Summer came and went with no update, so here's an early start on the Fall:
Alex and I did get some fresh strawberries to eat, but the neighbors keep assuring me, "It takes a year to get a strawberry patch up and running."
It turned out that competition with the birds was not my problem, but rather the crawly bugs that found the strawberries to be a sumptuous breakfast (and lunch, and dinner).
I found that if I could keep the berries from touching the ground, I would have to share fewer of them with the creepy-crawlies.
Summer was quite eventful for Alex, thanks to Ambridge Youth Ignite, which ran a daily sports camp and arts camp through the end of July. Alex played soccer, lacrosse, baseball, flag football, and "ultimate frisbee." They capped off the season with a free trip to Pittsburgh to watch the Pirates play major league baseball. Eric Geisbert and the crew of young folk at AYI deserve high praise for the dedication and love they poured into the children of Ambridge.
After spending the month of August playing with his friends in the neighborhood, Alex was really ready for school to start again. He is excited about being in the fifth grade, and has joined the choir and the band.
His face really beamed the first day he brought home his saxophone. He said, "I'm going to practice every day! This is while I'm thinking, "How can I make that fun for him?'
He's looking forward to a visit from his mother this weekend. In part due to the recession, she had some significant business reversals this summer, and was unable to take Alex with her for a while as she had promised.
As a result, I had to cancel my own plans for a short vacation. I've been on the job for almost two years now, and could really use a break. But God is faithful, and He knows what He's doing. We remain targetted toward Alex re-joining his mother full time for his next school year.
Please put in a prayer for Alex and I, and for his mother's success in her new job search.
And may God richly bless you all.
Postscripts: The marigolds that Alex planted for his mother;
The tomatoes that grew up through the deck;
And the red berries among the fall colors on the tree in our front yard.