Fall Break

Well,  not so much on the bright side, I got sick over Fall Break. Like the whole thing, mostly. Lol – Basic annoying cold stuff… but not something you want on your vacation, even if it is a staycation (the best kind of vacation there is in my book). I almost thought I had the flu for a little bit there, but thankfully it’s just a bad cold. I’m on the mend for the most part, aside from an ugly cough, but today Junior Brown and I just had to enjoy this beautiful weather and go to the park. We went to his school park, which was really fun. I had to take pictures of him, because some of my most favorite images of Lennon are of him playing at the park. ❤️







Tomorrow I go for my very first real (outside of school) eye exam. I’m gettin’ old I guess. 😉 Some letters here and there are blurring a bit and I’m just plain overdue, so I’m looking forward to seeing what they have to say about it tomorrow. 🙂 

I hope your October week has been full of crisper weather than we’ve had, but we can’t complain about the amazing light we’ve had. ❤️

Happy October!

Holli

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Happy Fall! 

Can you believe it’s already Fall? It seems forever to get here and then it feels it’s flown by at the same time. Since I last wrote, Lennon has turned 8. He’s growing faster than ever. I love him more every day if that’s even possible. 


We celebrated with a kids party at Superfly and cake at Coolidge park. The Lord made it even more special when he made the temperatures in the 70s (in August!) just for Lenny. 😉 

Things have seemed eventful, with the hurricanes, things in our life turning a bit upside down… Lennon took a hard fall down stairs this week and hit his head really hard on a hard surface (that about scared the life out of me), but he’s okay, and we also got his most recent blood work back as Normal. That’s wonderful but also so puzzling with his Cold Urticaria, since many with that also have normal blood work results. The cause is unknown. He still deals well with it, but every once in a while he’ll tell me how he wish he didn’t have it. 😦 Breaks my heart. 


This is a new shaped hive he recently got at Chick-fil-A. They’re always changing. Some look like he’s been burned or scratched by cats, it’s so wild. 

Aside from that, he has 2 new amazing teachers, Mrs. Adelia Hall and Mrs. Abbey Duncan (who also happens to be his sweet Aunt) at school. They are the biggest blessing we could ever dream for. We’re just thrilled he has them each day enhancing his education. 

We were also blessed with a new fridge this week. I can’t wait to get it in. Ours broke and let me tell you… it’s a hard day-to-day when something you use so regularly breaks. (Thanks Mom and Dad for that amazing gift, and thanks to my in-laws Butch and Ruth who have provided us with a wonderful car that has saved me in getting to work each day after the other died.)  God is so good and I know everyone he blesses us through will also be blessed tremendously for it. 


Bootsy turned one yesterday. 🙂 He says “Mama” almost every day (but only when he wants to sit by me on the couch and that’s the magic password 😉 ). He’s been the best gift to me I could have received last year. ❤ 


I did a Fall session with Lenny, knowing I’d have to do it early before it got cool outside. It was so blessed and he did better than he ever has for me. He’ll always be my favorite to photograph. ❤


All is well and hope you all are too. Thanks for reading this and keeping up with us. Happy Fall! 

Second Grade!

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Lenny’s officially in Second Grade!  It’s taking a little to adjust to a new school since Stuart is mostly all he’s known, but he’s catching on quickly and cannot be with kinder people.  It’s been a bit more involved this year as we have to develop a 504 plan for him with his Cold Urticaria, which can be quite challenging for his teachers at times, not always knowing how to handle it yet or what to do and when.  I’m already so impressed with how ON IT they are.  They’re awesome.  I’m also SO thrilled that I’ll be working at his school for the second part of each day so I can be there with him.  As we approach cooler weather in the near future, please keep Lennon in your prayers, as these can be trying days for him.  He cannot be outside but a few minutes and it’s always a concern thinking about him and what temperature he’s in (even indoors).  We’re believing the Lord for his healing from this.

I have not yet begun to take students in ESL yet, as they are still getting adjusted in their main classes, but I did meet a few on Friday morning, and Oh My Goodness… Can we say PRECIOUS????!!!!!  I cannot wait to work with them daily.  ❤

We’re excited Daddy is off tomorrow (Sundays are rare for him) and we can all go to church together (and maybe pop over to the Aquarium, as we have our yearly passes, which are awesome).  August has been off to a great start (including some sweet breezes in the past few evenings, which are little blessings).

