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My Nest Keeps Emptying

Six months until Christmas…I don’t want to think about that yet!

I just looked over the syllabus for my final class, which starts in a week.  I’ve had this professor before.  He likes lots of writing with very detailed discussion posts and sets of answered questions for each literary selection.  I remember that being time consuming when I had him this winter for Dramatic Lit.  But – there’s no final paper with this class, either.  He just has a mid term and a final.  I’m sure there will be plenty of writing for those.  So, anyway – it appears that I have now written my final college paper.  Yesterday, I got the rough draft done on my 15 page paper (that’s how long it ended up) that applies the Reader response and Feminist analysis to A Doll’s House and Trifles.  For my class tonight we will do peer reviews which is just a matter of reading our classmates’ papers and  giving them improvement suggestions.  By Thurs. I need to design and have ready a power point presentation on the paper.  I’ll present that in class that evening.  And then next Sun. night I need to have turned in my final paper and the final portfolio.  The portfolio is done – I just have a few things I want to “clean up” on it, per the peer reviews we did on that a week ago.  Woo-hoo – I am SO close!

Well, Sam and Lizzie are home from their first camp experiences.  Both had such a good time and I’m glad for that.  A bad year, particularly when it’s your first year, can sour you on camp altogether.  That’s what happened to me.  And I think camp is SO important.  I can’t wait for Ellie to go.  Maybe she’ll get saved then.  Seriously.  Actually, since David was Sam’s counselor he had these info sheets on all the boys in the cabin that he brought home.  The sheets ask the boys’ contact information, their interests, their prayer requests, if they think they are saved, etc.  So, Sam’s was in there and under prayer requests he had written, “That my sister, Ellie, will accept Christ.”  And when Lizzie got back from camp she said that when they asked the girls to share prayer requests she shared the same thing.  Seeing their concern for their sister – who is a real brat to them most of the time – just melts my heart.  Sam also mentioned on his sheet that he desires to “be a better Christian.”  Last night the kids gave their camp testimonies in church and Lizzie was petrified.  Of course, it didn’t help that earlier that afternoon Ellie had informed her that she was quite sure Lizzie would get up and do a “horrible job.”  Sigh…So, Lizzie got up and simply shared a couple of facts from one of the messages.  All the practice we had done about sharing something fun and wrapping it up on an encouraging note, like, “I can’t wait to go again” was completely forgotten in her nervousness.  That’s fine.  I didn’t say anything about it and she didn’t either.  She’ll get better with practice!  But Sam – this kid got up there and talked like a seasoned pro, complete with arm gestures.  There were a couple of times that I noticed a little hesitancy before saying words that started with “s” which is his hardest sound with his stuttering but that was it.  Even last Jan. Pastor mentioned to me that when Sam gave his testimony for his baptism he didn’t stutter at all.  You talk to him one on one and it’s much more apparent, but there must be something about public speaking that pretty much erases it.  I would think it would be the opposite!  I told Sam a long time ago that I think God is going to do something with his stuttering – give him some sort of testimony.  Perhaps Sam will grow up to speak for a living.   

Will told me that  he’s been asked to be a dean at junior camp in a couple of weeks.  He’s already counseling senior high, too.  Anyway, he is pretty tickled at getting to spend an additional week at camp.  Normally, they have older people for deans, like pastors and their wives.  Will said the other male dean is also his age.  Apparently, their selection pool was lower this year.   I know not as many kids applied to work compared to previous years.  In fact, David said everybody got weeks because the need is greater than the available workers.  I don’t know if that means something or if it is just a cycle they go through every so often.

With Lizzie gone last week, I saw a more fun side of Ellie.  I suspect she just liked having a greater share of my attention.  Since Lizzie came back Sat. she has been awful, though – very, very mean to her siblings.  I was in Christopher and Banks with Sam and Lizzie one night last week because I had a good coupon.  So, I was looking through the racks of clothing, trying to see if anything appealed to me.  Ellie kept pointing out items and I’d shake my head.  I didn’t realize how important it was to her that I like something she picked until finally she huffed, “Well, if you don’t like this, I don’t know what to say, except…”  She a deep breath and thundered,


Another time, she was howling (not in the store, thankfully) and I asked her to please stop because that was annoying.  Ellie saucily replied, “So, the next time you see a wolf are you going to say, ‘Please stop howling – that’s annoying!’?”  Before I could even think of a response she continued, “No – I don’t think so.  You know why?  Cuz you’ll be dead – that’s why!  The wolf will eat you!”

A couple of weeks ago was VBS.  Lizzie didn’t go one night because of Flip Squad so I just had to pick up Ellie.  When I got there, one of the helpers in her room told me that I would need to wash Ellie’s Bible case – which was handed to me, tied up in a Walmart bag.  She explained that a little boy sitting by Ellie had vomited.  By that point Ellie had found me and buried her head in my leg and was crying – still traumatized by the events of a couple hours ago.  Apparently, some little kid had just ralphed all over and Ellie was very unfortunate in where she was sitting.  They took her to the bathroom and cleaned her up the best they could, but she reeked all the way home (22 min ride).  Her fabric Bible case and her purse were soaked.  Blech!

It appears that Ben really will be moving out before too long so I’ve been making a concentrated effort to increase his independent living skills.  I used to make his lunches for him, but now I’m having him do it all – and I don’t even check the bag when he’s done.  I guess if he forgets something vital, that will be a lesson for the next time!  Last night he had to retrieve some bread from a downstairs freezer and when he got upstairs he complained that he had knocked his head on the pantry shelf.  I asked him if he was ok and he said, “Yeah.”  And then he seriously added, “At least I’m still alive!”  Well, yes, I suppose that is a good thing!

I wasn’t going to work on Lizzie’s room until I got my schoolwork done, but I did it anyway.  And now I’m ¾ of the way finished.  I’ve just done it in small increments.  It’s really coming together nicely, although Ellie – who insisted on helping me all week long and seemed to take great pride in what she was doing – informed her sister yesterday that her new room looks like a “baby” room.  Sigh…  I’m doing stripes for the first time and I’m really impressed with how they are turning out.   We’re doing bright pink, aqua, and pale pink – all Lizzie’s choices.  To me, the room looks like a bakery or as Lizzie said, an ice-cream parlor.  But it’s cute.  I imagine that when she’s a teenager, she may want something a little older looking, but that can be done, too.  I’ll finish the painting this week and then there won’t be much else I can do until David gets her new bed assembled.  I still need to order that and then when he’s home the third weekend in July he said he could put it together.  So then I’m going to get started on Sam’s room.  He’s not getting a paint job but he has a new desk that we need to make room for and I want to move out the things Ben will be taking with him and figure out some storage solutions for all of Sam’s stuff.  Plus, that room just needs a good deep cleaning.

Well, I need to keep moving.  Lizzie has an audiology appt this afternoon.  It’s just supposed to be a 6 month follow-up to her surgery she had last fall, but I think we need some more answers.  Her tube fell out not too long ago,  but even before then, she has been having a lot of pain with that ear.  Swimming just isn’t much fun for her because it hurts so much when she gets water in it.  So, we’ll see what the dr. says.


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