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We made it to Whidbey Island late Thursday night  and waited until Friday morning to unload the van. It was packed with bikes, food, sports equipment, camping gear, bags of books, K’nex, and everything we need for the next few weeks. Yesterday we made our (hopefully) only trip off the island to do a very big Costco run, and now I feel ready to relax.

Isaiah is picking Hannah up at the airport this morning; they’ll have plenty of time to catch up as they wait in the long ferry line. Sunshine is joining us fresh from horse camp. Samuel arrives tonight and the other big kids will arrive a few days later.

You won’t hear from me this week, and then only a little bit for the rest of our time here.

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This morning we are loading up the car and heading to Whidbey Island – my favorite place on earth. I have a lifetime of memories there from walking the beach as a little girl, to watching my own children grow up there. It’s amazing to me that one place has seen so much of my family’s life.

Here is the song Isaiah sang for Noah and Katie at their wedding reception; I know I’m his mom, but it really is beautiful. I shared it on my One Thankful Mom Facebook page, but I know that not all of you follow me there. If you like the song, please share it – and be sure to “Like” my FB page too!

Have a wonderful day, friends.

Lisa

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“I wish Dimples was here right now so I could have fun with her.”

I just overheard Little Man say this to Eby as they did their morning chores. It struck me that he would never have said that a year and a half ago. There was very little fun going on in our home back then.

In less than a month, Dimples will be on her way home for good; what a journey this has been for all of us.

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Every July my book group meets to plan what we’ll read in the coming year. I always have fun sharing our list here knowing that some of you will  enjoy these books too. If you’ve read any of them, share your thoughts. If there is something here that grabs your attention, share that too.

Comments are what make blogging fun- I love hearing from you.

I’m ordering my list and taking them along to Whidbey Island at the end of the week!

August: The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

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Dimples is here for her very last home visit. The time has gone by so quickly; it’s  hard to believe that we’ve reached this milestone. Samuel drove to the MT/ID border on Tuesday to pick her up. Sunshine went with him so the girls had some sister time on the way back. We had one day at home and then headed to Seattle yesterday for appointments at Seattle Children’s.

This visit feels different to me. Dimples seems calmer and less anxious – I feel calmer and less anxious too.

Wrapping around Dimples

Wrapping around Dimples

Last night we had a Wraparound meeting in preparation for Dimples’ return home. Her case manager suggested this to me as a means of organizing our support team in a more concrete way.

If you’ve been reading my blog for long, you know that we are blessed with many people who love Dimples and want to see her successfully transition back into our home and our community. In the past, most of our support has come when I have specifically asked somebody for help. Some of it has been regularly scheduled, but often the burden has been heavy on me to make sure we had enough help to avoid a major crisis.

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giving thanks #1441 – 1460

iced coffee 

my book group

new books chosen for the year (I’ll share this week)

Isaiah home for a surprise visit

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Little Man asked, “Mom, when will you take me to Ethiopia to see my mom?”

“I don’t know, but we want to take you some day.”

“Okay, I miss her. I want to go back and live with her.”    

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16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1Thess 5:16-18

Sometimes it would be so much easier not to give thanks; days are hard, wakeful nights are long, and tears are near. I don’t think God expects us to be thankful for all circumstances, but in all circumstances. The sure knowledge that he is with us and that even in the hardest times we are loved by our amazing God, should lead us to be thankful.

This isn”t always easy to do, but I practice it with my simple Sunday Gratitude posts. If not one person reads this, it’s okay because it is an exercise in obedience for me. When I really consider all that I am thankful for, it lightens my heart.

giving thanks #1431 – 1440

a great visit with my sister Elizabeth and her kids

spending a fun day at the pool

lots of time wearing pajamas and sipping coffee

my car full of middle school girls going to youth group

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“Faith can be work. Love can be labor. Hope can get long.” Beth Moore

This quote seems to sum up all that I know about raising children. Holding on to our faith may require great effort. Loving our families will be hard work. And hope? Sometimes I get worn out with hoping because answers don’t come, or healing doesn’t happen even when I plead for it.

Loving Jesus doesn’t make us immune to suffering or struggle; it means he is with us in it. We are never alone – never