Sunday, November 25, 2012

A reflection of my year

Well, it's that time of year! I sat down last night and wrote my annual Christmas letter. Maybe this year I will actually get it out. LOL!

This year has been really crazy for our little family. Some of it was crazy good, some was crazy bad.

Until May we had been plugging along as usual. Then things really picked up for us.

In May O found his new passion/activity, tae kwon do. He fell in love with this sport instantly. Really... what boy would not look forward to going to class where you get to kick, punch, roll and swing sticks (the sticks are actually called Bahng Mahng Ees and they are not allowed to be used on his sister... EVER!)? He has done well with TKD. At home he will ask for us to pull up the videos of his forms so he can practice. In six months he has worked his way up to a green belt! Also, he went to a competition a month ago and did well. He was first up in his group for forms and kept his composure through all the moves. He tied for third in his forms and afterwards he told us he needs to work his kicks and next time his form will be better! Wow! He placed third in sparring. The week before in class he would stand there and let the other kids just hit and kick him. But, at the tournament he had his opponent dancing around the ring. I'm so floored how this little kid can compete with kids two and three years older, and hold his own. This boy has my heart! I love his confidence, his passion, his love. And he's only five years old. I look forward to what he brings to us in the future.

In May, K scored a main role in Seussical The Musical Jr. She really put a lot of pressure on herself for this play. She's still so small and petite, and her voice is still little. Her worry was that she would not be heard from the stage. The shows went well and she was happy with her performances. During her time in this play hubby and I decided her dedication and love of acting warranted us looking at agents for her. I found one on recommendation and amazingly this person signed K. K has no experience with film acting so this was amazing. We LOVE Mrs. B. I feel like she has K's safety in mind. She even understood when I turned down an audition for K after getting the script (I was not comfortable with the content). It scares me to the core to have K involved with this industry. K auditioned for an award winning acting troupe this past August and earned a spot! They only took 25 kids and K is one. She is one of the youngest and fights her hardest to keep up at each rehearsal. But, to see her face when we pull into the parking lot on rehearsal days is priceless. She lights up...glows! How do you tell her no? She loves this with all her heart. I know this child is going far. She's patient and knows it too. In her words, "One day I'll make it big! But, the glory will be God's!"

For hubby and I May was normal enough. Then, one day he was tasked with running the figures at work to see when the money would run out. BIG writing on the wall! He was let go in July. It was hard! He had worked for that company for almost 9 years. When he was first hired, he had hopes of retiring from them. This economy is hitting everyone hard and he was not immune. Once again God had us covered. It took hubsters five weeks to be hired with a new company. Here's the kicker...he would not have applied for this position if he still had his last job! The new job is quite different. He now has a commute, travel and all the trappings of a big company. However, he has some great benefits. He is also getting to see many places he would not have normally seen.

Me? I'm plugging along. Many times this year I have felt like I was barely treading the water to stay afloat. There were many times I felt like I was sputtering and gasping for air. But, God had me. For each time I felt like was was being pulled under, I would be lifted a little bit higher. Many times I have to remind myself that God will not give me more than what I can handle. I have handled some big stuff in my life (my brother's death, Katie's scary birth, Owen's health scares). But, at the end of each one I am a changed person. Changed for the better. I can honestly say this year has changed me in a big way. I will not enter the next year as the same person I was this year. God took me and molded me some more. He made me a better person. He made me realize just how much I love my hubby and kids. Because, at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is the love I have for my family and from my family.

That my friends is my wish for all of you. Let yourselves be molded. It is not always a fun process but the end results are so worth it!

Because I'm their mommy and you are NOT!

I wrote this a few weeks ago and just found it in my drafts folder. Posting it now. :-)

The title for this blog post comes from very disconcerting experiences lately. Why is it other parents feel they are fit to judge what we do, or why we do what we do, as parents?

Sometimes I feel that because I homeschool, I have an instant way for "those who judge" to judge. But, I'm finding the reverse of this too. Many of my friends who public school, are being judged that they are allowing someone else to "raise their child".

