but first…coffee. (a day in the life.)

so we homeschool.

okay, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, the rest of what I write will make sense to you.

a few have asked what a typical day looks like in our family, so this is me attempting to do that.

our day begins when our youngest calls from her room, letting the entire world know she’d like to come downstairs. this is usually around 6am. my husband, being the ever-so-kind husband (also probably trying to avoid me having to wake up quickly…not a pretty sight) gets her breakfast. he leaves for work and I try to get moving… but first

coffee.

of course, coffee is the essential ingredient for any homeschool mom. or any mom, for that matter.

and so it begins.

my oldest goes to her music courses (for 2 hrs), my middle-school aged daughter starts her school work and I do pre-K with my youngest. this involves a bit of hyped-up energy. on my part. but first

coffee.

do you notice a pattern? the struggle is real.

so we do our morning circle time… which is well, not really a circle… then we do phonics, bible time and our theme of the week. that is followed by a special “time” that her older sister does with her, and is usually a fun activity or a book that goes with the theme. after they are done, there is a small break in our day while I answer or help my older two if needed, then we continue with our lesson time. this is when I basically do the “teaching” part. but first..

coffee.

yes, it is needed. again. I mean, c’mon, it isn’t even lunch time and my energy is typically zapped by this time.

i have a “center activity” planned for her while i make lunch. this usually is math manipulatives, play dough, etc.

lunch is very simple… leftovers or pb&j. i make a full dinner each evening, so lunch isn’t usually spectacular. i choose my battles and challenges very carefully if i can. because, i’m pretty sure a FOURTH cup of coffee at this point would be needed, and i have to stop at some point. maybe. anyway, so i usually let my youngest watch a sesame street youtube clip on the letter or sound we are learning about while she eats. this is a treat for her, and she loves it. it also gives me some quiet to eat my lunch or throw laundry in or help another kiddo.

and then….. it happens…..

QUIET TIME!!

yes… we do a quiet time every day for an hour. we always have. naps are long gone in our house, but this momma needs a little breather and so do they. we all look forward to this time. we go to our rooms and do some quiet play or reading. it truly helps make a difference in the remainder of the day. if there’s ever a time it doesn’t happen, i can see the chaos and drama erupt pretty quickly. quiet time is a life-saver.

…because then it’s “craft” time. i am not a crafty person. like every ounce of craftiness had been used up by the time God created me. i’m pretty sure this is not an exaggeration. nonetheless, i am a good mother and allow the mess to ensue. (honestly, my older two had to go to Gramma’s house when they were younger if they wanted to use anything “messy” to be creative. progress, folks. progress.).

after this, it is usually time for me to begin making dinner.. and at least one of my older girls is done with their schoolwork for the day. typically, i use my powers of resistance and self-discipline to not make a new pot of coffee because… the evenings are made up of running someone somewhere, food shopping or planning for the next day (which i highly recommend.. the days just get off to a better start when the day is all planned and laid out the evening before).

so i won’t bore you with the evening details, because, i am sure yours looks very similar to mine. and hopefully we all find time to cherish the moments with our families, but also the quiet ones after they are in bed (i know you all are feeling that way… and i am here to tell you that IT’S ok! we all need a moment to breathe… so we can be a better momma for the next day. and the next day. and the next… you get the picture.).

well, there it is…

i’m skipping the crazy and  boring parts, and of course each day is different (well, except for the fact that momma is tired)… but this is basically our typical day. in the shortest version i could muster.

and since quiet time is over as i write this, i better figure out a clever way to wrap this up. but first

coffee.

 

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every day grace

there is not one single word that can easily describe motherhood.

and on top of all that it entails, we moms add our own description.

expectations.

expectations of our perceived views from people. from other moms. from our own moms. from our mother-in-laws. from the neighbors. from the seemingly perfect momma in the store with her angelic child sleeping in the spotless stroller. from our friends. from our very own children.

it hits hard. it sinks deep and begins to root.

and if we’re not careful, it can grow into a monster.

i was having a conversation with my daughter and, as we were (jokingly) telling each other what a “day in the life” of the other would look like, it was hilarious and hysterical. but as i walked away, the funniness seemed to dim as some words sunk in. i looked back on it and, from my perception, it appeared my child thought i rest often. okay, so pause a sec with me… rest? for a momma?! i know…it’s why i initially giggled when it was said. but when i thought about it more (why do we women analyze so much, anyway?!), i realized that, of course she would think that! let me explain…

i am a homeschool mom… an introvert… and suffer from frequent migraines.

