A Place Called Home

Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands. 1 Thessalonians 4:11

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Location: Wetumpka, Alabama, United States

I am a wife of 38years and a mother of six, mother-in-law to four, and grandmother to twelve. I just completed my 24th year of homeschooling. I have lived many years of my adult life in Italy and Greece.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Homecoming

We returned late Saturday night from a busy two days in Searcy. It was wonderful. We got into town around 5pm and I made a quick trip by Cato's to see if I could find a skirt to match my new jacket. I found the perfect skirt and it was cheap! That rarely happens. We ate a delicious meal at Katie's and then we all headed to see "Fiddler on the Roof". It was so much fun to see so many of our good friends, though there is never enough time to really catch up on their lives the way I'd like to.The Morans and Johnsons were there to support Craig, who needed NO support, as he was amazing.The next morning we had breakfast at the Barnes and had such a nice visit. I am so grateful for the way God has blessed our children with such wonderful extended family members (or soon-to-be:).We know where Kristin gets her kindness and generosity from!We left there to go to the Jewell's for a HUF 20 year reunion. It was so good to see Sheri Fields. We talk often (Hi, Sheri!)and write, but have only seen each other twice in 20 years!She is a kindred spirit, and blessed me, once again, with some wonderful cinnamon rolls and dinner rolls. Thank you! We left the reunion for a surprise 21st birthday party for Chelsea. Katie had gone to a lot of work to have a lot of her favorite goodies, special napkins, etc.Kevin and family , and Karen and family were all there. I loved seeing Katie, Chelsea and Jamie laugh together again.Cousins are fun.These years bring so many changes in their lives. Katie is expecting her second child, Chelsea is married and out of college, Jamie is in college, and Jessie is in high school. So many changes with each year. I'm so proud of all of them. They are all such sweet "Grandma Klein" girls and she would be so proud of each of them.My favorite part of the weekend was hanging out with Karen and catching up. I have such respect for her. She has really born the weight of both my parents illnesses and passings, being the only one in town, and now in caring for our sweet Aunt Rema.It was hard being the "geeky" sister in high school, but I do believe we are more than even now.Being back in Searcy is always nostalgic. After living there a total of 10 years, and 19 years with Harding, I am homesick for my many dear friends.But when I reconsider the reasons behind our decision to move, I know we made the right choice. As difficult as that decision was to make, God has rewarded us many, many times over. My children seek truth, our family is close, and my children are all in healthy relationships.It was the right move at the right time. As I'm writing this, one of my favorite hymns is playing in the background. It is so appropriate. "Great is Thy Faithfulness...all that I need thy hand has provided."

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Center for Faith and the Arts

The last several weeks have been busy ones, with many late nights, meetings, trips, and proposals concerning the creation of the Center for Faith and the Arts. There is still much work to be done, but as of yesterday morning, the president has approved the proposal. Hallelujah! Basically, we will be living in Italy from June through December.We will share a Fall semester with Faulkner University, and Terry will be the Program Director. In the Spring he will be teaching on the Freed-Hardeman campus. In the summer we will have some special groups, but not a normal school semester.I'm grateful that this did not come to fruition any sooner, because I believe the boys will be at a perfect age to really enjoy and remember this unique opportunity. We have plans for a tree house behind the villa, there are hills to climb, olive groves to explore, jousting matches to attend, great art to be exposed to, and gallons of incredible gelato to consume. I really look forward to getting to know faculty in a closer way. After 19 years with the same university, I miss the connections we shared with so many at Harding. I look forward to getting to know students one-on-one. I want the boys to share in devotionals with other young men and women as they grow in their faith.I am still in awe that God would provide this opportunity. We really believed when we left Harding that we were giving up our chance at ever working in Italy again, other than possibly short term mission work.God blesses us above and beyond anything we could possibly conceive of on our own. My prayer is that we will use this opportunity to glorify God through the many lives this program can touch.

Furniture Switcheroo

Several months ago I offered to store my friend, Blair's, dining room furniture until she had space for it in her garage. After her garage sale this weekend we made arrangements for it to be picked up, and then she asked if I could use an old painted double bed.Since one of our guest rooms had no bed, I said we'd appreciate it. When it was all set up, I could not have been more pleased. It's very old-fashioned looking, and looks perfect in the room. She even passed on a bed set that looks very "shabby chic".I just love it when God gives us the desires of our hearts before we can even ask.The night before Terry and I had walked around Target and seen their new dresser and cabinet in their "Shabby Chic" line and I told him how much I loved it. This bed looks like it should be part of their line. The week before, Christian's bed had broken and we had moved the wooden twin beds out of the guest room for the boys. I made them new dust ruffles (10 yards of fabric for $1 a yard!) and their red, white and blue room looks really "boy".They even have cowboy and Indian sheets.I decided to just wait until I could find a double or queen bed for the guest room, instead of putting one twin in there, since we have 2 soon-to-be 3 married children now.God always provides.

Halloween Costumes

This year the boys decided to be Indians for Halloween. They've been invited to a slumber party with costumes this Friday night, so I needed to get the costumes done early. They turned out so cute. Lots of fringe down the arms and legs, trim on the loincloth, and even headdresses.We were still needing bows and arrows, which is why they decided to be Indians to begin with. We just finished reading "Robin Hood".Late Thursday afternoon, right after picking up the boys from art class, a man from church called that had 30 pounds of ground venison for me from a deer he had killed with a bow and arrow! When we met him on this country road to pick it up, he had brought his bow and arrow and gave the boys a demonstration right then and there.He was amazing. He also brought the boys a bunch of real turkey feathers and wing feathers, and offered to teach them what they need to know when we were ready. That's one offer we will be taking up!