Now, I'm finding this questioning of my choices for my children, going over into other areas of our lives too. K got an agent. Yep! You read that right. I researched, and I found one that came recommended by people who knew her. We LOVE K's agent. It's been a great experience and we hope it continues to be that way. (Shhh... don't tell anyone; but, I am petrified of messing something up with the agent. I break into a cold sweat when I have to do paperwork. Haha. It's like doing something for the principal when you're in school.)

K was very lucky to be in an industrial (commercial for use within the company) a few months ago. Well.... I was telling one of my friends about it afterwards and how much fun K had. My friend looked at me and asked, "Oh! So are you guys going to do the whole Honey Boo Boo thing now?" OK. Momma bear was out! But, then I thought about it. Our culture almost encourages this type of thing. My daughter loves acting. She loves the art of it. She works at it, practices, takes classes and refines what she does. At eight years old she is so dedicated it's amazing. However, this day and age people seem to loose sight of the art of acting. It's all about the quick rise to fame and fortune. That's not us. I feel so sorry for those who would think that about us. I feel bad for the people who are so quick to judge what we do for our kids.

I don't think any of us are immune. I know I catch myself thinking at times, "Oh wow! I can't believe they are doing that with their child." It would be so much better if we could stop and remember, we are not that child's momma.

I'm the proud momma of two very loud and loving kids, two kids who have joi de vivre, two kids who I love very much. Because, I'm their momma, I have prayed over every choice I have made for them. Everything I have done, has been for love.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

STOP!!! Listen......

One of my favorite Bible verses is Psalm 46:10: "Be still, and know that I am God;"

Wow! After all of my posts about my kids activities, winding down of the school year, getting curriculum ready for next year, auditions, plays, recitals, etc. I began to wonder if I had taken the time to be still. Last Sunday afternoon it slammed into me. In my head I heard "Be still".

Since then it has been a bit easier to be still. Things are winding down. But, it shouldn't be like that. I should remember to be still each and every day. I'm sure I can find the time to be still, to allow myself to be re-centered and focused on His word. I read my Bible and pray each day. However, I don't allow myself the time just to be still and absorb, soak and just enjoy myself in this time.

I also need to remember to be still at other times as well.

When my kids are bickering? Be still. Instead of immediately raising my voice, I need to be still and remember to love.

When school work doesn't go like it should? Be still and remember to focus on what's really important. My children and their precious hearts and souls.

When I am overwhelmed by all I have to do? Be still, and remember, He's got it covered.

When I am worrying about my husband's job situation? Be still. No matter the situation we are facing God knows about it already and He knows the outcome. As one of His children I need to be still and trust my heavenly Father.

Today I will remember to be still and trust in my God. Will you be still?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The arts and how they teach life lessons

Even though we are on break from school the learning always continues.

K and O are involved with the arts through music classes and theater. K also like to dabble with photography and has a great eye for it. I LOVE the fact that my kids are creative. There is no other way to describe them. :-) They get it honestly as their momma is a flute player and also teaches the flute.  The arts add so much to the education of young children. It fosters creativity, multi-tasking skills, self confidence, and also music helps with math!

But, the arts also bring a big lesson in "real life". The kids learn quickly everything is not always fair and based on skills or talent. It's hard on us as parents to explain why this part went to that person or why the part was taken away even though they earned it. I have seen this many times over this year with my flute kids. One child had a blind audition for her chair placements in her high school band. As a sophomore she was placed in first chair through this audition process. Eventually the band director made her relinquish several solos to the senior because the senior was older. Yes... not because she was better but because she was older. Another student was penalized because the director believed her vibrato wasn't good enough. As a trumpet player he may not get what a flute player's vibrato should be. But, due to preconceptions about flute sounds he penalizes the better players for this. Once again not the kid's fault.

K has heard no a couple of times this year about roles in plays. One in particular really crushed her and she thought that she wasn't good enough. This role was one she had dreamed and prayed for for several weeks. Several peers and parents built K up to think she was a good fit for the role. The director chose another child. When K read the cast list it was like watching a flower wilt and wither. She looked at me with tears in her eyes and said "Well I guess I am not good enough....". Oh how that breaks a mom's heart. I can honestly tell you it's probably harder on me as the mom than her as the child. Next year I add O into all of this.

