Little Things Thursday

Hello, strangers.  Well, that’s how it feels since I have had to pull back on blogging the last week or so.  I can only keep up with one post a week right now, but thank you for still connecting here, meanwhile. I’m trying to give myself permission to take care of all the pressing things so I can get back to a regular routine soon. I’ve gotta have it together by a week from Monday, so I’m almost there.

I’ve been swamped with preparing for our new school year, and working my photography business.  I’m just in a stage where the devil is in the details. I just need those around me to say that it is okay for these things to take time to complete. I can be such a hamster on a wheel. I forget that most things are a process and not a run into the ground race.

Enough about that though, because I have a girl to celebrate! Yesterday, Gracyn turned 14! I could lament the years here, but you moms already know. It goes quickly.

And she got a phone.

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She’s pretty pleased about the phone situation. We’ve been one of the last hold out parents of kids her age. There are still a few others, but we were definitely in the minority. I don’t regret waiting, but feel that now is the time with high school on the very near horizon. I just need to be able to reach my kid.  It’s more for me than her. So, it’s definitely a little thing bringing much happiness around here. Her dad and I are cool after all.

How’s your week going, friends?


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Little Things Thursday

What happens when the corn crop you so desperately looked forward to dies?

You create a backdrop out of it, of course! It’s the whole lemons and lemonade drill.

Jasper in corn husks 01-blogOur corn just didn’t produce like we hoped. We managed to get 2-3 respectable ears and many tiny weird ones.  Our garden was essentially a big failure except for the basil, tomatoes, okra and berries. In many ways my garden became a metaphor for my summer.  Disappointment.

I envisioned refreshment.  There were bits of that, but not on the scale that I felt I truly needed to be refreshed to begin again. But, the thing about need is that what we think we need may not be what’s best for our growth, overall. I’ve grown all summer long, but I’m weary. I guess you could call it growing pains.  I’m planting and planting and planting.  The harvest sometimes looks like disappointment on the surface, but rather it is the fodder for a greater harvest to come.  I believe that.  Because disappointment, when used correctly, causes us to grow. We dig deeper, and make adjustments. I’m no quitter and I also believe that God wastes no circumstance that He allows.  We just have to be willing to accept and learn from our circumstances.  It’s not easy, but it is necessary. While not getting a vacation or other luxuries this summer was disappointing, I do think I’ll look back on this time as pivotal. My souvenirs aren’t seashells and T-shirts, but I believe that my take-aways are valuable.

We have less than 3 weeks before our new school year begins and I am furiously working to shore up loose ends so that I’m not crawling to the first day of school.  I apologize for not being as available to participate and visit.  I hope you know that my desire is FOR those things, but that well, honestly, I’m struggling to balance duty and delights. Delights have just had to retire to the backseat over the last month or so.  There has been just so much on my proverbial plate that needs attention. It’s nothing serious, but as you know, when things pile up life can feel overwhelming.

I do have a couple massage gift certificates that will be a balm once I get through the bulk of the crazy.  I’m looking forward to those.  I’m still going to be around, and I’m trying to make room for delights as I can. Soon, routine will win the day once again and I’ll be back on the saddle. Less than 20 days to go! How’s your summer?  


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Little Things Thursday

Hello Friends! We’ve officially hit the end of year crazies.  We have just 17 school days left of our school year, which means we are in the scramble to accomplish as much as we can in a short period of time.

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Summer is so close and the freedom is beckoning me. Yet, I discovered today that we still have so much to cover in certain subjects, so it is go time around here. I really do not want to slide into June with school on our backs.

I may be a bit in and out on the blog, but I will try my best to keep up. LTT will go on as usual because I do so love this little community! But if I don’t make it to everything over the next 3 weeks know that I still love ya and will be back to normal very soon.

I foresee some late nights in our future with our rising Freshman. I can’t believe High School years are beginning.

Now let’s hear about you!


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Insta-Fun

We’ve had a pretty good start to February around here. While life has been pretty mundane and steady, there is still so much beauty to be found in the ordinary. Feb1-15

There has been joy in the little things like Popsicles from the ice cream truck, friendship with our pets, and oils to help us sleep well after long days.

New recipes were tried, doodles were practiced, and gifts reminded us of how truly blessed/inspired we are by our friendships.

Knitting continued, new skills were learned in school, and coffee has stayed warm to see me through our school mornings without having to visit the microwave multiple times.  This, my friends, is a huge boon to my mornings.

