Sunday, September 27, 2009


There are so many ways that we mark our journeys in life. Some by the calendar, some by accomplishments, some by seemingly arbitrary things. I remember in high school my goal was to grow my hair to my breasts. Insanely important, this was to me. I remember the day I realized I reached my goal, I came out of the bathroom in glee and announced, 'My hair can touch my boobs!' I was generally very private, and didn't speak that way, but, I felt I could make an exception because, come on! I did it!

I like to think my goals a little loftier these days.

I do like milestones. I am a checklist kinda gal, and wouldn't think of not adding something to the list just to cross if off. I loved report cards, I got mad a college teachers if they took too long to return my assignment, and don't even get me started about the profs who didn't bother writing anything other than A on the paper. I wanted praise and critique throughout the paper! I am big on assessment!

I have four weeks each school year set aside purely for assessment. Not that I wait a whole nine weeks to check my progress in teaching my kids! I like December and January because it is a time to look back and forward to see goal reached and to set new ones. I like April because I get to reflect on the years of my firstborn. May and June mark the end of the school year, and ordering the curriculum to come. August --ooh! time to get the curriculum in order, line up the books, make the lists!

Well, October is a special month for me, too. Some significant milestones have happened this month in the last mumblemumble-teen years. We moved three Octobers (in a row!). And, most important in the scheme of things, Madi was born in October. This is a natural time of reflection for me. I get to remember little fingers... little toes... constant nursing... little teeth... oh! Not all memories are painless!

My girl is turning 8. My baby is turning 8. *sigh* She is quite a young lady. She loves to craft and dance and get dressed up. She is earnest and silly and strong. Truth be told, the youngest in our family can give every last one of us a run for our money in a wrestling match--which she would never turn down. She is a special young thing growing into a remarkable older thing and I am so divided in my feelings about it all.

I am still a momma of babies, but I look around and there are no babies to be seen. How did that happen? I remember moms of older kids saying things that I am thinking, and feeling that I would never be there. I would know to cherish the young years so that the old years would come with no regrets. They come so fast. I am still a momma of babies. I just know it.

The other day at dance I was sitting next to Carla with her baby. I looked down to see a colorful plastic butterfly for teething babies. I almost asked, 'oh! Is that mine? I'd wondered where it went!' Hello!! How can time pass so differently for me than it does for my kids?

I have a secret. I used to say October was a special month because every October something big happened--a milestone. Truth is, none have really been reached in the last too many years. I mean, sure, we moved other friends in October, but that really isn't the same thing as moving, buying a house, having a baby... But for me, I am still there. These last years are like one. It can't really be eight Octobers that I had a baby, can it?

Monday, September 21, 2009

School daze

What a overused title! I am working out our school plan. We are doing so well in school this year--positively our best year ever! I want to figure out our coming years. I have some choices about keeping the kids on the same program or splitting them up. I want Max to make it through all the Sonlight levels because I like them so much. I want him well equipped for college, and I think Sonlight's lessons can do that.

Having them both in one course has made everything so much more streamlined and I wonder if splitting them to get Max back on track (he is in 5th grade doing level 2 again this year) will put us back on the frantic pace we've been on in the past.

I could just keep Max on Madi's pace, and keep up an accelerated pace because it would be so easy--Max would finish at 18 and Madi at 16. OR I could do level 5 next year with both of them. It would be very challenging for Madi, but because they would be doing the same thing, I would have tons of extra time to give to her to help her through. OR I could put Madi in 3 and Max in 6. That would put both of them more or less on track, but would have them on totally different lessons, nearly doubling the length of the school day.

Decisions, decisions...

I am leaning to doing level 5. I think we will be starting the new year long before Katie finishes hers and she has my level 3! That may be the biggest factor after all!

We made it!

Brian made it home safe and sound last night, and the house and living things in it were spic and span and overjoyed to welcome him. We got in lots of school, play and cleaning while he was gone. I hope I can keep up the pace with him home another week. I get so lazy when he is around!! :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

We are having a good week

Not as much school as I'd originally planned, but having a good week nonetheless. We took today off just because we needed the breather and I got in some good cleaning. Tomorrow we do school again. I am looking forward to staying in! Tuesday we did dance, dinner and council meeting--plus two days' worth of school and washing all the bedding. Too much for my family.

I awe at the families who do soccer for just one kid, though so many have different (full) schedules for each kid. Then they add music, church, AWANA, 4H and God knows what else to it all. No wonder they homeschool! They wouldn't have time to get to those classes on top of everything else!

My family used to function similarly to that and I am so thankful that Brian put his foot down. I get busy with KidsROCK, but it is all KidsROCK. The significance of that is that I am not juggling hats or schedules of several unaffiliated organizations. That may not seem like a big deal, but to me it is everything.

But I digress...

Yesterday was too much for US, and today I knew we were doing Lego and dance. I also knew I wanted to get some things organized and finish with vacuuming and bedding, so we took the day of rest and I am thankful for it. Eager to school, without chores weighing on my conscience, tomorrow will be a good day, I pray. :)

God bless me and my kids, my dh half my skinny state away, and all whom I love and hold dear. Amen!

Monday, September 14, 2009

A Great Day

Madi is ready for bed, but thanking me for the great day we had today. She began to list the things we did and said, "I wish I had my diary." She ran off to get it, and I remembered I have something similar for me to record this great day, too!

Brian left yesterday to spend a week with his brother. I was very sad to see him go. My computer broke Friday, so Brian spent all that time working on it, bless him. He didn't want to leave me without the computer. He loves me, but as the time neared for him to leave on Sunday, I felt panicked that I had wasted the weekend and not soaked him up enough.

