Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Winter Inspiration

The flu has hit us hard this year. As of right now five kids have the fever, chills, coughs and aches. Hannah, who had it first, slept for nearly 48 hours straight this weekend and somehow has managed to go to school and play basketball this week.

Not that I'm glad for illness, but I was secretly ready for a little break. This time of year is our busiest it seems for activities out of the house- practices, games, lessons, co-ops, work.... We are really focused on our schooling. There's not much recreation going on, so one day just runs into the next.

Having to just stop in our tracks, cuddle up on the couch, read a book, take a nap or just hold each other is a welcomed change.

I know a lot of homeschool moms are headed toward burnout at this point of the year. It seems like the end is in the far future and the beginning was so long ago that it's a distant memory. The books are no longer new and the creative ideas have slopped flowing. And when school becomes a grind for the teacher, the students quickly follow suit.

I was encouraged recently to go on a homeschool tour. Some moms from our co-op traveled together to eachother's homes and shared our resources, spaces, and ideas. A lot of times homeschooling moms talk about their struggles and frustrations. It was nice to be encouraged in such practical ways for a change. I was really struck by how different each of our schools operate and yet how well suited they are for each family. It was clear to me that each mom has been gifted by God to give their children just what they need.

I used to feel the need to compare our homeschool experience to everyone else's. God has slowly been working on me and freeing me from these unrealistic expectations. Since that time I find such inspiration and motivation when I'm introduced to another mom's perspective.

So while the troops are recovering I'm going to spend my days digging in to these new found treasures. Hopefully, when we are back full speed next week we'll be able to plow right through until Spring.

Word Roots
: A game in which the student builds a city building their vocabulary and spelling skills

Time for Learning: An online supplementary tool with games, lessons and printables.

Enchanted Learning: k-3 printable and activities

Draw and Write Through History

Life of Fred
A day in the life of Fred where he encounters math in the everyday. Written like a novel with a humorous story line.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Each Moment

I am continually humbled by how God is using my teenagers to teach me more about what it means to live for Christ. Many a late night conversation which started as frustrated tears has ended with....

How will I know which is the best way for me to go?

Why do I keep making the same mistakes over and over again? No matter how hard I try I'm always back where I started.

Where do I fit? What am I good at? What makes me different?

I need my life to count for something- something outside of myself.

I want to do something important with my life.

I have struggled with these same questions and had to learn again and again that life is not about the destination. It's about the journey to get there. The shaping of one's character happens in the dailiness of life. The constant rhythms. The ebbs and flows. The unplanned detours. The subtle interactions. Relationships. Regrets. Lessons learned.

This week one of my daughter's classmates was tucked in bed for the night with the flu and went to be with her Lord for eternity.

This has spent my mom mind spinning in a million different directions. Much of my striving as a parent is to get my children to a certain point academically, socially, spiritually. A destination. It seems at times as though the clock is ticking faster and faster....

I'm convicted this night by my own words. Life is about the journey not the destination.

Were my words today kind and encouraging?

Does she know there is NOTHING she has to do to earn my love?

Did I look up and look into his eyes when he wanted to show me latest drawing?

Was I approachable or too busy to give affection freely?

Did I give my children the Truth today?

Tonight I'm thankful for another day in the life of my children. The privilege to walk beside them and be their mom is one that I never want to take for granted.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Good Bye 2010

I admit it. I love January simply because it signifies the beginning of a new year. I'm one of those people who looks forward to changes and finds motivation in looking ahead. I'm not terribly sentimental about the past (except when it comes to my children). And I've always got a vision brewing in my head for what could be. In the meantime, decluttering, rearranging, planning and cleaning are in order for this month.

2010 in retrospect was a monumental one for our family. Hannah graduated from our homeschool to continue her education at a nearby private school. For the past 14 years we've been growing our family mainly within our home. Now the time has come to grow outward. It's been a change for us all, especially her siblings. Her presence is missed here, but she is flourishing in many significant ways. We are all SO proud and anticipating Lydia's move to private school next year.

These past two weeks of break have been the best yet. Sean was completely free from work responsibilities while I was able to clock in full time at the hospital. In between were many days of relaxation, family, friends and fun. What a perfect way to end 2010.

A long lunch with my college friends of twenty years. Priceless.

New games and lots of lego creations.

Dad time. I think the boys are going through withdrawal.

LOTS of sledding. My family dominated the hill.

Children's Museum

On the 31rst we finished using up our Summer Reading rewards. Two games of bowling, Laser Tag and Miniature Golf.

The wedding of our friends, Michelle and Jason, was on the 1st. We also treasured spending time with Jenny and Heather who were home from Africa.