Sunday, November 8, 2015

Surgery, School, Birthdays and General Updates

If you could see my now, let's just say my appearance would be seriously lacking. I'm not on bed rest but my activity has been limited to my bed and the bathroom as I heal from my surgery. 
I'm recovering from a stress fracture that never properly healed since February. 
You read that correctly, I've been operating at about 60% capacity for the past ten months.  So last week I decided to have surgery, not the best timing considering it's mid semester but for reasons I won't elaborate on now, it was decided that surgery should commence.  I checked into the hospital Friday 10/30/15 and was back home the following Sunday afternoon. Here is a picture of the surgery. 

One week post surgery, I'm in a lot of pain and weaning myself off the pain meds.  I've started physical therapy and I'm hoping for the best. If you look up at the picture and see the nails at the bottom of the leg, there is one nail close to my ankle and it really hurts.  I feel the nail when I get up to walk.  Recovery is going to be slower than I expected which is a bummer.  The hardest part is the stillness.  I'm left in the bed while life is happening all around me.  The boys are going to school, my husband is getting them out the door, helping with homework and carrying on household duties while I'm here in the bed.  It's an isolating feeling.

October began another birthday season here with my oldest son turning eleven.  
Can someone please tell this young man to slow down.  He is getting so big.  I love this boy so much.  He was my introduction into motherhood.  He is the one who showed me that being a boys mom would be a fun adventure.  He is responsible, handsome, helpful and generally a joy to be around.  

The boys have had their first report cards and they are all making A's and B's.  The transition from homeschooling to public school has been tougher on me than them.  I really miss being involved in their education on every level.  I hate that they are in school.  Although I'm responsible for signing them up. In some ways I regret that decision.  They are learning so much.  Some things I want them to learn, other things I wish they would not.  Their innocence is assaulted daily.  There were some conversations I didn't think I would need to have with a second grader.  I won't share the details but it's heartbreaking to see that children don't get to be children for long these days.  

I enrolled in three classes this semester Group Counseling, Counseling Children & Adolescents, and Diagnosis and Treatment Planning. Initially, I thought I would have more time to study since the boys are in school.  Well it hasn't worked out exactly as I hoped.  Yes, there is more time to study but I'm so busy doing so many other things like taking my mom to various doctors appointments or attending to so many other things that need my attention.  Enjoying the course material but the second year of grad school feels a little different than the first. Perhaps the newness or excitement that comes with the first year has worn off.  Now I'm considering accelerating my pace so that I can finish quickly, thinking about it not sure how that will pan out.  Let's see how this semester goes.     

Well that's all for now.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Back to School 2015-2016

Well it's official we are no longer a homeschooling family.  I wanted to post pictures of our first week of school but I had technical difficulties.  Anyway the first  and second week have come and gone and I can give you a more honest feel for what I think about traditional education.  Here are the boys this year.

Christopher 5th grade, attending Rogers Middle School.

Emmanuel 2nd grade, attending Baker Elementary School.


Joshua Kindergarten, attending Baker Elementary School.


School is in session and for the most part I feel a little lost.  I don't know how to be a parent to children in traditional school.  It feels a little weird.  Asking the children how their day went or what they learned in school and relying on them to tell me.  I feel cheated in a way.  With homeshcool I could witness every moment and share in the learning and now I'm just standing on the sideline hoping they will share with me the best and worst part of their days. 

Another thing that is taking some getting used to for me is the children don't have text books.  Well technically they have text books but the books are all digital.  I hate that!  It feels wrong.  How can you go to school without books!  Perhaps I'm too old school but I would like to look at my child's textbook in my hand and not go to another screen to look at it.  Sigh......

This second week of school my oldest is riding the bus to and from school. The younger boys are riding the bus home from school but I still drive them in the morning.  My husband would prefer for them to be on the bus morning and evening but I think that's just too much.  Their bus leaves so early in the morning I'm not willing to have the daily battle of getting them up extra early to get on the bus.

What else can I say but we are adjusting.  On any given day I feel of mixture of happiness, sadness, and anxiety all rolled together.  

I have started my second year of graduate school and since I'm posting pictures, here are a few of me.

After seven years of dread locs, I have a freshly shaved head.   It's taking some adjusting but I think I'm getting the hang of it.  This semester I'm taking nine hours,  Group Counseling, Counseling Children and Adolescents, and Treatment Planning.  It's going to be a busy semester so I will do my best to post regular updates.  

