Monday, September 30, 2013

Week 4: Keeping it Real

Being "real" is the new thing, isn't it?  Sharing what it's REALly like in our homes, what we're REALly thinking, what being a wife and mom REALly is. 

It's not perfectly Pinnable layer cakes and kiddy crafts.

It's not GapKids clothing in the sandbox and at the art table.

It's not every hair in place or even sexy bedhead styles paired with cute boots and skinny jeans.

Not in this house, anyway.  Life is REAL here.

So let me be real.  At the start of this week, I was all done. Ready to throw in the towel.  Quit doing one of the only things I know for sure that God has called me to do: homeschool my children.  The reasons why are a whole 'nother blog post, but rest assured, I'm still here, doing it.  Thankful I get to do it, once the bad days have passed and I've gained perspective again.

One of the things I'm learning this year is the flexibility that comes with home educating your children.  I've read all about it and how great it is, but I'm the girl who likes to run on schedules, rules, and charts.  And I'll admit my confidence has waned when it comes to how we're doing academically.  So I tend to want to hit the books and rely on curriculum to determine how well we're doing.  But with Josh's schedule change, I knew that, to make it work, I'd have to be a lot more flexible with our daily schedule.  The schedule is weird, in that it rotates between day and night shifts every three days, but it also affords us a lot more time together as a family.

Part of becoming more flexible means throwing out the things that aren't working for us or the things that don't interest us.  It's substituting better books and eliminating projects.  I've already chucked several elements of our prepackaged curriculum because we're just not interested.  And yet, this doesn't mean we're doing less.  It gives more time for what we do enjoy.  Mister was perusing one of our books on Ancient Egypt and wanted to make this King Tut mask.  I confess, I had zero interest in crafting that day, but because he was so excited about it, why would I say no?  I help him draw it out and size it to fit his head and now he has a cool costume for an upcoming party.

I can so easily get discouraged with a zillion things about home life and education, but seeing my children independently reading and looking at books really does make it all better... for a while.

These are the remains of an uneaten Fluffanutter sandwich and a cup of water with a napkin stuffed inside.  I don't understand why on earth a child wouldn't eat this, especially with the crusts cut off, and I'm sure the intent is not to make me crazy, but it does.

I pray that the Lord will help me see these "messes" as "signs of life" instead :)

One thing I truly dislike doing is searching for coloring pages online.  There are a zillion different results that come up for a Sonic the Hedgehog coloring page search and most of them are junk that don't print well.  But out of love, I spend twenty minutes trying to find a worthy web site and waiting for Brown-Eyed-Girl to choose the ones she likes.

Another keeping-it-real confession: This coffee snob resorted to Folgers a few years ago because coffee is just so darn expensive and we drink so much of it.  I've found their Colombian is pretty good first thing in the morning.  We do still splurge on Starbucks for our afternoon cup or for the French press.

If you haven't heard Andrew Peterson's music, you need to. He's an artist, pure and simple.  His music was a soothing balm to me this week, particularly reminding me that the Lord sees my tears and that the day is coming when they will be wiped away for good and forever.

Favorite words from his song The Reckoning:

And  I know you hear the cries of every soul tonight * You see the teardrops as they roll tonight* Down the faces of the saints who grow weary and faint in Your fields

How long? How long? How long until the curtain is lifted?
How long is this the song that we sing?
How long until the reckoning?

When I am standing in the stillness of the reckoning
The storm is past and rest is beckoning
Mighty God, how I fear you
and I long to be near you, O Lord

And I know that I don't know what I'm asking
I long to look you full in the face
I am ready for The Reckoning.

For the first time in 10 years of motherhood I had a child stick something in her nose that we couldn't get out.  Actually, I was unsure if this little Lego was still in her nose because at first she said it had come out, but then she still complained about it being her nose.  I was ready to take her to the ER the next morning when she came downstairs and handed it to me, saying "It came out."  Well, praise the Lord!

Everybody made a pyramid of some sort.  Petite and I made ours out of popsicle sticks.

We had a few new additions to our school this week:

 First, this $5 desk found at our local thrift store. I've long wanted some desks to prevent tipping in the chairs and to get the kids to sit flat on their butts so they can write better. As you can see from the picture of Mister, that last problem wasn't solved by getting a desk. But they both love it and I've got to find another so they don't fight over it.  Mister even wanted to take it onto the deck to write in his journal.

Another addition is our new foreign language course.  I took French in high school, Josh took Latin, and now we're all going to learn Latin American Spanish.  It is  definitely different than European Spanish, particularly the accent, but I'm catching on quickly and Mister was excited to give this computer based program a shot.

I had more "keepin it real" stuff to share from the week, but for now, that's it. We're on to week 5 now!


BearBear said...

Keep on keepin it real girl, I am right there with ya. I had a rough week as well, but we press on with God's strength. you are doing a great job!!

auralovesjamie said...

I have those weeks often when I want to throw in the towel and am finding they usually come in perfect monthly intervals. God is good he always gets us through and what blessings you have been able to share from your week! Thank you.