Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Cutest Little Cubbies!

I know, it's hard to believe they're the same kids, isn't it?

And all 4 of them, ready to go for the first night of Awana. They're a good-looking bunch. I'd say cute but I don't think a 10-year old boy appreciates that term.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Reminiscing about the cutest Thing 1 and Thing 2 ever

In case you couldn't tell, Rachel is Thing 1 and Owen is Thing 2.
They were about 7 months old in this picture.

Dr. Seuss booties! (not the sock kind)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Yup, that's it exactly

Have you ever read a book where the author just expressed exactly how you feel? I started reading a book called Joy School, by Elizabeth Berg. At one point, the main character, a 13-year-old girl, says "And anyway, even when I like a person there is a weariness that comes. I can be with someone and everything is fine and then all of a sudden it can wash over me like a sickness, that I need the quiet of my own self. I need to unload my head and look at what I've got in there so far. See it. Think what it means. I always need to come back to being alone for awhile."

I read that and recognized it, recognized myself. That is it, exactly. I love the phrase "the quiet of my own self". And this is why I read books. To put into words those feelings and bits of myself that I can't express.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Finding the balance - with finances

Last year, I wrote a lot about our finances and budgeting and groceries. I was reading a lot of blogs about those subjects. It was somewhat consuming. I've decided to stop obsessing. We still do a cash budget for some things because it helps me stay accountable. There are times, however, that I do go over budget. And it's no big deal. We live within our means, we save up for purchases, we limit miscellaneous spending. We don't budget each month to the dollar. We don't keep track of how we spend every dollar. We do keep our checking account balanced and we do allow for extra expenses. We have made mistakes but we've learned from those and we're trying to not repeat them.

And you know what? It's been quite freeing. I've given myself permission to do what works for us and to stop trying to do what works for everyone else. Some lessons just take awhile to learn.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Finding the balance

Although I love that we homeschool, there are things I miss.

I have lamented the fact that I don't get a parent-teacher conference with my kids. I am both the parent and the teacher so I don't get a pat on the back or hear what my child needs to work on; I only have my opinion to go by and frankly, I'm biased. Although I think sometimes I'm even more critical than a teacher would be.

I've also lamented the fact that my kids don't get to tell me about their day. I'm there with them. They don't get to bring home papers or art projects to show me.

But this year - we joined our local homeschool co-op and now, every Wednesday morning, from 8:30 until 11:45, my kids are with other teachers. They do art every week. I am so excited to have all these cool art projects to collect now!! They have a fun science class with a teacher who is excited about science. They have a challenging writing class and have assignments that I can help with and not have to worry about grading. And I get to see them in a classroom setting and see how polite and respectful they are and watch them raise their hands and answer questions correctly. And honestly, I get a little teary-eyed. I am so proud and so relieved that they're turning out okay. Somehow, in spite of all my inadequacies and fears and laziness and mistakes, they're doing really well.

It gives me confidence for the future. It helps me enjoy our time together at home. Just that one morning one day a week seems to fill the void perfectly and brings balance to our homeschool schedule.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Now THIS is why I homeschool

* starting our school year when I was ready to start, which happened to be a week before our public schools started.
* taking off after a half day of school today to go swimming
*making up the half day after we got back from swimming
* watching my daughter begin to DEVOUR books - and knowing it's because of me that she can read. (and now I'm wondering where on earth we will put more books)
* telling my son that if he wanted to go camping with his grandpa and grandma, he'd have to do extra school work before he left and then I got to watch in amazement as he finished a whole weeks worth of work in 3 days!!

I know it's not for everyone. But in just 3 days, I've been reminded of why we have chosen this at this stage in our life. And I have no regrets.