our books are in!!!!!!

I’ve been working quite hard at getting the girl’s lesson plans written. It’s taking a bit of time and concentration (which automatically disqualifies most of the day!) but I should be done and ready by Monday to start our school year! I am so excited. I am loving this new curriculum that we’ve chosen and am really looking forward to the new school year. I am hoping that this can be a year of renewal and encouragement for our homeschool, and really? For our family.

I am seeing in our new curriculum how out of touch with God’s Grace we’ve been. I’ve neglected to recognize and accept the Grace He alone can give WAY too much. There are so many opportunities, so many times, to see God in the little stuff. Too often I’ve been hesitant to call it “Grace” or to “weaken” myself enough to admit that I not only need it, but want it. I have completely neglected teaching my children to rely on His Grace vs their power.

I am trying not to concentrate too heavily on the times I’ve missed God’s gentle voice but it’s quite hard. I look over my day (or week, month, year, whatever) and hang my head in shame for how I responded to “x” or was offended by “x” or was unattentive to “x”. The reality is that God has asked me to respond to His love and attend to Him. I tell Him I will. I tell Him I’m working on it. I promise Him my life. Then. Life happens. Children happen. Excuses happen. And I find I fall further from the Father than I had ever intended. Further from His Grace. It becomes embarrassing to see His Grace, to let other’s see His life in me.

Thank you God for the opportunity to see, to really see how much Your Grace touches me and can, if only I let it.

Thank you God for new books and fresh eyes.

Thank you God for Your Grace, like rain, washing down on me.

Thank you.

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You love me!!! You really do!!!

I was awarded the “I heart your blog” award from TWO different people!! Thank you to The Mom and Knitter for the award!! I am evidently insanely blog illiterate tonight and can’t get the picture to upload. Ugh. So, I’ll answer the one word meme and know that I love you both too!!

1. Where is your cell phone? huh. Am I supposed to know??
2. Where is your significant other? filling up
3. Your hair color? brown
4. Your mother? devoted
5. Your father? home
6. Your favorite thing? quiet
7. Your dream last night? don’t know.
8. Your dream/goal? college
9. The room you’re in? classroom
10. Your hobby? craft projects
11. Your fear? dark
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? big house
13. Where were you last night? home
14. What you’re not? tender
15. One of your wish-list items? big yard
16. Where you grew up? not here
17. The last thing you did? nursed
18. What are you wearing? skirt
19. Your TV? annoying
20 Your pet? too many
21. Your computer? on
22. Your mood? reflective
23. Missing someone? yes
24. Your car? monstrous
25. Something you’re not wearing? shoes
26. Favorite store? hmmmmmmm
27. Your summer? hot
28. Love someone? yep
29. Your favorite color? green
30. When is the last time you laughed? this week
31. Last time you cried? this month

veto power

“I don’t want to talk about it.”

 

I don’t think there are many other words that have more impact on a relationship.  It gives the commenter complete and total control over the relationship, veto power.  It shuts down the receiver immediately.  What can you say when given that?  What is there that can respond to those words?  You must respect the wishes of the commenter.  Maybe not “must”, but when given that abrupt of a response to a desire to communicate any conversation attempted falls on dead ground.

 

How many times have I said to my children “I don’t want to talk about it.”?  Either by my words or my actions.  How many times have I said it to my dh?  If only I could take back those cold words and actions and replace them with something loving and responsive and open.  How many times have I said to God “I don’t want to talk about it.”?  When I’m too tired to pray, too stressed to pray, or worse, too ashamed.   THe incredible thing about God is that He doesn’t get offended and walk off.  He doesn’t say “fine” and throw up his hands in frustration.  He just waits quietly until I am done with whatever I needed to work out, my pity, my shame, whatever.  He just waits until I can quietly humble myself before Him and then is there, when I can finally look heavenward and utter words, with open arms, waiting.

loving.

ARRRRRRRR

Know what tomorrow (Sept 19) is??

Yep, Talk Like a Pirate Day! We are going to do a couple of nifty pirate-y lessons. Maybe tell pirate stories and watch, yep! Pirates of the Caribbean!! I need to find out how to make pirate hats too, and eye patches, and maybe do a model of a ship…

Okay, getting a bit ahead of myself, but we’re going to have fun!

Now, I just need to go brush up on my “shiver me timbers”…

Peace!!

babies, Lars and date night

Thank you for the prayers, they are much appreciated. 