God bless you guys and I wish you all a beautiful upcoming week.  ❤

Holli

A new direction…

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I have felt the Lord moving me in a new direction.  I am now working at two new schools, back in the teaching field of ESL (“English as a Second Language”), which I really love.  Of course I will always love the French language and so many of the wonderful students I had, but I feel a call to work in this community and love on these little ones again.  I know what it feels like to be the foreigner.  I know how scary it can feel to be in another country and not speak the language.  This is where my job comes in.  I help them learn to speak it, which in turn makes these little kids so much more confident in themselves and at school.  Check out this video to have an even better understanding of what it feels like to be an ELL (“English Language Learner”):  https://youtu.be/D6HUv2eFdLg.

I’m so excited to work with such wonderful people (but will also miss the awesome co-workers I had at Cleveland City Schools).  These past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind.  Saying goodbye to Summer and hello to Fall (well, “Fall Semester,” as we ALL know with this unbearable heat it’s certainly not Fall yet, ha).

As we pray for a great new school year, I like to leave my favorite Bible chapter, Psalm 91.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
Will remain secure and rest in the shadow of the Almighty [whose power no enemy can withstand].

I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
My God, in whom I trust [with great confidence, and on whom I rely]!”

For He will save you from the trap of the fowler,
And from the deadly pestilence.
 
He will cover you and completely protect you with His pinions,
And under His wings you will find refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and a wall.

 
You will not be afraid of the terror of night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
 
Nor of the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction (sudden death) that lays waste at noon.

A thousand may fall at your side
And ten thousand at your right hand,
But danger will not come near you.

You will only [be a spectator as you] look on with your eyes
And witness the [divine] repayment of the wicked [as you watch safely from the shelter of the Most High].
 
Because you have made the Lord, [who is] my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
 
No evil will befall you,
Nor will any plague come near your tent.

For He will command His angels in regard to you,
To protect and defend and guard you in all your ways [of obedience and service].
 
They will lift you up in their hands,
So that you do not [even] strike your foot against a stone.
 
You will tread upon the lion and cobra;
The young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.

“Because he set his love on Me, therefore I will save him;
I will set him [securely] on high, because he knows My name [he confidently trusts and relies on Me, knowing I will never abandon him, no, never].
 
“He will call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.

“With a long life I will satisfy him
And I will let him see My salvation.”

 

Amen.  Happy Back to School, friends!  ❤

 

Hello again…

Wow… so many times I meant to update my blog, and then life happened and I got side-tracked again.  The last time I wrote was in April.  May is always a blur with high school. There is something going on every week and also graduation, finals, etc.  Then Summer happens… traveling… I had several sessions at the same time… It was wild.

We just got back from FL with my Mom and sister Haley and kids.  We had a wonderful time visiting a park and seeing wild turtles swimming in the water (big turtles, so beautiful), the beach (in-between dodging summer storms that were out of this world), a water park, and delicious FL food.  We went to Woody’s barbeque again… I hadn’t been here probably since I was little and asked Mom if we could go.  It’s so silly how a little restaurant can make you so happy, but when it triggers childhood memories, there’s just nothing like it.  We also visited our old stomping grounds in Mandarin, and would you believe I got around quite well just by remembering landmarks as a child?!  Pretty proud of myself there.  I was talking about a house we used to live in, and boom… we were by it and I found the road all by myself (and my memories).  It was awesome.

We faced some opposition this week.  God’s hand of protection was over all of us.  Psalm 91 is my favorite chapter in the Bible, and for good reason.  It’s so powerful and so meaningful.  God has come through so many times for us.  This week especially.  ❤

It was such a blessing to have all the grandkids together.  I knew I had to grab some photographs while I was there.  My plan was to take beautiful portraits on the beach (and also come candid, playful ones there), but with so many storms, that was a bit difficult, so I grabbed it when we made a quick trip to a Ponte Vedra park after lunch, and it was perfect.  I grabbed a few candid shots and it was great.

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Here’s to a beautiful July.  It’s gonna be a busy one.  New exciting things coming… :). Happy 4th of July!

