Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Catch up!

Say you pulled up to my house after a long separation, I welcome you into my home, serve you some ice water and invite you to curl up on my couch with me to catch up on all the happenings of the McLaughlin family over the last few months. We have been busy, and our conversation bounces from one topic to the next fluidly, effortlessly, as old friendships do.

What have we been up to? Wow, where to start? Yes, before I get started, I DO love my real wood flooring. I love what it does for our home, I love how much healthier I feel, knowing I can SEE any dirt or dust that we gather as we live our lives in and out of this house. It is easy to care for, but it does demand attention on a daily basis. I love how I can hear Addison's flat feet running around on it. I love how Caiden dons socks for the sole purpose of spinning and twirling "just like a ballerina". Yes, I do highly recommend it and learning to lay it yourself is well worth the time in the money it will save you!

Hey, check out this tent some friends gave us! Yes, it's only for inside. The girls like reading in it. Isn't it fun? They gave us a Gymboree parachute too. We haven't played with that yet, but there are so many options for learning with that thing. It's amazing how God provides. You know, our income is the lowest it's been in our married life, but there is absolutely no shortage of surprises, and gifts of things that we don't NEED. God is so good, providing for us even beyond our needs, and according to His riches and Glory! Remind me to tell you about Caiden's answer to prayer later...

So, I guess the biggest change has been our new church. As you know, Jeff began a new job at First Baptist Orlando in May. We are super thrilled to be a part of this church and are so excited about where they are headed as a community of believers. You've probably heard about the 5.6 million the members pledged for Love Orlando- the ministry to Orlando's "new homeless". Jeff is getting to be a part of assisting a team of people creating protocol and procedures and establishing teams to work with different aspects of this ministry. He is also working some with singles, and young marrieds. Needless to say he is BUSY during the work week, but we are enjoying seeing him more than in recent years. In fact, I told him the other day that I SO needed this reprieve. His presence the last few months has been healing to my soul. The past four years I have often played a single parent as he pastored an amazing group of youth in Winter Park, but it has been exhausting. So, amazingly enough, our time so far at this very large church has been refreshing and reviving to our souls.

All of that to say, this transition has not been without bumps and bruises along the way. We really struggled the first month or more of our time there. Jeff was struggling to find a place and discern what his role would be- there was so much that he could do! But we had also come straight from our last church where we had served and "done life" over the last 7 years. In retrospect, we should have taken a little time off in between job. I think we experienced a bit of a mourning period. All of our lives were wrapped up in that church, our friends, and "family" over the last 7 years. They were (and in some ways, still are) an amazing support base. Our family!! We had only been married about a year and half when we started at All Saints, and we brought two children into the world there, and to suddenly find yourself in a different, larger pond where you are both unknown and don't know anyone yourselves, it was a bit of a transition to say the least. =) Things are in a much better place these days, and we are learning SO MUCH. If I even attempted to share all of those details they could fill multiple posts! Glory to God!

We started school with Caiden on Monday! We are loving it! We have decided to use Five in A Row which is a literature based unit study curriculum along with continuing our Teach a Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, and supplemental Math work. Remind me and I will share with you our first unit based on Blueberries for Sal by McCloskey.

Wow, look! There's a Mama raccoon and her three babies crossing our backyard! Two days ago there was a Mama duck and her passel of duckling playing around back there. They were so cute and fluffy and all so close together I couldn't count how many there were. Well, we can add that to our list of wildlife that we've seen actually IN our backyard: bears (often), owls, snakes, ducks, wild turkeys, raccoons, hawks, armadillo....hmm, I guess that's all. At least that's all I can think of at the moment.

Anyway, so. How are YOU?? Seriously, I'm inviting you to share your heart with me. How are you doing? What is God teaching you? What is a fun thing your family has done this summer? How can I pray for you? We have all the time in the world....


Mrs said...

If there are photos, I can't see them. =(

I am stressed. God did give me some time with my hair stylist and my friend from TN, so that was grand and a blessing! I want a Jubilee, a year of rest. I am praying about whether I will be able to do AWANA JV this year.

For some reason, I'm really craving blueberry cheesecake.

You've started school! Glenna has until the 16th.

Thanks for the chat!

agable said...

Shannon, I LOVE hearing about you guys! What a fun family. I am so excited about your decision to home school, you will be an awesome teacher! I continue to learn so much from you.
Oh, and your floors sound beautiful! :)