Blogging and being real…..

I love blogging. I love sitting here telling you all what I think, feel, and what’s going on inside of me. But…. blogging has been a journey into who I really am and how much do I expose with the whole world?? 

One thing that challenged me was that others seem to have it all together. I do not have it all together. I yell at my kids sometimes. I get frustrated. I want to quit it all and run for the hills. I complain, though I shouldn’t. In fact, my kids have learned this horrible habit from me and that is irritating too. lol.

I have decided that I can blog about homeschool and be real. I can tell you about my struggles and my triumphs and it’s ok. I don’t have to be perfect to be here in this blog. In fact, it may actually help others to learn from my struggles as opposed to only seeing me at my best. 

As I enter into my 4th year of homeschooling, I am reflective on what it all means and what I really need to focus on this year. I have big plans for the year and I am hopeful for my kids cooperation. Yet, I know that it shall be challenging for us all. One of the big things we need to do this year is to get us all into a good schedule. Especially my youngest. She needs a daily schedule so that she isn’t just running around like a crazy person. 

I look forward to sharing more of this soon as I get it “all” together to share. (Smile)

Starting a new school year….. (2013-2014)

Dear Friends,

We started school a couple weeks ago and I am so excited about the new school year. I was going to say that we are excited, but that would be lying as there are a few of my kids who just do not like “school” at all. Oh well, we charge ever onward.

This year is going to be challenging. This could be the year that the Air Force moves us, and so I felt we should start early and get going on good learning while we can.

I have big plans for this year for school. We are currently finishing Paths of Exploration. We love it. And then we will take a short break and then dive into Paths of Settlement.

For Math, we are using a combination of many things. My goal in mind is to get everyone functioning to their highest abilities no matter what that takes. So math will be a huge focus this year. Our combination is Right Start Mathematics, Math U See, and Cuisenaire Rods.

My seven year old and my 4 year old are continuing with our fabulous Five in a Row, which I love to pieces. My seven year old is also reading 2nd grade readers from Sonlight.

The 4 year old will begin learning to read this year. I bought a brand new curriculum called Foundations A by Logic of English. I am nervous about it, but I am going to give it a go. Wish me luck!

I also plan to do as many field trips and park dates as we can throughout the year. Our goal is to be super involved with our homeschool group and try to make memories. Already this year we have done 2 field trips and 1 parkdate. :)

I am looking forward to a very successful year this year. Please pray for me and I will pray for all of my homeschool friends as well. <3

Absent… or MIA

Here I am!

In mid December, I hit a wall in life. I was burned out. Busted. I couldn’t get it together. I kept trying. It was awful. I was fighting my spiral down with everything in me, but I just couldn’t figure out a way out of it.  So… I quit. Yep, I quit homeschooling. Ugh. I put my children back into public school, and I cried. I cried because I hated it. I cried because I missed them. I cried because I didn’t miss them. I cried because my identity was changing. I cried because I absolutely hate everything that public school stands for. Then I cried because my husband wouldn’t let me change my mind. It’s been a mess. We did take our oldest daughter out of the middle school she was in, and put her back home with me. My other three at this time are not coming home until the end of the semester. Holding on through this semester is AWFUL!!!! For me and the kids!!! But I have chosen to honor my husband, even though I disagree very strongly.

I do not like public schools. I like some teachers, but I believe good teachers are bound up by laws and regulations. I hate the hierarchy that says that teachers know what is best for my children above what I know. I have to request permission for my children to not participate in gym class when they have a cough. Or request that they not see a movie. etc. What? No, schools should answer to parents. They work for us. I shouldn’t have to explain to the school why I the parent decided my kids are too sick for school and fear the dreaded truancy call. That’s stupid.

What I have realized is that my strong opinions offend other parents because they have chosen the opposite. They think I am wrong…. and I feel strongly for my own family what is right. I wish I would of held onto this in December when I was falling apart.

Also, in the last couple months, my family has been sick over and over again. Right now I think we have the flu. It’s awful and I can’t wait to be over it. It resulted in a double ear infection in my sweet 4 year old. Praying we get over this quickly…..

Thanks for listening to me!

Warrior Mom

I titled this post, “Warrior Mom”, and as I write that word Warrior, I hear the Lion of Judah roaring….. as Moms, we must WAR for our children and their future. We must WAR to conquer those areas in our lives that we fail at.

I have many areas that I fail at!

I can tell the devil hates me for what I am battling for, my children. He will do whatever he can to crush them and keep them from doing what they are called to do.  

But…. for them…. I must continue this fight between what God has called me to be, and these stinking character flaws I possess. 

Let’s not forget, though, the power of our prayers for our children. I admit, I haven’t always been a good prayer warrior. I was a long time ago, but then I had children, and somehow my days seemed endless and not enough time to devote to prayer. It has been a constant learning process of how to be a prayer warrior and be a mom. But moms, our most powerful weapon against the enemy for our children is prayer. Even the little prayers. 

This is not written as condemnation… but encouragement! I encourage you to be all God has made you to be. Keep going! Don’t give up! Don’t grow weary! God gives much grace! 

Be a WARRIOR MOM!!!! 

Thankfulness

I am thankful….

for a husband who loves me through thick and thin, who is my best friend in the universe, and who I can always count on to be in my corner.

for my children, who I was told I wouldn’t be able to have, and now every day I get to spend raising them, loving them, and teaching them about life.

for having a home, food, and clothes to wear.

for a God, who loves me enough to never leave me alone, who is my rock, my fortress, my strong tower. He gave me love. He gave me freedom. He gave me relationship.

for friends who are there for me, whom I can trust my heart with.

for life!

