Tuesday, June 30, 2009

June Has Come and Gone


I just can't believe today is the last day of June. What happened to the month? I just saw that I have only blogged twice. Sorry, not much has happened. It has been one month since Michael graduated from high school. Not a lot happened this month, nothing major, I guess. The picture above is of the youth worship team leading the Sunday morning worship at church the day before they all went to camp. That is Michael in the middle with the light blue tie and Ben on the drums...and all the other kids that I won't name right now.

The kids leave tomorrow night for a whole month. I can honestly say I don't really know how this is going to work out for me. We tried this once a few years ago and I didn't do very well. They were ok, but I really had a hard time when they came back. I can't just turn being a parent on and off. I am a parent 24/7 and when given the opportunity to not have to care for anyone, it's hard for me to come back from that. This time is a little different because Michael won't actually be going to his dad's. He will go visit and hang out now and then, but he will be sleeping at the house most of the time. At least I know I will see the older kids at church on Sundays and Wednesdays. This is one of those things that you just have to get through. Time will go by fast. It always does.

Welcome July. I believe this is actually the exact halfway point of the year. On to the last half now.
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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Home-schooling


My decision to do this was based mostly on the fact that we didn't live in a good school district when Michael was old enough to start school. I tried to go up to the elementary to go talk to the principal, but I couldn't even get out of the car. The neighborhood wasn't good. It was a poor area and I felt that most of the families that went to that school weren't academically oriented. It just didn't feel right. It was hard, but I had made the decision and was going to follow through. He got the last spot in the Kindergarten program at a well-respected home-schooling program. I had a friend who was putting her son in there too, so I had my support system in place. I continued with Alyssa and Benjamin until we moved to Bedford.

One of the first things I did when I knew we were moving into the HEBISD was to look up the elementary school for our neighborhood. By this time, the kids were getting older and Jonathan had come along. I was home-schooling three kids and trying to keep a baby entertained. We moved in the summer and I had already committed to one more year of home-schooling, but by December of that year, I was visiting with the principal of Bedford Heights Elementary. I took the kids up there and we walked around and looked to see what they had to offer. I made it well known that this was just an option and that I was a very hands-on mom. Michael started in 5th grade, Alyssa was in 3rd, and Benjamin was in 2nd. I can honestly say, this was a wonderful turning point for me and the kids in their schooling. Jonathan has gone to that same elementary school since kindergarten. Two more years and we will be done with elementary school. Wow, I can't believe it.

It's funny, the other day I was talking with a friend at church, who is also a teacher, and the home-schooling subject came up. I told them that I had home-schooled the kids and she seemed genuinely shocked. Her reason was because of the "typical" home-school stereotype - the shy child who is social retarded and unable to express themselves. My children are FAR from that child. They are smart and out going and talented. Now, I will say that I know more smart, outgoing, talented children who were home-schooled than the stereotype home-school child. I had friends who home-schooled their kids because they wanted them to have a good influence growing up or they couldn't stand the thought of letting go of them, giving up that control. I probably had some of that in the beginning, but thankfully my eyes were open and we were fortunate enough to move to a school district where I felt comfortable and I knew the kids would get a good education. I just didn't have it in me to go all the way through with it, but I'm glad I did what I did while I could.

Growing up, we all went to public school. My dad had a family of patients that were home-schooled kids. They lived in a part of Hurst that is now all built up, but at the time, it was a large, open field with this small little house on it. We took piano lessons from the mom and the girls would play with us. Even though they knew us from church, they were still incredibly shy in public. I remember working for my dad one summer, the mom came in for some dental work and she brought the youngest daughter who was about 13 at the time. There was a door in between the waiting room and the patient rooms. We had to put the mom in the room directly across from the door so that her daughter could stand at the window and see her. They wouldn't allow her to come back because she would probably freak out. It was really sad. I am glad to say that those girls are all grown up now and very normal. I think one or two, maybe all three, are married and have a kid or two. Let's hope they don't home-school.

I was googling for some home-school images and came across these two cartoons. I couldn't pass them up.
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Monday, June 15, 2009

When It Rains, It Pours???


Isn't that what they say? So, my son graduates from high school, the next week I get sick mid-week and miss a day of work, then I get an email from one of my bosses asking me if I can come back to Memphis that Sunday for another week of training. So, I apologize for the delequency in blogging (thank you big bro for bringing it to my attention). Now I'm trying to figure out where to start.

The picture is of a piece of art hanging in Jenny's house. It's nothing fancy, but really pretty. We were all admiring it when we had dinner at her house on Thursday night.

I have pretty much spent the last two weeks just living. I about had a nervous breakdown thinking about going back to Memphis and what I was going to do with the kids. The summer vistation is that I have the kids all of June and they are with their dad all of July. Knowing the plans that the ex had, I figured he would not be able to help while I was gone. I know I have good kids, I just wasn't completely sure how good. Would they think "FREEDOM" like I did when my parents left us home alone? I could pretty much guarantee no parties since my mom lives next door and their other grandparents are down the street and I told several people I was going out of town and they could come by and check on them if they wanted to. It was more like, would they get along and be civil to each other and would Jonathan get a bath and food every day? One major thing I had to depend on was that, Ashleigh, Michael's girlfriend, was working at the elementary school down the street doing summer camp and she said she would come by and check on everything everyday.

I spent the weekend before I left just making sure there were groceries, the car had gas and the laundry was done. I was going to be gone five nights. That is a very long time to leave kids at home without a parent, no matter what the age. Ok, maybe just if they are under 18, but still. It was trama for me. The whole week was spent working and spending evenings with friends and coworkers. It was really fun and really exhausting. Monday, Andrea, Jenny and I went out for dinner and drinks. Tuesday night, a friend took me to Beale Street. Wednesday night more coworkers went out for dinner and drinks. This was where the exhaustion started to kick in. I got back to the hotel at a good hour and was able to get some good sleep. Thursday night was the most fun. We had a team dinner at Jenny's house.



She lives in Mississippi, just across the boarder from Memphis. I wasn't quite crasping how close that was until we drove there that night. It was definitely the funnest and most relaxed dinner party I have ever been to. We had a five course meal that was amazing. It makes me want to cook. My goal this summer is to cook something new every weekend. In the picture below, I am smelling soap that Jenny's husband brought back from Spain. I ended up with quite a bit of soap, some of which Will still has to bring back from Memphis in his own luggage.



The other best part was when the kids picked me up from the airport. They were who I wanted most to see when I got off the plane. They were who I missed the most. They did wonderful. The first two days/nights were a little stressful for us all, but we are strong. As a family, we just go with it. This proved to me that, in adversity, we can ALL ban together and be a family. I love that about us. We truly are a family.
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