The Way of it…

So, some days… homeschooling doesn’t go so well.  Or maybe it is just a bit more challenging, more often than I expected it to be this year.  Or maybe it’s my attitude (probably more often than not.) Or maybe I need to really get rid of the distractions… (Helllooo, Facebook, anyone?)  Or possibly it’s just because this has been kind of a rough year…

Last year, being wet behind the ears with it, I employed a few things to kind of help us get by.  They were computer programs mostly, that the kids could work independently on. It was fantastic, because it freed up some time for me to do my normal “around the house and such” things.  I still had a bit of a life. (Ha!)

This year, I am “taking things a bit more seriously” and have thrown out the “patch jobs”, as I call them. Instead of doing math and language arts on the computer, we’re… not.  Which means a lot more one on one teaching time for me.  This is not a bad thing; it’s just a time consuming thing.  Also, this year, Selah is a first grader, and therefore requires a bit more focus from me as well.  So… I’m stretched a little thin.  Throw in soccer practices, church youth group, and hubby’s schedule, and I’m stretched so thin, I’m transparent.

These changes have required me to be a little more disciplined.  (Just when I thought I was doing so well!) I am not a morning person.  But if I want to get a jump on my day, get a work-out in, have a few minutes of solitude, I have to get up early.  This is hard for me, especially with winter drawing near and a comfy warm bed hugging me tight in the morning.  (I really should have requested some in-floor heating!)

So yeah, everything is not always roses and sunshine. Homeschooling has (quite a few) difficult days.  But I’m chalking it up as learning experience, and opportunity to grow and change for the better. And I trust that with every hour of hard work I log, things will get easier in the future.  (Right?!)

Post Script:  And next year, maybe next semester, I think I will try to find some legit computer programs to help lessen the load for myself a bit.  No shame in that!

Miss Selah

Momma and Miss Selah. #myprincess

This girl has been the cause of many giggles, proud moments, and exasperated ones, and lots of heart-tugging thoughts.  She is in the stage of asking questions about everything.  “Why” questions.  I know, this is a stage most kids go through at about the age of four.  But for Selah, it’s seven.  Which also means some of the questions are harder than your average 4 year old would ask.  She is incredibly impressionable right now too, and takes every word that is said literally and seriously.

Last night, daddy brought us home some piping hot fries for a treat.  He said to me that he knew the fries would steal my heart.  Later on, he encountered Selah, sitting bolt upright in her bed, eyes wide, looking a little flummoxed.

“Daddy?” she says in her tiny little high pitched voice, “is it true that french fries will steal your heart?!”  Poor girl was terrified her heart was going to be missing the next morning.

Lately she’s had an obsession with the word “illegal.”  She doesn’t totally understand what the word means, but she gets the gist of it.  I have been asked all manner of questions about which things are or are not “illegal.”  We were learning about columbines last week.  (And as a side note, you should know that Selah absolutely loves flowers and gardening of any sort.) I mentioned that it is illegal to pick them in the wild.  A few minutes later, a crushed looking Selah dissolved into tears in my lap.  When I finally got her to tell me what was wrong, she said, “I don’t wanna go near any wild columbines anymore!  They’re illegal!”

And my personal favorite, she calls us older people, “adultments.”Selah made a fairy house. She specified that it was the tooth fairy house, since the tooth fairy is real, but other fairies are not. #imagination #logic

Things I’m Learning

Today, in school, for Beau’s history studies, we were learning about Wagner’s epic opera, The Ring Cycle.  I recognized it, when we played it, although I had never known what the title was, or who has composed that particular piece of music.  I hear it often in movies and TV shows.  You’ve probably heard The Ride of the Valkyries too.  What surprised me though, was how it brought tears to my eyes and made me tingle with emotion when the first women breaks into song, even though I have no idea what she is saying.  So, apparently, opera makes me cry. Who knew?  Yep,  I’m learning amazing new things every day, and in every which way

Homeschooling has been kind of awesome that way.  I’ve learned so much history that I never even broached in my school years.  My math skills have gotten a kick in the pants I never saw coming.  I am learning so much.  (And I *think* my kids are too.)  One of the biggest and unexpected benefits of homeschooling is feeling like I have a purpose.  I know what you’re thinking, “but, you’re a mother and wife! You already have a huge purpose!”  That is true, I do.  However, if you were ever, or are in my shoes, you know how the day in and day out of being wife and mom can leave you feeling a little less than important or like you’re making much of a difference in the world.  I like homeschooling because I get to see so much more of how my kids are growing and changing and becoming amazing people.  I get to be an even bigger part of sculpting and influencing who they are.  And watching your child “get it”, like with reading or math for the first time, is so incredibly neat. Right now, I’m having the totally unique experience of watching Selah “click” with math.  She is really starting to understand it and excel.  It is so exhilarating!  I am glad to be on this journey.

