...Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Ruth 1:16 This is the journey of our lives...

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Top O' the Mornin to ya!

I've had this love hate relationship with them since the beginning. Yep, the beginning of time as I know it.
Growing up, mornings were my dad's very favorite time of the day, this was ok as a young child but add in the teen years and let's just say World War 3 might be more tame. It was probably the most I ever fought for something. FREEDOM TO SLEEP IN!! Getting up at 5am to have breakfast with my dad before he left for work seemed, well....unbelievable and unfair!!
My mom made this commitment to my dad that she would get up with him and make him breakfast and send him off to work each morning. I've always admired her for this, well when I was younger I thought she was crazy. But the older I got and even now as I'm closing into 40, I see how, for them it was a special time in the day when the stresses of the world hadn't quite started yet and the beginnings of a new day meant coffee and bacon and a kiss goodbye. Today, I wish I could go back and sit at the breakfast table and enjoy a hot cooked meal with my family. Blurry eyed and sleepy watch my dad in his happiest place, around the table with his beloved family as the sun rose up over the mountains behind our house. Mornings were a beautiful time at my house and the sights and sounds and smells are still a part of who I am.
I know I'm not a morning person like my mom and dad and to be honest before I married my husband I made sure he wasn't either. There might of been a pre-marital agreement that he would never expect me to wake up and make him bacon before he went to work, I mean the details are foggy now but I'm pretty sure I wrote it down somewhere....I was 19 and kinda still hated the idea of watching another sunrise.
Fast forward almost 20 years and here I am sitting on the couch drinking coffee with my husband, in the dark, before the sunrise...And I'm enjoying it. Wouldn't my dad be proud?
Mornings have this way of setting the tone for my day. I'm attempting to find a balance for my morning routine. I know it's not at 5am, frying bacon and shaking everyone out of bed to hang out with me. I think, it looks like 1 or 2 hours before I wake up the kids, dark and quiet with my books and coffee in hand, a hot uninterrupted shower and then slowly waking up the kiddos to begin our day. It changes with the seasons and the seasons in life.

So mornings at our house are pretty relaxed and for my kids not very early. I'm usually ready, dressed and showered, bed made, 1 cup of coffee down. I push and shove the kids to do the same and we all eat breakfast in a haphazard way. Some eat cereal, some cook their own eggs and others eat a granola bar. I do the same and have another cup of coffee. We do our quick morning chores, which now includes feeding a horse, a dog and a bunny. We check the river level and sometimes the game camera across the river and then head to the school room to begin the day. I'd like to say we start right at 9am and finish after lunch. But some days we don't begin until 11 and school way past 4. That's the beauty of homeschooling for me, I cherish the freedom of my day, the un-hurried moments of sitting on the couch for read aloud. I still hate grammar and fractions and that could have deterred me from homeschooling. But for me it has been a challenge, a learning experience and now, because I have children who have the gift of those things, I can ask them!

I haven't figured out how to be more organized, or how to enjoy filing and paying bills, or how to enjoy teaching math, but I have figured out mornings. So maybe in another 20 years I will go 1 week without losing my keys....my husband would love me so much if that happened.

What are your morning routines? Are they beautifully orchestrated and organized or everyone for themselves?

Monday, January 16, 2017

Highlighting even the hard days

School could've looked like this for some of you. .. I mean this is cute, right? We look like professional Handwriting Without Tears students. This could go on their website. 

And this looks like we do a lot of nature hikes!
 She looks smart, right??
 She's a multi-tasker
 Look at how cute, it's like those magazines, where everyone is learning in nature and no one has to do fractions, because fractions don't make pretty pictures...
 Yep, you know where this is going...
 Yep, right here. It's just best I stay right here. Homeschooling is hard. My kids are not as smart as I thought they'd be. And it's my fault for drinking soda instead of taking pre-natal vitamins.
 Ok, back to what today could have been. But I'm tired, I'm hormonal and it's winter. Winter means less sunshine and no summer break.
 Right!?!? And well life is not always as sunny as I'd like it to be.
 One time I re-made the fabric teepee, and then my cute dog ate it.
 I'm not as calm as I appear, but I put on clothes and made the best of it. So here is to all those amazing blogs out there that make everything look so pretty. I'm hear to say that today and probably last week, weren't super blog worthy.

