Saturday, November 30, 2013

Just What Was Needed

We joined BHEA (Blount Home Educators Association) this past school year. It is a really great support group that has enriched our homeschooling experience. I'm not quite sure what I was thinking going at this without one for so long. (Actually, I know why I avoided them. Support groups had a negative connotation to me. I thought I'd be surrounding myself with homeschool zealots.)

One of the benefits of being part of BHEA is the new friendships and connections that we've all made. Having a network of moms who've felt led to give their kids a Christ-centered education is vitally important whether it is your first year or whether you're considered a "veteran" homeschooler. The kids have also really enjoyed having friends who are "like" them. For so long, I was very intentional about them having friends who were in public and private schools. It seemed (and still does seem) important for them to not have an elitist mentality concerning education and that they have a variety of friends.
However, I underestimated that as they got older it would be very important to them to have friends with a similar lifestyle. 
Because in reality, homeschooling is a lifestyle. 
It is  not something contained in hours, days of the week, or on book shelves. 
No two families do it the same or even have exactly the same motivations behind their decision. 
*It amuses me when people group us together just like I used to do when I thought homeschooling was wacko and you had to dress like you starred in Little House on the Prairie
Back to my point, my children have needed to have friends (not just the few at our church) who are being home schooled, too.
Middle school particularly is filled with peer pressure, insecurity, and the desire to not be different. My middle schooler was feeling  insecure about being hm schl'd and definitely felt a pressure to conform. This was really nothing new, it just intensified. She's had curiosity for years and the grass seemed greener for her friends in public school. I totally understood her feelings, but it didn't change my convictions about education.
We've had a few years of fighting and lots of frustration. This spring, it seemed that the best solution would be that she  go to school next year. Going and experiencing "real school" for herself would clear up all the questions she's had and maybe she would be thrive. 
Something had to give and it wasn't going to be my sanity.

 After being involved with American Heritage Girls and BHEA this past school year, Tater has decided that she wants to continue being homeschooled. Her decision is based not only on what her friends have told her about the "reality" of school, but I know it also is because she has many girlfriends who are being educated like her. Not feeling like the only one has really made a difference.

If I could do it over, I would have joined a support group long ago.

Learn from my mistake. Moms, don't underestimate the emotional needs of your kids to have friends that are "like" them. Church peeps and neighbors may not be enough. Your friends' kids may not  either. We all need different relationships for various reasons.

Roo Roo

Back in August, we welcomed our fifth child into the world. 
She was a long awaited little miracle. 

Her delivery went easily (if you can call labor and delivery that...after the epidural, it was good). Like with my first three children, I had a midwife. Libbi was awesome. Once I got to 7cm, she assured me we'd be having a baby in just a little bit. Libbi sat down at the end of the bed, and we all talked until it was time to push. It really helped me relax.

Things went fast. Shane got to deliver Roo after her head was out. It was a really cool experience. (Kids can't watch the video because my L&D nurse pulled my gown right off! There was A LOT going on up in that mix.)

I'm so glad Libbi never left me. Love her.   

And my Roo Roo has been the sweetest. Seeing Shane become a father again was magical.

As an older and more spiritually mature momma, I understand differently the blessing of motherhood. 
Overwhelmed. Comforted. Humbled. Challenged.  
Thankful to my Father in Heaven. May my children see His love through me.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

An Older Biscuit

Last week, our little Tater got a bit older. One year til tween is over and teen begins.

Her bday usually falls while we are in Georgia visiting my Mom. This year, it was on Thanksgiving Day.
Current interests include friends, choir, decorating, anything with fashion, and music. She received several gifts on Thursday, but also got to choose some on Black Friday while we were out.
It is a tradition for my Mom, sisters, Tater (for the last few years), and myself. We don't get up at the crack of dawn(anymore), but we go out and usually get at least some of our Christmas shopping accomplished. The oohs, aahhs, and regular cackling make Black Friday special. We are also self-appointed fashion advisors to each other which is hilarious. Sure the deals are nice, but the time with my family (whom I rarely see) is priceless.

Tater hearts Charming Charlie, so that was one of our destinations. We also hunted for cowgirl boots, but were unsuccessful. Lack of size, style, or reasonable price dashed our hopes. So the quest continues...
Everyday, our only girl becomes more little woman.
Gone are the days of Barbies or finding a bow to match her outfit. In many ways she is still a child, but in many more ways she is changing. It is a challenging process, but overall it is really amazing to watch your children grow up. Tater is an incredibly nuturer and loves serving others. Often I find her taking care of C, whether reading a book or getting him dressed, without having asked her to help. She bathes him, changes 'shewwies' aka poops, and doesn't shy away from a challenge (unless it involves creative writing). Multi-talented, she can fulfill the role of bossy big sister like no other (just ask E-Dog or Double). 

