The oldest wasn’t feeling well this morning and I so stayed home from with her, hence the early weekend wrap-up. I hated to miss church as this is our one Sunday with no other responsibilities at church than to enjoy time with the Lord. However, with http://www.streamingfaith.com, staying home from church isn’t what it once was. I “attended” a wonderful service and was greatly ministered to at the point of my need. If you want to participate in this meme, please visit Carol at ThreeLittleLadies, and be sure to link your post to her Mr. Linky so that we can all see what life has in store for you.
From where I sat this past week,
As an individual, I…
… know in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28, NIV).
…am more than a conqueror through Him who loved me (Romans 8:37, NIV).
These are the words that I clung to after a week of battling depression. It started when I visited LadyPoet33’s blog all too late—at least in my mind. She reached out for some encouragement right before losing her home, and by the time I made it to her blog, I’m sure she was gone. As I read through the other comments, I set up decorations and cranked up the music for my own pity party. This wouldn’t have been abnormal, and I was even willing to dismiss it as hormonal until my husband shared that he, too, was struggling with being depressed. Then I knew something was going on. As I’ve shared with him before, it’s so difficult to pull someone else up when you’re feeling low, so I just focused in on me, and what I needed to do to maintain. The oldest had her 3rd science test, which I wasn’t feeling good about. I’ve documented before my angst about the decision to enroll her in this course, so I won’t risk being repetitive. Then my husband called to say that NTB thought he needed 4 tires instead of 2, and possible suspension work. Thankfully, they reneged and said that 2 tires were all that was necessary. The dryer started this eerie squeak. Our youngest was upset that the older two were going to a lock-in at the dance center and she couldn’t go, so all week long she whined about what special thing she’d get to do—not what a parent wants to hear amidst all of life’s other annoyances. However, at the end of the week, my hope was restored with two events:
1) The oldest made an “A” on her science test
2) Our son’s gecko, ”Spot,” after not eating for several days, attacked a batch of live crickets mightily (we have since found out that geckos have the nerve to be finicky and will stop eating if their diets lack variety)
It is amazing to me that, as a parent, so much of your happiness can stem from the smallest things that go well with your kids. Is that healthy? I meet moms all the time who are very into themselves—their time, their indulgences, what they like and don’t like, etc., etc., etc. I keep wondering if, in the name of my family, I’ve let myself go. Speaking of which, I worked out twice this week! Not where I want or need to be, but from where I was, it’s a great place.
As a wife and homemaker, I…
enjoy immensely all of the special things that are happening in our kitchen. First, I can remember a season on last year when our youngest daughter got really into seeds and planting. It was right after her grandfather came and dug a garden for us—a garden that continues to yield many good vegetables. She wanted to plant every seed from every fruit or vegetable that we ate. So when we finished a batch of bell peppers, we put the seeds into an indoor pot, not expecting much because of the indirect sunlight. It’s taken a while, but this is our first fruit from the plant most unlikely to.
This very plain-looking bowl is another of my heart’s joys. My father went home to be with the Lord in 1997. While here on earth, he and my mother were lovers of a routine, so I suppose that I came by this trait honestly. He was so into his routine until he even ate the same breakfast every morning—instant grits followed by a bowl of Crispix cereal—in this bowl. During one of his last visits from Georgia to our home, he actually packed his bowl such that he’d not have to make an adjustment to what we had here. One day on this past week, I was enjoying a bowl of instant grits—in his bowl—and reminiscing about some of our last days together. I had to wonder, what seemingly insignificant trinkets will trigger lasting memories for our children? If I were a fly on the walls of their minds, what (prayerfully) delightful anecdotes would I be a part of?
I enjoy the treasures of our kitchen. I enjoy preparing meals, although I wish I was better at it. Karen brought me a batch of Amish friendship bread when she visited, and I get so excited each baking day. With the variations she later sent, each loaf of bread is a treat. I was finally able to share a cup of starter with my MIL, and we now have a good time calling one another on baking day with “What type of bread are you making?” Last week, mine was banana bread with walnuts, but I was one banana short of the recipe requirement. This turned out to be a blessing because the bread actually tasted better without the strong banana taste. This week, I’ll go back to lemon poppyseed, another personal favorite.
