we have been Florida residents for a little over a year, and I am just now feeling like life has slowed to a pace that I can keep up with. I really doesn't feel like a year at all.

This was probably one of the best decisions we have made. We have Ideal living circumstances and a really amazing ward, and many wonderful friends.

Paxton turned 6 and has lost 3 teeth. We are homeschooling him with the Waldorf method for the time being, but I hope it's temporary. I made the decision to do another year of Kindergarten. He isn't emotionally ready for first grade work yet, and the more time we spend on foundation work, the more confident he will be in the upcoming grades.

Emberlee turned 4 and got her ears pierced with no tears involved. She can skateboard, and got a skateboard for her birthday. She holds her own when playing with the big kids. We are starting her in Kindergarten alongside Paxton. She will end up with 2 years of kindy also.

Maisie will turn 2 next month, and is a tornado. She talks in complete sentences and is my sing-song baby. she knows and sings all the words to: I am a child of God, you are my sunshine, families can be together forever, once there was a snowman, popcorn popping, Jesus wants me for a sunbeam- and a couple of new ones we are learning together as a family.

we adopted my sister's dog, Dixie. The kids love her so hard, that sometimes I fear for her life.
Simba is getting old, but is as sweet as ever. Florida has exposed her to the harsh reality of fleas.

John started a different teaching position at the same high school, and so far, there has not been any negative differences in his demeanor since school started on Thursday. he completed his pathway program, and has been officially matriculated into BYU-Idaho, and all of his coursework has transferred appropriately. He is really excited about his prospects and the future. he plays D&D most weeks with a guy from work with a group. I am extremely grateful that he has found this. He continues to amaze me with his capacities as the Ward mission leader. He really does care about the people. We have been extremely blessed by simply having the Elders present in our home. It drives me to make our home as comfortable and peaceful as possible. i try to love them the best way i can, because it makes A HUGE difference in the work. When they sit down to a meal that I prepared specifically with a recipe from their mother, they leave glowing. It changes their attitude, and it brings a mutual respect. If their mothers can't be there to help them soldier on in this crappy world- at least I can give them a reminder that they are first and foremost treasured. Regardless of how many contacts they make, regardless of how many baptisms and lessons and commitments.

I am starting school for myself next month. I will be attending the pathway program this year, and I have extremely high hopes. I am truly very excited for this opportunity to finish my degree, and to do it in a way that is aligned with my values and personal ideals.
 I continue to try improving myself, but out of a place of real growth and not just because I feel like everything is wrong with me (which I often feel that way). The scriptures say that Peace and righteousness are inseparable. If we are righteous, we have the promise of peace. I take comfort in that. I am so incredibly grateful for this gospel. How sad, scary, and uncertain the world is without it.

I have also been Facebook-free for a year, and I recently divorced my instagram account. It was just too much. There are aspects that I miss at times, and then I remember how it would make me feel. life is just better this way. I am just so incredibly grateful for this phase of my life. I am learning to treasure it day by day.


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