Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Fall in MI!

First day of school October 1 - more like summer than fall out.
I am so proud of our kids going from home schooling in the village to a big Christian school in the suburbs.
They have been so flexible and positive and have adjusted beautifully. 
Luka is in 3rd grade and loves all his buddies, recess and PE.
He was star late week and what he liked about school was the drinking fountains!
The teachers and schools really appreciate what our kids bring to the classroom.  Their perspective is so different. 

Grace is in 7th grade and loving middle school!
Lydia is in High School now!  A freshman at Unity.  She went from home schooling to almost 700 students!
Many people had a lot of negative to say about high school and high schoolers, but I reminded Lydia it didn't have to be her story.  Lydia is amazing!  All her teachers and very the leadership at the school has been impressed with Lydia's adjustment, thankfulness, and how she includes people who need friends.  Way to go Lydia!

Fall is so fun!  I love the sights, smells, temperatures...and beauty!

Our family stayed at a cabin in the woods one night with Grandpa and Grandma Shaarda.
  It was great -cold, like frost in the morning! - but great.

Spur of the moment family photo in front of Josh's grandparent's barn.

We went to beautiful Amish country with some of the Beute family to the fall fest there.

We had our first ever (and hopefully not final) FIC Discipleship Course up North in Falmouth.
Our faithful friend Amy help us organize it, generous friends allowed us to use their awesome barn, and the support of others paid for a wonderful lunch.  There were 6 churches represented there, people in their 20's all the way up to their 80's, and even FIC reps from Illinois came.  We were really encouraged and loved our time together.  It was different teaching in a North American context, but the same Biblical truth to receive.  I am proud of my brothers and sisters engaging in discussion and wrestling over God's truth and the lies we believe.  I pray we all rest in who we are because of Christ and live in His freedom and victory.

Grace turned 12 on Oct. 11! 
She celebrated with her Aunt Katie and Uncle Ryan who also have October birthdays.
We love you Grace and are thankful for all the joy you bring to life!

We spent an awesome long weekend at the Conference Grounds.
It was super fun!  I love camping, being with my kids, playing, doing crafts, family run, all kinds of fall fun, and the beauty of being on Lake MI.  We had 70 degree temps everyday and sunshine.

Family scavenger hunt.  Grandpa and Grandma Beute joined us for the fall weekend too!

We hardly saw Luka who was thoroughly enjoying his friends, the playground and sports! 

I love doing crafts with my kids!  Reka, our niece joined us for a couple days too.

Lake MI sunsets...

Family run together.

We all got ice cream cones for running - yeah!

It was 75 degrees and the waves were just calling Josh.  So, Lydia and him swam in the 57 degree water.

Campground treating

On Saturday was the polar dip.  I decided this was my chance to do a "polar" dip when it was 70 and the water was in the 50's.  I never want to regret or miss out on making memories with my kids.

I did it!!!

Our kids sang in Ateso for the Sunday morning church service.
Josh preached a touching message on who we are in Christ.

We had a wonderful time as a family and meeting up with old friends and making new friends.
I love seeing that God's people are everywhere, each one has a story, and God wants to use us in each others lives.

Our woods - God's beauty

Josh has been enjoying time in the woods hunting.  He really loves when his kids join him.

When we were up in Gaylord, MI we went the the state forest to show our kids where Josh proposed to me 19 years ago.
It was great to reminisce.  I am so thankful he asked and have been blessed since I said yes.

19 years, 4 kids, many miles, several countries, lots of experiences...and we praise God for it all!
He is our center and the blessing of our marriage.

Oh....what good times!  It is hard for me.  We have planned for and looked forward to many of these things for months.  And in a flash they seem to be done.  I am just expected to move on to the next thing.  It can be overwhelming for me (ok, probably not a surprise).  Maybe it is easier for people here because they just do it all again next year or expect to have it again.  But for us I don't know if we ever will or how many years till we get to again (and in this season).  It has all been so very special to me.  I am thankful.  It is not a given, right or is a blessing.  And I look forward to more to come.  So...stay tuned for more.