Today is the last day I am 50-years-old.

I thought I would take some time to reflect over the past year.  (Yes, this post is going to be a bit lengthy!!)

When I turned 50, I was on a mission.  I was in New York City, staying in Harlem, helping out at the Salvation Army in whatever way was needed.

The actual day I turned 50, I got to give out food at the New York City Pantry, and gather food for City Harvest.  Then pizza in Manhattan!!

What a glorious way to arrive in my 50's.  There is nothing like spending a week just being open and willing to serve the Lord however you are asked, and to help people in need for a whole week.  I can't thank God enough for allowing our family and friends to have this opportunity.

When we returned home, we got right into rehearsals for the August Melodrama that I wrote, "Madness at the Mill, or...A Big Bang for Bunker Hill".  Paul and I directed it, and was in the show with daughters Zoe and Molly.  Coco did the lights.  It was a fun show to all be a part of last August.

Paul and I were also "ghosts" once again at the Ghost Town Trolley in Wallace.  I was Lucy Wallace.  He was Charlie Siringo.

I also got to take a sibling outing with Bill and Christy to Canada last summer.  That was a fun trip exploring Nelson, British Columbia.

During August it was tough saying goodbye to one of my best friends, Stephanie, who moved half way across the country to Oklahoma.  Fortunately I have seen her a few times since her move, but about this time of year I usually have her over for tea in my backyard so we can get caught up with one another.  No tea time this summer.  But it sounds like she may be back in September, so hopefully we can catch up then.

Then back to work in August.  This school year I split my time between Kellogg Middle School and Kellogg High School.  It actually went pretty well, being two days one place, and two days another place.....then usually I had Fridays off!!

Soccer began in August, and had us traveling around watching Coco play soccer.  Paul and I also volunteered as score keepers at the home matches, and sang the National Anthem.

September brought the saddest time of my year.  In September we had to say goodbye to our beloved dog Peaches.  Peaches was such a wonderful pet, and we loved her so much.  But she got sick, and we knew it was time to say goodbye.  But it was very, very hard.

September also brought rehearsals for the Fall Melodrama production, "It's For The Birds".    We also shared some music at a Susan G. Komen fund-raiser at the melodrama, and the following week, did more music for a Sixth Street fund-raiser.

At the end of September I flew to Portland for my fall Gear Up conference and meeting.  After the meetings were over, my brother came and got me and I spent a few days in Eugene with Bill and Debbie, and also saw Kent and Robin, who came over from Blue River to take me to lunch.  I'm so glad I was able to spend one last time in Eugene with Bill and Debbie at their home, as they no longer live there anymore, and are moving back east to the Washington D.C. area.

In September we also resumed our Bible Study we had been having last year, with the hopes of finishing it up by Christmas.  One of the greatest blessings I know is to have people in my home talking about Jesus Christ. 

When I returned home from Oregon, it was one busy week with Homecoming at KHS, with Coco as a Homecoming Princess, and the North Idaho Gear Up STEM Expo that week as well in CDA.  Zoe came home later in the month for her fall break, and then the show opened at the theater.

Come November, Paul and I had the opportunity to  fly to Denver, Colorado to attend the Simply Jesus Gathering.  We spend two and a half days soaking up God's Word and teachings from some fabulous speakers that really challenged us and made us think.  One was one of our favorite authors, N.T. Wright.  His being at this conference was a major reason we attended.

Well, one theater show down, and rehearsal begins for the Christmas show.

Soccer has ended, and I'm no longer a "Soccer Mom".  Now I become a "Basketball Mom".

We were hoping to travel again to Meridian for Thanksgiving, but basketball made it otherwise.  So we stayed at home, and had Thanksgiving in Kellogg.  Saturday we went to Coco's basketball game in Coeur d'Alene and met my friend Tina. Another highlight of the day was getting "photo-bombed" by Jesus.

Sometime during the fall, my friend April and her family sold their house in Western Washington and are currently living in Kellogg in their home they have owned here for quite a few years.  One day we got together and started talking about vision boards, and visions, and being creative, and helping others be creative, and before you knew it, we had decided to form a group of our friends from high school to see if they would meet together once a month to do some of this stuff together.  We call ourselves the Creative Masterminds.  It has been quite an incredible thing that has happened in this group, between our friends, and between April and I.  The creative sparks have really started flying for us since January.  It has been INCREDIBLE!!!!

