I know, I know…. it’s been a while… try over a year since visiting this tiny corner on the web. Once we started homeschooling. blogging just took a backseat. Forget that, it got lost in the trunk. I’ve thought about it many times, with much in my head to type and say; yet the time and drive to do it just eluded me. I don’t know if signing into WordPress today will inspire more posts in the future, or if it’ll be a once a year thing, but I place my fingers on the keyboard today with news to share. Most news is best said, yet when you have snippets of Facebook statuses or 140 characters on Twitter, it makes it hard to share news. Some news requires information or disclaimers, or like this one – a little back story.
As most of you know, we have three precious children – Cade (9), Benjamin (7), and Harper (4). At the beginning of this year we were feeling that we weren’t quite done having children yet. We went back and forth, not really sure where God was bringing us to in our thinking. We finally concluded that our family would be richer with having one last babe. Unfortunately, God had other plans for us as we dealt with an early miscarriage in February and again another one in April. We didn’t share the news with hardly anyone – I think we felt disappointed and I can identify with feeling a sense of shame at my body failing. It was a rough time but we knew that we were okay and we just dealt through it and moved on.
Just as we decided that we weren’t going to risk going through that again, we found out in June that we were expecting again. Yesterday we had an ultrasound that showed a moving and kicking baby with a strong heartbeat. Sweet baby # 4 will be arriving to the Richards family estimated March 1st. We are ecstatic to have another arrow that God has gifted us with, now we are praying for a healthy baby and an easy pregnancy.
And yes, we know what causes it. It’s already crazy around here. My hands are full but so is my heart. And if you wait until you can afford kids, you won’t have them. Are we done? Probably, but we don’t need to have an answer to that now. Any other questions??
Starting 2012, I had a list of resolutions, or “intentions” as I like to call them. Doesn’t seem so weighty then. As I reflected over them, I saw a common theme amongst many items; items like “make time to create weekly,” “go to bed early, wake early,” “go to yoga 2 times a week,” etc. The common theme was that I am craving caring for myself. As I get carried away, from the moment I awake, to the demands of mom, wife, housekeeper, educator – I forget to make time or priority to care for me.
However, if I don’t care for my needs:
then I can’t possibly be caring for the needs of others in the best way possible. BUT, I find it SO hard to take care of me! Why? Before I had kids, I thought nothing of reading a book in the middle of the day or going to the gym. Confession: I like my family and being with them. I feel guilty at doing my own thing while everyone is together. But I NEED to be okay with it. I NEED to be okay with my husband taking the kids to the park while I have quiet time at home. I NEED to be okay with going to Starbucks a few hours on Saturday to do planning while he has the kids at home. I NEED to be okay with letting go of tidying up for the night so I can go to bed early. Once I actually break away and do it, I feel more relaxed and rejuvenated. I know I respond better to those around me and show my family my best, when I’ve given some of “me’ to me.
Some ways I plan on being more proactive in this area for the year are: planning a girls weekend away to refresh and relax, spend a few hours each weekend away from the house – planning for the week ahead, and creating time in my week to sew, create, craft, read, for yoga, and homemaking. The first thing was to decide it was a necessity for me and the second thing was to get my husband’s support.
Mama’s we don’t have to do it all ourselves. Go out, take a break, slow down, and take care of yourself. You’ll feel better for it and your family will appreciate it.
Often I find myself falling into a trap that has me thinking that the only successful days I have in homeschooling are ones that have a clear, organized, subject-filled plan in place. I’m okay following a day like that about 3 times a week. However the other days I am itching to get out of the house, explore the world around, run errands, and meet up with friends. When I fall into that trap, on those days I think about how the kids aren’t learning, I’m slacking in schooling, or they’ll never get x, y, z. I forget one of the main reasons we homeschool our children is so that they will see that learning happens all around – at any place or time. When I stop and reflect on that I remember that -
the brothers playing legos together this morning in a peaceful manner were working on social skills and math concepts in using the legos
free play led to the boys drawing maps of a friend’s home and yard, complete with a plan for spying on chickens
putting together the pieces of an animal habitat led to research about triops, crustaceans, and the observation of a roly poly
uninterrupted time inspired quiet reading of new library books
openly available art supplies inspired artwork, drawings in sketch pads, and chalk drawings
Sometimes I need to remember my own thoughts about learning happening all around — those lessons could be the richest ones that my children learn. Sure a plan is great, curriculum is a wonderful help, and I still feel the pressures to meet standards and “get it all in,” but I can step back and see that just daily living is not done in vain when I make myself available for the littles, provide resources and opportunities, and encourage them to explore.
I’m blogging! I know it’s a crazy thing, since most of you think I’ve fallen off the face of the earth or something. But you know, New Year’s Resolutions and all…. I’m going to try to be more consistent with writing. You know when life gets busy, something has gotta give. And for me the past 6 month, that has been blogging. But I miss you guys. I miss the conversations, the encouragement, the dialogue between us. I love knowing that my words inspired someone. Or that I was encouraged by a comment left. So. although it’s been crazy around here — I can see a light at the end of the tunnel (I hope!). I love sharing about our family, my crazy kiddos, my heart , and what the Lord is doing. I will continue to do so in 2012. Call it a resolution or something. I actually call my long list of things “intentions.” That way I don’t feel so bad when I don’t carrying them out. Hehe. No really though, I feel more give about working on them, not such a failure on January 10th. You know that feeling….