Even though the month is still fresh, we have experienced so much encouragement already!

Now if we could just manage to squeeze one snow day in this month, we would truly be cheered. It’s not looking too likely, but you just never know!

It’s all Good.Random.Fun.

 

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Give A Little Bit

Give a little bit, Give a little bit of your time to me.

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Time is a precious commodity.  There is often not nearly enough of it, or is there? Many times I chose to live in such a way as if there is more to do than time in the day.  Perhaps truth would say that I take on more than I can truly handle.

But giving time to my family is the greatest yes I can give.  The days are often long, and the needs are so very consuming at times. My needs become an after-thought.

God reminds me in various ways that even though the world would say that I should put myself first more, that I am no fool to invest in these little ones entrusted to my care.

Now’s the time that we need to share

So find yourself, we’re on our way back home.

I struggle, boy do I struggle. The all day, every day at home bit can get to be a bit much some days. A lot of days.  I feel so inadequate to provide for everything. I worry about how they are faring in the their studies and if I am short changing them.  I worry that perhaps they need more involvement. I worry about so much.

I know somehow that these days are doing something and that God is leading us. Every time I get to the edge, God brings me gently back off the ledge and reminds me that this is His will for us.

It is good and it is well.

Linking with Songography, Black and White Wednesday and Wednesdays Around the World.

 

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Craftiness and other domestic bliss

What is it about the imminence of autumn that brings out the creative spirit in us?  I’m not sure what it is, but the bug has certainly hit.

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Lately, I’m rediscovering bliss in the little things of life. Such as…

Watching on Netflix: Family Ties (love that Alex P. Keaton), Sabrina (the newer one), and Last Love.  Last Love was sad, but worth a watch.

Cooking: Anything in my crockpot.  I have spaghetti sauce simmering right now.

Drinking: Trader Joe’s Smooth Blend Coffee

Pinning: Meals, Crafts, and Homeschooling ideas

Crafting: Knitting, and Sewing with the kids

Discovering: Extra time in the day gained through early rising and earlier bedtimes

Desiring: Being part of what really matters.  There is so much going on in the world currently that I think we need to be paying attention to.  Like for real.

Loving: Instagram vs Facebook.  I love scrolling through my feed and seeking thankfulness/celebration rather than being bombarded by Facebook tantrums and negativity.

Planning: A trip to Thailand in 6 weeks!

Exercise: Walking with Rosie in the afternoons/evenings…no music or distractions, just my thoughts.

Reading: Farmer Boy to the kids

This is my Good.Random.Fun.

 

 

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Currently

I love this time of year when everything seems to be a fresh start.  I really don’t feel that January 1st brings about the same feelings of newness like the start of a new school year.  I get a sort of recharge and fresh look on life every August.

It’s like I get a chance to refocus on what matters.  For me, that has been less time online, and more time seeking to be mindful of what is going on in our home.  It’s tiring, but good. Very good.

I’m seeking balance in duty and delights. I’m saying yes to those things that fall within my vision, and letting what doesn’t fit slide.  It’s not always easy, but it is needed.

One thing that has been an absolute delight was this recent session with a precious family.  This one honestly recharged me in so many ways, and I’m so grateful.

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I felt very free to be the photographer that I am.  That’s a gift when that happens.  It makes me want to try to reach my vision even more.  And aren’t these two darling?

I have also been spending a good deal of time preparing for my travels to Thailand in roughly 7 weeks! I know that time will go so quickly.  It still feels unreal to think of going back after 7 years away.  This is the longest I have been away since 1994. It’s really exciting!

I’m really looking forward to just being free to enjoy and experience that time.  Again. A gift.

Things are currently looking up and it is so encouraging!

Linking with Songography|Try, Black and White Wednesday, and Wednesdays Around the World.

 

 

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It’s okay. And other thoughts on disability.

We are finishing our first week of school for this new year and it has been great! Truly great.

But ya’ll, I’m learning some things that are sometimes difficult to accept and talk about.  I’m feeling brave though, so I am going to give it a go.

I think my kids may have some mild learning disabilities. 

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You may or may not know that I have a degree in Early Childhood Education, and while I do let that background weigh in, it’s my mama gut that tells me this might be true.  As a homeschooling mom I am able to see first hand what issues are present, and that is a blessing.

