In my favorite poem by Robert Frost, Nothing Gold Can Stay, he reminds us that like the seasons of nature, life is one season melting into another, and quickly fading away. This is my attempt to document each season in my life and my family.

This Year So Far – The Highlights

Filed under: Abby Jo,Army,Birthdays,Elijah,Family,Hailey,Home,Kids,Kyra,Logan,Matthew,Me,Owen,Photos,School,Trips — Rachel at 11:46 am on Tuesday, July 28, 2015

I don’t think I’ve ever let myself go so long without blogging here, and I’ve got a lot of ground to make up for. This post will be photo heavy, and just hit the highlights.


Celebrating the new year. January 1, 2015, 12:00 a.m.



Our three little guys played basketball this year. It was the first time playing basketball for all three of them, and they really enjoyed it.





Kyra played basketball on two different teams this year. This was after the game where she made her first ever 3 pointer!



We had a tremendous snow in February, and we were iced in for several days. Our road was impassable. At one point, Matthew and I had to walk out to the highway with rucksacks to meet my dad so he could take us to the grocery store to restock. These children ate us out of house and home!


They enjoyed the snow, though!







Elijah turned 11 on March 25, and Logan and Abby turned 6 the next day, on March 26. We had a birthday party for them at our house.



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Owen, Abby, and Logan all played baseball this Spring, and they were on the same team. (It was a really wide age range.) It was Owen and Abby’s first time playing baseball. Owen played catcher, and he loved it. Abby wasn’t a huge fan. I’m not sure if she will play again next year.




Enjoying the newly warm weather, I took the three boys out for ice cream one day after getting their hair cut.



Because I’m mean, I sent the above picture to the girls who were at home, and they sent me the picture below in response.




Because I’m not really a mean mama, when I took the girls for haircuts a few days later, they got ice cream, too. (We took a frappachino home to Kyra, who didn’t get her hair cut that day. No worries. I’m pretty fair.)




I had a really lovely Mother’s Day, and was so glad that I got to spend it with all six of my kids. They made me feel very loved and special.




Matt and I got to accompany the Wonder Twins on their Kindergarten field trip to the zoo. We had a blast! They loved the River Otters.


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I also got to go with Owen on his Farm Day field trip.




Abby and Logan graduated from Kindergarten, both with special awards. We were so very proud of them. (The other kids all got special awards, too, but I’m sparing you pictures of all of them. This post is already getting so long!)




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Matt and I celebrated our 1st Anniversary on May 24th with several different (kid-free) activities, including my first ever game of golf…which I loved!




Kyra had a piano recital in May, and she did a really great job playing “Hedwig’s Theme” from the Harry Potter movies.IMG_3632  IMG_3633


We went on a weekend camping trip in June that we really enjoyed. It was big on fun and short on pictures. We can’t wait to go again very soon!




Matt spent nearly three weeks away from us in June. He had to go to a three day drill followed by two weeks at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin to finish ILE (a school for the Army…the equivalent of a Master’s degree). We really missed him while he was gone, but we are all very proud of him.




Kyra turned 13 on June 20th, and Owen turned 9 on June 26th. We had a party for them after Matt got home from Wisconsin. I thought it was sweet that they wanted to postpone their party until their stepdad could be there.

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Kyra had a Dr Who cake, and Owen had a Jurassic World cake. Unfortunately, I somehow missed getting a photo of Owen with his cake.






The picture below is from my birthday, which was July 4th. I turned 27 again!




I hope you enjoyed this jam packed highlight post. We did so many, many more cool things over the last seven months, and I could have shared hundreds of more photos. This post would have been a mile long, though. We are a very blessed family!




Homecoming Princess

Filed under: Family,Kids,Kyra,Photos,School — Rachel at 11:29 am on Monday, October 6, 2014

Kyra ran for Homecoming Queen for her middle school this year. She didn’t win, but she did really well. Her classmates voted the girls into the homecoming court (three girls from each grade), and then the girl who raised the most money for the school was Homecoming Queen.

