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27 Jan

Dear Mom Who Quit Homeschooling,

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dear mom

Dear Mom Who Quit Homeschooling,

Don’t feel guilty. Your sanity matters. Homeschooling children who don’t want to be homschooled is not for the faint of heart. Especially when you have other little ones to tend to. I know you put everything you have into your family, your efforts were not in vain. Your homeschool life was meant to be a season, God has bigger plans now, new doors to open. Be excited for the next chapter, not regretful for the last.

You’re not alone. We’ve all had days where we want to throw our kids onto any vehicle that even resembles the big yellow school bus! Being a homeschool mom is hard, I can’t imagine how you’ve done it this long with all of the commitments and responsibilities you have. You’ve grown a booming business, raised a beautiful, brilliant daughter, kept 2 tiny toddlers alive and still managed to school another child for 3 years. Bravo to you!! You’re a rock star!

You have our support. No one is looking down on you for leaving the homeschool mom clique… at least not from this house. And if any of them do let it go. Your friends will always support your decisions. We know you’re following after God’s heart for your family and we know you’re tired. You deserve to have some sanity back into your life. You’ll always be an honorary member of the Homeschool Mom Secret Society :) You and your littles are welcome at all our events, all of our field trips and all of our momma coffee breaks!

Don’t think of this as giving up. You didn’t fail. You changed paths for your family. You care enough to let go of something you’ve put a lot of time and energy into for the sake of your family’s well being.  For the sake of your own sanity.

On Monday, when your child heads back to school, think of us all, busy and overwhelmed, as you sit drinking your coffee. No lesson plans to keep, no co-op to rush off to, no reading books to find, no papers to grade. And smile. Enjoy the quiet, and maybe say a little prayer for the rest of us.

 

God’s plan for our lives is ever changing. It’s imperative to stay in tune with His heart. To seek His will. Please don’t judge someone who’s not following what you believe God’s will is for your life. Instead, life them up and encourage them to follow God’s plan for their life. Even if it’s different than yours.

 

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25 Jan

Our Homeschool Day

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homeschool dayDepending on what day it is, I get up at either 5:30 or 6:00. 5:30 on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and I’m in the gym by 5:50. 6:00 on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday… those days I run at home. Either way, by 7 a.m. I on my couch having coffee with my husband, and possibly Olivia depending on her own personal alarm clock. She’s a snuggler, so she curls up under a blanket with us and we drink coffee to Doc McStuffins or Sophia the First. Once she wakes up, my day really begins.

After coffee (sometimes during coffee if she’s feeling pushy) I make her breakfast, waffles and yogurt… every. single. day. The boys usually stumble down when they smell her breakfast and I get theirs going while they watch Wild Kratts or Ninja Turtles.

This time of the morning is a blur, making breakfast, pouring milk, packing John’s lunch, finding whatever he is missing for his work day… getting Olivia dressed for the day and trying to eat something for myself… Everything settles down when he leaves the house around 8:00.

I normally grab a shower while the kids eat breakfast, the boys watch Liv and put a cartoon on for her. I generally have about 10 minutes to shower and dress before she realizes I’m gone and starts hunting me. After my shower everyone gets dressed for the day. The boys have to make their beds and straighten their rooms up before school starts at 9.

I used to wake everyone up by 7 and start school promptly at 8, just like regular school, but I realized quickly that my sanity was worth the extra hour I allow us in the morning, so 9 is our new start time.

At 9 I start math with Kaden. Collin and Olivia play in her playroom downstairs. Once we’re done with math, we move on to English, then spelling… those are the only subjects he has that really require instructional time. We’re normally done with all of his teaching time by 10:30. Then the boys switch places.

at 10:30 we start math with Collin, then by about 11 we do his English, then spelling. It’s about lunch time by then so everyone grabs a break.

Around 11:45 the boys go outside and play while I make lunch. Olivia and I get to hang out while we fix lunch and the boys play. She likes helping me, and I enjoy the time with her.

Lunch is normally at 12 most days, and over by 12:30. Then the boys start their independent work. Collin has it pretty easy, he has a reading lesson and worksheet, history and he has to read 3 chapters of whatever book is currently reading. He also does a daily assignment on a website called xtramath.com, I love it. It drills his basic math facts into memory, and he loves seeing his progress. My perfectionist…

Kaden has the same independent work but also has to do extra math work from his lesson and his history lesson is an online lesson so it takes a bit more time.

Around 1:00 or 1:30 I put Olivia down for a nap. The boys are normally done with their work by 1:30 or 2:00 and then we all have free time. I curl up with a book and a cup of coffee and they tend to head upstairs to the loft to either watch tv or play Wii while Liv naps.

