So, S got back from her School of Ministry Retreat on Friday. She had a great time, in spite of all her pre-retreat jitters. I knew she would.
She is the baby of the class, but one of two 17-year-old girls. There are a few more in the 18-20 age range (boys and girls) and most of the class is 20-30 years old. But, there are also a couple guys in their late 50s, early 60s, too. So very diverse, which I think will make for some great theological discussions based on the different viewpoints and experiences. I know S will have a lot to offer those conversations just because we have been talking through (and reading) a lot of theological stuff together for years -- and she has had quite the life experience, too.
She'll be reading through the Bible again this year -- which she did in 9th and 10th grade (combined). She's already read one of the books they are assigning (besides the Bible). I think she's going to do well and hold her own. I'm excited for her.
At the retreat, she faced her fears of height and climbed a 50-foot tower (which, if you heard her talk about it, sounds like it was the Eiffel Tower) with a harness; she participated in several trust and communication exercises with her new classmates; and overall, seemed to have a really great time. She also got to know her classmates well and has been set up with her accountability team and spent time sharing her life history with them -- the good stuff and the not so good.
Tomorrow is her first day of school. Her first day of 12th grade. This is the first day of her last year of mandatory school. Big stuff. She's cool as a cucumber. Even still, I made her pull her room together this evening so she'd start her week mostly clutter-free (which will make her homework space at her desk more relaxing); C packed her lunch for her of leftovers from dinner so she won't need to scramble to do that in the morning; and we talked with J about letting S get to sleep this evening because S needs to wake early tomorrow to catch her ride.
Yesterday, the whole family helped tackle Z's bedroom together. I can't even tell you how horribly bad it had gotten in the dark corners (and the closet). But C discovered the secrets and so we all went to work because there is no way that boy would have handled things on his own in there. That's probably why it had gotten so bad. His attention to detail is so focused on what everyone else is doing and not on his environment. C even rented a carpet steamer and between C and Z, they steamed that bedroom carpet twice and I'm still not sure it's the best it could be. But it is better. Anyway, a good show of teamwork.
So today, after church service, my sister and I took all the kids (except Z, who stayed with C to finish steaming carpets) to a local Fun Day event. You know the kind ... community businesses come, set up their booths, offer free pens and candy and kids storm the bouncy houses and rock climbing wall. There was plenty of local music on stage and karate demonstrations. All the kids got their faces painted. We ate cheap hot dogs for lunch, free water bottles and Italian ice before we left. It was a lot of fun, but soooooo hot. We stayed two hours, but that was all we could take.
Then, when we got back home, I spent a couple hours working on the Human Study curriculum -- I've got to get myself organized for our first day of school in just a couple weeks! It'll come together though.
Following that, I spent hours upon hours going through all of O's clothing -- donate and toss -- so that I could go through all of the freshly washed clothing from Z's room (something like four full baskets worth -- so much that C and S took it all to the laundromat so it wouldn't take so long, one load at a time). We moved stuff from O's too big box into his closet/drawers, moved too small stuff from Z's clothing into O's too big box and then we folded and hung all of Z's laundry.
When that was all done (we now have three big bags of stuff to donate), some of the t-shirts were gender neutral enough that J had gotten a couple. She was struggling to put them away and when I checked her clothing situation, I also decided to sort her stuff and refold some of it. It was definitely more than I planned to take on, but if I don't get in there every once in awhile, it just really gets out of hand.
My shoulders are killing me from sitting on the floor, right-siding-out and folding eternal amounts of laundry. Ahh, the joy of a job complete.
Not to mention that I've been sick with a sore throat since Friday evening. Yes, it finally got around to me once every kid had it.
Tomorrow morning, will definitely be hectic. My sister, D, is coming at 7:20 to pick up S. She'll drop S at school on her way to work (they are in close proximity). Meanwhile, I'll take L and K to school -- they go to different schools that both start and end at the same time, so it's tricky, but we've had a few days to practice now. They need to be there by 8:00. Then at 9:00, we'll take N to her school -- it's also her first day of kindergarten. Also sort of monumental in the same way tomorrow is for S.
I'll have E all day, as well as our other four kids. I'll help with niece pick-ups at the end of their school day. Somewhere in there, we'll take care of stuff we need to get done at home. I'm just thankful we aren't starting back to school just yet so we can settle into this year's school routine in phases.
So the long story short is that I created a journal prompt but have yet to do my own journal page. My weekend journal prompt is becoming a weekday-whenever-I-have-a-moment prompt. I'll get there. Eventually.
But otherwise, we're still alive and breathing hard. Lord, be with us in this hectic week as everything turns topsy-turvy around here. Be the peace amidst it all.