Soccer Season

October 16- Tonight was the end of season soccer party for Jordan. It was held at Pizza Hut and Christian and I went with him since his Dad had class. They had a neat soccer ball cake, a trophy for each player, and a small leather soccer ball that each of the kids autographed for each other. It was amazing to see Jordan as an eight year old playing with his friends. He has developed so much socially this year, and is no longer the "shy" kid. He's still naturally more reserved, but his friends seem to like that about him. My prayers for this child have really been answered. His vocabulary has really grown, he tells jokes, and he has a very dry sense of humor.He shared something so sweet the other day. He was telling me why he was glad he was homeschooled. When I asked why, he said his friend who goes to school told him that you have to wait for the slower kids to catch up before you can go on to the next lesson, and he would hate that.I told him that he was right, and that I was grateful to God that we can move at the right pace for each person, because some things we understand quickly, and some things take a little longer.I'm so grateful for the opportunity to homeschool, because he has no idea that he might be one of the "slower" ones struggling to catch up. And as I see him progressing rapidly, at his own pace, I see a child who has not been beaten down and made to feel stupid because he marches to a different drummer.

A New Job

The last couple of weeks have been difficult ones for Chelsea, but they have ended with a very happy ending. She has been blessed with a wonderful job she loved, since starting an internship this Spring, but recently was offered a wonderful new position doing exactly what she loves most.She struggled with telling her boss she was leaving, but after much prayer, she did it! Yeah, Chelsea! As of November 16 she is a new Interior Designer for Ethan Allen. I know she will love this new work, which will allow her more "creativity" and a bit less of dealing with buying merchandise, etc. We're so proud of her strong work ethic. She is the youngest ever hired for them as a designer, and I know she will work hard for them.I'm proud of her for following her dream. Now, my dream will be to one day be able to afford to buy some merchandise from her!

Fall Break

The week of October 8-14 flew by. Chelsea had called us to let us know she'd been sick, and would have the week off from work. We decided to take advantage of her time off to make a trip to Searcy to visit with family. The boys and I left Wednesday at noon (Dad had to stay home and work, but sent us with his blessings) and met up with Justin and Chelsea, who drove on the rest of the way with us.We met up with Jon and Shayna that night after dinner, and went to College church together. It was wonderful seeing all the kids together (with the exception of Brandon in China). Gabriel has grown so quickly. He is walking and stays busy pushing toys, pans, etc. all around the house with his little bottom sticking in the air. He's just precious. The next morning my dear friend Nancy watched all the boys while I went out with the girls and had lunch at Colton's together. Jordan and Christian really enjoyed playing with John and Joey again. We stopped by and visited with Brandon's girlfriend at her store, and made plans to visit together the next day.Thursday night we all went out to the ball fields to see John Oliver's game, and for the boys to practice with their brother Jon's team. Friday, Kristin joined up with us and we all headed to Little Rock to look for new shoes for Gabriel. I'm sure store owners thought we were the Beverly Hillbillies...9 people to buy a pair of baby shoes! Justin bought some "holiday sodas" at Target that we took home for a taste testing session. Gross! They were turkey and gravy, antacid, sweet potatoes, peas, and butter rolls.We left Saturday morning after a visit to see Jon coaching the Harding women's soccer team.It was a special moment to see him on the field his Dad planted, mowed, etc., working with the soccer program his Dad started.We made it home around 4 pm, just in time to visit with our friends, the Nixes, who were in town for a soccer game. They brought us the mother of all mums. It took four people to load it in the car! I'll post a picture later. It is gorgeous. All in all, it was a wonderful, crazy week that was full of a lot of laughter.

Friday, October 06, 2006

A Wonderful Week

The boys are asleep in bed after a long and busy week, and I am enjoying the sounds of silence (with the exception of Terry relaxing in front of the TV). Chelsea and Justin joined all of us and the grandparents on Tuesday night for a dinner to celebrate Justin's 25th birthday.It's so much fun to celebrate the birth of such a wonderful man, getting to enjoy having another son in the family, and, best of all, knowing I had nothing to do with raising him to be who he is. His parents did a wonderful job for which we are most grateful. We really enjoy watching the two of them together. They share a lot of joy.On Wednesday night we had a great surprise when Kristen's Dad, Roy, showed up at church on his way home from Nashville. That was a special treat to have a short, unexpected visit. We already thought a lot of her parents, as we have gotten to know their daughter better. She is delightful.Thursday night Terry's chorus all came over to have dessert with us, and then stayed a couple of hours singing and playing the guitars. The boys had friends over to spend the day, including a trip to Burger King, and then art class. They got to bed early because this morning we left bright and early for our trip to Corinth, Mississippi to the Circle Y Pumpkin Patch, petting zoo, corn maze, horse riding, and putt-putting. We had a great turnout and they enjoyed the hours with their friends. Dana, Beata and Alex rode with us which is always fun. (Though you were REALLY missed, Nancy!!)On our way home we stopped in a scrapbooking store which was a lot of fun. I was ready to crash when Terry got home from work and offered to take the boys to the movie to see "Open Season" so I could enjoy a few hours of quiet. It was wonderful! Chelsea and Justin will be here in the morning to watch the boys last two soccer games of the season, followed by a trip to the Greek Festival with our friends Ken and Theresa Moran, and then we will watch the play "Antigone" performed outdoors.I made a great purchase at the library sale this week. The entire set of Will Durant's "Story of Civilization" for $3!! I paid almost $200 for this set for Terry a few years ago for Christmas. I'm going to pass this set on to our family history nut, Brandon. We have been blessed with wonderful weather and many great opportunities to be with friends lately, for which we are most grateful to God.After this weekend our calender is looking pretty sparse until the last weekend of the month. I'm looking forward to more "routine" school days, and some time to work on some Halloween costumes for the boys...and some sewing for the grandbabies.