Thursday, June 20, 2013

I haven't posted since last

How did this happen? Gosh.

I've thought of so many great blog posts over the last six months, but it just hasn't happened. Between being super busy teaching the girls, working, being a mom and wife, several major shake-ups in my life, and Patrick's knee replacement, it just hasn't happened.

But maybe I'm back. No promises though.


Monday, December 31, 2012

I'm not going to blog about the end of 2012

I'm not going to mourn the loss of another year or put all my hope in a new one. There have been years that I couldn't wait to see the end of! I think that's usually how it goes. It's not that I'm not looking forward to a new year, but my hope is in the Lord, who doesn't work on our time table. He is always good, always faithful, always worthy. I am looking forward to what He does, whether today, the last day of 2012, or in 2013, or in 2020. He is good. He will break your chains, your fear, your habits, your distractions (and mine!) if you'll ask. He wants only good for you.

So let's celebrate Him every day! Let's look forward to what He is going to do, but let us also be thankful for what He is doing right now! He never tires of blessing us. The bible says He takes great pleasure in His people (Psalm 149:4). John 14 says He gives us peace, Isaish 40 tells us He gives us strength and power, and Romans 8 promises us OVERWHELMING VICTORY! Who doesn't want that?!?!?!?!

So let's claim it TODAY! We don't need a new year to claim God's promises.

So I'm not going to blog about the end of 2012. Well, I guess I already did. :D


P.S. Look forward to posts about Christmas and Cora's 7th birthday! My USB cord has malfunctioned so I can't get pictures from my camera, but they'll be up soon.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

I'm THAT mom...

True confessions of an imperfect mother:

I'm THAT mom who lets my kids paint and use glitter anytime they want, but I totally outlawed Play-doh years ago.

I'm THAT mom who lets my kids jump on the bed and blow bubbles in the house. I also turn them loose in the kitchen regularly to make whatever they want to make.

I'm THAT mom who lets my kids listen to Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Pink. Girl Power! LOL! Country music is a big fat no-no though!

I'm THAT kind of mom who exclusively breastfed, co-slept, and wore my babies. I also used Gerber baby food and Pampers.

My kids know all the words to National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. I watched it as a kid and never realized the hidden meanings and use of cuss words until we were watching it as a family a few years ago. By then, the "damage" was done. I'm just THAT kind of mom.

Sometimes I even let them eat ice cream for breakfast and watch TV so I can sleep 30 more minutes. THAT's the kind of mom I am.

I let them make their own mistakes. I let them mess up. I watch them fail, and then, I help them pick up the pieces. I'm THAT mom.

I'm also THAT mom who lets my kids pick out their own clothes. As long as they're covered, they can wear it. So if you see my kids wearing jeans with holes in them, a pink boa, and blue high heels, you'll understand.

You know those moms who don't read my kids stories every night? Yeah, I'm THAT mom. Some nights, it just doesn't happen.

My kids says "fart," "shut up," and "stupid." Everybody farts, sometimes people do need to shut up, and sometimes things are stupid. I'm THAT kind of mother, the kind who doesn't forbid many words.

I'm THAT mom who never tells my kids, "We'll talk about it when you're older." If they ask, I tell.

I let my kids climb up the slide, walk on top of the monkey bars, and jump off the swing when they're going really high. Yep, THAT's me. Oh and they can climb any tree they want as long as they realize I'm not coming up to get them if they get stuck. OTOH, my kids know the sandbox is absolutely off limits.

I'm THAT kind of mom who doesn't "do Santa" with my children but has been exchanging tooth fairy letters with my 6 year old for a week. FTR, she knows The Tooth Fairy isn't real, but it's fun, and we like it. Oh, and we celebrate Halloween too. :D

You know those moms who get their daughters' ears pierced when they're infants? Yes, THAT was me. And now my oldest has purple streaks in her hair. And if she wants to get her nose pierced in a few years, she can.

