I know I’ve been away for a while now – and somehow, when I am away, it always seems as though I will come back much sooner than I am able. I haven’t written in all this time and no, I don’t mean just here, I mean at all. Things have been that busy.
I return now, not with an apology, but a realization that I do this solely for me. I need to be here, because this is the way I deal with stress… by letting those feelings eek out in poetry or be expressed in the vision of flowers standing solidly against the background of blue sky. This is my guilty pleasure and where I am finally able to be free to do something solely for me.
Being a mom is difficult work and being a homeschooling mom is that much tougher. As moms, we often feel guilty for doing things for ourselves. We sacrifice and we sacrifice without realizing that in order to take care of everyone better… we need to take better care of ourselves. So yes, this has been one of those years of reflection.
My oldest is graduating high school this year. I am incredibly proud of her. Despite struggling with Dyslexia, she somehow managed to be valedictorian. Somehow, she has also not inherited my genes because I am deathly afraid of public speaking. She is looking forward to giving a speech. She has worked long and hard and tirelessly all these years and I can’t express how happy I am that she is being forced to recognize how far she has come. This year we have spent a lot of time visiting colleges, filling out college applications and other forms, filling out scholarships, etc. It has been a lot of work (and I won’t get much of a break because my next daughter graduates in 2 years as well 🙂 So yeah, that has also kept me busy.
My next young lady has been working on developing her artistic style as well as writing poetry and short stories. She’s been using Japanese watercolor pens to start illustrating her stories. She’s been published a few times this year as well and it is so amazing to see how maturely she writes at her age. Makes me wish I had done more when I was that age! I found a young writer’s program that she is going to try to get into this year.
Then there’s my son – “Superhero Gentleman.” He has been working hard in school and boy, does he have a thirst for knowledge. This year his teacher told everyone that each day has a theme. Wednesday is known as “Wacky Wednesday” and she encouraged the kids to make schoolwork fun by doing something wacky or wear a costume. He took on the challenge full-heartedly and showed up in costume while the other kiddos forgot. He then begged each week for some other character to dress up as. After the third week or so the teacher announced that she loved it and was waiting for him to run out of costumes. Let’s just say we took on the challenge 🙂 Each week we have made him costumes. He has dressed up as a ninja, Darth Vader, a fireman, a police officer, a construction worker, a pirate, a doctor, a chef, a scientist, a spider, and this week he was Abraham Lincoln. As we get later into the year, I am now actually making the costumes as we don’t have the necessary tools around the house so I have had to get crafty. Before we sign in online for his meeting, the kids all try to guess who is going to show up and my little guy loves it. One week another boy showed up in costume and this week a little girl showed up as Little Red Riding Hood. So yeah, it is work… but it is fun.
My youngest girl has been having quite a bit of health issues lately, but fortunately things are getting better. At first, we found out she had scoliosis and it got to the point that she needed to wear a brace at night. It was difficult at first, but she has been doing really well wearing it. The main thing has been the pain. Some muscles get overworked and others are underworked. Along with school, I started taking her to physical therapy each week as well as to the chiropractor. Not long after, I also started taking her to acupuncture. That was three appointments a week – two of which required quite a bit of a drive. Then, recently, she started having other problems and we had to take her to the hospital ER twice. They ended up doing a procedure and after taking antibiotics, it seems she is doing much better. The doctors gave her a clean bill of health and said the infection will most likely be 100% gone by next week. So all I can say is PHEW, am I glad that is all over.
Aside from all that, I have realized the importance of getting these kiddos up and moving. Homeschooling, especially with our school that is rather rigorous, can make it difficult to get up and move. So each afternoon, we have started going walking together at different local parks. And yes, I do know it is winter! It can be cold, but once we get out there, it is not like we notice. It is not only good to have family time like that, but it is also important to stress to them the importance of getting out into nature. Our recent favorite walking location has afforded us the beautiful sound of songbirds as well as spotting prairie dogs, rabbits, and a wolf. Today was supposed to be 0 F, but since we had to go outside to shovel the sidewalks from our latest snow, my daughter and I just decided to walk around the neighborhood. It was wonderful to get out and I actually feel sad if we can’t go out because it is too icy. So yes, another good thing.
Other things I’ve been working on? I’ve been sewing – and towards the end of last year I finally finished sewing a tent enclosure for my youngest girl’s bunkbed. She has always wanted at least an illusion of privacy and she loves it. We not only sewed it for her, but I also installed lights around her bed inside the tent so she can sit in there and read before going to bed. The only reason I’ve been getting back to sewing is my oldest daughter has decided to take a sewing class for her final semester. Trust me when I say I love sewing, but I often put that lower on my priorities list because of all the other things that need to happen. So yes, I’m glad she took the class because I was forced to keep my promise and make that enclosure! We’ve also built a detailed Rube Goldberg Machine for a science project and my youngest girl is taking a GT class on Baking, so we’ve been making sculptures out of cake and fondant, and made many wonderful treats that we can actually eat (Apple Stuffed Strudel Muffins, Strawberry Shortcake, and many others).
So now you know some of the daily happenings around here. I’m sure I’ve missed lots of things, but time flies when you’re
having fun busy. Okay… and having fun 🙂