Kyra looked so pretty in her dress, and I loved how her personality shone through. She chose to wear Converse sneakers with her dress, and she looked fantastic. Everyone loved it. She’s definitely my daughter!


Kyra’s hair looked really pretty!



I can’t believe my baby girl is in 7th grade. Time really flies!

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Matt caught me and Kyra checking out our selfie. 🙂



Kyra with her escort, Dillon.


Kyra and her cousin, Mackeinzie.



Kyra with her Daddy and her stepmom, Brianne.



Kyra with Mammy and Papaw.

This is where I would have posted the photo of me and Matt with Kyra, but we asked someone else to take a photo of us with our camera and they didn’t actually take it. I was so disappointed! Oh, well. Maybe next time.

We are so proud of you, Kyra Joy! You are wonderful and beautiful and so very smart and kind. We could not ask for a better daughter!

What’s New?

Filed under: Abby Jo,Elijah,Family,General,Hailey,Kids,Kyra,Logan,Owen,Reading,School — Rachel at 11:20 am on Thursday, September 18, 2014

Things are going well and we are very busy around our house. We’ve got so much going on all the time. I can’t imagine what it would be like if I was still in school. I know we could have made it work and got everything done that needed done, but I can only assume that Matthew and I would be running ourselves ragged.

The kids’ activities keep us very busy. I’m really glad that they are able to participate in things that make them happy, and I’m thankful that I have more time now to be involved as well.

Kyra is running for Homecoming Queen at her middle school, so we’ve been busy trying to raise money for that. We’ve sold donuts, and Kyra, Brianne (her stepmom), and Mammy (my mom) have made hairbows in the school colors to sell. The three little kids got in on helping sell the hairbows at Elijah’s football games. We were all getting cracked up at Logan last Saturday. He was carrying a ribbon full of hairbows around, selling them with sheer cuteness. I think he sold seven bows. The three of them even managed to sell a bow to Papaw John! Kyra is also still taking piano lessons, and is working on a classical piece for her recital that’s coming up. After her first report card, she had all A’s except for one B. I’m really proud of her grades. Every time she gets an A in Math, I do a little victory dance in my head!


Elijah is playing football, and he has practice three times a week and games on Saturday. This boy loves nothing more in life than to play football. He’s doing so very well this year, despite being one of the smallest boys on the team. He plays hard every game, and really puts his heart into it. During his last game, he got a fumble recovery, some tackles, and he almost sacked the quarterback…he hit him right as he was throwing the ball, forcing an interception. It was so funny watching him come off the field after that. Elijah doesn’t get excited over much of anything, and was still all business coming off the field. His coach picked him up and bear hugged him. After the game, Elijah was trying to keep his game face on and not smile, but, when I told him  I bet he had just won himself the defensive player of the week medal, he grinned really big. I tried to snap a picture of him smiling, but he ran away. I gave my phone to my mom to take a picture, and I grabbed him and tried to hold him still. He was trying to get away, but you can see his happy spilling out anyway.

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Monday at practice, I went to pick him up, and I was so excited, watching from the van, when I saw the coach give Elijah the medal he had been working hard to earn since the beginning of the season. I admit, when his team started clapping for him and one of his teammates slapped him on the back, I teared up. I was just so happy for him.

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Along with football, Elijah is also doing two after school classes, one of which is Dodge Ball. Spending an hour playing Dodge Ball after school on one of the days he doesn’t have football practice is good for him. Otherwise, he has entirely too much energy! Elijah is also an honor student, and got all A’s and B’s on his first report card. Of the two B’s he got, he was one point away from an A for both of them. I’m really proud of him!

Owen doesn’t stay as busy as his big brother, because he’s not really into sports. He played football one year, but wasn’t a fan. He is taking an after school class, though. Like Elijah, Owen is doing Dodge Ball every Wednesday. Yesterday was their first day doing it, and he really enjoyed it. A few weeks ago, the elementary school had Open House, and I was so pleased after speaking with Owen’s teacher. She just gushed about him. He looked a little embarrassed while we talked, standing there with his hands shoved in his pockets, not saying a word. His teacher said he was an excellent student, he was very quiet and obedient in class, and she said he was very sweet. I was actually kind of surprised. I would have expected to hear that he goofs off and talks when he isn’t supposed to, because Owen is our resident comedian. He is always being silly and making everyone laugh. I guess he knows when to be silly and when to be serious. So good on him! I was over the moon, though, when she showed me his TCAP scores for reading. My boy is in the 99th percentile for reading. In case you don’t know what that means, let me brag on my boy. That score means that Owen reads better than 99% of kids his age in the whole country! I was so proud of him!


