Hope Through Change

Yesterday was our first day of homeschool, and I am still working less because of the fall I had on the ice.  My head doesn’t hurt anymore, and I can move now, but the pain across my back where I landed on the stairs is still pretty bad.  An easy field trip, though, for our first day, was back to the First Presbyterian church for another January Series event – this one was YouTube-Gamer-Violinist Taylor Davis, who writes soundtrack violin music for videogames.  As you can see, Kyrie was not impressed with any event that comes before lunchtime.

While we were doing that, Anber kicked her very first goal at soccer camp at preschool!

They said Barrett was the best, though, and I can imagine he loved a legit reason to run around and kick things!  I am so glad they had so much fun, and we are so grateful for the Broken Arrow girls soccer team for going to visit their preschool yesterday.

We got new schedules made for the children, including new chore charts that include the preschoolers, as well as including them back in the homeschool rotation for days they are not at school.  Even Kyrie is old enough for her own lessons and activities in our center rotations, and we are so excited to have the format figured out and be back into our routine.

Excited enough, in fact, to start today out with a little experiment called “what happens if I squash my cup of orange juice in the car window, and how exactly do we clean that up enough to appease mom?”

While the second graders were exploding orange juice all over my car (it was kind of awesome, even if it did make a mess), this girl is using the potty at school!  Her teacher gives her a sticker there when she does, just like at home, and you can see how she still thinks all stickers go on your cheeks like for oxygen.

The second graders spent the morning studying the inauguration.  For English, we wrote some of the Presidents’ names in cursive, and we read George Washington’s inaugural speech and talked about some of why he said what he said and what it means to us today.  For Social Studies, we looked up the articles of the constitution that talk about the oath of office and studied some of the Inaugural Day traditions and how they came about and different funny moments during some of the inaugurations.  For science, we looked at a map and found Washington, DC from Oklahoma, and then studied landforms that are different there than here, like the Atlantic Ocean and Appalachian Mountains and the Chesapeake Bay and some of the rivers there.  For Math, we made a list of all the Presidents and their ages at the inauguration, and then consolidated that into a graph to compare the different ages people became President.   Then we watched the Inauguration itself, including the oath and address.

The children stood for the anthem, folded their arms for the prayer, clapped when “President Trump” was introduced, and sobbed when they watched President Obama leave in a helicopter.

Now they are doing an art and writing project about what they would say and do if they were President, including cutting and pasting different categories of ideas to make an outline for their own speech before they write it.  We have had a busy morning!  They are ready for the part of the day that comes when they get to go eat lunch with Congress, I think!

There are many changes happening, and its sometimes overwhelming, and we don’t always know how things will play out.  We are grateful when Kyrie has good days, and is able to enjoy her little life.  Anber and Barrett are quickly becoming real children, and have no baby left in them anymore.  The second graders are so independent and grown-up and able to do so much, and learning more than ever!  I am trying to figure out how to finish the last of my chaplaincy while balancing everything else, Nathan is trying to figure out how to keep being a writer when the audience hasn’t shown up, and we have a book we really want to share with the world but must wait for people to actually read it.

Our family moved to Tulsa suddenly at the end of last summer to get the baby closer to the hospital that she now no longer uses, to get the second graders in the Deaf program they have now grown out of, and to get me close to a training program I have nearly finished.

We knew this would be temporary, our living in this tiny house, and feel its temporary-ness in new ways:  we cannot get interpreters scheduled for church for all kinds of reasons, our family is about done camping in two rooms, and we are no longer tied to the school district that forced us here.

So what does that mean, and what happens next?  We aren’t entirely sure.  We have some ideas.  We have some plans.  Mostly we are waiting on pieces to fall into place, and after two years of living in hospitals, we are much better at waiting.

What we need, though, are these good changes, and time alone as a family, together after these hard years we have endured, time to recover and rest and regroup, and time to just be together.

Today the new President Trump said, “We share one heart, one home, and one glorious destiny,” and that is something we believe to be true for our family, certainly, and that’s what keeps everything in perspective.  It’s what gives us hope.  It is, for us, the very gospel itself, the good news we cling to even when we don’t know what tomorrow brings.

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About Emily

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 2009. I serve as a Chaplain, and work as a counselor. I got bilateral cochlear implants in 2010, but will always love sign language. I choose books over television, and organics over processed. Nothing is as close to flying as ballroom dancing - except maybe running, when in the solo mood. I would rather be outside than anywhere else, especially at the river riding my bike or kayaking. PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy, and currently doing a post-doc in Jewish Studies and an MDiv in Pastoral Counseling. The best thing about Emily World is that it's always an adventure, even if (not so) grammatically precise. The only thing better than writing is being married to a writer. Nathan Christensen and I were married in the Oklahoma City temple on 13 October 2012, and have since fostered more than eighty-five children. We have adopted the six who stayed, and are totally and completely and helplessly in love with our family. Nathan writes musical theater, including "Broadcast" (a musical history of the radio) and an adaption of Lois Lowry's "The Giver". He served his mission in South Korea, has taught song-writing in New York City public schools, and worked as a theater critic for a Tucson newspaper. This is not an official Web site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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