My 3 yr old daughter took this pic of me

Monday, June 13, 2011

Schools are for Fish

Don't take offense to the title of this post. I am not judging anyone, nor do I think it is wrong to send your kids to school. It is totally a personal decision and is different for everyone. I just heard this "schools are for fish" recently and had to laugh. I am a homeschooler, as most of you know. I was homeschooled, my husband was homeschooled, my mother-in-law is STILL homeschooling (unschooling actually), and now we homeschool our kids.


Some days I ask myself that same question. So much work! Well...some days it feels that way, but really it's not.
I homeschool because I get to be with my kids all the time and I don't miss anything!

I am best friends with them because I know so much about them. I spend so much time with them. I can guide and love and laugh with them. It's FUN!

I am learning just as much as they are, if not more, and I love learning!
It is a blessing to be able to teach my children. I get to choose what they learn, when they learn it, how they learn it, if it's important for them to learn it, etc.
Each child learns differently, so we tweak our "curriculum" to meet their specific needs. They get one on one whenever they need it.

They are learning life skills at home with their siblings. Learning to get along with people is very important and what better way than to learn to get along with your own siblings? It's easy to be nice to a stranger. Not so much when it's your own flesh and blood. That takes SKILLS! (and patience)

Some days, we do lots of bookwork. I like to have goals for the kids and actually cover material........BUT if it ain't fun and it ain't colorful and it ain't interesting.......we don't do it! I spend a bit of time each summer talking with the kids to find out what they hated about the previous school year, how they wish it could be different, and what they would rather do. Then I go through some curriculum websites and store websites and find stuff that will teach them what they need to learn in a way they will LOVE to learn it. If they love learning, they will learn. If they hate every minute of it and you have to spoon feed it to them, then it's probably a waste of everybody's time.

Logan really didn't like math and it was such a drag to try to get him to do it. But he loves computer, so now we do math on the computer and it's his favorite subject! (He also really likes to play monopoly a lot, which teaches him how to be $$$ savvy)

Today, he wasn't really into doing bookwork. He was struggling with a couple of things and was having trouble concentrating, so instead I got him to take apart Daisy's music box that wasn't working so well and figure out how it works and what's causing it to jam up and fix it. So much more fun, so much more practical, and a very useful skill. Problem solving and mechanics 101......never mind relationship building and a very nice thing to do for his sister!

Then Jasna wanted to rollerblade........IN THE HOUSE. lol That's what you get when you're on an acreage and nothing is paved, I guess. So Logan put on his rollerblades, too, and they rollerbladed around my dining room for a bit. Now they are in the playroom playing VERY nicely together. Using their imaginations. Logan asked if he could teach Jasna how to play spongebob monopoly later.........sure! That sounds very educational and would be a great relationship builder and character builder all in one! Go for it.

Yes, we'll get to the boring Language Arts book later today, but I'll find a way to make it interesting for him. He'll get to have some quality time with mom, which he values, and then maybe when we're done that we can compete on his new Mario DS game! (I'm soooo gonna win this time!)

Jasna comes up to me all the time and says stuff like,

"Mama, please can you teach me how to make cupcakes!!!!"

"Mama, please can you teach me how to play this game!"

"Mama, please can you teach me how to make dresses!"

"Mama, please can you teach me how to make lemonade!"

You get the idea. She wants me to teach her everything. Yesterday it was making french toast. She is gonna make some guy a nice little wife some day! :)

So those are some of the reasons we homeschool. Not all the reasons, but it's a start :) Enjoy the pics!

My Second Chance

When faced with death, people react differently. If you know you are dying, you can do some of the things you want to do before you die. People say things like, "If I had another chance, I'd.......

..tell my family I loved them more often." debt free."

..make amends with people in my life."

..spend more time with my kids." less."

..enjoy every moment." and walk closer to God."

..truly serve God with every bit of my life."

4 years ago, today, I got a second chance at life. I was hanging in the balance between life and death for days after delivering our sweet daughter, Jasna. The doctors weren't sure if I'd make it. My chances were slim. I suffered an amniotic embolism where the survival rate was 1 in 5. Not good. And then I had to have an emergency hysterectomy where the survival rate was 1 in 2. Many many complications followed and I spent a total of  30 days in the hospital. The doctors were amazing, but I wouldn't have made it if it weren't for the prayers of so many around the world.

I felt strongly, and still do, that God has a plan for my life. I don't know exactly what that entails, but I'm excited about it.

4 years later, I look back and I reflect. I remember that time vividly, even though I was quite drugged throughout most of it. I ask myself if I am living up to my second chance. Am I doing, daily, the things I would do if I were given a second chance?

Am I spending more time with my kids?

Am I living debt free? (or trying to)

Am I making amends where they need to be made?

Am I utilizing every moment for God and His glory?

Am I in constant communication and relationship with my God?

Am I being the wife that my husband needs?

Am I enjoying every moment?

Am I sharing and helping and loving as much as possible?

It's good to think about all of that. Every day is a new day.
I am thankful for every moment I have.
I am thankful for my family and friends.
I am thankful for the blood that people gave so I could live. (over 100 units)
I am thankful for my life.
I am thankful for my Creator.
I am living up to this second chance the best that I know how, with His help.

Having been so close to death gives me a new and wonderful perspective on life. I am thankful for what I went through because of this end result. Going through that was worth what I know now. And so I am doing my best, with His help, to spend my energies on being positive, not negative. On loving everyone I can. On doing my best with what I've been blessed with. Tremendous blessings. I feel as though I have a responsibility to not waste this precious life that is coursing through my veins. Each life is a gift and living it wisely and fully is an honor to our King.

Thank you, Jesus, for saving me......more than once.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Precious Flower

I have been quite overwhelmed lately with facing the possibility of losing my Daisy. There have been days where the tears were too hard to fight back. I was reading in Matthew the other day and praying about Daisy and what might happen to her and God said 2 things to me.

1. He showed me Matthew 10:39 which says, "Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."

I understand the context and meaning of this verse, but it means more to me than what it is saying. To me it is saying, "Don't hold on tight to the things that you love, but let them go. For My sake. And I will bless you." (a Rachel paraphrase)

2. He reminded me of the story of Abraham and Isaac. Abraham longed for a son. Waited for a son. Was blessed with a son. And then was asked to sacrifice that only son. Wow. And he was willing. But God stepped in and blessed Abraham for his willingness to obey.

But can I do that? Can I say, "Hey, God, take my daughter from me if that is your will, and I will trust in You"?

I can and I do, but some days it's tough. What we have here is only temporary, but it doesn't feel that way.

I find peace in the promises of my Father. I am grateful for His plan and protection and love. I know I can do life as long as I have my King by my side. For now I am focusing on the tremendous blessing Daisy is in our lives, soaking in the miracle that she is, and basking in the moments we have together.

~Thank you, Lord, for this precious flower~