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I have been praying about Levi starting kindergarten for a while. For many reasons, it feels as momentous as my oldest beginning his education adventures, even though Levi is my third.

Starting school with John V was full of realities. Many things would not be easy or would provide unexpected challenges. But he has a strong desire to please and achieve. Kailey is so much like me. I understand how she operates and what drives her. That simplifies teaching her dramatically.

Now comes Levi. He definitely has his own style of everything. Why chew food when you can just swallow it? Why stay on the ground when you can climb? Why merely talk when you can sing everything like you’re the star of a musical? Why do something at all until you’re sure there isn’t a better (read crazier) way to do it?

So my prayer has been that I could give him a vision, show him that learning is not about fighting his personality. It’s not about him figuring out how to conform to a lover of desk time and textbooks. While that might be simpler for me, it could have potentially devastating results for my boy, created by God for something unique. But just when I might become overwhelmed with the thought of how I will teach him in that way when our personalities are so different, I realize that the same God who created Levi created me, and made me his mommy, equipping me to nurture and teach him as he grew.

We’ve been planning something special for a while now. Actually this concept is a few years in the making for us and through both some fun and some disappointing circumstances, we have been brought to this place. Then I felt God saying to me, “See. Even through years of situations, I can prepare you a way. Just look where you will be when Levi starts Kindergarten.” And I had to laugh. Why I ever wonder about anything is beyond me. When we depart from our plans and embark on God’s adventures, the results are magnificent. Challenging, sometimes taking every ounce of anything we have, but beyond all we could dream up.

So I give you our Back to School 2013 pictures. You can follow our adventures as we learn about volcanoes, mountains, rainforests, whales, glaciers, Lewis & Clark, the Oregon Trail, and how to have incredible interpersonal relationships in a few square feet with seven people for hours and hours as we travel the Pacific Northwest for almost a month.

You can follow our adventures at

On average, the odds of this family doing anything in a normal fashion are very, very low. Why should back to school be any different? Bring on the learning!

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