I lied, my kids are smarter then me. That's really the problem.

So here is to the stay in bed, can't get it done, feel like it will never be better kinda days. It's not all supposed to be blog worthy and pretty. It's gritty and I say things like "Don't put that in the toilet", "where is your other shoe", "shower, you stink", "How could you lose your toothbrush for a week?" and so on and so forth many, many times a day. Well here is hoping tomorrow is more productive!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

We are all a mess...I promise

When you were pregnant with your first child did you ever dream about how amazing they would be?
Silly question, I know.
But I'm pretty sure we all thought that the combination our amazing "soon-to-be-tried-out" parenting pros of "I will never do that with my kid" expertise and the perfect genetic combinations that was mixing in our womb, our first born would be AHmazing and exactly what the world needed. Ok, I'm exaggerating...kinda. And then they were born and they were perfect in every way and any thing that may have been funny looking (and there was) was ignored and adored in every way possible. And for like the 2 days in the hospital with the undivided attention of professional staff and food delivery service, we were in fact, perfect parents.
And the digressing of our parenting skills, patience and the perfection of our babies slowly faded into the reality of what we call the HARDEST JOB on planet earth threatens to succumb us. We slowly realize that Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and all the pretties at church make us feel like complete failures. How do other people do it so well, make it look so easy, so pretty?
They don't.
We all suck...I mean we all are in the same place.
And you don't figure that out until you have a long coffee date alone, without kids , and bare your soul as to how hard this job really is. And how we all thought we'd be better.
The best thing I ever did was surround myself with honest people and laugh at the perfect pictures on my social media feed, realizing their homes too, were pilling up behind the perfectly painted doors and handmade goodies on their tables. Because I knew too well that I posted all the pretty pictures too. That I was just as guilty as getting up at the crack of dawn on a Sunday morning to prepare for the day ahead so I didn't look a day behind.
I've not figured out the secret to a non-comparison life, but I've had 14 years to work through a lot of it, and have found myself embracing the beauty of my own chaos. Excepting my failures with grace and attempting my own version of awesome.

Homeschooling has added it's own level of try and fail moments. I've had years of melt downs and semesters of greatness, to then be told by my child that they'd figured out how to cheat through math for that entire  "great' semester.  And yet, the pull on my heart and soul to continue has gotten me through another year. And then there are these win moments, these precious times when my child learns to read, or do long division, masters the art of writing an essay. And I know that I played a part in that beautiful moment. It helps to have those times when I can pat myself on the back and pretend that somehow I made that happen. But the reality is, if I made that happen I made the hard stuff happen too, right? Nope, I'm not the author here. And I know this because I have kids who have learning disabilities and struggles that just aren't fair in my perfect world. I didn't author that either, because in my world everyone is perfect. But the author of the universe, He knows. He knew that one of my kids would struggle to read until the 2nd grade and then finish all 7 Harry Potter books in 3 months, He knew that two of my children wouldn't ever read maybe past the 5th grade and He also knew that that little punk (I mean my perfect child) would cheat all the way through a semester. And He knew that each one of them in their own way, was in fact His perfect creation, given the struggle that in time developed into this amazing grown up person. He authored me to be their mamma and gave me a way to have a perfect love for each of them(thank you divine intervention and those Fruits of the Spirit).

SO fail on mammas, teachers, wives, sisters... This job is the very hardest and THE MOST IMPORTANT one you'll ever do. And you get to allow the author of all, to do His perfect work in you and your children.

Give grace to those around you, we're all full of mistakes and piles of laundry shoved under the bed. It just looks better on other people because our lenses are so clouded with our own silly expectations.

Ephesians 2:10New Living Translation (NLT)
10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.