Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Little glimpses....

Hi, my name is Dana and I'm a recovering control freak.... (Among other things.)

But it seems child number three is breaking me.  In the last 11 months, I've become more lax in my ways, less anxious, more apt to ask for help, and more carefree in my parenting.

With that said, I'm thankful to God for little glimpses of grace and lessons He is teaching me through this whole parenting gig.


So here we are midway through July and we're still chugging along through our schoolwork.  I don't know if choosing to school through the Summer was the right thing to do or not.... Some days, I know that structure is what my kids crave and continuing on is what holds us together, but some days just getting through the math lesson and nothing else is like pulling teeth.

Leeland has loved math since we started it last year, but with the advancement of a grade level, math is becoming more difficult for him.  We recently began addition and subtraction with him, and our curriculum is wanting him to become more comfortable and basically memorize his "doubles facts."  We began with 0-5 and they were a breeze, but when we added in 6-9, it threw him off a little and specifically 8+8 and 9+9 just don't come as easy to him.  

Yesterday was one of those "pulling teeth" kind of days when I feel more like a bull dozer pushing him through, than a gentle and loving teacher, and we're sitting there, him over his doubles facts addition sheet that he's struggling to complete, and myself over a cold cup of coffee.  The sheet itself repeats the problems through several times and so he had filled in every answer except for all of the 9+9 responses.  And 9+9 was on the sheet about four to five times.  He's beginning to pout and complain and beg for the answer from me because he just can't seem to remember what 9+9 is....

At this point, he's looking pretty hopeless, but I know that if he would really just apply himself and give it all his focus, he knows how to get the answer.  And I also know that my disappointment in his behavior is showing on my face, because let's get real, I have no poker face and people can read me like a book, even a 6 year old.

So Leeland says in a pouty, hopeless voice, "Can I pray Momma?"

In all honesty, I don't know that I was completely listening when he asked the question.  I'm getting frustrated... I just want the math to be DONE so that we can move on and I can finish my coffee.  Do whatever you have to do son.

...And in his small 6 year old voice, upset with math... "Dear Lord, help me to remember what 9+9 is. Amen."

"...18! ... It's 18!"

He barely finished the prayer and slurred right from the amen into the answer.  "18 Momma! 9+9 is 18."  A huge grin on his face, and his eyes began to get teary.  Naturally his teary eyes made my eyes begin to water too and he shouts, "That's so silly Momma! God answered my prayer!!"

Of course I know he didn't really mean silly, my sweet boy just didn't know how to describe these emotions he was feeling on the inside.  I replied with, "That's not silly at all.  It's wonderful!  God answered your prayer buddy!"

Sometimes I think while I walk this Motherhood journey, and especially through these homeschooling years, I think that God teaches ME more than he does the children.  While I LOVE that Leeland had that sweet faith moment that he's continued to remind me of and tell everyone about how God answered his prayer, I also know that I needed that little moment too.  I'm so thankful to God that I got to witness it, and I'm so thankful that God continues to show me that he cares in the big things and the little things, and that He just wants me to come to him when my tendency is to fall back into my controlling ways and think that I can just handle things myself.

...When I know, I can't. 


"I waited patiently for the Lord;
    he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
    out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
    and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
    a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
    and put their trust in him."
-Psalm 40:1-3


Friday, July 22, 2016

Happy 11 months Joel!

This is what it's like taking photos of an 11 month old...


Not a lot to say for 11 months-- the little guy is ALL over the place and into EVERYTHING!

He IS a toddler.  There is no more denying it.


He's walking and running and climbing.

He's opening cabinets and pulling everything out of them.

He's DETERMINED!

He also knows how to work a pouty lip and a fake cry when he wants to.


But he also gives hugs and kisses.

LOVES to snuggle.

And chases his big brothers around everywhere....

He's one sweet, sweet little boy!

His birthday invitations were mailed out to our family last week, and we are SO excited and ready to celebrate his big first birthday in a month. Happy 11 months Joel! 


Saturday, July 9, 2016

We're Official!!

Official homeschoolers that is!

Of course many of you already knew this since we completed our first year, BUT according to the state, we are now officially official!!  Officially....

Our state law requires that we register our homeschool in the school year that the oldest child turns 7.  I've completed the forms and sent in my necessary documentation this month so we are registered!

1st grade here we come!

Also, fun fact about the registering process is that we get to name our school.  Fun... but not to be taken lightly.  Should we homeschool through graduation, this name will follow our children and be on their resumes and transcripts down the road.  So as tempting as it is to name it the "school of hard knocks" OR something kiddish like "rainbows and unicorns academy".... you really shouldn't.  

We wanted to sound legit. 
And we wanted our name to be scripture based.

....drumroll....

Harvest Christian Academy

Leeland likes that when he is asked where he goes to school, he now has a fun official answer.  

We were inspired by one of my favorite verses, and kind of my Motherhood mantra, Galatians 6:9.

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."

Super excited about this little school of ours and the harvest that we have ahead of us!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Sweet Summer Time

It's no secret that of the 4 seasons, Summer is not my favorite.  In fact, it's probably rated 4th for my last 29 years, but I have to confess that this special season is beginning to grow on me!

Maybe it's the extra time?

While I LOVE my women's Bible study and we adore our homeschool co-op, they both take breaks for the Summer so we have a lot of time and freedom since we aren't running around from place to place each week.  Just church on Sunday's and the rest of the week, we decide what we want to do.

Maybe it's less school?

Just reading, spelling and math.  That's what we've committed to for the Summer.  The boys really do enjoy school and I don't mind teaching them, but I have to confess that 1 hour of school with the rest of the day free is really spoiling me.  Sweet Summer time!

Maybe it's spontaneity? 

With less items on the calendar, we have the freedom to be spontaneous!  Some mornings, we wake up and just want to have a movie and popcorn lounge day.  Some days we head to the splash park to cool off.  Some days we just decide to drive an hour and a half to Ikea because Mommy loves Swedish meatballs and we're craving an adventure.  (In reality the purpose of the Ikea trip was getting the baby's 1st birthday present.)

OR maybe it's the surprise in a child's eyes?

Maybe it's just taking it all in and being able to see it all through my children.  Summer only comes around once a year, so there's a lot that the boys don't remember from last year, and then there's some new things that we are able to do now that they are getting older.  There's an element of surprise and Summer time is such a fun time to be a parent because I get to enjoy and watch the days unfold right before my eyes!  There's water fun, vacation Bible school, fireworks, lots of library trips, $1 Summer movies, an occasional ice cream cone for dinner, AND (gasp) we've even skipped nap/rest time and broken bed time quite a bit!  

Summer is spoiling us!  
Summer is growing on me.
Summer is freedom!
Summer is pretty sweet...