Thursday, September 29, 2011

Letting Go

Days old

I can’t believe the last time I blogged was before I had Lucy Kate! Well, I do have a seven-month old. Maybe that’s a good excuse. Haha! Life has been gloriously different- and busy since she came into our lives. As I type this now, I am watching her on the monitor rolling around and crying, so I know this blog will take me longer to write than I wanted! Since I last wrote, I quit my awesome job, and now I stay at home with my baby—an even more awesome job, and I seriously love it!
In the past seven months, I have thought a lot about Lucy Kate’s precious little life, and I have been amazed at how quickly these past few months have gone. I don’t think I adequately prepared my heart for the quick changes babies go through. My tiny baby who, just a few months ago, couldn’t even hold up her own head is now pulling herself up to stand! And the little one whose cry in the middle of the night would quickly awake me because she couldn’t go three hours without being nursed, now soundly sleeps 12 hours at night. And the clothes in her closet that were way too big and I thought would never fit, have now been in a storage bin for 4 months because they are way too small. And the tiny voice that I so wondered (but could hardly imagine) the sound, now babbles all the time. And my hand that felt like it would never be free of holding the pacie in her mouth is no longer needed (for that) because she can do it just fine on her own. And my sweet baby that depended solely on me for food now eats dinner every night in her highchair. I know a baby can’t stay a baby forever… I just wish they could be a baby for a little longer!

At every stage of her life, we will have to face moments of her getting bigger and us letting her go a little. Right now- our “letting go” is sending her to her own room to sleep. For the past seven months, she has slept in a crib in the same room as Nathan and me at night. I have loved, loved it, but now I know it is time to send her on her own little way ACROSS the house (I am still struggling with it)! :/ As silly as it may seem, a part of me is very sad to see this stage of her life pass. However, I know that it is a small step in the process of a lifetime of letting her go. But that is God’s plan. He gave her to us to train her, teach her, love her, and let her go to be the person He planned for her to be. We are just the blessed ones He chose to help her along in the process.

I hope I never take any stage of her life or time I have with her for granted. Twenty years will be here before I know it, and one day she will be experiencing this incredible bond with her own little ones. Well.. hopefully not in TWENTY years. J

Lucy Kate 7 months

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Homeschooling....two weeks in and still alive!

So....I have been on this little homeschooling journey for two weeks, and so far, we are still loving it!!! Lily is doing beautifully, and she seems to really enjoy it. We are currently reading James and the Giant Peach. It was one of my favorites when I was little and is proving the same for Lily. I wasn't sure how she would do with a book that had chapters and no pictures, but it is going over VERY well. It's probably that active little imagination!

I thought I would give a short little list about random things I've learned during the past two weeks. Yes, I know. It's only been two weeks....But oh well. I didn't have any other topic to blog about.

1. My day MUST start in the Bible and with prayer. It sets the mood for the entire day. I am literally a mess without it. Coffee, my bible, and a comfy chair is the most important part of my day. I have not always been very disciplined about it, sad to say. But God is gracefully and patiently showing me how utterly horrible I can be without His constant fellowship.

2. I CANNOT quickly check Pinterest before starting "school." I think I mentioned it before, but it is quite addictive. :/

3. Okay, I already knew this one. But my kids can really get on my nerves sometimes. I love them to pieces. And I also want to pull my hair out around 4:00pm. Some days have been so wonderful. Others days....well...I really feel dropping Lily off at the bus stop. :) She is just at such an argumentative stage! I'm reaping...I know, mom.

4. I love watching my kids finally "get" something. It is really neat to be the one who explains something to them and then see that little light bulb go off.

5. Me + Math = no. I am afraid that Lily may have inherited the "dumb with numbers" gene from me. I'm kinda nervous....And I'm also really glad I married an engineer. I mean, I can do Kindergarten math. But if we stick with this through fractions, I will resign as her math teacher. Patrick will have to take over.

6. Flexibility is the key to homeschooling. Or at least in my house.

7. I really look forward to my lunch time Diet Coke. I always have. Though maybe just a little more now.

8. Glitter is so stinkin' messy!!!

9. Apparently, messages tied to balloons was nice in theory. But they must have landed in the ocean. Or in some mean person's yard who refuses to humor my five year old and send us a postcard.

10. Recess is still my favorite subject.

Friday, September 2, 2011

I'm BA-ACK!!

It has been entirely too long since I last blogged. I bet you thought this sad little blog was over. But you will be pleased to know that I still have many quite uninteresting things to post. Get excited. :) ha!

Anyway, things have been kinda busy around here this past summer. Anna moved into a new house, and we have been busy with several projects. I have done a complete overhaul on my house. And I have also been wasting an inordinate amount of time on Pinterest. I'm sure everyone has heard of it, but I was kinda late jumping on that bandwagon. I am now, however, completely addicted. It's bad. And good. And so, so bad....

