Above we have Christmas at the Scoggins', and below we have Christmas at the Anderson's. Both on Christmas Eve. We had let our kids open gifts from us and from each other earlier in the week so it wouldn't be one big gift fest, and more relaxing. They all got great things and enjoyed the day with family.
Santa brought Kim a kitchen.
And Liz a baby doll and ipod.
And Emily an ipod dock and hair accessories.
And Jacob a flip video. Jordan is pictured below on the scooter that he got.
Jordan has ridden miles on this thing....literally!
So it was a great, simple Christmas surrounded by family and friends. Clay has been hunting and we have been playing. It is all good.
Routine. Schedule. These have not been known in the house for over a week. We stay up late and get up late and just do whatever. Kim puts herself to bed early, but that is it. I have hardly made breakfast and I don't think I have told anyone to brush their teeth. That can't be very good parenting. It has just been overly relaxed around here. But it is all coming to an end very soon so I am trying to get things in order for spring semester and the future. I did manage to get most of my current scrapbooking in the homschool scrapbook. Still, I have a LONG way to go, but Lord willing I will finish by August...I laugh at that, honestly. I also am on the brink of planning and purchasing for high school....REALLY??? YES! Holy Cow!!!! Am I nuts???? Probably....but I figure that if I keep praying the Lord will lead us in the right path for each child. I hope that happens soon....because I have some plans I need to have some assurance of. I am thinking of Sonlight for high school, but piecing it together instead of buying the whole shebang. I know lots of families we can borrow books from, including the library (kind of like our family...). I just pray I am going in the right direction, but then i have to step back and see the big picture. IT WILL ALL BE FINE. I know it will. But being the manager of a homeschool with five kids is hard work, busy work, neverending work. Everyone needs individal attention and individual schooling and character training and free time and life skills. And they all have interests to follow and freinds they want to hang out with, and grandparents to spend time with, and activities they love, and church activities. Balance is so hard! I can't do it all and do it well. What should I do???? I try to do the best I can, just like every other parent. But you know, some things are just weightier than others. Like training in godliness and character, and family relationships. That ranks at the top, followed by academics, and interests, and friends. And I have realized that you have to say no to some things. You have to not buy curriculum you will never have time to use (and I have lots of that on my shelves). You have to be ok with a kid who does not really want to take any classes, but just wants to live life doing things with family and friends. Life is a learning process. It's one serious teacher, but boy do you learn! Always changing. I look back at the simple days of having small kids...always changing diapers and nursing and reading books and playing in the floor and going for walks. Now we have traded that for heavier academics, outside classes, competitions, and other things. It is all good, just in different ways. It is always a juggling act and I think for a long time I teetered on the edge of depression/anxiety. Some days I think I still struggle with what life will bring next. It is SO HARD and SAD and JOYOUS to watch your children grow up. It is just very bittersweet, and tears come easily at the memories and the daily events. Tears of joy and pride and missing the past.
See...I warned you it was ramblings of insanity! So here is just a bit more.......
1. There is nothing more futile than assuming all Christians are the same in every respect. They aren't and aren't meant to be.
2. If we aren't in a position to actively help a problem, we need to walk away from potential gossip. We don't need to know everything. We don't need to hear it or weigh in on it with our opinions.
3. We need to keep our minds pure from sexual imagery. It warps our ideas of normal, and can damage the marriage relationship with a fake sense of beauty. The mind can be conditioned in good ways and bad. It can become desensitized to the sin around it.
4.If your heart is aligned with anything or anyone other than God, you will be prone to doing stupid things (and we don't say that word at our house).
5. The heart of why young people are abandoning the church is they are being largely raised in homes where the gospel is absent, though they may be going to church weekly. They are being raised by hypocrites and are rejecting that hypocrisy.
6. The bible tells us that the NT church is defined by the preaching of the Word, prayer, giving, singing, believer's baptism, and the Lord's Supper. It should never be defined by man centered creeds or models. All you need is the bible. And in the body of Christ you should and will find people at all stations in life.
7.We need God to help us raise the children He has entrusted us with. We need to be parents. When necessary homeschool them. But above all, parent them. Raise them. Disciple them.
8. When we try to conform to a particular model of education for our kids and forget to listen to the Lord's will for our children, we are heading down a dangerous path. Know your kids and seek God for what is best for each individual child.
9. The Greek education model is about getting info, and regurgitating it for a test. The Hebrew model is about understanding how truth should be lived out in daily lives. Geuss which one follows the public education model and which one follows the homeschool movement.
10. I don't think I have anything else to say....remarkable, isn't it? Oh well. It's time to make lunch anyway!
Have a blessed year in 2012!