Home School Life Journal

Home School Life Journal ........... Ceramics by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

Snapshot Summary, January 18-24: Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity-Jig!

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord,
plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11

Here we are. We have made a full circle. Our experiment, our leap of faith we took last May has come its full circle. We had decided to move to Tennessee from the state I had known all my life so that we could move closer to my best friend. We also hoped that, with the house empty, perhaps it would sell better. We had lots and lots of wonderful experiences which we focused on and showed you each week. The other side of the picture, however, was eight of us trying to get along peacefully in a small two-bedroom house for seven months. We had thought to come back to Maryland a few months ago as it was seeming His plan for us was not as we had thought, but then my diagnosis sent us into another direction. We once again reached another decision point, at my last doctor's appointment, as I was told that I would be receiving chemotherapy that would last the better part of a year. We could not stay in the tiny house we had been staying at for another whole year. We could stay and hope that our house would sell before we reached the point where we felt that staying was worse than giving up on the plan or we could go back to Maryland now, before I started chemotherapy. We brought the problem to the whole family to decide.
Sometimes the bad things that happen in our lives put us directly on the path to the best things that will ever happen to us.
The resounding answer was to go back to Maryland. We felt that we had either mis-read God's plan for us, or perhaps the plan was just a different one than His, and that the usefulness of our being in Tennessee was now over. It was a wonderful year of wonderful experiences, but it was time to go back home. (My only regret is that I didn't take the time to see some of my friends I have met through blogging that I was closer to by being 500 miles south.) The next question was when to leave. Steven felt it would take us a week and a half to pack up and make arrangements, but the kids begged for us to move back that weekend, only a few days away. We told them that we could if they made it possible by doing the packing, as I was still recovering from surgery. They worked all day, packing and cleaning and we were ready to get on the road by Saturday morning!
The drive back to Maryland took us about 12 hours as we were towing a trailer that required us to travel at a top speed of 55 mph.
   It was a beautiful trip! 
Katie got out her portable easel and painted in the car.
The kids were wonderful. We listened to Katie's Jonathan Park CD's and otherwise entertained ourselves. I never heard a single complaint the entire trip. When we arrived home, we came home to the furnace not working (in 28 degree weather) and so our sweet neighbor across the street leaned us three space heaters and a couple air mattresses. We blocked off all of the house except the kitchen and the dining room (which has the fireplace). 
 On Sunday morning, we went to breakfast at Mazzarelli's, the restaurant around the corner from our house.
 They were so sweet to us there...
and when we went to pay, they wouldn't let us.
A welcome home present.
Looking pretty empty, eh?
We went to Walmart and began restocking the fridge.
The parts for our furnace will not come in until Saturday, and so Katie gathered sticks and kept a fire going. She made it celebratory by inviting the boys to toast marshmallows over the fire.
The boys have had fun with their old toys they had packed up.
Our neighbor-friends let us come to their house for showers.
It has not been an easy week, but we are grateful for our many blessings.

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
And since Monday was Martin Luther King, Jr day, here is a quote to think about.
Join me at...


  1. What a week-hope that home gets warmer soon.

  2. I am so happy for you guys! I really enjoyed reading about your life in Tennessee, but the smiles on your kid's faces says it all.

    That is so sweet how your friends at the restaurant welcomed you all back.

    Home is where the heart is.

    Thank you for sharing.

  3. What a week - but it does sound like your kids have been amazing. I hope you get your furnace working without any trouble once the parts arrive!

  4. I'm just impressed that you are blogging about this week. Wow, what a lot you have been through.

    I can just hear the relief in your post, though, at being back home. This is good.

    I'm always praying for you, and won't stop this year as your are undergoing your treatment. You amaze me - so glad I have gotten to know you through our blogs.

  5. One punch after another - but you keep rolling with them! Katie with the marshmallows is a great shot - what a good way to make the best of things. Glad to see you home.

  6. Wow! What a week. Maybe God had you move so you could be with your friend when you first got your news, but now that things are settling down he's moving you back to what you know.

    1. Maybe that is so, Ticia!

  7. I am glad you all made it safe and sound. Your house is so cute. I love older homes. I hope you all have some warm heat real soon.

  8. I hope you get your furnace fixed soon, what a week! Praying for you and your family :)

  9. Welcome home! I hope everyone settles down soon and you will rest and heal in your own house.

  10. Oh, wow, Phyllis, what a week! But you've got some great kiddos there! I'm sure it was hard to stay positive and hopeful with all the packing and traveling and furnace. Sounds exhausting! Hang in there!

  11. Gosh Phyllis, I'm exhausted just reading about it, but the smiles speaks of a million happy memories made in the past and many to be made in the future. May you and your family know blessings beyond comprehension as you restart your lives in Tennessee. Our prayers will be with you all throughout this year.

    1. We are actually back in Maryland now, after being in Tennessee for seven months. Thank you for all your prayers and good wishes.

  12. I am glad you are back home safely! Despite all the difficulties, it seems like you are very happy with your decision and happy to be back in your own house. I hope that now you can settle in and get some rest!

  13. The pics from the road look beautiful. Glad you will get to be near your friend :)

    1. I was glad to be with my friend for seven months, but I am glad to be home now.

  14. What a week, what an adventure!! You are such a great family, you can do everything, together! So strong! It's good to know you are all happy to be there, now. best wishes,

  15. Phyllis, I saw somewhere else that you were back in Maryland and had to come find the post. I am glad you are all safely home. The drive back looks so beautiful. I think you were right, for whatever reason God wanted you in TN for awhile. Maybe the doctor wouldn't have found your cancer as quickly in Maryland? You never know. I love the way you make things such an adventure for your kids. I do wish we had been able to get together! Maybe one day friend.

  16. Thanks for linking up to Its a Wrap. When you make up your mind...you move! That was quick. I hope you'll be back this week and let us know how things are going.


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