First Day of School 2023-24

It feels a bit like a tornado blew in in May and has swept our little family from one month to another so quickly that I truly cannot keep up.

There were delightful things that happened during the summer…like Elliott getting to work hard with his daddy helping his grandparents. He got to do “real” man things like drive excavators and lift steel. It was a sweet “foretaste of the things to come.”

We planted SO MANY TREES. Over 250. Working together as a family on this huge project was THE BEST. There may not be anything I love more than working with my hands with my family by my side. As a family, we read through the entire Little Britches series by Ralph L. Moody. Said books were read before, during, and after the tree planting, which provided thought-provoking inspiration!

Brian vs. the pollen monsters

The kids and I went on so many walks and truly enjoyed the beauty of our property, which was finally green with a full pond! The wildlife surprises us and delights us every day.

Dinner on the Dock

We had delightful times with friends and family.

But then Fall hit before I felt like we even had a moment to catch our breath, and before I knew it school was starting. The next week we had grandparents in town treating the kids to all sorts of fun. Then, the next week, tragedy hit and although the days kept coming and going, I was so broken. We all were, of course, but I was the one breaking down during math lessons. So, we took it day by day. One day at a time. One academic lesson at a time, one life lesson at a time. So many snuggles and tears.

Then came Brian’s and Selah’s birthdays. How important it is to still celebrate life and the ones you love, even while mourning the death of one you love. Hard, but important.

All that to say, we did, in fact, start school. And despite every unplanned (by us) circumstance, we have accomplished (what I think) is an extraordinary amount of school so far. THAT is by God’s grace and God’s grace alone.

This is a unique school year, as Elliott graduated from our sweet little Classical Christian one-day-a-week school last year. After praying about and considering many different options, he is home with us full time this year. The goal is for him to be trained under his daddy’s wise wings, learning the real life skills of working a trade and running a business. Though we are not as far along the business plan as we had hoped to be, we feel confident God’s timeline is best. And Elliott has had plenty to do with his daddy even before the official business has begun. As for me, I still get to teach him the academic things and it has been such a sweet gift to have one day a week with him to myself. Though we have no idea what next year will hold, I am so grateful that THIS is the plan this year.

Selah is continuing to go to “out school” one day a week and she loves those days as much as ever. At home, Elliott and Selah still learn all of their humanities lessons together, and I love this time with my children so much!

First day breakfast: sweet potato curry hash, fried eggs, grade-level bacon, and homemade bone broth.

Okay. This is probably a secret that the rest of the world has known since the beginning of time, but I JUST discovered it. If you try to shape bacon and THEN cook it, it never cooks until crispy because of the overlapping parts. But it dawned on me a few months ago that I could cook the bacon in strips (in the oven, which, in my opinion, is the easiest and best way to cook bacon) and then shape it as soon as I take it out of the oven–while it’s still warm, but hasn’t yet hardened into its delightful crispy self. I tried it for the first time with our grade-level bacon and it worked like a dream. Up next, I’m trying that with bacon-wrapped dates. I LOVE them, but I can never get that bacon crispy enough when I wrap the raw bacon around the date before cooking! I’ll keep you faithful readers posted. 🙂

It was a surprise attack!!! What would he do without her?!!! He would be far too serious. We all would.


  1. Always love seeing how Elliott and Selah are growing and flourishing! Those freckles and smiles 💕 Wishing you all the best year yet! Sending love and hugs from Uncle Joe and Aunt Paula xoxo

  2. As always, thanks for the photos. So glad we can see Elliott and Selah in real life–even though they ARE getting too tall for Nonna!!!

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