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Milk Bath

This morning I woke up a little after 4 o’clock, feeling very uncomfortable and wet.  “Oh no,” I said out loud, not really sure why I wanted sympathy, but just that I did.  Matthew was sleeping too soundly to hear me, though.  Yesterday I had washed and line-dried our sheets.  Of course.  This morning I woke up in a puddle of milk.  Which meant one thing: Harry had slept through the night for the first time in awhile.  He had been doing really well before we did our traveling to Nevada, then Tennessee.  So, I was glad for the sleep, but super uncomfortable.  Somehow I managed to go back to sleep for a couple more hours, and woke up to a chattering baby, who had happily slept 12 hours.  I had prayed the night before with the girls: “Father, please help Harry to just sleep.  He’s chubby enough and doesn’t need the milk.”  We all burst out laughing at the cute picture instantly painted in our mind’s eye: thighs for days that squish and squish.  He answered our prayer, though!

Harry is certainly chubby.  We squeal over him every day.  He is seven months old and loves to babble and crawl and get into everything everyone is doing.  He is a tiny human vacuum cleaner.  Whatever doesn’t stick to his onesie, gets put into his mouth.  Today alone I’ve fished out a tortilla chip, a rock, a dice, and a bug.  This morning he found an apple core and was like a puppy who had found a bone.  I watched him chomp on it for awhile, but once he started to bite off pretty substantial pieces, I had to take it away.  He did not like that.  He is a foodie through and through.  He eats and loves whatever you put in his mouth.  We do a little pureed baby food, but he would prefer small bites of chicken, or curry, or eggs, or chili, or lemons.  He loves them all!

This week the two oldest kiddos are away at teen camp.  It is so quiet!  Betty burst into tears yesterday because she missed Nadine so much.  It is SO much fun having teenagers.  There are stormy moments, but we are all learning this together.  We encourage communication, not stuffing of feelings.  If someone is being selfish, serving someone else is a wonderful antidote.  Late night porch talks are their favorite thing.  A big change is on the horizon this year.  Nadine and Elijah will both be going to Linville Hill Christian School this fall for high school.  It was a huge decision but one we are all excited about!

Jack had an acrobatic accident last month which landed him with a spiral fracture of three bones in his right hand.  Nadine recorded the flip before the flip that broke his hand.  It was impressive.  After a month in a cast, he has only one more week of a brace.  He is back to flips and tricks.  Can’t keep a strong young man down!  The only positive side to having his hand in a cast was that he was opted out of writing assignments the last month of school.

Elsie is my resident interior designer.  She rearranges their room almost weekly.  She actually rearranged the dining room last month with smashing success.  I came home to a new look and liked it even better than how it was before!  She has an eye for design with clothing too.  She is starting to bake more, though she prefers riding her bike or swimming.

Betty is a proud second grader.  She loves to read and reads well! Sometimes the words that pop out of her mouth surprise us with their seasoned-sounding wisdom.  Other times she just makes us laugh with her dry sense of humor.  The other day the girls were walking around with their clipboards taking orders and having us sign our names a hundred times for various reasons.  She came up to me and asked if they could have a bowl of pretzels.  “Sign ‘yes’ or ‘no’ next to your name.  Don’t write maybe.  This is a yes or no question.”  I about died.  Then she asked me, “Is your name Amy?  Can I call you Amy?”  This morning we were moving out a bookshelf I had sold online.  Betty took a look at it and said, “How old is that?  It looks like it’s from 1994!”  The laughing emoji face is constantly circling around my head when that girl talks.

This morning Matthew finished up with his third out of four infusions.  His voice seems to be a tad bit better, though we only have symptoms to base any improvements off of right now til he gets his next round of bloodwork done.  We sometimes battle discouragement, but we know that doesn’t get us anywhere.  Yesterday I read a familiar and comforting verse: “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”  It always pops into my daily reading at a time when something larger than I can comprehend is happening.  I remember when Matthew and I were dating and it seemed like we would never be able to get married.  He was, after all, a teenager.  It was one of the hardest waiting times of our life.  Each season is a stepping stone to the next.  Like trees coming to life in spring and then preparing themselves for fall and winter… each season has a purpose and a beauty all its own.  We can declare with surety and confidence that up until today, the Lord has helped us.  He will never quit being Who He is.  He is worthy of our trust and confidence.

