03 September 2014

So where do you go if facebook doesn't work?

To complain that facebook is not working?  Your blog.

Sigh, more time to lesson plan I guess. :)

03 August 2014

My Mom

I was 18 in this picture.  Long before my Mom's accident.  I have a lot of guilt over what happened with my Mom.  I had just gone back to work after having my son, and my husband and I had worked out that he'd work days, and I would work nights, except on weekends, where I would work mornings when needed, but I'd only work 6 hours tops, so that we didn't have to leave our son with a sitter, and my husband would bring my son to me halfway through my shift for me to nurse him.  Well, on October 25, 2004 I was at work, without a pump, or a baby, and when my husband called me to tell me that the baby was hungry we realized that my Mom had our 2nd car seat and my husband had no way to bring our son to me.  I had no way to pump, and I would have leaked like crazy if I didn't either nurse or pump, although we did have frozen milk in the fridge for James.

So I called my Mom, and I asked her if she could bring the car seat to my husband so that Michel could bring James to me to nurse.  It was about 9ish and she said sure.  Michael showed up not 30 min later, we only live about 15-20 min from my Mom, and work.  I nursed the baby and then walked them out to their car before I went back to work and I can remember vividly the car accident on Industry Road.  There were so many flashing lights, and a semi truck and everyone, the cashiers and baggers, everyone was captivated by it.  We saw the helicopter come in to flight lift the wounded, and I remember I made a comment that obviously it was really bad if they were flight lifting rather than just using an ambulance.  I said a quick prayer for the family and the person affected by this accident and shooed everyone back inside to get back to work.

Little did I know that this would change my life in so many ways.

I usually got off a little after midnight.  I got the call, sometime as I was wrapping things up in the office.  Bill called me and said Mom had been in a very serious accident, and that they weren't sure if she'd make it.  It was really bad.  At that moment I realized I'd prayed for myself.  I just knew that accident was my Mom. I asked Bill where the accident had happened, and he said somewhere on the way home.  I told him I saw the aftermath.  I was so scared and I kind of just lost it.  Thank God Chris knew how to finish everything in the office because I'm not sure I would have been able to finish.  I called Michael to come get me, I knew I'd not be able to drive home, and then I called my sister and my best friend Amanda.

I don't remember much else.  I knew I wanted to rush over there immediately but Bill told me not to.  I went early the next morning though, and my Mom, she was, I'd never seen her so frail looking.  I prayed, so hard those next few weeks.  My work, God Bless them gave me more time off, and I took another month off waiting for my Mom to heal.  It was touch and go for the first few weeks, and we learned that she could no longer feel her legs.  Her spinal cord was swollen, and she was paralyzed.

My Mom had forgotten that she had taken her sleeping pills.  She only wanted to help her grandchild and I feel so guilty about it, even now.  If I'd had a back up plan then I'd never have had to call her to go to my house, and the accident would not have happened.

I then watched my Mom fade away over the next ten years.  It was hard, and I miss her every day now.  My Mom was my best friend.  She had so much hope right after the accident, that maybe she'd be able to walk, at least with assistance, but as the years went on she lost hope, and with the loss of hope she lost her motivation to stay healthy.  In the past five years especially she was in and out of the hospital a lot, there were several close calls, and honestly, I thought that's what this last time would have been also, but it wasn't.  And as much as I miss my Mommy, it was time.  She was such an amazing Mom and friend.  She always supported me, even when she maybe didn't agree or understand and she never judged me.  I don't think I could have asked for a better Mom.

I love you Mom.

30 July 2014

Juggling children is hard! :)

  It's hard to do school when you have an almost 17 month old who constantly wants your undivided attention.  Like right now, where I came in the room, sat down to blog and immediately I'm demanded to nurse her.  Right now.  No exceptions.

This isn't going to be my main blog post today, but as I'm limited at the moment with my hands, this is the best I can do right now.

I've got two students still in the 13-14 school year, and I've started my middle two in the 14-15 school year already at their request, and entire week early.  Which is okay since we're heading to FL in less than two weeks.  So far it's going okay, but I don't have a lot I need to do with the bigs, but my almost 17 month old is not a fan of my being distracted from her.  At least not when she wants attention, and that's about any time I'm not paying attention to her.

But, back to topic, I plan on writing about my Mom soon, which is still a hard subject for me.

22 July 2014

I'm trying... think of my next blog post.  Not sure what I'm going to write about but I have some ideas.  I really would love it if I had the time and patience to write about all the things I'd like to write about.  And the ability to stay on task.  Gotta love chronic fatigue.

