Sunday, February 26, 2012

Parenting isn't for perfectionists

It's true....
Parents don't get a manual when they become parents (though the bible is probably the best one around). they get a child. And being human, they make mistakes. But good parents do their best to raise their kids a little better than they were themselves raised. They do their best to love and protect their kids and guide them into adulthood. It has to be one of the most, if not the most, important and difficult tasks on the planet.
My parents and in-laws all did their best to raise me and my husband. They made lots of mistakes, and we learned from them, and are now raising our own kids...and making our own mistakes. And our kids are watching, probably taking mental notes, about how they will one day raise their kids. And they will probably try to avoid the mistakes we are making. But just like us, they will discover that parents, while making mistakes, love their children with everything in themselves, and all they do for their kids, they do out of love and care for them. Even when it goes bad.
Our parents don't have to agree with our parenting style, and their parents didn't have to agree with their parenting style. I suspect we will not agree with all our childrens' parenting styles. But such is life. All we can do is respect them as they make their choices and their decisions, and love them. And be there for them. No matter what happens to your relationship, parents will almost always be there for their kids when they need them. It is what we do.
Unless your parents were really horrible, and some really are horrible, I bet you learned some good stuff from them and became who you are today in large part because of them. And for that you owe them respect for their hard work and sacrifice. (If parenting isn't a huge sacrifice, you might not be doing it right...) And as they age, they will need you, just as you needed them when you were young.
I became who I am due to many things I witnessed from my parents. My dad showed how to work hard to provide for a family. He always cared about our well being. My mom stayed home and was involved in all we did. She took us where we needed to go. We had grandparent visits, vacations, family meals each evening, time with friends, and daily life. They helped with homework and supported our interests. We were clothed, fed and taught. We were always supervised and taught to be moral. I learned about cooking, sewing, money management, gardening, cleaning, relationships, responsibility and other things because of them.
When i grew up, all i wanted to truly be was a mother of many kids...not a career woman.
So now I get to make my mistakes, though, like my parents, I am daily trying to do what is best for my family. I think i get a lot of it right. But I also get a lot of it wrong, because I am just human, and like almost all parents, I took on the hardest job in the world because i love kids and I want to make a difference in the future of society. I want to lead my kids to choose Christ. I love them more than my own life and always will.
May God bless all you parents and grandparents for all the hard work you put into raising those kids. Though you will make mistakes, you are still making the best impact on the world by loving your kids and raising them to the best of your ability.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Two Weeks of Life

