My unexpected blessing is how close my kids have become to one another and how they enjoy spending time together. Generally this time of year would have brought our family racing off in many directions for conferences, ball games and practices, orchestra concerts, and the like. This historically has brought added stress to our family until the school year would come to an end. But now we have our school time together in the morning and the rest of the day for the kids (and me) to play together. We have played countless board and card games, put together a 750 piece puzzle, built a beautiful perennial garden, created a gorgeous bonfire pit area, turned our downstairs into a Lego community of houses, set up and played numerous games of Badminton, as well as taken many walks ( and talks), played basketball and road around with scooters, 4-wheelers, and rollerblades. Of course we’ve also spent some days and evenings fishing. The boys have opted to bunk together, read together, and now all three kids are working together to care for our six new baby chicks. They have been creative, artistic, thoughtful, inventive, and curious. I have always thought how neat it would be to homeschool them and now I’ve had a chance–in a sense. I haven’t been able to choose the curriculum, but I’ve been able to help, guide, and monitor their learning to ensure success, as well as integrate Bible and Awana time into their day. This time together has been an immense blessing in my life and I am truly grateful to God for it.

Jen M.