Hailey hasn’t been involved in extracurricular activities since she finished her baseball season this past spring, but she’s gearing up to be a little busier now. She is also taking an after school class. Yesterday was her first day of ballet class. Mammy told her the other day that we were going to get to see just how graceful Hailey Grace is. I was cracking up yesterday when Hailey was showing me in the kitchen what she had learned in ballet. Hailey is on a waiting list with Kyra’s piano teacher for a spot to take piano lessons from her. I’m really hoping that will open up soon. Hailey loves sitting down and playing around on the piano, so I would really like to see her get to start lessons soon. She’s also thinking about playing basketball this year, so, if she does, that will be starting up soon. The thing I am most proud of her for right now is all of her progress in reading since the school year started. Hailey has more homework than the rest of the kids combined. Apparently, first grade is serious business. At the beginning of the year, she was really struggling to read, but she’s doing so great right now. I work with her every day after school. She has developed a really good work ethic when it comes to homework, and she comes home every day, sits down with me, and we get it done. She reads each one of her stories to me twice, and she’s really doing the work to get better at it. At Open House, her teacher had lots of good things to say about her, and Hailey obviously loves her teacher and her class.  She’s got several friends at school, and is really doing great at her new school this year.



Me and Hailey reading before bed.



Our silly girl with her homework.

Abby is loving school! She was so excited for it to start, and she’s learning so much. Unlike Logan, Abby didn’t go to pre-school, so she’s learning everything for the first time in Kindergarten. I’ve struggled with feeling really bad that I didn’t have the time to work with her more. Especially since I homeschooled the first three and was so involved in teaching them the basics. So, even though it’s just Kindergarten, I feel like we’re already playing catch up. Besides homework, we’re doing a lot of other work with sight words, letters, numbers, and flash cards. Abby is super smart, so I know she will catch up to Logan soon. Socially, she’s doing great, too. She’s got some little friends at school, and also has decided she has crushes on two different little boys. She cracks me up talking about them! She also, apparently, goes by Abigail at school. The school doesn’t offer any after school classes for Kindergarteners this year, so Abby doesn’t have any extracurricular activities. She spends most of her free time playing with her siblings.



Abby on her first day of Kindergarten.

Logan is doing fantastic in school. His teacher gushed about him at Open House. She even mentioned that she thinks he might be gifted. He definitely went to a fantastic preschool, thanks to Matt, so he is ahead of the curve when it comes to Kindergarten. He has one especially good buddy at school, and we got to meet the little boy’s parents at Open House. Apparently, he talks about Logan as much as Logan talks about him. Like Abby, Logan doesn’t have any after school classes available to him this year, so he’s pretty much just chillin’ at home after school. He keeps himself busy drawing, coloring and playing with his brothers and sisters. They’re all a bit obsessed with Club Penguin lately. It’s kind of funny to me when the younger kids bring back the things that the older kids were really into a few years ago.


He had just said, “Rachel! Look at me! I’m a ninja robot!”

As far as Matthew and I go, we are mostly busy being parents. We do make a conscious effort to spend time alone together, though. Matt has been working from home on Fridays, which I absolutely love. It’s so nice to be home with him, just me and him. We’ve also had several date nights recently. We’ve done everything from a simple dinner out to a pre-season NFL game. We’ve went and looked at several properties, as we are wanting to find some land to build our dream house on. We’ve also spent a lot of time lately cuddled up on the couch watching football. (I must admit, though, that I have a propensity to cuddle up with the intention of watching football and falling asleep on him instead.)





At a Cincinatti game!


A quick ice cream date!


On our way to drop the kids off in Matt’s sexy truck! 🙂


At my nephew’s birthday party.