Monday, June 29, 2015

A Season of Change

Many bloggers have seasons in their lives when they just can’t update as much as they would like.  Generally, when there has been a noticeable absence the blogger returns with an explanation of sorts.  Well this would be my explanation if I had one.  The truth is it’s a season of change.  I am so busy trying to keep up with life that all the fun creative things like capturing our life in pictures has taken a backseat to cooking, cleaning, laundry, checking homework, writing papers. Honestly more like eating out, piling things up in corners for my attention at a later date and washing when I hear a little one say “Mmmmoooommm, I don’t have any socks,.”  To which I reply “What do you mean you don’t have any socks!”  Nothing fancy just plain ole day to day stuff. 
I was feeling a bit nostalgic over the weekend and decided to peruse my blog of former posts.  It was wonderful to see all the school activities, family vacations and other things that reflected a time when I lived more outside the box.  My current groove feels like a fast treadmill on a cold dreary day.  No frills just going through the motions begrudgingly.  How sad!
Updates! After a lot of prayer and tears I’ve decided to enroll all of the boys into traditional school next year.  Oh man was this a difficult decision.  Why you may ask!  Well the answer is sort of long but I will try to type a shortened version via bullet points.  So here are my reasons is no particular order:
  1. I’ve noticed I’m losing my patience with my boys.  The lack of patience has been ongoing for a while and after a year of it not going away I felt that I needed to change things up.
  2. My boys need more structure and activity then I can give at this time.  Yes our homeschool has structure and some activity but they need more than I can give at the moment.
  3. Somewhere along the way I lost the magic.  By magic I mean the heart of really tackling each day with passion.  My daily lessons unfortunately turned into a no frills let’s just get this done sort of thing.  There are seasons when you find yourself in a rut but it should not continue for long periods of time. In my case an entire school year. Sad I know.
  4. Didn’t know attending grad school part time would take up so much of my energy. 
  5. Education laws and rules are always changing and I got scared that I wouldn’t be able to cut it.  How I let the devil in my head with this one I don’t know. 
  6. I’m tired and suffering from major burn out.  I know that’s part of it.  We homeschool moms are always tired. We are always trying something new, attacking an area that needs work.   But I was feeling something different that I can’t easily explain.  I’m done, even though I don’t want to be.
  7. For the 2014-2015 school year I tried something different enrolling the boys in a university  model type school.  With this program I did not have to plan any curriculum I only needed to follow the guidelines and make sure the boys turned in their work.  I started the school year thinking this would be the answer for me.  It was not.  The boys did well, but the still small voice within me was still saying its time to let go.  (No I don’t want to.  I’m not ready. There are still so many things I want to do and share with them). The conversations with myself were endless.  But nothing changed.  No glimmer of hope, no light at the end of the tunnel.  Nothing signaled me that what I was feeling was just an emotional blip that would pass. 
  8. I need a break.  I need a space to hear my own thoughts and pursue other things. I would like to go to the doctor, the bank, etc. without carrying three boys with me.  Perhaps that sounds selfish, silly or petty.  I can’t believe I just typed that.  But in the spirit on standing in my truth I’m going to keep it there.
  9. The boys need a different environment.  Some of the character issues we have in our home stem from our setup.  It will be good for them to experience a different environment.  One where mom is not always the teacher.  The change will help them to appreciate what they have and be exposed to something different.
Really, I could go on and on but you get the gist.  The new school year will be the first where all of my boys are in school under someone else’s guidance.  It’s bitter sweet. When I started my homeschool journey it was my intention to see it through to completion. However, I strongly feel like I’m being led in a different direction.  Next year will be a trial year to see how the boys do and if traditional school is a match for our family.  Needless to say if its not a match for our family I will not hesitate to bring them back home or consider other options.
My younger two will be one campus and my oldest will be on the middle school campus.  I’ve registered everyone online but still have to go down for the formal registration and turn in shot records etc. 
Please keep us in your prayers as this is definitely a time of transition for all of us.  During this time there have been many, many tears for me and I’m sure many more to come but I know that God will see us through.  I’ve signed up at both campuses to be apart of the PTO.  When I was growing up it was PTA.  I figure I’ve been very involved in their education up till now I might as well keep that up. 
In the meantime, I hired a tutor (a teacher from our ISD) to work with Christopher over the summer.  I shared the boys yearly standardized test results with him and he feels that boys are each doing great.  That was a huge relief.  Christopher is a little behind with his writing but he is working on that. The tutor stated that Christopher has great ideas but translating them from thoughts in his head to words on a page need a little more developing.  He said that’s difficult for many kids especially boys.  I decided to hire a male tutor because I thought there might be a difference in the lessons.  And wouldn’t you know this tutor can get Christopher to do things that mommy can’t.  Thank God for help! Based on Emmanuel’s test scores the tutor feels that Emmanuel will be placed in gifted and talented when the year begins. 