Now... all that being said would I ever keep my kids out of music or theater? NO! NO! NO! What they gain is all too valuable. I watched K audition today, and for the first time she was not nervous at all. There was no tugging on the hem of her shirt! Woo hoo! This confidence will translate into all areas of her life. She is poised beyond all belief and not afraid of situations that require interaction with large groups. Her music classes are teaching her so much too. Seeing fractions for the first time this year she recognized them to be like the time signatures in her music! So fractions became a lot less scary! Yay for that one. O has also benefited. He was recommended for speech therapy classes last year. After a year in drama class he has learned many vocal exercises, and practiced diction enough that he can now be understood by everyone around him 98% of the time! What an improvement!!!

Then there's the benefit of watching your child on stage. They blossom! There's no other description. Both of my kids are so happy to be performing. You can see it on their faces. There has not been one performance to date that I have not had to hide tears. (I don't even know if my husband knows if I become a weepy mess at these performances.) These are the tears of joy for my kids and their happiness. For when they blossom it is worth all of the heartache they may have endured to reach that part. All of the music, dance and drama mommas out there know this. It's breathtaking to see your child so happy!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Re-cap of the week!

This week went by super fast! I cannot believe it's Friday already.

This week O finished a map on Reading Eggs and read some more Dick and Jane. He also counted to 100 this week with almost no help from mommy (he still likes to skip 13 and 16)! Yesterday I referenced the state performance standards website, and realized he had a good understanding of all topics presented, and had met each of the benchmarks! My baby is done with Kindy! I will print a certificate for him and hubby and I will present him with a Kindergarten Graduation Bible. We did the same for K when she was his age.

This benchmark crept up on me very quietly. O learns in a very different way than K. He is a sponge and picks up on things just by listening in on her lessons. This is one reason I am combining the two kids with science and history next year. He will listen in no matter what and wants to do all of the projects with her. Makes life simple for me as the mom and teacher. :-)

K finished up through Quiz 5 in Teaching Textbooks 4. This is the goal I had given her as a stopping point for the next 6 weeks. She still has some reading to do in her geography binder. However, she considers that fun as that also entails crafts and cooking. In her eyes school is done. Yipee. She met all the standards for 3rd grade and will progress into 4th (she will be working on spelling at a remedial level though and is OK with that).

Today marks our 180th day of school this year. WOW!! I cannot believe we made it through another year and my kids are doing OK with their learning. Seriously!! I stress beyond all belief about their education. It may sound like fun and games when we talk about schooling in our PJs or playing a game to learn about math. The reality is I stress that my kids are getting a quality education. The end of the year bring trepidation to me. But, when I look at what they have learned... I'm awed. I'm beyond blessed to have the kids I have. They may gripe and groan about school, they may make faces at the "boring" things; but they excel at what they do (both are working a grade level ahead!). I love them with all my might and wouldn't change a thing.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Rundown of 2011-2012

So we are just about done with the year. I have K completing five more lessons and one more quiz in math, and finishing her geography notebook. Other than that we are DONE!!! Woo hoo!!

To recap what worked and what didn't:

