Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Eleven years and going strong

This year marks our 11th year of homeschooling.  What started off as what one might call a fluke, has progressed to a lifestyle of learning for our family.  In 2001, my oldest daughter was about to turn five years old, but a few weeks to late for the school system in our home state of Pennsylvania.  She had already attended our church's preschool program for the last two years and was a sponge for learning.  Even though I had told myself that I would NEVER homeschool my children because I did not have the patients required,  I did not want my daughter to become bored at home waiting for the year to pass so that she could attend public school the following year. 

I told myself that I would only homeschool for a year or two and then I would put her in public school.  Well, that year turned into two and then three and then four.  It was around this time that I found out that I was pregnant again (with baby #4) and that the third and fourth children would only be 20 months apart.  There was no way that I could homeschool.  I would be teaching a 1st grader, 4th grader and have two in diapers.  So I decided to enroll the older two girls in public school.

We lived in a conservative area and most of the teachers and even the principal in the new school were Christians.  During this school year, my husband quit his job, which provided housing for us and we had to move.  We could not find reasonable housing in the same school district, so we decided to move to the town I grew up in and the girls attended the same school that I had attended.  It was during this year that my husband joined the military and we moved only 7 months later. 

Since my husband has to go through 4 months of training, we decided to go back to homeschooling again.  Throughout the following years, we have utilized homeschooling, public school and even online Christian school for our older two girls to further their education. 

Again, I said that I would NEVER homeschool for high school, but this fall my daughter starts her junior year.  You would think by now that I would stop saying NEVER, because every time I do, I end up doing what I said I wouldn't do anyway.

So this year, along with having a newborn, I am homeschooling my girls in 2nd, 3rd, 7th and 11th grades.  We started out this homeschool journey with me wanting my daughter to not just sit at home waiting to turn five so she could start kindergarten and now eleven years later are still at it.

We have had our rough patches and our great years, but I wouldn't trade these years with my kids for anything.  In two years, my oldest will graduate and who knows what will happen after that. 

Take the time to love on your kids and invest in them because the future could be right around the corner and much closer than you think!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Change is good!

About this same time last year, I received some news that threatened to turn my world upside down.  We had relocated to Fort Campbell, KY from South Korea and life was good.  I turned forty years old not long after we signed for our housing, was in the process of getting ready to begin our 10th year homeschooling and my youngest child was about to turn six years old.  Even though my husband's unit was set to deploy for nine months, he was chosen to be a part of the Rear D, to take care of the soldier and families left behind.

It couldn't be any better.  And then the news arrived... I was pregnant!!!   I could NOT be pregnant!!.  I was over forty and my youngest child was soon to be six years old.  It rocked my world.  I did not want to be pregnant.  It was totally unplanned.  At first I was in denial.  You see, I had recently told my husband to make an appointment with the urologist to get things taken care of because I was content with our family and ready to move into new things since the kids were getting older.

I not only wrestled with morning sickness, but the fact that I was pregnant.  It took me months before I told anyone except for my family.  It just could not be.  After arguing with God, how could this happen (yes, I really do know how it happens...just not to me at this time), I finally came to grips with the fact that I was going to have another baby. 

If you know me or have read early posts in my blog, you'll remember that I became pregnant in 2010, right after my husband returned from his year long deployment to Iraq.  That pregnancy ended in miscarriage and so did the next pregnancy about 6 months later.  Even though I was in the acceptance stage of this pregnancy, I did not really want to plan for another little one. What if something happened like the last time?

In January, when I was around 5 1/2 months pregnant, I had an ultrasound and found out that we were having another little girl.  OMGosh!  I was going to be a mom to FIVE daughters.  I couldn't believe it.  I think the reality hit when I saw her precious face on the screen. 

Today I am sitting here with Olivia on my lap.  She is a smiley 3 month old who loves the attention of her older sisters.  Even my six year old changes poopy diapers to help out.  I don't know what I would do without her. 

The journey that has brought us to this point seemed very long at times.  It was physically and emotionally exhausting but all worth it.  The Lord worked on my heart and after many months of not wanting another baby, am very grateful for the Lord's blessing in our life.  I still laugh at the fact that my oldest will be sixteen years old in a few weeks and that our youngest is only 14 weeks old. 

I don't know what you are wrestling with right now, but let me encourage you to give it to the Lord.  How ironic that this same lesson was part of my little girls devotions last night.  Learning to trust God when you don't know how things will work out. 

A friend of mine loves a particular line from "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe"... “Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

God is good!  We may go into unexpected places on our journey of life and faith but He is good and will be with us.