So, that’s all the latest for our crew. We are busy all the time, just enjoying being a family.I have a feeling that it’s only going to get better, too.

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Changing Seasons

Filed under: Faith,Family,School — Rachel at 11:02 am on Thursday, September 4, 2014

When Matt and I got married, we had the passage from Ecclesiastes 3 read, that says, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”

Time and again, throughout my life, I’ve found that this is so true. Much of life doesn’t make sense until I re-frame it and think, “It was just a season. It wasn’t meant to be forever.”

I feel incredibly blessed to be entering a new season. Like a returning autumn, I’ve seen a very similar, yet completely different, season before. I am once again going to be a stay at home mom. I couldn’t be any happier about it.

While it has surprised a few people, most people who know me very well at all know that I didn’t like nursing. I never once thought to myself, “I think I would like being a nurse.” It was never my dream. Never something I loved the idea of. For me, nursing was a practical choice that seemed like my best option at the time. I was in a rapidly failing marriage, looking for a way to support myself and my children in a short amount of time, when I first entertained the thought of going to nursing school. After Chris and I split up, it became my default plan, and I just started taking steps toward it. I was very uncertain about it. I knew I had no real desire to be a nurse, it just seemed like it would make sense. I actually applied to two schools…Roane State for Nursing, and Penn State for Psychology. I could not decide which direction to take. I much preferred the idea of Penn State, because I wanted to be a counselor. That was what I originally started going to school for eight years ago. I was just so worried that it wasn’t a responsible decision for my family. I was hoping to get accepted into one program and not the other, so my decision would be made for me. I got accepted to both. I really wrestled hard with the decision. In the end, I chose nursing because it was the most promising for supporting a family, which is what I expected to have to do for the rest of my life. I had no idea that less than one month into my first semester of nursing school, I would meet my future husband.

I worked very hard in nursing school. It consumed my life. It was hard and stressful, but I did very well. I was in the top of my class. I actually got the highest grade out of all the students on all three campuses for one of our first exams. I was also told that I got the highest grade on one of our Finals. I say that just to show that I was doing well. The classes were interesting to me, and I was doing fine. I hated clinicals, though. I didn’t like the actual nursing. I dreaded every clinical day, and, once they were over, I felt palpable relief that I didn’t have to do it again for another week. When I successfully finished the first year of school, I felt like I had been set free for the summer. I was walking on clouds. I was very proud of my accomplishments, but there wasn’t a lot of joy in it. It wasn’t that I couldn’t do it, but that I didn’t want to do it. I felt kind of trapped.

Matt knew how much I disliked nursing, and we had discussed different scenarios that would give me more time at home with the kids and less time working away from them, once I graduated. We were even talking about how I could pursue a completely different career outside of nursing once I finished. He told me he would support me if I wanted to quit, but I told him I couldn’t just quit. I felt like I had to at least finish school and see what happened. I don’t like feeling like a quitter. I didn’t want to finish, but I felt like I had to. I also felt like I owed it to Matt, since he married me with the expectation that I was going to be a nurse someday. I didn’t want to do a “bait and switch” on him. So, even though I was feeling increasingly stressed and depressed as the new semester was approaching, I was resigned to it.

However, I met a hang up shortly before the semester started. My financial aid wasn’t being awarded, and then they requested Matt’s tax information. I wasn’t getting the Pell Grant because I got married. Suddenly, instead of having my tuition paid for, I was going to have to come up with all of it out of the blue. It cast a different light on my situation. I had a couple really hard days where Matt and I talked nearly incessantly about what I should do. If we were going to have to pay for tuition, we felt like it should be toward a career that I would actually be happy doing. So, after a lot of discussion and back and forth and advice from people who know me and I trust, we decided that I would quit nursing school. One particular thing that my friend Karen told me has stuck with me and really helped me a lot. She texted me and said, “It’s just as courageous to admit you shouldn’t do something as it is to finish it.”  That was really my biggest hangup. I didn’t want to face people’s judgment. I didn’t want to feel like I had let anyone down or disappointed anyone. Plus, I had worked my butt off for two years to get as far as I was, and it was hard to just let it all go. I had even went to orientation, and the first day of classes was like three days away. I was so nervous about sending the email to the nursing department saying I was not going to continue in the program, that I actually asked Matt to hit “send”. I was a nervous wreck.

