Happy Birthday, Noah!

Happy Birthday to a Super Boy, Plane and Puppy
Happy Birthday to a Super Boy, Plane and Puppy

My baby turns four today. My how time flies.

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Evening Chronicle

Evening Chronicle; Monday, January 25, 2010

This is a modification of a cool series of posts called the Simple Woman’s Daybook which is intended to be done on Monday mornings. I can never remember to do that, although today is actually a Monday. I modified some of the titles to fit evening reflection.

What I accomplished: Today was a bit of a nothing day, shame on me. I watched Federer play in the Australian Open, discussed my life choices with my sister, discussed my life choices with my other sister, took care of my now sick little boy, and researched new homeschool curricula. I am hoping to read to my kids for a while this evening so that I am not a COMPLETE failure today.

What needed improvement: Just about everything! Today was spent almost entirely in my head and though I worked through a little workbook with my kids, it was not a homeschooling day. That has to change if my choices in life are staying the same.

I am thankful for: being able to stay at home, the company and fellowship of sisters, being able to homeschool (even when I don’t do it)

From the kitchen: we had pizza for lunch, and my mom made pork chops for dinner. I am planning on having a crockpot chicken tomorrow (should have been today)

I am wearing: a new green dress that Eric got with me from Walmart. It is the “maxi” dress style, which is to say it is an ankle length, empire waist knit dress usually sleeveless; this one has short kimono sleeves. I am wearing a white thermal shirt underneath it both for modesty and warmth. Happy comfort.

I am creating: another dress for Jordyn, it is a purple flannel with dragonflies on it. The dress pattern is a mash-up of two different patterns, which I was just winging. Should have made it longer. Considering what to make next, it will most likely be a skirt and a blouse for myself. Need to get PROFICIENT at sewing blouses. I wish that I could find a nice, easy, dress pattern because I really love not having to think about what matches and finding two pieces.

I am reading: The History of the Ancient World, by Susan Wise Bauer. I love it!!! This book makes world history, especially ANCIENT world history accessible to the basic adult reader. It is the first of four in the planned series, volume 2 (History of the Medieval World) comes out this year.

I am praying: that Noah feels better soon, for wisdom in dealing with making plans, for a diligent spirit.

I am hearing: my hymn playlist playing, soothing.

Around the house: much chaos. The kids’ room is messy, but that means that they played in it today, which is also a good thing. Laundry is piling up, remedy comes in the morning, yuck.

One of my favorite things: Sitting in my bedroom, reading or writing on the computer (or in a book) with the doors closed and my music playing.

A few plans for the week: As much as I hate the thought, I need to get the kids caught up on their shots in case they need to enroll in school, I also have a few financial calls to make this week (even worse than the shots!).

A picture I am sharing: My Noah, in the jammies that I made for him.

Can I Have it All?

The money that I would make by going back to school is just too good to pass up. But homeschooling our children is incredibly important to Eric and me. Is it possible to not decide between the two and instead, have it all?

Here is the situation. Jordyn is only going into first grade (which actually puts her a year ahead of her peers because of her August birthday and the June cut-off for kindergarten) and Noah would technically be in preschool but at this point needs to take some speech therapy. (Anybody know of a good way to do speech therapy from home?) My goal for him in the upcoming year is mostly character related- learn to sit still and not whine when all the attention is not on him. I will start him up on The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading as soon as I know that he is capable of following directions. I plan on buying their combo pack which you can get through Peace Hill Press and offers a magnetic letter board to play the optional games and the flashcards. For Noah, those are essential.

Here is our plan goal hope shot-in-the-dark. We are going to try to purchase our full curriculum over this summer and begin school in August so that we can have a few good weeks established before we try to take Mom away with her own schooling. What am I going to do with the kids while I am in school? I have no idea! One option includes swapping out childcare with my sister who has three children and is also pursuing her degree this fall, that is, if she decided to make Pueblo her home town and attend the university here with me. If she doesn’t, one option is for me to schedule school around some crazy hours, namely one early morning class, one late class, and one online class. That only allows for three classes a semester, which is not the fast approach, but that is likely all I’ll be able to manage if I’m actively homeschooling though. Our third option is my least favorite because it means the kids will be going off to school, like I swore they wouldn’t. If they do have to go to school, I will take as many classes as I can and I will “afterschool” my children according to The Well-Trained Mind because I am confident that they won’t be getting a great education in their public schools.

At least, those are the things we are hoping for. It would be great if I could just swap out childcare because then I will know that my kids are cared for. Eric will then be responsible for taking charge with some of the schooling when he is home. After I finish my degree, if I finish my degree, then will be an English teacher at the high school level. At that point, we would consider trying to continue our mash-up of educational plans or we will enroll them into a private school.

I have been excited about homeschooling since the first time I heard about it and I have been passionate about classical education for almost as long. It makes the most sense and provides a rigorous education for these children of mine. However, there are so many variables right now that there is almost no telling what will happen over the next fews weeks and months.

Guilt Tripping

Its the age-old debate in my house all over again.

It all started with my sister talking about a school in Kentucky that she wanted to attend. My mom jumped on that bandwagon and decided that she would also like to be a sonographer when she grows up. That sparked the entire conversation about education and income, jobs and the future.

Somewhere along the way I got swept up and now am in the middle of planning my return to college and sending my children off the public school system and any potential children into the day care system. I am looking at studying to be a teacher which is a noble, even child-friendly career for women. My family needs the money because we have handled our money so poorly in the past that we have gotten into an incredibly bad position.

