Life happens, ready or not!

Me again. *hanging head in shame* It’s not that I don’t think about this space because I do…with a measure of guilt. The clock ticks, the piles and to-do lists call, and off I go in yet another direction. Sorry about that.

I know this happens to you, too, so I know you don’t hold it against me that my last post was…er…May, I think. Much has happened since May in my life and in yours, too, I’m sure. I hope you have enjoyed the journey from then to now. Often we forget that part. At least I do.

Since May and the post I wrote about Taylor’s graduation, Taylor has almost finished his first semester in college at Lee U. He attacked his studies with alacrity, and I think he had fun as well. (Lauren, a junior there at Lee, makes sure he takes breaks.) He is a serious student. I suppose a pre-med major needs to be serious about chemistry and biology. I’m so thankful for people who like those subjects.

Taylor on move-in day
Getting Taylor moved in @ Lee

Speaking of Lauren, she is now engaged. To be married. Brandon is already pretty much a part of the family. They plan a late spring 2012 wedding. Lauren will have her college degree in hand when she gives her hand. Sniff. That was the big event of September for our family. Probably the event of the year!

Lauren and Brandon

In October, the Lord blessed me with an 8-day writing vacation to Tybee Island, GA. I finished my book. It was a lovely, lovely week spent with three other women in a condo, but while they did their thing–sightseeing, etc.–I got t do mine. They cooked and took such good care of me! I was humbled and very, very blessed by these ladies. I went back home feeling refreshed with a mostly-finished project in hand. I am in the proofing stage and the re-writing the intro stage. The rest is up to the Lord…where, if anywhere, this book should go.

My mobile office

Also in October, Franklin, our current high school senior, made a big decision: where he wants to go to college. Before I tell the rest of the story, let me just say that last year at this time, I was fervently praying about Franklin’s options. Why? because he really, really, really wanted to play hockey. How can a homeschooled kid from a Southern state get on a college hockey team? Tim and I feel that our young men should further their education via college, and Franklin was no exception. But how to combine his love for hockey and the need for higher education? Moreover, Franklin really didn’t even know what he would pursue in college. Nothing came to mind beyond his goalie mask. And yes, he seriously was giving it thought.

Tim and I take directing our teens seriously. It is quite a bonding experience with your young adult to pray with him or her regarding the future. Over the past year Tim and I have had discussions with Franklin regarding what his likes and abilities are. We’ve found that children show early on the giftings and areas of strength with which the Lord has blessed them so by looking back over the years, certain traits will stand out to parents even more so than they will to the young adult. It is a joy to help the student figure out what those abilities/strengths are and help guide them to where the Lord is leading.

Why do I worry? God has a plan for each of our children’s lives, and when we are seeking that plan together, He promises we will find it. One day I was Googling  “Tennessee universities + hockey programs” and up popped the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, with info on their hockey club. Yeah, a club is different than an NCAA Division I hockey team. However, upon closer inspection, we learned that UT’s hockey club is a serious club with coaching staff and student leadership. Tim, Franklin, and I went out to visit the campus and met up with seven or eight guys in the club. What we learned impressed us. And they could use more goalies. The club works in tandem with a semi-pro hockey team out of Knoxville as well, sharing their bus, their rink, etc. Franklin will have opportunity to get playing time AND travel to play serious hockey with other NCAA schools. And see a semi-pro team in action. How cool is that?

This year Franklin is taking a Programming in C course at our local co-op. Janice and Susan, the resident engineering genius homeschool moms, are tough teachers for which I am very grateful. Not only is Franklin challenged in this class, but he is totally enjoying and discovering what he would like to major in next fall: computer science. Again I ask, “Why do I worry?”  All the paperwork is in, the application process is over, and now we wait to hear about scholarships. Woo-hoo! Being a parent ROCKS at times like this!!

Nick and Franklin @ Taylor’s and my B’day dinner

Let’s see, Nick is a senior at Belmont this year. (How can that be?) He has been interested in going to law school since he graduated from high school, and wouldn’t you know that Belmont is opening a school of law in the fall of 2011, which will be right when he will be ready to roll in that direction!! I think that is totally awesome! So Nick took the LSAT (scored a 174/180) and will be applying for a spot in Belmont’s inaugural class. (Unless he feels led to move to Russia after going back this upcoming May…not to be selfish or anything, but I hope Nashville ends up being the drop site.)

