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Friday, July 4, 2008

Ready to Jump In

God has been very good to me in the last few days, every prayer said for us has been much appreciated because we are feeling the blessings of them! I was spiraling down into self-pity and probably depression over all the changes that have occurred in the last few weeks but the encouragement and graciousness of my online community helped raise me above it and get moving again.

For the last couple of days I've been making sure to intermingle fun and work, Wednesday we scrubbed the house in the morning hours and played in the afternoon. Yesterday, I was not feeling so great in the morning so I rested then (watched P.S. I Love You) and got busy in the afternoon. Today, we've gone to Fort McAllister State Park and joined in a few 4th of July activities and came home to rest before joining a few family members for a BBQ tonight.

Tomorrow we have another community 4th of July celebration to attend and we'll see fireworks tomorrow night. All in all, this is going to be a great weekend for us.

Instead of watching tv the last few days, I've been reading Terri Blackstock's Restoration series (Last Light, Night Light, True Light) and I can't wait to read Dawn's Light, the 4th book in the series. In 3 days, I've read 3 books. Each book taking less than 24 hours.

Why can't I read classics in the same manner?? Anyways, reading these Christian fiction books have really lifted my spirits. I've been reading about a family that undergoes many trials as they fight to survive during an electronic blackout period on Earth. Absolutely no electronics work, they don't even have water running through their pipes because the water plants are run on electricity. A humbling reminder that life could be a LOT harder than it is, no matter what troubles are present now. I know a few friends who have gone through some very heart-wrenching troubles themselves recently and my heart has ached for them in many ways, which didn't lift my spirits like reading these books have.

Before we started homeschooling I had out-read Karen Kingsbury, I had read everything she had written and was waiting for her to publish more. Christian fiction allows you to ride along on someone else's spiritual journey, to witness their struggles, their decisions and the outcomes of those decisions. It is refreshing to me to do that, to read about another's journey, even if it's fictional - it takes the formality away and just leaves me feeling good.

Sometime next week, I should have our bookcases delivered and I can finish setting up our learning room. I'm ready. Really ready! I want to get our room set-up, get lessons going again and create our 1st quarter of 3rd grade notebook. I want to put into action the ideas that I've had for the last few months and even though we may have a tight schedule for 3rd/PreK, I want to start working towards a full day.

I am concerned I have not left enough free time for myself in our days. I'll have from 6:00-6:30 to myself, just enough to have a cup of coffee and read my Bible. Then at 6:30 am, I'll be waking the kids and getting my shower while they have time to get dressed and do a few morning chores before breakfast at 7:00 am.

Our lessons will start at 8:00 am and will continue until lunch, the only breaks will be short 5 minute ones so we don't lose momentum. At 11:15 am, the afternoon chores will be done while I fix lunch. I have 11:15-12:00 noted for chores and piano practice. After lunch there will be a 30 minute independent reading time, which is probably where I'll take a chance to read myself. From 2:00-4:00 is the kids' free play time, at 4:00 I want to walk Jack, our dog and get out of the house with the kids. I hope to be back by 5:00 pm to fix dinner unless the crockpot is working its magic already.

Dinner will be at 6:00, clean-up right afterwards and then baths. Hopefully I can give the kids 15-30 min. each of reading time before their 8:00 bedtime. It is jam-packed days I have planned. I put it on a time schedule to see how the day would actually flow. There are a lot of things I can take out or schedule differently if I need to but really if we follow the schedule, it will become routine and just a part of life.

The kids do not realize this but I've squeezed out their tv time and added a BUNCH of reading time throughout the day. There will be reading in Bible, History, a fun read aloud (children's literature), a composer biography, poetry, independent reading, science reading and then historical fiction bedtime reading every day.

Our day is infused with so much fun stuff, I hope it won't seem like "school" to them, just stuff to do with Mama. With Camille I hope to have craft time with her everyday and the first thing we'll probably do is get a needlepoint kit for each of us and work on our individual projects together. On Mondays, I hope to bake goodies for afternoon tea for the week with Camille. I have so much GOOD stuff that I want to do with the kids and I think that may be our saving grace. I'm not trying to fill our time with formal studies or rote memorization but with things we all want to do.

I'm excited again. The Lord has been so good to me these past few days, to lift my spirit and refocus it on Him instead of myself. To focus it back on my kids instead of setting up house. To breath instead of stress. Although the stress is still there and there is way more to do to get settled in, I'm not in a rush. It's all coming together nicely and somethings do take time.

So, in the next week I hope to:
-finish unpacking the learning room and get it all organized
-start Math, PLL, reading, history and science back up again to finish our 2nd grade year by September 1st.
-start putting the final details on our 1st quarter of 3rd/PreK that starts Sept. 15th

I also need to:
-figure out a new dinner menu for our family since we have more accessible (and better) produce
-chore schedule for morning and afternoon chores for the kids and a general cleaning schedule for myself in this new house
- take Jack to the vet to be neutered, shots
- get a copy of Dawn's Light by Terri Blackstock
- find a Bible reading plan that I can do in the morning

Pray thankfully for His grace and the blessings in my life.



mom24 said...

So glad that you could be encouraged to breathe instead of stress! Sometimes it takes a couple of broken book shelves to force us to step back and take a deep breath! God is so good - He has given you focus, momentum, wisdom, and provision for 3rd gr/preK!
Soon you'll be halfway through the next year and more than settled, enjoying your new house and new schoolyear!

Jennifer said...

I love Terri Blackstock's series and am sad that it is over. I don't know if I could do all the things they did if something like that really happened. I managed to get a lot of reading in while nursing my babies but now that my youngest is starting solids and nursing less, my reading time has gone to almost nothing. Reading is my sanity saver, so not sure what I'll do to cope now. I've got three more weeks to figure it out before we start school.

Angela said...

I have discovered your blog and have gleaned much from it. Thank you for your generous spirit. I will be new to homeschooling this year with my oldest son (2nd grade). I am curious as to how TOG worked out for you? Any input would be helpful. Thanks!

Beth said...

Your sharing reminded me of a move we made once. It was a place that was hard for me. I remember picking up a book at the library and reading journal entries of pioneer women. I suddenly had no complaint but was encouraged by the strength that these women must have had at times. I love all of your links.

Tracy said...

I just finished that Terri B. series too...Awesome!

Frontier Mom said...

I have recently started a bible reading plan and journaling method that I love. My dh went to a conference at New Hope Christian Fellowship in Hawaii and brought this idea back. If you google the church and go to devotions, it will explain how it is done. You read the OT through once and NT twice each year.

You can read the verses online via their site if you want. All my dc's are doing this as well. The youth and children's versions are from the same passages I read, just shorter segments.

my5wolfcubs said...

So glad to hear you're feeling good! I'll have to look at the library for the book series you mentioned. I tried the Julie one and could not get into it at all. But always game for a recommendation! :)

Your days do sound full -- of good stuff, of the best stuff!