April

April seems to have flown in and almost flown by.  It’s been a month of healing along with hurt… but I count my blessings.  As we get into warmer weather, school rooms are getting warmer and Lennon seems to be reacting with hives nearly every day now.  Sweating seems to be the cause.  What a learning curve.  I learn new things about his allergy all the time.  We’re still praying for deliverance from this for Lenny.  I know he’s so ready for it to be gone… although he does so well with it.  There couldn’t be a better kid to take things so well as Lenny has taken this.

A few days ago he woke up and came to me as Jack Sparrow.  Made.My.Morning.  I always thought I’d be a boy-mom.  I wouldn’t change a thing.  ❤

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We’re counting the days until Summer.  I cherish that time with my family.  ❤  Wishing you all a Happy Wednesday.  ❤

Easter 2017

Easter was beautiful, yet eventful (I’ll get to that part a little bit later).  The day before, Lenny and I dyed our Easter eggs.  He loved it so much, and Lucas bought us an emoji egg kit, so it was super-cute.

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On Easter morning, we had to wake Lenny up, funny enough (so we could make it to church on time).  He was so happy to see what the Easter bunny brought him.

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This is his “Oh my gosh, Look What I Got!!!” face.  😉  ❤

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Once we got ready for church, I had to take a picture of Junior all-ready for Easter.  Now when he was a little baby, I dressed him up like a little prince… (I sure do miss those sweet days)… but I did a little more casual look this time (the suit I found wasn’t in his size).  I think he looked just as sweet (if I do say so myself).  😉

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After church with family, we had a delicious lunch at Jeff and Abbey’s house.  Lenny adores their trampoline.  He had so much fun jumping with Eli and Livi.  I wanted to grab a shot with them all together but got distracted and it never happened.  They are such great cousins to him.  ❤

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I forgot to mention also… that the day before… Mimi brought over a special Easter basket from her and Poppy for Lenny.  Warmed my heart.  He’s all about the stuffed animals like I was too – so the fun plush peep was perfect.

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Now to the eventful part…  after church we ran home to let the dogs out, etc., before going to lunch.  Everything was good… fine…  After we got back from lunch later on… I sat in the car while Luc let the dogs out (they get so excited at the door… sometimes it’s easier if I wait and see them outside so it’s not crazy with us all at that tight space, lol).  I looked over and was wondering where Luci was… Luc said she was in the yard laying down (that’s odd for Luci… if you know her at all, or even met her once, you know it’s REALLY odd).  I walked over to her seeing as how she was laying on her stomach, then she rolled over – but it was like she couldn’t get up at all.  She looked at me in a look of panic and a need for help.  I picked her up immediately and we took her to the emergency vet hospital.  I was holding her over my shoulder like a baby (she was like a rag-doll), and trying to fill out the form with my right hand as I just cried… thinking she was going to die.  The sweet lady behind the counter knew she didn’t look good and she checked her gums while I was behind the counter and immediately had her taken back.  They put her on an IV, and not much later, she was responding well to everything and wagging her tail (I had texted my whole family and everyone was praying for our sweet Luci).  My Mom and Caleb came out right away, and we went back to see her… and she was jumping in her cage.  (I let them know she looks at my Mom like “Mom” too… I always joke that I’m the “Step-Mom”, ha ha).  They kept her overnight just to be safe, and when we got her early the next morning… we went to our local vet… all seemed okay, but they left the IV in just in case.  Well, sure enough, once we got her home, she was acting very over-tired… her eyes going back and forth… barely drank… it wasn’t our “Luci.”  I took her back in, and she stayed with our local vet until Wednesday.  They took such great care of her, and we’re still not certain what in the world caused it… though it weakened her to the core… she had several sneezing fits… we’re thinking it was possibly an allergic reaction or something she ate.  All I know is it scared the life out of me and I thought we were going to lose our Luci.  To see her jumping last night and wrestling with Boots again was priceless.  I’ll never complain again about how hyper she is (ha ha).  I WELCOME it.  To see her jump and frolick around… even if she is jumping on me with muddy paws on my light pants (lol)… I just love her so much.  My dogs are like children to me.  And Lenny loves them so much too.  They complete us.

So that was a long explanation… but just as Easter is celebrating Jesus being raised from the dead… I feel as if Jesus did the same for Luci.  She didn’t die, but I believe she was at death’s door… and He brought her back.  No doubt… NO doubt.  I can’t thank God enough for His never-ending goodness to us.  ❤

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter as well.  I hope it was filled with a lot of laughter and love.  ❤

Love to all-
Holli