16 Nov 2012
 |  Category: Uncategorized  | Leave a Comment
I know I don’t often brag about myself, but I really have to tell you that I am a klutz. In fact, I am an absolutely amazing klutz with a heaping side of serious awkwardness. During our recent move, I displayed some of my awkwardness by dropping a full set of queen-sized bed rails on my cell phone and breaking it in two which I have to admit was pretty cool looking. Just sayin’.
12 Nov 2012 Struggling With Words
 |  Category: Uncategorized  | One Comment
I can hardly believe just how little I have written in the past two and a half years or so. I know why I have struggled, however. My family has spent that time in a constantly accelerating season of fear and doubt, struggle and loss, pain and reaching out sometimes brightened by bursts of miracles and hope. The prayers have been continuous and at times desperate, but G-d’s love has shone through in ways that have ranged from the seemingly mundane, “hey, I almost missed that one” moments of answered prayers to the kind of miraculous moments that take your breath away and leave you unable to do anything but fall on your knees and lift up your hands in gratitude and praise, thankful that G-d does not rely on words alone for we had truly lost our ability to speak them. I don’t just struggle with words in those moments, I am blown away to realize that they still exist.
02 Oct 2012 I LOVE Fall!
 |  Category: Uncategorized  | Leave a Comment
I absolutely love this time of year. I love the changing colors and the warm fires. I love the sweaters, boots, warm mitts and scarves. I love the crazy hats that we all seem drawn to. I love snuggling up to read with my little ones. I love having the family ready and eager to gather around and play games together, do science experiments together, talk about the great books they are reading, and to laugh together. I love all of the holiday planning, crafting and cooking that we do together. I love the spontaneous trips to parks, libraries and hiking trails. I love the way my kids suddenly all develop a renewed love of baking and trying new things this time of year. The only thing that I do not love about this time of year is the flu. Guess what the family is all sharing right now?
21 Dec 2011 Christmas Treats
 |  Category: Children  | 2 Comments
Christmas has become one of those weird times at our house. This time of year is filled with parties and get-togethers and everything seems to revolve around food. With three of us having allergies to cane sugar and corn syrup, and two others with various food issues, it can get a bit difficult at times. On the other hand, everyone now knows who we are because we’re the oddballs that always have to bring our own foods to each and every event. I’m not complaining. It has actually gotten to be fun for us. I’ve noticed that my children get a kick out of sharing their treats with their friends and then telling them only after they have taken a bite that what they are eating contains no cane sugars or corn syrup and is probably gluten free! So, if you are spending any time with us this holiday season, be prepared. ;)
13 Dec 2011 Need
 |  Category: Baby, Faith  | One Comment
As I sit at my computer, I am suddenly distracted from something insanely unimportant by that all-important little cry for help. I look up to see my baby staggering toward me on unsteady little legs that cannot yet support him without help. He can see me across the room. I’m the help he needs, the thing he longs for. He’s not hungry, or in need of a change. In fact, he is doing quite well, but he suddenly realizes that he has strayed from me, that he is not as close to me as he thought he was and feels that sudden desperate need to get back to that safe place again. Yeah, I know that feeling, and just like my Father in Heaven, I run to meet that little one who needs me and wants to return.
12 Dec 2011 A New Week
 |  Category: Homeschooling, Just me  | One Comment
I dearly love a new day, a new week, a new year. I think it may just be that I love fresh starts and second chances. I freely and happily admit that I love them so much because I need them so often. That may not be the most popular thing to admit, especially in the homeschool community, but the truth is, I make mistakes… a LOT of mistakes at times. I like to try new things and pursue new ideas and, while that can lead to new and exciting discoveries and a whole line of fresh thinking, it also leads, quite often, to distraction and getting off course. Yep. Me. My fault. Every new day is a new chance to focus on what (and WHO) is most important and get things right. It’s a chance to say “I’m sorry” and repent of those mistakes that led me astray. I suspect that I am going to keep right on doing that. I am so annoyingly and aggravatingly human that way. However, THIS is a brand new day “with no mistakes in it” as Anne would say, and I intend to make the most of it!

Oh, and I’m REALLY sorry for accidentally oversleeping this morning and getting off to a late start… I promise to try really hard to do better tomorrow!
07 Dec 2011
 |  Category: Bragging, Children, Family  | One Comment
Have I mentioned lately that I have the world’s cutest and most charming baby? Well, I do! Homeschooling with a baby and a toddler is every bit as challenging AND rewarding as I remember it being. It keeps me busy. There are interruptions, spills, feedings, clean-ups, distractions, emergency photo moments (What? You don’t have those at your house?) and busy busy days.

