It would appear by the dates on this blog that I had fallen off the face of the earth for about six weeks.
I did not, in fact, fall off the face of the earth although the temperatures made it feel as though our planet had been hurled out of orbit into spitting distance of the sun.
We've actually been pretty consumed with kids which is a much more fun but not necessarily more expensive alternative than being consumed by our pets. See previous posts.
We took 160 Mercy Street kids to Pine Cove for our fifth year of camp. Swimming with inner-city kids in lakes is one of my greatest joys. They start out all petrified and wigged out because they can't see their feet, the ground feels super slimy, and an occasional fish my nibble their legs but by the end of the week, they're blobbing each other sky-high, screaming and laughing the whole time.
And then we went back to school.
All four are settled in and, for the first time in nine years, they're all in school all day - every day. No more 1/2 days or early carpools so I can clean my house now for hours uninterrupted.
Huh. It sounded so much better in my head.
In this 'first day of school' picture, Graham was also supposed to be wearing his red sweater like the other two but we 'forgot it at home' which is a phrase oft-quoted by various members of our family. If we lived in the mid-13th century, I'm afraid it would be plastered across our Coat of Arms along with a picture of a mom with her head in her hands.
I'm 82% sure we would not have been knighted.
They're pretty cute anyway.
Speaking of pretty cute. Check this out.
It's been a long time since I've updated you on Dea. He's amazing. He's back in school at UTA and working almost full-time at a bank in downtown Dallas. The bank is involved with Mercy Street and, at an event last Spring, I had the opportunity to talk with the man Dea was scheduled to interview with. I could tell he was hesitant about the prospect of hiring an inner-city kid - not knowing exactly what to expect. I knew they would fall in love with Dea and he would extinguish any concern. They hired him at first as a part-time intern and then, three days into his job, he was approached by another department with an offer of more hours and more money 'cause, seriously, he's that awesome. He's blown us away with his resolve. From his work ethic, his determination, his responsibility, and his grades we really can't express how proud we are of him. He stayed with us for a short time again this summer between apartments and every morning, he'd be up early drinking coffee and would head out the door in his golf shirt and name badge. The young man who moved in at 15, a little unsure, confused and shy, who had lived a life at his young age that could have left him jaded and angry, rebelling - has grown into a young man of wisdom, kindness, and infinite potential. We are so thankful. The Lord's hand has been upon Him and we know that the trials he faced when he was young have been folded into the greater story we've had the privilege of seeing unfold first hand.
Like the rest of you, we're off to another great year. I can't wait to see the people and paths we'll cross along the way.
And by cross, I don't mean make real, real mad like my grandmother used to say.