This and that.

Happy Friday!
What a wonderful week this has been. Slow, simple, quiet, and relaxing.
I surprised Josiah, Isaiah, and Ellie with a week OFF of school. We finished our main curriculum early, so it seemed like a fun idea to bask in a week of leisure. We all needed it - and we all ENJOYED it!
Our entire weekend will follow the same pattern, and we are thankful!

Today marked the end of the Government & Economics class.
Dr. E, as the students know him, spent the year educating twelve high school students about the inner workings of our political system, and enlightened them about the realities of money. The best project he gives them is a Personal Finance Project. They are given a career and a salary and must create an entire yearly budget based on that number. Everything must be included from rent to movie tickets. Teens often *think* they know what it takes to live on their own, but seeing the truth in black and white on a budget sheet opens their eyes to TRUTH.
My personal favorite of the class? Every morning Dennis marched the students outside where they would say the Pledge of Allegiance. In a time when many rage against the democratic system that keeps them free, I appreciate that my husband unapologetically honors our country, our government, and our freedom just as Scripture commands. Fear God. Honor the emperor. I Peter 2:17 
His students will always remember this!

Ellie had her first Salon experience this week.
When my stylist told me she charges the same price for a haircut for her long-time faithful clients as the discount hair places, I scheduled an appointment immediately!
Ellie's hair is thick and curly enough to create tangles that cause fights and tears with the hairbrush. Every - single - morning.
But after an excellent cut, several layers, new product, and those delightful thinning shears, Ellie walked out of the salon with wonderfully manageable hair.
Today she came out with wet hair and her brush to say, "Look! It goes right through!" as she effortlessly brushed through her locks. YES!
Welcome to the world of Salon living, Ellie!

~~~~ ~~~~ We have our Orphan Care Date Night tomorrow!
God is moving in our ministry, in our families, and in our church. PRAISE HIM! PRAISE HIM!
We have had six children adopted into their forever homes in the last six months, and one more is waiting for the court date to make her a forever part of her family. Thank You, Lord!
We have had three placements in the past three months, one who is in direct route to adoption.
There are tens of thousands of foster children and orphans right here in California, and one by one our church families are taking them in and loving them as their own.
What a privilege it is to walk alongside these families! ❤

~~~~ If you or anyone you know struggles with depression, anxiety, and/or fear, I highly recommend
these books.
We have no problem with someone getting a pacemaker to keep their heart in rhythm, glasses to help them see, or shots to keep their blood levels in check, but we are quick to judge those who need help keeping their minds working as they ought.
Sin did not just break bodies, it broke minds. And millions of people suffer the effects of both.

Charles Spurgeon is probably the most famous Christian who openly shared about his unending battle with depression this side of heaven. He has many excellent sermons and quotes on the topic, and I selected these two to share with the hope they will encourage someone today.

I know, perhaps as well as anyone, what depression means, and what it is to feel myself sinking lower and lower. Yet at the worst, when I reach the lowest depths, I have an inward peace which no pain or depression can in the least disturb. Trusting in Jesus Christ my Savior, there is still a blessed quietness in the deep caverns of my soul, though upon the surface, a rough tempest may be raging, and there may be little apparent calm. -Charles Spurgeon

“O dear friend, when thy grief presses thee to the very dust, worship there!” -Charles Spurgeon

We said good-bye to our ducklings today.
They brought us such joy, and we are thankful we had the opportunity to witness life break forth from a little, white shell and watch the ducklings grow and change before our very eyes.
I love that God created animals for man to enjoy. And He did so with such diversity and beauty! Even five ducklings had different personalities, looks, and sounds. He could have made them all the same, but He didn't. He created them for His glory and our delight. Thank You, Lord!
(We did not cry when we had to leave them at the feed store, but Josiah, Isaiah, and Ellie kissed them goodbye, and my throat tightened a bit.) They will be missed!

~~~~ Happy Weekend to you!
And remember - you can make a difference EVERY DAY. It may not be noticed by the world, but it will make a difference in the life of the one who received your kindness - and always brings glory to God. ♥

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