I have an app on my phone that causes me to have the competing emotions of happiness and sadness daily. You may have heard of Timehop? After beginning our tenth homeschool year last week, a few pictures from 7 years ago came across my screen. 2011. Foster was in 2nd grade, Katie in 1st grade, Theodore was almost 4, Parker had just turned 2 and I was 7 months pregnant with Jonah.
I think there were about 6 pictures but I found myself analyzing everything. The place we lived at the time, the school books they were working in or toys they were playing with. It was a homeschool day-in-the-life but I wanted more! I wish I’d taken a picture of myself with my ginormous belly. I barely remember those days. I remember them but I can’t transport myself back to feeling the same, when I only had one child who was beginning to read and still had someone in diapers. When I had fatigue and hormones and very little patience. When we were still adjusting to the loss of Chris’s mom and the fact that his dad was about to remarry. When Chris was new to his job at the airport and our purse strings were pulled extremely tight. Scraping by to feed and clothe and house a family of 6 (almost 7).
It’s the looking back that affirms our choices. We can ponder and speculate all day long the “what-if’s” of life and try to feel confident in what the future will hold, but the looking back reassures me that while at the time it felt too difficult to be good, that God did honor our choices and is continuing to care for us and give us an abundant life. If someone had said to that tired, overwhelmed, burned out, struggling momma that she’d be mentally and emotionally strong enough to become a foster mom, I’m sure she would have said you were crazy. Or that she’d have the courage to homeschool her children through high school! At that time I was still trying to figure out how to get someone from reading c.a.t. to reading chapter books. Oh the stress!
Today I stalked my children and took some day-in-the-life photos. In another 7 years, I’ll be able to look back and praise God for what He was doing, what He was teaching all of us on those days.
Jonah turned 6 years old on September 28th. He is a smart, sweet little boy with an active imagination. He loves to help his older siblings and he really enjoyed being a “big” brother while Pipsqueak was here. This is his Kindergarten year and he’s eager to learn to read so he can get his own library card like the big kids. Some days he takes advantage of his status as youngest but most of the time he’s pretty mature for his age. He has several “friends” that he drags around the house with him like his little, satin brown lovey, his Mickey Mouse and his other animals daddy has brought home from trips. His big brown eyes and sweet smile light up my world. We love you, Jonah-baby!
Jonah-baby turned 5 in September. When we refer to Theodore, Parker and Jonah around here we usually say “the 3 little boys”. Now that they are 9,7 and 5 they aren’t so little but Jonah is technically the baby of the family. Well, he was until 4 days before his birthday when Pipsqueak joined us. Jonah is…SWEET. He has big brown eyes, precious little verbal and facial expressions and loves to cuddle. He tries his best to do everything that all the big kids are doing. He is well-behaved and quick to learn if he gets in trouble. He is a little bit of a daredevil but he’s made it a whole year without a trip to the ER so that’s a plus. He’s recently gotten the chance to see what it feels like to be the “big” brother and he has excelled at that role. I’ve been surprised at how nurturing he is toward Pipsqueak. Since she’s been here he’s started to care for his Mickey Mouse the way I care for her. When we went to the dentist the other day he insisted on having a bag for Mickey’s stuff and that Mickey needed a diaper and a bottle. As I suspected at the beginning of the school year, he has excelled in his K4 year and knows many of his letters, phonics and numbers. He isn’t catching on with handwriting yet but we have time! In this house, you get to be a little boy first and a student second.
So my word count for NaNoWriMo2014 is at 18,799 and it’s feeling so good. I wasn’t sure my characters were going to get off their butts and do anything but tonight they did. So exciting.
Jonah got his stitches out of his toe. His temper tantrum from 10 days ago left him with 4 stitches in his big toe. It was gross, bloody and black. He screamed like a crazy person getting those things in but of course, daddy took him to have them removed and NOT ONE TEAR was shed.
I love the irony that he was wearing a shirt that says “Mom’s Happy Camper” when in fact if mom had taken him he would not have been a happy camper. Go dad go.
Katie had to have an expander put in at the orthodontist today. She’s getting the fun of spacers, impressions, appliances all at the ripe old age of 9. Bless her. But the experts (who never heard her high-pitch crying baby screech) say her mouth is too small and room must be made.
She did well with it today. It’s making her talk a little funny and she doesn’t appreciate when I laugh at her so I’m trying not to do that. Hey, don’t judge, I had braces for 3 years, I know it sucks. We keep telling her she’ll get used to it. Hopefully she will.
Sometimes with homeschooling you just have to roll with it. You’re tired. Or they are tired.
This morning right after breakfast, Parker (age 4) decided he would pull out a couple of his 24 piece puzzles and then couldn’t find a piece.
That’s really how it all started. Then Foster started to help him find his piece in the puzzle cabinet and noticed that some of the boxes were falling apart. Foster pulled out a 300 piece puzzle and put it on the bar to work. I got out my sharpie and big Ziploc bags and started cutting up the broken boxes to get organized. Then Katie and Theodore decided they wanted to play with the beans…but then they wanted to do puzzles when Jonah wanted the beans…
And so forth and so on…then there was playing with Legos, watching Magic School Bus, popcorn and animal crackers for lunch and a story before rest time.
I’m sure they learned something today.
|(Wanted to include the knocked over basket of cardboard, the basket of dirty laundry and
you can’t make them out but the sink is full of dirty dishes too.)