Thursday, May 23, 2013


This has been a week of visits and gatherings and I have spent time with people who have made me feel better about myself and who have allowed me to breath, relax and take time off from my very busy schedule.

On Tuesday, my sister Debbie, whom I haven't seen for more than an hour in six months, came over with her grandson and we hung out for the day, ordering Chinese for lunch and chatting on the deck.  She watched my granddaughter while I went with my oldest to see her 20 week sonogram and then when I returned, we went to dinner with my niece and my sister's best friend and both of my niece's children.  We had crabs, a crab pretzel and bread pudding.  The conversation was excellent.  The food great and the chance to just relate to other women, priceless.

On Wednesday, my co-op had their end of year picnic at the park across from my house.  As always, the children played really well together, leaving us moms to chat about our lives and to plan for our next co-op year.  The ladies in this group are incredibly giving and kind, always easy to be yourself around and I never fail to feel accepted and included when I leave.

Thursday one of my very best friends brought her children over for a visit.  I love her visits because they don't include much of anything (besides a taco lunch and a diet Dr.Pepper) and that's what's best about it.  We sit, we chat, we eat, we laugh and sometimes we cry.  The kids play, they run, they laugh and they fight, but at the end of the visit my soul feels stronger and I am always thankful to have her and her children in my life.

It may be weeks, most likely months before I have another week where I connect with so many women who nurture my life the way they have this week, but what they give me is enough to sustain me until that time.  Every woman needs a sister, or a friend who is like a sister, and every woman needs a group of women they can relate to.  Every woman also needs one or two "besties" who they can completely let go around, and I am fortunate to have all of those things in my life.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Going With Your Strengths

Everybody has them....strengths and weaknesses.  I know I sure do.  I think it's really important to embrace them; to know when the sky is the limit and when you have limitations.

God put me on this Earth for a reason and I felt the calling early on.  I love children.  I love to teach and I love to learn.  My "talent", as it were, is to raise and educate children in many capaciities.  I have been a mom since the age of nineteen and have spread my children out so that I have had a child under 10 in our home almost every year since 1985.  I have done childcare in my home for not only my own children, but for nieces, nephews, cousins, grandchildren and friends.  I have worked in daycare settings, been a nanny, worked in private preschool settings and in public elementary school settings.  I have been a team mom, a coach, a cooperative educator, a home educator.  I have been a Girl Scout leader and a Boy Scout leader.  Whatever it is that I am doing, you can usually find small children near by.

I know that many people as they age, my husband included, just don't get it.  "Why do you want to continue to be around kids?  Your days of raising kids are almost over!"  It is my sincerest wish, hope and dream that my days "raising", educating, loving and learning with children will be what I am doing on my dying day.  To me they are not a burden, but an incredible gift.  They do take from me.....time, energy, patience I don't always have....but they give so much in return.  A hug, an "I love you", a lesson learned, an idea conceived, a memory made....they are all constant rewards of working with a child.  To me, children keep me young.  I need to be active, alert, on my "A" game all the time.  They never let you slide, lol.  They demand your love and attention even at those times when you are not sure you have any to give.  But watching them grow....seeing my sweet sons and daughters as helpless newborns, chubby toddlers, willful teens and now grown can you put a price on that? (And I am not forgetting my Dakota....he has lots of challenges and rewards in store yet!)  I have been blessed to have the opportunity to home educate.  Educating my sons has been...I just can't put into words the feelings....Imagine when you look at this incredibly smart person and you know that just about everything they have learned, they learned from you!  Wow!

Raising kids, educating them, loving them, kissing boo boos and wiping noses don't pay the bills.  They aren't respected things to do in alot of circles.  You often don't leave the house, sometimes for days and when you get into bed at night, more often then not your "to do" list is longer then it was when your day started, but it is my calling, my gift from God.  When I die, I hope that there are lots of people at my funeral and that some of them will stand up and say "I have known her since I was a baby and she played a big part in the person I am today".  I hope they remember the hugs I gave and the fun things we did, the lessons they learned and the love they felt.  I hope my own children and grandchildren recount my unconditional daily love and support for them and that they have felt loved every single moment of their life.  I hope they have so many memories they can't list them all.  I hope they see me there, in everything they do.

Children are a blessing and God's blessing to me is that I understand that and embrace it with all my heart.  I am good at what I do and for that, I am grateful.  So bring them on......grandbabies, great nieces and nephews, great grandbabies, cousins, friends, my kids friends' kids lol.  I have so much love to give and things to teach them, adventures to share.  I can't wait!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Game Day

Today we had our 7-8 Pirates game first and then our 8U Chargers game following.  We got to baseball at 9 for practice and the kids were eager to play and in a great mood.  They played "off the hook", catching fly balls and making plays at the plate.  All of them did well, including Dakota, who had an excellent game.