 

Life is going along at a decent clip.  The baby is now getting on all fours and rocking back and forth!  Nothing is off limits now.  You can see his determination to keep up with brothers and sisters and join in the fray.  He is growing and changing nearly daily now.  The days of babyhood are numbered.  They always were, but it’s oh so much more apparent now.

Dh and I watched Lars and the Real Girl finally last night. (yep, our date night consisted of a movie and popcorn in bed!) We had attempted to rent it on DVD from the local store but the copy we got was damaged and we couldn’t get halfway through the darn thing. Anyway, I found it to be an incredible movie. It did a wonderful job of showing how mental illness can effect a community and handled it (the mental illness) very lovingly. I really really liked the family dynamic that it portrayed.

I know I sound goofy trying to review it, but I highly recommend the movie. It was a lighter, relatively predictable comfy movie that made me both laugh and cry. (ok, ok, I know making ME cry for a movie is NOT an incredible feat. Seriously folks, I cried during T2. pathetic, I know.) I am pretty sure that we will be purchasing this for our film library and will be having our children (when older) watch and discuss with us. It deals with mental illness in a very tender way, something I would like my children to see.

Ok. Done with my plug for the week (month? year? have I EVER recommended a movie???? hmmmm.)

Peace.

promises promises

I am sitting here with working out a post with the quiet din of children watching a PBS show and quietly painting in their room.  The kitchen’s a mess.  It’s drizzling outside.  There are things to be done, laundry, vacuuming, dishes.  I’m blogging.  Everything else will wait just a bit.  Baby is sleeping.  Life is pretty good.

We finally made a decision about curriculum for the older children.  We were doing a particular Catholic curriculum that you enroll in their school for.  It was good.  VERY involved.  More involved than what was working for our family.  It’s taken nearly 2 years to get through one year of school work.  And I really mean BARELY get through.  Tears, arguments, attitudes and stress were slowly creeping in and becoming a more regular part of our day than what I was willing to admit. 

It was time for a change.  I was not sure what kind of change until I picked up the catalog of a  gentler approach with beautiful (!!  Really!!  Our school books should be beautiful. ) texts and a different approach more in line with what my “dream” school would be.  I have been up late most of this week due to the inability to sleep from my brain doing circles around what we should be doing.  Finally, I reached out to a dear friend whose opinion on learning and what school should look like greatly parallels mine and spent the greater part of a morning hashing out pros and cons of both and thankfully (PRAISE GOD!!) was guided to the choice we’ve (dh and myself, of course.) made.  It will work better for our family and I believe that the school year will once again be a time of anticipation and excitement!

However, even with all of the joy (elation??) of finally having the path clearly laid out for our school, my mind continues to contemplate a conversation with another friend.  One that was had late at night.  I don’t think that our educational “ideal” is the same, maybe not quite even similar, but she is a kind woman with a large heart and was offering the advice she could offer.  What I am still chewing on is what she said.  I had mentioned that I was so ready to love teaching my children again.  To not dread getting up and facing yet another day of more arguing and tears.  I wanted to see the excitement and love of learning that we have had before.  My goal this year is to fall in love again.  Her response was that I never loved it.  My rebuttal was strong, that yes, indeed I did.  That it was fun and, while work, still such an enjoyable task, when things are done well. 

Her reply is what has been my food for thought for the week. 

She said that I was lying to myself. 

It isn’t pleasant or fun the longer you do it and the older the children get.

I was lying to myself if I thought I had ever loved it, or ever could again.

I was lying to myself.

I find myself becoming more and more determined.  I can not become so jaded again as to think that this is a job that must be done and nothing more.  That this calling can’t be loved.

I promise, dear children, that I will work, harder than I ever have, to cherish the short time you are mine.  Soon enough you will grow and I will only have memories of the sweet faces and eager eyes.  What we are doing every day is making memories.  Every time I sit on the couch with you to let you read me a story, every time we investigate the living creatures in our garden or how we can piece together a pulley system in out of the swing-set in the back yard.  Every time you can rejoice with me in the tiny milestones of an infant sibling, every time you are watching me to pattern your own eventual parenthood from what I’m doing. I promise to love this vocation, that God has called me to, when it’s difficult I will teach you to  call on God’s Grace instead of relying on your own abilities, when it’s glorious I will teach you to praise God for the blessings bestowed, when it’s tiring I will teach you to call on His strength.

Dear God, help me to keep my promises.