I probably won't be any more "regular" about posting here, so just be excited whenever something new gets published!
We are adjusting to our fall routine quite nicely. We're very busy, but I haven't minded so far. In addition to school and Bible study, we also have piano (new this year!) and soccer for the boys, and gymnastics for Anelise. The boys' afternoons are quite full, as they have homework (and 3rd grade has a substantial jump in homework amounts from previous years!), piano practicing, chores, Awana verses to memorize, etc. Somehow we've managed to turn in all assignments on time. :)
We are beginning a phase of busy weekends as well. This coming Saturday, Jonathan is organizing and running "The Amazing Race" for the senior high students. It should be fun, but it's quite a bit of work planning it all and getting volunteers to help for each leg of the race. Next weekend we're going camping with another family from our community group at Versailles (pronounced ver-sails for those who think it should be ver-sigh) State Park, south and slightly east of Indy. Then we have two weekends in a row that we'll be home and just have soccer games to contest/spectate. The second weekend of October is our church's women's retreat, at which I'll be helping lead worship. The third weekend we'll be camping with Jon and Joy (bro and SIL) and their kids, as well as Orsi and Zoli ("sis" and "bro-in-law") at Ouabache (pronounced wah-bash for those who think it should be #@*???, and incidentally, is situated right along the Wabash River - why they didn't change their spelling I have no idea!) State Park, just south of Ft. Wayne. We haven't been to either Versailles or Ouabache State Parks, so we're looking forward to trying some new campgrounds. And finally, the last weekend in October will be our community group retreat. We're using a vacation home of another family in our church. That should be a relaxing time to spend more time together as families. Before we know it, the holidays will be upon us!
Now that you have an idea of what our calendar looks like, here's a brief update on US. Jonathan has been working a ton. Up early, staying late, I feel like we don't see much of each other except on weekends. Last weekend he went on the church's men's retreat, so that didn't help our facetime. He's enjoying work though, especially the day last week that he and a couple of his guys rode in a blackhawk helicopter down to the Ohio River, looking for marijuana grows. They didn't find any, but had a great day!
I'm experimenting with menu-planning and grocery shopping to see if we can save money by doing both less, but on a bigger scale. As in, plan the menu for all of September, and buy everything that can be stored or frozen for the entire month at one time. I'll still go out weekly, or every 10 days, to pick up fresh produce and milk. So far, it's going well; I won't know how it affects the budget for awhile. I'm liking going shopping less often! I'm also leading a small group at Bible Study this semester. I've never led a group and was initially intimidated by it, but it's going great! (I hope the other ladies agree!) I think it will give me the confidence to lead studies more in the future.
Ethan is in 3rd grade at Heritage Christian, and he's loving it. His teacher is one of the most godly women I've ever met; her love for Jesus overflows to everyone she meets. Ethan seems to be struggling with spelling this year, but he has made huge improvements in math from last year, which is an answer to prayer. When he's not at school, soccer, awanas, practicing piano, doing homework, or sleeping (yikes, he's a busy boy!), he's often reading for pleasure, playing with legos, or playing lego starwars or lego batman on the Wii. We're limiting the Wii to weekends now, much to the boys' chagrin. But you've read about their schedules; there's no time!
Caleb is in 1st grade at Heritage. He loves school and homework and is always very cheerful about completing it. This is refreshing!! Caleb is busy with the same things Ethan is. He's very excited about piano lessons and seems to enjoy practicing. Caleb recently went to the dentist, which was very traumatic. It was just a cleaning, and he doesn't have any cavities, but for some reason, he's paralyzed by fear there. It was emotionally draining for both of us. I'm glad I don't have to deal with that for another 6 months.
Anelise is approaching her 3rd birthday, can you believe it?! Well, if you've met her, you probably can. Her vocabulary is quite impressive, and she's quite precocious. She goes to a gymnastics class each week, which she loves. She is patient when running errands and usually is happy to do them. She's still napping most days, although the nap-time has had to be moved and shortened because of the boys' school pick-up time.
Hmm, it looks like I just wrote our annual Christmas letter! Oh well, some of you will get to see our update twice (or at least parts of it!).