~Highlights From 2017~ 2018 is Almost Here!

2018 is almost here! It’s hard to believe that 2017 is about to come to a close. Reflecting back over the year… It was a good one πŸ™‚ So much happened. It started off super rough. I was so done mentally, done with being lonely and feeling sorry for myself. The resolution I made for 2017 was to have a better year than 2016. But then it all turned around and ended up as a year that will be very special for a long time ^_^

Here’s some of the my highlights of 2017 πŸ™‚

  • My trip to Missouri. Even though it was really difficult (There was a lot I was dealing with.), it was good to goΒ  spend time with some of my siblings and nieces and nephews. It all was very bittersweet.
  • Camp. Where I found healing πŸ™‚ Everyone that I met there, everything I did… All the fun I had πŸ™‚
  • Co-Op. I’m not sure that I could have survived another year without it ^_^ The people there especially. Everyone there accepted me as one of them without a moment’s hesitation. It didn’t take me long at all before it became a normal part of my life πŸ™‚
  • One family that I and my family has gotten close to in the Co-Op πŸ™‚ They’re the sweetest family. We’re really similar, but different at the same time. They’ve been such a blessing.
  • Theater. That’s one of the classes I’m taking at Co-Op. I wasn’t sure about it the first time I went, but it definitely went up from there πŸ™‚ One of the first classes I volunteered to help write the script. I’m so glad I did ^_^ I had no idea I would enjoy it so much.
  • Thanksgiving. I’ve never really enjoyed Thanksgiving that much, but this year was different πŸ™‚ I did a lot of the baking and helping with preparation,which I really enjoyed. And then we had the family mentioned above over for dinner. We ate good food, talked, played games afterward… It wasn’t anything fancy or spectacular; everything was very low key. It was one of, and quite possibly the best, Thanksgivings I’ve ever had πŸ™‚
  • Going to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Aaaaaaaaahh!! I saw it about two weeks ago, so I’m still fan girling about it ^_^ My brother and I dressed up as jedi. We went with people from our church. It was so much fun XD

The Last Jedi-- Blank Pages

Going to Camp for the First Time//Growing Up

Hey ya’ll! A lot has happened in my life recently πŸ™‚

First of all, I found a piece of home in New England. In a place that I never expected πŸ™‚

At the end of June my family went up to help at a camp a couple hours away, getting everything ready for the camping season. Our church here helps out there a lot during the summer.

So I went, expecting it to be the typical Christian camp. My family has never sent any of us to camp before, and I had never really thought about going.

I think I fell in love with it the first day πŸ˜‰ It was out in the country, had these neat old cabins, was near a lake… And the people there accepted me right away. Everyone were asking me if I was coming to camp that summer. People actually talked to me, which meant the world to me πŸ™‚

Going to Camp for the First Time//Growing Up--Blank Pages

One of the boys cabins πŸ™‚

I did a lot of praying and thinking there. One night I went out walking. I looked at the stars (The stars, yesss! It felt so amazing to see the stars again ^_^) and prayed and asked God a lot of questions. Then right before I went back to the cabin I heard the sound of all the counselors singing hymns. It was a magical moment πŸ™‚

It’s hard to explain, but that week made me a better Christian. I had kind of lost my spiritual fire, but it came back strong after that week πŸ™‚

Going to Camp for the First Time//Growing Up--Blank Pages

By the time it was time to leave I was determined to ask Mom and Dad if I could go. Boy, was that whole deciding if I could go process a roller coaster πŸ˜‰

It went something like this:

Maybe, no, maybe, no, yes, maybe, yes πŸ˜‰

But finally, after all that, I was there. At an official week at camp. I couldn’t believe it πŸ˜€

I would tell you everything that happened at camp, but that would probably take about 30,000 words to do πŸ˜‰

It was so amazing ^_^

We sang a lot of songs, played a lot of games, made friends, had devotionals… So much πŸ™‚ I was in a great cabin and had a great counselor. I felt like I belonged there, no one made me feel like I was out of place.

Going to Camp for the First Time//Growing Up--Blank Pages

This was part of the live-action Clue game that we played one night πŸ™‚ This is me and my cabin talking to Reverend Green.

Going to Camp for the First Time//Growing Up--Blank PagesMy sad attempt at tightrope walking πŸ˜‰

Going to Camp for the First Time//Growing Up--Blank PagesChapel. It was so amazing to be able to hear all the kids singing every day.