  •  MFW ECC - great concept. I just realized I am a homeschool rebel. Put a teacher manual in front of me with everything planned and I can't use it. :-) We basically ended up setting up the notebook as it said to. Then I placed all of the country pages from the Trip Around the World and Another Trip Around the World books into their respective continent section.  We also used the John 3:16 sheets for our notebook. The passports were great. The kids loved it and we did those as it said. I added in the other countries we did as well, so there are LOTS of stickers in the passport. One neat thing we did is, during our fall trip to EPCOT, we got the passport from the World Showcase. Then we got it signed in each of the countries there. When we got home, as we studied on of those countries, we would pull the passport from EPCOT out and place the stickers in there. We would also try to remember any little tidbits the people from the countries told us. It was fun and well worth the $10 for that passport. 
  • Abeka Language 3rd grade - This was very technical and gave great instruction. K loved it. Her grammar skills have come far.
  • Writing Strands - It was a bust here.
  •  Building Spelling Skills - Dropped this like a hot potato. K was just not ready for spelling. 
  •  Horizons Math 3rd grade - Great program. However, this is the one area K and I butt heads on. We struggled so hard with math this year. There was one instance when we were talking about subtraction, and I was explaining it for the 10th time; K looks at me and says "Oh! Now I get it. I should have listened sooner." Not Horizon's fault. Once we switched to Teaching Textbooks, math has become a favorite subject.
  • Song School Latin - Great  program. Even O has a grasp on basic Latin phrases and words from just listening to the songs!  
  • VP Literature Guides (Charlotte's Web, Mary Poppins, Little House in the Big Woods, From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler, and Misty of Chincoteague) - LOVE these guides and can't wait to delve into Narnia this coming year with the Narnia guide.
  • MFW K - Once again a great program. However, I had to manipulate it for my child. O is not a cut and paste, color this in, put an X over that, etc. kid. He did it, but it was torture. We delved into the science part of this and had fun! 
  •  Horizons Math K - O begged me for this each and every day! We love Horizons Math!
  •  Phonics Pathways - Ditched this for the Reading Eggs program online. He likes that so much more and is now able to read the 8th Dick and Jane primer! 
  • Bible - we read this together as a family. Each morning we would start with reading a chapter and then praying together. We also loved the Hero Tales: A Family Treasury of True Stories from the Lives of Christian Heroes book from the MFW program. K would pick which missionary she wanted to learn about and we would read a bit about him/her each morning.
My mommy lesson from this year? Do not use a boxed curriculum again. It ended up costing us more because I tweaked so much. For now I will stick to the method of looking at the boxed curriculum, picking which books interest me, and then piecing it all together. The next time I may try an all in one type of thing would be middle school. Unless I can be talked out of that in the next 2-3 years. ;-)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Batman Band Aids = LOVE

A few days ago O (my little firecracker) was sitting with me, then ran away at full speed. Nothing new. He came barreling back with his coveted box of Batman Band Aids and then proceeded to "doctor" my boo-boo. After bandaging my paper cut, he then gave me snuggles to make it better. The thought that went into that action, the care and compassion, blew me away. He saw a hurt and he fixed it with all the love a 5 year old boy could offer.

I learned a lot that day from my sweet boy. It was a lesson I needed. As a homeschooling mom I am almost constantly around my kids, and can loose sight of how precious they can be. O can be a challenge. He's my reminder that life is not easy. He will move mountains one day with all of his energy, stamina and determination. I am sure of this. Right now? I am struggling to make sure he stays the course and I am not doing wrong by him. It's my daily fear. Whenever he toes the line or crosses it I fear for him. I fear that I am not a good momma, and that I am slacking on my job to him.

But, the day of the Batman Band Aid changed all of that. Instead of constantly focusing on the challenges my 5 year old boy presents (and I'm sure all 5 year old boys bring challenges), I started focusing on the sweetness he holds in his heart. I chose to focus on the snuggles he willing gives whenever I ask. I chose to focus on how helpful he always is when I need something done. I chose to focus on the fact that God knew O was the boy for me. God had placed this child with me because I would be just the right momma for O.

The day of the Batman Band Aid I chose love.

How am I going to love my children? As it is told in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

  •  4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Happy Mother's Day! May all of my mommy friends have a Batman Band Aid kind of day!


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Updates and more

Well the cast list came out, and K did not make it into The King and I. She was a very brave little girl trying to act grown up about it. She finally ended up curled up in my lap talking it out. I love the way she logics through things. Her final piece of logic was that she didn't make it because her hair was not long enough for a bun. Um. OK. I will let that reasoning stand as her final thought. Personally, I think it was because she rushed the walk during the choreography sequence. I have found the time to discuss with her, since the audition, the importance of paying attention in dance class. She had never connected dance as being so important for theater. Now she knows. With each audition we see her improve and we are just happy she's happy!

