"You look so lovely today."
Those were the last words my dear friend Kim spoke to me, last Sunday in church. She passed away suddenly yesterday morning from a recurrance of cancer, taking us all by shock. She taught Sunday School and led worship Sunday morning, full of joy and anointing, with not the least hint that by the end of the week, she'd be gone.
My heart is so heavy for the family. She and her husband have five lovely children whom they've homeschooled from the beginning, the first to graduate next month and the youngest just seven. Her dad is pastor of our church and I can't imagine how difficult it will be for her folks to carry on the ministry without her very gifted and loving presence. Ours is a small church, so she leaves a very large hole.
Kim and I hit it off the first time we met years ago in our homeschool support group. Later, when she left the group, we would run into each other at conferences or fairs, and always it was as though we'd just seen each other just yesterday. It was at one of those times she invited us to their church. We did, and from the first day it was 'home' for us. One of the highlights of these past two years for me has been the reconnect of our friendship and warm fellowship in Jesus. But more significantly, her spiritual strength, radiant joy, and amazing faith has lifted me time and again when I've been discouraged over the long course of healing from health issues of my own.
I've been privileged to know a truly lovely soul and been blessed by her love and genuine, caring heart. We will miss her terribly, but the Word promises that all of this is working together for good, and that we sorrow not as those who have no hope. Thank the Lord, it doesn't end here--she's in our future.
This breathtaking sight greeted us earlier this week, a Colorado spring snow in the morning sunrise. We dashed out so as not to miss our chance with the cameras, knowing that in just a few hours, it would be melted and gone. It was.
Just as the ups and downs in our weather, so it seemed to go with other things this week. My two sweeties were both sick with colds, which made it hard to get anything significant done. School was choppy, events cancelled, and surfaces disinfected...over and over. Thankfully, the patients are mostly better, and I had the joy of cleaning and setting our life to rights again today.
We've just finished reading To Kill a Mockingbird in our literature study. Wow, I'd forgotten what a powerful book that is! It prompted some wonderful discussion, not only the issues of prejudice and injustice and so on, but also Harper Lee's incredible, funny, moving writing. To top it off, we checked the movie out from the library and watched it last night. That has got to be one of the greatest movies ever made! SweetPea says, "That's in my top three!" I think I'd have to agree.
I had the delight of having a little dream come true this week...a netbook! I've been saving my pennies for a while to get it, and on Wednesday the FedEx truck made my day. (The estimated delivery time--from China--was 10:30 a.m. The doorbell rang at 10:16. I told the delivery lady that they were really good--Shanghai to my door, with 14 minutes to spare!) I've envisioned how handy this little mini would be for my on-the-go life and writing-when-the-inspiration hits me. Feels like Christmas. :-)
And in case you noticed that very cute mug next to Minnie in the pic, that was my thrift store find this week...a set of four for $1.50. I have a thing about mugs (especially when they're filled with tea) and I'm sure my family groaned when I eagerly displayed my new wares, but they indulge me and for that I'm grateful. When Momma's happy...
SweetPea's drama production of "Robin Hood" is only a couple of weeks off, so we're adding extra practices and a costuming session to our school week. It's a wonderful group of kids, very focused, attentive, and giving it their all. And the play is hilarious! This past week they had the first full run-through and it was a delight. SP's role is the dim-witted, klutzy daughter of the Sheriff of Nottingham and she has to deliver a number of curtsies that end in a sprawl on the stage. No easy task to pull off and not color yourself black-and-blue! She'll look back on this as the highlight of the year, I'm sure.
Yesterday I sat in our homeschool teen public speaking class, checking off kids' names as they did their presentations and marveling at what God has done in them over the years they've been in this class.
One young lady did an amazing dramatic interpretation of four different poems; another, a riveting persuasive speech on the power of media's influence on a teen's mind and heart. One young man presented a colorful and intriguing story of the pyramids of Egypt (some amazing writing), and his brother gave a clear and compelling case for "one race" in humankind based on genetic and Biblical evidence. And for a lovely ending, we enjoyed a young lady's mini-musical on her pedal harp, and her fascinating information about it. I was so proud of them all!
I've helped moderate or teach this class since my daughter was six years old...nine years of fun and blessing as my friend Yvette and I have coached and challenged these kids how to become great communicators. (The picture above is SweetPea giving a report on China a few years ago.) God sure has his own sense of humor; with my own fears, the one thing I would never have dreamed I'd be involved in was public speaking! But as is true so often with teaching, I've learned just as much as the kids. And truly, it's been wonderful to see them conquer their fears and learn to speak with confidence.
I wish I had a video record of the amazing variety of presentations we've had over the years--everything from fencing to debate, little ones reciting their Awana verses, and skits that brought the house down. Truly, it's been one of the richest highlights of our own homeschooling journey. If your kids have an opportunity to do this, I'd highly recommend it! I'm thinking a great project would be to compile an e-book with all the good information we used over the years to help out other homeschoolers (you know, one of those when-we're-done-homeschooling projects).
Our support group is, of course, mom-run as are all such homeschool groups, and I have felt that this year was my last in Oral Reports class. Time to move on into some other areas, help out elsewhere.
Thank you, Yvette--thank You, Lord!