I have spent the last two weeks cleaning, rearranging, organizing and planning. I sat down with my appointment book and figured out when I would need to start this school year so we could take the entire month of December off for Christmas, and still be done by the end of May. What I came up with is that we need to start school next week! So, my course is set, and I have been carefully navigating my way there.

First, we cleaned out the basement. After the fire, I really wasn’t sure what I still had and didn’t have, as far as curriculum goes. Turns out, I actually have quite a few books left, all things considered. So, I got those all organized according to grade level. Then, thanks to my wonderful husband who finished the built-in bookshelves in our sitting room, I was able to move a lot of books upstairs! I still have several empty shelves, but being a true bibliophile, I’m sure that won’t last long, LOL! Then, I listed a lot of the curriculum that I don’t need on my local homeschool support group email list. So far, I’ve sold maybe a fourth of what I’d like to unload. But, it’s off my shelves and money in my pocket, so I’m happy.

Next, I realized that I needed to finish moving in. Let me explain: we actually moved in last August, but things were really chaotic, and we were all in a rush to just get IN, so a lot of things got stacked here and there, and I haven’t really gotten back to them since. So, over the last couple of weeks, I have organized and sorted all of our craft supplies, put them in totes, and labeled them! (Why do I have a ziploc bag full of red feathers???) Then I started going through pictures! Praise be to God that most of my pictures survived the fire!!!! So, I took the plunge this afternoon and went out and bought a bunch of new frames, put the pictures in them and Mom and I hung them on the wall upstairs in the hallway. I had a couple of pictures that still looked good, even after the fire, but were stuck to the glass. So, I simply put the old glass, picture and all, in the new frames. So I have a hallway full of lovely pictures now, and it really is amazing how much of a difference that makes. It really does feel more like “home”.

I separated all of Alex and Faith’s school books and put them on their own special shelves, and then read through the Teacher’s Manuals to make sure I have a general idea of what we need to cover and what supplies I need to have on hand the first week. Alex will be taking a lot of his classes through a local co-op called Dayspring Tutorials, but we will be doing some of his schoolwork here at home. I am especially looking forward to our History studies, which will center around an amazing text entitled “Christ The King: Lord of History”. Faith and I will be using Catholic Heritage Curricula again. It is a great curriculum, with a lot of really neat activities. We will also be using a spelling program called Spelling Power, which I used somewhat with the boys.

And of course, I have been getting ready to move Kendall to Belmont Abbey College. Next week! I can’t believe the time is already here. It honestly seems like just yesterday that he was a little guy just learning to read. But now he’s all grown up, with a beard and a brand new car, and he’s ready for the next stage of his life. I have been grieving in small doses, and at the same time celebrating. I am glad for the man he is, and the man he is becoming. He loves God with all his heart, and he is committed to always doing what he believes is the right and best thing. Gaylon and I are blessed beyond all imagining to have such a wonderful son.

And speaking of wonderful sons: Alex had his very first job interview today! He interviewed for a job at Chick-fil-A, and has another interview scheduled for next week! He looked so professional and confident as he walked in there! I knew he was nervous, and he asked me a lot of questions about what to say and how to respond before he went in, but he went in with confidence and a good, hopeful attitude. I pray he gets the job. . . I think he will really enjoy it, and I know he’ll do well at whatever he chooses to do.

Tomorrow (Friday) he is going with a young seminarian friend of ours, Noah Carter, to the ‘Day of Discernment’ sponsored by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte. Many young men will be there, praying about what God has planned for their lives, focusing particularly on vocations and the priesthood. Our wonderful Bishop, Bishop Jugis, will be there, as well. Alex is very excited about this opportunity.

Play practice continues. They meet three times a week, and the performances are scheduled for the end of September. Alex is LOVING being Hook. And, if I do say so myself, he is really good! I can’t help but notice that all the girls crowd around him during break time, and he is really eating that up! Faith is glad that she’s in the play, but she is not as into it as Alex. She only has about three lines, so that’s good, because then she’s not so nervous. But I think she will be just as happy when it’s over.

Faith and I have just joined the “Mother Teresa Club” at our Parish. This is a group that meets once a month to do service projects for various groups in our community. We will be serving lunch one month for the Habitat For Humanity work crew, working at the Manna Food Bank one month, Christmas shopping for the Angel Tree, helping out at the local animal shelter and gift-wrapping boxes for the St. Vincent de Paul Society during Thanksgiving. We are both really looking forward to the experience.

So, things are moving right along, and we should be completely ready to start school next Monday. I know I’m ready and excited, and the kids are too. And if ANYONE dares to tell me that Homeschooled kids don’t get any socialization, when I quit laughing, I’m going to punch them! Our phone rings off the hook all day long for Faith and Alex. Alex and Kendall’s cell phones ring constantly. I have to have an appointment book just to keep track of THEIR schedules! LOL

One last thing: my cousin, Branden, has a delightful new wife who has just started blogging! Check out her new blog at: www.miltnotmilk.blogspot.com .

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