I can remember the night she had told me this was her passion. Each and every night since I ask her if it's still fun. The moment this becomes not fun for her we will stop. I am all about my children following their passions. I will also advocate, run lines, listen to songs, watch dances and cheer! However, I refuse to become one of those moms who push their child to the limit and burn the child out. Everything she does for this is by her own accord. I do monitor to make sure she can handle it; but I will never push and have actually refused to let her audition for things. I have also dragged my feet very slowly on her request for an agent. I have contacted one that a friend recommended, and she wants to meet with K. I have yet to follow up and see this through. My thought? Ummm. We should have current pictures to send. Right? LOL.

O is quickly discovering his passions as well. He is really looking forward to his first audition for a fall production. He so wants to follow in his sister's footsteps. But, I want his steps to be of his own making. If the stage is his passion too then so be it. But until we know for sure... this boy is going to be exposed to lots of things.

O's new adventure? Karate! He's loving it. He even has gear! LOL. He has these cute little gloves and shoes for some of the classes. He used them for the first time last night and was over the moon excited about it! His favorite thing to do in class? Punch. This is the best activity ever for little boys. Where else can they punch, kick and yell and it's all OK and mandatory? Plus he gets to practice at home. (Our throw pillows are taking a serious beating! Haha!) Wow. I'm not looking forward to the day he progresses into learning how to use the weapons. Umm.... I guess it's kinda like jedi training and that makes it super exciting to O. One of the main reasons hubby and I love karate is, even with all the kicking and punching, it still requires the person to focus and maintain discipline. That is a lesson that will translate into every aspect of his life!

School is winding down. I looked at the state's DOE website and realized my kids had met or exceeded all standards for their respective grades. Woo Hoo! We only have 14 official days left then it's time off until July 9th! All but one book of our new curriculum is here and my planners get here tomorrow. Tomorrow I plan on taking a picture of the kids surrounded by the new curriculum. I am in awe of it all. I'm so happy about what we are doing next year. I even feel at peace with it. Usually I am still tweaking and altering stuff by this point. However, this time as each book or manual came in I felt so happy. This will be a good year.

Well, off to make sure O gets to sleep. Good night everyone. Sleep well.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Family outing!

This week passed relatively calmly. We finished with our homeschool ministry for the year this past week. This is always a conflicting thing for me. I LOVE teaching these kids and getting to know each one. On the other hand... I will not miss getting up at 6:00 am on Tuesdays. My kids are incredibly sad it's over with too. We begin again next August and it's already on my calendar in bold letters!

Today we went to Legoland in Atlanta. I was so excited about our trip to this place. My expectations were probably too high though. We started by getting there early so O could spend his Lego gift card in the shop. Well.... We were told that Legoland is technically not Lego so they couldn't take the gift card. Ummm.... K was totally confused. LOL. She looked at the lady at the register and asked "How are you not Lego? You have Lego in your name here!" So just remember if you are headed to Legoland do not take your gift cards. Also the selection of the store was very limited. There were no sets of the Lego Friends available. The wall of bricks was bare. Most of the sets there are readily available at Walmart and other stores. I was able to get a Hermione key chain though! I love that girl's spunk! :-)

We went in to get our tickets and realized we did not bring socks for O, but we were able to buy a pair for about a dollar. Not bad, no complaints. Then we went into the land itself. The size was really small. Think about the size of a Kohls or smaller. To give you an idea: while I was at the play area with O and K I could see all other attractions. The layout was pretty basic and easy to find your way around (pro).

There was no rhyme or reason to the lines to enter an attractions. There were no cues, or flow, to most of the attractions. Kids kept cutting in front of other kids. At the play area there was chaos. The guy letting kids in was randomly allowing the kids in. One time one child would exit and one would be allowed to enter. The next time one child would exit and he let four kids in. Huh?? At the 4D movie the time to the next show was completely wrong. We got in line when it said 5 minutes to next show and 20 minutes later we were let in. Also the restrooms were a bit on the ick side.

