Summer is rolling along at break-neck speed. A sore back from too much lifting of yard sale boxes is a great excuse to slow down and update everyone. We are in the final stretch, with less than two months left here in Colorado. Things are getting more and more bittersweet, and more and more real - in an often exciting, sometimes overwhelming way. Yes, we had a yard sale and the process of getting rid of excess stuff has begun in earnest. We are also packing slowly, especially to de-clutter and make our home more desirable to possible renters who will soon be considering our home. We have a realtor who will be working with us, setting up the listing and doing background checks. She has assured us the rental market is moving quickly, but we'd still like prayer that the family God wants in our home finds us and that the process moves smoothly.
School in Colorado is out pretty early, May 28th was everyone's last day. Anna had her 6th Grade 'Continuation' Ceremony (mini-Graduation from Elementary grades to Jr. High), marking the end of our many years at Deane Elementary School here in Lakewood. The boys went from 1st and 2nd grade all through to 6th there, and for Anna it has been her only school - many teachers had all three of our kids, or at least a combination of two of them. Rachel has been on the PTO (Parent, Teacher Organization) for several years now and we've made a lot of special relationships with many teachers and staff. It was an emotional farewell. While school and car-pooling was still going on we began to take our dogs along to and from schools, to get them used to car rides as we'll be driving with them to California this summer. We also hope it will help them get used to just traveling in general. Gizmo could take or leave car driving, he's just happy all the time he's with us, his people. But Stitch….he thinks going for a car ride is about the very best thing since, well, since we rescued him from the shelter. He quickly knew when it was time to leave to pick up kids, does these silly circles and prancing all the way to the car. Now that school is out and his beloved daily activity is not so daily, he gets super excited anytime anyone goes to the back door - it could be a car ride. We hate to break his little doggie heart so often and make him stay at home. We'll see if he still loves car rides after our drives to and from California!
School was hardly over before our kids began it again. All three are now enrolled with Keystone School, the boys in their National High School and Anna in their Middle School. We had a bit of a stressful school issue, as we had been planning to enroll the boys in a free online public school. It was as the final papers were being filled out for their enrollment that we came across the issue of needing to be physically here in Colorado for State testing each March, something we had specifically asked about way back last fall. Long story short, that option was no longer a possibility and we would need to pay for the boys' schooling as well as Anna's, something we had not budgeted for. God provided and all three are enrolled. We were so blessed by others' generosity and are so grateful to have the issue of their schooling settled and begun. We wanted to have them begin while we're still here in the States, as we figure out the kinks to online schooling. Some books arrived just today in fact, and wow, for an online program they are just as big and heavy as the books Josiah had last year at regular High School!
Rachel's parents came for a visit a few weeks ago; it was a wonderful (if too short) time, with Colorado weather being its most beautiful best. It had rained for what seemed like weeks just before they arrived, but stopped for their visit, with everything green from the rain. Again, a bittersweet time of making memories. That's sort of our theme this summer. Anna and Rachel held a mother/daughter jewelry party last week, with some sleepovers planned in the coming weeks. Josiah will be off to a youth retreat with their Outlet youth group next week, Anna goes to Camp Rosalie the week of July 11th, followed by both boys the week of July 18th. These camps and times with friends is really why we're still here, instead of moving as soon as school was out. Another reason is Anna's last summer of performing with the Westernaires, her horse club. Her last ride and performance with them will be just two days before our container arrives to be loaded up. There is a lot going on in these final weeks and your prayers are so appreciated. For emotional and physical strength, for the timing to fit in everything the kids and us adults would like to get done before we leave - and the wisdom to know what needs to happen and what doesn't. And then for our dogs - traveling with them remains one of the higher concerns, something we've never done before. We'll be testing a few different 'relaxing' Pet Calming products in the coming weeks. And Gizmo still needs to lose about a pound; the airlines have rules about the total weight of dogs that go in the cabin, and he's slightly too heavy - not much, but it's still a concern.
We are also all on Skype, look us up if you use it. We will most likely be signing up with them for one of the paid subscriptions where we can have a US phone number that you can call from any phone and leave messages on. We'll let you all know when we have that set up and what the phone number will be. Joshua has been using it like a pro since Christmas time when he tested it while in Hungary, Anna we just got set up on it, and she's already finding several of her friends and talking away - they also love the video calls, showing their friends their dogs and rooms, etc…
Thank you for all your prayers, support and encouragement. Here's a little list of upcoming dates so you could possibly pray as things happen:
June 27th-July 2nd - Siah at CIY Move (Christ In Youth) retreat
July 11th-15th - Anna at Camp Rosalie
July 18th-22nd - Joshi and Siah at Camp Rosalie
Aug. 20th - Anna's final Westernaires show, White Olympics
Aug 22nd - Container arrives
Aug 24th - we leave for CA, arrive the 25th
Sept. 16th - leave CA for CO, arrive the 17th
Sept. 20th - fly out of Denver for Hungary!
We'd love to see more of you who are in Colorado or California before we head out - drop us a line and we can meet up, have you over, whatever. (And yes, we'd of course love to see ALL of you, but are just being realistic here!)