Sunday, March 21, 2010

End of Year ...Homeschooling Style

This is the time of year when I start to feel like I could get in my car and drive over a cliff overwhelmed. It's when the "clock" of the present school year seems to move faster and faster. And where I begin to feel like I can't keep up the pace. It's where I begin to notice just how behind in Math we are and how many books we didn't get to on the shelf.

Combine that with the tick-tock of the '10-'11 school year that has already started to gnaw at my brain. Oh, and if you are still adding things, go ahead and top it all off with the fact that this Fall I will officially have a FRESHMAN in High School!!!! Which means not only thinking about this coming year BUT putting the next FOUR years together like a huge puzzle that you have all the pieces to but no idea exactly what the finished picture is supposed to look like. Did I mention that when you realize you have a rising Freshman in your home that you also begin to hear another clock ticking away in your head...the one that tells you that you don't have much time left with them.
Where's my car and could you point me towards the nearest cliff please? Thankyouverymuch.

This is the time of year
where I begin to realize that I am the ONLY one responsible for teacher to blame it school system to declare faulty. Just me. And if not careful, this is where I can get bound up in the fear of the unknown and allow myself to meander down "what if" know, what if I'm not doing this "right"...what if they aren't learning enough...what if I haven't set them up for success...what if they never master mulitplication?!?!?

This is where I can very easily lose sight of "why" we even Homeschool.
to check off the booklists. Not to say we "finished" all of our Math for the year. Not to master any one task within a certain amount of time based on someone else's standard. Not to have off the chart test scores. All of these things are wonderful don't get me wrong...but our whole purpose of Homeschooling was to know that we were raising our kids to be sold out for fear the be kind and compassionate towards all of honor and respect spend time together as a love the word of build character and integrity in their formative learn life pursue their develop a love of learning that could never be quenched by having a diploma placed in their hands.
And dare I have FUN along the way!

Take this week for example. Aidan and I didn't just "read"...or "study" about measurements in Math...

We got a recipe card out and did a little "hands on" learning.

So not only did Aidan get a lesson on measurements...he also became more familiar with following recipes...and he got to lick the bowl. That's always a plus in my book.

A few minutes later we ended up with these...Apple Jack Cookies.
Boy were they good! Think apple cake.
And who could look over the fun we have had at LCA this year....just last week was "We Go Together Day"...Maggie and her friend went as "Q" and "U"...clever huh?

And Tyler and his friend were Darth Vader and Princess Leia...look closely and you will see the famous ear buns. These teenagers are so dang funny.

And Aidan and his friend were "Salt and Pepper"....not to be confused with "Salt N Peppa"

This week is "Spring Break" at our while I will be knee deep in cleaning out bookshelves, making lists of what we need for next year, and making a game plan for our visit to the Curriculum fair. I will also be knee deep in reflection. I will not allow the enemy to woo me down "what if" lane...I will not doubt God's calling on our family...I will not doubt that I can do ALL things through Him...I will instead choose to trust in His power...rely solely on His strength...realize and remember that my children have their entire lives to learn...and that these are the years I have been called to "train them up". I will focus on all that we have accomplished this year, and let what we have not fall into "the gap" (all education has one)...the gap that I must trust that God alone will fill.

"And whatever I do, may it always bring Glory to You"

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Help me paint my kitchen cabinets!

The kitchen was never my favorite thing about this house...I prefer a square kitchen to a galley style. (Truth be told I am still in mourning over the loss of my big gorgeous roomy island I left behind in Pennsylvania. Yeah...I probably need to let that go and move on since it's been 7 years.) But I loved the house overall and the neighborhood was priceless so I knew the kitchen and I would have to make amends. It's a nice kitchen, don't get me wrong. The previous owners had remodeled and put in beautiful floor tile, tile back splash, and Corian counter tops (which I despise because they are so fragile and hope to replace down the road) and sink which are a greenish color that I am so not fond of. So I am certainly not by any means needing to renovate here...just hoping to enhance, brighten, and make my own.

One of my biggest issues is the lighting in this room. It is dark. Really dark. We have huge trees that surround our property and windows only grace one wall of this room. The best light comes in during the evening hours when the sun is setting in our backyard. That is when these pics were taken to give you the best idea. Told ya...dark. We have decided that one thing we could do to brighten it up is to take the plunge and paint our kitchen cabinets white. I blame it on Edie. But I blame the fact that I am now torn between white or black on Emily. She did "dare" me after all. Love this look. So rich and inviting. Just not sure my room is conducive for such color since it's already dark.

That's where you come in. I would love your input on whether to go all white...white with a dark glaze (thought that might look nice against the tile back splash)...or white top cabinets and black bottom cabinets. Or white with just a small section of black bottom cabinets over by the oven area....OR just all black? Confused yet? I sure am!