We’ve done a lot of traveling already this year!  Matthew and I enjoyed traveling to Las Vegas for the annual Plexus convention.  I’m over halfway through my studies to become a CNHP (Certified Natural Health Professional).  Ever since highschool, I’ve been passionate about how our bodies work.  I’m absolutely thrilled to have this avenue of study to learn more and this area of work to help people with gut health!  It’s so exciting to hear all of the stories that come my way every single day.

Hopefully it won’t be so long between the next journal entry!  Here is a small camera dump of the past month!


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Better Than a Box of Chocolates

Why are some days so hard?  This question was texted to me from the other room.  I sat upstairs feeding Harry, while a raucous crew finished their supper.  For various reasons, we both had an uphill day.  I woke up with the urge and desire to make our bedroom look cute and tidy.  But all I managed to do today in my room was eat chocolate.  Because even though the incredible supplements we use have taken away my cravings for donuts, candy, just about every cereal, and most things found in the center aisles of the grocery store… chocolate is still okay in my book.  In fact, today I did something I’ve always wanted to do.  A rather nicely sized box of mixed chocolates came into my possession this week, and I took a bite out of every single one.  Just to see what was inside it.  None of this dainty and mysterious picking out of what you really hope isn’t orange-cream-filled chocolate or weird chocolate liquor.  (At least that’s not my favorite.  Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.)  I bit into each one, leaving a tooth-marked morsel in its place.  It looks like an animal sniffed out and sampled the box of crack.  I mean chocolate.  Nope.  Just a mama of six who may have had one or more things overwhelm her slightly sleep-deprived mind.  I claim with Anne of Green Gables: “Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it.  Yet.”

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Betty decided today was a great day to pull out all of the summer clothes and try them on for size.  I suppose I forgot to mention where we are heading in twenty days.  Our entire family will be boarding a plane and flying to Roatan, Honduras!  2017-01-25-19-24-25-1It has been our dream to return, since Matthew and I lived there for six months when Nadine and Elijah were babies.  Now, thirteen years later, we are.

It’s hard to imagine Caribbean temperatures and bathing suits as I sit wrapped in my scarf, clutching yet another hot drink.  2017-02-01-18-11-07-1As Betty squealed with excitement over her shorts still fitting her, it slowly started to sink in today.  The last time we traveled outside of the country was to Belize, when Jack was Harry’s age.  I guess I should start thinking about fitting into my bathing suit.  Stupid chocolates.

So why are some days so hard?  I don’t have a solid answer, but my reply was: So we will long a bit more for Heaven.  Because as awesome and beautiful as our life is here, it’s covered in pain and sickness and brokenness and imperfection.  If you don’t know where you’re going when you die, this is as good as it gets.  But if you have peace in the finished work of Christ, then the best is yet to come!  Better than a box of chocolates.  With no mistakes in it.  Ever and for eternity.  Come, Lord Jesus.


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All of a Sudden

So before another month flies by, I’d really like to share a bit about the time I went flying to Tennessee last month!  It was an unexpected gift, yet one I worked hard to earn.  As my Plexus business grows, I too have been growing.  Stretching my wings a bit, both figuratively and literally.  Matthew is an incredible support and is always encouraging me to keep going, keep learning, keep growing.  So, I was gifted this trip by one of the leaders on my team, to go to a John Maxwell mindset training event given by Sonya Dudley, who is also someone whom I look up to in life and business.  There were four of us total from our team, and we had SUCH a great time together.  All mamas, sharing a passion for Jesus and health and freedom.  It was one of the most inspiring weekends I’ve had in a really long time.  I came home with copious notes.

Mindset really does matter.  “Whether you think you can or you can’t, either way you’re right.”  I realized a lot of lies I’ve let myself believe.  Things about my past which I’ve allowed to define who I am today.  They have played a part in shaping me into who God has made me to be, but they do not define me.  Jesus Christ has set me free from fear of man, shame from bad choices I’ve made, and doubt of what He is capable of doing through me.  Absolutely no one on this earth can do what you have been placed on this globe at this time to do.  No one.