She’ll wake up around 3:00 and then we start getting the house in order for when John gets home. If the boys get done with their chores they can go out and play with friends. I take Liv outside and let her ride her scooter or just run in yard if its warm out.

I start dinner around 4:30, John’s home by 5:15 and we eat by 6… normally with a couple extra kids around the table.

We try to make evenings after dinner our family time, we watch a movie together, play a board game or just hang out… with coffee of course. Wednesday nights we have church and during baseball season, we will have ball games 2 nights per week. Once we get home, baths start, Olivia is in bed by 8:30, the boys by 9:00, as long as there isn’t a special sporting event on television, then their daddy tends to let them sit up.

That time when the kids are all in bed is the golden hour. We actually get to talk, most nights we read for a while too before we head to bed and start all over.

This is a typical Monday, Tuesdays we go to Co-Op from 9-12. The boys take guitar lessons there, as well as a history and music class. They’re also practicing for an upcoming play. Wednesdays we have Cross-Trainers from 8:30-10:00, it’s a local homeschool running group that we’re a part of. Thursdays we go to the Library from 10:00 – 10:30 for Preschool time with Olivia… the boys do their reading and independent work there to save them time.

Fridays we don’t do school. It’s our rest day. I catch up on housework, the boys make up anything they missed or slacked on throughout the week. We may go to the park, or to my parents house to spend some time with them. We stopped doing school on Fridays when I implemented a year round school calendar for us. At first the boys weren’t happy about the idea, however, once they saw the freedom it allowed us, they were all for it! We work 6 weeks, then take a week off all year long. During June and July, we only have to do school 3 days a week, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. School in the summer will be light , only Math, English and Reading. They’ll be done with the day before their friends wake up.

So that’s it, that’s our typical week. It gets a little hairy trying to coordinate all the obligations but it’s still so much better than rushing around every day of the week trying to get little people up and off to school.

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15 Jan

I Am Not What You See

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see

I’ve been struggling lately with my personal self esteem. My husband and I made a lifestyle change last year. We made a commitment to be healthier, to eat better and exercise more regularly. We started running, dieting, working out… My husband lost 20 pounds.

I gained 5.

I feel overwhelmed by the need to lose this 20 pounds that I have left over from my pregnancy with my 3-year-old. It seems as though it’s a lost cause. My friends who I talk to tell me not to worry about the number on the scale but isn’t that really the goal of losing weight? To actually lose weight? Every time I step on and see no change or change in the wrong direction I feel disgusted with myself. Why bother right? Why bother getting up at 6 am to run 3-4 miles 3 times a week? Why deprive myself from the treats that I want when depriving myself isn’t making a difference? It’s easy to eat healthy when you’re reaping the benefits of eating healthy. It stinks when you’re not.

My husband has had to have all of his pants taken up, he’s lost 2 sizes in his pants. Mine are tighter than they were last year. Every time he tells me that he has to get new shorts because his are just “hanging off of him” I want to punch him in the throat. I love him dearly, obviously. :) He’s successful, I’m proud of him. He does try to help me, telling me the things that I “just need to change” but I’ve given up in my heart. I have dreams of being my old self, fitting into my old dresses, wearing a bathing suit without feeling self conscious. I set goals, “ten pounds by Christmas” turned into “ten pounds by Valentine’s Day” which I’m sure will be “ten pounds by Easter” soon enough.

After the boys were born I lost the weight quickly. Easily. I could skip a meal and lose 5 pounds. That spoiled me. I was pregnant with them in my early to mid-twenties. Having a third child in your mid-thirties changes things. It’s a different ball game. My body seems to have just said “ha ha fatty, you’re stuck with me!” I sometimes call Liv my little muffin top because that’s what she gave me :)

easy

My devotion yesterday got me thinking about all of this. It was entitled “You are Not What They See” It reminded me that God doesn’t care what my body looks like. He looks at my heart to see my beauty. It also told me that the reason I feel the way that I do about my appearance is because the world’s view places so much emphasis on our physical appearance just to hide the fact that there is so much sin in our hearts. You have to make a choice about beauty. You can choose to invest in the purity of your heart and thoughts or you can invest in making your outward appearance beautiful. I don’t mean that you can’t have some level of both, there are a lot of gorgeous Christian women out there… they just both take a great deal of mental energy. How often do you think about your looks? How often do you think about the state of your heart and spirit? Do you wonder what people think of you when you’re out? Or do you wonder what God thinks of your heart? We are not what we see. Our hearts are eternal, our flesh is not. One day this body that is giving me fits will be a thing of the past and I’ll be basking in the light of Jesus wondering why on Earth I spent so much time worrying about it.

Anyway, this post has no purpose except to allow me to be me. Maybe some of you have the same feelings about yourself, maybe you don’t. I’ve said many times that this blog is meant to be my heart, and right now this really is.

 

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