my days  consist of surviving. oh, the joy it brings in my heart (for real!) but.. i am utterly exhausted each and every moment. i have not always been this way, let me assure you. but in this moment in time, it is fact. i am in no way complaining because my life is the dream i have always longed for… loving husband, 3 awesome daughters, a home to take care of … i could go on. it’s what I’ve always asked God for since i can remember. so, while it is tiring for me, i would not have it any other way.

but do i say that to my children often enough for them to know it?

my evenings consist of school planning for hours (some days) and preparing for the following day. and if i’m not doing it physically, i’m doing it mentally. nonstop.

but how would my children see that? they are sleeping or in their rooms. and they are certainly not in my head.

my mind is a never-ending cycle of thoughts… dinner, cleaning, laundry, family, thinking ahead (seasons, appointments, holidays), time with hubby, one on one time with each child, running places, etc… and when this happens, my mind and heart need a re-charge. due to how God created me, i re-charge differently than some. it’s not commonly talked about because our world has given mommas the stigma that you give and give until you go insane. that’s a good mom. really?! no wonder we all are trying and trying but not getting anywhere!

but how would my children see this or know this? i don’t teach myers-briggs or personality types to them over dinner.

Psalms says that we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

no matter what the other moms at the park think. or what our children think. or what WE think.

that is merely someone’s perception of us. they do not see us 24/7. they cannot see inside our heart.

i had to stop and think this morning…. am i looking at myself as God sees me?

i don’t think i do. and if it do, it’s only because i have the verses written in bold print hanging on my mirror. ha.

so… then, and in typical female reaction (i don’t disappoint! lol), i analyzed yet again. i analyzed MY attitude and thoughts of others. do i judge based on merely MY perception? i think we can all honestly say that we have. but we don’t see them 24/7. we cannot see inside their heart.

Pslams says they are fearfully and wonderfully made.

i believe there is one answer to this dilemma. this answer gives me peace when i worry if i’m doing enough, being enough or if I’ve “rested too long”.

grace.

grace for each other and grace for ourselves.

 

 

(somewhat) early morning ramblings

**Disclaimer** the original purpose of this post was completely different than what it ended up being… and, therefore, further proves what is written in the following. enjoy. ha

I used to be a morning person. no, really, I was. I am not sure how that is even possible. this all changed exactly 4 years ago with the birth of my third daughter. I guess I got tired. and old. I wasn’t old until then.

**just for the record, I am writing in the morning, so already I am rambling… so, you see what I mean? mornings are evil. well, coffee sort of combats the evilness. sort of.

all that being said, I also used to be organized. before you jump to the (horrid) conclusions that I no longer am, rest assured, I am, indeed, organized. I just used to be over-the-top really, annoyingly organized. you know, the kind of person that wants to organize other people’s home… just for the fun of it.

I have a confession.

I don’t want to organize your home. not anymore. i don’t even want to organize my own home (gasp!). it really is appalling to admit. and somewhat humbling. so here’s my backstory: I’m a 38 year old homeschooling mom of 3. but don’t let that fool you. that isn’t the reason for my current change of status. i will tell you the reason. it’s really quite simple. I’m getting older. Ta-da! yes, i am

… and that’s okay with me

i may not be super organized anymore (or have the time and energy to try), and I may not be a morning person as of late (or afternoon person… or evening person… or night person… wait, what am i?! is there a name for this condition?), BUT i am happy. happier in my skin, happier with being who God created me to be. happy to be real. happy with my choices (umm… usually). happy that i can just do life with my people here in these four walls.

there have been many lessons learned along the way… that has brought me here (and brought me to this cup of coffee i have sitting next to my laptop), but i have to admit, i am thankful for each tough lesson because it has formed me into who i am. oh, i am sure there are far many more lessons coming (deep breath), but i say…bring it!