My lovely daughter decided to knuckle down and finish school a year early because a) she could and b) she’s tired of school books and wants to start pursuing other things. She’s ambitious, that one! My 13yo son suddenly decided to stop being shy and become a social butterfly. It has been quite a metamorphosis, but he was obviously born for this! He’s also become our household Mr. Fix-it. The Hulk has begun to excel in more scholarly pursuits, but still enjoys smashing and conquering on the side. He’s just a good bit more careful and polite about it these days. ;) Wildchild is still adorable. Unfortunately, he’s also a natural born hacker. Seriously! That boy has mad computer skills that have me a bit worried at times. And our little DareDevil is just plain precious… and precocious. That one has a surprisingly large vocabulary and is already using the occasional sentence! At nine months! So, clearly, life is a wonderful sort of insanely busy these days. Just in case you ever wondered where I went. I’m busy NOT missing a moment of the really important stuff! And cleaning. I do even more of that these days chasing down the Dynamic and Disastrous Little Duo. Sometimes I think that Wildchild was just waiting for a younger sibling so that he would finally have a partner in crime (or maybe grime?). ;)
12 Jul 2011
 |  Category: Children, Family  | One Comment
My daughter got her stitches out today! She no longer has a Frankensteinian toe and we are both delighted about that. She will have a small scar to remind her that doors, like the rest of the real world, can be cruel sometimes. ;)

Scars sort of fascinate me. It seems that everyone has at least one whether they wear it on their body or on their heart. Almost every scar seems to have a story behind it, too. May all of your scar stories have happy endings.

11 Jul 2011 Everyday Blessings
 |  Category: Bragging, Children, Homeschooling  | One Comment
I’m thinking about my kids again. I do that a lot. With the 100+ degree days that tend to plague Texans this time of year, it is hard not to think of them since everywhere I turn, I see one or more of them. ;) My point (and I do have one… somewhere… if I can find it)? I love watching my children become who they were always meant to be.

As a homeschool mom, I am uniquely involved in my children’s everyday activities. It isn’t that I am better in any way than those who send their children to public school, private school or even daycare, it is just that I am right here to see the little accomplishments, achievements and transformations right as they are happening and it never ceases to fascinate, amuse and even amaze me. I am always awed and humbled by these young people and consider myself blessed beyond measure just to know them and even more so to be their mother.

The little guy who barely talked before he was five (he could, he even had a great vocabulary; he just didn’t), and who struggled with putting all of his phonics knowledge into use, now writes books. Really! I can hardly believe that he will be turning 20 in less than a month! Where did all of that time go?

The little girl who struggled with hearing loss and was sometimes functionally deaf until the age of eight is now my musician, songwriter and poet. She’s also simultaneously one of the sweetest and most thoughtful people you will ever meet and also one of the toughest. I’m afraid she inherited her mother’s stubborn streak.

The little guy who started talking at five months old and who used to climb all over the furniture and hang upside down asking questions all during his siblings school hours has developed that amazing constant quest for knowledge into a passion for understanding how everything operates, fixing everything that can possibly be repaired and constantly finding ways to make anything and everything work better. He vies with his sister for ownership of the Most Stubborn Person In This Household title, but I guess I have to blame that one on my genetics as well.

The little boy who left a path of destruction everywhere he went and cared nothing of rules? He can make pretty much anything out of anything. I think if you left him alone in a room with an assortment of random objects for long enough he could probably turn it into anything from an amazing sculpture to a robotic assistant. He’s just that creative. He might also be rather stubborn… Does anyone else see a pattern forming here?

As for my two youngest ones, they are only giving clues as to who they are and what they will become. The end is not yet in my limited sight, but I know it is in G-d’s. I’m waiting anxiously to see what He has in store for them. They amaze me every single day and I am grateful, so very very grateful to be here to share their lives.

31 May 2011 How It Was and How It Is
 |  Category: Family, Home-front, Homeschooling  | 6 Comments

For awhile I wasn’t writing much because not much was happening in my life. My life seemed to be all about waiting for the baby and then waiting for recovery. Waiting is NOT an exciting thing to experience or to write about. You wouldn’t have wanted to read about it anyway.

After awhile, I awoke to the fact that I wasn’t really waiting for things anymore, I was experiencing them! It has become a wonderful and really busy season in my life once more. I find myself in the midst of all of the wonderful homeschooling stuff, and all of the daily chores and the joy of just living with my family all while dandling the most deliciously wonderful little baby on my knee or toting my little one about. It is fun and wonderful and sometimes just a wee bit overwhelming. It also means that my arms are almost always full. I still haven’t perfected telekinetic typing, but I am still working on it!

Life is good, life is beautiful, life is full of hard work and hard times, but it is also full of the best times and the most wonderful people. I am perfectly happy even at those times when I am also a bit aggravated or even a bit cross (and yes, I DO unfortunately experience my share of both. Just sayin’.).

My days are often filled with writing out our Summer scope and sequence for each child while keeping a baby entertained and trying to direct the search for our Wildchild’s bestest best friend “Frog in Egg” and teaching the rest of the kids who are still trying to figure out how to search through the furniture for Frog while also reciting their list of spelling words or whatever. Madlibs have become a dear friend when it comes to teaching nouns, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, verbs and exclamations. We can shout out parts of speech to each other while searching for the Frog in question. By the way, just how on earth does a toy that gets carried EVERYWHERE and never let out of a child’s sight get lost anyway? I’m betting that the Frog is in the same place as my last marble. I’m just sayin’.

So, during these times when you aren’t hearing much from me, I’m probably typing my scope and sequence with one hand, while balancing the world’s most adorable baby with the other and looking over my kids’ daily lessons. You don’t even want to know how weird our cleaning routine looks!