Flashback, anyone?

THREE years ago, these were some of the pictures taken around here:

Look like Mack got his love for taking pictures from his older sister, Ruby.

This picture cracks me up!  What was she so upset about?  I don’t remember.  I know it wasn’t because she got in trouble for getting into my lipstick.  I distinctly remember not fussing, but thinking how funny this girl was!  Mack must have just pinched her or something.  Or maybe that was her “medal,” and he stole it.  Who knows…but she is so mad.  And so cute.

Flashbacks are fun.

Whirlwind

Well, the days are flying by, and I can’t find enough time to be creative with the blog.  That’s ok though…I’m sure the earth will keep on spinnin’.

Let me try to remember a few things from around here:

Molly turned 6!  Oh, yes she did.  We had the Barsh family over for dinner, cake & ice cream and some swimming at the neighborhood pool.  I love when our families get together…it’s so easy and fun!  We’ve known them about 9+ years.  Each of kids are right around the same age…like, born within 6 months of each other and are the same gender–girl, girl, boy.  They have fun together, and we adults have fun together, too.  I didn’t get many pictures, but here are a few….

singing happy birthday….really slowly….Molly loved it.

“Molly” the doll got some new pajamas!  And a new i-pod…take a close look.  She also got some adorable luggage, a camera, and more!

Molly got a PO-GO stick, too.  It was a big hit….for that night.  Since then, it has hardly been touched.  We’ll see.

And let me just really confuse everyone.  Here are a couple of pics I promised from when Renn and Vance visited us, and we celebrated her birthday:

Jesse enjoyed eating seconds or thirds while we ate cake!  Josh cooked some yummy food.  I take no credit.  🙂

Josh had a birthday just yesterday, and we enjoyed celebrating Friday night with some folks.  He also enjoyed some time with his dad and brother on Saturday.  I think he had a good weekend!

Here are some things the kids said about him when I asked them some questions….fully planning to put them in a card, but not having the time….oops.

What’s dad’s favorite food?

Mack- “Brocolli”

Ruby- “Grits”

Molly- “Bojangles”

Where would Daddy choose to go on vacation if he could go anywhere?

Mack- “on a trip”

Ruby- “Beach”

Molly- “camping”

If Daddy could read a book about anything, what would it be about?

Mack- “Football”

Ruby- “Jesus”

Molly- “his study for Sunday School”

What makes you laugh about Daddy?

Mack- “When he be’s funny and tickles us

Ruby- “chases and tickles us”

Molly- “when he throws us on the couch”

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And maybe I close with a little bit about Mack.  He is…a mess.  He’s either talking non-stop and laughing and trying to make others laugh OR he’s really upset…..take a look at this face:

I see this sad face more times than I would like to mention……..Four years old is not really a great age for Mack……but maybe it’ll get better.

Getting into a routine

Wow.  We are in full swing and it is just the first day of home assignments!  The day has been good and very, very full.  We did do a little extra because we want to take Molly to the mall for getting her doll’s hair straightened and to pick up a cookie cake that she requested.  These are important things to an almost 6 year old, so we worked hard in order to have a little extra free time tomorrow.

The Open House last week went well.  Mack and the girls all got really excited after seeing their room and meeting their teachers.  I seemed to find a million different things to organize in our school room here at home….kind of like nesting before having a baby.  I told Josh that I would stop going to Wal-Mart for this and that if school would just start already!!!  I likened it to the last month or so before Mack was about to be born.  I would buy “extra” toilet paper, paper towels, crackers, and who knows what else….all because I was certain I would never leave the house again with a 2 year old, 1 year old and a newborn.  And though I probably shouldn’t have ever left, I did.  And we all survived somehow.  And that is how it was this year.  With me working on Tuesdays and Fridays, I felt like if I didn’t get it before school started, then we would not ever get it.  Crazy, I know.

This is our new chart that we use to try and keep the kids on task….things like making your bed, brushing your teeth, setting the table, etc.  It seems to be of some help, but minimal.  We’ll see if it helps as the year goes on.  We are still on THE basics.  I would love it if everyone flushed and washed their hands each bathroom break, but we still have trouble with that.  I have much need of endurance.  It’s a theme in my life.

And above is a quote that is also where I am these days.  What’s inside will indeed come on out.  Yikes.

And here we all four are…dressed and ready to go to school!

Ruby (7 years old starting 2nd grade), Molly (5 years old starting 1st grade and turning 6 the next day!), Mack (4 years old)

And this, my friends, is no small victory—we can now park our car in our garage.  Yipee!

And now, three days later, I am able to post this entry.  It’s officially Saturday night.  I went to a luncheon this morning with some friends and thoroughly enjoyed the time with friends and the great encouragement from The Word.  I am amazed at how much energy and effort went in to this past week, and by Friday night I was kind of discouraged because I kept thinking…”How in the world am I going to keep up this momentum??”…it really can seem a bit much at times, but only because I am looking way too far ahead.  I have been enjoying some walks a couple of mornings during the week, and the Lord has gently been reminding me to take each step in faith, believing He will provide for me whatever it is I need for the moment.  One step at a time.

“If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.”  Galatians 5:25

Here’s to starting a new week off walking in the Spirit, step by step!

Whew

I laughed as I walked out of the school today and past a sea of minivans and stations wagons and suburbans.  I laughed because it still doesn’t even seem possible that I have a second grade child and a first grade child and a four year old AND that I would have any reason to be at a home school co-op  to listen to each of my girls teachers give an orientation of how this year might look for us.  How did I get here?

Now don’t get me wrong, I am glad to be here, but I just can’t really process that I am actually doing this.  I don’t mean to be overly dramatic, I really don’t.

