My poor blog has been sadly neglected. I haven't had the time or energy to post. Whenever Wednesdays roll around, I have fleeting thoughts of WDW, but I haven't even tried a new recipe in who knows when. Dinner these days is usually decided at about 3:00 in the afternoon instead of being planned ahead.
It's just a really busy season.
We leave in just about 3 weeks for our trip... it's hard to believe that it's nearly upon us after almost a year of planning. We have officially entered what Rich and I call the "panic phase." Re-checking everything and making sure we didn't forget anything... frantically re-scanning the travel books and gathering info from friends, gathering reading material for flights, organizing the zillions of documents we have (plane tickets, hotel reservations, etc), getting foreign money, squaring away foreign cell phone use, buying last minute clothing items (like coats! whoops we might need those.) and all those last minute details. I seriously find myself feeling nervous and shaky several times throughout the day whenever I think about the trip. I guess I ultimately worry that things won't go as I have planned. I need to remember that it's not my plans that matter - but God's. He has graciously allowed us to plan this trip and is completely in control of every detail. Any changes or mishaps will be in His perfect plan. But, I still echo the sentiment of one of the toys in Toy Story when he declared, "It's the PERFECT time to panic!!"
I realized that I haven't even blogged about Drew once while he's been gone! Hopefully some of you have been following his blog. I have loved seeing all his posts and living vicariously through him on his travels. God has blessed him in many ways thus far, he really is doing great and enjoying everything. It's good to see him on Skype a couple times a week (we don't skype more often because of the 10 hour time difference). It sure does a mother's heart good to look at her son and see that he's doing well. I can't imagine life without skype! He sprained his ankle last week, so we are praying that heals quickly. He has an archeology dig this week, and a 5 day trip to Galilee the following week, so hopefully the ankle won't be a hindrance. They do some amazing things at IBEX - what an experience! I am so thankful Drew could take advantage of it. I can't wait to give him a big hug when we meet in Paris!
On top of getting ready for the trip, life has just been super busy! Recently, we enjoyed the semi formal Master's Seminary 25th anniversary banquet at Reagan Library, under the majestic Air Force One. Our special friends, Myra and Brian Shealy, came into town for it and spent a night with us which was just wonderful. We also got to "double date" for the event with David and Christy Caldwell, a couple we met in Rich's parenting class that we are enjoying getting to know. We also just finished hosting and serving at the Shepherds' Conference, which was such a privilege! I was especially blessed that one of our guests brought his wife, Deena, a dear friend of mine. I had a wonderful time of fellowship with her and loved gleaning from her wisdom. Our visitors have been such a blessing, as we've enjoyed rich fellowship and lots of laughter and good times. Below are some pics from the Seminary banquet.
The amazing venue! Our table was on the other side of the plane. There was aslo a ground level below with lots more tables. There were 1000 people at the event! The food was amazing!
Here's a photo of me and my studly date.
I was totally delighted to see my sweet friend Deidre's nametag sitting on the table next to mine! We had a wonderful time of fellowship with her and Jesse!
A big chunk of my time and energy lately has been devoted to the Master's Kids. The stack of applications are in for next year, and I just finished processing them and determining next year's leadership crew. Plus, I'm still in the midst of planning the rest of the current year including our huge graduation ceremony in May! I keep reminding myself that I am still in the learning process - I'm sure next year will be easier and less effort. But, I am truly enjoying this ministry that God has given me - spending time at TMK with the ladies (which I do a couple times a month) has been such a highlight and makes all the behind the scenes detail work worth it all. They are a precious group of women, and I thank God He has allowed me to be in their lives. I try to not only help provide a wonderful time for them to spend with their children, but to minister to and encourage them as wives and mothers.
My niece is also getting married in May, and I am helping with her bridal shower and wedding favors (I'm making soap daily!). And, not to mention, Emma is graduating high school! She will have a graduation in June with our homeschool group, Lighthouse, so there are details that need attending to for that. Thankfully we found a graduation dress last week (now to find one for a prom she's going to...). The last month or so has been filled with senior pictures (with 3 different photographers), SAT's, FAFSA's and TMC paperwork, visits to nursing schools, etc. She will be attending Master's next year, but is unsure of her course of study. She has desired to be a nurse for some time, but nursing school admission is difficult as all local schools are impacted. She's considering alternate plans and we are still praying for direction from the Lord in that. Meanwhile, she's finishing up her home school, enjoying her volunteer work at City of Hope, and keeping busy babysitting and with her photography. She's been doing a lot of weddings, and even gets to go to Hawaii in August to shoot one with Tracy Dodson! What a rough job, huh?
So, I guess for anyone interested, that about catches you up with what's been going on and my excuse for not blogging. I am not sure if I'll have time to blog from our trip. I am NOT bringing my laptop, but others will, so maybe I'll have a chance to post a photo or two during our travels. :-)