the carousel, and cooling off at the splash park. This year we also splurged and got everyone a snow cone (except Emma, of course). Little Emma was a trooper despite the heat. It was so hot that instead of eating the picnic lunch we brought in the picnic table area, we all huddled in the car and turned the air on full blast–I guess that means we’re giant wimps. Ha! We enjoyed learning about and seeing the different animals there, although the heat made many of them really lethargic. The kangaroos were just lounging around in the sand—too hot to hop .
I can’t believe it’s already been almost two months since my last post. Yikes! Time flies and babies grow…so fast! We’re in homeschooling high gear now, so there is very little time during the day for anything outside of school it seems (except for the usual laundry, dish-washing, etc.). Oh, and did I mention that my computer keeps crashing? But life is full and good and crazy and lovely! And rough sometimes too. There is often complaining about schoolwork and growing impatient with children and uttering words that are far from kind and gentle, but God is redeeming all this time for Himself and sanctifying us despite our besetting sins. I could go on about some of the dross that is currently being burned away from my hard heart, but I’ll save it for another time…or not. Here are some pictures from the past month or two. That’s what you’re really interested in anyway
This morning a dear friend emailed me the following quote from one of my favorite books Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss. Thank you, Stephanie, for such a wonderful reminder.
(on adding a new baby to the family)
“(Martha) says I shall now have one mouth the more to fill and two feet the more to shoe, more disturbed nights, more laborious days, and less leisure for visiting, reading, music, and drawing.
Well! This is one side of the story to be sure, but I look at the other. Here is a sweet, fragrant mouth to kiss; here are two more feet to make music with their pattering about my nursery. Here is a soul to train for God; and the body in which it dwells is worthy all it will cost, since it is the abode of a kingly tenant. I may see less of friends, but I have gained one dearer than them all, to whom, while I minister in Christ’s name, I make a willing sacrifice of what little leisure for my own recreation my other darlings had left me.
Yes, my precious baby, you are welcome to your mother’s heart, welcome to her time, her strength, her health, her tenderest cares, to her lifelong prayers! Oh, how rich I am, how truly, how wondrously blest!”
We officially started our home school year yesterday, August 14. The middle of the week seemed like a good choice to start our full school days, so that the weekend would be close at hand. Most of you know that we schooled all through the summer this year to catch up after my months of morning (read: all-the-time) sickness in the fall, so I wanted to make sure that this first day of school stood out among all our other days of schooling. To that end, Tim and I planned a few special things for the children to help them celebrate their return (that is, continuation of) to school.
Our morning began with presenting them with mommy-made t-shirts which read “Van Steenburgh Academy” on the back and have their names on the front. A little silly I know, but I thought it would be fun. Unfortunately, I purchased the “light” fabric transfer paper and then proceeded to buy dark colored shirts, so they didn’t turn out exactly like I envisioned. Lucky for us, we’re at home all the time–ha! Then we took them out for a surprise breakfast at the Flying Biscuit. That was really yummy. Connor asked if he could get “seconds” of his order–obviously we do not take this child out enough–sorry buddy, only one order per restaurant visit. When we returned home from breakfast, I presented the children with a giant chocolate chip cookie and some other little treats. They got to have one little treat upon finishing each subject, and we ate pieces of the cookie for dessert after lunch. It was a productive school day and a great start to our year.
She’s just getting cuter every day, even if I do say so myself.