Like I said, it was the closest thing I’ve found to home in New England πŸ™‚ The day I had to leave everyone was asking why I had to leave. No one was very happy with me ;P (I had to leave a day early πŸ™ ) I managed somehow to not start crying, surprisingly πŸ˜‰

It was really good for me. It was very different from anything I had done before. I’m definitely planning on going back next year πŸ˜€ In a couple years, when I get old enough, I might think about counseling there πŸ™‚ I think it would a great ministry for me, to be able to teach kids about God and the Bible πŸ™‚

After we got back, my brother Noah and I talked for about three hours about everything that happened at camp πŸ˜‰ It was a Sunday, and almost everyone was gone, so we started talking and completely lost track of time. That’s how much happened to us at camp πŸ˜‰

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A random thought that may seem completely unconnected but to me it isn’t…

I’m growing up. It’s so weird, but I’m not such a little girl anymore πŸ˜› It won’t be that much longer until I graduate. I’m realizing that more and more… I had a lot of people asking me what I was going to do, where I was going to college… The other kids my age talking about college and careers. But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing πŸ™‚ It’s weird to think about, but it’s going to happen sooner or later, whether I like it or not. All I can do is prepare for it πŸ™‚ It feels real to me now. It never really has before. I know what I want to do now, what I think God is calling me to do. And I’ll just have to wait and see what lies on the road ahead. Whatever happens, God will be with me πŸ™‚

“I’m going on an adventure!”
-Bilbo Baggins

Bye for now, peeps!

~Esther

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My Trip to Missouri//Favorite Moments

My trip to Missouri was absolutely amazing. I learned so much. It was the happiest time that I’ve had in a very long time.

I’m a part of Missouri. I do so much more that just live here. I can thrive here πŸ™‚ It may not be the prettiest place on earth to most people, but it is to me πŸ™‚ I pretty much started crying for joy after we got to my brother’s house πŸ™‚ You can smell it in the air, you can feel it, you can see it… It all is telling me that I’m home ^_^

I stayed with my oldest sister for most of the time. Staying at her house… It felt like home. I love her little people so much. Saying goodbye to them…

There is a lot that I’m dealing with right now. I’m not exactly sure what God is telling me to do. Oh how I long for the carefree days of my youth sometimes. When I got back to Massachusetts it felt so very weird and wrong… The feeling has lessened some now, after being here almost two weeks. But there is always that feeling, stronger than others at times, of loneliness and sadness that never completely goes away. I don’t think it will go away, at least not anytime soon.

Favorite Missouri Moments

I’ll go through some of my favorite moments somewhat chronologically πŸ˜‰ So yeah, not really chronologically at all πŸ˜‰

I did a lot of babysitting, spent a lot of time with my niece and nephews (my oldest sisters kids). It was really special πŸ™‚ Those kids are something special <3

Nephew #9--Blank Pages

Nature walk--Blank Pages

My Trip to Missouri//Favorite Moments--Blank Pages

I got to spend a lot of time with a couple friends (who happen to be sisters πŸ˜‰ ) and got to catch up and play games and just be girls πŸ™‚ Those times are very few for me so it was good for me ^_^ And hey, I found out that they had recently found out what an awesome movie Newsies is, so we were singing Newsies songs, making doughnuts, playing Spoons, painting nails… Yeah ^_^

 

I went to see the new Beauty and the Beast movie! Boy, was it amazing or what ^_^ It was different from the animated movie, but in a good way. I thought Emma Watson did a fair job with Belle. Gaston and the Beast were amazing ^_^

We had a Nerf war in the church building of some good friends of ours. It was insanely fun πŸ˜€ With hostages, bombs, brownies, good friends, how could it not be?? Okay, more like fake hostages and bombs πŸ˜‰ The bomb was actually a walkie talkie in a tool box that one team hid and the other team had to find before the time ran out πŸ™‚ On one of the rounds one boy and I were outside and we ran around the building and surprised everyone by coming in the back door πŸ™‚ We were both shot right away, but it was still cool πŸ˜‰

My Trip to Missouri, the nerf war-- Blank Pages

I got to go to our homeschool Co-Op twice πŸ™‚ It was really good to be able to see everyone again. All the kids are growing up, getting taller and all that πŸ™‚ Being back there I could almost imagine that nothing had changed. It brought back good memories πŸ™‚

I was able to see some good friends of mine, we met at Ikea, tested out all the chairs, and sadly failed at getting lost πŸ™ It was my first time being at an Ikea πŸ™‚ I got to the scary stuffed heart with hands *shudders* Oh, and the stuffed giant toothbrush O_o We also went to Hobby Lobby (Best store ever πŸ˜€ ), looked at pretty things and lost our brothers πŸ˜‰ (They were slightly less enthusiastic about going to Hobby Lobby than us πŸ˜‰ )Β  Then we went out to the parking lot and said good-bye and gave hugs while the boys made fun of us πŸ˜‰ “How long does it take to say good-bye?” “What, you’re hugging again??” We completely ignored them. Boys ;P

Watching movies with my older siblings again ^_^

Going to our church, seeing everyone there and hearing the lessons. It’s a special place πŸ™‚ I was able to spend some time with my best friend there. We walked through the building talking about old times when we played there together as kids, and even found a room that we never knew was there before πŸ˜‰ I also was able to go to my oldest sister’s church several times, which was good πŸ™‚

Β I got to go to dance practice!!! Man, I didn’t realize how much I had missed dancing until then. It was so much fun ^_^ I get better every time I go. Oh, I even waltzed for the first time in my life too! May need some practice on that one πŸ˜‰ I feel sorry for the guy I was dancing with πŸ˜‰ I was getting better by the end of the song, though πŸ™‚

My Grandma started teaching me to drive! It was a lot of fun πŸ™‚ I need a lot more practice still, but I at least have some experience now πŸ™‚

I gained another nephew while I was there too!! When got back to my (oldest) sister’s house after staying at my other sisters house, Alyssa said: “Welcome back! I’m going into labor, so are you up for watching the kids?” πŸ˜‰ I got to see the kids hold their baby brother for the first time. It was all really special.