But, as it's almost time for a new school year I think my next full length blog post will feature something about our new school year that I'm setting up for.  But, for now I have two young children begging to go to the park.

It's my birthday today too, and I'm exhausted, I think pizza may be in order for tonight.

06 July 2014

March was a hard month for me.  My Mom was in a car accident in October of 2004.  She suffered severe injuries and became a paraplegic.  She was optimistic at first, but slowly, what was optimistic that she may eventually walk again became resignation that she never would, and finally slipping into depression as she realized she never would, and that many of the things that she used to love to do and wanted to do with her grandchildren could never happen.  And unfortunately in all of this she also missed out on a lot with them.  I watched as my vibrant and passionate mother faded away in front of me, and finally, in March this year she left this earth.  I still can't think about her without crying.  My Mom was my best friend, my rock.  After my Daddy died in 1992 I only had her and although we had a rough start, she was my person to cling to.  We had a lot in common and enjoyed those things together.  My Mom was a really awesome person who I miss talking to every day since she died.

It was sudden, and yet not so sudden, and it's hard not to think back and see all the regrets, all the times I could spend with her and now can't.

Mommy, I know you're looking after me now, and my kids.  I love you and I know you knew that.  It hurts, you being gone, but I'll be okay, but only for you, because I know that's what you'd want, but I miss you.  So much.

So here it is.

My confession.  I care about what people think, to a point.  From about my 3rd child on I've pretty much said, I'd be happy with how many we've had, we won't be having any more, and to be honest, at those times I was being truthful.  But, it inevitably hits, the baby bug.  It's not that I'm not happy with my children, but that I am.  I love my children and I love being a Mom and I cannot imagine doing anything else with my life.  And I want more.

I hate being pregnant, it's annoying and tiring and a lot puking, but I LOVE giving birth and having a squishy newborn from it.  And the biggest thing of all....I've always had my heart set on six children.  I come from a large family, not my immediate family, no.  I'm my Mom's only and my father's youngest of three, except they are both older than I am, so I grew up essentially an only child, but my Mom's mom, my grandma had six, and my Maw Maw had four children and when I saw my aunts and uncles interacting with each other, and I saw the love between my cousins who had siblings, I knew, just KNEW in my heart I was meant to have children like that.

So yes, after Katara I said I was done, and a LOT of that was out of social pressure, and because of my anxiety issues, but saying it and having those issues does not make the want for more kids disappear.  And I'm sure I *could* be happy with just five.  I have some really awesome kids, so I really could, but why do I have to settle for less than what I want just because people think six kids is a lot?  My kids are taken care of, they eat their fill, they have a roof over their heads, and medical and dental care, and I also do believe that God provides.

No, we're not pregnant, and I'm not sure we're going to be again, but I'm not saying I won't be again, because I could, but there it is.  I miss being pregnant and I love having newborns and I love being a Mom to a large family and I won't be ashamed of that, because there's nothing WRONG with that.  My family is happy and really, that's all that matters.

20 February 2014

The Myths of Homeschooling

I've rolled doing a blog post like this around in my head before, but it IS really overdone.  So of course I'm doing it.

Myth #1 Socialization.  I hear this so often and really it kind of baffles me.  My Mom used to tell me all the time, "School is not for socialization, it's for your education" along with my teachers after my best friend Amanda and I would be caught, for yet again talking to each other (you know socializing.)  Here is Merriam-Webster's definition of socialization:


 verb \ˈsō-shə-ˌlīz\
: to talk to and do things with other people in a friendly way
: to teach (someone) to behave in a way that is acceptable in society

Full Definition of SOCIALIZE

transitive verb
:  to make socialespecially :  to fit or train for a social environment
a :  to constitute on a socialistic basis <socialize industry>
b :  to adapt to social needs or uses
:  to organize group participation in <socialize a recitation>
intransitive verb
:  to participate actively in a social group

Now, I'm not sure how anyone can say only public schools are qualified to teach children how to act in the real world.  I'd dare to say, that's pretty much the parents job, since from birth you're supposed to teach them to be respectful, kind, polite people, and that job doesn't end just because they are school aged.  It's not the school's responsibility to teach those things.  The school is responsible for giving children the education (not socialization) they need to survive after they graduate, whether in the work force, or in college.

