Wednesday, March 30, 2011

10 Facts About Me and My Better

1.  Pete and I went to High School together and he signed my year book.

2.  I love how strong his legs are

3. In the beginning when he was not sure he wanted to go out with me I purposely began dating another friend of worked!

4.  Our song is "Sleepwalk" which later became Publixs' theme song.

5.  We got married twice because the first time was done in secret.

6.  Neither of us were fabulous Catholics.  The extent of our religious converation prior to marriage was..."Are you catholic?  My mom will kill me if I don't get married in a catholic church"

7.  I was to young to drink the first time we got married...20!!

8.  I used to sit on the same side of a booth with him at restuarants because I could not get enough of him..I wanted to inhale him. Now that seat is always taken with another gal.

9.  I sometimes think he took a real gamble marrying me.  I was not much of a catch.  But I loved him so much I wanted to become a better person for him. 

10.  I want to be the person he thinks I am.

Hop over to Betty Beguiles for more super fun facts.

Yarn Along

My knitting has been a non event lately.  My heart was broken when my baby sweater lost an owner.  I could not bring myself to finish it for a few weeks and I had such guilt over not finishing it since the yarn cost so much money. So I was paralyzed.  It was so frustrating.

I would pass my bowls of yarn and feel sad but no ready to do much about it.  But this week I finished knitting my baby sweater.  The funny thing is the same day I finished knitting the sweater I FINALLY stopped bleeding from the miscarriage.  I have yet to seam up the sweater and I am not sure when I will do that.  But for now it is off the needles and tucked away.

I am back on a hat I had to restart and I really want to make something pink.  I am hoping to be inspired today by all of Ginny's yarn along readers.

But for now I am just knitting here and there between moments of watching my babies here..enjoying being their mom.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Brush With Fame

That last post took a lot out of me.  I have to be real here, I am not a real writer.  Just in case any of you thought different.  It took a lot of effort to collect all the words to tell that last little story I spun.  Thankfully a friend invited me over for a fun afternoon.  It was just what I needed.
As I was leaving she called and asked if I would bring my camera.  I never want to bring my camera  when I get invited to people's houses unless I ask because I assume they all know if I bring my camera...they will be on the blog...and not everyone wants to be on a blog..really???

And every time I get to take pictures of other people and their kids I just wish I knew what I was doing.  I wish I was REALLY good.

And then sometimes you have a sweet little girl who runs outside, grabs some pink flowers, stops in front of some Azaleas and looks at me and smiles.

I will also tell you this sweet mama has 2 boys that would not come out when they saw my camera.  I love how boys just know they don't want to fool with smiling for no reason especially when there are "girls" outside doing it.

But in another life I would love to be really good at this and have all the toys to make taking a good picture simple.  When I first got my camera I had high hopes for where my Nikon could take me.

I started asking Pete for things like Photoshop ($600), a polarized filter ($200), a new lens ($1200) and maybe a class or two. 

Let's just say he was THRILLED when I began to get interested in knitting.  All of a sudden spending $30 for yarn was an easy pill to swallow.
But one day..I would like to learn to play at taking pictures but for now...I just love the fact that I get to practice with such fun people.
And in case you did not recognize who the sweet mama in the photos was The Betty Beguiles.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Cheers To Another Year

I'm back. That was the quickest trip I have ever taken.  I hate flying and I usually get pretty air sick and this trip was no exception.  It was worth feeling awful for 2 days because we got our house up and running.  Nothing that fun to report except I am going to have a garage and a dishwasher. I think I may die and go to heaven with those two changes alone!!

But in other news I am happy to report  that I WILL CONTINUE TO HOME SCHOOL NEXT YEAR!!   I am sure you all will sleep much better at night knowing this.  Well, maybe I should back up my story a little bit.

A few months ago I was feeling pretty over home schooling.  The spark was gone.  I was simply going through the motions.  I was forcing myself to complete every lesson out of pure duty to the state.  I dreaded EVERYDAY and basically "got through" it.  I may have mentioned it here before once or twice.

