Today I am reflecting on what our family did in 2013. Ram went to Oregon a couple of times for church. Ewe went to the He Remembers the Barren retreat in St. Louis. The Lambs never left Idaho in 2013. This is so different than when we lived in Minnesota and often went to other states just to go grocery shopping. Ewe and the Lambs have still never been to Oregon even though we live very close. Perhaps in 2014 we can go over the border some time.
Ram's parents visited for each of our birthdays and a few other times during the year. I believe this is the first time they visited for Ewe's birthday-the daughter-in-law!
We planned to vacation at their house in August, but our vacation was cut short by a major wildfire. They ended up coming to stay with us until it was safe to go home. We are thankful for the firefighters, Ram's parents safety, and that we live close enough for them to come to our house during the fire. Ram's dad is not retired, but working part time. He still travels and works a lot.
Ewe's parents visited us for about 3 weeks this summer. We all went to Ram's parents for the 4th of July. We took several field trips to places in the area like the zoo while they were here. We are so glad they came to see us and the area that we live at now. This was the first time they saw our house as we were at the rental house the last time they visited.
Ram went to the emergency room when he cut his thumb with a cheese slicer. He ended up not needing stitches, it was just very inconvenient for a couple of weeks. I think getting stitches would have been easier than being so careful with bandages. Other than that he had a very normal year of being pastor, husband, and father. When you read about Lamb 2 you will see that he took Lamb 2 for many doctor visits. One of the charter members of our congregation went to be with Jesus in November after a long cancer battle. Much of Ram's year was spent with this family before and after his death. In January Ram and Ewe began eating gluten free and are on our way to eating Paleo. Ram lost 10 lbs doing this.
Ewe cheated on our new diet more than Ram did, but still lost 7 lbs. She has a couple more lbs to lose to weigh less than she did before she had children. Ewe had a normal year of being wife, mother, and teacher. When you read about Lamb 2's year, you'll see she added in nurse, counselor, special ed. teacher, therapist, more chauffeuring, and some more. We were sad to have 2 more miscarriages this year. We now have 8 children in heaven. Ewe was glad she went to the He Remembers the Barren retreat and made new friends that truly understand. Ewe turned 40 in November, but celebrated with her friends in October at a "I'm not 40" party. Ewe is not officially the Sunday School superintendent but ended up doing a lot of those duties when the former SS superintendent "retired" after many years of helping. Ewe also organized a catechism memory program at church. This has gone better than she expected and we are so proud of all our children at church for their progress.
Lamb 1 is doing well in 4th grade homeschool. This was the first year of homeschool that Ewe didn't have experience teaching in the classroom for homeschool. It has taken slightly more preparation to keep ahead of him. He is plugging along in the Saxon math 4th grade book. He has really progressed in piano this year. It is hard to believe he has only had a few months more than a year of lessons. When we can't get an organist at church he plays piano for pre service, during the offering, post service and a little of the liturgy. He has his eye on the organist job at our church in a few years.
Lamb 2 began piano lessons in January and after a summer break of just once a month piano lessons he began having trouble in piano and school. After several doctor visits of all kinds of doctors, many doctors agreed he has vision difficulties that would not be corrected with glasses. He is still in speech therapy, also began occupational therapy once a week at the same place that he goes to speech. In January he will begin twice a week vision therapy for at least 9 months. He is in 2nd grade in homeschool and has finished the 2nd grade Saxon math book already. 2013 was a rough year for him to go through all this evaluation of what was wrong, not do as well at piano as Lamb 1, and not do as well at school as Lamb 3. Ewe is seeing that being a middle child is difficult; Ram understands this. We are praying that vision therapy helps him succeed in all areas of his life, especially school and piano, but will also help his self esteem and playing with the neighborhood kids. He is still our helpful, motivated, cheerful son which makes it worth all the doctor visits, exercises at home, and going to therapy.
Lamb 3 went to speech therapy at the public school from January-May once a week. In July he began going to speech therapy at the same place as Lamb 2. It has been nice for our schedule to go to speech therapy at the same time and place for both of them. Lamb 3 went to preschool at our church from January-May. We considered having him to go our church preschool another year but he begged to come home for school like his brothers. He began kindergarten at home this fall. He is doing well in the Math U See Alpha book. He is also doing well learning to read and write. Lamb 3 is glad to be home for school and not miss what his brothers are doing at home. Homeschooling 3 at different levels has been more difficult than homeschooling 2, but not as difficult as combining preschool and homeschool schedules.
We miss our friends in Minnesota and Indiana, but we are planning on focusing on therapy with Lamb 2 and not planning any trips at least until next fall when he will have completed most of his vision therapy. Especially Ewe is "homesick" but knows that he will eventually complete therapy and we will be able to travel again. We have a guest room and friends and family are always welcome to visit us even though we can't travel much. There is lots to do in Boise if you do come visit!
We pray you have a Blessed 2014!