You don’t have to tap dance for me…….

I will be honest and say that I think I may be failing at this, but not on purpose.

I want my children to know that I will love them no matter what. Nothing they can ever do can take away my love, and I would never disown them. They will always be my child. There is nothing they can do to change the fact that my body carried them for 9 months, they are part me and part my husband, forever. I gave birth to them. I loved them before they were ever created in my body. I loved them and patted them in the womb. I waited for them, longed for them. I held them close to my heart as I fed them. I held them as they slept. I caressed each of their faces from the time they were born. This love is not easily taken away.

Why the tap dance reference? So many of us have learned the way to be loved is to earn that love through good works. My children don’t have to perform perfectly for me, and we do not have to perform perfectly for God either. He is not impressed with our tap dance, He is impressed with relationship with Him.

I ponder this because I know others who have great divides between them and their children. I cannot fathom that hurt and pain. If my children chose a different way to live than the way I hope they will go, I promise, I will love unconditionally.

This is how God is, and I believe He has called each of us to walk this tough road. When we call ourselves “Christians”, it means little Christs, or “Christ follower”. Christ does indeed mean “anointed one”, but what was Jesus anointed to do? Yes, to heal, but also He was anointed to display sacrificial love.

That’s my prayer…. let the love of Christ dwell richly in my heart, not just for myself, but for all those around me. May I learn how to pour out that love on my husband, children, and everyone else.

Isaiah 49: 13-16

13 Sing for joy, O heavens!
Rejoice, O earth!
Burst into song, O mountains!
For the Lord has comforted his people
and will have compassion on them in their suffering.
14 Yet Jerusalem[c] says, “The Lord has deserted us;
the Lord has forgotten us.”
15 “Never! Can a mother forget her nursing child?
Can she feel no love for the child she has borne?
But even if that were possible,
I would not forget you!
16 See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands.
Always in my mind is a picture of Jerusalem’s walls in ruins.

Sunday Dinners

My immediate family is not as close as others families are. I won’t get into all the details out of respect for my family, but, though my siblings and I have the same initial foundation for our lives, our life experiences and personalities have taken us to different places. 

I cannot say this is okay with me, actually, I quite miss that connection that you can only get from the people who were raised in the same home with you. I mean, truthfully, who can you complain about your mom and dad to except your siblings? Funny, but true. 

My mom and I have discussed this very thing though. Why is it that other families stay so close knit, and ours didn’t stay together at all? 

My mom and I have decided it must be “Sunday dinners”. Actually, my mom calls it “chicken dinner”, but I am going to call it “Sunday dinners”. She talks about a family that she knew where the mom who always made her kids come home for “chicken dinner” on Sundays. No matter what they were doing the rest of the week, they had to go home on Sundays. When they were teens, they may have complained about this obligation, but as adults they look forward to these dinners. Is that really the glue to a family? 

I am convinced that family dinners together DO indeed make a family stick like glue. Our society has gotten so far out of whack. Parents no longer connect with their children because their children have their face so far into their technology (cell phones, laptops, etc.). So, I plead with you, commit to one day a week and have a family dinner together as a family. Invite the grandparents, if they live close to you. Force your teens to get their faces out of their technology and to engage with their families. 

Friends come and go…. but family is forever….. 

For now, we do family dinner every single night. But I will carry the tradition forever, I think. Family is the most valuable asset we have. No one loves you quite like your family, even if they are all crazy. :) SMILE! :)

Reflections on motherhood…..

As I lay my children to bed at night, it gives me a moment to reflect on motherhood. I ask myself, “How can I do this better?” That’s a hard question to ask yourself, especially after a long day of ups and downs with your children. As a mother, I realize how important my job is. I am teaching and training my children for life as an adult. Every day is a lesson in how to function in this family and society as a whole. 

I look into my children’s faces while they sleep and realize that they are so full of innocence and trust. They are still children. They still need my guiding, loving hands. They still need my gentle, quiet voice. Sometimes they need correction, sometimes they need encouragement. Lord, give me the ability to discern the difference. 

Lord, open my eyes to each situation, and help me apply Your love to my children’s hearts. 

That’s my prayer today. 

Filling your child’s love tank…..

I didn’t realize until very recently that I had been failing at filling my children’s love tanks. Apparently, I have been taking the fact that I am home with them all day for granted, and have been not meeting their hearts need for significance and love.

I know this because bed time has been worse and worse. They cry because they want me with them. At first, I thought their behavior was ridiculous. Day after day though you begin to question why they are acting out this way. So, I am being more purposeful in my love giving to my children.

Tonight, we all sat around the dinner table and told each one something special about them. A lot of it was “I like the way you play video games with me.”, but it was a start. I am determined to turn this big ship around until we get to on the path that God intended for us all along.

How about you? How are you doing filling your children’s love tanks? How are you purposeful in ministering to the hearts of your children?

Wrapping up Jamestown…..

I am *NOT* complaining about our curriculum, but rather about this time in history….

But Jamestown was seriously painful to go through. I understand the value in learning about it, but it was rough, nonetheless.

I am thankful for how far our beautiful country has come since that time in our history. It’s hard to look back at some of the bad things that happened so long ago that we can do nothing to change. We can only make decisions about our present and future.

So glad that next week is our last week of Jamestown. Then we will take a break from Trailguide for learning for just a couple of weeks, then we will jump into the Pilgrims just in time for November. :)