This is my passion: to bring the same hope to others.  I never ever thought a pink drink would pave the way to talk to so many people about hope in Christ and hope in health.
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It’s rather ironic how flat out on our couches we have been for the past month with coughs and tummy bugs.  I would be the last person to claim Plexus as a cure or preventative for anything.  Of course we still get sick… but when we are well… we are thriving!  I can’t tell you just how much stronger I feel than ten months ago.  None of this happened all of a sudden.  It’s been a consistent and gradual change.  My hair is finally growing thicker.  My nails are crazy strong and healthy without ridges and bumps.  I have been the exact same weight for at least 6 months, without fluctuating those 5-10 pounds once a month.  Mood swings are incredibly rare.  I wake up feeling refreshed after sleeping like a log all night.  I am a much more calm and collected mom than I have ever been, thanks to the simple fact that my blood sugar is finally balanced.  It is so simple yet has made such a profound impact on my life as a wife, mom, teacher, and now businesswoman.  This is such a tiny smattering of the blessing Plexus has been in our life.  Just one story of thousands.

So everything inside of me went for a little loop last week when I stumbled through a few days clouded with an old and very unwelcome friend: depression.  I knew what was true, and the thoughts which were tempting me to despair were nothing short of lies.  They shrouded my mind into thinking there is nothing really out there for me.  Like a fog which tricks the eye into certainty of no more than nothingness ahead.  Yet praise God for His Word which is sharper than any two edged sword, and most certainly is able to penetrate light onto my foggy path. He brought me out to the other side and has shown me some incredible promises.  There are some beautiful verses which encourage me that I am not the first one to feel these feelings or think these thoughts.  Neither are you.  It’s what we do with these thoughts that matter.  Only by the power of God’s Word, can you dispel the fiery darts of the enemy.  Psalm 27 is one of my favorite passages.  The last two verses say:

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.

Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!

Lots of exciting things are in store for us this year.  Some huge decisions, and I know that is part of why I felt like shutting down was a good idea.  I love what Matthew reminded me of the other day when I was at my lowest. There are so many pivotal moments recorded in the Bible.  Important stories and dialogues and days, but the in-between days, weeks, months, years… are not all recorded.  Yet always, always, always, God shows up in the mundane.  Solomon, searching for some lost donkeys all of a sudden is anointed king.  Joseph, doing what was before him to do each day in prison all of a sudden was next in command to Pharaoh. Moses, a shepherd, all of a sudden was chosen to be the deliverer of an entire nation.  Jesus, a local carpenter, all of a sudden doing miracles and signs and wonders.  It even seems babies are conceived and all of a sudden birthed in one verse, leaving out the long nine months of waiting and the arduous labor and delivery.  Every single “all of a sudden” moment in the Bible or in your life and mine, has been preceded by many ordinary and unsung days.  Tucked between the ordinary and extraordinary is usually a series of painful and difficult moments, days, months or years.

In the mundane, quitting is not an option.  Trust is vital.  Each moment is but a small stroke in the entire masterpiece.  One day we get to stand back and see how it all fits together.


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Halfway To Seventy

Every time March rolls around, I get very excited.  I love birthdays and am not afraid of them.  I am now officially halfway to seventy:
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Today we got a foot of snow for my birthday.  It was PILES of fun, and I’m thankful Matthew was able to work from home!  This week was full of surprises.  It began with an early birthday cake, made especially by our cousin, who owns The Master’s Baker.  Seeing as though we didn’t even have a wedding cake, this was my first experience at receiving a professional custom-made cake.  Isn’t it gorgeous?
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Since winter is here and all, we decided we would take it by the hand and have fun with it.  My next surprise was a night away with everyone at Bear Creek mountain resort, for our very first family skiing adventure!  2015-03-02 20.20.03-2
The last time I went skiing was on my 19th birthday.  My best friend, Rebecca, was giving me clues on what to do to prepare for this epic surprise she had planned with my sister.  She told me things like, “Make sure you shave your legs,” and “Dress nice!”  When my birthday rolled around, they blindfolded me and brought me downstairs to the kitchen where I was met by Matthew, his brother, and Rebecca’s brothers.  Matthew handed me my “treasure map” to the surprise: a map of the ski place we would be going to that day!  I laughed and said, “Good thing I shaved my legs!” before running  back upstairs to change.  It was a great memory.  That may have been the time I kept skiing backwards and couldn’t figure out how to turn myself back around, which only came in handy when I wanted to wave at people as I passed them.  It also may have been the time I accidentally went down a black diamond, without knowing how to slow down at all.  I do remember flying past Matthew, and truly hoping I would make it down to the bottom in one piece.