As soon as I sent it, though, I felt a tangible relief. In the days that followed, I felt like a two ton weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. I knew in my heart that nursing wasn’t where I was supposed to be, but making the decision to quit was almost harder than finishing would have been. Once the decision was made, I felt like a new woman.

The future plan is kind of unclear right now, but I for sure don’t want to commit to any other educational path until I know that I really, really want to do it. Matthew has been so good to me, and he is willing to be the sole breadwinner and let me stay at home with the kids. Before my divorce, staying at home with the kids was always my plan. After the divorce, though, I just thought it would never be an option for me again. I feel like I missed out on so much with my kids over the last three years, but I know it was a season. I don’t regret any of the decisions I made, because they all led to me being where I am today. I just have to remember that not every decision we make or every path we take is meant to be forever. Sometimes, God uses things just to get us where he wants us. Matthew and I have had so many conversations that remind us that the timing of our relationship has been so obviously divinely orchestrated. Just a day or two difference in the timing, and we never would have met. I’m thankful for how things have worked out.

I’m thankful for all the seasons I’ve been through. The really dark times have made the good times seem brighter. The times where I’ve worked almost constantly and missed time with my kids have made me appreciate the time I have with them now so much more. I can’t take it for granted. The lonely times have made me more grateful for having found someone who suits me so perfectly. I know there is a time for every purpose God has designed for us, and I am content to know that I’ve done the best I knew how to do. I worked hard for as long as I was working toward a goal, and I feel a great deal of peace that I am back at home now. Sure, there are things that have to be worked out now and change accordingly, but I am confidant that I made the right decision for me and my family. I am a mom of six…that alone is a big job. Already, opportunities have been presented to Matt that will be much easier for him to pursue if he so chooses because I am not going to be stretched so thin by school. I just feel good about our decision. I think it’s the right one for our family…and for me.

When I told one of my friends that I had quit school, they said, “What a waste!” I started to feel bad, but then I reminded myself that it was a season. And that particular season of my life…as seasons do…has passed.

First Day of School

Filed under: Abby Jo,Elijah,Hailey,Kids,Kyra,Logan,Owen,Photos,School — Rachel at 5:29 pm on Sunday, August 10, 2014

The kids started school again. I can’t believe summer vacation is already over. It went by so fast!

Kyra started 7th grade, Elijah is in 5th grade, Owen is in 3rd grade, Hailey is in 1st grade, and Abby and Logan are starting kindergarten. All but the wonder twins have had their first full day of school already. Logan and Abby’s first day of Kindergarten is Wednesday, and then they have a couple more days the following week, before starting a regular schedule.

The kids were all kind of excited about starting school again. Even the ones that didn’t particularly want to do school again were looking forward to seeing their friends. Abby Jo is definitely the most excited. She cannot wait to start Kindergarten. I was happy that she got Mrs. Suddeth, who was Owen’s Kindergarten teacher. We wanted Logan and Abby to be in the same class, but they put them in different ones. They said they don’t like putting siblings in the same class.

I’ll be starting school again soon, too, and then, boy, will our schedule be hectic. We are going to have a lot to get used to!

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Hello, Summer!

Filed under: Abby Jo,Family,Kids,Logan,Me,Photos,School — Rachel at 8:43 am on Monday, May 12, 2014

I did it! I finished my first year of Nursing School. I can’t quite express how happy I am about that. It’s such a relief to have passed, and it’s just as relieving to simply get a break. I am burned out, to say the least. I did manage to finish both classes this semester with a B. So, I’m pretty happy with that. I’m totally thrilled to not have to think about it too much again until August.

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Me, with my last clinical group and our instructor.