My cabinets have exterior hinges so I'm also curious about the best way to handle those...paint over them white? Replace them to match my new handles? I sorta hate that black spotty look that they give against the white but oh well. Cue a certain Rolling Stones song here about getting what you need.

I'd also appreciate any suggestions on wall color you could give since the painter will be here in 2 weeks. The room is currently "Crabapple" by Ralph Lauren with "Coffee Bean" brown painted under the chair rail. I also put the Coffee Bean color on that wall leading into the Living Room (which is also crabapple) to break up the two rooms. I regretted that decision immediately but left it. I'm beginning to feel like a lighter neutral color all over (maybe with a golden undertone) would be better? I've fallen in love with Dunmore Cream over at Anne's. Or should I just paint that accent wall the Crabapple as well and leave the coffee bean under just the chair rail? What is the rule for chair rails anyway? Should they be a different color on bottom? Are there chair rail police? I'm so clueless.

The view from our door leading into kitchen from garage.

View into living room

View of oven area from table

A closer look at the tile.

This is the view from the Living Room end looking back towards the garage door end. This is a testimony to how boring I am I think...way too "blue/brown." Way too matched. I don't like this look but it's what I always seem to produce because it's "safe" I think. I am trying to brave enough now to create in my home what I love in my head without worrying about whether it's "right."

While I had you pros lending your opinions I thought I'd ask about one more room. This is Maggie's room. It is currently green with pink accents and white furniture (which I'm open to painting). She's outgrown this scheme. And the ballerina picture has to go she says. She wants a more transitional room now that she is about to turn 10. That's her own original artwork on that easel by the way.

She picked this black and white damask comforter from Target all on her own. I LOVED (and still consider stealing) it so I couldn't believe that she actually liked it too. But I didn't waste anytime questioning her. I bought it before she could pick something that I hated. It has a teal border around it that I didn't show here. It's about the same teal as her painting. The only thing about it that I really didn't care for. And the thing that makes me not quite sure what to do here with the walls.

Any wall color ideas for this room? Blue? Off White?

Again, clueless.

Please feel free to be as specific and detailed as you'd like with these. In fact if you have a paint name that's even better.

All suggestions are so very much appreciated and I will have "after" photos.

"And whatever I do, may it always bring glory to you"

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The me that He sees

She's not pretty trust me. But the me that He sees matters more to me than the "pretty" picture of me that I could very easily paint here. The me that He sees right now is frazzled. She's trying desperately to hold it together while her husband is out of town for the week. She's praying over her very sick teenager that's laying in her bed with asthma and 101 fever. She begs God to protect him and keep him safe. She feels helpless. She's not 100% convinced that He even hears her prayers. She struggles with unbelief more often than she'd like. She wouldn't want you to know that. She's prideful.

She has not showered today. She considers it a huge accomplishment just to get her teeth brushed and library books returned on time. She's now unsure if they were even on time at all. She's tired of trying to remember everything. She's tired of wearing so many hats. She's tired of trying to be perfect. She's tired of needing to be everything to everyone.

She has a laundry room full of dirty clothes. She has a laundry room full of clean clothes. She's reading The Nester feeling discontent with her own house. She's ungrateful.

She hasn't spent time alone with God today. She has resentment that her husband is in Florida getting accolades and eating out poolside with peers while she is cold and eating a grilled cheese sandwich with kids that tattle every 5 seconds. She's sick of cleaning toilets. She considers putting a lock on the inside of her closet. She feels sorry for herself.

She's unable to find joy in the laughter of her children. She even finds it irritating at times. She has not had enough sleep. She's worried. She's fearful. She's cranky. She's devising a plan to bolt the minute her husband's feet grace the door. She has no idea where she will go. She's selfish.

She has not accomplished the schoolwork she needed to. She entertains thoughts of how easy life would be if her kids went to the "p" public school word. She feels guilty. She feels inadequate.

She raises her voice multiple times in anger so that her kids will just "do what she says" for the love of Pete. She has no idea who "Pete" even is. She has felt like a failure more than once today. She prays they won't remember. She fears they will.

She has cursed. She wouldn't dare say it out loud. She wouldn't want anyone to think that she would do such a thing. She is self-righteous.

She is overwhelmed.

She is tired.

She is so convicted...and so sorry. She wants so desperately for Him to find her Faithful. She wants to run after His heart with all she has within.

She is reminded.

She is His.
She is covered in Grace.

She has Grace that is enough...and mercies that are new...waiting for her again tomorrow.

She will keep trying.

"And whatever I do, may it always bring Glory to You."

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