Casual Conversation on A Meaningful Day

Hello and bonjour! My goodness, it has been a long time since you last heard from me, and for that I am sorry. I've had to make blogging less of a priority the past few months, while being more intentional about other activities (which I will share in a moment). In the meantime, today is presidential Election Day here in the USA. While seeing democracy in action is an awesome freedom, this particular Election Day feels a bit like watching lemmings plunge off a cliff: we knew it would come to this, but was this really how it needed to go down? In any case, we Oregonians vote by mail, so my husband (a history teacher) and I turned in our ballots last week and I expect we'll be praying and waiting patiently for today's outcomes. How do you feel about this election? Maybe you'd rather not talk about it. Ha!

These three H's have been my focus lately (oh, and my husband, who's always my vis-à-vis--love you, honey!):

Homebuilding:

  Our three children playing on a gravel pile in our future driveway

Our three children playing on a gravel pile in our future driveway

Our new home project is really progressing! Hurrah! (Sorry--I need to stop the alliteration.) When we broke ground last April, our builder told us that our home would take 9-12 months to build. At this point, I think we are on the short end of that estimate. In the past few weeks, tile and wood flooring has gone in, exterior siding and stonework is being finished, and now the cabinetry is being installed. It was amazing to watch the house take shape this past summer, but it's unbelievably exciting to see the interior finishes coming together now. I'd love to check in on the homebuilding project on a near-daily basis, but once per week is more realistic because it's hard to break away from . . .

Homeschooling:

  A scene from a living history pioneer camp we visited in September near Barlow Trail, Mt. Hood, Oregon

A scene from a living history pioneer camp we visited in September near Barlow Trail, Mt. Hood, Oregon

I love the fall portion of homeschooling: new beginnings, new curriculum and books, new habits . . . but I'm still finding our groove. Our older two children are four and seven years old, so they still get plenty of playtime and not so much bookwork. But frankly, as an INTJ personality type and a former high school teacher, I often struggle with the lighter academics and low rigor of these early elementary years. I'd much rather plan lessons for us all morning long, every morning, but our days aren't consistently that structured. Nonetheless, I'm sticking with homeschooling for quite a while, and I'm looking forward to adding art study and adding different math and science lessons to what we're currently doing. You can expect to hear more details about our homeschooling in future posts.

Houseguest:

Starting in early September, we welcomed a French friend to our home, and we could not be happier to have her here! She's an adult friend whom we met at our church in France during our stay there two summers ago, and she's simply here to experience life in the U.S. for the first time. We all love having her with us and we will be so sad to see her leave at the end of this month. She's a friend to me and a playmate for the children, and we have all been blessed by her stay. Last month she and the kids and I took a whirlwind trip to California so that she could see Death Valley and Yosemite and other places on her wish list. I look forward to telling you more about that trip!

   Sending smiles  from Ahwahnee Meadow and Half Dome, Yosemite, California

Sending smiles from Ahwahnee Meadow and Half Dome, Yosemite, California

A très bientôt,

Michele