Goodbye Preschoolers and Peace, Hello New Writing Adventures!

It has been nearly 11 years since I began writing here at Preschoolers and Peace, and some of you have been around just that long!

In that time, we added two more children, bringing the crazy total to 8, lived through harrowing crises with several of them, started a podcast, and continue to homeschool by various ways and means. 

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If you're raising a big family, you know! It's crazy-town. 

This coming February, I have a book coming out, and the demands on my writing and speaking schedule just amped up to a level that is causing me to really examine what needs to stay and what I need to eliminate. Truth is, I feel I've said pretty nearly all I need to say here at Preschoolers and Peace, so I believe it's time to say goodbye.

The site stays, however. You can access anything you want whenever you need it, and feel free to send friends to posts that have helped you. One of my goals has been to create a really great index page so that old posts can be easily found; stay tuned!

Please come "see" me? I'm over here:

Kendra Fletcher

HomeschoolingIRL

And thank you. You were the readers who allowed me to cut my teeth on blogging and encouraged me to write the stories God has authored. 

A Few Words From Michele

It is hard for me to believe that I started as a Preschoolers and Peace reader back in 2005 and today I am writing a contribution to the goodbye post for my most favorite blog ever. Back in the beginning I had a 2-year-old and a newborn and invited myself over to Kendra’s house for lunch one day. Now I have five kids and count Kendra as a treasured friend. 

I’m finding it hard to put into a few words what Preschoolers and Peace has meant to me for the last 11 years. This place is where I read the words of a woman that was open and honest about what was happening in her life and in the life of her family, even the really hard stuff. And through it all she pointed us back to Jesus, reminding us that although we are not enough we can know that Jesus always is.

So, readers, don’t get so caught up in the practical everyday stuff of homeschooling that you miss out on the relationships with your kids. Sit with them and read. Play with them. Listen to them. Don’t be afraid to have conversations with them about hard things. Tell them your stories about how God has worked in your life. As they grow, don’t stop all the sitting and playing and listening and story-sharing.

And while you’re building relationships with your family, look around and see who God has placed in your life that might need a friend. Invite her over for a chat. Don’t worry about the state of your kitchen or when you last vacuumed the floors. People are always more important than things. Those casual conversations over a glass of water while the kids play Lego next to you can make an eternal difference in someone’s life. Don’t miss out. 

I would love to stay in touch with you. I’m easily found on Instragram (@micheleonthemove) or Twitter (@micheleonthego) less frequently. My prayer for you all is that you will love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. 


Posts and Books and Podcasts and the Beginning of the School Year

Hi there! Do you remember me? I'm Kendra, and I've been writing Preschoolers and Peace for nearly 10 years. TEN YEARS. 

The reason I thought I might need to reintroduce myself is that I've been rather lame around here lately. Guess what I did yesterday? Turned in my book to the publisher! Yes! It's such a sweet thing for me to tell you about because so many of you were there with us, back when Mighty Joe got sick, back when I ran over Annesley, back when Caroline nearly died, too. You've walked this journey, prayed, and watched. And now a book.

I'm really, really thankful. 

So, here's the other stuff, just to catch you up:

Fletch and I are podcasting every week over at HomeschoolingIRL. We touch on many topics, including how to talk to your kids about sex, homeschool organization, African Americans homeschooling, what homeschooling does to a marriage, and this week, What Josh Duggar Forgot. You can subscribe in iTunes and get our upcoming episodes automatically. We've got episodes on boys, girls, dating, and raising adults coming up.

We haven't started school at home yet this year. I've got two high schoolers who are mostly in classes at a local hybrid, a 6th grader at home, a 3rd grader at home, and my Mighty Joe in full time special ed at our local public school. Did you know? Are you surprised? Us, too! After a homeschooling year of kindergarten, he had a terrific repeated kindergarten year at the school so we're trying 1st grade this year. He cannot read, cannot remember all of his letters, counts nicely, and forget things daily. This will be a long process but he has a great team helping him and us.

  At least he flosses!

At least he flosses!

  Our oldest daughter (4th child) drives. She drives, you guys!

Our oldest daughter (4th child) drives. She drives, you guys!

  Caroline with Jordan Taylor of Blimey Cow. I know!

Caroline with Jordan Taylor of Blimey Cow. I know!

  She is a singer and loves to swim and play tennis with me. 6th grade this year!

She is a singer and loves to swim and play tennis with me. 6th grade this year!

  And he skateboards through the Santa Cruz store. 

