Friday, May 29, 2009

An Exciting New Adventure!

Mom and Daughter Reading

I am so excited to share the news about our exciting new adventure! (and please bear with me as I try to make sense of some very choppy thoughts!)

Starting in the fall, we will be homeschooling our children! We are very excited, and admittedly a little nervous, but we know beyond a shadow of a doubt this is what the Lord would have for us. Is it for everybody? No. Is it for all of our children? Maybe not, we will take it month by month and year by year. But for the Fall of 2009, yes, it is for all our children.

Our homeschooling journey begins four years ago. When I enrolled our oldest son into a Christian school's Pre-K program - I had pits in my stomach, that honestly have never gone away all these years! I cried from that spring to that fall when he started, and have continued to do so many Sunday nights, or as vacations near the end, etc. When parents have been happily sending their children off to school, loving the program, I never did, even though every place he (and now our second son) has been have truly been wonderful!

I can't say that I prayed every day about it, but this is one area I have prayed heavily, and talked often with my husband about. He has never been opposed to the idea, but I kid, that being the engineer that he is (planner in other words, and very methodical), this couldn't be a decision that we made on a whim. And he was 100% right, as he so often is :)

Part of the journey is the fact that I CANNOT escape homeschoolers! Seriously, God has placed so many homeschooling families in our path, that it was hard to ignore! Many of the families I have met at the pool in the summer are homeschoolers, my midwife was a homeschooler, and on and on and on. I have met so many, and every time I do, I just chuckle and say to myself "of course you are!"

There are so many other details, that sadly I never wrote down and don't remember specifics, but thankfully my mind remembers recent things so-so! And that is what I will share with you now, a recent example of how clear God answered my prayers about this!

One night a few months ago, my husband kind of out of the blue said he wanted to homeschool. I really couldn't believe it! This is what I had prayed for for four years! You would think I would be doing cartwheels and going full speed right? Nope! Can you believe DOUBT quickly entered my life! I was seriously rethinking everything. So, I prayed and said, "God, please give me peace about this! Please show me in some way something that will give me peace."

The next day I had to run to Aldi and Walmart. At Walmart, I ran into a woman from church who I attend(ed) MOPS with (when I get a chance to go that is. I haven't been to MOPS in so long, and not much at all this year really - maybe 3 times?). She was saying how she missed everyone, and kind of felt out of the loop of what was going on. I assured her she wasn't the only one as I wasn't able to attend because of sickness, new baby, or just having other commitments. I asked why she wasn't able to go, and she said, "well, we started homeschooling this year." I did the chuckle thing (see above), and then quickly remembered my prayer. "Could this be it God?" Maybe, but I rationalized that it wasn't too uncommon for me to meet homeschoolers (see above again!), and I kind of swept the thought aside.

At Aldi, I was really pushing the noon hour. You know, where the kids are starving, but you keep trying to do one more thing because you do NOT want to run out again? Yeah, that was us and you can imagine, the kids were getting a bit fussy. My 4 year old son was pushing the limits, while my daughter was just dripping goo from her nose. I was so concentrated on getting things done quick, and trying to keep my 4 year old in line, that I really wasn't paying attention to my daughter's nose! Ick, I know. Anyway, a dear woman touched my shoulder gently and said, "I just wanted to tell you before I did this, but I am going to wipe your daughter's nose." I felt embarrassed, and tried to insist she didn't have to do that! "Oh no, I don't mind, believe me, I've been there done that!" and we proceeded to talk about allergies, asthma and things like that. She went on to say how she missed the baby/toddler years, and how quickly it goes. She pointed to her boy that was with her and said that was her baby (he looked to be about the age of my oldest). I asked if he was home sick today, because he was definitely school age, to which she said "well no, we homeschool."

Okay, two homeschooling families in a half hour span? God, I get it! Thank You! The peace came quickly back as fast as it left, and I was (am) so thankful!

Well before I end, I also want to share one last answer to prayer. I have met a wonderful friend, who also homeschools, and we have children almost identical in age - and mostly the same genders are matched! She is loaning me all of the second grade curriculum that I need for my oldest! God is using her to really help me get this started, to see the reality of things (because, hey, I have had a pretty rosy picture in my mind!), and to just encourage me. What a blessing!