Love our Tater Biscuit. I pray that she gains a greater understanding of God and that her faith is deepened in this coming year.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Oh Yeah

So, it's been almost a year since I've blogged. Totally lame. Just couldn't muster up a post.
I have put plently of thoughts onto FB, but that is the effortless way of communicating. I took the easy way out!
I have had plenty of soap boxes and at times should have just put something on here. I completely understand if no one ever reads this bc I basically abandoned my blog.
Well, this post is really about nothing except to say, "Oh yeah, I have a blog."
We had some fam pics taken recently. The actual process was very unenjoyable. I love the lady who took them. It was my children that made me crunk.
C was a fussy disaster, W wouldn't open his eyes, and T had an attitude. She thinks she is C's birthmother and would get crabby if she wasn't holding him. Nice. E and my man were the only reasons that I didn't strangle anyone. And that there would have been a witness (with a camera).

And all the drama was worth it. I love having fresh pics of the kids and doing a family potrait every year.(except in 2009, I think)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Pinterest Time

I don't often have large blocks of free time. (That's why my nails look like junk!)

Throughout the day I get short lived visits to my computer. (No smart phone.) I usually check FB or email. Sometimes it's a check of the headlines at Fox News.

And then there is Pinterest.

When I learned about Pinterest I was definitely intrigued. I had to(and still have to) limit my time/exposure. The images brought out some feelings of discontentment and the desire to shop. Not good when the Lord has helped me so much in these areas. Not trying to go backwards. Have to keep a heart and attitude check.

I don't have an account to help curb my enthusiam. That being said, I like so many things about the site!

If you are the last person on earth that hasn't been there, you may want to check it out. Kind of like a world of sharing everything. Recipes, fashion, makeup, photography, decor, jokes, etc. You can spend a lot or a little time. Get an idea for dinner or what to wear the next time you go out. See how to repurpose an item or find some art that inspires you to break out your paint. Something there for everyone and it's free (except for your time).

*Warning that there are some inappropriate pictures and profanity from time to time. Not kid friendly.

Share your thoughts on Pinterest

Friday, January 20, 2012


It feels weird and good to be back after such a long break from blogging.

Weird because I never anticipated such a long pause between entries, and good because I've missed it. Many things have happened in the last few months. I lost my Dad in, that was weird to type. I will do a post about him sometime. I wasn't aware of his deteriorating condition. So although it wasn't a shock that he was unhealthy, I was not prepared for what happened.

It has changed me. It's like I had a life before with a father on earth, and now I have this other life without a dad. To say that I've completely accepted it is probably not accurate. When I've needed to cry or breakdown, I have. Part of the process is like reprogramming your brain because you had that person your whole life. Now you don't. No more phone calls, visits, touching them, hearing their is a lot to take in. Of course I realize that believers have the hope of heaven and I'm not talking about that. What I'm working on is accepting my life here on earth without my Dad.

I apologize to anyone who reads this who feels that I haven't gone to them. My love for you hasn't changed. I'm grieving.

The "big" kids are still in school and our little cutie is almost 8 months. Having kids in such a big age range has made for quite an interesting variety of experiences. Everything from body changes, obsessions with Star Wars, loosing front teeth, watching out for choking hazards, to longing for sleep filled nights (he's up again! grrr-probably his gums) much always going on in this house. We are blessed beyond what we could ever deserve.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Not Quite the Duggars, but...

I'm quickly learning how much time and management having a "big" family requires. It's very different from having a smaller family. There's just more.
More laundry, more food, more stuff in the floor, more dishes(bottles), more people desiring your attention and sweet skillz. It's a lot. Add in the fact that we are homeschooling. Why yes, we are crazy. I just got fitted for my tight white jacket.

Sleeping through the night, having a reliable schedule, and regular exercise will surely help to alleviate some of the stress. Hoping that they all come soon. I'm really trying to be efficient and do all the things that I know God wants me to do. Unfortunately that often puts any "me" time on the bottom of the list, only to get bumped off and put onto the next day. Say it with me, this too, shall pass. The sooner the better!

We are doing devotions regularly with two sweet books each titled, "Jesus Calling." One is for big people and the other is for kids(not preschool though). It's been good to all learn and focus on certain biblical principles and scripture together, yet each on our own levels. If you are in a season where you are stretched thin and have minimal time, these books are really well suited for you. Beth Moore is in my future, but for now I don't need another thing to feel like I'm behind in or not doing well. My sweet friend, Chris, sent me a devotional for moms and I've read some in it. I can't have a book in my vicinity and not peek. It will be a good addition for me now since it doesn't require much time. It's called "100 Days of Blessing," by Nancy Campbell.

Well, it's close to dinner time. One look at me and you could tell the day I've had. Nothing exceptionally rotten, but I've passed mirrors instead of using them. Poor Shane. I've got on workout clothes just in case I get time before my energy is depleted. Oops, too late. I'm tired. JK

(Disclaimer: This blog post is extremely honest with a bit of sarcasm added. I love my job. There is no greater calling. It's just tough, and some of us have the bags and muffin tops to prove it. I did read recently that everyone knows that the best part of a muffin is the top. Hmm, not sure about that. Thank you, Lord, for allowing Spankx and all other shape wear to be invented.)