One rule that they have is you are not allowed to bring any food or drink in. I had asked on their facebook page if they had gluten free options. Legoland responded and said yes they did. Ummm.... mandarin oranges are gluten free, but you cannot make a meal off of them. So, when we were there today, we asked if we could go out and come back in. The first person we asked said yes! Yay. We finished up our ride and went to leave. Then the guy at the exit said nope! Once you are out, you are out. Umm...... By this point hubby was getting a bit angry. We told the guy at the exit what we had been told by the first person, and about our allergies. He did talk to a manager and get it cleared for us to re-enter. However, this is a huge gripe of mine. If a place is going to prohibit food and drink then they should accommodate food allergies. If they choose not to? Then they need to allow people to leave and return.

Now all this being said, I am spoiled. We are a Disney family (we go once a year and more if we can). :-) I have gotten used to the level and quality of service Disney provides. After we left Legoland today I told dh that I need to remember to lower my expectations. It's sad that I would have to do that, but I guess I will.

Bottom line? The kids had fun. We did get the discount tickets so our price was lower. Would we go back again? Um. No. Not even with the discount tix (still $50).

Sunday, April 22, 2012

School, and field trips and auditions! Oh My!

The last week was a crazy one for all of us. But that's how we roll here.... thriving on the chaos called life. I'm very, very grateful we are able to have the normal and fun chaos that we have. Our situation could be very different in a heartbeat if God chose to change it. So I relish the life He's given us. I thank Him daily for our fun times. For without Him this would not be!

School work last week continued to go so smoothly! I have O concentrating on his reading and math work only at home. He gets science and other work in at the homeschool ministry each Tuesday. When that ends this week we'll add a little more into his week for the "other" subjects. However, he's only 5 so the basics are good. Plus he seeks out science on his own through watching Nat Geo's tornado documentaries. He's declared he wants to take a storm chasing vacation! Yep. He's mine. :-)

K is still loving her math. I'm finding the simple beauty of Teaching Textbooks. If you gloss over it it seems so simple. Yet once you get going with the program it really works to cement the concepts. Yay! We now have a daughter with a 98% average in math (normally I don't keep grades but the program does it for me). She finished Mary Poppins this week and declared the book better than the movie. That's my girl. :-) She's also sailing through the rest of her language arts for the year.

This past week we took a field trip with a new homeschool group. It was much fun! The kiddos took a self defense class. The funniest moment? The moms were supposed to go up to their kids and try to lure them to their cars. The kids were supposed to yell "No! You are not my dad!!" This was all for practice. So I do this to K and she does exactly what she was supposed to do. I turn to O and ask him "Do you want to get a milkshake?" He says "YES!!!!" Poor kid. I don't think he quite got it. Then after class he was still wondering if we were going for ice cream! LOL.

Another exciting event this week was K's audition. She went to the Junior Theater Festival's Intensive Workshop yesterday. There were four sessions (acting, dancing, singing and auditioning). After the session were done she had lunch before the afternoon auditions for The King and I. The show will be performed at the Fox Theater in downtown. It's a big deal and she's still very young and new to the world of drama and especially music theater.

The auditions were held on a stage in the gym of a school. The crew set up about 10 rows of chairs for family, kids waiting for auditions, and whom ever else was present. I'm not kidding. These kids auditioned not only in front of the 4 judges but everyone else in there! The kids ranged in age from 6 - 14. WOW!!!! The composure of each and everyone, as they walked through a choreographed sequence, then went up on the stage and sung the song solo in front of everyone there, was unbelievable!

K was in the third group to go. All of her friends from her drama school had already gone and each one of them got a callback. K's friends from a local community theater had gone and were cut. K walked too fast on the choreography but did a great bow before the king (which was an empty chair). I had no clue what that would mean. Then up on the stage my baby went. She's never been one to project while singing and usually freezes up in auditions. Well...... my baby sung so loudly I could hear her in the back row with no microphone! She sang beautifully. If nothing else she had made a break through and we would have been happy. But.... her name was called for a call back!!!