Anyways, Happy New Years, Merry Christmas, Happy Thanksgiving, and all the other sentiments I missed wishing you.
Let’s catch up…
this summer in Washington DC
I am one of those people who likes to do things all the way. I pour myself into something trying to make it my best. That sounds great, doesn’t it? People should try to do their best at all times. But along with that there is a tiny problem I have…if I can’t do something all the way, the way I think is best and needs to be done for me, than I lose interest or don’t do it. Sometimes I’ll work and try to be the best I can be – I read articles, books, blog posts. I talk to friends, experts, etc. on the subject at hand. I’ll spend countless hours making things “just right.” But there’s that pesky side that gives up.
Enter in blogging. I have this romantic notion of blogging each day, great posts, that everyone loves to read and comment on. I enjoy blogging to keep a record of how God moves in my life and my family, I like keeping the memories of my children and our family at hand, I enjoy the community that comes from the blogging world. Anyways, this summer was a whirlwind for us that to be honest, I think I’m just starting to come out from. Right after our whirlwind summer of travel, funeral, and church changes, we started the school year. Added to the school year, and for a homeschooling family, that means many different things…but I started teaching at a really neat school for homeschool kids two days a week. At times I have felt so overwhelmed. I have had to readjust my priorities and for many months blogging just couldn’t be the priority.
However, all through this I have learned many valuable lessons. One of the biggest lessons I have learned is that I don’t have to do it all on my own. I have to turn over things to God to help me through. I place such pressure on myself to do it “just so” and that becomes heavy. I’ve learned to give up some things that really aren’t that important. I’ve had to evaluate my time and what I prioritize.
Anyways, all this to say, I enjoy blogging for the various reasons I blog. I’m going to keep going on in this tiny corner of the web with my thoughts, wishes, and ideas. I may not blog daily like I once did, but I am aiming for 2-3 times a week. You guys are such a blessing to me, and I know God uses my words to be a blessing to others that I want to make time for this.
At the beginning of summer we knew we would be busy. We had 4 scheduled trips for our family to embark upon: a working week at a camp in Tennessee, a family reunion in New York, a family reunion in Michigan, and a beach trip to Amelia Island, Florida. Little did we know that within those weeks we would also have our church, that my husband planted 6 months ago assume another church in our area that was closing its doors and that we would attend a funeral for my husband’s grandmother.
Our summer of crazy and busy just turned into a summer of almost unmanageable. We would drive 13 hours for a trip to have my husband fly out of that airport 24 hours later to go back to church to do what he had to do. Then he’d fly back into town 24 hours later for us to drive the 13 hours back home at 6 am the next morning. Not even an hour after his grandmother’s service for her funeral, he flew home to be there for church. That time I decided to stay on with his family with the littles for the week and had a much needed respite.
I remember my sweet husband turning to me as we drove back from Michigan asking me if our life would always be so crazy. “Was this the new normal?” I couldn’t imagine that.
Today as I sat on the beach, watching my littles love the water, my husband relax in a chair to the tune of the ocean waves, and my family that I love so dearly around me, I realized that this is a season of life. I know Ecclesiastes 3 tells me that “there is a time for everything and a season for every activity.” To this I have to hold firm to. Things will change and we’ll find ourselves in either a new season or back to where we were. I won’t feel overwhelmed, broken, lost, and wanting. Hopefully by the end of this season I will embrace the conviction I’ve had this summer that I need full reliance on Him, the one who created me, the one who knows these are fine details, not the big picture – on God. Maybe we’ve had the chaos this season to remind me I cannot do it without Him. I need HIm. I need to get back to my reliance on Him.
I’m going to embrace this season and learn all I can from it. I know as I sit on the beach these last days that summer is coming to a close and soon it will be a new season. I will embrace it. I will turn to Him. And I will learn. Learn from it, more about me, more about Him, and more about my need for someone I can depend on.
Sooooo…… I’m sorry I didn’t post the winner last night or earlier today. I’ve been swamped with many many things going on, hence the lack of blogging lately. Traveling has gotten me all off routine, between laundry and packing/unpacking. Now I’m starting to get busy planning for next school year as well. Anyways……Thanks to all who listened to Erin Elisabeth Aubrey’s music! If you didn’t get to at least hear it, go back to HERE and check it out. She is a gem! I really think that many of you would resonate with her style and talent.
Okay, the winner of the CD giveaway was comment #3, Deanne Boswell!!
CONGRATULATIONS DeAnne on winning!!! I’ll get the CD to you this week.
Alrighty: I need some help from y’all! I’m having a hard time focusing on issues and ideas to blog about lately. I think I’m just so busy right now with so many things going on and using up my brain cells, I cannot focus. So, help me out! Leave a comment below (or on Facebook) and tell me what you want me to write about! Maybe it’s homeschooling questions or information, maybe a crafty idea, a decorative idea, a follow-up to something I’ve shared previously, a kid concern. Whatever it is, let me know and hopefully it’ll give me some juice these next few weeks until things settle back down.
I love y’all! I hope and pray you’re having a wonderful summer!!