Saturday, October 3, 2015

First Day of School

First day of school as a 6th and 8th grader.  

It's strange to say that.  I guess it's more normal to put your five year-olds on the bus and cry because they are so little and are taking such a big step.  I thought it would be more emotional for me, sending these two to a "formal" school.  Maybe it's because they are still home quite a bit.  But I think more than that, they were ready.  I was ready.  It was time.  I think for every family it's different.  As a homeschooler, it's always been hard for me personally to read/see/hear that other homeschooling families that I respect are sending their kids to school, because then it made me doubt my decision to keep ours at home.  But I don't think that has to be the case.  For me, I was feeling in over my head.  I was feeling like it was pushing me to a place of worry and anxiety that I didn't like.  I didn't have confidence that I could get them ready for college.  In those younger grades, I did have confidence that they were getting enough, and that what they weren't getting from me, was being made up for in all the benefits of homeschool (lack of peer influence, extra time spent in creative play, and lots of hours reading).  

This parenting thing is something else.  Young moms, it doesn't feel like you think it will.  I can't believe I'm here.  I was sitting in an ACT prep meeting this summer, wanting to crawl under my chair and go back to the times of changing diapers and Matchbox cars and trips to the zoo and picnics in the park and pureeing baby food.  All of that came more naturally to me.  This stuff, this raising of human beings, it ties my stomach in knots, thinking of that day when they will actually leave our home.  Will they have what they need?  Am I making too complicated?  Am I making it too simple?

But I do know this.  There's lots to stress over.  But I KNOW God loves and cares for my boys even more than I do.  He's equipping them with what they need, aside from MY efforts.  He may be taking away what they want (or what I want for them) because it's for their own good.  And I need to learn to be okay to sit back with my cup of coffee and enjoy being a spectator in what God is doing in their lives and hearts.  It's becomes less about physically serving them, and more about being a guide and an example and a teacher.  But let me tell you, I'm better at the serving than the being.  So this is new for me.  

Maybe by the time that little one in background is a teenager I'll have this parenting thing down.  

But I doubt it ;)

Happy first year of school boys.  I love being your mom!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Our Summer

Isle of Palms, South Carolina

I'm not even sure how to put this summer into words, or pictures, because there would be too many of both.  This blog has laid dormant while much life has been lived.  I haven't figured out a way to have time for reflection as my kids get older.  It seems the older they get, the LESS time I get to myself.  I always thought it might be the opposite.  But there's always someone around needing something, no one naps anymore, and bedtimes are later and later.

But I do miss it… reflecting on life in written form.  Growing up, I kept a journal.  I guess that morphed into scrapbooking, and then blogging.  I want to try to do it more this year.  

So back to this summer.  There was an awful lot of normal happenings… trips to the grocery store, getting the oil changed, cleaning house and morning chores.  There were also magical things… long afternoons at the pool with friends, a baseball team filled with sweet families, a wedding in the mountains, vacationing in Durango with dear friends, my first trip to the beach in over a decade, my kid's first trip to the beach ever, and a family reunion in South Carolina with family we almost never get to see.  It's hard to sum up all those different experiences.  There were so many moments that I wanted to freeze time.  My boys are getting older and they won't live in our home forever (hopefully, right? ;).  It makes me sad to think that we won't all live under the same roof the rest of our lives.  I'm breathing it all in, especially in these slow summer moments… watching them play in the sand as the sun sets, or as they spend hours throwing rocks in Colorado, or as they go off the diving board for the hundredth time for the week.  

Hopefully, I'll get around to posting some pictures soon.
But until then, I'm feeling thankful to God, the giver of ALL things, for the summer of 2015.

Monday, May 18, 2015

A Snowy Winter

We had a cold and snowy winter here in Texas (meaning that it snowed twice), and that it was cold more often than not.  For me it was just about the right amount of snow.  We got to enjoy it for a couple days and then it melted.  The kids LOVED it and literally played and played and played while I snuggled inside with my hot coffee and watched them.  

I think these pictures speak for themselves.

Nothing like red, cute cheeks coming in from the cold.

They were very proud of their snowmen.  Their names were Chris and Sarah.

Coldness outside calls for Monopoly and Dutch Babies inside.

And to end this post, more cuteness coming inside from the cold.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

the rest of our spring break… :)

My aunt and uncle and grandma with the boys :)

Family is irreplaceable.  I think we all know that.  I wasn't lucky enough to grow up in close proximity to my extended family.  Neither are my kids, and sometimes it makes me sad.  I wish we could all gather more often than we do.  Because when we do, great things happen, great intergenerational things.

One thing the boys were excited about doing with GiGi was asking her historical questions, since she was alive during many of the events that they'd learned about in school this year.  We all sat around one night and listened to her stories about World War II, the Great Depression, and the Cold War, how she and my grandpa married in Boston while his ship (the Nevada, I think) was docked during the middle of WWII, and how she traveled by herself on a crowded train from Indiana to Boston to get to her own wedding, alone.  Train tickets were rationed so her own family couldn't attend her wedding, only some of the other officers from my grandfather's ship were able to attend.  She says she remembers eating "ketchup sandwiches" during the Great Depression.  Her husband (my grandfather) designed nuclear fallout shelters during the Cold War.  It's amazing to think about how she's seen the world change over the years.
One good thing about GiGi it that she's always up for just about anything, like Monopoly.  The last time GiGi saw Joseph, he was only 2, and here they are… bonding over a board game.

Mother/Daughter bonding.  Don't let my mom's smile fool you.  She's a fierce competitor.

Asher serving up some tea to those sitting on the porch.

Uncle Conrad seriously won over the hearts of my boys, especially this one.  And Aunt Barbara won over my heart because she pretty much did every dish while she was here ;)

Love that our city has a train that's fun for all ages.

Samuel and the ladies :)  He's 10… their combined ages are 228!

Again, up to trying just about anything :)

Thanks for coming to visit, for blessing us, loving on the boys, and putting up with all of our chaos and noise.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Chicken & Noodles

My grandma came to visit us over Spring Break this March.  I hope that when I'm 94, I'm still up for a Spring Break trip.  I also hope that by the time I'm 94, I'll have a signature meal… that meal that I'm known for, that my kids and grandkids and great-grandkids (Lord willing) beg me to make.

GiGi's signature meal is chicken and noodles.  It's an all-day affair.  You have to make the noodles, cut them in thin strips, allow them to dry.  You also have to boil and pick a couple of fryer chickens.  All of the kids were excited to help and learn.

Nathan is enthusiastic about EVERYTHING, so, of course, he loved the noodle rolling as well.

I heart this one :)

The finished product served over mashed potatoes.  Yum.

Thanks, GiGi, for your gift of chicken and noodles.