Now, while there were a ton of high notes to the trip, there were some not so great moments too.

Near the end of my stay it seemed like all the plans I tried to make kept getting canceled. Not being able to go to my brother’s with the rest of my family, plans for getting together with friends in Kansas City to watch Moana was canceled the day of, making plans to stay the night at a friend’s house and then she got flooded in, not being able to stay at my brother’s house or really being able to spend any time with him or his family (That one really hurt), not being able to see another friend, and the big homeschool ball being two days after I left town.

All those things were really disappointing, and I may or may not have had a minor breakdown at church because of them (plus the dread of going back to Massachusetts), but that’s life I guess :-/ I’ll have to try even harder next time I go back to make those things happen.

Well, I’m sure there is more that I could talk about, but I think I’ve told you the most important highlights πŸ™‚

Carrying the banner!

~Esther

 

 

 

 

 

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Thoughts About 2016 and Moving-Part 1

So, in short, 2016 was probably the least enjoyable year of my life. Maybe even the worst. That doesn’t mean good things didn’t happen in 2016, some very good things did. Elegant Evening, my brother’s wedding, Co-Op. The year started out great, but then got steadily worse…

Things kind of started in March when Mom talked to me about a couple job applications that Dad had put it, which didn’t sound like he would get. In which case we would probably move to the town where our church was. Which would have been great! I would be super close to my best friend, the church, and closer to a lot of things. It would have been a little different, but not that much.

And then both of Dad’s job applications started getting more promising… He had a couple of phone interviews, and it was going farther than any other application that he had made before. And then it became more apparent that we would be moving. Not just a half an hour away, more like 14 or 20 hoursΒ  away.

I think March 30th or 31st was the day that I knew this thing was going to happen. And it still didn’t seem real. Moving? Really? Our family doesn’t do that. It’s just a joke, right?Β But no, it wasn’t. I remember going to my soon to be sister-in-law’s wedding shower that her church had put on for her and feeling so numb and ready to cry knowing what was coming. And not being able to tell anyone… That was very hard. One Sunday at church I want up to my best friend and hugged her and started crying. Of course she asked me what was wrong, but I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone… Mom and Dad hadn’t even told all my siblings yet so of course I couldn’t talk about it.

And then one day in early April Dad called from work to ask us if we could take a week long vacation to Massachusetts in a couple of hours. They wanted him to come for an interview in person. So we packed up, and left two hours later. It took maybe 6 days to get there and back. And Dad was really impressed with the place there, everyone thought that the area was really pretty. And it got even more complicated… Dad got an offer from the place in Louisiana, as well as an unofficial one from Massachusetts. So Mom and Dad asked all of us where we would rather live. It was a hard choice… But I couldn’t shake off the feeling that Massachusetts was where God wanted us to be. And that’s where Mom and Dad decided to go.

I don’t remember how soon we told everybody… We talked to all our siblings on the way back to Missouri, and I think we told the people at our church soon after that. It was so hard telling friends… I cried, and choked up and couldn’t talk and felt guilty that I hadn’t told them before.

And then cleaning. So much cleaning. Which really wasn’t much fun, but it had to be done if we were to sell our house. So with cleaning, getting ready for the wedding, and Co-Op, we were quite busy for awhile. And then Co-Op ended, Luke got married… But cleaning didn’t end until we left. I had so many plans of saying goodbye… To my woods, the house, my friends… Not many of them got done. I don’t know why, I just couldn’t say goodbye. And since we hadn’t sold the house I knew we would be back.

The night before we left Luke and Hannah came over, and we all went to buy fireworks with them. We piled into their little red car after supper and drove 20 minutes to get fireworks just like we had done every year for as long as I can remember. The drive back I remember playing music full blast, and the fireflies flying past us like shooting stars in the night. I can’t remember if I cried or not.

So we shot fireworks off, and then talked, and I hoped that that night would never end… But eventually they had to leave. It was not easy for me to say goodbye. I hugged Luke and didn’t want to let go… And then they left. I haven’t seen them since then.

After they left we all got ready for bed. The house was completely empty, except for a recliner, and a couple other things. Everyone except me was sleeping upstairs; I had the basement all to myself. I went down, started getting ready for bed, then collapsed on the recliner cryingΒ  like I never had before. I cried so hard that night. Up to then I had wanted to cry, but it would never come out. It all did then.

~to be continued~

Click here for Part 2