Hello, all. We've been through the ringer around here. It's been a rather long, grueling move, but we are living in the little house at Red RobinFarm, and one little step at a time, it's feeling a tiny bit like home. Today we have internet/wireless again at last, and I can catch you up on our lives.
A few people have stopped by to visit and they're always struck by how spacious the house feels, since it's only 1100 square feet. The ceilings are over 10 feet high, I've decided. It makes all the difference. I don't have anything hung on the walls yet, but most of the furniture is in the house and generally in its right spot. Adam is eager to paint walls soon.
Julia's schooling seems finally to have settled down too. She was thoroughly miserable taking both college algebra and chemistry -- too much work, and too hard. She could do it, but it was overwhelming. Finally we decided to drop the chemistry (and she'll take it next semester), and in order to get her schedule to work out, to drop the English comp class, adding it in October as something called a B-term --a condensed class that packs a full semester into a couple of months. The comp class was easy for her, so it'll be okay. And instead of the chemistry course she'll pick up a late-start American history course next week. Sounds complicated, but I think she will be content, and we've learned our lesson that she does have limits to how much work she can carry.
Anna is still waitressing and doing fine. The tourist season is tapering down and she may look elsewhere for more work. She's still hoping to go overseas, possible early next year. She's applied with the Peace Corps and is excited about hopefully going with them.
My job at HeartWorks is quite challenging and rewarding. I think it's growing on me. By the time 6:00 rolls around, I am exhausted, but I realize this is such an important ministry for these families, and that it offers the children benefits and advantages that they need and deserve. I heard an NPR report recently on low-income children (less than 25K/year) and how they actually have less surface area on their brains than children from high-income families (over 150K/year). There are exceptions, of course, and many children fall in the middle income level between those two. But low-income kids need enrichment and encouragement, the advantages that wealthier parents are able to give their kids. I hope we can offer a bit of that rich nurturing educational atmosphere each day. And the staff I work with are just great -- can't praise them enough for their dedication and hard work.
Adam's work has been quite challenging. One of our church families is struggling right now with the impending loss of a precious family member. Death is such a struggle for families. And we are losing a dearly-loved saint in this sweet lady. Moving has been quite exhausting. Basically, Adam carried everything we own on his own shoulders from one house to another. I helped carry some things, and we were loaned a truck (what a blessing!), but he really did it alone, and I'm so proud of his hard work, but it has been a struggle. He is worn down. He needs rest and refreshment, and more than anything else, encouragement. Today he took some time to rake the grass in the field that was cut and put it around his beehives. He enjoyed a little farm work. He lost a beehive in transit, and he was unable to drive the Jaguar to the farm and needed a tow, so there have been discouragements.
We're starting a new phase of life somehow. We didn't really plan it, but it feels that way. Adam has a farm to work in his spare time. I have a new job. Julia is starting college. It may take me a while to figure out what this new life is, precisely. I feel as if God has handed it to me, and I'm holding it, puzzling it out.