Date Night

So… that date night I mentioned? Kevin and I decided to go up to the property so he could show me what he’s been doing up there, and so we could try out the new hammock I bought. We picked up some sushi and drove up there. Kevin has really done a lot! He rented a skid-steer last week, and built some road up to the top of the property and started excavating a little bit where we want to put our future home.

The View

At first I thought we were crazy for wanting to move up here, what with the 30 minute drive up a somewhat scary road, the remoteness of it all. But then I look at this view and think we’re crazy for wanting to stay in town!

It will probably take a while (several years) before we actually move up there… but until then, we can come up and tromp around and enjoy whenever we want.

Looking to the East

This is looking to the east, maybe a little bit southeast.

Hanging the Hammock

Kevin cleared out an area on the lower part of the property for picnicking and camping fun. I bought a hammock, since it was something I have wanted since I was a little kid, and we have the perfect trees to hang it.

The Pick-nick Spot

Success! Then Kevin has to try too- it is a 2 person hammock, after all.

Room for Two

So much fun! I haven’t giggled that much since I don’t know when!

Hammock fun

It was quite chilly up there… so we kept our shoes on. And doubled up on our jackets.

Hangin in the hammock

(Oh yes, and the hair is quite blonde right now.)

Great date! Can’t wait to go back up there again.

A Glimpse at My Week

I have kind of set a goal for myself to write just one blog post a week. That’s all. Doesn’t have to be fancy, doesn’t even have to have words- just get something up here. I was looking through my husband’s blog last week, and was just delighted to take a trip down memory lane through his eyes. To have evidence of life, and to have evidence of his creativity. Well, you can’t take a trip down memory lane (visually anyway) if no one documented it. So here I am, for posterity.

Here’s a glimpse at my week. Probably one of the crazier weeks I’ll have this year. It is May after all, and that is when the crazy happens.

– We are finishing up our last two days of school! Yay! I survived my first year of homeschool! I am so excited to be done and take a break. And I am also excited for next year, and to try some new things and new curricula and see what works.

– We are preparing for vacation. Do I need to say more? All you moms out there know, that you need a vacation just from preparing to vacate. Haha!

– Date night with my hubby. We haven’t gone on a “date” since a business party we had to attend last month. (In other words, it doesn’t really count… does it?) So it’s really been 2 months? So looking forward to this.

– Heading up to my grandma’s house to pick up the last few items. (My grandma passed away in February. I have had a post about her in limbo for a while now. I really need to finish it and post it.)

– Have a heart to heart conversation with my mom. I don’t know what this is about, it was her request. Trying not to drive myself nuts guessing what she might want to talk about.

– Work out. (Almost) every day. Because… with this crazy of a week, I must, in order to keep my sanity. Plus, I plan to take a break from working out whilst on vacation, so… must not slack now!

– Take the kids to all their various activities, etc. Including: drum lessons, piano lessons, karate (four nights a week), church group, ballet and hip hop dance classes, and STAR testing. (School testing… must be done as part of the district homeschool program we are in.)

– Grocery shop. Ugh. I did this yesterday. With all four kids. At least it’s done.

– Mother’s day girls outing on Saturday with my sister, mom and sister’s mother-in-law. Pedicures and sushi. (Not at the same time. *wink*)

– Surprise birthday party for my dad on Mother’s Day. He thinks he’s going to the usual Mother’s day shindig we put on, but it’s really going to be all about him. I’m the most excited for this one, actually. My dad has had one heck of year, and I really want him to know how much we love and appreciate him.

– And you know, all of the other stuff that falls in between, that doesn’t necessarily need mentioning, but takes up time and energy none-the-less.

– Is sleep anywhere on this list?

After a Long and Chilling Silence…

There was massive amounts of hyperbole, and a lot of rambling. Hope it makes sense. It was time to write and just get it out there. :)

Today was… one of those days where, if I look at the sum of all the parts, really wasn’t that bad. However, I just wasn’t very happy with the way things went.

