Sunday, September 1, 2013

Back Again

For about a month now I've been considering if I should start blogging again.  I asked myself several questions.  Would it be good stewardship of my time?  What would I write about?  Is blogging being selfish as I would mostly be writing about me or my family?  Would I risk saying something I shouldn't?  Within the last week or two, I started getting answers.  As we've moved to a more minimalist homeschool this year, it frees up some time for the things we love.  For me, that's writing.  Unfortunately, I tend to write way too much, therefore it not being a good use of my time nor anyone who reads what I write.  My answer came from Ecclesiastes 5:2b ESV "Therefore let your words be few."  I can do that.  Considering that I haven't written a blog post since 2011, I have much to write about to get caught up.  However if you follow me on Facebook or see me in person, that's not necessary.  I hope to write about the here an now, life as God's grace gets us through each day.  Additionally, I don't wish to be known as a narcissist.  But then I thought, what kind of family member or friend would I be if I didn't share Jesus?  After all, everything I say and do, I want to point others to Him.  As a daughter of the King and an officer's wife, words I share have potential to do much harm.  Keeping that in mind, I hope to pray over each post before I hit "publish."  So in the days ahead, I hope to get caught up on blogging grammar and  get our page cleared up.  There's so many new things to learn!  Grab a cup of coffee or tea and come join me in my dining room as we continue this journey together.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

From One Mom Graduating A Senior To Another

I will get to the graduation ceremony, I promise.  Actually, I'm trying to learn how to insert a video so you can see it.  But for now, I feel compelled to share with my fellow homeschool moms who are graduating one of their children.  In between the ceremony and the party on Saturday, I texted a few friends with the words, "We did it!"  A dear sister in Christ texted back, "How did you do it?"  "By God's grace" was the text length answer.  Here is the rest of the story.

I started preparing for this about a year ago.  I got real serious about it when we rang in 2011.  Yikes!  The year I've been waiting for had finally arrived.  Where had the time gone for my "little" girl?  I was blessed to be able to plan an event with 11 other homeschool families, many of them had already graduated a child, so they had innovative ideas of what to do.  I love planning parties, so that was all pretty easy.  But then, in the quiet of the morning, the thought of my baby girl launching out into the world would hit and I'd cry like the baby!  This went on for months.  Then the ladies tell me that each set of parents would prepare and read a charge for their student.  What?  Not someone calling their name and then we hand over the diploma?  We have to SAY something???  I knew we were in trouble now!  I needed to have a plan as to how to get myself under control, so I searched for the triggers of the flood of tears.

One faucet was the two empty seats that wouldn't be occupied at either ceremony - the ones of my mother and mother-in-law who both went to be with Jesus just short of her special day.  Not too many students loose two grandparents during their high school years.  We know though that Haley has made her Granny & Grandma proud.  We will continue to mourn this and many other celebrations, but not like those who have no hope.  We shall rejoice in the hope we hold.

Then I think about all the mistakes I've made.  I don't know how many times I think, "Well, if we had just done this. . . . it would've been better."  Scripture tells us that when we are weak, He is strong.  His grace has been sufficient to not only cover my mistakes, but to go above and beyond anything I could ever imagine.  When I consider how good He has been to me through her, I'm overwhelmed.  I deserve none of her accomplishments.  It's all grace - more tears!  We shall rejoice in His goodness.

It is easy to feel sad that her formal education is complete and she is prepared to leave our home and go out into this world.  Thankfully for me, I get her home at least one more year, but that doesn't mean she's not equipped with what she needs to succeed.  But I knew I reached the day of graduation with absolutely NO guilt that I wish I'd spent more time with her.  I tried to make the most of each day, training her in the way she should go, and she's ready.  This is exactly what we wanted. No regrets.  We reached our goal!  We shall rejoice in His faithfulness.

So given all this that I should be "happy" about, why would I come to the ceremony in tears?  Well, I'm a woman, and I fully understand the idea of being the weaker vessel.  We had to put some safeguards in place just to make sure I didn't become a blubbering idiot.  As the head of the house, our headmaster, and lead; Tim would have the duty of reading the charge.  He's strong.  He can handle that.  The words I chose were light and fun - words of Dr. Seuss.  Actually, I had the part from Dr. Seuss' ABC's memorized.  I did however worry about reading, "be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea."  I just kept practicing many times - slowly.  We did a photo shoot in her cap and gown a few weeks before.  This eliminated the shock of seeing her in it the first time that day.  