Funny how time telescopes when you find yourself in the exact place you have been in the past.  I wasn’t skiing backwards or even down a black diamond.  Yet all of a sudden I felt the same freedom mingled with danger, and I was 19 again.  Except when I fell.  Then the nostalgia went poof like the snow in which I landed, and I was definitely thirty-five.  And I definitely had five people I had birthed from my body, sharing the ever-expanding niches of my heart.  I don’t remember what it is like to be completely separate from those feelings of mother-love.  To do anything apart from my mind, body and soul being so deeply connected with another human being.  I would rather be halfway to seventy and not remember what it’s like to be independent of those feelings, than be nineteen and have no idea what I’m missing.  And as exhausting as motherhood can be, it’s even more exhilarating than that.

My breath caught more times than just when the wind whipped my face.  As I skied next to Elsie while she zipped to the bottom of a hill, red cheeks, one strand of hair constantly falling out of her hat and helmet,  I smiled at her bravery.  She went from being scared to death to go down the hill, to falling, to dusting herself off and saying, “Let’s do it again!”    It caught when I saw Nadine gracefully maneuvering the snowy hills, her tall self looking so beautiful.  She was so helpful with Betty, both on the slopes and the night before, when we had supper together.
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She’s a wonderful big sister.  So is Elsie, who is also not afraid to perform interpretive dance in the middle of a restaurant in pj’s and socks.
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I laughed at Elijah, my crazy, creative boy, who thought to video himself while he skied and then simultaneously wiped out at the bottom.
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I found it hard to breath as I watched Jack plow recklessly and fearlessly down hills and over jumps, creating a puff of snow when he fell.
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He wore his t-shirt around his face for most of the day.
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I found it especially hard to believe my baby bear is growing up enough to have a ski day of her own.  She absolutely loved it when Matthew held her waist all the way down the hill.  I almost cried when her little voice called down to me from the ski lift and she waved her little mitten hand and went higher and farther away from me.  When her daddy was not able to ski with her, this is what she thought about the whole idea:
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Yes, this is her “I’m-happy-and-I-know-it-but-just-not-about-skiing” face.

Our day ended abruptly when I got a call on my phone, just as I had sat down in the lodge with Nadine and Betty and a hot cup of tea.  It was Matthew, and he said Elsie had fallen getting off the ski lift and he wasn’t sure if her arm was broken.  My throat had a lump in it when I saw the snowmobile with a red cross on it make its way to the ski patrol, a tiny bundle on its sled.  I told Nadine to pray and then ran over to meet Matthew.  This darling little thing was getting checked out, and we still weren’t sure about her condition.  After a lollipop, an ice-cream bar, and many attempts by the sweet ski patrol medics to get her to smile, Matthew got the rest of the crew packed up and we left.  I experienced one of the most frightening and harrowing drives through ice and sleet and snow, but made it to the hospital near our house.  Long, happy story short: her arm is not broken!  We are so grateful to God.
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When Matthew and I collapsed into bed, he sighed, “That was the best day ever.”

I would have to agree.  And this time, I didn’t even have to shave my legs.


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Life in Collage

With over two weeks of school under our belt, we have so many fun adventures already embedded into our memories.  Since Nadine’s broken toe, five weeks ago, we have made several trips to the orthopedic dr. to make sure everything is healing as it should.  The plus side to this, is we have been making celebratory stops at Valley Forge and enjoying picnics and fun there together on the way home.  We love the history and beauty of the park.  A few weeks ago we were at Washington’s Memorial Chapel and acted out Romeo and Juliet.  We are learning about Shakespeare in school.
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Other things included in our school days are much reading, taking walks, and going places.  Notice Betty playing “Dr. Bosler” (that is our chiropractor).  Nadine is making quite the impression on her.  The injured digit of choice is the toe these days.  The boys love to hang out together in their room and “talk”.  Jack creams me in Mancala every single time.  The score is usually seven to whatever number the pile of stones is on his side.  Elijah is obsessed with the microscope.  He took pictures of what he saw through the viewfinder, and made a collage of it for me.
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Last week, we went to the shore house for the weekend.  We played at the park, went to the beach, took naps in the tent, and watched the ferry come in one evening.  On our last night there, Nadine stepped on something very sharp with her UNINJURED foot, and sliced the bottom of it open pretty badly.  So, Matthew and I spent the next four hours at the ER with her.
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At least she was able to get some fun in on the beach before it happened.  Now the poor girl has a boot for her right leg, and a special shoe for the stitches on her left.  Thankfully, she can put pressure on her broken toe foot now, so she doesn’t have to figure out how to walk without both feet.
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This last collage shows just a glimpse of our past week.  Another picnic at Valley Forge (more pictures of that later), beautiful sunsets, laughter in the car, many handstands, working on chores, reading, visiting Matthew at work, and how I often feel after a full,  busy day of mama-ing these five amazing children!
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I hope you enjoyed life from the point of view of my phone camera.  Life is indeed beautiful.
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365 Days From Then

