Thursday, February 12, 2015

Almost 3 Weeks In

My 2nd Blessing has been attending public school for basically 3 weeks now, and it has certainly been a growing period for me. I've come to accept that she is excelling there. Granted, it's only been 3 weeks, but she has repeatedly told me about how the teachers wouldn't count stuff, if she didn't do well on it, only for her to get perfect, or near perfect scores, not because they pitied her, but because she could do the work. Work she refused to do at home, yet is more than willing to do for others. Truth is, she CAN be a great learner. For some reason, she doesn't want to work with me. Neither does my oldest.

My 1st Blessing, has declared that she doesn't believe she has learned much of anything in a long time and also wants to attend public school in the fall, since it is unlikely that they'd work around her current co-op schedule. Last night, we attended a meeting for 8th graders about a local middle college program and she was ecstatic about the idea of skipping 8th and doing that program. It is the best compromise between homeschool and general public school, for our family. Problem is, she really is only a 7th grader and she hasn't shown the maturity or responsibility to go for the program.

There is a side of me that says, "Let her try and apply and see what happens. They only take 50 students and she might surprise you, just like Blessing #2" The other part of me says, "But what if she gets in and can't handle the responsibility?"

My husband's vote is to wait a year. My heart and hers keep flip flopping on what to do. Personally, I think the program is a very good fit for her long term goals. I just don't know, like I said, if she is mature enough to pursue them, yet. So, we could use prayers on that decision.

The truth is, having my girls, who don't appreciate the value of my time, effort, etc... in their educational endeavors, in a situation where they do appreciate it, is so much more appealing than trying to fight the battle that isn't being won. And I can feel a weight lifting off my shoulders, along with a sense of freedom. Not in a bad, selfish, way, but in a way that I'm allowing my daughters to make choices and allowing myself to let go and not feel responsible for things they should be responsible for.

Have I turned anti-homeschooling? Absolutely not, but I've never been an all or nothing kind of person. I believe that different kids do things differently and at different times and ways. It may be that, until they go to middle college, my boys will be homeschooled. As of right now, my husband supports that choice. The difference is, my boys actually do the work I assign them, even if they complain, moan, and stretch out how long it takes for them to get it done. To be honest it's only the oldest boy who does that, probably because he sees his sisters doing that.

He would be considered a 1st grader this year. He doesn't read much, yet, but we are working on that. However, he is pretty much done with 1st grade math and is about to move up to 2nd grade math. My 4 year old, preschooler, is actually reading better, but we're still working on counting to 10. Different learning styles and interests, but they both are willing to work with me, to strengthen their weaknesses. Something their sisters haven't been.

I actually am starting to look forward to being able to really focus and give my attention to the younger 3 in a way that I haven't been able to, with the fighting and what not, that goes on with the older 2.

I am thankful that we've been able to be together as much as we have over the years and that my children have been able to make such strong bonds. At the same time, it inspires me to see my child doing so well, outside of me, and I am proud. Truth is, homeschooling is awesome, BUT it is NOT for every child as much as we might want to believe it is.

My children are all different, with different learning styles and personalities. Different goals and desires. Regardless of the ideals I have, I have to do what is truly best for my family.

 God doesn't tell us to hide away, but to reach out. I can only pray and believe that He is moving in the lives of my daughters, in the choices that they make, just as He moves in me, through the ones I make.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

My Husband

I am not one who does well with the stench of sickness. There are many things I can handle, but that odor is not one of them. I've thanked God many times in my mothering adventures, that my children are not often sick in such ways and that, when they are, my husband is usually around and handling it, with or without me.

 There are many things I admire about my husband, whether I've conveyed them well, or not, and this is definitely one of them. He has always been good about doing what has to be done, at least most of the time, even when he doesn't want to, doesn't feel like he can (if that ever really happens), or whatever.

This week one of our blessings has been getting sick, often. It has been my husband who has handled the majority of the disasters, leaving me only the responsibility of making sure our blessing is clean and comforted, if even that. In a way, I could easily feel like a bad mom, with how quickly he jumps up to deal with it, whether it happens when we are headed to bed, or it's 3 am. Being the way I am, a part of me does kind of feel like a less adequate parent, but, mostly, I'm thankful. Thankful for his love and care for our children and his willingness to get elbow deep in the muck, when I don't think I can handle it. I also feel proud of him. Proud that he chooses to be an involved dad, where many dads might not. My own dad only changed my diaper, maybe once or twice and I don't know that he ever helped my mom when I was sick. He doesn't handle that stuff any better than I do.

I often forget how involved, loving, and caring my husband actually is, because of his shortcomings. Considering this, makes me realize how expectant I, myself, can be of him. Usually, I only notice how expectant I think he is of me.

It may seem odd, or even kind of gross, but it is in this situation that I am reminded that, as opposite as we are, we compliment each other. Where I am weak, he is strong, and vice versa. Often we forget what a gift this is, when we clash or feel frustrated over each others weaknesses. I'm thankful for the opportunity to see the blessing it really is. Today, I am thankful that I can be grateful for my husband.

Monday, February 2, 2015

The Calm After the Storm

Today is beautifully bright, with clear blue skies and the magnificent sun shining down upon our homestead. Lessons have been post-poned, so the kids can enjoy the snow, which gets as deep as my knees are high, in some places.

My husband has spent the day plowing. He had to abandon his car at the end of our driveway last night, because the snow was too deep for it to get to the house.

As for me, I've ventured out to take photos,
 Hopefully these guys don't try to venture off into the neighbor's field, again...
 This is the water trough for our pony and un-bred ewes. It is at least as deep as the length to the middle of my calf.

I've also attempted to sew a slipper, without the instructions handy, stared at the chapter I am working on for my current manuscript, checked facebook repeatedly, and tended to the youngest. Not the most productive day, on my part, but it isn't over yet and it is still a good day.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

A Real Snow Day

It is a wonderfully, wintery day, today. The weather report was that we could get anywhere between 8-18 inches by tomorrow morning. I haven't bothered to check how high it has gotten so far, but my husband's 2 and half hours old tire tracks have almost disappeared.

Normally, Sunday mornings are spent at church. This morning, we stayed home and enjoyed a homemade breakfast. Thankfully, my church records the services, so I can watch online. Never have to miss a sermon!

Seeing the snow building up outside, my youngest Blessing, decided he wanted to go outside. He put on his muck boots and winter coat and asked me to let him out. I realized this was a great opportunity to play around with my camera. Here are some of the results!

The birds are American Tree Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos.