I'll start by explaining why I walked away from the blog, and from so many encouraging voices, for so long...
I ran into some trouble with it.
People who remained nameless, nonetheless recognized themselves in some of my narratives and observations and became offended.
Also, someone took one of my pictures of the girls in front of a restaurant and posted it on a questionable site, and there wasn't a thing I could do about it.
And I became increasingly aware of the didactic nature of the mommy blogging world, especially in Christian homeschooling circles, and I didn't want to be a part of that. I didn't want to BE that.
But all this time my husband has gently encouraged me to get back to blogging...to process my thoughts and to stack the rocks on my altar of remembrance, so to speak...and to encourage others in the way of the Word. If my candor can serve to do that for anyone, well then, it is a worthy pursuit indeed.
By way of re-introduction...
I'll tell you that Fifi is now 17, moving into her senior year, still loving literature and language and disdaining her math, and still playing the violin, preparing Mendelssohn's violin concerto in E minor for her senior recital sometime next spring. She loves the Lord, questions doctrine, formulates opinions, exhibits deference for her parents, grace in her dealings with others and continues to be a wonder to watch as she blooms into a competent and God-glorifying adult. All because HE is so good.
Dumpling is 12, and so kind and merciful--she moves to the aid of anyone in need with alacrity. Also, she finds a lot to like about math--yippee! She, like Fifi, has been shielded from the usual middle-school story line diet of drama, infatuation and the supernatural so that she is free to be herself: befriending whomever is in the room, playing "mermaid" in the pool, and cutting up old socks to fashion clothes for her dolls. After a little time with the guitar, she chose to take up the flute--mostly because it's shiny. She professes belief in Jesus and asks good questions about faith and assurance.
Cuddlebug will be 10 within the week. She's got the gift of service, always wanting to interject herself into the thick of the work, and usually doing it better than whoever taught her how to do it in the first place. She's very animated--I blame, or credit, Pixar for this. I often marvel that I seem to be carrying on a conversation with a cartoon character. She enjoys composing on the piano, dancing with her sister, and would probably be a track star if God had given her to different parents. She's often the quietest one in the room, but regularly comes out with a forever friend. Go figure.
And alas, my post is longer than I mean for it to be. Clearly, I don't Twitter.