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It’s been ages since I’ve posted a Tuesday Topic and I’ve missed hearing from all of you. The accumulated wisdom here is remarkable and I love seeing us help one another.

Today’s question should have been posted a few weeks ago when I received it, but it is so relevant that I’m going to share it now and look forward to hearing your thoughts, experiences, and encouragement. It comes from Natalia who writes,

We have two foster girls (3 and 5) who have been with us for about 5 months. Both of them will be starting preschool/pre-kindergarten in the next couple of weeks and as they enter into the school year I am anticipating a lot of “getting to know you” activities in their classrooms

 

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I have this thing about writing with pencils. I used to write everything with black ink, but the more children I had, the more necessary it was to make adjustments, rearrange, reschedule, and sometime scratch things right off my calendar and to-do list. When I couldn’t stand the mess of changes continually happening in my life, I began to write with pencils; at least with a pencil, I could erase and write in the new plan.

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As always, I have so much to be thankful for. It’s an unusual Sunday because all of our older kids are out of town with their group of friends. Only seven kids home for dinner (we’re borrowing one for the day) and somehow it feels like I have the week off from cooking. I had better give dinner a little bit of thought or I’ll have an unhappy crew on my hands.

giving thanks #1481 – 1490

sisters braiding hair while waiting for the bus

supper club – friends gathering around one another’s tables for many years

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I pre-ordered this book, No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind and it arrived a few days ago. I haven’t pre-ordered many books, but I’m a big fan of the authors’ earlier book, The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind and highly recommend it. I even wrote a series of posts on it, one for each of six chapters, which I invite you to read.

Sunshine baptism

For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. Romans 6:4

Last night Sunshine and Eby were baptized. I love baptisms; they make me cry as much as weddings. To see people publicly commit their lives to Jesus is incredible; to see my own children be baptized, well that just pretty much brings me to my knees. This was the first baptism in our new church building, and the place was packed; thirty-seven people were baptized.

This is the picture Eby chose for his poster.

This is the picture Eby chose for his poster.

School is bringing many new experiences to our lives, for instance, Eby was chosen as the “star minion” of the week. Now that’s something we didn’t do in our homeschool.

Last Friday I was thrilled that Eby would not have homework. It’s not difficult work, nor should it be super time consuming, but after holding himself together all day, he is completely worn out by the time he gets home. The hours between 3:30 and dinner have been rough for the two of us.

Then Eby got off the bus carrying the “Star Minion” backpack containing a folder with instructions for the following week.

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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