you know that I have been raising children a long long time
and writing about it--
the good things like moving from Idaho to Colorado Springs to Oregon,
and mission calls and homecomings
weddings and grandbabies
careers and callings
travels and recipes--
I have written all of that and then some!
I used to blog daily for years--those deeply-up-to-my-neck-in-kids years
and I loved it!
I'd get up before the kids on school mornings
and stay up late on summer nights just to get it all down
before I'd forget those moments in the mix of things.
I'm so glad that I did all of that typing and editing and loading pics
that used to take for.ev.er.
It blessed my life then and it continues.
I love looking back over those busy years and recalling them all.
Journaling is a great memory keeper.
It's gotten more and more quiet around here as the last two at home
approached adulthood thru high school.
So I didn't write as much online but kept writing in my personal journal,
because journalling is good for me.
So here I am eleven years later,
the house asleep, it's nearly midnight
and my brain is buzzing such that I need to do a blog dump
so I can let it all go.
our youngest son, Joseph, has received his mission call.
It was not a straight shot from high school to this moment.
Deciding to serve a two year mission--completely trusting in the process of
where he'd be asked to serve,
moving away from family and friends,
postponing college and career,
and all of the conveniances and habits that accompany his daily life--
including leaving behind a cute young lady he's been dating since last Fall,
and who also happens to be a non-member and doesn't really get why young men do any of this--
well that decision was a hard one to make for Joseph.
And knowing what the sacrifices are,
as parents we couldn't simply insist that he serve.
We encouraged him along, hoping and praying truly that he would make the decision
to go on his own.
A mission is hard. There's not much that is easy about it, so it had to be his choice.
He wanted to go, but wasn't sure if he was ready to trust in the process
or had enough faith that Heavenly Father actually knew him and would place him
exactly where he should be called to serve.
So he vacillated for a few months before finally making the commitment to go.
Once he did, from beginning to end was less than 3 weeks.
He's in Houston, Texas visiting Danielle and her family
as they just returned from living in Saudi Arabia for five years.
His call came last week via email.
He doesn't leave until November--time enough to get in some fall hunting, which was important to him. He'll have Christmas in the mission field.
And lastly, The Caboose. She's heading to Brigham Young University-Idaho in a month.
She and Joseph have made the best kind of friends here in Eugene. They are loving, fun, and accepting of each other. Zero drama. Camp-outs in the mountains, at the beach or lakes, movie-nights, and sunrise hikes. All of these young people are tightly knit and supportive. After enduring the depressed environment in Colorado Springs from so many of their classmates' suicides for two full years, my teens needed a break from it all. It took them awhile, especially Arianna, to heal from the grief that so intensely held her breath that she could barely attend school there. She says the friends here made her feel like she has permission to be happy again. The healing continues for both Joseph and Arianna and it seems that's the best part of moving here.
So with the two youngest leaping out of the nest pretty darn soon here--Mr. Wonderful and I are about to become Empty Nesters! I can't even believe it. I've been raising children since 1983, since I was 21 years old. Seven children! And we've reached the Finish Line of: laundry piles, endless sinks of dirty dishes, meal planning for a family, carpools, curfew watches, bags and bags of groceries and the umpteenth trip to the market to get those groceries, school lunches and PTO meetings, afterschool activities, sleepovers, Church youth activities, looking for the TV remote (and the batteries that always disappeared in them!), shoo-ing kids out the door for church on Sundays and Seminary...I can hardly believe the end is here.
It was a long long Season in Life, but it's finished. And man, I'm missing it already.