My issue is that I really like the idea of going back to school and putting my children into school. I like knowing that I can help out the family financially and still be present when necessary. As a teacher, my hours are going to be quite convenient as a mother except that I wouldn’t be able to homeschool my children. So, the guilt that I am feeling is that I thought that I NEED to be a stay-at-home, homeschooling mother in order to fulfill the Biblical definition of “keeper at home,” after all, how can you keep something if you’re not there.

I am terrified of making the wrong decision, of becoming an independent feminist, of loving money more than my children, of ruining the lives of my children. I am struggling with this issue SO MUCH!!! I hear that God gives you peace when you are on the right track, but apparently, I can deceive myself because I have felt peace about things that have turned out to be a clear error in judgement.

Am I making a mountain out of a molehill, here? Is working outside the home the worst thing ever? Are my kids going to be Christians if they go to a public school? Will they succeed academically? Moreover, what about the children my husband and I have been praying over? Am I going to have more children, only to place them in someone else’s care so that I can attend school and eventually teach all day long?

I feel like my very right to call myself a conservative Christian woman is up for debate.

A New Strategy

Still mourning my pregnancy loss, but I am looking forward to the future too. As soon as my “miscarriage process” stops, I am adding some exercise. I wanted something easy that wouldn’t require I spend tons of money on either the workout, or the working out. So, I bought two different “Biggest Loser” workout DVDs. I don’t watch the show, but I know that in general, their products are great for beginners because they are geared for people who are trying to lose weight, but aren’t there yet. The other thing I like is that they aren’t cast with the most beautiful, fit people; instead, they are cast from the contestants on the show, which means a variety of shapes, sizes, and abilities. I like that. The first movie is called “Boot Camp” and it is a cardio-weight lifting routine (circuits) and the other is the Weight Loss Yoga. I chose the Biggest Loser title because I thought it would be less “spiritual” than some of the others. The thing is, I have tried a little bit of yoga from a rented movie and I loved it! It was a great, no-impact workout that I could do in my living room with only a yoga mat (which I already had from trying pilates). The other advantage to these titles is that they are $9.00 each at Wal-Mart (or you could pay $20.00 at Target) which makes them very affordable.

[A word about yoga. Yoga is simply a series of positions or stretches that you hold while focusing on your breathing. It can be an awesome workout, or a relaxation time. However, it doesn’t need to be spiritual, at least for me, it doesn’t. I know who I worship and it is not my “self” or “spirit” and it’s not “nature” or any of the other false deities out there. I am not going to chant different mantras because that is idol worship and I will worship no idols. I worship the one true God, creator of heaven and earth. He gifted me with an amazing body, capable of doing amazing things. Stretches and poses are two of the ways that I am attempting to strengthen my body. No, I have not studied the origins of yoga, but I am guessing that it comes from a form of worship, with the deep-breathing and chanting. If I am comfortable (or at least only slightly uneasy) about celebrating Halloween and even Christmas, I think I can manage my “Christian” version of yoga. Topic is up for debate, but not maliciously so.]

So, all in all, I had to find (or purchase) the two DVDs, which both have customizable routines and varying levels, a yoga mat, a water ball or medicine ball (which I don’t have yet), a set of smallish weights (I’ve had for a while), and exercise straps (also something I don’t have). At this point in my exercise routine, I think the exercises without the added tools are still going to be plenty effectual, but I am planning on trying to purchase a few of those items as they go on sale or I find myself with spare cash or a desperate need.

Outside of that, not changing my diet too terribly much. I want to be prepared to get pregnant, so I am trying to stick to the pregnancy diet, more or less. I think that it is well-rounded enough, I just want to watch my calories and workout daily. Or twice daily. My plan is to do one workout first thing in the morning (alternating until I find a favorite) and then every other day doing the other workout at naptime. We’ll see. The beginner workout are only about 35 minutes, start to finish but I don’t like getting all sweaty after I’ve showered, so I don’t know how well I will like doing another workout in the middle of the day.

I’ll keep you posted, and hopefully you can watch my slider there on the right move down as it counts away my extra pounds. Every pound I lose now is another pound I don’t need while pregnant!

Hope for the Future

I am now about 95% sure that I have miscarried and I have cried and entertained the thought of grieving the loss, but find that I have hope instead of grief.

Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us,and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work. -2 Thessalonians 2:16 & 17

I really wanted to be pregnant, moreover, I thought that it was right and good for me to get/be pregnant. We did, against the odds and I think that God was sovereign in allowing conception. It gave us hope for the future. We were all excited and were already picking out names. I felt ready and I couldn’t wait, even the 40 weeks would be long enough. But something wasn’t right. Only God knows what was going on in my body and only God has the power to change it. So I take comfort and look to my future and my hope.

…for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow. – Jeremiah 31:13

So what does my future hold? Only God knows, but I am planning on waiting a few months to get pregnant again. I am looking forward to trying to lose some more weight (which I should have done first anyway) and taking it from there. I will still be taking vitamins and trying to live like I am pregnant (less coffee, no medications, focus on good nutrition) until it just becomes my lifestyle. I am also looking forward to adding some new workouts to my routine.

And I am always remembering two of my favorite verses:

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. -Proverbs 3:5 & 6

Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. -Philippians 4:4