Myth #2 Not Being Smart Enough.  Now, I'm not saying anyone can teach their kids.  It's something you've got to want, but I am saying, anyone IS capable of teaching *their* kids if they want to put the work into it.  Many curriculums are extremely easy to use.  They lay it all out for you, and all you have to do is follow their plan.  They show you ways to teach different concepts, and there's plenty of free resources online nowadays that have videos of concepts that you can have your child watch if you can't explain something well.

Myth #3 They'll miss out on Extra Curricular Activities.  Not at all true.  Many children play sports offered in the community, and not through schools.  There are dance studios, private tutors for all kinds of musical instruments. There are homeschool coops, and groups and so many many resources available to homeschoolers, you just have to reach out there and take advantage of the opportunities.

Myth #4.  You Have to Have Unlimited Patience.  I don't have patience, I am caught sometimes in the feeling of wanting to hit my head up against a wall.  So I take a break.  We all take a break, and then come back anew.  A lot of the stress from homeschooling, imo, comes from this unrealistic expectation that you'll be able to do it all.  You can't.  Not even the public schoolers are finishing everything.  Think back, did you do everything in your science, math, language arts or history book?  No?  That's right.  Didn't you learn and graduate high school?  Your kid will too!

08 February 2014

It's that time of year again

Tax return season!  Which means.......curriculum searching!

One of the advice I give to people who are just starting out in homeschooling is to give yourself a break in the first year.  It's the hardest, you have to get in your routine, figure your kid out, and what in your curriculum you can tweak to insure that your child learns.

I have five kids, four of them will actively be doing school this year (I hope as I have a very stubborn four year old.)  I started homeschooling using only abeka with James.  It worked really well, and I enjoyed it and James worked well with it.  I can tweak what I need to, skip things that are already learned, and add in places if needed.  It worked well with Jade too, and Steven, but I've made changes over the years.

At one point, the older kids were not doing well in spelling, so I switched that, and now my kids love spelling lessons, and are excelling in it.  I also felt that Abeka's science and history was weak, so we switched that too and the kids now look forward to those classes.

It's important to remember to change things when they are needed.  So, I get to Willow, and she's not responding to Abeka at all.  So, we're trying something different, and I'm thinking also of switching things for Jade too.

I really like the time of year though, to buy new curriculum.  It's fun now, and no longer overwhelming, looking into all my options!

28 January 2014

The life of a large family.

When I was little I grew up as an only child.  I have two sisters who I love a lot, but I didn't get to grow up with them.  I was not completely lonely as I had friends and a lot of cousins to play with, but at the end of the day, when I was at home, I was alone.  I was jealous of my cousins who had siblings and the bonds they had with their siblings from growing up together.  I always knew that when I had children that's what I wanted for them.  That bond.  I know that my Mom would have had more children if she'd had the chance but she was not able to have that chance.

So as I grew up I knew that my want of 12 children was probably not all that realistic, and I knew, when my father died that I wanted either my husband or myself to stay at home with our children, to have that security I felt from my father being at home with me.

I met Michael when I was 15 years old.  As we got closer, we started talking about what most young people do when they are way too young and dating.  We talked about our future, and what we wanted.  I told him that I wanted a ton of kids, probably somewhere around 6.  He said he wants kids, so that wouldn't be too bad probably.

We didn't purposely have James, but he wasn't exactly an accident either.  We were both very much aware that he could happen, and we went into that with our eyes open.  He was VERY much wanted.  We chose to try and have Jade as close as possible because I was informed it'd be hard for me to get pregnant (ha!).

After Jade we discussed family planning, how we wanted to go about it.  We chose to try for Steven as soon as possible after Jade turned 1, and the same thing for Willow.  We discussed money issues, our family dynamics, and if this was something we really wanted (to be parents of four).  We were both in very much agreement that a large family was something we both wanted.

After Willow I had said no more.  Michael (and pretty much everyone else wasn't convinced) that I'd have more.  I was not.  Michael and I talked about it though, around the time that Willow weaned/turned 2 and decided that we would try and have two more kids, but that we'd wait for me to be pregnant while he was gone, and then he'd be home for the first year of the baby's life.  Then try for baby #6 when baby #5 was 1 year old.  We got pregnant with Katara and I have since decided that the panic attacks I have at the end and after giving birth are too consuming of me, and we've decided not to have more kids.  Not because we don't want more (because we do) but because my mental health is important.

That doesn't mean though that we couldn't provide for more children, that we wouldn't be able to give another child all the love, affection and attention they deserve.