My latest venture, though, just started this past Monday. For those of you who don't know, I decided to homeschool the girls. I need to start out by saying that if you were to have asked me five years ago if this would be a part of my future, I would have But God has a way of bringing things to pass that we least expect. I had never even considered homeschooling. I just assumed that I would walk Lily into Kindergarten one day and spend the whole rest of the day in bed crying like most normal moms. It was so a "non-thought" for me that I never (up until three or so years ago) even prayed about it. However, God led us to a different church and new friends, and a little seed was planted in my heart. We began to pray about it. I think most of my first prayers started out like "I sorta kinda feel like MAYBE this is something I should consider, but PLEASE, GOD, tell me no." I wanted to have a complete peace about sending Lily and Evie to school. However, the more I prayed, the less peace I felt. Ugh.... My prayer genuinely began to evolve at this point. When I started praying "Thy will be done", I started to truly grasp the verse "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart." My delight was going to be in doing HIS will, not mine. And you know what? He completely and utterly gave my heart a new desire. I WANTED to homeschool. Did I feel completely ill-equipped? Yep. Do I still? Um...yes. I'm a college graduate, and I've always felt like I was "smart enough." But teaching a five year old? Yeah, that terrifies me. I mean, I am responsible for her learning to read, write, do math (major eek!), and a million other little things. It's probably a good thing that I feel this way. It keeps me constantly in prayer and constantly leaning on the Lord to show me the way. And let's face it: I would royally mess my children up if I had to go it alone. **I need to put a disclaimer: This is a decision that God was calling my family to do. We are taking it year by year. NO way.. think that public school is bad. His leading for your family can and will look differently than it does for mine. So please hear no condemnation whatsoever. Also...please join me in praying that He will not want me to continue homeschooling through high school. Algebra and I do NOT get along. haha!**

All of that huge explanation to say that we "officially" started this week! Yay! It's been a great and fun week (for the most part). We started out by having a "Lily starts Kindergarten" party. I decorated the dining room, and Patrick went to get balloons. She woke up to a table full of books and school supplies, a terribly ugly poster with glitter (I'm sooo not artsy), and sprinkle pancakes. As you can see below, Evie thought she was starting Kindergarten too. By the way, the pictures are kinda out of order. Sorry.
We made postcards to go on the balloons. We wrote a bible
verse and our address. Hopefully, someone far away found them
and will send us a postcard back telling us where it landed.
My sweet five year old Lily. She was so excited.
Getting ready to release our balloons.
We looked at a map and made a hypothesis on where the balloons
would land. We had different variables to consider. Before you
go thinking my children are brilliant and have the best teacher
because they understand what a hypothesis is, you should
know they got it from watching entirely too much Dinosaur Train.
I seriously considered letting PBS teach them this year. Highly
educational programming, y'all!
I guessed Louisiana. Evie pointed to Texas. Lily
guessed Disney World. Imagine that.
What's the first day of Kindergarten without a little finger paint?
Naturally, the finger paint led to playing in the water hose. Hey, I
homeschool. It's allowed.
Making cute.
Decorating cookies...
Okay, I know what everyone is probably thinking. Did they actually learn anything?? Yes. In between the pictures we did bible, phonics, writing, reading, and math. It was a great day. I love the creativity of each day that homeschooling allows. We took a popsicle break mid-morning just because we could. The day wasn't all wonderful, though. I started out by praying over our morning, and I specifically prayed that Evie would have a cooperative spirit. If you know Evie, then you know she is my strong-willed, passionate child. I pray this prayer for her a lot. Anyway, I guess God thought I needed a laugh. Because the first thing she did when she woke up was murder a baby bird. We had a found an abandoned bird's nest at my parents and brought it home for observation. There was a little, tiny egg in there, and we had high hopes of seeing it hatch. Well, Evie escaped out of the house while Patrick was taking the trash out. She walked right over to the nest, picked the egg up, and squished it between her fingers. It pretty much exploded all over her. Her hair, her clothes, her skin.....and it was THE.MOST.HORRIBLE.SMELL.EVER. Pretty sure it was never going to actually hatch. It had to be rotten. She went straight to the bath where I spent the better part of the morning washing and rewashing her hair. FYI- dead baby bird yolk is a hard smell to get out.

So there you have it....our first official homeschooling day. Not all glamorous. But I laid my head on my pillow that night knowing I was EXACTLY where God intended me to be. I am fully aware that it will not all be fun and not every day will be great. This week has already proven that. In fact, I am sick today with a nasty summer cold. It's all I can do keep my head up. Fortunately, homeschooling allows for a flexible schedule. Praise the Lord. I'll keep you somewhat posted on how things are going. And if you see us out in public, don't be shocked if we are wearing bonnets and blue jean jumpers..... haha.....jk. Homeschooling has a come a loooonnngggg way.