They say it's lonely at the top, but it gets lonely at the bottom too. I don't believe for a second that my work at home is menial, but let's face it- it ain't glamorous. And most days of the year- probably 80% of them- the only people I see are my husband and my three children. Even my phone conversations with other adults are few and far between. I have to admit I kind of like it that way, I'm not a huge phone conversationalist. Most of my contact with the outside world comes via social media. And probably only 20% of those people are actually friends.
We're three days into our new school year and already I can see it's going to be a tough one. Maybe that is an unfair assessment so early on, but our workload seems to be heavier and the kids are being asked to really take it up a notch. So our three days have been very full and kind of tiring for all of us. Today we went to the local library and then to our town park, which is a beautiful place to take a walk and sit and draw for nature notebooks. The air was cool and breezy and it was so wonderful to be outside. I hate keeping everyone cooped up on beautiful days like this. We were the only people there today. We sat by the stream and had a snack. The kids drew for their journals. We walked across the bridge and down a path, then went to the playground. No one else ever showed up.
All over facebook, my friends are posting pictures of their children heading back to school. Their clothes are new and neat, backpacks on, they are smiling in excitement as they wait for the bus. They can't wait to meet their teacher and see their friends and use all their new school supplies.
It's such a stark contrast to "not going back to school" here. I'm the only one who's really excited. The kids don't look forward to meeting their teacher- it's me and they already know how I roll. I don't have the pleasure of welcoming them home each day and asking about their day. I am in every part of their day- the groans during math, the frustration in handwriting, and the evil eye seems to be on me most of the day.
These are the things I think of when I see all those smiling faces waiting for the bus and then find myself alone at the playground with my children. This is a lonely venture sometimes, especially since we moved.
As I pushed Petite on the swing and watched my older two climb the jungle gym and race around the paths, I forced myself to pray and remind myself of the truth. Lord, thank you that I can be home with my children. I truly am grateful. Help me to enjoy these moments when I have them to myself. It won't be long before I don't have anyone to push on the swings anymore. It won't belong before they are gone. Give me the strength to carry this through to the end.
And Lord, bring us some friends.
Monday, August 27, 2012
In my life this week… school begins for a new year and I pray for a wonderful start to an amazing year!
In our homeschool this week… we begin a whole new curriculum (My Father's World) and begin to get a taste of the many diverse people living around the world whom God so loved that he sent his one and only Son to die for them. And as my kids like to say- WOW!
Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share… A child's education is a not a sprint to the finish- it's a life-long journey. One day they'll take the baton and run with it!
I am inspired by… all the blogging moms out there.
Places we’re going and people we’re seeing… I promised the kids a trip to the beach today if school is done by 1. And we have friends visiting for Labor Day weekend and I've kept it a secret from the kids!
My favorite thing this week was… watching my three-year-old tear open her birthday gifts.
What’s working for us… the if/then chart from Doorposts. A great tool to help me be consistant with discipline and to help the kids know what to expect when they need it.
Questions/thoughts I have… What books to have my nine-year-old read?
Things I’m working on… blog posts about Petite's birthday, what she'll be doing for "school", and one on our first day once it's happened!
I’m reading… the final pages of the 3rd book in the Darkness to Light series by Golden Keyes Parsons. Excellent historic fiction.
I’m cooking… Grands Cinnamon rolls for our first day of school breakfast. This is a Christmas and first day of school only treat!
I’m grateful for… being able to be home and teach my children. I get to do this and it is my joy to.
I’m praying for… my sister-in-law as she starts school today too and for my brother and nephew as he starts a new school tomorrow.
A photo, video, link, or quote to share…
Me reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to my kiddos on the deck. I look kinda mean here. I must have been reading about the White Witch!
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Friday, August 24, 2012
I have to admit to you all that I thought it might be a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad summer. Our first summer in a new town, away from the lake and daily swimming and time with friends. I was so worried about this that I planned the summer months meticulously, knowing that if something was on my calendar, we would do it. The whole "failing to plan is planning to fail" thing. Now that summer is just about over, I look back and I'm happy to say it was really a wonderful season for us.
As a home-teaching mom, summer breaks from school give me a little opportunity to get refreshed and explore some of my own hobbies and interests. My latest little joy in life is gardening. We planted roses, hydrangea, foxglove, lavendar, red sedum, and azalea in May and all of my plants thrived! I'm especially happy with my hydrangea and roses, which are always showy and take my breath away a bit when I see their beautiful pink flowers.
We also grew a few veggies in pots and that is the way to garden! We had fresh lettuce, cherry tomatoes, jalapenos, cucumbers, and the bell pepppers are ripening even now. I also planted some herbs and have made delicious bruschetta, pesto, and salsas with them. I've dried the lavendar and rosemary and drink in their delicious scents just for fun.
I've still got some work to do in the flower beds, mulching and cleaning up for fall and winter. I'll be adding more flowers next spring. It's just impossible to get everything all at once, but that's the fun of gardening.
We had a BBQ with my husband's family, everyone present except one of his cousin's who lives in in Florida. Great Grampy and his aunt and uncle were up visiting and we got everyone together and even managed a family photo. Four generations, wow!
We did so much on our list of summer activities, including nature walks, going to camp, picking strawberries, going to the beach, the children's museum, and more.
I got to do some leisure reading and also finished Teaching the Wholehearted Child, a great inspiration for this coming school year. I love the Shaker series by Ann Gabhardt and read the second book in the series, and finished a trilogy of books by Golden Keyes Parsons, the Darkness to Light series, about the Huguenot persecution in France.
I did a little bit of scrapbooking using the Project Life system by Becky Higgins and I'm fairly up to date before starting the school year, so I can't ask for too much more than that!
There were little blessings all summer, like friends and family dropping by and invitations to people's houses and...
one very special wedding of a dear, dear friend. We've been praying for a godly man for this girl for years and the Lord has blessed! I didn't want to be in this picture, but I guess I have to show up on this blog once in a while :)
I've been looking forwad to school starting. I think all moms do. We all like to return to the structure and schedule of the school year, whether we school at home or the kiddos go back in the traditional sense. The wonderful thing is that as we say goodbye to summer, a whole new and almost better season awaits us in fall!