Thursday, January 7, 2016


We have an under the weather fellow. It's nothing too serious, just general aches, lots of sleepiness, no appetite, and a strong need to cuddle. No complaints from me about that last symptom. Audrey and I organized the heck out of her room today, which looks spectacular, and my little sick fellow slept on my bed, surrounded by his old pals, Henry and Ribsy, The Mouse and the Motorcycle, and some kid-friendly Shakespeare books we bought for the kids. He'd wake up periodically, pet the snuggly kitty, read a few chapters, slurp some pedialyte, then drift off for another siesta. I remember those long, lazy days of sickness from my youth fondly, not because I was sick, but because the world slowed down just for me, or so it felt.

It is snowing snowflakes as big as my face, and a few of us cuddled under thick blankets we lovingly call "blanket heaven." Audrey made waffles for our "breakfast for supper" tonight and the scent is making me want to dive in, but I'm cutting out sugar for a while, what with the Christmas induced sugar cravings waking me up in the morning thinking that fudge is an acceptable breakfast. Isaac used his Christmas money to order a new to him bat so he's all ready for baseball season. Asher napped and the rest of us watched the last part of Return of the Jedi. Then Asher woke up and wanted snack, so I went in to help with hand washing and he screamed like I was filling a cavity minus Novocaine. Angry Toddler! Apparently hand washing goes against everything he believes in today. He worked it out, requiring lots of snuggles and some applesauce, and now we're here.

That's a little snippet of our day. It doesn't matter much. But it sure is important.

I am reading For the Love by Jen Hatmaker. Today I read the chapter with the letter she wrote to her kids. Good grief, the tears and yeses and me, toos flowed while I read that chapter. I would like to cut and paste the whole chapter (or book) right here, but that's frowned upon by legal types. Therefore, I will instruct you to borrow or buy the book. In this chapter in particular, I love how she knows her kids make mistakes and aren't perfect, but she loves and likes them in real ways and they also bug her in real ways, too. That's life.

Jen's (I call her that, since I now know she basically resides in my head and writes about the stuff I'm thinking/worrying/laughing about.) oldest is off to college next year, so their time together as a full family under one roof will soon change into something new. We all know that will happen, but sometimes it seems sooner or more real than others.

Today is one of those days it feels closer, so we snuggle under blanket heaven, read another chapter of Little House on the Prairie, and embrace this flawed, loved, imperfectly perfect family.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

resolutions, shmesolutions

That's supposed to rhyme. Get it?

Anyway, moving on.

I am bad at resolutions. Big fail bad. And it isn't even like I make huge, life-altering resolutions with no shot at success. "I resolve to lose 8.93 pounds and win my first ever beauty pageant." "I resolve to never roll my eyes when my son tells me the same made-up, never funny knock knock joke for the 389th time today." "I resolve to only eat vegan, raw, organic, locally sourced, elk-pooh fertilized garbanzo beans every day for the next year."

Nope. I aim low and still fail.

One year I resolved to wear earrings every day. Nope. Another year I hit a new low and resolved to get dressed every day. Still nope. I mean, really, what's the point of homeschooling if you can't sit around in your pajamas every now and again? Also, my dislike of laundry AND shopping is well-documented, so it is no surprise that there are days when both of my pairs of jeans are dirty, thus making a pajama day my only option.

The point is, resolutions, shmesolutions.

Before 2015, I read about choosing a word and focusing on that for the coming year. I chose order. My grandma, also a mother of four, got a good old kick out of that one. She saw it coming; the writing was on the wall. I failed. I didn't even mean order in the sense of keeping my life orderly and my house clean. Instead, I wanted to order my priorities and live my life to obviously reflect them. Still nope.

But, quitters never win and winners never quit, so I'm back at it. A new year and a new word.

Now I'm not saying it isn't as ridiculous as order, because I fully know it is, but I'm going to give it a whirl and here's my reasoning.

My brain doesn't shut off. Never. And my mouth is nearly always running. Also, I am usually surrounded by 3-4 children with varying needs and wants who are very skilled at voicing their needs and wants. It's never quiet. I'm never quiet.

And if I'm always loud, then truth and beauty have to fight harder to get my attention. I'm tough to track down. I'm distracted. If I'm always loud, I'm not listening enough. I'm not listening enough to the people in my family, friends, acquaintances, strangers, and God.

What it probably boils down to is that I decided to ditch any sort of resolution or word because who needs so many years of failing in a row, but then the word quiet just wouldn't get out of my head. I felt it heavy on my heart, like it was something I really needed to explore.

For those reasons and more, I will focus on quiet, both internally and externally. I will spend time, just with me, exercizing, reading, journaling, and studying the bible. I don't do any of those things enough and they all fill me up, but instead of carving out time to do them, I run around on empty. I will also work to listen more and talk less, think more and speak less, read and write more and facebook less, pause more and teact less, consider more and shout less.

My chances of success aren't great, given my sketchy history, but I'm going for it with baby steps.

Do you have a resolution, word, or goal for the New Year? Do you think a homeschooling mom of four has any chance at at making "quiet" happen? :)