8:45 AM (Central time): Well, once again, someone I work with asked me how our family is doing, and I found myself writing a novel. I thought to myself, why not share it with our blog friends and family? So here it is, slightly edited to add more detail. Some of this is news we have shared before, but perhaps some of you missed it.
It has been a crazy and fast summer. I can't believe there's less than a month left before school starts. Our family is doing really well. The girls are really growing up. We've been experimenting with leaving them home by themselves while we're up at the church (5 blocks away) for meetings. That's going mostly well. I usually get a call from Elisabeth around bedtime with Sophie crying in the background, but it's clear that Elisabeth has tried hard to calm her down.
Sophie is now one year post-treatment, which means we only have to go for blood checks every two months (90 miles away). That's less school she'll miss, which is more important now that she will be in the 1st grade. She was tested with some cognitive delays (quite likely the result of one of the chemotherapy drugs she took that goes into the brain). So she's probably not going to be a straight-A student like her sister. But she honestly doesn't give a flip, so I guess that's okay. She clearly is bright, but she struggles with timed assignments and rote memorization.
Elisabeth is getting ready for fifth grade and has made lots of friends. She is trying to decide whether to pursue cheerleading or 4H. I thought we had to own a horse or something for 4H to work, but it turns out there's quite a lot she can do, so that's what we are subtly pushing. Although she displays a teenage attitude a little more often than we would like, she is a good kid.
Randall just finished a great book/sermon/study series that really seems to be having a big effect on the church. We both really hope we can find a way to keep that mindset alive rather than just moving on to the next thing. We had quite a lot more people attending worship on Sunday than normal--many of them kids--so that was really great. It's just nice to see the church fairly full and to have lots of smiling faces pointing my way when I am leading the singing.
Part of the reason attendance was high is that there was a big annual event--Border Town Days. Our town (Farwell, TX) and the one just across the state line (Texico, NM) have a big parade that goes from Texico to Farwell (they even stop the trains that constantly run through here), and then there's a big party in the Farwell park, with music, food, crafts, and games. We usually get about 2,000 people who come for the event. This year, as part of the study Randall had us do, we gave away free bottles of water (imprinted with a scripture verse and the name of our church) to people in the parade and people waiting for the parade to start--in an effort to show God's love to those around us in practical, genuine ways. The whole day was a lot of fun, but it sure wiped us out. It's amazing how tired you can get just sitting around!
So, that's the news from our corner of the world. We hope you are doing well too, and we thank you for continuing to visit and check on us!