So, with that under my belt we began the week. We have taken two weeks off from school, and I plan to school this week to help stay productive and to pass the time. So, we did school this morning, and ran to Wal-Mart this afternoon. I got a couple of things I needed, but also grabbed a couple of special extras.

We had boring peanut butter sandwiches for dinner, but made our own cold stone creamery in the kitchen for dessert! We got peanut butter, chocolate, Oreos, chocolate and graham crackers with vanilla ice cream. Each of us made our own concoction and we started an instant-watch movie on the computer from Netflix--From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankwieler.

A very nice day. Now the kids are bedding down in the living room, ready for another full day of school, then Madi's dance class.

Father, thank you for these days. Thank you for the blessing of just being together. Amen!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The kids that play together grow together?

Since Madi's birth, my kids have always been 10 pounds apart. No different today when I weighed them. It is a fun little factoid that doesn't do much but tickle my heart. Except...this means that when one has a growth spurt, so has the other. I have never spent a lot of money on their clothes. In fact, the first many years, I spent close to nothing on clothes thanks to a never ending (I thought) supply of hand-me-downs.

But this year!!! This year! In May I spent money on a new batch of clothes that they needed. But, here we are in September and I need to buy more!! Madi's legs, man! It is crazy how they just keep hanging out of her skirts, dresses and pants.

And Max looks like an orphan in clothes that show more skin than any self-respecting boy should ever show! LOL Friends are even telling us that perhaps it is time to go shopping! lol he looks like an orphan in clothes 2 sizes too small that are full of holes.

It is fun and neat and I will try to focus on that, rather than the ever-more-quickly-slipping time. *sniff*

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What a wonderful evening! And, am I old??

We had a great time last night playing at the park. We played Catch Phrase. There were five families there and the kids all got along for the most part--no small gift where there are 16 of them! I am thankful we were at the park. My house would have been too cramped with so many big kids.

We used to do that many in the house countless times without batting an eye. But they were all smaller--they literally took up less room. I used to think that big kids needed less room because they were more grown up and weren't bouncing off the walls. Maybe that type of 'big' just hasn't happened yet for us? lol

I have been thinking about the passing of time lately. We have all these new members to KidsROCK, made up mostly of families with kids around the age for Kindergarten. That is how old Max was when we started KidsROCK five years ago. I remember them being that young and thinking about families like the Osborns with "old" kids. They seemed so far ahead of us that they were almost irrelevant. I felt like barely touching worlds when we talked parenting or schooling together.

All of a sudden, I am on the other side. And I know my kids aren't all that old! lol I see the looks of the ladies with babies and preschoolers ask the age of my kids and I see myself just 5 short years ago reflected in their eyes. A polite turning off--an, 'oh, OK, well I hope there will be someone in the group with whom I will relate.' I want to say, 'they aren't that old! It happened so fast. You'll be here, too, before you know it!'

I am not all that old, but I just registered a woman in our group who's, like, five years younger than my little sister!!! I was caught up short and tried to play it cool as I transcribed her birth date. Oh my gosh!

I am comfortable with birthdays, getting older, and don't even cringe on the inside when I say I am 35. No problem. But I hadn't considered this one factor of getting older: having to consider people ten or fifteen years younger than I am as peers!!! Oh, my!!!

Ain't life grand?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Off to play

We are going to the park today to meet with KidsROCK families for a potluck BBQ and to play games with the adults while the kids play on the playground. Two new families will be there, and I am excited about getting to know them better.

Last week, we had many more signed up, including a total of 4 new families and one other family who has a member who doesn't play games in a way that is fun for me. I was really nervous because Carla was going to be gone camping. So, 4 new families, us and this other family. I didn't want to be representing KidsROCK that way.

But Brian was wonderful to me, encouraged me, helped me lay down some plans and helped to be less concerned about our image being tainted by a single person. I felt much better and then Carla told me that they weren't going camping after all!! All that worry and upset for nothing! I hate being such a fickle baby, claiming to trust the Lord when all is well, but falling apart at the first sign of trouble.

Lord, I want to be more faithful to you, the way you are faithful to me. Help me to cling to your promises in your word and to rely on the character you've already revealed to me personally time and again throughout my life. Bring to mind those things when fear and frustration seep in, so that I might be a little more 'water-tight' and send those feelings that aren't from you packing! In your name, Amen!

OH, and be present this evening at the park. Keep the kids safe and kind on the play equipment and allow for new relationships to grow among the adults. Let your grace and lovingkindness rule our day!

Monday, September 7, 2009

speaking power

I haven't written here in a while. I have thought about it often, but I feel like I am still processing things, and to write down something feels premature. I am in a state of flux, and 'speaking' here feels like I could betray my final position. Putting something into black and white feels very permanent, and I am anything but permanent right now.

KidsROCK is growing so quickly. It is exciting and a little overwhelming. I feel blessed and ...not burdened, but responsible. I have been praying for KidsROCK for years, and for the last six months of so, I have been praying specifically that God would bring to KidsROCK people looking for community and support in homeschooling. I have faith he honored that request in his perfect timing. Generally, we say God's timing is perfect when we are trying to be patient, because God is moving slowly in our opinion. But in this instance, I feel like things are moving quickly.

I want to be sure I am right with God, and not leaping ahead just because everything is going so quickly, that I just pick up the acceleration.

Anyhow, I am loving welcoming new people and the prospects that are coming ahead. I just want to be able to stay faithful to others so that I might not lose this wonderful gift.