Saturday, September 24, 2011

Cupcake Island

 As of today,
Josie has dreams of opening her own bakery when she grows up.

She calls it,
"Cupcake Island."
 I love a girl who dreams.

Earlier this summer she dreamed of working at a gas station
so that she could drink an icee everyday.

I wasn't quite as impressed with that one.

 (Do not worry, birthday cousins, she did not actually lick the ingredients of your dessert!)

But things change.
Things change a lot around here.

Josie gave first grade "school at school" a try.  
She begged to go like the big kids.
The first few days were all smiles and fun and friends.
From all reports, Josie fit right in.

But it didn't last. I don't know why. 
(I know she didn't like having to sit criss-cross-applesauce on the floor,
but I wouldn't call that a deal breaker.)


I guess school just wasn't what she'd thought it would be.
(Here is where one might be tempted to say, "I told you so!")
As with the other kids, I was prepared to help her through 
the hard adjustment period in whatever way worked.

Right about the time she started to hesitate about the whole school thing,
crying every night and morning, crying at school, crying at recess...
I got sick.

Then I got sicker.
The nurse practitioner called it pneumonia 
and gave me big strong antibiotics and sent me to bed.
I couldn't take care of Josie's anxiety and take care of me.
So Josie stayed home.

 I think that's where she's going to be for another year or two.

And I'm glad.

Home school just works best for her right now ... and for me.
First grade is my favorite.  We are going to have so much fun.

I'm glad Josie tried school.  
Now she knows.
Now I know.
 Now she won't beg.
Don't worry, school, she'll be back ... someday.

But for now, she's home sweet home!

Friday, September 16, 2011

My Babies

I've been taking care of my babies for as long as I can remember.

If only my real babies would stay little a little longer.

It feels like I blinked and they grew up.

I'm so glad we spent the last 6 years together.

Because now this one has left the home school nest for high school.

 Eeek! When did that happen?
Wasn't I just in highschool? 
Please don't answer that.

This bird has flown the nest too.

And this one.

And this one.

It's a big change after 6 years all together under one roof.

I've had a few people ask ... and I know you're thinking it ...

Good question.  

I don't know why.  It's not burnout. It's not frustration. It's not a change of belief. All I know is that God calls us into things, and God calls us out of things. Six years ago, God led us to take our kids out of school and try home school.  For six years, that was clearly the best choice for our family.  That was my plan for this year too, but my plans are not always God's plans.  As the school year approached, it became surprisingly clear that we needed to follow God in a new direction. I don't know exactly why.  I've learned not to expect explanations from God.  But I do trust Him!

Even so, my head and heart are reeling. It's hard. Maybe that's why God made this change so sudden--because I would likely drive myself batty with a long and agonizing analysis. Sometimes, like taking off a band-aid, it's best to just brace yourself and go for it. I have shed many tears. I have lost some sleep. I have wrestled in prayer day and night. I don't like an empty house. I miss being together. I really believe in home schooling and have my concerns about this year.  But if I truly trust God is at work here, then I have to believe He knows what He's doing.

The kids are amazing.  They've made me so proud the way they have taken on this challenge. I have watched an organized and confident teen take on a new school, new classes, a new sport, and new friends like an old pro.  I have seen a young girl's courageous faith overcome her tween-age middle school insecurities with grace. I have witnessed a growing bravery build character in a little man's heart. And I have heard the delightfully random details of what is fun for a first grade social butterfly: recess, friends, recess, reading, friends, recess, caterpillars, recess, friends, art, recess, chrysalis, recess, music, friends, butterflies, recess, hot lunch, and...light-up twinkle-toe shoes are an absolute must.  Halleluiah! We finally learned how to tie our shoes with these beauties!

After today, we'll have our first full week at school under our belt. 
We have been warmly received and welcomed into the school family.
I know my kids are loved, appreciated, and cared for by their daytime teachers.

On Monday, Jacob didn't want to go. At all. But he did it.
And every day, with a lot of prayers and a little help from mom, 
he has gotten a little stronger and a little braver about his new daytime digs.
By Friday morning, it was Jacob who said to a tired and tearful Josie:

"Don't worry, Josie, 
Mom and Dad wouldn't bring you to school 
if they didn't think it was a good place to be."

Yep. I have a feeling we are going to be learning a lot this year.

"In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." ~ Proverbs 16:9

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sunday Slide: For my Family

I made a new rule last week.
 I'm breaking my rule.
The non-comment-ers are off the hook this time.
It's my blog, so I can do that.
Also, I don't have a picture of them handy tonight.
So how about this one!

Where is this? 
I'm sensing that Joel didn't sit still for long as a child.
Where's Lori?

Is she still stuck in the bushes?

Or maybe she's travelling with the VonTrapp family singers?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Note to Self


Yesterday was super-sized messy with a side of exhaustion and tears on top.

Honestly, when trouble strikes, I'm stubborn like a two year old...


And then I feel alone. Go figure.

But that didn't stop my clever God from sending help--via four special messengers.

Thank you, special messenger #1, 
for going out of your way to encourage me with your kind words at the park.
You blessed my socks off.

Thank you, special messenger #2, 
for sending an unexpected card with heartfelt words.
It came on just the right day.

 Thank you, special messenger #3, 
for calling to check in on me. Again.
You're always a sweet surprise.

 Thank you, special messenger #4, 
for offering to listen or help, even on your way out of town.
Your call was a lifeline.

None of these beautiful people knew just how much I needed to be encouraged.
But God did.

Isn't He clever?
I think maybe He loves me.

Note to self :

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Best Medicine.

It's our tradition to take the birthday person out to the restaurant of their choosing.
I choose a favorite local spot where we could all enjoy the end of summer evening air.

Things got off to a slow start. 

Dad knows how to get the party started.

 What's the message???


Very funny, Mister.

Laughter really is the best medicine.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sunday Slide: For my Family

New Rules:

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