We left there and came back to have lunch with Keri and Brian David.  Brian and Dakota left for football first while I had an interview with a mom who is interested in me watching her daughter part time.  I got to football well before the game and, even though the other team was bigger and better, I felt our boys played really well.  They had alot of energy and except for the normal few, played like a team.  Dakota made huge progress today, actually being aggressive in his ball playing and making a tackle on his own.  I was super proud of him.

Now we are home for the rest of the weekend.  He has his friend, Bryce, over for a sleepover.  There won't be much outside time because of the weather, but I am hoping Dakota really enjoys his friend and they let me relax tonight without getting into scuffles or being bored.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Monday Once Again

So we are down to the last three Mondays of second grade.  Today we went to a new homeschool group to experience their Lego Lab and maybe a make a few new friends.  Dakota liked the building and the boys there and the moms were very welcoming and easy to talk to for me.  Natalie terrorized the place, but no one seemed to mind and I did my best to keep her from getting into things.  I am considering joining the group so we can take part in some of their events and classes, but haven't quite made up my mind.

When we got home, Dakota ate lunch and got started on his school work.  It's always harder to get him to focus in the afternoon and today was no different.  He started reading his Star Wars book on his own and then came out to do his morning work.  We took a spelling pre-test and he did the workbook pages that went along with that and then did his math.  Afterward, we opened our new Weather Station Magic School Bus Kit to get us started on the weather, working with our Weather Day/O's game field trip this week.  The first experiment was to make a weather vane and it was easy and actually seemed to work.  We moved on to his book review of Stuart Little and I found out, much to my surprise, that he actually liked the book quite a bit.  We then finished Chapter 18 in Story of the World, finding out what happened to the Minoan civilization on the island of Crete.

A new Magic Tree House book was the last organized lesson for the day.  I mostly read to him, but he read to me too.  This is #49 in the series, Stallion at Starlight, and it's about Alexander the Great, whom we should meet this week in Story of the World too.  I love when units and studies connect.  I think it makes the information stick even more.  After we were finished (no lesson plans on thisMTH one at because it was so new), I turned him loose to finish the LEGO maze and minotaur, his extension activity from this SOTW unit.  He's dragging his heels on that, as well, because he says the pieces keep falling apart, but I just gave him five minutes before I come in to take a picture.  Art was covered with the model.  PE will be covered at tonight's football practice.  So I guess that means we are finished for the day and I am glad we made it a full one AND added something new and fun.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Interrupted by Illness

This week we had a good Monday and Tuesday, but Dakota ended up getting sick somewhere in the middle of the night/early morning on Wednesday and couldn't sleep, cried constantly, threw up once and was just miserable.  He was up early, slept for a few hours, managed to eat lunch and felt better.  I thought Thursday would get us on track because we now have a goal to finish our lessons and our texts by May 31, our last review day.  He got up sluggish, however, threw up again and then cried some more.  Back to bed he went to rest for the day and I didn't see much improvement in his energy level until late in the evening.  I decided to cancel a scheduled field trip to Frederick for Friday because I wasn't sure of his health and we also missed two days of school and I knew we needed to get things caught up.

 I spent the afternoon with my granddaughter on our deck under cloudless blue skies and then while one daughter kept the kids, the other daughter and I went to the thrift store and perused the books, games and toys in peace, scoring a great Step 2 toy chest and many cool books for homeschooling and to read.  Dinner was a late one, but Dakota managed to eat some chicken and I put him to bed hoping he would have a good night and kick whatever it was that has kept him down.

Friday saw a much better boy, though still a little tired.  We ran our errands early, spent a leisurely 45 minutes or so in the library getting books, visited the GameStop for some new games Dakota had saved his money for and then headed home.  We ate lunch and he read two of his Star Wars library books before taking his spelling test and then taking a pre-test and doing the workbook pages on the next unit.  We did Experiment #4 in his Magic School Bus science kit, did two math lessons in his book, one of adding fractions with like denominators and one on geometry, and finally read the first part of Chapter 17 in Story of the World about Nebucchadnezzer's madness.  We were done by 2:30 and he was ecstatic.  So now he's off in his room playing his games, I am here alone waiting on my Brian's to get home from Towson and then we will all spend the evening together, having pizza and relaxing.  Lots of PCA work for me to do and I also want to go through my library books and plan some for next week, the summer and the fall.  We have a ridiculously busy double sport Saturday again tomorrow and I know that we can definitely use the down time tonight before our early start.