And he skateboards through the Santa Cruz store. 

So, with 5 at home, that means we've graduated our oldest 3 sons. Two are in college (the oldest has decided to get a Master's degree so we're cheering him on), and the most recent graduate is taking a gap year. He's in Europe this month, traveling with two friends through Spain, Italy, and France. 

  Oldest son, still goofing around with me.

Oldest son, still goofing around with me.

  Playing Princess BrideOpoly (Yes! It's a thing!) with our other older sons.

Playing Princess BrideOpoly (Yes! It's a thing!) with our other older sons.

As for right here? Michele has had to stop writing for Preschoolers and Peace, but all of her posts remain so you can find and read them anytime you want. We interviewed her and her husband on the podcast last month, and I think you might really like hearing their story of adoption and foster care. 

I'm working on new and helpful posts for you, but one of the things I'm working on here is getting rid of the lousy old stuff from 10 years ago, improving the good stuff, and then creating an indexing system that will make it super easy for you to find stuff. Sound good?

You can also find me at the usual hangouts: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

See you in a few!


A Brief Update From Michele

Back in January, when I wrote this, I never intended to actually drop off the face of the blogging planet. I truly did think that I might at least be able to type out a few sentences once in a while. Kendra has been so very gracious and never once texted me to say HEY, WHERE ARE YOU?? And I love her for it. 

Our family has been through the wringer the last five months. We are still on the road to adoption of two precious little girls through the foster system. It is a long road. We have been surprised by some of the medical things that we have discovered, that no one knew about, which have required more specialist appointments and testing. We have been worn down by the behavior problems that we have witnessed due to trauma and transition. We have been exhausted because of multiple night wakings and screaming. Lots and lots of screaming. 

Because of all these things we have just been in survival mode. Trying to keep our older kids from totally falling apart, while giving the little girls what they need, too. And, of course, keeping our marriage healthy so that we aren’t strangers at the end of this road. 

I have been faced with seeing the ugliest part of myself, which is probably the most painful. About a month ago, this is what I texted Kendra:

“What I really want to write about: How the hard things that God asks us to do will rip us apart and then He slowly puts us back together and we are raw and more complete and a different shade of the person we were before. One who no longer cares so much about what other people think, who might think a lot more swear words in her head, who loves more fiercely because she has been a shell of herself after being slammed in the face with all of her inadequacies and come out the other end knowing that she will never be enough, but God is always enough.”

So, this hard thing that God has asked us to do is truly the hardest thing I’ve ever done. All my former ideas about what is important have been torn down and God is slowly building me back up again. And I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Christ is the Rock on which I stand. 

I really do hope that I can write here more often. If you’re ever curious about our life with seven kids, special needs, adoption, feel free to find me over on Instagram - @micheleonthemove  I post there pretty frequently, about important things like my empty coffee cup or our new obsession Ticket To Ride. 

Michele


A Book and a Story

Do you remember that book I wrote? The one that went through a publisher and an agent and then back again? That book that had me wondering if anyone would be able to read it outside of my family since it lived in my computer? 

I'm always amazed by God's hand, His work, His timing, His plan. I knew He wanted me to write that book, and I looked back at that time period and wondered how I even had the time to write it. When did I do that? Because I certainly couldn't see how I was able to carve out the time. There are a lot of people in this house and they like to interrupt a lot. I like to hang out with them, too, so my time's a little consumed. 

Anyway, It happened because God wanted it to. He made a way. And even over the last two years when it stayed tucked away in a Pages file, God was doing things His way. His way is always, always, always better. Remember that, because your thing might not be a book but it's something, and God has a perfect plan for that. Perfect, my friend.

More than we could ever ask for or imagine.

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I signed a contract last week with New Growth Press and Key Life Ministries, but here's the kicker: if I could have hand-picked a publisher and a ministry to work with, these two would be it. How it all came about is entirely God's doing, and I can see how He was working in that time period when I was wondering why I'd even bothered. This was why. Both the publisher and the folks at Key Life are committed to a gospel-centered, grace-filled message that puts Jesus squarely where He belongs: in the center. All over, really. These are the people I want the book to run around with.

If you're new to Preschoolers and Peace and wondering what the book might be about, I can guide you to the latest HomeschoolingIRL podcast (where my hubs and I hang out), in which we tell our story of over-the-top trials and total faith overhaul. Just click over:

Thank you for reading! I'll update you on the book and you'll be the first to know when it comes out. Promise. Oh, and I do have more posts planned for next week! Really, I do!

-Kendra