Ups and Downs of Summer with a Writer’s Conference in Between

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I can hardly believe that today is the last day of summer vacation. This summer has been our craziest one by far. Yes, even more so than the first summer with the triplets. We spent a great month with my parents in Florida but ever since we’ve been home life has been anything but normal.

Granted our first few weeks were busy though not out of the ordinary for us. Kaitlyn went to art camp for a week and I spent a week working at the consignment sale I volunteer for three times a year. In between I had a few days “off” but had to spend the time preparing for a writer’s conference. My goal had been to have my novel finished and polished before going but that didn’t happen.

Seems God had other plans. On July 28th we had a minor family “emergency” – Kirk’s niece, Amber had broken down on her way from NY to FL and needed a place to stay for three weeks. So, with just hours of preparation we opened up our home to Amber, her two children and her two dogs. We loved having them here but extra people (especially kids and dogs) brings extra chaos.

For me it meant very little preparation time before heading off to my conference in PA.

The conference…

Just three days but feels like I’ve survived a marathon when it’s over. I did have classes on the tecnhinque of writing fiction but for the most part the conference was for meeting with editors and agents to try and “sell” my work. That part is NOT my “cup of tea”. I love meeting new people and don’t feel like I’m shy, but selling myself or my work feels strange and foriegn to me.

Did they like it?

Yep. I got a great response from everyone who read my work and felt like I got the answer I sought after. Should I continue or give up this crazy pursuit of writing fiction novels? Overwhelming repsonse was to continue. I had a request for a full manuscript and people very eager to see it.

The hard part?

The novel isn’t fully completed to my liking. Before I submit I want the whole thing to be as perfect as possible. The problem is our crazy summer has not given me any time to work on it! When I returned home the house was anything but quiet and I haven’t done much writing since.

Last Saturday we drove Amber and her family to Richmond and visited our good friends, the Shepherds for lunch.

Sunday we headed out of town to spend a few days away with our long-time friends, the Clocks. One of which was broken – ha ha! Just his arm 🙂

We shared a house in Luray on a river but mostly the kids enjoyed the hot tub – it certainly kept them all happy and occupied for hours:

It was a great time to play games and hang out:

The kids put on a play and I even got to get a little reading done!

Wednesday it was back to reality as we had just one day to prepare our home for our exchange student from China. Angela arrived Thursday evening and has been fitting in great ever since..

Tonight for dinner she made us homemade chinese dumplings with a traditional Chinese meal – yum! Rachel ate a whole 6 dumplings! If you’re wondering that’s a LOT for her – meant she liked it 🙂 The girls were “helping”

Did you notice something else?

The girls hair is considerably shorter than it used to be! Thanks to JCPenney and their free kids haircuts in August the girls have a whole new look. They all wanted it cut short but Alyssa went the shortest.

Here’s the before (Julianna on the left; Alyssa on the right) – you can see in the photo a good example of all the tangles – they seem to come regardless of how often we brush even though we use conditioner and spray!

And Alyssa’s after – she didn’t want any hair on her neck because she says it makes her hot and sweaty. I think she’s just tired of all the brushing – I know I am tired of all the knots!!

Big girl getting her hair cut!

I’m not sure they loved the whole experience but they certainly love the results. I’m looking forward to easy brushing in the school year though 🙂

Speaking of the school year it starts on Monday and I have so much to do before then! I have sadly waited too long between posts and as the school year starts and Lord willing our lives are less crazy I will post more. I’m also hoping to write more – please pray I can accomplish both tasks.

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