I really do think this was mostly my fault. A result of me not being able to totally control my anger, and then subsequently feeling guilty, and then subsequently feeling angry, and then guilty, and then angry, and… you get the picture.

I am just finally getting better after being sick for the past two weeks. Worst sore throat and hacking cough in the history of Sarah. After 8 days of writhing in pain every time I swallowed, I finally decided to get the opinion of a doc. (Or, in my case, a nurse-practioner.) The only good that came of that, was a prescription for antibiotics that was placed on hold for me, if, after a few more days, I decided I needed something. Well, that was pretty much the reason I went to the doctor in the first place, because I was already at that point. So I started the antibiotics the next day. Thankfully I started feeling much better in 24 hours. Here I am, almost 6 days later, and feeling a lot better. Still have a bit of a cough- but functioning like normal.

Accept, this morning when I did my first workout in 2 weeks, I felt yuckier than I have in a very long time (while working out.) And then there was the reduced calorie meal plan that I put myself on. Yeah, I don’t think my body was quite ready for that either. By 11 am, after having a piece of toast with peanut butter and then my protein shake, I was pretty darn hungry. (And unbeknownst to me, I was pretty edgy.) I was out grocery shopping (yeah, I know you’re not supposed to do that.) I had pulled into a parking space that had an empty parking space directly in front of it. I wasn’t planning on pulling forward; every time I do this, someone parks behind me, way too close to my bumper, and I cannot load my bags into my trunk. Well… up pulls this white Lexus, right behind me and honks at me to pull forward! Normally, being the pretty mild mannered person that I am, I would have obliged with no complaint. But not today. It really made me mad. (Maybe my hubby is rubbing off on me.) I did pull forward, but I didn’t park in that empty space. I zoomed off and found a different parking space, away from the offender. Then I got out with my bags and the offender was waiting for me at the door to apologize. She had a broken foot or sprained ankle, I don’t know; she was wearing a boot. But it was all I could do to be civil. As it was, I’m sure the look on my face froze her insides. And then I felt really guilty.
It’s this kind of entitled behavior that makes the world so awful to live in sometimes. I felt I was entitled to the parking space, and so did she. What would it have done to me to just be nice and pull forward 15 feet? It was no skin off my back. And on the flip-side, how rude of her to do that to me! To make her problem, my problem. But, is that what social responsibility is? Helping others out with their problems? And where does it stop? How do we know the difference between scooting and inch, and letting someone walk all over us?

So that is what was at the root of my frustration with this day. I got back home with the groceries, and had to fight very hard to control my temper after that. I felt I was being pulled in several different directions. The girls were flitting around, dragging the entire contents of their room outside. Beau needed help with his math. Kevin wanted me to do some filing for his business and dinner was looming in the near future.

I am still cowering in the shadow of the unattainable model of the Supermom. The woman who can do it all, while sick, with a cheerful word to say and a hop in her step, while looking like she just stepped off the cover of a magazine.
Well, that is just what it is: unattainable.

So instead of lamenting that fact that I can’t be her, I’m going to be happy that I was able to motivate the boys to get all their schoolwork done. Even if it wasn’t done in the time frame that I wanted, and it took a large amount of urging to keep Beau on task. I am going to be happy that the girls spent oodles of time stretching their imaginations and being happy together, out under the sun, getting their natural vitamin D. Even if every item that was in their room now has a fine layer of dirt on it, and it is quite possible that they brought some eight-legged “friends” back in the house with them. I am going to be happy that I (mostly) ate clean and healthy today. Even if it made me cranky, and I definitely overshot my calorie intake. I am going to be happy that my family (well 4 out of 6) were thrilled with dinner tonight. Even if I thought that I could have made something a little less expensive. I am going to be happy that I got the playroom vacuumed. Even though I am sure I will have to do it again tomorrow. I am going to be happy that I got all the business receipts filed away. Even if the rest of our household filing is still sitting on my desk taunting me. I will be happy I cleaned the fish tank, and got one load of laundry done. I will be happy I got dressed, and put makeup on, and did my hair. I will be happy I actually DID a workout today, even if I felt like I just might keel over during the process.

Those are the sum of the parts. It wasn’t all that bad. And I may have even learned something.