Friday, July 31, 2009

On Hiatus....

Just like all of the good television shows from fall I have been on Hiatus! I have been following along on all of the blogs I like to read, but commenting very little and not blogging myself. There really is no reason why. I do most of my internet shopping/blog reading/blog posting at night when the kids and Chad are in bed. I think I am just in a funk lately. There is no reason I should be in a funk, but I am.

I kind of feel like I am always being pulled in 100 different directions and I don't know which way I should go. It's a little like when I started driving. I did not know my way around the outer belt. Sure, it just goes in a huge circle around the city. But if you don't know which direction to take it is very confusing. I would take a guess and if I was wrong I would completely circle the entire outer belt before making it to my location. This is how I am feeling about my duties at home. Like I am just going around in a great big circle.

I want to homeschool. I feel like it is what the Lord would have me to do. I also feel like the kids are doing well. But am I doing the right thing? Are my kids missing the life experiences that I had and enjoyed? What about Friday night football games and prom? Are these rights of passages I am depriving them of?

My kids are to busy! On one hand I want them home with us 24/7 so we can spend time together as a family. I think this is where they will learn valuable life lessons. I also think it would bring us closer as a family if we did not spend the entire evening Monday-Friday in the car and at gymnastics gyms and football fields. On the other hand I think they are learning valuable life lessons at activities as well. My children are very athletically talented and love the sports they participate in. I also enjoy watching them succeed and we have made some great friends along the way. I would miss it. They would miss it. But would we be better off with that time spent at home?

I also struggle with what exactly I should be doing at home. I read far to many homeschooling, food storage, organizing and natural living blogs. I want to incorporate to many things into my already busy and over scheduled life. Will my kids really be worse off if they eat applesauce from a jar, I keep buying store bought cleaners, I don't can home grown vegetables or make our bread? I know they will probably survive. Our shrinking budget however may not. I have not only the stress of doing what is right for my family, but also making it fit into a budget that has decreased drastically over the last two years.

I want to have a spotless house with less clutter. I also want to be carefree and enjoy the short time I have with my kids. I feel like I am missing so much already and I do not know what to do to stop it. Lisa and I were just talking about how we know we are going to cry when they are gone that we didn't do enough. Did we talk to them enough, spend enough time with them, give them enough individual attention, play with them enough..... and the list goes on.

I know perfection is not an option. I just want to get this right. I want to be a blessing to my husband and my kids. I want to give my kids every opportunity I can in life. I want to give them great memories. I want to give them a Godly, loving and nurturing home. I want to give them unconditional love and support. I want to give them the best of everything including myself. Is this to much to put on one persons shoulders? Please tell me it is. I feel like I am failing at all of the above.

I honestly do not know what this post is for or about. I am not looking for a pity party:) I do not need anyone to tell me I am doing great. I just wanted to put it all out there so hopefully someone else who is feeling this way can think "I am glad I am not alone!" or "On the outside she looks like she has it all together. But she is struggling just like me." I do know if this will be a help to anyone. But it has been a help to me just writing it out.

If you made it this far... Thanks!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

If it poops like a duck

I know I have been a bad blogger:) We have stayed pretty busy so far this summer. It seems to be going by so fast. I want to start school soon. I have not let the kids in on this decision yet! I guess I need to bite the bullet and order their school books. It's just trying to figuring out what to order is making me crazy. But, that is another post...

Here is a cute story from tonight...

I was putting away laundry and I came across a shirt in Cameron's pile that I have never seen. This is unusual since I do all of the shopping and the laundry. It is not unusual since the kids across the street always leave clothes and towels in my back yard. So I asked Cameron who the shirt belonged to. Cameron told me the shirt was his and that his grandma had given it to him. It was a hand me down of my nephew Austins. I am pretty picky about the clothes my kids wear and how they look. I know it may be a little shallow, but we constantly have people looking at us. I think people look at us because we do not look like a traditional family.