As much as I enjoy the kitchen, it is also my source of greatest frustration. There is always artwork, some project, or a book or two from our school days. Unopened mail stacks up quickly. With four of the five of us always in the house, the sink always has dishes in it. Moreover, our house has a very open design, and so from the kitchen, I can see our family room, a very used (and sometimes abused) living space. I can see our “middle/ high school,” the dining room, with a never-ending stack of books that the older two have left out. So, it is in the midst of this hodgepodge of hits and misses that I do most of my complaining about the house and the gap between what I want it to be versus what it is. When I saw KeriMae’s post on scripture wall words, I knew it was a word in season for me. Here are my humble beginnings, posted with our U.S. and world maps.
I thought about what the maps are really for, and why we should take interest in where people are and what they look like. With our commitment to missions work, these seemed like appropriate words:
Send Your ambassadors into all the nations. Jeremiah 49:14
…that the gospel of the kingdom may be preached in all the world. Matthew 24:14
Shake the nations, so they will come to the Desire of All Nations(Jesus). Haggai 2:7
I still have far more to do with this project, but I am excited about an increasingly peaceful spirit that flows throughout this room as I remind myself of what is truly important.
As a mom and homeschooling parent, I…
am still relishing an overall great school year, and feeling especially energized after the oldest finished so successfully with her science test. As she went through it, she said, “This is easy,” but I dared not get too excited too early. Honestly, I felt as if the Lord had heard my questioning about this class and that whole plea about agenda, and simply said, “Rest. I’m in control.” As a part of my depressive state, I suggested to her a game plan for completing the lion’s share of what he gave them to do, but I couldn’t bring myself to follow up as to whether or not it was happening. I didn’t necessarily fault myself for this: I’m trying to teach her to look out at where she needs to be by a certain date and then work backwards regarding what that deadline means on a daily basis. So, this week she had to go it alone.
I mentioned that the oldest is faring well with the study of great books. We are spending about 1-1/2 hour reading to one another on 4 days, and on Fridays, she is left to create in her commonplace book. I came across a passage that I’d underlined, but forgotten, from Susan Wise Bauer’s The Well-Trained Mind. Quite frankly, the student in me was intrigued by Bauer’s suggestions, but I found even the thought of implementing all that she recommends completely overwhelming. In my mind, only a child who did nothing except school could possibly navigate his/her way through the many recommended hours of study. As an aside, I understand she has a more realistic perspective on education in The Well-Educated Mind. Nevertheless, I found this a refreshing dose of realism among all of the “headiness” of her thoughts of an ideal classical education:
Especially in the early years of high school, you should supervise this process, rather than allowing the student to disappear into the family room alone with her books. Great-books study is demanding. It requires the student to work hard, to abandon simple question-and-answer learning in favor of a struggle with ideas. Often, the material isn’t immediately appealing. The philosophies may be unfamiliar; the opinions are complex; the vocabulary is challenging. Put the student at the kitchen table (or wherever you’re planning to be) so that you can encourage her to keep working. (Bauer, p. 481)
So leave it to my quirky child to actually enjoy the things that she should be struggling with, and to struggle with what should be the “slam dunks” of academia. We are working on getting past that question-and-answer mentality, though; right now, her commonplace book is full of written narrations—years of training, no doubt. I find myself having to remind her that maps, timelines and other creative starts are acceptable for capturing history as well. I thought I’d shared this before, but if not, these bookmarks, shared by Jimmie at Heart of the Matter online, are a neat tool that I printed for each kid to get them thinking about being creative in their writing.
Our son is wrapping up his land animal study, and will begin General Science after the Christmas break. I am thinking to use Live and Learn Press’s Apologia lapbooks to help him with his studies. This might lessen the shock that the oldest got going from the elementary series to Dr. Wile’s texts. He will also begin a one-on-one study with me of Charlotte Mason’s Ourselves. The oldest will wrap up this same study this year.
The youngest is performing well, and we will probably add a grammar study via English for the Thoughtful Child to her work in the spring. Right now, she’s not challenged enough. She even told a dance center parent that her favorite subject was phonics because it was easy. I bought this book to begin with her in the fall, but I was concerned that she wasn’t ready for the parts that required writing. Now I’m again realizing that my preoccupation with high school preparation was at the expense of the younger two, who have more time on their hands than I think they should.
As a business owner, I…
am very far behind in my plans, but this week I am regaining strength.
Wow! This was long. I must have had more go on this week than I thought! May the Lord bless your week as well.