Nick’s 21st birthday 2010

That takes care of Nick, Lauren, Taylor, and Franklin. Halfway done.

That leaves Olivia, who just turned 15 and is hoping to get her permit next week. Olivia is a high school freshman, and it will be totally awesome to have a three-year break between one high school graduation and the next. Adrienne is 12, Lydia is 11, and Lilie will be 9 next month. We’ll soon be a household of all girls. Plus dad. I plan to intensely savor each and every day with my kids living at home.

Olivia and Nick
Lauren and Adrienne display their silly fortunes
A suspiciously quiet Lydia
Now that’s more like it
Lilie beat us all on the front 9! Even with a broken arm!

Not that I didn’t before, but I just didn’t know how it would be. And you won’t know either until your children start leaving home. People can tell us how it is, but we just don’t truly understand how precious our time is together as a family until our dear ones start migrating into their own lives apart from us. It really is a beautiful thing to watch despite the separation anxiety we moms (and dads) go through.

Many plans are in a man’s mind, but it’s the Lord’s purpose for him that will stand. Proverbs 19:21

This verse assures me that the Lord has a purpose for you, for me, and for our children. When we submit our wills to His, the results — while they may be quite startling — will always be the perfect pathway for our corporate and individual feet. Sure, we may stumble or get off track, but He is utterly faithful to love, guide, and correct. The path of the righteous grows brighter and brighter!

May you walk with JOY today knowing that through the death of Jesus YOU are the offspring of the Creator, and you are loved and accepted for who you are. His love and power are amazing, as is His grace! There is nothing that can separate us from His love! He will meet your need, whatever it is today, because He is our provider. I pray that you will turn to Him with whatever it is that may be overshadowing joy in your heart today. He isn’t just a name in a dusty, ol’ book, you know. For a quick peek at His love, check out John, chapter 15. Talk about love!

I have told you these things that My joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy and gladness may be of full measure and complete and overflowing. (v.11)

I  don’t know about you, but I want that kind of joy! And it comes solely from the love of Jesus. May you be sucked into that wonderful place of peace and rest in the Lord today!

Quick Shot 2010
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4 Responses to Life happens, ready or not!

  1. hi-d says:

    So nice to get a recap on all the kids!
    Joanne, you are such a joy to my heart… truly wish we were neighbors. Hugs and warm wishes to you and your beautiful family!

    • Kelly says:

      Out of the blue, when I was wondering if the Lord wanted me to do some kind of enrichment for the neighborhood kids, this awesome magazine Home School Enrichment shows up in my mailbox—where’d it come from, GOD! I feel like I just got a hug, a jump start,a pat on the back and a good dose of go get’m! And it led me to you,Thank you — I’m completely new to this site and really want to encourage you to keep doing the wonderful job you’re doing. We have 4 wonderful daughters(13,11,9,5) that have been homeschooled since the beginning and reading how you’ve done so well is encouraging (or should I say how you’ve taught your kids to be self-learners-awesome!)A question-what’s the umbrella school thing you’ve mentioned? I could google it but I’d rather ask–we have no support group close by and some days, well let’s just say your word “fizzle” fits. I’ll be coming back to see what’s going on, in your wonderful family.
      Hugs to you!
      Kelly

      • urthemom says:

        Hi Kelly! Thanks so much for stopping by and for your wonderfully encouraging words! To answer your question about umbrella schools, an umbrella school is what we use here in TN (and other states also have them). We “enroll” our children in this type of “school” in which we as parents are the teachers. We send in grades twice a year as well as an attendance report, and the umbrella keeps our formal records. Most of them issue diplomas to graduating seniors. The umbrella schools will send out official transcripts to colleges. We pay a flat fee per year for all of these services. Technically, my kids attend a private school instead of being considered home schoolers by the state of TN. I like the record keeping and the help with transcripts.

        Are you on Facebook, Kelly? If so, please look me up? Pretty please? You can e-mail me directly at joanne@homeschoolstudentplaner.com.

        Hugs to you!
        joanne

  2. Kelly says:

    I’ve never written a comment before – so I’m rewriting, funny, “it’s waiting moderation” I guess means “honey, you wrote too much, shorten it up and resend it”? I’ve stumbled onto this site-or better yet was GUIDED here. Thanks for this dose of encouragement, it was much needed. Hugs to ya for doing what you’re doing! Keep it up – what’s the book about?
    Kelly

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