Reviving a neglected blog

There are times when certain things in life need to take a bit of a break, and this blog was one of them this past year. I’ve always enjoyed writing on here, but it had become just another thing I felt I had to do, and so I made the decision to just give it up for a while.

A lot has happened since I posted last time back in March. Among other things, we finished up homeschooling in May, had an amazing trip to visit cousin Eva in Vienna in August, and the girls started at a Christian school in September. They have now been at Hawthorne Christian Academy for almost half a year, and it was one of the best decision we’ve made for our family yet. HCA is an amazing school with caring teachers who when they say they aim for excellence actually deliver that too. The academics are good, the music I’ve seen coming out of there impressive, but best of all these are teachers whose love for the Lord shine through how they teach and interact with the students and parents. We are glad for the change, despite the half hour drive each way and the drastically reduced number of hours for free play.

My time has freed up a good bit, and I’ve started swimming about 3 mornings a week. It’s great to be able to exercise regularly and doing an exercise I actually enjoy. Other than that, there’s always plenty to do around the home to just keep things ticking along smoothly, and I recently started doing substitute teaching at the kids’ school. I’m looking forward to doing a bit more of that when they need me.

The girls and I aren’t the only ones who have had a change — Ben changed jobs in March and started working for Compass, a real estate brokerage with a focus on technology. He started as a full-time programmer but two months in the team needed some extra managers and he’s now in that role, leading a team of seven software developers. Compass is growing really fast (over 100 software engineers now, and hoping to double that in 2019). His team’s building software to help real estate agents manage their contacts, clients, and leads. Here’s a fun video he was roped into recently (password “compass”).

I hope to do some catch-up here on the blog over the next few weeks. In the meantime, here’s our Christmas photo, which is our most recent family photo.

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Time travel into the past: July 2017

Life’s been happening by the spade full around here, and blogging has been severely neglected, sorry. Here’s an attempt at rectifying that!

Back in July last year… hmmm, let’s see if the photos can remind me that far back!

There was the joy of growing veggies in the backyard,

IMG_20170627_094726102IMG_20170627_094747088 a great visit from Ben’s dad and a picnic table built by him and Ben,

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and many pool days, including a fun 4th of July celebration at my friend Kelly’s house that involved a crazy greased watermelon game. It’s kind of like rugby but with a watermelon slickly greased with Crisco, and in the water!

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Marica went off to a 5-night sleep-over summer camp with her friend Willow, and loved it,

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and while Marica was at camp and Laurelin at preschool, I took Esther for a fun mom and daughter pedicure, which was a real nice treat!

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There were also plenty of park days,

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beautiful sunsets,

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a fun picnic with a sister church out on Long Island,

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and plenty of hilarity — that is dirt she sat in outside while playing with mud, not poop, I promise! Why my kids seem to think that playing with dirt in white clothing is okay is beyond me. See also the crazy sister in the background about to do a roly-poly on the tile floor. Did I mention hilarity? :-)

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A little time travel into the past: June

In early June, Marica and Esther performed and did really well at their annual piano recital. They both played solo pieces and also performed a duet. I was a proud mama!

The highlight of June was a visit from my sister Angelique and nephew Tyson. We fit in a whole bunch of fun stuff like a visit to the Crayola factory, NYC sight-seeing, a visit to the Museum of Natural history, swimming at a friend’s house, and more. I think, though, that we managed to find a pretty good balance between out of the house activities and just hanging and having quiet fun at home — including some homeschooling that Tyson did with us! You have to have both or you’ll go bonkers!

I loved spending some quality time with my sister and nephew. It was the longest time we had spent together since both leaving home, and it felt like I got to know her much better. :-)

(All the photos I have of our time together were taken on my new phone that I got for my birthday. The quality is definitely nowhere near the same as my DSLR, but it does the job, and I didn’t have to carry a heavy camera with me everywhere. I don’t think this will be a permanent change, but sometimes convenience wins out over quality!)