Now, I’m trying to focus on the wedding. It’s only 12 days away now! We have almost everything taken care of. At this point, we just have to finish making a few small purchases for the reception and the ceremony. Other than that, we mostly just have to wait till the day of and the day before to set things up. We went the other day and got our marriage license. I’m getting awfully close to becoming Mrs. Holbrook!


The kids still have two weeks of school left. They are ready for summer. I am, too. I am excited about getting to stay home with them this summer and for all the things we are going to get to do together. I went last week and registered Abby and Logan for kindergarten. That was definitely bittersweet. It’s exciting that they are growing and getting to do new things, but it’s sad that the littlest ones are going to be in school, too. It’s such a cliche’, but they just grow up way too fast.


We are needing to start moving Matt’s stuff into the house, but we’ve hit a bit of a roadblock. We bought new carpet for the den and one of the upstairs bedrooms. The night before it was supposed to be installed, I found water damage in two corners. Turns out, the people who finished the basement (sometime before we bought the house thirteen years ago) didn’t seal the cement block wall before they installed paneling over it. The wood behind the paneling was rotted. So, Matt and I had to rip that out this weekend. We were going to try to just patch it back up with some new paneling, but we couldn’t find any that matched. We decided to put drywall up in the entire room, since we were wanting to do that eventually anyway. So, we’ve got the wainscoting and chair rail torn out, and we bought the drywall and supplies yesterday after church. We are going to start putting the drywall up tonight. It’s not ideal timing, but we are trying to get it done this week so we can get the carpet installed. I’m so thankful to have a man who says my problems are his problems and wants to help me. I don’t know what I would do without him.

It’s a hectic start to my summer break, but it will let up soon. A couple more weeks and the project will be finished and we will be married. My biggest concern will be getting all of Matt’s stuff moved to our house and keeping the kids busy and entertained. I have a long list of books to read and backyard, hammock naps to take. This is going to be a very good summer!

A Long Overdue Update

Filed under: Family,Kids,Photos,School — Rachel at 12:16 pm on Sunday, June 9, 2013

I can’t believe I haven’t blogged here since November! I have been incredibly, overwhelmingly busy, but, now that summer vacation is here, I have time to breathe (and blog) again. With so much time that has passed since my last blog post, I thought I would just write an update blog to start with and then go from there.

  • The kids are all doing fantastic. They are out of school for the summer, and everyone finished the school year with good grades and good memories. Kyra completed her last year of elementary school, and will be heading off to the middle school with Jeremiah next year. My kids go back and forth between me and Chris this summer, just like during the school year, but Amy’s kids are spending the majority of the summer with their dad in Kentucky. My kids are looking forward to going to Disneyworld next month with their dad. Amy and I were hoping to take all the kids to the beach this summer for a vacation, but I’m not sure, at this point, that finances are going to allow it. We will try to do lots of smaller scale, fun things closer to home, though.
  • Three of the kids had birthdays recently. Elijah and Abby had birthdays in March. They turned 9 and 4, respectively. Jeremiah turned 12 a few days later on April 1. We celebrated with a birthday party for the three of them at the skating rink. It was a lot of fun. In a couple of weeks, Kyra and Owen will be having birthdays. We are having a pool party for them at the Kingston pool. Kyra is turning 11 (that blows my mind!), and Owen is turning 7. Sarah is the lone child who doesn’t have a birthday close to someone else. She won’t turn 11 until September.
  • After an absolutely exhausting Fall semester, where I took Anatomy & Physiology II and Microbiology in the same semester, I had an easy Spring semester, taking four classes that I thought sounded interesting. I finished last month with four A’s and a huge sigh of relief. I get the summer off of school, and go back in the fall to start…dun duh dunnn…Nursing School! I was so excited and relieved to find out a few weeks ago that I got into the nursing program at Roane State. I was so worried that I wouldn’t get in. It is a very competitive program, and about half of the applicants don’t get in. Shortly after finding out I had been accepted to the program, I found out that I was being awarded a $1,500 scholarship from Altrusa International in Oak Ridge.  I already had one scholarship through the Roane State Foundation. These scholarships are such a blessing to me, and make the financial burden of going to Nursing School much less.
  • I am still working in the Business & Finance office at Roane State. I started working there as a work study job, but, after my hours ran out, they decided to give me a temporary contract to work there as a temporary employee. I will continue working there through the end of the summer, but probably won’t be able to continue to work there after school starts. My schedule will be very demanding then. Along with working at the college, I have also been mowing yards again this season. I have four yards that I do regularly. I was saving all the money I made from mowing toward taking a vacation, but I think that money may have to be used for my school expenses. Either way, it’s exhausting work, but I’m thankful for it. I admit, though, that I look forward to the day when I no longer need to do such physically hard work. It takes a toll on me.