Give me Jesus and give me coffee… and i’m ready to roll.

life update.. for such a time as this

the season has officially changed and we are now embarking on Autumn. it’s so strange because I truly feel that time is going faster as each year passes. does this make me old? don’t answer that…

I am so thankful for a life so full that I haven’t had time to write. but I miss it.. I love to write. you will be happy to know that my time has been well spent though. family, fun, chores (of course), lots of memories… it all made for a wonderful summer. and then some big changes were made. some already in the works, some already visited previously, and some brand new. overall, it has been a life change for me. here’s why…

homeschooling.

yes, that’s us. a homeschooling family. sure, we’ve homeschooled on and off throughout the years for various reasons, but this year is different (aren’t they all?!). but no, really, this one is. my oldest is graduating early and doubling up to finish by late spring (her leaving the nest is a whole other blog… one in which I may or may not blubber and whine. we’ll see. I know you can’t wait for that one.). My middle daughter is in 7th grade (can you say MIDDLE SCHOOL?!… she’s very independent with her work but the teaching of “life” is … well… ya know… i’d rather just spare her the gory details of what the “real world” life is all about.). In other words, to sum up my older two, i’d like to just put them in a bubble and shield them from what’s in front of them. BUT I know that ‘love’ wouldn’t do that. they are spreading their wings, and I get to be along for the ride to watch them soar. what a gift they are to me! Lastly, my 3 year old (who will be 4 in a few short weeks) is really a 16 year old trapped in a tiny body. I kid you not. she is smarter than me most days. needless to say, I am teaching her things that I hadn’t planned to for at least another year or two. she may be teaching me before the year is over.. I will keep you posted. my daughters are gems… really, they are. that in itself is the reason I love that we are all home together. doing life together. learning, loving and growing. together. key word.. together. it’s what God has called our family to for now. I hope that I am brave enough to let Jesus lead me and open enough to have a teachable heart. I pray that this year (seemingly the last we’ll all be under one roof for a time like this) is a special one… one that is full of leaning on one another and growing in our faith and learning how to love wholly and completely. this is a gift. and I don’t take it for granted.

Growth

being inspired. motivated. these are things that get us moving toward things we’d love to see ourselves doing, but as soon as that inspiration stops or the motivation wanes, the things we were doing fade away as well. it’s why a lot of women tend to not be as devoted to devotions and spending quality time with God. i’m sure most of us talk to Him often (umm… we are moms.. how does one survive the day without conversation with Him? or maybe pleading for the day to go faster? or quite possibly begging for a potty break alone?.. yeah, just being real here.). BUT do we take the time to actually listen? hear His voice? i will be the first to admit that it often takes motivation. or… dare i say.. trials. yikes. yep.. if we begin to veer away from the time of growth we so desperately need, He will search us out and bring us back to Himself. tell ya what, i’d much rather choose to spend this daily time then to wait for motivation or trials. i like to spend time just resting in Him… but i also enjoy the studying of His Word. i feel like both are important…. as well as the ongoing conversation all day.

how do you spend time with the Father?

all about… mommas

two words. mommy burnout. can I get an amen?! but, seriously, as I sit here, I think of all my mommy friends and wonder… why must we all pretend to be perfect? why do we feel like we need to be everything for everyone? before I get ahead of myself, I need to say something. I have lost my ever-loving mind. really, I have. ask my husband. I think after children, spread in ages as far apart as the east is from the west, it was bound to happen. hormones and tantrums. and that’s just me. ha! well, as true as that may seem to be, i’m talking about my daughters. three of them. all so very special and all loved so very much. but, let’s face it, life, as I once knew it, is so far long gone that I barely can see the blurry edge of it. in my brief moments of daydreams, I find myself on a deserted beach, soft breeze on my skin and no laundry to do or dinner to cook. and, of course, coffee. or a frappe. or both. so back to the beginning thoughts… why do us moms feel guilty for feeling these things? we are told to be selfless and giving. i mean, that’s what mother’s day is about, right?… celebrating motherhood and all we sacrifice. but does it really have to be a 24/7 thing? obviously, motherhood never ends. i’m questioning the constant giving without breathing. and if we DO take a minute to ourselves, can all of us mommas just join in and say “yay!” to each other? yes? ok, great! whew! working, not working… cooking, ordering out… big children, little children… mommas come in all shapes and sizes and our lives are so very different. but… guess what?! it doesn’t make one better or worse, right or wrong. it just makes us moms. perfectly imperfect.