So that’s an update on the happenings around here.  Talk to you soon.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

2015 Off and Running

Grad school…

By the time you read this post I’m in the thick of it.  Spring semester has begun. I’m taking two classes/six hours, Counseling Diverse Populations and Assessments In Counseling.  This semester I have one online class and one class on campus.  What can I say about online classes?  I will have to hold my tongue until I have spent more time in my class.  Right now it feels strange.  I prefer my professor in class with me so that I can ask questions as we cover the material.  My degree plan is sixty hours and there are about five classes total that have an online option.  If you haven’t noticed technology has taken over every area of our life whether you want it to or not. Recently, I went to see my advisor to file my degree plan and he informed me that I should start my practicum this fall.  That means I will be counseling live bodies, helping real people with issues, at a field site in just a few months.  Although I am nervous, I am secure in the fact that I will be prepared when the time comes.

Tuesdays are very busy.  All the boys are in school on Tuesday which means lots of driving for me.  Dropping the boys off, going to study, picking the boys up, meeting my husband at our specified location so we can switch cars, he takes the boys home and then I’m off to campus for class then driving home. Rinse and repeat.  Lots. of. driving.  I’m hoping gas prices remain low.

Around my home…..

Well mostly I’ve been focusing on food prep and keeping my home clean.  When I say clean I don’t mean spotless but de-cluttered with dishes washed, bathrooms clean, floors mopped, and laundry done.  My goal this semester is to spend less eating out and somehow manage a cleaning schedule on our own. I fired the maid. Yes, I had a maid.  We’ll see how long we can manage.

Meal planning…

Throughout the years I have attempted many types of meal planning schemes.  I learned that I don’t have a problem with planning meals however carrying them out is another issue.  My current meal planning has been condensed and simplified.  Last year I started cooking meals based on what my family eats.  We sat down at the table and I wrote down all of our favorites, snacks, breakfasts, desserts, dinners, etc.  I have since broken the list down into ten different categories like beef meals, seafood meals, chicken meals etc. Once a week I pick five to seven meals, one from each category and that’s the meal plan. Currently, I’m not cooking meals for the month.  But I am batch cooking some of our favorites.  (For those of you who don’t know what batch cooking means.  Essentially you double or triple your recipe for your favorite meals.)  So when I cook a meal I split in half we eat half and the other goes into the deep freeze with a label for the month and year it was cooked.  These frozen meals can be pulled out during the busy times when mom doesn’t have time to cook.  

Home education….

My older boys are pretty much keeping to the schedule I created at the beginning of the year.   I’m not in love with the way things are but were getting things accomplished and that’s what matters.  Joshua on the other hand we don’t have a specific schedule and I feel bad about that.  We continue to work on phonics, handwriting and math with him.  Joshua comes after Emmanuel who was reading books at four so when I compare the two boys at times I feel bad because Joshua is not learning at the speed of Emmanuel.  Then I remember we are unique and there is no need to hold Joshua to the standard that worked for Emmanuel.  We will work at his pace.  This semester I will be stepping things up a bit with him.  I like to teach my boys to read early. Christopher was reading in Kindergarten and Emmanuel was reading at four So I’m hoping to get Joshua really reading before we start Kindergarten with him.  The boys are making A’s at their school which is great.  As far as homeschooling goes I think the end is near well sort of.  My husband has decided that each child will attend a regular school beginning seventh grade.  That means I only have two years left with my oldest, five years with Emmanuel and seven years Joshua.  Let’s hope I make it at home.  I may change my mind and send them all to school prior to the seventh grade. Its bitter sweet.  I’m grateful for the time we’ve shared and looking forward to what comes next. 


Were in the midst of birthday season.  Each child has turned a year older, they are now 10, 7, and 5.  My sweet man will be 40 this month and I will be 36 in March. 

I will come back later with a post that includes pictures.

Until next time.

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