That’s basically what’s been going on with us. Just taking care of business. School and work and church and family. Amy and I have also been involved in some community service type work, but I’ll blog about that another time. For now, I’ll leave you with some pictures from the last few months and a promise to blog again soon. If you’re still reading my blog, I’d love for you to leave a comment so I’ll know you stopped by.

Me and Kids

Me and my kiddos.


Owen Surgery

In May, Owen had surgery to put tubes in his ears.

Lady Vols Game

Amy and I went to our first Lady Vols game in January.


Free Donuts 2  Free Donuts

Free donut day at Krispy Kreme!

Abby with Goat

Abby Jo holding a baby goat at Papaw’s farm.


Abby on Birthday

Abby Jo on the day she turned 4! Birthday lunch with Mommy at McDonald’s.


Family Updates

Filed under: Abby Jo,Chris,Elijah,Family,Kids,Kyra,Owen,School — Rachel at 9:02 am on Tuesday, November 15, 2011

We’ve had a lot of busy days around here lately. I thought I’d give a little update.

First of all, things have really improved between Chris and I, and we have taken divorce off of the table. I thank you all for your prayers, and I hope you will continue to pray for us. God has really worked in my heart and has changed my mind, and, I can assure you, that took an act of divine intervention. We are still living separately right now while we work on our issues, but we are definitely staying married. Again, my heartfelt thanks for your prayers on our behalf!

Okay, on with the family updates…

The boys’ football season ended on Saturday. They both won their bowl games…Owen’s team won the Silver Bowl, and Elijah’s team won the Bronze Bowl. They both got nice looking medals. The boys had completely opposite feelings about the end of the season. Owen was not into the whole thing since about the second week. After his game was over Saturday, he told me, “I finally got out of it!” I think he may be more cut out to be a mascot than a football player. He is only five, though. Hopefully, he will be more into it later on. Elijah, on the other hand, has steadily progressed in his playing abilities all season, and has developed a deep love for playing football. His coaches couldn’t get him to talk to them at all, but they told Chris and I several times how impressed they were with his improvements, his listening, and his heart. He went from playing about four or five plays a game at the beginning of the season to playing the entire game on offense and a good portion of the game on defense. His team didn’t win a lot of games this season, so, when they won their bowl game and got a huge trophy and individual medals, I was expecting Elijah to be all smiles. He didn’t look happy at all, though. I was confused at first, but then I realized what was wrong. He told me that he was sad that football season was over. He spent the rest of the afternoon breaking my heart. Every time I looked at him, he had tears in his eyes. I felt so sorry for him! So…two totally different reactions to it, but the boys are finished for the year. I can’t say that I’m not totally relieved. I was not a fan of practices three times a week and games on Saturday.

The kids are all loving school. They have all adjusted nicely, and have all made friends. Owen had been on a field trip, and won the highly esteemed “first to ride on a real school bus” distinction. Kyra won first place in a speech competition, sang in a Veteran’s Day program, and has a field trip to the Cumberland County Playhouse coming up next week. Elijah is the only one with anything negative to say about school, and that is because he is convinced they are holding him back. He was a grade ahead in math in homeschool, and was learning multiplication. He is in second grade, though, and they aren’t doing multiplication in second grade in public school. This rubs him the wrong way. Other than that, he likes school.

