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The story of our precious little girl's 17 months of life with Trisomy 18 (July 4, 2010 - December 15, 2011) and of us, re-learning to live "after Lilly."
"I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made ...." Psalm 139:14

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Another school year

First off - happy birthday to my rainbow baby!  Solomon is now 3 years old.  Here he is wearing his annual birthday shirt and a mischievous grin:

(I bought pack of XL men's T-shirts years ago.  I have one for each of my kids.  I take a picture of them wearing their T-shirt each year on their b'day, and then print the picture and put it into a little photo album.  I have a b'day album for each of them.  It's fun to see how much they grow each year by how much smaller the T-shirt gets.)

Our new school year is full of changes this year.  In the past, I was adamant that we would NOT begin before the day after Labor Day.  Because that is what the law was where I grew up, in Northern Virginia, and that was what I was used to.  But this year we started the second week of August.

Why?  Because the boys and I are following Tabby's new school schedule.

What's up with Tabby's new schedule?

Well ... this year, for the first time, she is attending the small private Christian school that my husband works at.  She is going part-time and in the 9th grade.  Why?  Because she had several big issues come up in the last year, that I simply could not meet for her at home.  I admit, I rather selfishly felt rather sad and disappointed that homeschooling wasn't going to work this year for Tabby.  But so far - 6 weeks into this - I am relieved and pleased that things are going quite well and those needs are now being met.

Tabby is going to the school part-time and is in the 9th grade.  She has 4 classes and an elective each day.  We are still working on math at home, and she is continuing her weekly piano lessons.  After school, she is running on the cross country team.  Running with the team is proving to be an enormous blessing for her.  And at her last meet, she can in 7th place for girls in the 5K!

Tabby is 5'1" but has a long stride and tons of energy which makes her fast
Official school pictures was something new for my kids this year.  In the past, on our first official day of homeschool, we went outside and I took a few pictures of everyone.  This year Tabby had "picture day" and wore her dress uniform.  Here's my girl:

Since Tabby had a real picture day, I felt obliged to step it up for my boys with their annual school picture.  I came up with a "Pinterest-worthy" set up which I was rather proud of.  However, I had not thought of how it would turn out with boys.  Ha!

Even though the day was overcast, I found that Hunter's eyes seemed to be almost as sensitive as Lilly's were.  He needs sunglasses like she did!  It was hard to get him to open his eyes normally.  So here are a couple of my squinty-eyed missing-some-teeth engineer-in-the-making:

Here is Solomon with the expression that most people see him with:

However, when I asked him to smile, he got goofy:

Funny boy.

Hunter is in 2nd grade this year and I am following much of the Ambleside Online curriculum schedule.  We did this last year and it went great!  I feel like we're getting in so much good reading in books that are not dumbed down.  (This a Charlotte Mason type curriculum.)  I supplement with a couple other things too.

I'm continuing to use Montessori type activities with Solomon.  I will be back in a few days to share some of those.

"Understanding is a wellspring of life to him who has it." - Proverbs 16:22a


  1. When I posted those pictures from your wedding the other day, I got a real shock! Tabby was just a tiny thing and now look at her practically grown! :)

    I love the pics of your squinty-eyed missing-some-teeth engineer-in-the-making:

    And just how much more adorable can Solomon get????

    1. It IS weird how it seems they grow up so fast! In spite of some days/weeks/seasons of life going agonizingly slow. :)

  2. I just knew I'd be blinded by sun when my childhood pictures were taken.could not see. He heired it honestly. those nice long strides of Tabby's are to be envied. My sweet S D Hollowell precious smile warms my you Lisa mj

  3. Ahhhhh - that explains the eye problem! He really does take after the Respess clan. <3

  4. Hi Lisa just here catching up on your life! I have seriously considered putting my 10 year old in school this year also because of issues I can not address but we would have to put him in public school and that really scares me. Love the funny pics of Solomon and Tabby is stunning!!! I look forward to all your awesome inspiration this year!

    1. Oh Tesha - that is TOUGH! Public school would terrify me too. We can barely afford the school Tabby is going too (and she's only part-time) but it is already helping her so much it's worth every cent.