I was blinking back tears as she ran back to me. The look on her face was just pure joy. There's no way to describe it. I can only pray everyone gets to see their children so happy! I hugged her so close and composed myself so I wouldn't cry. Before she went in she had said her goal was just a call back. However, she not only made her goal, she sang very well and projected. She also maintained her composure through the whole thing. I was so happy she had reached her goal.

Callbacks were nerve wracking for me but she did great. I dare to hope she will make it in. There are several hundred more kids auditioning today so we'll see. It does not matter if she gets in though. She met her goal. Getting in would just be the rest of the dream come true!

I'm so proud of my kids. O was so supportive of his sister. When K was in the morning workshops I got to spend some fun time with O and my hubby. My O was so happy when K told him she got a call back. He hugged her tightly and told her good job. He's looking forward to his time in the spotlight. But, until then he's been happy to be a big support to his sister. When his time comes I can't imagine K being any less supportive. I cannot be more blessed then what I am.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Mommy conversations

It was a beautiful day outside today! I was blessed to take my kids to a birthday party for a sweet, sweet little boy. How fun! The little one was celebrating his 5th in Star Wars fashion; a jedi came to play games with the kids!

While watching my two be trained in the jedi ways, I was able to have an adult conversation with another mom there. I was struck by the statement made by the mom that when you have kids your world ceases to be about you. As a parent your world is centered around your kid(s). It's so true! My core thought has changed dramatically since having my kids. My first go-to thought is how will the kids be affected by this, or will this be good for the kids, or will the kids enjoy this, etc. Before I had kids, I had no clue how consuming they would be. However, the rewards from this are well worth it! I can truly say I get the better end of the deal with the love they give me. There are days when I feel guilty about needing a break, or wishing I could just have an hour to myself. Then I stop to refocus and remember that kids are just temporary. We, as parents, are getting them ready to go out into the world one day and live for themselves. After my job is done I will have plenty of evenings to sit on my deck and sip coffee while reading a book and enjoying the birds. Until then? I am so happy to be needed so completely by K and O. I am blessed that they love and need me like this. 

On another note church was such a blessing today. The pastor has the kids take turns bringing in a bag with a toy in it. Then he takes the toy out during children's moment and on the spot teaches a lesson about God's love for them using that toy. Today's toy? A Sleeping Beauty doll. Today's lesson? Our hearts can be a bit like Sleeping Beauty. Our hearts can be asleep to a lot of things and they are just waiting for true love to wake them up. The true love? God's love. WOW! I am so guilty of hardening my heart at times. Today I was reminded that God's love is so true and it's a perfect gift. Thank you God for sending that doll to church today. :-)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

My "students" and their activities

I was on a message board the other day and the topic of extra-curricular activities got brought up again. The questions usually gets asked several times a year: "How many activities are too many?" or "How many activities do your kids participate in?"

I truly find this question to be one that is best answered by your own child. Does you child like being on the go? Does he/she thrive on social activities? Etc. I don't think any other child can be a barometer for your own child.

Now... My two? Umm... Each morning I get the same questions "Mom. Where are we going today? What are we going to do?"

My K and O are truly involved with tons of activities.

  • K has: drama, voice lessons, homeschool ministry (5 classes), dance, church activities, and more
  • O has: drama, gymnastics, karate, homeschool ministry (4 classes), church activities and more as well

Some days my poor husband's head spins at what the kids are or are not doing. K has an extra drama workshop this weekend that culminates in an audition. I just informed him of this audition. His comment "My head is spinning with all of this." O is about to start auditioning for plays as well this summer. My poor, poor hubby. I promise we have it all straight and will keep you informed.

Spinning head of my husband aside, this crazy schedule fits my children. It's also another reason I believe homeschooling is a good choice for us. Homeschooling allows us to be done with school by early afternoon and have time for many extra activities. These activities also help answer any questions people may ask about socialization. :-)

I love that my kids have the time to explore many areas of interest. They are finding they love the stage. They are also discovering love of sports, and music. As my kids grow, they will also have more opportunities to serve in their community. 

I love homeschooling. My children are experiencing life as they grow up. They are finding who they are and what they love. My favorite part? I get to watch every minute of it!