I know for a fact I called my cousin Christa several times crying, asking for her permission to send my kids to school.  She would grant me permission and I would hang up and feel better for the rest of the day, until I had to get up and home school the next day.  In addition, I also spent several tear filled play dates with my friend Elizabeth, explaining that while I still loved my children I was not to sure how much I liked them.  I was convinced I would like them much better if I could just see LESS of them.

During this time I was picking up books that I know inspired me in the past, looking for the formula to help me plug back into the vision I had in the beginning.  All I would do is read these familiar books and feel defeated.  I had just lost it.  I no longer had the desire or determination to home school one....more...stinkin'.....second!!!!

I did what praying I could.  Some nights I  would muster up a prayer before passing out at night, "Please Lord give me peace one way or another.  If you want me to home school give me a peaceful rested heart.  If you want me to send them to school (pretty please) please give me a peaceful heart.  And could you hurry because registration starts soon and I would like to know before then. Amen!"
Meanwhile I began looking up the public school in the new area I was hoping Pete and I would live in.  I looked at their school web site and tried to picture my kids there.  The price is definitely right but the overwhelming absence of God is hard for me to imagine. So I then began to look into Catholic Schools in the area.  I was able to picture my kids there much easier.  I know lots of great families who send their kids to both public and private.  That could be me, right?  I can be the cookie making, greet my kids at the door at 3:00 mom.  I could be REALLY good at that, right?  Just think no more Latin lessons, no more reading Bible retellings, no more states and capitals..just...............

Just...........what?????  I really started thinking.  What if this happened?  What if I sent the kids to school.  What if I hired a school to teach my kids their academic lessons? What would I do with myself?  Well I thought, I could.....what???  What could I do?  Nothing was coming to me.  Well, I could take my little kids and do all sorts of fun "little kid" stuff.  But actually if my older kids go to Catholic school I will be FLAT BROKE AND NEEDING TO SAVE EVERY LAST PENNY.  And I kept asking myself.."Why did you start this whole mess Lisa? What made you home school in the first place?" And to be honest I could not remember.  I faintly remember wanting to grow in my faith along side my children but that area felt like a wash.  I knew there were reasons that I had fallen in love with home schooling but none of them were that easy to recall.
Long ago when living in Alaska my friend Angela Griffin told me to write down the reasons I wanted to home school because I will need to read over that list every now and again to remind myself why I am walking down this road.  Well, in typical arrogant "oh that will never be me" fashion I never wrote that list and I have regretted it ever since. 

Most days I would just push aside the feeling of dread and practice the art of "fake it till you make it".  I look back now and realize I did this most of this year.  But finally I had a break through last Saturday night while doing the dishes after a great at home date night with my family.  I was shrubbing dishes and reading a paper on classical education. I propped up my reading material on the shelf above the sink and began reading the philosophy behind the development of forming the brain to collect and retain information. And all of a sudden I remembered EVERYTHING!!!  I remembered why I LOVE doing this.  I remembered I WANT to do this.  I actually CAN do this.  I HAVE been doing this.  It was not a lightning bolt moment, it was more like a eye rubbing, slowly awakening from a long sleep moment.  Little things were coming back to me.  I began to recall the vision I had in the beginning of my home school journey.

I remembered that I believe in the Trivium and Quadrivium.  I believe in the concerns of liberal education.  I remember learning about these things wishing I had that type of education.  I recalled my desire to have a hand in giving a liberal education to my children.  I wanted to form their mind all the while helping to form their spirits.  I fell in love with this idea years ago and at the time I had a plan on how I was going to reach that goal.  I was going to classically educate my kids.   I knew with God's help  I could see this whole plan out. So even when I had Jack, then 12 months later had Lucy, then 18 months later had Priscilla I knew I still had the goal of giving my kids a classical education .  During each day for the last 3 years I felt strong, committed and driven, and then this, commitment, vision..GONE...until last weekend.
I felt PEACE.  I finally was able to get back that motivated, inspired vision I had when I started.  I WANT TO EDUCATE MY KIDS.  It is that simple.  I want to form them.  I want them to learn the principle agent that causes learning is the active thought of his own understanding.  I want to help them get to that point.  And when I say "I" I really mean "me" with the mercy and grace of God. 