I let my kids read (pretty much) anything they want. Currently my oldest is re-reading Harry Potter and my middle is reading a mix of Magic Treehouse, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and Narnia. I'm just THAT kind of mom. As long as they keep up with their assigned reading, they can read whatever they want in their spare time.

I'm THAT mom who lets my kids eat Kraft macaroni and cheese, McDonald's, and frozen waffles. All in moderation, of course.

My kids jump on a trampoline that has no net and don't wear helmets when they ride their bikes and scooters. Yes, I'm a nurse, but I'm THAT kind of mom.

I'm also THAT mom who sings to, and prays with, my babies every night. They know every single day that I'm not perfect but I love them with all that I am. I make sure they know that they are the sweetest, cutest, most talented little girls on earth. I also make sure they know what respect, love, sacrifice, forgiveness, and loyalty are.

So now you know...


Monday, December 17, 2012

Just one present please!

She looked at me last night with those huge brown eyes and said, "Mommy, can we open just one present pleeeeeease???"

She's 6.

It's Christmas.

She's 6, and she's excited about Christmas. Some people will never be able to talk about their child being excited about Christmas again.

She's now sporting a new panda bear watch.

Sometimes it's all about the little things.

Monday, December 10, 2012

~When things don't go MY way~

Oh hey! I fell out of the blogging world this past spring. I was so engrossed in planning for our new school year, I got out of the habit of blogging. Then I just decided it was too hard to open my heart to the world, so I gave it up for a while. 8 months, to be exact. But I feel like I really want to get back in to it. So here I am again. Simply Startled...

"What made you decide to homeschool?" Other than the ridiculous "socialization" question all homeschool parents are asked, this is the question I get asked the most. It's easy: I didn't decide. God did. Actually Patrick brought it up first. I can't remember what gave him the idea, but one day he came home from work with this crazy idea that maybe we should look in to it. I balked, but then God really began to soften my heart to it, I started researching, we started visiting preschools for Anna, and after a few months, we decided to keep her home for a while. That turned in to a few years, and now 8 years in to, here we are. It's our life now. It's not something we do; it's the way we live. Most days I love it. But know.

Last year was very challenging. The main challenge was the attitude of a certain preteen and a mother who didn't know how to deal with her. A year of prayer, a big dose of patience (mixed in to a lot of angry shouting matches and temper losing), and a really life-changing youth trip for Anna healed a lot of pain from last year. Thankfully that bridge is crossed, and Anna and I are doing much better. I feel like when/if we get to another bridge like that, we'll be better prepared.

So this year came with its own challenges, of course. We are dealing with some learning challenges with one of our daughters. Thankfully we have resources, and we are getting help. Another challenge is that I'm working a lot more, out of necessity. The girls are busier, I'm feeling aggravated because school is becoming more rigorous as they girls get older and we aren't staying "on schedule." This has brought up a deeper issue in our homeschool. Somewhere along the way, I decided (subconsciously) that this is MY home, MY homeschool, MY life, MY children, MY decision. In other words, I've become prideful. I've taken on my children's challenges as MY failures. Somehow I decided that everything we are lacking in our school is a personal failure of mine. I've become fearful. Fearful that one day I am going to look back and realize that everything I've done wasn't enough. Fearful that if my girls aren't 100% successful, it will be because I've done them a great disservice along the way. Fearful that my girls will resent my shortcomings. Fearful that I will destroy my relationship with my daughters.

That's a lot of fear and heaviness!!! My heart has become bitter, and I've become easily frustrated and angry. I've become a person who doesn't enjoy life. That's so different than the person I used to be and probably different than the person you see (if you know me irl). I'm good at wearing a mask, you see.

So over the past few days, I've spent a lot of time in prayer. And I've enlisted some help from some very wise mommas. I feel like God has cracked a hard shell around my heart. I realize we started out homeschooling because we felt like God wanted us to. And now I have to let God do what He has purposed for our family. I am letting go of the fear of my failures. I'm not perfect, but I'm perfect for my girls, just like they are perfect for me. My girls are a gift and a blessing to me. My new purpose is to help them realize their God-given gifts and to glorify God in all they do. It frustrates me that I've been in a similar place before (realizing anew that I have to let God do this!!), and here I am again. But that's life and humanity. And I'm thankful for a Father who chastens us gently and never gives up on us.

