Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Traditional First Day of School Pictures

After our typical hard weeks of manual labor around the school to get everything launched, it was finally time to start. Something I will never forget as long as I live is how hard my kids work before school starts and how much sacrifice they make. We typically work 7AM-10PM for many days straight, and they just pick up the slack and make dinner, pick up the house, offer to help. It means the world to me. And I'm always glad when we survive it, and the first day is here!

Here they are on Day 1 of the 2018-19 school year.

Beginning her Senior year with so much ahead in her bright future!

My sweet 8th grader!

Five is fine! Starting 5the grade....

And my little girl who was just 18 months old when we moved here is starting her junior year in high school! I'm so proud of all of my kids.

My first day! This year I am teaching two sections of 9th grade English, two sections of 10th grade English, and a Middle School Bible class.

This year we had the unique situation of having four very long time students who will graduate from our school this year. They all display solid character and represent us so well, so the administration decided to ask all four of them to carry a flag. These kids have been friends since elementary school, and I am proud of every single one of them.

Back To School Retreat 2018

Our staff grew from about 40 to 55 this summer. New kids means a need for new teachers! We are so grateful that God provided them. We have had to shift many of the ways we do things. We used to go to a mountainous place and cook our own food for our staff retreat, but we outgrew it. Instead, we drove to a hotel in a beautiful mountainous place (closer by) and just stayed over one night instead of two. It ended up feeling stress-free and was a good plan. Here is one of our buses ready to roll! 

We happened to be overnighting at a hotel where a professional soccer team was also staying. These boys had such good manners and left their cleats outside of the room just like their mamas taught them to!

Here are some of our amazing teachers after we finished a short hike.

We had training and talks and together time, and we felt ready to go back and launch the year!

Getting Back to Turkey

My mom and dad took us to the airport, and we got settled in. It was so strange to fly back with four, not five. And next year, we will go down to three!

After about 24 hours of flying, we were just above our hometown.

And the perfect man met us at the airport and got all those bags and kids in our ol' van!

Summer 2018: Tidbits of Time Together Part II

CC had to fly on back to meet his scheduling needs in Turkey and help get the MANY new teachers settled into homes. We stayed on to get a few more days with Firstborn before we had to leave.

We had a wonderful lunch visit with our former pastor and his wife. He was passing through and contacted me, so we were able to throw some sandwiches together and enjoy a little catch up time.

One Sunday morning we had worship together as families.....

...and we finally got that Indian! My brother ordered a big meal for us all to share the night before we left. It was delicious!

We sat around the fire pit and talked, then had our goodbyes and hugs....

....until Summer 2019.

A new goodbye for us is the goodbye to big sis now. I came in my room to find the four sisters all in the bed.

Summer 2018: Tidbits of Time Together Part 1

We took this picture in front of my parents' church. I love my handsome husband!

As Sweet Cheeks would be old enough to join some of our sports teams this year, we allowed her to get contacts. She had to prove she could put them in and take them out herself. Quick as a wink, she popped them in and back out.

She got some beautiful new frames, too.

We enjoyed quick visit from our Memphis cousin and my sis-in-law before we had to head back to Turkey.

And we went up to the lake for one big fun lake day.

I love pictures like this. What must we look like to all the lake goers! My brother is thoughtful to take us all on for a day of fun.

We also enjoyed a dinner out with my brother and sis-in-law. It's always Indian, but this year we went Mexican!

Then we caught a movie together. I've loved this girl since high school!

We also had one bit of time to go out to eat with my mom and dad, which was so fun.

I love them both so much!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Summer 2018: Fun in the Sun

The kids decided to try to swim in the little pond between the houses. It was muddy and gooey and fun with lots of "seaweed" to toss at each other as swamp monsters.

Then they built a raft, which provided hours of fun and then a little floating home for the ducks.

Big Ben got some great driving lessons from his Grandad.

My sis-in-law's mom is a dear friend of mine, too. She moved this summer, so we enjoyed one last swim at her old house.

Several times this summer, I would find the girls all painting on the porch together. What a great way to spend a summer day with cousins.

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