Anyway- I tell Cameron not to wear the shirt. He keeps asking me why he can not wear it and I finally say because "you will look like a dork". We all laughed and Cameron said "but I have seen pictures of dad in shirts like that". So I jokingly say "That's right buddy. Your dad did wear shirts like that. Grandma liked to dress him like a dork. And if it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it's a duck". We were all laughing and Katie looks over to Cameron and says "Yeah Cameron if it looks like a duck and poops like a duck it's a duck!" Then she started howling with laughter. So did the rest of us.

(I know the picture has nothing to do with the story. I am still having computer and camera issues. I just thought it was cute picture of Kate.)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

To Infinity and Beyond...

When we first got the kids they used to watch the movie Toy Story all day long. Let me rephrase that: They used to have me keep it playing all day long and if I tried to turn it off they would say from the play room, kitchen, bedroom etc... "We are still watching that!". So it literally looped all day long and they would stop and watch two minutes and then be off playing again. When Chad would come home from a long day at work I would say something like "Oh.... You have to hear the funny thing the potato head said today!". I knew every phrase and word of that movie for a really long time. I could hear it while I was watching dishes and just chuckle at the jokes the kids obviously didn't get. I admit it was a rather lame time in my life:) I was trying to learn to be a mother, keep my sanity and I was alone with the kids A LOT! I have finally caught on to the mom thing and I have most of my sanity. I am still alone with the kids a lot, but I have got myself out there and made some really great mommy friends.

This week has brought me back to those memories. Katie has discovered the love of Toy Story. She has had it looping all day long for the past week. I don't even try to turn it off now. She will go outside to play come in and watch about two minutes of it. I am still chuckling about the one liners as I wash the dishes (by hand because my dishwasher broke). I think when Chad comes home I will have to tell him a few things the potato head said. He will think I have lost my mind!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I got my golden ticket

Actually I got 3! My golden tickets will not get us into Willy Wonka's candy factory. It will however fulfill our obligation to the school district for our year of homeschooling. In Ohio the two ways to notify the local school district that you are homeschooling is either a standardized test or have an assessment. We choose to have all of the kids work assessed by a licensed teacher. Basically the person doing the assessment looks over everything and makes sure they are working up to grade level. The person who does my assessment was referred to me by Lisa of course:) She is so nice and so helpful as well. She assessed the kids reading and gave me tons of tips on things to do for next year. I am always terrified to go. I can just picture her saying "Oh. My. Goodness! Put those kids in school!" Of course she said they are doing great. They are wonderful children, they are smart, funny and are doing wonderfully. What a relief... until next year.

Free summer fun and FREE milkshakes

I am always looking for free and fun things for my kids to do in the summer. We have all of the obligatory family memberships to places like the zoo, children's museum, history museum and pool. We always join the reading program at the library and utilize their free entertainment all summer as well. Those things get old after about twice. We need to mix things up a little.

This summer we joined Kids Bowl Free and plan to hit the lanes sometime this summer. We also like the free summer movie program at a local theater in town. The movies are typically older kids movies and some we have already seen. However, it is always fun to sit in a theater and munch popcorn with friends, so we go. We have also been hitting some of the local metro parks this summer with a very ambitious friend who plans a new park trip each week.

With all of these activities our favorite free thing by far is free food. It is expensive to feed 4 children out. Most of the time we pack a cooler for our outings. That however doesn't stop my kids from asking for treats. Yesterday my wise kitchen gadget loving, gymboree enabling, money saving friend Lisa called and told me it was time to stand in line for free Chick-Fil-A milkshakes for a year. That's right 52 free milks shakes! Did I do it? Of course! I got in line about 4 for the 6PM give away and was number 21. Lisa got in line at about 1 and was number 6:) I was happy I got my milkshakes. I will keep a few in my car for the kids and gave the rest to Chad. I do not like milkshakes because I don't like warm ice cream. I'm weird! Anyway- there are no cute pictures because I went alone. I didn't think the kids would do well in line for 2 hours. Little Sarah went with Lisa and did great until the news showed up. Yes the news! Apparently there was nothing else going on in Ohio at the time. They freaked poor Sarah out with the huge van and the cameras. There will be photos on the 16th of the kids dressed as cows for free lunch at chick-fil-a. It will either be fun or one of those things my kids sit around talking about as adults.... "remember the year mom went cheap and made us all dress as cows for a free lunch?" Just a little summer fun!