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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.

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Annarose’s senior year of high school is just about to begin. Rather than use a prepared booklist and lesson plan for literature, I’m putting together a list of “Books you Should Read Before Graduating  from High School.”

You’re a bunch of smart folks, so what book(s) would you recommend? I’d like to get a broad range of suggestions, so bring them on!

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Some people plan couple’s massages. Not us, we like being a little different (as you may have noticed), so we scheduled couple’s colonoscopies. One of the perks of turning 50 is paying better attention to our health. Having an oncology nurse for one of my best friends hasn’t given me wiggle room with things like mammograms or now this – the dreaded colonoscopy.

We could have done our colonoscopies separately, but we chose to have them “cheek to cheek” rather than lose two weekends to this loveliness.

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When Jen Hatmaker writes a book, you just might want to read it.

Sometime in mid-July, before we left for Whidbey Island, I was offered the opportunity to read and review the newly updated edition of Interrupted: When Jesus Wrecks Your Comfortable Christianity. It seemed perfect at the time; the book would arrive before we left and I would read it while on vacation. I sent the required email and promptly forgot all about it.

Three weeks later I found a package on my desk from Tyndale House. Imagine my surprise to find a copy of the book, along with instructions to review it soon – like late July.

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We arrived home at midnight, and in our caffeine-fueled state, Russ and I stayed up until 1:00 am unloading the van. This morning came a little too early for me, but I was eager to sit down and write some deep reflections on the things I learned while we were away. Before I began, I did my Bible study and began wading through emails and messages.

Nothing prepared me for the seemingly routine voicemail from the school district announcing that the start of the school year is likely to be delayed one to two weeks due to unfinished construction projects at various schools.

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It’s Monday morning and I’m in the gray place of transition – from Whidbey Island to home, vacation to reality, and summer to school. My mind is full of lists: chore charts, lesson plans, schedules, goals for each child, dinner menus, house plans, and any number of other things.

Are you with me? Are you transitioning out of summer and back into school? I feel some panic rising, and I’m doing my best to hold on to peace. We have three more days here and it would be easy to completely waste them. I need to stay in the moment and enjoy the relaxed pace we’re living.