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We started out the month at Lake Lundgren Bible Camp, one of our favorite places in the world and the site of our one guaranteed annual family vacation. As usual, Jeff "paid our way" by serving as camp missionary for the week, and we all enjoyed ourselves immensely.
After taking an unexpected total break from academics through all of July, we did a "back-to-school" clean-up and some shopping on August 6 and jumped back into our bookwork on August 7. I kept our schedule for the month purposely rather light in order to make time for continuing summer fun, but we stuck to those plans and made good progress.
A major highlight of the month was the camping trip with which the girls and I surprised Jeff in honor of our August 6 wedding anniversary. Those who know me well appreciate the significance of that since camping is hardly one of my go-to activities. But Jeff really enjoys it, and I wanted to do something for him; after all, gifts are for the recipient, not the giver. And it was great fun to enlist the girls' help with planning and packing while telling him we had a secret surprise for him. He didn't have a clue until we walked into the campsite office.
The girls had a playdate with their good friends, Sarah and Hallie. The four of them spent the morning enjoying each other's company here and then chose a trip to Heritage Hill State Park for our afternoon activity.
The last week of August was hard - in fact, I still choke up thinking about it - because it was our last official week caring for young Anna, the sweet girl for whom I've babysat since she was just eight weeks old. We still watch her little sister, Leah, and we'll continue to see Anna regularly. But giving her up to mandatory public school attendance was difficult, especially because we felt obliged for Anna's sake to "talk up" her impending first day of school even as our hearts were breaking. But we had a special last week, including a sleepover, a visit to our city's new children's museum, and a farewell party.
* * * * *our homeschool group at the end of August as well, an event I helped plan and implement because I'm currently serving on the board. And that launched what was, by any definition, a very busy September for me within the group. By the numbers:
- I organized a NOT-Back-to-School Picnic - attended by about 30 (kids, moms, and even a couple of dads) - on the area public schools' first day back to class;
- With about 200 others, my family and I attended the group's first annual Bay Beach Bash;
- I led the first meetings for two homeschool mom book clubs - 25 ladies in all - that I'll be running through the year;
- I coordinated a three-day art seminar for nearly 100 participants;
- I helped my husband organize the group's annual father-child campout, attended this year by about nine dads and 20-some kids...where they're enjoying a beautiful fall weekend even as I write.
In between all of that - and in addition to keeping up with our bookwork - I served a few times on worship team at church and actually did (just a little!) scrapbooking. And we also:
- attended the funeral for our neighbor, "Saint Tim," who died tragically on Labor Day;
- started back to the girls' weekly piano lessons;
- spent a weekend with my husband's parents, during which he and I attended his class reunion, and we all enjoyed a visit to the local nature center;
- attended a bowling party - I broke 100! - to celebrate Anna's sixth birthday;
- enjoyed our first Sabbath Week of the fall, which included the celebration of International Homeschool Spirit Week and a trip with Leah and some other friends to a local apple orchard.
Whew! I'm tired just recounting all of that for you, and I can hardly believe it all happened over the course of less than 60 days. I know I can't keep up that pace, though, and I'm thankful to see from the rest of my fall calendar that we'll now be settling into a pretty manageable routine - still plenty busy, but less hectic. And that's a good thing because I really want to keep up with those other blogs...and I have lots of post ideas bouncing around in my head, clamoring to get out.