I may have also been laughing because if I hadn’t laughed I would have cried.

Not really.

But maybe.

I confidently sat through Molly’s class orientation.  Along with about 15 other moms, we received instruction on how to teach our 1st graders at home.  I remembered most everything from last year and was able to breathe comfortably and know I would make it through all of this.  I also thought of how extremely different my girls are.  Ruby would read and write like nobodies business, but please don’t make me tell you how most of our math days went.  Molly is different.  She loves numbers and seems to work well with them.  She doesn’t seem to love reading nearly as much as Ruby does, though she reads sometimes without me asking her to.  That Molly is made for school…she loves the books, the crayons and scissors and glue are her friend.  She’ll help you “organize” any time and any place.  Ruby would rather be outside playing…and about organization, remember she is the one who thought it might be a good idea to throw all of her clothes under her bed instead of putting them in the dirty clothes hamper or into her drawers.  Brilliant plan.  If only I had not gone into her room that day, she’d still be pulling the wool over my eyes.

A little less confidently (maybe a lot less confidently), I sat with other moms through the 2nd grade orientation.  The teacher is super laid-back and has a great sense of humor.  However, that didn’t stop my stomach from rumbling with nerves when she mentioned math and counting money or mastering math facts up to +20….and I got really nervous about handwriting grades.  Ruby doesn’t buy into the whole “make your letters as perfectly as you can” business.  I have to be more strict in that area because, honestly, I don’t quite buy into it either….but I will because it is important and helps “develop good foundational habits,” said the teacher.

So I came home with more books than I could name right now….more binders to buy…and a full calendar……

BUT I WILL NOT BE OVERWHELMED.  I will NOT be overwhelmed.  I will not be OVERWHELMED.  Nope, not me.

As a matter of fact, this morning I had a great time with the Lord.  After the first few sips of coffee, my mind decided to start making a “to do” list and then a “to do today” list and then a “to do for my job” list and ….I couldn’t even concentrate on the Lord.  I took a deep breath and changed to another worship song on my i-pod.  GOD I LOOK TO YOU by Bethel. It was perfect.  I thought I would include the lyrics here:

God I look to You
I won’t be overwhelmed
Give me vision to see things like You do
God I look to You
You’re where my help comes from
Give me wisdom, You know just what to do

I will love You Lord my strength
I will love you Lord my shield
I will love You Lord my rock
Forever all my days, I will love you God

Hallelujah our God reigns
Hallelujah our God reigns
Hallelujah our God reigns
Forfever all my days Hallelujah

I hope I’ll find myself humming this song or even bursting it out throughout my homeschool day.  I’m sure I will need the reminder!  And don’t we all?  It is so easy to slip into the mentality that everything is just a bit too much.  Or maybe that all I can handle is my own set of stuff and poo-poo on the rest of the world.  I don’t want to be that way either.  What I need is heavenly perspective.  The handwriting, while important, shouldn’t affect my day or my mood.  It will be handwriting, period.  The math that is sure to demand some extra energy and creativity on my part to teach, while extremely important, doesn’t mean that I can stuff myself with chocolate as some sort of consolation when it is over.  And just because we will have a full day and week here at home with all of OUR stuff, I still want to make time to go out to our Wednesday night meeting at the mobile home park to reach out to others with the love of Jesus.

I am ashamed at how quickly it all becomes about me and how quickly I can throw other things off my plate.  I need wisdom from above to know just what to do.  And the beautiful thing is that the Lord promises just that.

I will not be overwhelmed.

Can somebody refer me to this post in a couple of weeks if you see me running around like a nut or if I shut myself in a closet?

Thanks.  I’d appreciate it.  My family would appreciate it, too.

 

 


School Time

Wow.  It is really that time of year again…glue sticks, folders, construction paper, and uniforms.  Our Summer flew by.  We didn’t do much in the way of travel or “crazy fun,” but we did enjoy some time at the pool and a couple of trips to see family.  I liked being home, though I do hope some sort of beach get-away will be on our agenda next Summer.  This year we had plenty of change and ups and downs (mentally, spiritually, and emotionally) that I think a boring summer break was in order.

I am going to be an assistant to a 3rd grade teacher at the kids school.  This is new to me, and I am a little nervous about how it will all work.  I am sure it will all come together just fine as the year rolls by.  The help with tuition is a positive.

Ruby will be in 2nd grade.  Molly will be in 1st grade and little Mack will be in the 4 year old class at their school.  Any person who works there can have their younger-than-school-aged kids taken care of on the school days for free….quite a blessing.  Mack isn’t sure he wants to do this yet, but I am hoping after a little while he will love it.  He told me, “It’s just that I’m gonna miss you.”  Isn’t that adorable?  He’s been my shopping buddy and cleaning buddy for a year, and we enjoyed our “quiet time” on Tuesdays and Fridays.  I’m afraid with our new schedule the grocery shopping might be taking place around 10:00 pm.  And I just pray that there is some sort of laundry fairy that plans to visit my house on a regular basis.  Ha!

Seriously, my prayer is that I will walk in the Spirit.  That is truly the only way that this will work.  Otherwise, I will be an overwhelmed, blubbering fool, which would be NOT good.  And I know it will be worth a little more on my plate to be able to spend this time with the kids.  They are growing up so fast and it seem to be going by even faster.  I really do treasure the time I get with them during our week.  I wouldn’t have it any other way…except that I get to spend this time with them AND have a personal grocery shopper and cook and a maid and laundry gal.  That’s all.

I have some pictures from when my sister and her family visited.  Eventually I will get these posted.  Eventually.  🙂