The van is cleaned out, laundry is going, and sand still sticks to the bottom of my bare feet, escaping from every corner of every bag brought home.  Our skin is more tan and our hearts are full of good memories.  A year ago, our lives looked quite different.  I am blown away at God’s mercy and grace to us this year.  From sparing Matthew’s life, to getting out of debt, to providing a “new” vehicle for us… the list goes on.  Thank you, Father.  A year ago, instead of vacation at the beach, we hung out in a hospital room.
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This week was quite different!  It was sung to the tune of ocean waves and time away as a whole family.  We have never had a vacation for a week with just ourselves in all of our married years!  A lovely opportunity came up for us to do so, and we gladly accepted the offer.  I think the last time I played in the ocean every day for five days in a row was… this week!  Like, IN the ocean, not just on the beach watching one of my babies play in the sand.  Elijah actually came up to me in the ocean and laughed out loud, “I love seeing you all wet, Mom!”  I played with the “biggie board” as Betty calls it, and made an entire city of sandcastles one day!

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Our week was full of front-porch talks, VW van sightings, a ride on the log flume with my two littles, bike rides, “biggie boards”, a visit from dear friends, a visit with family one day, and delicious food.  Unfortunately, I forgot to pull out my camera except for a couple of days.  I did catch a few extras with my phone, here.
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It is hard to see the week come to an end.  But new adventures await us as we start school in earnest, and an exciting change is in store for Matthew next week.  I will share more about that later.


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There’s A Small Town In My Living Room

I think I just overheard a voting session going on downstairs, so I walked down to investigate.  Right now the kids are playing a game called “Town”, in which they are all voting unanimously as to which jobs they will each have in the game.  Elijah, who is the president, leads the way.  He just told everyone: “The money will be returned to you post-haste.”  Jack and Elsie are the mail men, Nadine is the store-keeper, and Betty is the pie-maker.  Except for one problem: she doesn’t want to cook right now.  So, Elijah called a town meeting where everyone offered their suggestions as to what she could do.  “Who votes for Betty to be garbage collector?”  Everyone said, “Aye.”  The motion didn’t pass because Betty didn’t want to collect garbage.  It was determined that she will help Nadine with her shop-keeping with jobs like: running to the bank (Elijah) for money, counting it, and putting it in the shop-keeper’s cash register.  The post office is busy writing AND delivering mail.  Mr. President is happily handing out money, calling meetings to order, and keeping things in order.  “I have come to the decision that we need to have a police station and a police man for shooting, stealing and other suing consequences.  Who should be the first annual police man?  If something happens, you call the president and I will call the police.  He shall remain in my jail.”  After going through everyone’s names, and a resounding “Nay” for all to become policeman, except Jack, it looks like Jack is the official “new annual police man.” I think they are swearing him in to office.  I hear:  “Arise.  And sit down.”  No, actually this is court in session now.  Nadine is speaking:  “I am suing Jack Weldon.  When I was sleeping, I saw Jack stealing my helicopter.  It is worth 200 dollars and it is officially stolen.”