I didn't realize it had been so long since I updated, but time got away from me. I have been diligently working on putting together next years curriculum and searching out the cheapest avenues of getting the stuff, timing it out and all, and selling old curriculum online. And I have sold quite a bit and borrowed a good bit, and ultimately saved myself around $500 on next year's stuff. I also finished and mailed off the tax return which is HUGE, because it is paying for the new flooring, and Emily's braces which get put on in March, and all this curriculum. By the way, in the next four years, I will own a set of every level of Teaching Textbooks math except third grade. And by the time we acquire all the levels, it will be time to start selling the lowest levels. In addition to this, I can see I am really going to LOVE using Sonlight for high school.
SO in the home news, my very handsome son who is pictured above, spent the past weekend at a seminar called T3, learning all about the Christian walk. I think it helped him grow. He really enjoyed the classes. All the younger kids got new spelling and handwriting books this week and that is really helping us. After all these years, now that I have 5 kids schooling, I just can't keep life together without curriculum that is all together. I don't have the time, desire, or mental acuity anymore to daily/weekly/monthly try to pull my own stuff together, so the purchases happened. It just got to be overwhelming to use one spelling program for all kids and have them do it on paper, or search the web for copywork. Workbooks have their advantages, multiple teaching/learning styles, and cost effectiveness. Plus they can best meet the kids needs and save me time and mental energy. And the new stuff is working out beautifully. Better than the previous things. And they make life easier for ALL of us. A real plus!
We have been preparing for our co-op classes, too. One of the big purchases was more lego, which Jordan has LOVED. We also got about 4 sets of the new girly lego, and the girls have loved that, as well. We have orientation tomorrow and classes begin next week. It is fair to say there is a lot of excitement over that!
We have spent some time with tummyaches, but nothing significant, and spent time watching the totally precious home videos of the 4 youngest kids. We did all video via digital camera after the 4th was born so we need to look back through and try to burn dvd's of the later videos. A chore to be sure! But it was fun and heartwarming to see them as toddlers again. I love that they all love to watch.
Emily has created a piano piece for a homeschool talent show next week and is polishing that up. Jacob's movie premiere of "The Red Bat" is this weekend, complete with red carpet, paparrazzi, and a catered Italian meal. We are all looking forward to it.
Jordan has gotten to meet at two parks with his friends Isaiah and Zeb, for fun playtime, and he got to shop with both sets of grandparents which he totally loved, and he had a bb shooting birthday party. All right up his alley. He is a happy camper.
The girls were out with me and we found the dollar sale at Claire's and got cute hats (see Kimberly's above) and other neat stuff. Emily then went to a ladies tea at St. Williams with her friend Amelia, and took gifts from Claire's.
LTC has been going VERY well.
We have loved our new produce co-op and are thinking of buying a juicer.
And there has been a lot of sewing going on here.
How's that for random!
I made this baby doll top for Elizabeth to wear with her capris and dance stuff, and below is Emily's first dress of the spring. Sewing for girls in the junior sizes is almost necessary to keep covered. Her second dress is half done. It is really cute, too. Now I kind of have the sewing bug again. And after co-op, I will be teaching a friend to sew at our home on fridays, and that will be great fun. I also want to sew some dresses for me. Hers looks just like off the rack, don't you think? And that is the point. I hate when i make something and it just screams, "Look. I made this and it LOOKS homemade and unstylish. Notice my horrid choice of fabric and pattern, and my lack of sewing skill." I trash those items. Don't want to make home sewing look bad......
So that is most of our life these past two weeks. As for now, we are about to start our morning devo and get some work done so we can go ice skating and shopping, and then to a free skywarn seminar, and then have a totally wonderful family weekend of a whirlwind of activity! Soon we will be going to a museum, a hospital tour, and a formal tea, followed by LTC and spring recital........Life is a great ride! Hope your ride is blessed!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Major Renovations...

tearing out the old flooring
new flooring installed--very high quality
math time
dresses for the girls--resale shopped for a formal tea and movie premiere

I have been needing to update so this is a two week post. I would have updated at the end of last week but we were offline for several days removing old flooring to prepare for an install of new flooring thru most of the downstairs area this week. We also had to pick up some food orders, get some fabric, plan a birthday party, get to dance classes, and other little things...oh, and we held our co-op registration event.

So, I have photos to share, and want to say that co-op is going to be great! We are heaviy on older kids and got some cool classes planned. We also have the kids doing some great dances for recital this spring. Jacob's Irish number is really neat. Emily's ballet is from peter and the wolf, and her contemporary is the song "in your eyes". Lizzy is doing a hip hop number to Boomin' by tobymac and her theater group is performing to a song from Aladdin. Jacob's theater group is performing to "step in time" from Mary Poppins...a very high energy number. Not sure about Kimberly's ballet yet.

Kids have been playing piano a lot lately and we have been planning out next years academics and supplies to purchase. High school planning is serious business and not cheap, if you want to prepare them for college. But most of it is reusable. Educating all five still costs less than getting braces, or installing flooring, or attending a month of private school. But what most people don't get is that as a homeschooler you not only buy all the curriculum, you pay for and plan all field trips, and all extracurricular activities. Nothing is government funded, though we still pay our school taxes, yet all we do comes straight out of our pockets. There are many ways to do it too. Some people like to take the time to make up curriculum themselves and save money utilizing free stuff. Some prefer to get curriculum for their own peace of mind and ease of use. Some do a combination.

This week school was limited to bible and math and dance and piano. Next week we will get back on the regular routine. No major illnesses to report, though Kim had some ear pain and redness a few days. All have had drainage, too. Still have a pile of sewing to work on, but finally got taxes ready to file.

My brain is tiring trying to recall all our activities so I am going to add some photos and call it a day. Boys will be here for sweet Jordan's party soon. And for that I am glad since he is so quiet and has few friends.