Wednesday, September 17, 2014

To .... Summer Flings -

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Chad threw up all over our bed this morning.
Soaked through to the sheets

So I washed everything.
And then was just going to crawl into bed.
Pretty sure it came from Mom ... the whole if-you-have-clean-sheets-you-should-be-clean-too
So I took a shower.
Shaved my legs.
Washed my hair.

And now I'm clean & so are my sheets.
And there is no reason you needed to know any of that.

Chad is better.
It's ok not to do 14 things at once.
It's ok to sit on the couch all morning & hold him.
It's ok when he wakes up from his nap to hold him some more.

That's what I did today.

Some of the kids went to school.
Some stayed with me.

And I am not beating myself up over any of it.

Why is it that the only night of the cat's entire life that you need it to be left in the laundry room because it's going to the vet in the morning - that's the night the cat bolts out the door & up the tree??

Stupid cat.

Remember the whole 'before school starts we're doing one last summer fling' ??
School started.
But Labor Day hits like right after & just like that you get a holiday.
So we summer flinged.
(i know that's not a word)

The parking ticket meter man said Santa Cruz was the most googled beach in the country for Labor Day.
It's not just some googled beach to us.
It's our beach.
We just share it  ..... shared it with zillions of others that day :)
We brought great bean dip & a pumpkin pie to celebrate.

One the way out of town we talked Mom & Dad into coming.
We stopped and bought the girls swimsuits for like $1.99 off the Old Navy clearance racks
And we got Starbucks.

- - - 

- - -

Sailor wrote a paper on her best summer memory & she wrote all about this beach trip.
Pretty much nailing the whole these sort of trips are totally worth it idea.

.... and what is it with bunny ears, family?!!
.... and the cat came back.
..... and clean sheets feel amazing.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

To .... His Easy Yoke & First Days of School -

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I used to say we home schooled by default.
Public school ..... I never went
Private school .... $$$

We're surrounded by community where home schooling is accepted ..... even 'the thing' to do.
But I had the back door open.
It's not for every one.
Or every kid.

There are good private schools.
Good teachers in public schools.
I didn't want to be lumped into 'you have a ton of kids, drive a van with fish all over the back & wear jumpers'

Conservative Christians - the home school community -  have been in the news recently .... and it hasn't been for their love of Jesus or His Gospel.

I like my distance.
My space.
And honestly my pride.

I would say I love my kids but I don't love home schooling.
I sure don't home school to wave the home schooling is the greatest thing ever flag.

I'd ask myself ...
Should we?
Is this right?
Is it too hard?
Harder does not equal Better.
Hard does also not give you an out to just quit.

Where's the bus?
I'm pretty sure we could totally afford the private school across town.
I could actually make dinner & have great after school snacks & be a better mom.

But each fall we started again.
Another grade.
Another year.
Another go.

And I'd compare.
And freak out.
And worry.
And stress.

I'd question.
After all, we have a van & a lot of kids!

But .....

Do I like it?
Do I believe in it?

<<deep breath>>

7 years in the answer is yes & yes.

I don't think I'll ever be a flag waver.

Home schooling is not an identity.
That is not what I want to be known for.

That's not what I want my kids to be known for.

Jesus is our identity. 

Systems & programs & groups ... they don't work.
They don't save.
They ask for a status quo that's ridiculous to try to keep up with.

Jesus saves.
He doesn't ask for doing.
Or stressing.

Or comparing.
Or freaking out.

He is.
He frees.
His grace frees.


'cause I have this tendency to forget all this when my boy is drowning in you-fill-in-the-blank subject.
And instead of throwing him a life raft,
Or better yet swimming in after him
I stand in the boat in exasperation, frustrated that he hasn't made it to the side yet.

I know, right.

His yoke is easy.
His burden is light.
For crying out loud!
Quit stupidly insisting on making it harder than it was ever intended to be.

- - - 

So moving on.
12 days into the 2014/2015 school year.

The days I 'stay in the boat' are always harder.
The ironic part is I can swim.
I even like to swim.
And they're fun.
These kids I get to be with.

Get wet.

If I'm not freaking out about going under - I'm less likely to drown.

Grace frees.

- - -

6th grade for this girl.
She's smarter than I was at 11 years old.
She thrives with school work.
She likes a challenge.
She's an excellent swimmer .... in more ways than one.

Grade 4.
He's not afraid of the water.
Or getting wet.
In fact, he doesn't do well at all in 'the boat'.

Second grader Ben.
He'll be in another lake before you can catch him.
But he's swimming ... at least :)

She's a 1st grader this year.
She rarely needs arm floaties or a life jacket.
She just really likes the company.

If ever there was a kid more excited .....
Jumps in.
Every day.
Feet first.
Big splash.

- - -

And my analogies are over :)

- - -

We're doing something this year for the first time.
Co-oping with some of our very dearest friends.
Once a week.
At our place.
With a hired tutor.
And thanking Jesus for how He provides.

We went extra official & took pictures.

And these guys just wanted to be a part of it too :)

Also, yes.
Yes I totally forgot to get a picture of Dolly.

Next -
We didn't hold signs & it took us a few shots to figure out 'look in the same direction at the same time'

But theses girls .... oh my heart bleeds love for them & gratefulness that we get to do life together & wonder at the beauty of their friendship.

- - -

First day of school day 2.
Where we go to class.
And Chad goes to Grandma's.
I teach other kids.
And my kids are taught by others.
Once a week.
And we remind ourselves the other 4 days a week of the beauty that is home schooling.

- - -

First day of school - day 3.
Where we stay home.
And no else comes.
And we take the traditional stand by the car school picture.
Minus lunch boxes.
And shoes :)

They are a gigantic reason why I work hard all day long.

Jack was filling out his AWANA book this afternoon.
Reading in 2 Timothy.
After answering that he did know who Jesus was, the next question was 'who told you about Jesus?'

He wrote A l l i
Then smiled, erased it & wrote mom.

His grace, His gospel .... it frees.

- - -

oh, ps.