We are finishing up the last week of summer at the Pedersen house. It's been a fun summer with lots of family time and several fun trips. We spent a great weekend in Chicago and even did downtown as a family - something I could not have imagined a few years ago. Seth was a trooper even in 100 degree heat. We had a great time at our annual summer reunion with friends which was close to home this year. The kids are all growing up so quickly and have developed good friendships with one another over the years, even if they only see each other once a year. Finally we joined my parents, grandma, siblings and their families in Branson to celebrate my parents' 40th anniversary. We had a great time hanging out with family, enjoying the beautiful views from the deck overlooking Table Rock Lake, exploring Branson and spending time on my brother Jon's boat.
It has been a summer of transition with a new little person in our home. Our new placement arrived just as the summer began and we have settled into a new normal as a family of 6 for the time being. It is an interesting way to live with the possibility that family life can dramatically change on any given day, but we believe this is what God has called us to for this time and we are thankful to be able to bless children in need with love and a positive home environment (most of the time). There are certainly rough days when I feel completely ill-equipped to handle the challenges before me and I wonder why in the world God has asked us to do this, but we continue putting one foot in front of the other and make it through even those tough days.
The kids are getting excited for the start of school on Tuesday. While summer is fun I think we're all ready to get back in more of a regular routine. The regular routine is going to look quite different for our family this fall with major changes in school choices. Bella & Luke will be attending Marshalltown Public Schools after 7 years of open enrollment at GMG. We loved our time at GMG and they received a wonderful education in a nurtuing environment there, but we felt it was time to make a change. Seth will be starting public school for the first time and will attend the elementary school just 2 blocks from our home. We are very impressed with his teacher and hope the experience will help him grow and progress even further. We will have kids in 4 different school buildings in town - should be interesting!!
For the first time in 13 years I will have all the kids in school (I chuckle as I write this because we could get a call any day to take a preschooler or an infant). I've considered looking for a more full-time job but we've decided that my availability is still important for our kids. I will continue working part-time at the veteran's home and leading a weekly bible study and a bi-weekly mom's group. I plan to make time to work on my book, excerise more regularly and maybe I'll get a nap in here and there - that sounds really great. I'd love to reconnect with some old friends and help those in need in our church and community. I know one thing that will definitely be on my schedule - prayer for the kids as they enter new educational environments. Prayers that God will guide and direct them, use them as salt and light to their classmates, and that God will enable them to be all He has designed them to be. As I ponder all that I'd like to do with my time I'm certainly not concerned about not having enough to keep me busy, but then that never seems to be a problem in my life. Life will be different, but I'm excited for the changes ahead.