we made it. barely, but we made it. anna katherine and bennett are all moved into their apartments in clemson. and the grieving process adjusting to the new normal has begun :)

a few days after move in mary claire started the eighth grade. we had visions of her happily settling into the only child role. not happening. this girl misses her sister something awful.when a kitten cannot do the job... it's a situation. 

we decided to move anna katherine in over two days. let me tell you, this made the process  much easier. so move in day was blazing hot! hauling furniture up three flights of stairs while threatening a heat stroke helps with the weepiness. we made a few trips here and there, gathering the finishing touches on her room. moving a girl and moving a boy are two different animals. 
bennett stopped by unfortunately after the furniture was moved. it is a nice feeling to know that they are there together. at least for a year they have each other a few miles away. 

prayer surely disolves a lot of worry. oh  the new experiences she will soak in. our pdaily conversations with God include a laundry list of new things; roommates, new faces, friends, safety, decision making,  health... the list goes on and on. definitely this is a life changing phase.

we enjoyed lunch a one of bennett's favorites diners. you can't beat a meat and vegetables for $5. 
we said goodbye in a hot clemson parking lot. everyone was hanging n by a thread until mary claire started crying. and let me just say, the next couple of days were ugly. we so happy for our college girl, but we miss her terribly. terribly.

hours away

our standard mode of operation is last minute!  we are hours away from anna katherine's movie day and we are still sewing her bedding, packing the trailer...   no surprise. that's us. it's not so much procrastination, but a family schedule bursting at the seams with obligations. oh, and our dryer broke yesterday.

so the buckets of tears that i feel we will shed must wait. they have been bumped to the bottom of the to do list. so maybe being last minute is a blessing, because this move is going to be fabulous for her and heart wrenching for her parents.  and those two fellas helping with the trailer, they are pretty awesome. 

 this girl has been working full time this summer.  she is a natural born baby sitter, cautious, caring and such the activity planner. it is  a joy to see. plus the kids she babysits... they're precious!


the next few days are going to be filled with big changes. mary claire's heart is pretty tender when it comes to her sister leaving for college. in a matter of days the upstairs of our house, which is usually the noisiest of all, will be earyly quiet. mary claire will be the only full time occupant and let me tell you, i do not anticipate an easy transition. i pray that the loneliness is not overwhelming and i am being overly dramatic.
with the hopes of being proactive... we got a new cat.  because kittens make life better. hopefully this little rescue kitten eases the transition. 
she is pretty adorable!
it's hard not to smile looking at this sweet face. 

 by this time next week, who knows, we may have a dozen new kittens. 

look up

the first week of june we packed up for a week of camp. all three of our children have had the best experience here. ask me and i will tell you it is the gold standard of christian youth camps. this was mary claire and i's first teen camp. it all started when my friend paige invited us to join her and her girls. we invited my niece, mary claire invited a friend, liza invited a friend... word got out that a group was attending look up and within a week we had filled up two rooms.  

one of my favorite things about this camp is one of the very things that makes it unpopular with some. they do not allow campers to have cell-phones!  {praise!}  "look up believes that once distractions are removed, campers find themselves surrounded by God’s creation, an environment that turns their minds to Him and to the eternal and away from the world."

replacing cell phones with bibles... {praise!}
my heart was leaping for joy see the girls spend their free time enjoying walks in nature, girl talks. hair braiding hair, making up silly games and songs instead of surfing the internet... and not  complaining about it... divine intervention :) 

it rained quite a bit. our morning devotionals usually started with, "today we are going to give thanks in the rain! we are going to replace complaining with praise... even when it is a torrential down pour and everything we own is wet!" 

and they did!! another praise! i was so thankful for allison and her amazing house keeping skills! thanks to her everything stayed neat and organized. 
i loved spending time with this lady! love her!

each day the girls would write down a thought for the day. the camp topic was apologetics. so towards the end of the week the thoughts turned to questions... questions that were often so deep allison and i needed time to research. 
my favorite things was always the same...
all these GIRLS!

i loved most of all spending time with this sweet young lady! 

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