Posting again after such a long break, makes me feel I should offer some explanation. I have none. Only life. The day to day business that doesn't seem noteworthy when seeing one day at a time, but becomes something bigger when seen as history.
So I guess we have been busy making history, making memories, discoveries, and changes.
L (23) is still in Australia. After working as nannies, house painters, and boot models, she and D saved enough money to buy a very cool van (imagine a small house with wheels) and head into the Australian Outback. Even though she warned me she would be without internet contact most of the time, her one post about coming upon a 17 foot crocodile and being in the most remote part of the world she had ever seen left me anxious to hear she is back in civilization. I miss her. I want to sit on the couch and talk about recipes and websites and art. She will be back one day and I will be here.
K(21) is in Recovery. Glorious, wondrous, miraculous, one-step-forward-one-step-back, recovery. It is a rocky and beautiful road. There is such joy in receiving him back into the family, watching relationships grow again, reaching for a hug and finding he is really there. It's living a second chance, everyday. He is working now with his dad, and those days of male bonding are helping make up for lost days, and months and years. Trust still walks on a tightrope and none of us are exactly sure how to handle some situations. But we carry on. And I keep believing if he can stay clean, eventually we can figure all the other puzzles out together.
J(16) has finally found medical help. She has suffered for so long with unrelenting pain, anemia, migraines, and many other seemingly unconnected symptoms. We were sent to one specialist after another and no one could help her, even though they were all eager to run all their tests on her and give her their medicine. We spent a year in disbelief that no doctor could do anything to help her pain. Finally, after what we think has been possibly nine years of fighting infection, she was diagnosed with Lyme Disease. She has begun treatment which includes herbal supplements, vitamins, antibiotics, and special dietary changes. We are amazed at the change in her in just this short time. I don't want to celebrate too early, but I think she is responding very well and her body has begun to heal.
Cami (5) started kindergarten with me in May. She is learning so fast. She began reading right away, as if she just needed the key to unlock the mystery. She also loves math. She is willing to do any work I ask of her, sometimes willing to work longer than my focus can last. She loves our Monday morning trips to the library, now with her own library card and bag of books. She goes to gymnastics two days a week and never forgets to say her prayers.
Delilah (5) had her birthday in July. On that day she enjoyed her first trip to Build a Bear. Afterward we had cake at Grandmom's and she opened her presents. Grandmom gave her an amazing "Queen of Atlantis" dress up costume. I don't think she took it off for two full days! Delilah is an incredible swimmer and she might be part mermaid. She tells me it's true. She also goes to gymnastics and I am thinking she might enjoy a dance class in the Fall.
Mark is busy with plenty of work this summer. With long strings of days where the temperature reaches above 95 degrees, it's a touch time to work outside. But we don't complain. Having work is always good.
I am trying to stay cool mostly, in between taking the girls where they need to go, stocking groceries, learning to cook gluten-free and keeping our house in some mild form of disarray. I'm enjoying my Artist Trading Card swaps and other paper and altered art. On these hot afternoons I like to set the girls up at the kitchen table with paints and paper, markers and glue, and we make art for hours.
It's a special season in my life and I want to soak it all in. There is a quote in Zen philosophy that says, "The Obstacle is the Journey". I try to remember that. Of course we have challenges, we have struggles, and stress that sometimes makes the day feel like mine field. Six of us living here now means there are many relationships and at any given moment someone may be on top of the world, and someone else nursing a bruised ego, and in another room someone telling me they are hungry. I try not to enter into the "journeys" that do not belong to me. I try to remember that every obstacle along my path is a chance to grow and learn. I try to hear the voice of God. I may not always be sure I hear Him clearly, but His fingerprints are everywhere.
And with this short update, you have my word, I will begin to write again.