Thursday, October 30, 2014

Timely articles

You know the saying  about how once you have a child, your heart is walking around outside your body?  Well when two of those hearts are driving, it takes parenting to a whole new level.  One of my favorite bloggers ever, Elizabeth Foss, said it best in this article right here.   I spend so much time waiting for those texts that tell me that they have safely arrived at their destination.  I frequently hear sirens 5 minutes after a kid pulls out of the driveway, I constantly wonder how all other parents before me (and before "I'm here" texts) have even survived.  I talk to St Christopher (the patron saint of travelers) every day.  I do spend a lot of time in gratitude too, but there's definitely room for more.  I'm definitely going to work on that in November.

And speaking of working, here's another good article about the work of the default parent.  This one made me LOL a lot, and even brought tears to my eyes because it is so true.  For some reason this default job seems even bigger now with bigger kids, with their own cars, own jobs, own plans, and own lives.  When I carried them inside my body, fed them with my body, slept with them pressed up against my body, and was literally never more than 10 feet away from them for days (weeks, months) at a time it was physically tiring, no doubt.  But in those days there was a lot less to keep track of.  Now the constant who is where when stuff, makes my head spin.  Make no mistake, Mike is an awesome husband and father, and is clearly the default (read only) earner, lawn mower, and manager of those rental houses that I didn't want to buy to begin with, but all the other default stuff goes to me.  It is not just with regard to Mike either, the kids are also constantly asking who is doing what when and I am the one who is expected to know.  Sometimes I still have to remind them of their own commitments not to mention everyone else's. 

Thank you to these two great writer for writing what I am living. 


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Teenagers etc

I'm starting this post without a title and not sure where I am going.  Mostly I wanted to stop by here and say how cool teenagers are.  At least mine are, and I'm pretty proud.  And it's my blog and I'm going to brag.  Jonathan and Chloe are going to Mickey's Not so Scary Halloween party at Disney tomorrow night and guess who they're bringing...Jake!  Granted he paid for his own ticket (yay birthday money), but still isn't that nice.  It is not unusual for Jonathan (and Chloe) to do this kind of thing, but it is pretty unusual for teenagers in general to do this, and I want to remember that.

Also, Madi does indeed have a boyfriend as well.  He seems really sweet and I'm looking forward to getting to know him.  Their dates mostly consist of meeting in one or the other of the local downtowns and walking near the lake, in the midafternoon because...busy schedules.  But today they had a real live afternoon date where he picked her up at our house and everything.  Guess where they went... to Mellow Mushroom and then to reconciliation!!  Isn't that the best??  And he's coming to the theatre tonight to see her perform.

My house is nice and clean (well parts of it) because Reese was going to be coming to the door and we needed to make a good impression.  Now I can bask in the (semi-cleaness) which is a rare treat on a Saturday afternoon of show weekend.  Plus it is my favorite time of year with the windows wide open, so not only is it cleanish in here, but there is a cool breeze blowing in from the open window. 

Speaking of show weekend.  Jake and Madi are in two different casts for this because... (once again) ... busy schedules.  Madi has an opera like song (someone actually asked me if she had taken up opera), another cute song, and she does a split in her cast.  She is also ensemble in Jake's cast.  In Jake's show he falls in love with Chloe (yes, Jonathan's girlfriend) and truly steals the show with his song near the end.  Videos may or may not ever make it on here.  I'm a million years behind on that kind of thing.  My excuse is I'm busy enough living in the moment, and I'm ok with that.

I started this school year looking for opportunities to make a little money while doing my favorite thing (homeschooling).  It is really working out.  A very close friend who I've known roughly since her birth, comes over 2 hours/ day 3 days/week and we work on mostly math and language arts (that sentence may or may not be grammatically correct).  It is so awesome to see the progress she is making.  I'm as excited for her accomplishments as I am for my own kids.  I want to be a professional homeschooler when I grow up!

I've also had long (LLOOONNGG) phone conversations recently with two different moms (one of whom I've never met in real life) who are both contemplating homeschooling.  I really feel like I have significant credibility now that I've officially homeschooled a kid to completion.  My general mantra to people is that it doesn't have to be nearly as hard as you might think.  On the other hand, one thing that I'm not sure how to relay to others is how to naturally talk to your kids about life all the time.  I know that a lot of families do this, but I'm pretty sure there are also a lot of families that don't.  While it might start when they are babies in the grocery store (like "that is a red apple", "oh this aisle is cold") it shouldn't end once they know how to speak.  (Just like reading aloud shouldn't end once they know how to read.)    I get a fair amount of compliments on my kids (and sometimes, like today, I'm the one pointing out their great qualities).  Plenty of people would say I got lucky (and maybe to a certain extent I did), but an awful lot of thought has gone in to this parenting thing and probably the biggest part of it has involved lots of talking.  Talk talk talk talk talking.  

