Immense Joy

little things

The definition of happiness is the quality or state of being happy… good fortune and pleasure.

The definition of joy is the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation; something greatly valued or appreciated.

While they are very similar, joy is much deeper.

Life isn’t perfect (and it never will be),  but I am feeling immense joy these days.

We have been so busy, but I am loving being with people a lot lately, making new friendships, growing in existing friendships, working with gap year students, doing things that I love, starting to exercise again (with Robert), doing school with the kiddos (which has been so amazing these days), eating healthier again (in a balanced way), and so much more.

Some highlights…

Robert and I went to Dallas a few weeks ago, saw a show in my favorite theatre, had a midnight meal at Cafe Brazil, and had a long lunch with some great friends at Torchy’s!  It was only one night and two days (including the long drive), but it was worth it!

A few days later, we went to the HEB Foundation camp and enjoyed four days with our camp family.  We swam, slept well, played games, ate good food, created goals, and just spent some great time talking with amazing friends.  I felt such peace and clarity while I was there (and it has mostly continued minus a few days).

Robert and I have started trail running/hiking and bouldering.  We’re taking one day at a time and are building goals slowly, but I’m just so happy to be out doing the things.  Robert is a huge accountability source for me and pushes me to do hard things.

I did fall when I ran this past week, which was tough.  It set me back a bit because it really hurt.  But I went back out Friday, and Robert and I plan to go out this evening.  I’m not used to trail running.  It’s so so different.  But I really love it!

My personal goal is to be able to run a half marathon in the spring.  Our goal as a couple is to backpack the John Muir Trail next fall.  It’s 211 miles!  It typically takes about two weeks.  I never would have considered this, but I know that I can do hard things.  I’m going to be so proud to know that I could do such a difficult thing.  I follow #johnmuirtrail on Instagram, and I am in love with allll of the pictures that I have seen.  Check out this scenery!

Ethan raced last weekend at our huge mountain bike festival that we host, and he got third place!  This is huge considering he’s probably the youngest in his class (at least at this race).  There also weren’t many racers, but I just know that he has worked super hard this year!

A few random pictures… Ethan reading much longer than planned because he got into the book.  This just doesn’t happen, ever.  I’m thankful!  Robert and Ethan zip lined yesterday.  Levi, Karis, and I went to the Farmer’s Market Friday!  I love it a bunch.  We had a time of prayer on Tuesday for our facilitators and Walkabouts!  And I am learning to enjoy my coffee a lot less creamy these days.

I met with my Walkabout (Gap Year program) mentee this week, and I’m super excited about working with her.  She’s an amazing young lady, and I know that we will learn so much from each other.  We are starting a Bible study soon (her request!).  She knows what she wants and needs and shared it this past week.

I spent some time planning my month, and I LOVE this part of the planner that I recently bought.  The regular pages are kinda crappy (just lines), but this is amazing.

Last week Karis and Ethan told me that they want to do more independently.  I was a bit bummed at first because I have put so much of my emotional energy into planning the past several weeks.  But.  I realized that maybe this was God’s way of telling me to relax a little.  I also think it will help me a ton to just be able to focus on planning a few things well.  They will still be doing Brave Writer writing projects, read alouds, Bible with the boys, and I will still plan units for science and geography/culture studies.  We will keep doing Poetry Teatime.  But I printed off the grammar/spelling from the Good and the Beautiful (they will ONLY do grammar, spelling, and a little writing… nothing else).  And I’m only using their free pdf’s.  I printed out what they need and that’s it.  I’m not sure what will happen long term… because the free pdf’s only go through the level that I’m using with Karis right now, so if I plan to continue, I will have to buy the book.  I just don’t wanna.  Haha.  I also decided to not make the kids do reading response journals.  I want them to just enjoy reading… and the response journals are what I was required to do when I taught.  I don’t have to do everything that I did when I taught!  The boys have also decided that they would prefer to do written questions and narration for history if that means that they get to do it independently.

Homeschooling will probably be something that I’m constantly tweaking.  I’m okay with that.   I’m just going to own it!  From what I see, it’s common for the majority of people who homeschool.

This white board has been the easiest way to consistently be organized for homeschooling.  They like to see it in big, bold print right in front of them, and they like to be able to check things off as they go.

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Life is good!

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