Suddenly that list I should have written years ago was swimming around inside my brain.  But along side that list was the faint whisper of doubt....
What about me not being able to do it all every day?  What about me falling short of my own vision?   
No...all learning is cyclical.  We learn first on an introductory level and then we come back later at a deeper level.  I DON'T HAVE TO BE PERFECT!!! 
And then my fire was prayer was answered and now all I have to do is walk in God's grace and put one day in front of me at a time. 
But for me I need a goal.  I need a road map.  I need to know to what end am I working for.  I need to remember the reason I struggle with teaching telling time is because I want my Molly to have a foundation for higher math one day.  I need to remember that each day.

And that's it.  I will home school next year.  I will try to keep my focus so I can home school the year after that and the year after that.  With God's grace I can do that.

And not to say school is horrible or out of the question.  But God made me who I am.  I am a girl who likes to be busy.  I have to be working towards something at all times.  I know God wants me to put that energy into educating my children right now.  I know that because I have Peace in my heart and I am grateful for it.

And as a side note....
Anyone who has e-mailed me with questions regarding home schooling over the last few months and I have not responded, please forgive me.  I had nothing nice to say.  I could not encourage and was barely hanging on. I want to say this...
Home schooling is hard, wonderful, stressful and altogether fascinating and you should all do what my friend Angela told me to do 6 years ago...
Write a list to yourself why you want to home school.  Keep it!  Read it! And help remind me to do the same.

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Quick Trip

I am sitting here anticipating a short trip to Virginia . I am going to a pre-construction meeting with the people building our house.
They tell me where each outlet is going and how much each coat of paint costs...
I can't wait.  When Pete and I went to Virginia in January we fell in love with a neighborhood that was just getting started.  We were hesitant on doing a new built house until we found a floor plan that is perfect for our growing family.
We are not growing at this EXACT minute, but there is a chance it can happen in the future.  With this particular floor plan you had the option of adding an additional bedroom and loft combination off the top level....
We were sold.  We can make a lot of bedrooms come to life in this house and that is what we were looking for.  I did not want a monster house, I wanted the right house and I think we got pretty close.
But right now all we have is excavated dirt and a hopeful home owner on her way to Virginia for less than 48 hours.  This trip is a lot more expensive than the trips I took in the winter.  I guess people like to travel in the spring.  When I went in Jan and Feb rental cars were 15$ a they are $45 a day...ouch.
So a quick trip this will be..I will be back Wednesday!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Our Little Bit Of Green

I figured you guys were TIRED of seeing millions of pictures of my today I will share with you my favorite baby in the world right now and her loving brothers.  This baby is the sweetest, happiest little peanut and I want one just like her..really bad.
And the owner of that little piece of heaven is my friend know the one I mentioned earlier....

She stopped by today to see if Jack could play with her boys.  Jack hopped in the car.  They drove down the road and he told her he had to throw up so she promptly brought him back home to me where he  stood  by his word and threw up....

All of them were so cute all in green I had to take some pictures.   I have been wanting to take Katie's picture for awhile now.  I wish I had a better background...but those boys had the best smiles I decided who cares about the background.

And look there is even some green mold on the house in back of this sweet smiling boy...that was not even planned...lucky me!

And even more mold with this big smile.

And never one to be left out of a photo shoot...

And oh my is this girl LOVED ON!!!  She is picked up by her brothers so much and even lovingly dropped by them every once in a while.  I believe the current addition to Katie's forehead is compliments of a certain older brother.

This was all I could get before meltdowns began and more vomiting.  But this was my favorite...

I have to say..this is one loved mama.  All those boys and now her sweet baby girl.  She is a great mama and she NEVER gives herself credit for being just that.
But I am here to say...
YOU ARE A GREAT MOM and those kids certainly know it and so do I!!

And and check this out...

Lucy was playing along side these very busy CLEAN boys and take a look at her..

And please ignore Priscilla eating a leaf....