Our New Homeschool Room – Before

We’re all moved in!

What a relief and a blessing to be moved into our new place. We are renting a townhouse from a friend that moved out of the state. It is furnished and one of the nicest homes we’ve lived in.

Before we moved to Ireland we sold nearly everything. We saved our kitchen items and some personal items, so having a furnished house is a huge blessing!

Today I’m sharing a peek into our soon-to-be new homeschool space. The house has a newly finished basement and it is a dream!! The laminate flooring is beautiful and the space is perfect for our little homeschool room and family room.

Our Homeschool Room – BEFORE

Homeschool Room Before

We’re hoping to make a trip to Ikea to pick up a few tables and a bookcase. Until then we’re working with what we have and getting the room all set up. This week I made a quick trip to Walmart to buy a small bookcase ($15!) to get us started.

There is so much to do but I’m diving right in. We’re still pinching ourselves, what a great space to work with!


A Personal Update – How’s My Heart?

A friend sent me a message this week. She just moved back to the States after being a missionary in Ireland for over 6 years and now she lives just an hour from me in the States. (can you say Blessing?!)

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She sent me this message:

“Hey Friend! How’s your heart doing?”

She knew just the question to ask because she just and it really got me thinking…

  • Who scheduled this crazy summer? (um, we did! 5 hour drive to CT, 2 weeks in CT, 3 hour drive to MD, week at the beach with family, 6 hour drive to NC, Week at the beach for our anniversary… no time in between!)
  • Why are we traveling so much in such a short amount of time? (because this furlough time is limited and we really needed to spend time with family and friends. Soon enough, our time will be filled with work and schooling)
  • Is this a smart way to resettle back in America? (Good question I guess we’ll find out.)
  • I just want to be HOME (I want to unpack! I can’t wait to have my own kitchen, to have our own address. I want to stay in one place!)
  • There is so much to do! (Thank you letters, talk with our pastor, meet with supporters, unpack, oh, and work! I still have clients that have projects to do.)
  • There is so much we need (A great job or Kevin, groceries for our empty cabinets, a van for our family, etc.)
  • There is so much Homeschool planning to do (Write our affidavit, read through the curriculum, plan activities, field trips, look into dance for Claire, find an art class, music?? )
  • We still need to order homeschool curriculum! (Science, independent readers, spelling, oh my!)

My heart?

Honestly is a little messy right now and I can’t even process yet because I’m still so overwhelmed.

When friends here ask how I’m doing I usually say, “I’m ok” or I’ll even say “overwhelmed”. What I really feel is sad. Missing Ireland and our quaint village. I miss my friends! I just want to pop in for a visit, show up for Mom’s coffee morning, bible study, snuggle my friends newborn babies, worship at the YWAM base, go to sewing night.


My friend encouraged me “don’t rush through this season of mourning.” I never realized that we’d face mourning when leaving Ireland but most people that go through a big life transition do experience this season of mourning. I don’t even like calling it mourning; we haven’t had a major loss in our life like so many of our friends have. So this is a different kind of mourning.

While I was writing this post in the car on the way to the beach, I started crying. Kevin turned to me, “What’s wrong?” I sniffle, “I’m just writing” … he gives me that knowing look, “Ohhhh… you’re writing, I see.” He get’s it. He gets what I’m feeling. He’s probably going through something similar, yet different.

There hasn’t been much down-time to process so the tears spill out whenever they wants, in the car, the grocery store, watching a movie, it’s a bit unpredictable right now. Everything’s a bit unpredictable right now, and that’s ok, so we continue to walk by faith and trust.

So my heart? It needs some attention, some time with Jesus.

On Returning Home


An athlete on a trapeze wanting to switch to the next trapeze has to let go of the current one to reach the next one. For a few seconds the athlete is just suspended in air with nothing to hold on to.

When you leave the culture where you have been serving a term and start home, you also find yourself in the same position. You have left one place, and you are not yet in another. You are not where (and who) you were, but you are not yet where (and who) you will be. There is nothing to hold on to, and you may feel confused and disoriented.

This quote was from an article from “Missionary Care” about missionaries returning home.


As we prepare to fly back to Pennsylvania this weekend, we definitely feel this. The confusion and disorientation of leaving one “home” to go to your old “home”. Ahead of us is the unknown. We don’t know exactly what life will look like and that can be quite unsettling.


We have to leave behind a beautiful village that we’ve fallen in love with. We’ll be leaving one place we love and heading to a home we love and miss. But we’ve changed. Home has changed. Our children will say goodbye to friends this friday and see old friends, friends they have missed, next week.


As we walk through the town for the final time, saying goodbye to the local butcher, the girls that work at the cafe, the sweet teachers from the school, our YWAM community and all of the friends we’ve made over the past 2 years here in Northern Ireland.  They will be sorely missed!  We will miss the friendly “Hi-ya!” each time we walk past strangers on the street. We will miss our wee village at the foot of the Mourne Mountains.

We appreciate your prayers for our family as we finish our goodbyes and prepare for “welcome home!”




The word “bittersweet” describes how we feel perfectly.

As our 6 year old says;  “I’m happy-sad-ish. I’m a little confused.” Me too, buddy, me too.


Bittersweet, how true, so we set our hopes on the sweetness of homecoming.

Jumping Back in to Homeschooling for 2015-2016

Since living in Northern Ireland we’ve had our children in “public” school. They school systems are very different here and your options are usually Catholic school or “Integrated” schools.

An Integrated school’s goal is to bring together students from the Catholic and Protestant sides in Northern Ireland.

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Our children’s school has been great! I joke that it’s like sending our children to private school without the monthly bills. The children learn basic bible stories and values, they focus on literacy, maths and the arts. For the last 2 years our children have loved their school but as we plan to return to America we were faced with the difficult choice of what to do about our children’s education.


After long discussions and prayer we’ve decided to jump back in to Homeschooling!  So you will begin seeing Homeschooling posts again here at Hey, Donna. I can’t tell you how much peace and excitement this decision has given us. I’m looking forward to re-joining all of my favorite homeschool bloggers and writing about our homeschool adventures along the way. We’ll be learning along the way and things might get messy but I hope you’ll tag along for the ride.


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I’ve already been busy researching curriculums and I can’t wait to share our plans!  Have you been thinking about homeschooling? Are you already homeschooling? I’d love to hear from you and get to know other homeschooling moms. Introduce yourself in the comments below.