Rumors of my death have been…well, you know.

*Beth looks around cautiously to see if her six readers even remember her name. Yeah, it’s B E T H, by the way.*

It’s just been…a time. A really really busy time. Yes, a hard time too.

Tim and I have looked at our finances long and hard and quite painfully, and are making significant changes to improve our lives. It has been fraught with difficult discussions and nasty self evaluations. And it’s probably an opportunity for God’s grace to enter our marriage like never before.

We had a major, but thankfully now solved, debacle as to whether or not the boys were going to be able to go private school next year — initially, they did not get into the second grade class, in part because we turned in our paperwork one (1!) day late, due to Abby being at Children’s ER with barfing and my dad being in the hospital…but in a true example of God’s mercy (I had prayed the previous night that God could miraculously work this situation out quickly, even the following day please, please, please, because this truly felt like “the one thing too much”), the principal called me back the very day after I had pleaded my case before God and said that though the class will be large, the school will make room for our guys. And then she thanked me for being the kind of parent who is so present in her children’s school lives and who supports the school in multiple ways. Truly, I felt God’s answer to my prayer: Yes, Beth, I am in control, and I hear you, really hear you, and know what you need.

My mom’s health has been decreasing, and her quality of life remains terribly stuck in the rut of not feeling well enough to do much of anything. She’s been sad and cranky, understandably so, but she’s also been getting more feisty, and her recent blood count numbers indicate that the treatment she’s doing may be working. But so much of it feels like stealing from Peter to pay Paul (is that the expression?) — the treatment is also damaging her kidneys and making her shaky.

My friend, Matt, asked at our weekly Bible study why people have blogs and what we find appealing about them. I blathered on (oh, wait, I never blather) about my enjoyment of people’s personal stories and how the internet can connect like-minded people, and how there’s such a lot of great writing out there. But what I didn’t say to him, and what I want to say here, is that sometimes a blog gives one a chance to thank someone else. And with that, I say, Thank you, Matt, for using your professional expertise in the area of home health care to help my parents. Matt took time out of his certainly busy day last week and sat down with my parents to assess their needs and figure out how to ease their lives. His knowledge and kindness have been beyond a simple blessing to my family.

Back pain? Check. Although — I must say that the medicine I was (finally) put on has helped. I’ve talked to two surgeons so far — one won’t touch me and one thinks he can help me. I’m wanting to gather more opinions.

And in other news, I’ve become quite the soccer mom — I’m absolutely loving the boys’ soccer season. Their coach rocks and we’ve seen the kids develop their skills and their characters throughout the season so far. Plus, it’s the funnest bunch of parents we’ve ever had — everyone wants the kids to win, but not at the expense of learning and fun. I’ve seen other coaches and parents this season who give the word “asshat” new meaning.

We’re looking in to options for Abby for school next year. She may qualify for our community’s gifted program, but get this — she has to take an IQ test and score at least 130, and the higher her score, the further up the waiting list she will be. Something in me feels, well, squiky about that. Now, I have no doubt that she’s incredibly gifted (eeek, even the word kind of sends shivers up my spine), and no test will prove otherwise or for that matter, will prove (on its own) that she is gifted. An IQ test is just that: one test. And I don’t know whether it will adequately reflect her intelligence or not. But she’s struggled with being pretty bored in school this year, so we’re seeing what we can do for her. She may stay where she is, and she may not.

Now that I’ve bored my now four readers to near tears, I’ll finish up here. But I’ve missed y’all.

***Oh, a sheepish note to Erica: Yes, oh yes, embarrassingly, I do still have your books — I confess to COMPLETELY forgetting about them. (Um, my IQ notsomuch at the 130 or above level!) I’ll get them to you this week — and I still have a wee gift for the wee lad. Only I better get it to you before he stops being so very wee. Maybe tomorrow I could drop stuff off? It’s okay if you never lend me anything again! And see, I’ve pressured at least one person to comment. Not that I’m insecure about comments. Not in the littlest least. No, I’m so totally self confident in my ability to draw readers that I…wait, where was I?