Monday, August 31, 2009

What We've Been Up To

When I think about what we've been up to, the first thing that comes to mind is:

Life is good.

I don't think I can recall a time in the more recent months, or maybe even last couple of years, when I have felt more content with life itself.  We are settling in to our new home, new town, new church--and loving it all.  The kids and I started our fourth week of homeschool this morning, which is going beautifully.  And I am getting settled into a new routine and schedule as I relish my role as wife and mom.

There is something to be said for being just where God wants you to be.  "Homemaker" is not always a popular or accepted term, depending on the company you are keeping at the time, but for me, it's just where I'm supposed to be.  I've known since I was a small girl that God had made me to be a wife and mom.  Other occupations and activities might be interwoven here and there, but my heart has always said, "I want to be a wife and mom."

I can vividly remember a conversation I had with one of my upper-level college professors about my plans after graduation.  He encouraged me to consider moving to the Metroplex or a larger area than where I was because I had the potential for a "really good job."  I gave lip service to the conversation at the time, but I still remember how my heart was saying during the entire conversation, "You are made to be a wife and mom."  No promise of a lucrative job could lure me away from the desire God put in my heart at an early age.

(This blog post has been interrupted for a clean up in Benjamin's bedroom of a broken light bulb as a result of an overturned lamp.  Seems a football pass gone awry was to blame.  After a quick clean up and thorough vacuum, I have completely lost my train of thought...)

Suffice it to say, I'm so happy doing what I'm doing.  The kids and I are having a blast doing school together, I'm very fulfilled to be keeping our new house (as clean as I can, anyway; certainly not spotless!), and we are all enjoying my latest baking goodies, whether it be homemade bread, cinnamon rolls, or biscuits (I never thought I had time to bake before.  But is there anything that smells better than bread baking??).  I have sewing projects waiting in the wings with more being planned in my head. 

And most importantly, I'm thanking God daily for the calling he has on my life to care for these two precious, growing bundles of energy that take up the majority of my waking hours, and for the sweet husband that I get to live life with on a daily basis.

God is good.

Monday, August 10, 2009

First Day of School

Tomorrow will be the first day of school at our house--HOMEschool, that is. I am SO very excited about homeschooling this year, and from what I can tell, the kids are equally as excited. Hannah was practically giddy tonight as she went to bed because this year, she gets to do school with us!

I've been cleaning and straightening today to get our main school area ready for tomorrow morning. We'll "do school" in different places around the house (the beauty of homeschool!) , but the area I've been working on is where the kids' table and chairs will be. There we'll do handwriting, math and coloring; probably some occasional cutting and pasting; and who knows what else. This area (plan to post pictures later) is actually on our sun porch. It won't be realistic come winter, but it will work for now while the weather is still warm. The kids love being out there, and so do I--almost out in nature, but without the flies, mosquitoes, and other bugs and things. I would like to do more with this area, but the church is planning some improvements out here soon, so I'll wait and see what happens there first.

I'm using curriculum from Sonlight. It is what I used last year when we "test drove" homeschooling. We all loved it, it worked, and we're sticking with it. Sonlight is a Christian homeschool curriculum that is very literature-based. I love love LOVE to read, and I want to do my best to pass that love along to my kids (so far, it's working!). I am using a four-day-a-week schedule, so our Fridays will be free to plan field trips, time with Daddy on his day off, or other activities.

We'll start our day out with prayer, the memory verse for the week, a Bible story, and history, all while cuddling on the couch. Then we'll move to the sunroom where I'll do language arts with Benjamin while Hannah has some playtime (blocks, puzzles, dolls). We'll have a quick snack break, then we'll switch--I'll do some language arts with Hannah while Benjamin has some constructive play time. Next it will be math time for Benjamin, then back to the couch for all three of us for some more cuddling while we do our read-alouds books. We'll wrap up our school day with science and some life skills work. My plan is to begin school time at 9am and be finished by 11:30am. I've also carved out some time in the afternoons to do an additional activity, craft, or cooking project.

Our schedule is subject to change, depending on how everything flows. We may switch things up where we do math three days a week and science twice a week. We'll just see how it goes. Once again, the beauty of homeschooling!

The kids will be active outside of our designated morning homeschool time as well. Benjamin is signed up to take gymnastics, and Hannah will continue with her dance classes in ballet and tap. We are considering putting Hannah in gymnastics as well--she would love it and would probably be good at it. But we'll do some more thinking on it (and checking the budget!). A fellow homeschool mom and I are also kicking around some ideas for planning some playdates and other activities with other homeschool families here in our area. Add to that church activities and children's choir, and I think we'll all be as busy as we want to be!