But I think I'll be back at it. Now I am needing a Facebook break. As much as I enjoy keeping up with friend and family scattered everywhere, I am ready to view life again through a lens greater than 140 characters. As much as I wish our life could be that succinct, it just isn't reality for the Kimmels. We have settled into our new normal, and while it is awesome, it is not the old normal. We aren't just a family that gained a new member 15 months ago. We are all new. It's been a big change, but it's also been really kind of cool. I like the new us. A lot.
So for all the months I missed, here is a general summary to get you caught back up.
The kids finished home schooling very strong. I am so proud of them all! It was a wild journey. We had some great days and some...seven hour math days. We are going to do the home school "thing" again this year, and our first day will be Friday. I am really looking forward to it, partly because I am through that first year and partly because I have a cool new, organized school room. I have always loved the start of school - the newness of the pencils, the school clothes shopping, the academic potential thick in the air. Oh heck, mostly I love it because it means that football season is right around the corner! Regardless of the reason, I am really looking forward to that time with my kids again. (Hopefully just not for seven hours on one subject...)
The kids have had a busy summer. All three went to camp with our church, and all three LOVED it! We are so blessed to have a church that invests so much into the kids and teens. It was wonderful for them - a little hard for mama. :) I was most nervous about Alina going away for five days - her comment ahead of time was, "Mama, five days is many days!" but when she got off that bus with her friends she said, "Mama, five days go FAST!" Jude and Cal each went for three days, and I am so proud of those guys. They loved it, and God spoke to each of them through the teaching, laughter, games, and activities.
We traveled to D.C. for Cousin Kenny's wedding, which was not only breathtakingly beautiful, it was also insanely fun. The only downer was Cal hurling four times in a row in the middle of the night after the wedding (dude.), but we all survived and no one else got sick. We also got to spend a little (much less than we'd wanted due to aforementioned puking) with Alina's foster sister and her adoptive family outside of D.C. There is a unique connection between us Lat Fams (as we call ourselves on the street), and we have a very special bond with this family as their daughter spent several years with our Alina in Latvia. It was such a blessing to talk with folks who get it. Such a blessing.
Right now Mark and the kids are on their "daddy and kids" trip to PA to see his family. They are having a blast, which is a given! I confess, I was secretly (or not so secretly depending on who was in earshot) looking forward to having the house all to myself for a few days. Dear Ang came to visit, and we ate pie, watched the Olympics and The West Wing, and I worked on lesson planning over the weekend, and now I am biding my time with the two dogs until the gang gets back.
Oh yeah. Two dogs. I can't remember if I mentioned it on here, but we have a new dog! He is a real treasure - his name is Mojo and we got him from the same rescue that brought is our (my) beloved Marshall. Oh, heaven love this dynamic duo! You simply can't help but love them both, and they are really liking being "brothers". We are constantly giggling at the two of them. (OK. Mark mostly just shakes his head, but deep down inside it's love.)
We are still knee deep in martial arts. The boys are on the school's performance team and it has been a big step for them to learn how to perform at a high level every performance. Alina and I are still taking Tai Chi, and she is going to perform with the Tai Chi class at our annual Extravaganza! I am SO proud of her! I know she is a little nervous, but can I tell you - the girl is awesome at Tai Chi! I find myself often peeking at her to be sure I am remembering the next move. And I am still working towards my advanced brown belt muttering at the young whippersnappers under my breath. Just today the second degree male black belt who hasn't given birth once let alone twice (clearly) had us running in place with our knees up to our chests. Well, let's just put it this way. While it was the first time I was ever thankful for the havoc breastfeeding caused to the sistas (the lower the better for once), I still thought about asking someone to please pass the Depends. Gads. I am not in my 20s anymore, friends. (Clearly.)
So things really are going well. God is stirring my heart on some things and I am trying to prayerfully process through it all. I'll try to share as I go on here. Thanks for hanging with me.
I think I'm back.
|Summer fun the back yard|
|Celebrating Cal's birthday at Martial Arts|
|Calvin at the wedding|
|My beautiful daughter and I|
|Cal vs. Cousin Kenny in a dance showdown|
|Jude and Alina dancing|
|The family at the wedding|
|Home school room before|
|Oh, yes. It was that scary.|
|Home school room after! Ahhhh!|
|New book shelves|
|Alina and our sweet Mojo|