Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thankful Thursdays

Sometimes I think we get so caught up in the day to day monotony of our lives that we forget to be thankful for all that we've been given.  I know I am very guilty of this.  We, as homeschoolers, have been given one of the greatest gifts of all...time

Take a minute and think about what your life might look like if your children were gone to school all day.   I know some days that very thought can be very appealing!  But seriously, imagine your day.  Having spent the better part of two public school years with my daughter, I'm well aware of just what it entails.  Here's a sampling from an average day in my former life.  Keep in mind this was kindergarten and first grade.  It gets worse as they get older!

7:00 - Wake up seriously grumpy children and drag them to the kitchen for breakfast.

7:15 - Prepare and eat said breakfast.

7:30 - Brush teeth and hair and get dressed.

7:45 - Hop in the car for the short ride to school.

7:50 - Sit in car line waiting to drop off my child.  Watch with some apprehension as my precious little girl walks off into the great unknown of the elementary school.  Hope and pray she goes right to her classroom and doesn't wander off on her way there.

7:55 - Arrive back home for the bulk of the day to do housework, run my business, and take care of her two younger brothers that are thankfully still with me.  Some days I go back to school to eat lunch with my daughter and to help out in her classroom.  This allows me to spend more time with her even while she's at school.

3:00 - Watch with anticipation as the big yellow school bus comes up our street to bring her safely home to me.  She's tired from her day, but hands me her daily journal so I can see any notes her teacher has for me.  This also lists what homework she has to complete tonight.  Most days I get notes about bad behavior during the day.  My daughter is gifted and has ADD.  Not the best combination for classroom behavior.  I get her a quick snack, and allow her to unwind a bit before we move on to tackling the homework (usually math and spelling) that we have to complete before tomorrow.

4:00 - We sit at the kitchen table to do homework.

5:00 - Free time to play while I start getting dinner ready.

6:00 - Dinner time.

6:30 - Get ready to go to scouts/soccer practice.  You can insert whatever works here.

7:00 - Practice time.

8:00 - Head home to get ready for another day tomorrow.

8:30 - Take bath/shower, brush teeth and put on PJ's.  Bedtime prayers, hugs and kisses.

8:45 - I'm trying to figure out what she'll wear to school tomorrow and lay it out for her.  Possibly pack her lunch or get her lunch money ready, and sign her journal to show that I've seen it.  Get everything ready to go for the next day.

10:00 Finally go to bed myself.

Now does this sound like a fun day?  Not to me!  Our homeschool days are spent together, not apart.  We wake up naturally whenever our internal clocks get us up.  We have breakfast together, we talk, we laugh, and we spend our day learning together, not apart.  My children's closest playmates are each other.  I am blessed to witness every "light bulb" moment as it happens.  I have the joy and honor of being the one that helped them achieve that moment.  I get to watch them grow, mature, and learn each and every day of our lives.  Sure, we do lots of outside activities...some days more than I would care to, but we still spend HUGE amounts of time together.  Am I saying my kids don't misbehave?  No!  Am I saying that there aren't days when I wouldn't love to spend some alone time?  No!  Am I saying I think my life is perfect?  No!  However, I am saying that I am truly, 100% thankful for the gift God has given me in my three children.  I am thankful for the time I get to spend with them each day.  I am so very thankful that my husband works hard to provide for us as a family so that we have these days.  Because, as we all know, this time will be gone in the blink of an eye.

So today, when your children are driving you crazy, think about what life might be like if they weren't there.  Think about life as a public school family.  I really think you'll find that this is the better way.  Today, I take a moment to say thank you to God for allowing me this opportunity.

So tell me...what are you thankful for?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wednesday Ramblings...the future and other stuff.

I've been doing a book study with two wonderful women that I'm truly blessed to have in my life.  We've been reading the book Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson.  We've come to the end of the book, and we've had some wonderful discussions about the book and just about everything else you can imagine.  If you haven't read this book, I recommend it.  Although some of the chapters left me feeling like a complete and utter failure as a wife and mother, I feel like I learned a lot.  It really makes you think about the job that we have been given. 

Last night I was reading another book which I've heard about, but never read for some reason.  I'm just starting Shepherding Your Child's Heart by Ted Tripp, but it looks to be a really good book too.  All of this reading got me thinking.  My daughter is 11.  Our days together, living and learning together are numbered.  Just thinking about the future, say ten years from now, scares me.  I can't imagine life without the pitter patter of little feet, the day to day routine that we have.  Ten years may seem like a long time, but in looking back, the last ten have absolutely flown by.  Where did they go?  I keep thinking to myself that I have plenty of time to become the mom I want to be, to instill in my children the life lessons they need, to change, to become better.  But, when you really think about it, I don't have much time.  None of us do.  Ten years from today I will have a 21 year old daughter, and twin 18 year old sons.  That's shocking to me.  Seriously scary stuff! 

I am the world's biggest procrastinator.  My motto should seriously be "Why put off today what you can put off tomorrow?"  I have wonderful intentions, but have the hardest time following through.  I have this wonderful vision of what I want my children to be, what I want myself and my family to be, but what am I doing to achieve this wonderful vision?  I vow today to start to work on changing my life, and the lives of those around me.  My days are numbered and I want to make them count!  I will have to take this one baby step at a time, but I vow today that I will get there.  I want to cherish these precious gifts from God.  I want to truly enjoy our time together while we have it.  The day is coming (faster than I can handle) when we won't have these days anymore.  I think its really important for all of us to keep that in mind during the day to day humdrum of our normal lives.  Think to yourself, if this the best I can do?  Is this how Jesus would handle this situation?  I need help!  I will be the first to admit that I am a miserable failure.  But, I am a work in progress.  I will continue to pray for God's help in molding me into the wife/mom/friend/woman that He wants me to be.  Do me a favor...pray for me!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Back to School...

Today is officially the big day for us...first day back to school, or not back to school, if you want to get technical.  I had grand plans to start two weeks ago, and we accomplished a few days before I just gave up.  To many distractions when nobody else is doing school.  At least by now most of our fellow homeschool friends are starting back as well.  That should help tremendously.  We still have the problem of the public schools being out until September.  I'm not cluing my children in to that fact though.  Most schools in the area have started back by now, but our county has been delayed due to the fact that the tornado that ripped through town in April just about completely destroyed two of our schools.  They had to delay the return to school to allow them enough time to rebuild.  I believe they start back just after Labor Day. 

So...we're now breaking for lunch and have only managed to cover 3 out of 10 workboxes scheduled for the day.  We're getting there...slowly but surely.  Wish us luck!!!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Birthday Cake Fun!

Well, I'm only a month late in getting around to celebrating the boy's birthday.  We had to postpone it from its originally scheduled date back in July due to one of their best friends having a death in the family.  We really wanted him to be able to attend, so we postponed it.  Since then I've been procrastinating rescheduling their party.  Finally, we had their party!  This year we had a pirate theme.  Here's a picture of the cake I made for them.

I honestly think the kid's favorite part of cake making is eating the icing.  Here's Adam caught in the act.  Notice Haley in the background?  Caught red handed!

Their party turned out well, everyone had a nice time, and I'm so relieved to finally be able to mark that off my LONG to do list.  As much as I enjoy making the kid's cake, I'm glad I only have to do it twice a year.