Kyra has had a horrible cough for about a week. I took her to the doctor yesterday. He said he didn’t think she had pneumonia but that her lungs sounded “junky”. He put her on some medicine, and told us to bring her back if she gets worse. She sounds just terrible. Hopefully, the medicine will get it under control. I always get nervous with her, because she’s prone to respiratory problems (croup, pneumonia, etc.). Chris was at the doctor yesterday, as well. He has cellulitis in his leg. It’s causing him a lot of pain and discomfort and keeping him from work right now, but it should get better soon.

Abby Jo and I are enjoying all our free time while the kids are in school. She misses the kids and often gets mad at me when I bring her home after dropping them off. She thinks she should get to go somewhere every day, too. Apparently, home is boring. I am enjoying the boring, though. I’ve been going to the gym, taking Abby to storytime at the library, and going out for lunch. It’s nice.

That’s about it for now. Thanks for reading. 🙂

Blue Ribbon

Filed under: Kids,Kyra,School — Rachel at 1:23 pm on Saturday, November 5, 2011

I am so proud of Kyra! She told me she was working on a speech in science class this week, and that it was about the mockingbird. I thought this was a class thing. When I picked her up from school on Thursday, however, she was bursting with excitement and told me that she had one first place in the speech contest. Turns out, it was a 4H speech competition, and she tied for first place in her class. This means that she gets to move on to a countywide competition next month. I was so proud of her. Her first full week of public school, and she is totally kicking butt! This girl is confident and brave and very smart, and I am so proud!

First Day of Public School

Filed under: Elijah,Family,Kids,Kyra,Owen,School — Rachel at 9:28 pm on Thursday, October 27, 2011

Today was the kids’ first day of public school. There should be a picture here of the three of them, but I forgot to take it. I intended to. I had thought about it. I just forgot because they were rushing me so much. They were so excited, and could not wait to get there!

I had been worried about Elijah not adjusting well. He is so very shy and quiet. Yesterday, though, I took them to be tested to make sure they were where they should be, and, after he finished his tests, he kept saying, “I hope we can start tomorrow! Do you think we can start tomorrow?” I told him I didn’t know, but I didn’t really think they would. They did, though, and the kids couldn’t have been happier about it.

I need to stop this narrative right here, though, and brag shamelessly. While the kids were testing, I was mentally biting my fingernails in nervousness. If they didn’t test well, it would be my fault for not being a better teacher. So, when Owen tested right where he should be, I breathed a sigh of relief. When Elijah tested right where he should be, I heaved a huge sigh of relief. Then, when they told me that Kyra reads at an eighth grade level, I took a bow. My little smartypants tested into the accelerated reading AND math classes. I was so proud of her. Alright…end brag.

So, anyway, after their testing was over yesterday, we met their teachers and saw where their classrooms are. Then, we had to go to Walmart and spend a ton of money on school supplies, backpacks, and lunchboxes. While the kids were at Awana last night, Abby and I went back to Walmart and bought lunch stuff. Starting school minus back to school sales is expensive!

This morning, the kids practically leaped out of bed when I woke them up (two or three hours earlier than they woke up for homeschool). Elijah sleeps on the top bunk in the boy’s room, and he sat up and swung himself over the bed before he had really opened his eyes. He was grinning from the moment he woke up. They were dressed in about two minutes, and helped me pack their lunches. Then, they took turns saying, “Is it time to leave yet? Can we just go ahead and go?” for the next thirty minutes. Fun times.

When I picked them up from school today, they were all still happy. I was so glad. I worried off and on all day about how they were doing. At one point, I actually prayed that no one (not going to name any shy kids here) would pee their pants because they were too shy to ask to go to the restroom. I made each one of them give me a play by play of their day. Kyra loved everything and made a “favorite friend” first thing this morning. She was stoked because her and her friend, Cheyenne, are in every class together. Elijah loved math and said he already knew twelve boys from football. He also said he made a new friend, a boy who was funny but Elijah didn’t remember his name. Owen reported that his teacher got mad when he was too loud, he liked recess and technology lab, and that there were five pretty girls in his class.

So, all in all, a great day. The kids all went to bed tonight by nine with no protesting. They were anxious to go to bed so that it would be time for school again. We’ll see how long that lasts…

Tomorrow, I’ll try to get a picture. Thank you all for your prayers for their transition. So far, so good!

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