Elijah is calling Jack to the stand: “J-A-C-K,” he spells out his name.
Jack tries to defend himself.  “Elijah, I was going to MAIL it to you!”
The questioning continues.  “Is it true that you went into the store and took the helicopter without paying?”
“Yes.”
“Was it a helicopter?”
“Yes.”
“Was it worth 200 dollars?”
“Yes.  Can I say something?  I’m going to pay her 200 dollars when we’re DONE this meeting!”  He gives a big sigh.
Elijah really is a kind soul.  His verdict:  “Since this is the first sue we’ve ever had, I’m giving this as a warning.  You will not have to pay 200 dollars or go to jail or anything.  You will have to pay 20.  Meeting adjourned.”
Then, “I’m officially closed.  I’m sorry I’m closed, but I really have to pee,” says Mr. President.  “Please, hold your thoughts.”

I just might be laughing really hard over here.  I love it when they imagine up games like this.
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In the past week or more, our little “town” has had a ton of adventures.  The biggest one began on the last day of July.

Nadine was running from a bee, her brother, or both, and she tripped going up the concrete steps of our front porch.  I heard  her crying and there was a deeper pain in her cry than a typical hurt, which kept going.  A day and x-ray later showed her big toe to indeed be broken.  So, last Friday we headed to the orthopedic doctor to tell us if there was anything special we should be doing, and to get a better idea of what kind of a break it was.

As we drove to the appointment, Nadine and I were bouncing along in the Eurovan, windows down, enjoying the first day of August.  I glanced down at the dashboard and it dawned on me that the gas was really low.  Like, lower than the really low it was the night BEFORE when we were driving home from somewhere.  I just had driven past my favorite exit for gas.  Two more exits to go until a gas station was nearby.  I wasn’t really nervous, but something inside of me just kept looking down at the dashboard and up at the exit, which all of a sudden seemed much farther than one mile away.  Then it happened.  Our van started to sputter.  I’ve never been in this situation, but I was pretty sure we were running out of gas.  Thankfully, Oceanus has manual transmission, so we coasted off the exit ramp and through one light.  I tried to start her again, and we were able to get enough oomph to go through one more light before she gave up her last puff of fumes and coasted to a stop.  In the left hand turn lane.  Within sight of the gas station.  Nadine was talking to her friend on the phone, and I told her to stay on the line with her until I got back.  So, off I went with the keys, in my sneaks, running across intersections with “no pedestrian crossing” signs everywhere.  After asking a few random strangers in the Wawa parking lot if they happened to have a gas can in their vehicle, I bit the bullet and bought a new can (to add to the three we already have in our basement) and filled it with two gallons of gasoline.  Then a sweet lady drove me back to the van.  Next thing I know, a friend pulled up behind us to see if we needed any help.  It made me feel so much less like a crazy woman having her there with me!

Back on the road again, we filled her up with gas, and made it to the doctor only ten minutes late.  The verdict is she has a fracture right on her joint in a tricky place.  So he gave her a giant nifty boot to keep her foot flat and stable.  She’s also gaining speed on a pair of crutches.  Love her spirit.  This week as a family we have been reading James chapter 1.  She took the “falling into various trials” part very seriously, and now we’re getting all sorts of practice with “counting it all joy”.
Phone Photos August
Our week has been full of other things too!  We started school, on a small scale.  It is an opportunity to work out kinks and start slow.  Seeing them eager to start has been encouraging!  Nadine informed me, after just one day, that I have “improved so much as a teacher!”  She makes me chuckle.  On Sunday morning I had the honor of watching a sweet baby be born.  That never gets old.  On Wednesday we went to Marsh Creek with sweet friends to celebrate a wonderful birthday and to watch the sunset over the water.  Beautiful!  On Thursday we made an impromptu road trip to NJ to see more wonderful friends and played on the beach for the first time in years!  I’m still picking sand out of my hair, and I only went knee-deep in the ocean.

I think the small town downstairs will be needing lunch soon, so I better take up the unwanted role of “cook” and whip something together.  Hungry townspeople spells g-r-u-m-p-i-n-e-s-s in our near future.  I hear there is a library now, and the police station is “officially open”.  “Sometimes it’s open, sometimes it’s closed,” says Jack.  Nadine counters with, “I just don’t think anyone is going to be bad!  But, it’s good to have anyway.”  Elsie is protesting her job as the mailman, but after some encouragement she just told the president, “I’ll still be the mailman, but when I get a new job, I won’t.”  My, this is so fun.  In the words of Mr. President, “I’m sorry I have to go.  Please hold your thoughts.”