Maybe God wishes to teach me a thousand new things, move me from being in a thousand different directions to just ONE, and show me a thousand reasons to BLESS his name. Maybe that is why He moved me 1,000 miles away.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Does everyone have a touch of Control Freak in them?

I try not to be one, but I am.  I cross the line.  I've been slowly learning  this and battling with this, but recently God has lifted the heavy burden I've been carrying around of  feeling responsible for the outcomes in life.  I love my kids. I want them to be successful in friendships, sports, academics, their pursuit of God, and growing character. I want them to be happy, be nice to each other.  I want them to do their house chores right. Somehow I got myself too tangled in and felt like a failure when they were not happy, or getting along with each other for too many days in a row.  I beat myself up when they were slacking off on chores or school work.  I questioned my "mom abilities" when larger problems would occur and the weight was draining me day after day.  I want my husband to be happy when he comes home from work.  I want him to work less, eat  better, sleep more, and enjoy his family.  I felt burdened with the ponderous task of making all these things happen in his life.  What a joy it  has been these past few days living without this huge and impossible assignment (which I unintentionally appointed my self).  What a joy to wake up knowing that I live and and teach, discipline and guide, play, cook, clean and work  by the grace of God and it is for Him that I do it all.  With this in mind, I do not have to carry the burden of the outcome!  And if I can't make everyone happy, it's okay now.  It reminds me of  that very awesome song from R.E.M.  It's the End of the World as We Know it.....and I Feel Fine.  
Around the World in 180 Days!
This year we are traveling around the world for geography class and have enjoyed spending time in Mexico, Brazil, Norway, Canada and Germany. The homemade pretzels were very fun to make but quite tricky! Dropping a doughy pretzel into boiling water for 30 seconds and then retrieving the slippery thing to bake turned out to be the hardest part. We put the odd shaped ones on the bottom of the pile!

No one really liked the kraut very much.
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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Fresh Air and Foxholes

Last year was the hardest year of my life.  Sometimes nothing more can be done but to dig a foxhole, gather your supplies and fight your enemy and hope for reinforcements or at least a supply drop so you can keep up the battle.

Perhaps I could have come out sooner, but I think I may have adjusted to forgetting I was even in a foxhole -- mistaking it for "life as I now know it".

Part of what I now want to do is get some joy back into life, creating space for it and trusting God a little more to do battle for me.

Thousand Miles blog will hopefully record many of these times as I breathe in some fresh air with people I love and take up some personal interests  for myself that I have laid aside for much too long.

Living life on purpose does take some effort, but the reward is worth it.  I'm breathing better already just talking about it!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

It was a good run.

Nearly 8 years of homeschool and our oldest is now attending "formal school".
We are thankful for God providing a wonderful Christian school for her to attend, and so far a smooth transition.
Some of my favorite memories of homeschooling through the 8 years with Chloe:
~making super long timelines on butcher block paper
~listening to tons of audiobooks on nearly all car rides in the elementary school years
~making a cleopatra costume
~Eating lunch outdoors at Byerlys!
~Art class with the Westriches
~nature walks at Elm  Creek
~Ending school early to spend a week at the cabin
~Sleeping in late
~Becoming well read by reading to her all those great Sonlight books
~Forcing Jackson to talk to Leela and give her his passport.  That was fun for us, but not so much for him!
~Making the tabernacle and eating Chinese food
~Laughing every day
~Tons of singing and dancing in the kitchen

Most of all, being a part of every day together:  learning to love through the good days, the bad days, the sick days, the sick of school days, the new babies, the new curriculums, the new jobs, the new homes and all the good things that hard challenges can develop in us.

I've loved it and would not have done it differently....but I know it is time for something new and look forward to all that this new chapter will bring to our lives.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Year, New Spreadsheets!

The downside to being gone for Christmas Break is that there is no time to clean out the homeschool room, the kids' closets, or do a real good washing of the kitchen floor.  Instead, I come home 2 days before I am planning to start teaching and have to empty the rotten veggies from the fridge, unpack the  loads of suitcases and boxes of gifts, grocery shop, and get the kids back onto a schedule that gets them to bed earlier than 11:00 and up earlier than 10:00.  It is a great blessing to travel back to see family for Christmas, but the return trip of driving 18 hours (and riding in the back seat next to the toddler so that sick older son could have my front seat) celebrating New Years Eve in a hotel  trying to make it "fun" for the teenager and other kids, and all that work awaiting for me when I got home (not to mentioned being jacked up on caffine, sugar and nasty McDonalds) isn't the best way to start out a happy new homeschool year. 
And, I tend to be one of those who loves to start out with great expectations, best intentions, and all my duckies neatly in a row. 

But I did get some beautiful color spreadsheets done that display my new and improved schedule for the homeschool day.  Bonus:  I made new school work planning sheets for the kids that are spanky colored and better lay out each days' work. 

So although I started today 2 hours behind schedule and with a headache and a hang-over feeling from fighting off my older son's virus -- the day did happen without too much difficulty.  Adverbs were introduced, Psalms 23  studied, Multiplication taught, the minute hand of the clock practiced, a playdoh bob the builder sculpted, fractions divided by decimals and converted to percents (or something like that) and even had time to watch Pride and Predjudice with the 9th grader.  Somehow, 4 things didn't get done.  This is the perpetual problem of a homeschool mom optimist who has the faulty idea that more can be accomplished in a day than possible.

Which brings me to my favorite New Year's Resolution:  I will stop when I have 75% of my day's work done -- make time to play with the kids -- and then see if there is time left for the rest.  If not, so be it.  No one will die over it!  Like that?  My kids do (and I do too) and I have gotten to the second world in Super Mario Wii ! 

Friday, December 18, 2009

Weather Alert. Maria, don't read this while drinking -- you'll likely spew the computer.



Things are already closing, even though the chance of snow is only 40% and the storm could easily shift directions and we only get a dusting like all the "storms" since we moved here.
Time will tell...but by my experience at the grocery store tonight I think the entire Lehigh Valley expects to be snowed in for the next 4 days.
The one thing I like about snow days is that when I head out on the streets I get the pleasure of being one of only a few  sparse vehicles driving though the beautiful swirling snow -- seeing the beauty of it before it is tainted by plows, salt, exaust and sludge.
Can't wait to see  it come!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Here is a sign your NOT in the city anymore...

Sign read on the way to the hockey rink this morning:

Baked Cow Tongue  $5.29 a pound