Saturday, August 28, 2010

1000 Words

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but in my life, just be glad you don't actually hear them. See this photo above? It looks so peaceful. So together. Like a quiet spot- go ahead... pull up a rocking chair. And many times it IS a wonderful, peaceful place to rock.

However- at that moment... Nope. At that moment there was much weeping. The kids were crying loud enough for Eric to call from our room's window and ask if I needed help. (Forget stopping to smell the roses... I just want to photograph them!)

See... that is the way that blogs are. You see only the peace and quiet. You cannot hear the fact that as I am writing Bethany is chasing a kitten. You don't see that Sam is climbing the table. All you see is the peaceful old hotel's porch... quiet and serene and assume that is my life.

The decibels of my life are high. The stress meter pegs often. But if I write about those things, it is only after they are done... after I have some perspective. After I can laugh at the chaos which is my life.

No one has it all together. I have many friends who maybe would appear by the parts we see to have it all together. And sometimes I am tempted to envy them. Until I remember that we ALL sin and fall short of the glory of God.

And I remember that the parts I envy from thier lives are just the parts that they do well, but that I do not do so well. I have things I do well that they do not. It is reciprocal. Because none of us have it ALL together.

Just wanted to let you know in case you are tempted to think that I have it all figured out. I'll be glad to get you in touch with someone knowing me in real life who can let you know that I do NOT have it all correct. :) In fact, you would not believe the number of stories I don't tell you because they would embarrass someone in my family. I am more than happy to embarrass myself, but try hard not to embarrass others. :)

So there. Now I feel better. And while you are at it... just go back to the top and enjoy the peace of the photo. Because you cannot hear the crying the way I do. Thank goodness for the silence of photos.

These are a Few of my Favorite Things...

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away there lived a young girl. She was not like all the other girls... because she knew a General and a Queen who lived in Buckingham Palace.

The General could make a mean milkshake with Magical Powers.

And one day, while the girl was working away, minding her own business,

She went to the Palace for an innocent Milkshake. Little did she know it was a Magical Milkshake that when shared with a certain young Midshipman would change her life forever.

And they lived Happily Ever After. Just like the General and the Queen B. Only not nearly so cool.

When I grow up I want to be just like them.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

We Now Call a Cease to the Blog Break...

A month ago we returned from our summer vacation... from Whoville to Pennsylvania, to the suburbs of DC, to central Virginia, and back to Whoville. Wow. Photos and posts may or may not follow this. I plan on summing up today and seeing what happens for future posts.

So here is what has occurred in the 4 weeks since our return:

- I have researched, bought, and planned school for 7 children. Including making copies for the first 9 weeks. And getting all notebooks and spirals, etc. ready. And stocked the pencils, pens, crayons, markers, paper, cardstock, ... I have figured out which books are needed for this year's studies, rounded them up, and have them on the school shelves (in order). Not that I really expect to be able to find them when I need them in Dec. or whenever, but I can hope.

- I have completely emptied and dealt with the clutter of the alcove at the top of the steps... you'd be amazed at all the junk we had shoved up there.

- I finished grading last year's school and put it all away. For the past 1o years I had just shoved the school books into boxes and put them in the attic. So this year I went through all those papers and just kept the cover of the workbook, and every tenth page. Stapled it together, then gave each child their own box in the attic. Also I put any notebooks of research pages, pictures, projects, etc. on a bookshelf in the alcove.

- I re-did our entire schedule. It is no easy task to be sure that no one need to use the flashmaster/ computer/ book / piano/ etc. at the same time.

- I re-did the chore charts. I am only brave enough to change chores once a year. It's a hard transition.

- I launched an all out battle against the mice that think that our house is a nice place to live. They are winning... but I brought in the big guns. So to speak. We are now the proud owners of two kittens.

- I organized each and every one of our 12 bookshelves. And I found an amazing number of books which had disappeared into the nether regions of the house. I was wondering how in the world the girls finished their reading lists by December... evidently they couldn't find many of the books. I have solved that problem by moving all the desks into the computer room and living room, and all the toys from the computer room to the now un-cluttered alcove.

- I made it to our dental appointments at 8:30. I was only 4 minutes late. Only to discover I was a week early.

- I had out of town visitors for a week. We LOVED seeing them again!

- I have organized all the logistics for the local Bible Bee which will be held on Saturday.

- I took another look at our desperately gasping budget, and tried to figure out where to save a few more dollars.

- We have decided to build a house a little north of us, and we have designed our house plans. So while I was agonizing about when Anna should read Mara, Daughter of the Nile, Eric was agonizing over the location of toilet drains, and how many windows we need for our passive solar heating. It's been a really romantic month. LOL.

Still to do ( but won't probably get done before school starts on Monday) is to clear off the top of the computer desk, file all the papers found there, clean up my room which has not had clothing put away in several weeks (I just keep wearing clothes out of the clean pile), and re-do our menus and shopping lists.

I can tell the difference in what I have both the motivation AND the energy to accomplish when I am not pregnant or having a newborn at the beginning of the school year! And although I have been a homeschooling Mama way to long to think that we will have so much fun just because I have organized and de-cluttered... I do think our days should run much more smoothly due to the work I have put in this month. So I can work on baby control, and helping my children learn as much as they can.

And I have to admit that I am truly (for the first time in several years) looking forward to our studies. We go back to the Ancients this year... studying Creation to the birth of Christ.

So... that is why I have not been blogging. But now I am back and we will see how often I can post. I've missed you all! What have YOU done in the past two months?