Fading into Summer

As a Texan, summer means hot, hot and HOT!!!  But I still love it.

Technically, the hot has already been here for weeks.  We go from the miserable, damp cold of January and February to a few nice weeks scattered through out late March and April, right into shorts, popscicles, swimming and air conditioning!

Like everyone else though, Memorial Day weekend brings the “official” beginning of summer and with it all of the free time and long days that entails.  This will be our first summer as a homeschooling family, therefore my first time to decide how our school year is going to run.  Personally, I’m ready for a break!  But we’re not done with our math curriculum for the year, or our science, and I want to be sure the kids keep up with reading over the next 3 months.  So I imagine there will be some push back as we do a little “summer school” for the first time ever.

But I want to make sure we do plenty of fun stuff too.  I’m considering making a Summer Bucket List; a list of all of the fun things I want us to do as a family this summer and I would LOVE suggestions!  Drive in movie, road trip, tea party… ANYTHING that sounds fun!

Thanks!

Prayer for Today…

“For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and no on is like Me.”  ~ Isaiah 46:9

Lord, you are the potter and I am the clay.  You are the almighty creator and I am your creation.  You are the King of Kings and I am your obedient servant.

As Job demanded answers from you, I too want the answers, the plan, the future; but you are the God of the universe and your ways are not my ways.  I don’t get to know everything, to know how my story ends, and I need to trust you.  Every day.  With our finances, with our health, with the girls’ education, with questions of housing, with family issues, travel decisions, our time and so much more.

Lord, forgive me for my anxiety and my stress, I have not trusted you.  I have relied on me to make things work and for that I am sorry.  I am here to bring  you honor and glory, please give me your strength so that  I may serve you well.

Amen.

Seeing Light

Finally!!!

A week full of encouragement!  I knew it was out there… waiting for us somewhere in the fog of bad attitudes, blown schedules, and my own feelings of inadequacy.  That’s not to say that we haven’t had some great times in our homeschooling journey thus far, but a week of consistent optimism and confidence?  No…. definitely not.

But the last few days we’ve enjoyed a morning of coffee in a neighborhood shop with other homeschooling friends, and spent an afternoon picking out the plants for our Fairy Garden.  My younger daughter finished her Language Arts curriculum for this school year, and my older daughter isn’t far behind her so we’re actually able see the light at the end of the tunnel for our first homeschooling year.  Today we spent the day at a friend’s house having an “Ancient Greek Olympics” with many of our homeschooling friends where the kids played games and we all cooked and brought authentic Greek food… it was a blast!

I’ve felt relaxed this week, and we’ve been able to do our educating the way I had hoped it would be in the beginning: hands-on projects, fun activities, being able to enjoy time with friends.

I have so many dreams for this road we’re on.  Amazing trips we can take, fun projects, great books… and I have to accept that not all of them are going to go the way I want them to.  I’m going to make plans, lots of them, and then be disappointed when the kids think they’re lame, or I can’t get everything we need, or we just plain can’t afford it!  (My educational trip ideas are pretty darn fantastic!)

All of these “big ideas” are great, and I don’t want to let go of them because I think it’s important having something to aspire to.  I just hope I’ll remember the simplicity of this week, and know that this too is great.

Eleven Years

Today my oldest daughter, Morgan Elizabeth, is 11 years old.  She’s smart, talented, loves music and Taekwondo, an avid reader and something of an introvert.  She has her father’s looks and my attitude, which often makes me cringe.  She loves animals and has wanted to be a veterinarian as long as she could articulate the idea of a future career.  I know that when she grows up we will be great friends.

In a way it seems like only yesterday that she came into our lives, and my husband Kent and I couldn’t imagine life without her.  But in another way, our world before we had a child seems like a lifetime ago and it’s hard to believe we were ever the people we used to be.  She caught us off guard, and forced us to make some hard choices.

Finding out I was pregnant terrified me, and then it made me angry.  My self-centeredness screamed that my life was over, that I’d no longer be able to do any of the things I’d planned.  I was going to be stuck with a marriage I wasn’t happy in and being young and carefree was not an option anymore.

When the shock subsided, I was happy.  And nervous.  I started taking care of myself, but as this was not planned I was scared of things I had done in the early weeks of my pregnancy and how they might affect my baby.  I became one of those pregnancy women that didn’t touch caffeine or alcohol or lift anything over 15 lbs; I followed every recommendation the doctor gave me.  Kent worked to get his life on track too, and we focused on making ourselves ready to be a family.  This was NOT the end of our struggles, our road has been a long and rocky one, but it was the first time we (or at least I) made any real commitment to the idea of family.

I am so grateful for my amazing, intelligent, compassionate, beautiful, strong-willed and God-loving daughter!  She changed my life so dramatically, making the first big cracks in the massive walls of ME, MYSELF and I! Then when I came to Christ, about 4 years ago, I was able to look back and see His work in my life, even when I didn’t acknowledge His existence and that floored me!  That He would be guiding me, making changes I didn’t understand or want, and improving my character and circumstances all before I accepted Him was such a testimony of His love for me, and for all of those who are still lost.

Thank you Lord, for this gift.

Happy birthday to my Morgan.

Our Garden Grows

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Beginnings of Blueberries

 I’ve never had any interest in gardening before, but  for some reason I chose Botany as our first Science study once we started homeschooling.

I can’t believe it… corn in my back yard.

Maybe it’s because we’re home so much, or maybe because I’ve felt this call to invest so much more of myself in my children, but either way I feel compelled to make our home and our lives more engaging, more fulfilling, and dare I say it?  a little more old-fashioned!  The longer we’re on this journey, the more I want us to become separate from the world and it’s values.

Lovely green tomatoes.

Our garden is like a small, first step in that direction.  A project we can all take pride in, work together on and quite literally, one where we can enjoy the fruits of our labor.  I never thought I would care about gardening at all, but I find myself want to expand it and protect it.pic.twitter.com/RoTznVg0

I already have a Fairy Garden in the works and tons of other ideas on expanding our gardening efforts to make our back yard a place of beauty.  I want my children to be comfortable and happy, to learn to love the beautiful things nature and to know that God has gifted them with a beautiful world