Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Love and Books

Books, books, and more books!  I ordered curriculum for next year and am so excited to continue homeschooling!  I feel like I am learning so much and God is growing me in so many ways.  And the boys are learning a little in the process too:)  Even Max, who despite mysteriously turning into Ninja-boy- whose motto is: Ninjas.Don't.Do.Worksheets-anytime I ask him to participate- is, in fact learning. 

The most unexpected aspect of this homeschooling journey is the profound impact that it is having on my mothering.  I feel like I am changing in some fundamental ways, and clearly I needed to change.  It is amazing to watch God lead me to other moms, blogs, books, etc, who are all pointing me in the same direction, each having a specific impact on my life.  I am so hopeful about our family, our future.  Not that everything will always be easy, but that it is all pointing me to Christ and His sufficiency.  I am purposing in my heart to cherish every.single.moment.
Of course there are days when I feel discouraged and I have yelled and snapped hurtful words and bruise little feelings.  I apologize and beat myself up and cry and plead that God will forgive me and change me.  Some days I am so overwhelmed that I just want to lay in bed and cry, paralyzed by balancing work, teaching, housework, all of it.  But, God is good and He puts me back together and gives me hope for a new day.  He is my hope.  And He is enough.

Now for a few notes about the boys:
Briggs has been freaking people out by the appropriateness of his social skills, what with him being homeschooled and all.  On two occasions he has introduced himself to a new friend, shook their hand and asked them their name and how old they were.  One of the moms literally laughed in our face, she was so shocked. 

The other morning Max told me that he had a dream.  When I asked him what his dream was about, he told me that I had to guess.  When I informed him that I had no idea, he said that I should pray and ask God to tell me about his dream, just like he told Joseph the Pharaoh's dream.

Rod took the boys to the park during lunch one day last week while I had a work luncheon.  Briggs met a boy at the park who was also homeschooled.  I was asking him about it and I asked if Briggs knew if the boy went to church.  Briggs said that he did not talk about "that kind of stuff" with the boy.  Concerned by what he meant, I questioned him a little.  Finally, he said that he was afraid to ask him if he went to church because it makes him so sad to think that some parents don't take their kids to church.  So tender-hearted.

A while back a very friendly lady at the allergy doctor was admiring Max's Star Wars Lego watch that he had gotten for Christmas.  She asked him if he could tell time on it, to which he replied, "Yes, but the hands keep moving!"

Lastly, as I was reading the Tapestry of Grace blog yesterday, I came across this quote that reminded me of the most important thing about teaching my children: love.  It's a paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 13, applied to homeschooling mothers:

1 If I tell my children all day long to love God and each other (in even the most eloquent terms), to study hard, to be diligent, and to love learning but do not let them see a living, breathing example of love as I walk through the process of homeschooling them, then my words are so much noise in their ears. They can never bring about the results that I desire. 2 If I am the wisest of parents, having insight into my children’s hearts at all times, and flawlessly delivering to them all instruction, faithfully, day after day, but do so without love, I am nothing. 3 If, by dint of great effort and sacrifice, I find and manage to purchase an amazing curriculum that is the most expensive and lavish one available, and I work diligently to deliver all the lessons from it as directed, but do not do so in a loving way, I gain nothing.

The greatest of these is love, indeed.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Pinewood Derby 2011

Ahhh Spring, on to baseball, warm outdoor activities, and getting more involved in scouting.  We went to our first Cub Scout meeting a month or so ago and received a block of pine for something called a Pinewood Derby.  I didn't grow up in Cub Scouts but did Boy Scouts until I received my First Class rank and then a buddy talked me into switching over into a Search and Rescue outfit.  Part of me wishes I had stayed in until I had reached Eagle Scout, but S&R was pretty cool in and of itself.  Hopefully though the boys will continue on all the way through.  Anyway, I'm a newbie to the world of Pinewood Derby and wow, it's pretty impressive how into it some people can get.  There are apparently whole websites dedicated to the various forms of derby racing, modifying, customizing, and what not.  Our little den however lives by some pretty basic rules so the cars don't get too far gone.

Briggs' dream car involved something that he would drive (he and Max have Lego versions of themselves), R2-D2 (his favorite Star Wars character) would manage the computer systems, and that Lego Max could ride in the back and blast "bad guys".  Briggs' schematic diagram on how to actually accomplish this feat of futuristic funkatude didn't exactly give me a lot to work with.  Especially considering that all we had to work with was a block of wood, a BLOCK-of-WOOD.  But, we worked together and came out with a product that we were proud of.  Briggs learned to use a coping saw, hack saw, vice, drill press, router, and Dremel tool.   Which, besides spending quality time with Dad, was pretty much the objective of this assignment.  He did most of the work himself with my direction, besides the dangerous stuff.  He helped cut it, route it, he sanded it,  painted it, and decorated it.  Max has already put in that when he gets into the scouts he wants his car to be one that just he would be in, has a lot of blasters, and a canopy (at least that's what I think he was describing).

Cpt. Briggs
Gunner Max


We didn't win our division (the Wolves) but for all of his effort his car was voted as having the "Best Details"!  This was one of the few categories voted on by all those in attendance.  He was SO proud, as were we all.  Great job son!  I had an awesome time building, teaching, and just spending time with you...

The Competition