Where did the summer go? It seems like just yesterday that we were scheduled to the “max” with end-of-the-year plans, presentations, and picnics! Vacation plans were just that…plans. After a fun-filled summer and great family trips to magnificent Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons as well as Lake Powell, we are back to shopping for school supplies, packing school lunches and getting back into the morning routine. I was one of “those” moms who couldn’t wait for my kids to go to kindergarten yet I considered our home the very best teaching environment. I wanted them to experience new friends, have a little separation from our home and learn from teachers that were passionate about sharing their knowledge with little ones. We were blessed to have found a small Christian school that loved our kids and treated them as their own. “Wilderness Day” each week was a highlight as the kids learned about science while being outdoors, hiking, studying pond life, building snow caves in January and sleeping in them overnight for days at a time, making fire with a bow drill or snowshoeing, to name a few things. Today I watched as my daughter drove out of the driveway to school with my son. They are both in high school now and I’m still excited for them to make new friends, advocate for themselves, and to be able to discuss important topics with respect for others and a passion for their own views. I worry a little more now than I did when they were in Kinder (and I was in control) but I pray daily for their safety, that they make wise choices and they live with integrity. Who they choose to associate with is paramount now and as they move on with their lives. The school supply list is more expensive than in years past with high-dollar calculators and laptops to buy and trying to make lunches new and exciting after so many years is tough. I wouldn’t trade these times for anything and want to cherish each moment. The time is coming when we won’t have them home any longer. I want to make the best of it!