little of this, little of that.

School has begun, which means I'm blogging less. Not really a big deal.
I have to say, I'm having just as much fun with school this year as the kids are. I feel a bit like a nerd, but I really enjoy looking through the teacher manuals when I've got free time. I like to see different things they're going to be learning and different techniques on how I should be teaching them.

Jason's parents gifted us with some awesome school books this year and so far the reading program has won me over! Its part of the Bob Jones curriculum, and while I know BJ stuff is either widely hated or overly loved, I absolutely love their reading books/activity books. I have no idea if I'll be a 'fan' of any of their other subjects, but I'm finding the beauty in home schooling is, you can pick and choose and not have to lock yourself into one thing.
I'm just happy that the kids are really enjoying school and happy to see that every year seems to get better and flow better.
I recently told a friend that to my surprise, home schooling is easier when there are multiple siblings and not just one. I really struggled when it was just Ethan. I think because he wanted to just go play with Rachel and didn't think it was fair that he had actual work to do. I definitely learned a lot about chilling out and making every day life full of lessons to be learned, but still... there's always going to be sit down actual work, even for a little Kindergardener and I felt like it was much harder with just one child. So if you're in your very first year of actual school at home, rest assured it gets better! :)

This year my friend Liz inspired me to make daily schedules of what things should look like and its been a HUGE help. I can't say with stick to these schedules with any real rigidity, but its nice having a source to go back to and get the kids back on track if they've gotten off. Some days with throw everything out the window and head to a museum, or the library or a different exploration of sorts. Again, enjoying these years when that's easily done and schedules don't have to be followed so closely.

And then I had someone ask me how I keep things flowing so perfectly around here and how I never lose my temper or get frazzled ... and I had to laugh.
Mostly because my thought process went something like this: "oh.my.word. If she only knew. Should I invite her over to watch our day-to-day life sometime?!" and then "Oh no! I wonder how many people think this after 'following me' on Facebook and my blog!" 
Then I had to laugh again.... because don't we all think this of each other? I do. I'm always eager to learn from the mom next to me. I just have to be careful not to allow the "everyone does it better than me" thoughts to creep in.
I think I'm done reminding all of you how normal we are around here, how messy my house does get, how imperfect my kids really are and how many bad mommy moments I have each week. Wait. Did I just remind you again? ;-)
Its obviously not something every single person will see, especially online, but I assure you what you see is real. I just don't post pictures of my kids getting punished for naughty behavior and I won't go on Facebook and update everyone on the rotten attitude I just had.
Its the kind of thing that wouldn't benefit anyone. I'm a fan of posting the lesson I learned after the bad attitude.
Just know those yucky moments DO happen and sometimes, they're more like days, not just moments.
Last week I had to literally cancel every social activity we had planned and just stay home, rest up, and gain some sanity back. Miles had a really, really rough week of barely any sleep at all and so I was like a walking zombie during the day. Not a pretty sight.
But those are things God knows everything about, my husband is next in line and then follows a couple very close friends of mine. Aren't they lucky? NOT.
I'm the blessed one. I love that I have a handful of ladies I can text, email or call in a moment's notice and ask for prayer or advice or just share a struggle and have them send a word of encouragement my way. God bless them.
So wow. That was a long tangent to remind you that we're a normal family. The end.

We're heading to California in a couple weeks and the kids couldn't be more thrilled. They've not been for a long visit since June of 2011 and so this visit is LONG overdue. We're excited to see both families, extended family and friends. I wish we could stick ALL our friends and family into one giant room and visit with everyone, but alas.... there's never going to be enough time to see everyone. I feel like we definitely need to always make time to see friends who've been up here to visit us, so I guess if you want a visit from us in CA, be sure to come here. Just kidding... sort of.
I'm excited too, but the packing of things haunts me. Once I've got that all organized, I'll relax a bit more.

That's life around here. Miles is coming on his 5th month of life {what the heck?!} and AWANA starts tonight {YAY!} and all 3 big kids will be going this year. Its going to give Daddy and Mommy a couple hours each week of time just for us. Sweet!
Hope you're all having a great mid-week Wednesday.

3 {comments}:

Trish Thomas said...

I like this posting. it feels like I just had a chat with you because your writing reflects you so well. :) how nice that Wednesdays you & Jase will have time alone!! I am completely thrilled you're coming to CA...can't wait!!

Stef said...

Thanks Trish - we can't wait to see you too!

Liz said...

Thanks for texting me about your blog! I feel so honored that you mentioned me :) I have been reading books and asking other moms with lots of kids how they homeschool multiple kids and keep up with housework. You inspire me too, Stef! It's so helpful to see you stay at home with your kids. I appreciate your honesty and transparency. I completely agree that comparing ourselves and our kids to others isn't helpful. I struggle with this as well. Daily life with the kids is messy. We don't stick to our schedule either ;) But like you said, it's nice that our kids are young and we have the freedom to go on field trips and play. When you get back, we'd love to plan a school/play date! The schedule does give me focus. I just filled out our monthly progress report. It was so encouraging to see how much we can accomplish when we have a plan!

Have a wonderful trip :) We'll see you when you get back home!


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