So last Thursday began our month of Christmas break. We are setting aside school in favor of Christmas crafts, baking, and lots of singing! I am going to reevaluate my expectations and see what needs to stay and what needs to go, as far as our homeschooling. I am going to refocus and heal. And when school starts back, our school will look a lot different. And with that, so will our life.

My youngest said to me the other night that she feels like "our home would go a lot better if we began and ended each day with prayer." What wise words from a 6 year old. She's such a light in the world!!! This morning, I looked at the daily verse on my YouVerse app. "Teach me to do what pleases you, because you are my God. Guide me by your good spirit into good land." Psalm 143:10  I'm in the good land now. The land of grace.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What homeschooling has done to me

We finished our study of WWII today. It's been such a fascinating study, and it's been such a painful study. There have days when I have been left feeling raw and vulnerable. I have learned more about our country and our world through homeschooling than I ever did in school. I will be honest and say that before this study the only things I knew about WWII were about the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Hitler, (with limited knowledge of the Holocaust) and Iwo Jima. These past few weeks have really opened my eyes and broken my heart. 

Of course, I knew the horrors, but to see that reflected on my children's faces and through their eyes took it to a whole new level. I don't really hold anything back with my kids. Of course, I am sensitive to what they can handle, but I refuse to sugarcoat history for them. I refuse to let them grow up ignorant like I did. I refuse to dumb anything down for them. They have to know the truth. I'm okay with letting them see me cry and letting them cry with me. When my 9 year old looked at pictures of Jewish children being marched off to the gas chambers, and then looked at me with tears in her eyes, I prayed that she will never see such horrors in her lifetime. When my 6 year old said to me, "Mommy, I wish this war wasn't real!" I said to her that it was real, and it was horrible, and though there are still horrible people in this world, she is safe. While my 11 year old reads The Diary of Anne Frank and keeps asking how something so horrific could have been allowed to take place, I am proud that she asks questions and wants answers.

Homeschooling has educated ME. It has made me more honest, more knowledgeable, and more aware. Homeschooling has caused me to pray more, cry more, and laugh more. It has caused me to question things, dig deeper, and not automatically accept the canned answers we are often given. Homeschooling shows me every day that although we have come so far, we still have so far to go.

With love and blessings,

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Justin Bieber's biggest fan turns 9!!

If you know Emma, you know she is Justin Bieber crazy! She has a "Justin Bieber wall" in her room full of JB posters and memorabilia. She has all his songs on her ipod (and she has them memorized of course) and is begging to go see him in concert when he tours again. She watches his movie on Netflix about once a week. I remember when I first "fell in love" with a celebrity. Johnny Castle a.k.a. Patrick Swayze was my first love. <3 I really like Justin Bieber too (no shame here!) so I'm with her!

So of course, for her birthday on March 18th, she wanted it all Justin Bieber. Here's her cake:
Great job by Walmart! :D

And here are some fun shots from my sweet heart's 9th birthday party!!

Justin Bieber shirt from Nannie

Money is always a hit! LOL!

If there's one thing she loves more than JB, it's animal print, lol. Anna made this pillow for her.

the purse Anna made her

one of two singing JB dolls she got

her face when she saw her JB poster from Papaw

all the friends and sisters <3

blowing out the candles

 And here's my note to Emma on her birthday: Her eyes...that was the first thing I noticed. Her eyes are still the first thing people notice. Big, dark brown, soul-searching eyes. She's my deep thinker, my nurturer, my fashionista. She loves Justin Bieber, animal print, glitter, and wants to dissect everything she sees. She is cautious, never in a hurry except when she forgives, and she knows exactly when you need a hug. She's my Pookie, and today she is 9. I love you, Emma Caroline, with all my heart!!