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If you never want to be bored, have a large family. Something is always changing.

Over the last few months many of our kids have made big changes. Noah got married (it still surprises me to see a ring on his finger), Hannah became a third year resident, Samuel decided to go to graduate school, and Isaiah surprised us all by deciding to go to college.

He also surprised us with metal in his nose. Thankfully, he sent me a text saying, “Mom, I got a piercing. Just wanted to tell you before I post a picture on Instagram.” Warnings are always appreciated – he’s a good son.

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When I published my post Monday, I felt some anxiety – I didn’t want to disappoint anyone. You poured your kindness on me through your comments and my heart was encouraged. I honestly have the best readers – thank you.

One of the keys to successfully parenting children from “hard places” seems to be flexibility. If we cling to what we’ve known and refuse to consider new ways of doing things, we’ll miss out on insight, healing, and joy.

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A week ago today, I stood at the bottom of the driveway and watched my children get on the yellow bus. I didn’t write about it right away because I needed time to sit with the decision. I have lots to share, but the end of this story is that I’m taking a sabbatical from homeschooling.

 

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In my last two posts I’ve written about three points of encouragement we are focusing on with Dimples. The first two are:

1. Fun to be around

2. Cooperation and Respect

The third is:

3. Handling hard feelings

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Monday I wrote that we are focusing on three points of encouragement with Dimples.

1. Fun to be around 

I wrote about that earlier this week in this post.

Our second point of encouragement is:

2. Cooperation and Respect

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Dimples continues to have great days, one after another. We want to grab hold of this honeymoon period and keep the positive coming, so we’re focusing on three points of encouragement. The first is:

1. You are fun to be around.

Last week Dimples’ glasses broke, so in the midst of the back-to-school flurry, we raced to the eye doctor to pick out new frames. It was a rare and wonderful day because Eby and Little Man had been invited to go to the Snake River for a day of swimming with friends.  Sunshine was shopping with Mimi, and as always, Annarose’s day was packed with people and exciting things to do.

I'm thankful for these amazing kids!

I’m thankful for these amazing kids!

It’s been ages and ages since I’ve written a Sunday Gratitude post – not for lack of many things to be thankful for, but taking time off from blogging, first intentionally and then not-so-intentionally. I just looked back and the last time I posted a Sunday Gratitude list was July 13th – that’s just crazy.

I’m ready to get back in the groove with this simple, life-giving exercise.

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Beza’s birthday celebration today – 15!

the start of her freshman year of high school tomorrow

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My sister asked recently, “So, I read on your blog that Dimples is doing great. How is it really going?” I’ll be honest, when things are very bad, I only share a fraction on my blog. With just a bit of hyperbole, I tell my close friends and family, “Whatever I write – assume it’s ten times worse.”

In this case, I can only say, things are going just as well as I’ve written. I wake up every day amazed at our girl. Yes, her bedroom is messy, her chores are sloppy, and life isn’t perfect, but she continues to walk through each day with grace.

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We walked into the cottage after the long drive to Montana, and one of the first things I heard was one staff member say to another, “I’m really going to miss that kid.” Those words characterized Dimples’ entire farewell.

Dimples “Goodbye Ceremony” was lovely. All of the children from her cottage were present, and many of the staff. She also invited the chaplain and a couple of kids from other cottages who were close friends. Her therapist lit a candle and spoke of Dimples, how she had grown, the hard work she had done in therapy, difficult moments, successes, and overall affirmed Dimples for the progress she made. Then she lit the candle of the cottage case manager who shared her thoughts, who then lit the candle of her closest staff member who spoke more affirming words.

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Leaving Montana with Dimples – Mimi shared the driving.

So many of you are praying for Dimples and our family as she settles in at home. The days are flying by, but I need to pause to tell you that she is doing amazing. I have tears in my eyes just typing that. Let me share a few quick thoughts.

*She is so happy to be home. It was hard to say goodbye in Montana, and she misses her friends and the staff, but she was ready to make the transition.