On my vision board I created, I chose the word "Purposeful" as my word for 2014.  And I made a goal to write each day on my blog.  So far so good!!  To help me meet this goal, I sat down before the end of the year and wrote out 365 topics to write about in the coming year.  Now that I am past the half way point, I can tell you the topics have really helped.  Each night I dump out all the little pieces of paper with the topics written on them, and go through until I find a topic that works.

The Christmas season arrived, my favorite time of year.  We had our annual caroling party, and celebrated a Scottish Christmas on Christmas Eve. I love spending time with friends and family, making delicious meals, and celebrating the birth of Jesus during the Christmas season.

Happy New Year!!  January continues to be filled with basketball games, and more basketball games. 

February started with us traveling to St. Maries for the "Brawl for the Ball" competition that about put my youngest daughter over the edge....but she survived!!  Since Coco is a senior, many things have been coming to an end this year.  Soccer Senior night....Basketball Senior night.....Band Senior night.......yes, it was a little emotional!!

February also was the beginning of helping Paul direct the KHS Musical "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown".  What a delight to work with the students in this production!!

The end of February I traveled to Boise for my spring Gear Up meeting.  The rest of my family joined me for the weekend to celebrate my sister-in-law Laurie's 50th birthday party....or should I say parties...in Meridian that weekend.  What a blessing to be able to be there with so many family and friends to help celebrate the birthday of a very special person in my life.  She isn't just my sister-in-law....she is a very good friend as well.

March was a busy, busy month, ending with Vandal Friday.  It was so fun to take Coco to get registered at the U of I, and reunite with some friends I went to college with at U of I.  I am so excited Coco is attending U of I, and that I get to be a Vandal Mom!!

Spring break was pretty nice, with not a whole lot going on.  A little breather before resuming for the rest of the school year.

I missed a Tri-Delt sorority reunion at U of I the last weekend in April so I could take one last band trip with Coco to Seattle.  It was a fun weekend filled with lots of great things.  The highlight was seeing our cousin Nicole, and going to the Experience Music Project museum at the Seattle Center.

May began with opening night of "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown".  The cast did a great job.  I was so proud of them each and every performance.

Then the school year is starting to wind down.  Senior projects complete.  Scholarship applications all turned in.  Coco getting recognized in various ways for many achievements, all well deserving.

Then graduation day....and my baby is done with high school.

And my life makes a major shift.

And as my life makes this major shift, things begin to happen.  I decide not to work this summer, which is a bit of a risk, because I don't get paid in the summer.  But it is worth it to commit my time to more important things, and to take a step of Faith, and see what God has in store this summer.  I know we won't starve.  We will have a roof over our head.  Our needs will be met.  Sometimes it is good to have to rely a little more on the Heavenly Father....because He does provide.  And often in way we are least expecting. 

Instead, I am devoting more time to creative pursuits in various forms, such as walking, writing, reading, retreating, artist dates, sharing deep thoughts with my precious Creative Masterminds, and taking some time to figure out a little about me.

June was a good beginning to get me started on this major life shift.

I watch my garden grow.

Instead of being involved performing on stage this summer, I am trying another way of performing...film.  I am acting in a short film called, "Across Bank Street---The Last Witch".  It has been a very interesting experience, learning to be more subtle...not at loud and over the top as stage sometimes requires you to be.

I meet weekly with April #1 to be accountable to one another on our creative pursuits, sparking and encouraging one another to dream BIG!!  Often to the point of dreaming so much we can't focus!!

Taking April #2 to my sisters for a weekend retreat, to do some more creative thinking and planning and dreaming.  And connecting with a friend I don't get to see near enough!!

I am also connecting to my hometown.  I am finding the beauty of this place right outside my front door.

And July could not have started any better than with my first Ceramics Class to learn how to make Pottery....a dream of mine since I started collecting pottery in about 1985.

I am letting God work on me, and change me. Since last night's class, I can't stop thinking about the image of God being the potter, and I am the clay.  God is all about creativity.  He is the original Creator, after all.  He loves beauty, and wants us to be creative people.  I am also looking at Jesus and what He says in the Bible a lot differently these days.  I will continue to allow this process in my life to let God mold me and make me into the person He created me to be.

Tomorrow I turn 51.  I can't wait to see what this year brings.  I believe I am in store for some incredible things ahead. 

I'll keep sharing about them.  Because I have 184 posts to go!!

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