Saturday, September 06, 2008

Toodling and our nitch

This week has been a free-for-all! We have made amazing memories, but done more toodling around than usual. (Toodling is one of my crazy words that means playing, dreaming, laziness in general.) Lydie goes to Mother's Morning Out and the boys take homeschool classes on Tuesdays(aka let's goof off with other kids while Mom has an errand day and a Starbucks). Tuesdays are a crucial tool for my endurance and organization! We decided to take the afternoon off from school because the kids were exhausted after traveling from Alabama on Monday night and their busy morning. So I let the kids plop themselves in front of the boob tube for an unusually long dose of cartoons while the baby took a nap. Feeling lethargic and a bit guilty after dinner, we decided to play a game of family softball in the front yard.
This is what a toodling week does to the family room. Oh well! It really doesn't look that much worse than at the end of every other day, who am I kidding?

Wednesday was a hard-core school day (our first one all week!). Just for the record, I love to find ways to make the ordinary more exciting(thus the term toodling), but...I am NOT one to just skip school because we aren't in the mood or I am too busy. This week was definitely the exception to the norm. Any way, the funniest memory from Wednesday was the boys getting into the shaving cream. Every morning we start our school day with a fine motor activity. While the boys work together, I spend 20 minutes with Lydie. We paint, glue, color, etc. I thought she would like to paint with shaving cream, but she wouldn't get near it. Here she is...
But the boys LOVED it! Jaybird even put it all over his face.
Wednesdays are normally our night to eat out. My husband leads youth group and this is always our very hardest day at home (Can you say spiritual warfare?). But this day was fun and smooth! So I actually cooked. And, because we are nothing if not creatures of habit, we went out to the park and stopped for ice cream. I love days like this one!

Thursday was our first field trip for the year. We went to the art museum to see their ancient art collection from the Louvre. The boys were pretty impressed with the Egyptian art and being able to see first hand what we have studied. There is nowhere more fascinating to me than the art museum. God is so gracious in allowing us to bear His image. And to think these artists' talent don't hold a candle to God's creativity! Wow. If that was not enough, we went to a friend's restaurant and then to the park afterwards. Toodle, toodle, toodle.

This is about half of our "homeschool group". Seven families have gotten together for field trips, parties, moms' nights and even an end-of-the-year recital and yearbook together! This was our first time together and the kids meshed so well. (My boys are in stripes, Lydie did not come with us.)My friend's two darling girls. They are as sweet as they are cute.

The boys that came that day got along great. Toot is not pictured because he was obsessed with the blocks.

My friend's little girl. I like to call her Miss Congeniality. Isn't she adorable?

Friday we had another great day of school. The boys were motivated to achieve an entire day's worth of studies by lunch time. They did it with the exception of biology. So they were able to go to their best friends' house to play all afternoon. Fridays are always special as they are pizza/movie night. After dinner Jaybird reminded me about biology. My husband volunteered to teach them their lesson on taxonomy (Only HE, the biologt, could make that interesting. I could hear them singing "Kingdom, phylum, class..." and using legos to demonstrate from upstairs.).
Ever since I decided to homeschool the boys have been more cheerful, affection and excited about learning. I don't think this is due to homeschooling, per say. I think it is just confirmation that we are doing what we have been called to do. It can be crazy and busy and exhausting, but I love this way of life for us. I noticed this week when I picked the boys up from both their Tuesday classes and their friends' house that they greeted me with a hug and a kiss. (After the kiss they both commented that they didn't want to leave their friends' house, mind you.) The point is, I can tell that their love tanks are overflowing. And mine is too. I don't have to do this flawlessly for them to appreciate it or for God to bless my feeble efforts. (While I owe him every moment of worship, His grace is unmerited and boundless, praise God.) These precious boys have seen me lose my temper (at their 1 year old sister, no less), act grumpy and have a bad attitude in general on several occassions. But they have also seen me ask them and God for forgiveness, laugh more, pray more with them, and toodle more. We are having fun learning together and toodling. We don't have to be anywhere at any certain time. For some that is awful. For us it is freeing and fitting. We have found our nitch! (And after years of praying, questioning, being afraid to try this thing called homeschooling, that feels really good!)

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." ~Helen Keller


Bloom Where You Are Planted said...

You, my sweet, sweet friend have brought me to tears once again!

To be specific, your beautifully thoughtful words describing your ins and outs of mothering, teaching, and being a daughter of the King have deeply touched my heart.

Thanks for the open window into your past week! :)

Mamacita said...

You are a very encouraging mom and homeschooler. A new friend recently told me that we are not defined by homeschooling, it's just something we do as we are being moms. I like that and it appears to me that you "get it" too. Sometimes I think I'm going headlong into ruining my kids but then the Lord throws in a bunch of sweetness and fun and I shrug the downer thoughts off like an old cloak. Life is toooooo short, right!