So there it is. Our new adventure! I'm sure you will be reading much more as the weeks go by!


MY Personal New Exciting Adventure

Runners in Fog at Sunrise, Seattle, WA

Well, if the picture didn't give it away, I have started running! Thanks to my friend Kristina, I am on week two of the Couch to 5 K program. She too is a busy mom of four children, and she has been an inspiration to me! You can read her story on her blog. Tomorrow she is running her second 5K!

For the first time in my life, I really believe I will see this through, and even have hopes to run a 5K in the fall! I'll be honest, it feels really good to have this goal in mind, and to be working toward something that also has health benefits.

I do have a goal of losing weight, of course, but for once, that is a secondary goal. It feels nice to not be so desperate about losing weight. The fact is, if I eat the right things, don't eat like a pig, and exercise, the natural byproduct of that is LOSING WEIGHT. So my goals and focus are on those things, and not on the number on the scale.

I was saying to my other friend who also runs (I mean RUNS - she's serious business about it! Oh, she is the one who is loaning me the curriculum by the way), that its so funny how before I was a mom, which would put me in my mid-20s, thinking of exercising for 20 minutes felt like torture - I couldn't stop looking at the clock, and often would quit at 15 minutes, thinking, hey its better than nothing! It felt like an eternity! Well now, 25 minutes goes like *that*, and I find myself wanting to go for more! But, I'm listening to my friends who have encouraged me to just go at the pace the program suggests, and to not over do it. I tell ya though, now that I am in my mid-30s, like everything else, the time running goes FAST :)

Tomorrow I finish up my 2nd week, and am looking forward to starting Week 3 on Monday!

Oh, and another cool thing is happening, my very fit, athletically-minded husband, is LOVING this. He's such a gem, and really encouraging me too!

Thanks for letting me share about my new adventures. Life is never expected is it? And I'm oh so glad!

Have a GREAT weekend!


Friday, May 22, 2009

A Beautiful Life (In Pictures)

First things first, let's see some baby deliciousness :)

We got a new camera, and it takes great pictures! Can you believe Baby K is nearly 5 months! sniff, sniff. It goes quicker with each baby!

She was hungry and couldn't keep her eyes off the flag flapping in the breeze outside the window.

I LOVE this smile - she crinkles her nose. Babies are great!

Hi Mama! Let me touch that camera!

That flag!

See that nice clean carpet? Thanks Dad for shampooing it for us! He also painted this room this week. What a Dad! If you think of it, please say a prayer for him - he lost his job several weeks ago now, and there is just not much out there for work.
Alright, now to big kid fun (with some baby pictures mixed in here and there :) ). I love having bigger kids. They are so fun! They are so gentle with the baby, and boy does she love her big brothers and sister! They are really cool you know :)
Loving his first pony ride!

Not loving her first pony ride! Well she loved the idea, but she has a fear of heights - I'm thinking this is a thing you are born with. Nothing has ever happened that should cause her to be afraid - hmmm, I dunno. I don't like heights either, maybe its genetic?

How about some pictures around our home? Isn't God awesome? I mean He creates such beautiful things? Children, sunrises..... birds......

....beautiful flowers.......things to make you crack up!....
And, no I didn't forget about my oldest son. He is turning into quite the shy young man! I have to sneak up on him to get pictures!
Or take them when he's not looking!
Not everyone is camera shy in this family though!

May you find beauty in the simple things as this summer "unofficially" begins this weekend.
God is so good.
Thank You Father for giving me a truly beautiful life!
God bless!

Stay, stay at home, my heart, and rest;
Home-keeping hearts are happiest,
For those that wander they know not where
Are full of trouble and full of care;
To stay at home is best.

Weary and homesick and distressed,
They wander east, they wander west,
And are baffled and beaten and blown about
By the winds of the wilderness of doubt;
To stay at home is best.

Then stay at home, my heart, and rest;
The bird is safest in its nest;
O'er all that flutter their wings and fly
A hawk is hovering in the sky;
To stay at home is best.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow