This has to have been the fastest, slowest year of my life!!!! I cannot BELIEVE it is already the middle of November, and I feel a little like I've missed most of this year. At the same time, when I think back to March, May, even July, it seems like an eternity ago! Is that my stress level or old age?! LOL. I am SO not ready for the holidays to be here. I love them, but I'm not ready. On 2nd thought, in a way, I can't wait. ( I told you I was mixed up this year!) Briana will get to come home for 4 nights at Thanksgiving, two or three nights the first week of Dec., and, hopefully, at least a week at Christmas!!
Last entry I posted about Briana's cat, Snickers, having FIP, which was causing brain swelling, and seizures. The steroids got it under control, and we did not have to have him put to sleep like we expected. Less than 2 weeks later (last Thurs.), I did have to go with her to the vet for her to have him put to sleep. We knew the disease would progress at some point, but even the dr. expected it to be over years. In one week, it progressed to shutting down other systems, and though, she could have done things to stall for more time, they both would have been miserable, and it would have been just a short time anyway. I've had pets die several times before, but this is the first time we've ever had to have one put to sleep. It was a heartbreaking day. We were over in the town she lives in camping, so we left one of our dogs with her to keep her company for a while. She wants a dog of her own~this is the 3rd cat she's lost at early ages since her early teen years, and she refuses to get another one.
Homeschooling is plugging away here, although, not exactly where I want it. Right now, we're getting the basics and some occasional other things done. I'd like to get back to our lapbooking. But, both girls are progressing nicely in math, and Daniella's reading has crossed a stumbling block finally, and it's starting to click.
Our annual fall camping trip was fun....weird, but fun. The last 2 years, we've camped at a state park right in the middle of the town where Briana is living, so that she could come with us. We kept having to postpone this year's trip because of really cold weather, and by the time we were able to come, she had started rehearsals for It's a Wonderful Life. And, of course, we also had to put Snickers to sleep during the week. We still enjoyed some good family time, playing games, taking some walks, riding bikes. No pictures, because I am at Briana's now, and don't have my computer.
It's a Wonderful Life opens tonight! I LOVE opening nights~ getting to see a new show for the first time. She has some lines in this one, and gets to talk in an exaggerated NY accent. : ) Coming from a southern girl that should be fun! However, James and Ashley were at dress rehearsal last night taking pictures, and the executive producer at the Playhouse LAUGHED (appropriately) at Briana's lines! He recognized Ashley, and told her that Briana was really funny in that scene. Yay! Empress the executive director girl! : ) She also has a few dances in the show and lots of group songs. Her boyfriend, Troy, is also in this show, though they never have any scenes together. He is Mr. Potter.
Please pray for Ashley's shoulder. I think I mentioned in the post about her Africa trip that her group was chased by a Cape Buffalo on safari (!), and she stumbled and fell. She hurt her shoulder badly, but it improved a great deal over the next few weeks. Well, the last 2 or 3 weeks, she has been back in a lot of pain. The chiropractor is not helping it. Several people have laid hands on her to pray, and we have been praying constantly for it for this whole time. We have to make a decision where to take her next~ an orthopedic dr. for therapy (not surgery!) or to a regular physician to try a steroid injection. I cringe at the thought of steroids, but if it is imflamation, that would probably be what helped it best. The therapy will be long and painful, and not sure if that is what she needs. We were set to make an appt with the ortho dr., but I ran into someone in the store the other night who told me about her injured shoulder and the shots. We're praying for wisdom.
And, finally (I think), the Lord brought Ashley a great opportunity in Oct. He has been clarifying in her life this year that camp ministry is where she wants to work. She has been taking online courses for a couple of years, and has been absolutely miserable every single second. She has prayed and persevered, and has never been at peace or felt like she was where she was supposed to be. A couple of weeks after coming home from Africa, she decided she was not going to continue courses, at least for now. It was a difficult decision for her for a couple of different reasons, but she knew she could always start again, if she discovered she had made a mistake. Within just a couple of weeks of making her decision to stop school, she was offered a part time job apprenticing at the Christian camp that she is a summer counselor for every year! She LOVES it. In just a month and a half of working 2 or 3 days a week, she has led activities at 3 day camps, helped cook a meal for a zillion kids, scrubbed the lodge, helped with the planning of a mid-winter retreat, done computer work, helped design their new brochure, taken photos of the different areas of camp for the brochure, been to a meeting of the board of directors, made changes to their website.......... They want to give her the opportunity to experience every area of running a camp. They are asking her input on changes they are making. She works directly for the camp director and his assistant (his wife). The wife is the main person she works with on a "daily" basis. She is loving it, and it was so neat to see God open up the door for her and fulfill a longing she has had for a while. She has spent countless hours on the computer this year looking for such an opportunity. They were all going to have to wait until at least next summer, and were all in other states. This one is 45 min. away. AND, the Lord blessed her with a wonderful, nice like-new Kia Sportage at the same time she was finding out about this job. She bought the car herself, but the Lord had blessed her with the money, and led her to a gently used, wonderful condition, less than 30,000 miles vehicle., at a GREAT price. Her old car was.......OLD and falling apart. It would have never made it up and down that mountain 2 or 3 times a week for very long.
The Lord is working MAJORLY in a couple of other areas of our lives, as well, and it has been an amazing experience this year. Not easy, not comfortable a lot of the time, but definitely GOOD. I've sat here this morning and typed myself into excitement for what God is working on in our lives! : ) He IS GOOD!