When we got to the end of the ceremony, I was surprised at how well I made it through.  Tim and I gave each other a high five after the final benediction and recessional.  God's grace was poured out on us big time that day.  And we will rejoice because the work that God began in Haley we are confident will be carried on to completion.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Sneak Peak at the Graduate!

We're heading to an evening of celebration, but I thought I'd share this quick picture with you.  More to come soon.  What a wonderful day it is!

Thursday, May 26, 2011


What a beautiful time we had last night at the Baccalaureate dinner for our 2011 graduates.  We are thankful for Dominique and Maureen Orsini for opening up their home to us for this special occasion.  Haley went early with her friend Catherine to meet the other graduates to prepare for the evening.  They set the table, helped cook the food, and enjoyed one another's company.
When Tim and I arrived we were greeted with hors d'oeuvres and fellowship with other families.  We were then escorted downstairs where the table was set for 11 of the graduates and their parents.  We heard words of encouragement from parents graduating their last child and a charge from Stacey Ipsan for our young adults entering the world.
A delicious dinner was graciously served by the underclassmen while we chatted with those around us about plans for the future.  After dessert and coffee were served, we had a time of praying over our graduates, thanking God for what He has done through our schooling and praying His hand on them in the future; a picture of the culmination of what we've all done over the last 18 years.  We parted with the prayer of Frances Havergai in his hymn that I'll leave this post with.

Take My Life, And Let It Be

Take my life and let it be consecrated Lord to Thee;
Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love,
At the impulse of Thy love.

Take my feet and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee;
Take my voice and let me sing
Always only for my King,
Always only for my King.

Take my silver and my gold, not a mite would I withhold;
Take my moments and my days
Let them flow in ceaseless praise,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.

Take my will and make it Thine, it shall be no longer mine;
Take my heart, it is Thine own
It shall be Thy royal throne,
It shall be Thy royal throne.

Staying Focused

I really had good intentions to write all these entries leading up to Haley's commencement.  However, unlike a school graduation where the parents show up for the ceremony - we're the ones putting it all together.  The "to do" list is a mile long and I'm trying to focus on getting it done.  There will be time when it's over to share all that has been happening.  We had a brief setback yesterday as we learned of a dear friend, Jan Harriot, going home to be with the Lord.  We press on, making the most of our days.  It's all coming together and I must say, we're quite excited!  Soli Deo Gloria!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Dodson Dawgs

Haley & Janna on the first day of Kindergarten

When it came time for Haley to start her formal education, we felt led at the time to send her to public school.  It was the same Nashville Public School district that I taught in, so we thought we'd give it a try.  Her friend Janna from across the street was not in her class, but they were ready to start their adventure together.
Haley's Kindergarten Class

Kindergarten went well under the teaching of Ms. Libby Francis.  She improved on her reading and math skills and enjoyed all the fun activities.  Field trips included the pumpkin patch and Purity Dairy. 
Haley & Mama on a field trip

While Kindergarten was in a separate school, she moved to the main school in First Grade.  While Kelly Simpson was her teacher, she learned to love to read as she had an "Author of the Month."  She joined Brownie Girl Scouts at this time and continued making new friends.
Haley on the first day of First Grade

Haley's First Grade Class
We don't regret our public school years, as we felt that's exactly where God wanted us at the time, and He used us to reach those around us.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

From the First to the Last

First Day of Kindergarten - August 1998

Last Day Senior Year - May 2011

Ready to Take Off

Well, today's the last day for Haley to go to school.  The time has gone so quickly since we dressed her in her saddle shoes and plaid, gave her a lunchbox and new backpack, and dropped her off at Kindergarten.  Today, it was jeans, her Senior shirt, a small tote (she only has one class today), and she drove herself and Bekah.  She confessed to feeling a little melancholy as I kissed her and saw her off.  Now to finish up a few straggling loose ends before the big day arrives.