I'm starting to sound a little like those blogs I don't like that only show all the good stuff, but I'm going to trust that the handful of people who might show up in this little tiny corner of the internet know that I'm not really like that.  We are far from perfect, we are real believe me!!

 Next time I might be back here with news like Jake is still sniffing like a pig and it is driving me insane or Jonathan and Madi's bedrooms look like they belong to hoarders.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Not sad

Oh my goodness, I just had half a screen's worth of a blog post that just disappeared.  Somehow in one second I highlighted and deleted the whole thing.  That might have been the Holy Spirit protecting me from myself because I was getting as controversial as I ever do on here, but I'm a glutton for punishment so I'm going to press on.  This morning I read a popularish blogger's post refuting another blog post/ article about homeschooling.  One of the reasons given to not homeschool in the comment section brought up homecoming and prom.  I find it so peculiar when people with single digit aged kids use this excuse to not homeschool.  I mean I don't think anyone really uses it as an excuse not to homeschool, but to even throw it into the mix seems terribly odd to me.  I am not one of those "I didn't go to my prom anyway" kind of people.  I LOVED that stuff (still do actually).  When we were juniors, my friend Cindy and I referred to our upcoming junior prom as "the biggest night in our lives up to this point".  Interestingly my teenagers have each attended at least a prom or homecoming (and they each plan on more), Jake, likewise will be all over that stuff.  But number one, they've had tons of nights in their lives much bigger than those events and number two, this isn't even my point, it's just a segue (I looked that up, it should be right even though spell-check is telling me otherwise).  My actual point is this... a facebook friend who I actually haven't met in person yet (her son and Jake are in band and theatre together and she kinda does for the band what I kinda do for the theatre) posted last week that she is considering pulling her middle schooler out of public school and homeschooling him.  A mutual friend (who I actually know and love in real life) (who is firmly entrenched in the public school camp) commented "how sad".  Um, no, not sad!  A presumably well thought out decision of a family trying to do what they see as best.  This is certainly not a one-way street.  When Jake went to public school last year, there were plenty of homeschoolers (or at least one really loud one) who had the same "how sad" reaction.  Um again...NO!  Have we really come to a point in our society where if people don't make the same decisions that we do it is sad?  Really??  There are all kinds of sad things out there.  Sickness, poverty, war, etc... How a loving family prayerfully chooses to educate their children is not one of them.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Good morning!

It is 7am and Madi is already off to take the PSAT/NMSQT.  I was a little nervous that she'd be a little nervous last night, but she's got it under control.  Her feelings..."I'm not going to be a national merit scholar anyway" and "driving a friend that's more nervous than you are is a great way to not be nervous."  She took it last year too, she's not this!  I mean probably not the national merit scholarship part, but she should ace the part about going there without throwing up.

My young son, you know the one that's not yet 12.  The kid that knows every Seinfeld episode by heart (literally by heart...he replays episodes in his mind when he's nervous {like at the dentist}).  He is also very well versed in even less appropriate shows like Big Bang Theory and Friends.  You'll never guess what show he is hooked on now...Telly Tubbies!!  It is now available to stream on Netflix and he's hooked.  He's even convinced Joe to at least pretend to like it (sorry Tiffany).  I can relate a little bit though.  Guess what book I am currently reading...Starring Sally J Freedman as Herself!  Yes I do this thing where I reread most Judy Blume books once a year or so.  Silly, I know.  Sometimes adult life (or adolescent life) is hard and we have to go back to feeling like a child for a little while.  There could be worse coping mechanisms I'm sure.

Like for example the coping mechanism by which I stare at my phone like a wild woman until I get the text from the teenage driver (s) that says
or this...
That "or this..." was supposed to be in the middle of the two, but whatever!
Also now my mail photos save in downloads instead of pictures (no time or patience to figure that one out), so I almost put this picture from last year at this time on here by mistake...
Another thing...this is guy now NINETEEN!!
What I've been doing while I'm not blogging...
Teaching my kids (and talking to them every chance I get)
Spending time with Mike who is liking his new job which has him sometimes traveling and other times working from home in his jammies all day.
taking a friend to chemo/dr appts
leading two different small groups at church, plus teaching 9th grade religious ed, plus another group thing
not cleaning my house
driving Jake places which sometimes involves waiting in long car lines
praying for my driving kids
praying for hundreds of other intentions
and a thousand other things
We spent 48 hours on the road for a day and a half in Albany, NY to attend my cousin Patrick's wedding and captured the moment with this...
And finally today is take two (or sorta take three) of maybe Jake will be getting his braces off...
we don't have our hopes up...