Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Part 'yikes', part excitement! We're starting back to school on Tuesday, and I am ready....I think! We school year-round to allow more flexibility in our schedule, but we do take the month of June off. It's just the right amount of time to give us all a mental break from bookwork and schedules, and allow us to feel rejuvenated and ready to begin again. It's also a great time to fit in VBS and swimming lessons. And I am so grateful to the Lord that my entire morning sickness time has been while we have been on break. I don't think I could've managed much school at all, at least cheerfully (!), during this time. I am feeling almost back to normal, though still more tired than usual and have some nausea in the evenings. (My morning sickness is usually evening sickness.)

Once we begin Classical Conversations again in August, I'll have to revamp our schedule, but I think I have it nailed down for the rest of the summer. If anyone's interested in seeing it, I can post it another time. If not, I'll save myself some typing. Leave a comment if you'd like to see it.

Here are a few of my resolutions as we begin a 'new' school year.

  • Now that I have 5 children schooling, I am going to have to be a better time manager! This means, for me, getting up early enough to have my quiet time with the Lord and have myself dressed and ready before the kids. I am more able to greet kids with a smile in the morning if I have had sufficient time to wake up myself before I see them.
  • Also on the subject of time management, I have found I must shower at night. This may seem like a silly thing to prioritize, but if I don't take care of this in the evening I will likely 1. cut into our school schedule and much time is wasted while I'm unavailable, or 2. not get a shower at all. I'm guessing that Kevin likes it when I'm out of pajamas and fresh when he gets home. :)
  • I've worked into the schedule to give the littles my time and attention first. This is actually quite challenging because I often feel pressure to work with the older ones because their work load/work difficulty is greater. I do not want to neglect my babies, though, and I'm going to work hard to not allow this time to get squeezed out, as often happens.
Diving back into homeschooling makes me realize that I need the Lord's help to accomplish this momentous task! It is such a joy to be able to teach my children at home, but if you're a homeschooler you know it's also a huge job that comes with huge responsibility. My prayer is that this year I will grow in the grace of the Lord, and show my children the love and patience and care that Christ shows me.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Motherhood as a Mission Field

If you read Challies, you've probably already seen this. I loved it, though, and have to link to it here, too. Perhaps it's my hormonal state, but it made me cry. Go read it for some encouragement, Moms.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Baby Faith

This morning, I woke up and thought to myself, "Wow. I feel kinda normal." It's exciting to think that my morning sickness may be beginning to lighten up. It has been a real struggle to keep up with things....okay, to be honest, I just haven't been keeping up with things, and I'm ready to take care of my family well again. We've had sandwiches for dinner more times than I'd like to admit, and I've spent lots of time laying in bed because of nausea or exhaustion. It's been forever since I've read bedtime stories to my little ones because I've been just trying to get everyone to bed so I can go lie down (or throw up). So, though it's great to know my body is growing this little one as it should, I'm so ready to be there for my husband and kids again! I'm also grateful that my worst sickness has coincided with our annual June break from school. And, providentially, I didn't sign up to do anything for our church's VBS that's too labor-intensive. I can show up and hold babies and play with toddlers in the nursery just fine!

Don't you love a baby with a farmer's tan?

Sam had fun at VBS today

When we found out about this new little one, I was happy, but also struggled mightily with feelings of fear. I wondered how I would do it....eight children? Can I do it? Can I homeschool them all and do a good job? Can I be a good Mom to so many? I knew that I was not trusting the Lord enough, that I needed to cast my worries and fears on Him. I prayed a lot, but the feelings still remained, and I felt overwhelmed with the future.

Because of a past problem with a pregnancy, my doctor ordered a sonogram for me right away. When I saw that little person that God is knitting together, and that tiny, tiny little heart beating away, tears streamed down my face. This is a little person that God has entrusted to our care. God will supply all our needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus!

Just today a kind friend was listening to me talk about my struggle with fear, and she offered "God will not give us more than we can handle." Though I completely understand her intention with this comment--that God won't forsake us--I wonder if I really agree with that statement. Sometimes I think God does give us more than we can handle. We come to the end of our strength when faced with sickness, or the death of a loved one, or heartache over relationships. We can't understand why we struggle or suffer, and all we can do is cry out to Him daily, asking Him to carry us, to work His will through our weakness. And He supplies all our needs. He handles our cares. He gives strength. We are weak but He is strong. We don't handle it. He does.

What a beautiful mystery. The God who made all things condescends to care for His children, to not only supply our needs in the midst of life's difficulties, but also to use those hard things to benefit us.

So, I'm praising God that He is bringing me out of fear of the future, and growing my faith in Him and His good plan. I'm sure I will struggle again--again and again. But I know my Heavenly Father is steadfast and faithful. I may well have more than I can handle, but I know He won't forsake me.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Rest of the Story

Well, last time I mentioned that I haven't felt like blogging much lately. Well...there's another reason I haven't felt like blogging....

or getting out of bed...

or drinking coffee...

or cooking and smelling those cooking smells....

did you guess it?

There's a tiny, precious, little person who's been making me quite sick and tired. I'm not holding a grudge, though. I'm looking forward to meeting him in about 7 months, and all will be forgiven when I kiss those baby toes.

Friday, June 03, 2011

It's the Strangest Thing...

It's the strangest thing: even though I love to write, love to blog, love to hear from you who comment, lately I have not had the slightest desire to sit down and do it! It seems like the last two months, life has taken a turn for the busy. Don't know if it's that Samuel is getting into things more as he grows, or if it's because my Mom is no longer here helping us two to three times a week...but it has really taken all of my focus and energy to just keep the home fires burning and take care of the needs of my children and husband.

The kids at a local children's farmstead--Keely was babysitting that day.

We're doing well. Life is rolling on, and we are all thankful for the sunshine and freer days now that we are on our school break for June. We're looking forward to Keely's 13th birthday next week (I can hardly believe I'm that old---I mean, she's that old) and our church's VBS the week after that. Noah's playing baseball for the first time ever, and it's been so much fun to see him play, and fun for Kevin to help coach his team. We are blessed, and God is so good and faithful to us every day. Blessings to you, and I'll try to pop in a little more often. :)

A backyard tea party with our friend Sarah

Decorating Rowan's birthday cake

Our end-of-school year 'awards ceremony'

Sam is either clapping for his siblings or clapping because he got M&Ms... :)

My handsome hubby with a little monkey on his back