When my daughter was 4 someone casually made an offhand remark that they thought my daughter was ADD.  I wanted to pop that girl right in her unsolicited comment.  However, being a mom, I cried instead.  Her assessment was due to the fact that my child was more active than the other kids around us, and didn’t like to sit and color in the lines like they did.  My child is very out of the box in her creativity.  There was a cultural difference of thoughts about these things due to the fact that we lived overseas. The cultural differences didn’t matter, she simply labelled my kid publically.

And I was mad.

My daughter struggles in math.  So did I.  Her tutor recently suggested that my daughter might be ADD.  My mama bear instinct started to rear its head again, but I simply stated that I did not know if her assessment was true. She did not have that diagnosis and we wouldn’t be seeking one…thank you very much.

Again, I was upset that anytime someone struggles there is this need to slap an acronym on them in order to make heads or tails of it.  I decided to just entertain the thought though, after I cooled off.  Maybe this assessment would actually serve us? Even if it is not true, what is the take away for us?

My daughter said to me that she didn’t think she was ADD, but if she was, she couldn’t do anything about it. She was not going to worry.  It’s not a big deal, she said.

She is right.  What does it matter?

Yes, my daughter is a dreamer.  Yes, she struggles to pay attention sometimes. Yes, she doodles when she should be working. Yes, she struggles in math.  Some of this is just personality. Some is distractibility.

But okay, let’s deal with it. Let’s find strategies to refine those things that need attention without seeking to alter who God has created her to be.

Additionally, I see signs of dysgraphia in my youngest.  At some point last year, he began to cry whenever he had to write thoughts on paper. It was if the world had ended.

At first I chalked it up to being a young first grader.  Then I thought he was manipulating me.  Then it was a lack of confidence and a thousand other thoughts.

He complained about hand and arm fatigue.  He cried he didn’t know what to say.  He developed “stomach aches”.  If you ever had a conversation with him, you’d have a hard time believing that this boy with a huge vocabulary couldn’t write any of his thoughts down without tears. We made progress, but the situation hasn’t gone away.  Even though we are having a good start to school, he has cried three out of five days when time the time to write came.   Yet, he so desires to write! He really wants to be able to write.   He cries if he has to draw something representative.  His drawings are not at the second grade “level”.  Something is up.

My instincts point to dysgraphia. 

He reads well.  He speaks well.  His math skills will knock your socks off.  He remembers everything.  He is focused.  He is determined.  He is bright. He wants to please.   But, I think he has a slight disability with writing.

What does it matter?

There is no shame in not being able to do everything perfectly.  So why do we instantly feel guilt, shame, and as if we are failing our kids when they show signs of weaknesses? Why do we see that look in the eyes of others that seems to suggest, “Well, if they were in a real school…”.   Why do other people want to assign blame for disabilities as if any of us have any control over our natural abilities? Or those of our children.

Who cares? Learning disabilities do not equal dumb. It means you have a few hurdles to jump and may need to work a little more intentionally.  I worked hard for my A’s and B’s and I think the return on that investment is character and perseverance.  I don’t listen to can’t.

We have to pay attention to the needs we see in our children and not hide them because we might lose a few bragging points among our peers.  Personally, I love a little adversity.  I love kicking a challenge in the butt.  If my kids have weaknesses, we will kick those challenges in. the. butt.  Those who feel superior, pity or ashamed can kick rocks.

I’m so happy that I can be right here identifying needs and personally addressing them.  If my youngest needs to play with playdoh to strengthen his hands, we can do that. If he needs any sort of therapy, we can do that. We can do exactly what we need to do, and that is a great feeling. I actually feel so encouraged that I can say, “Ah ha! I see what you need. Let me help.”  We all have forms of disability.  We all need help from time to time.

I think a lot of the initial discouragement goes back to this fierce mom competition that we see on a daily basis. You only need a quick scroll through Facebook to see it.  We all have experienced those parents who have all of their significance and security tied up in the abilities of their children.  There’s a lot of need floating around to be the best, the most, the smartest.

But that’s not us.

We are going to be honest about our needs, and tend to them.   So far I am loving this year that is just freeing us up to love learning right where we are.  I’m seeing such a spark of enthusiasm to grow already.

That’s what education should be.

We are on our own track, and do not need the comparisons to pace ourselves.  Learning is an intrinsic reward.

I do not know for sure whether we have clinical disabilities, but we will own whatever is there.

We won’t feel anything other than blessed to be able to come alongside our children as we prepare them for the calling on their lives.

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Currently.

Today is our first day of school!!!  I hope we are off to a great start.

Time was so short this week for personal planning so I spent all afternoon on Sunday trying to make it happen.  I got in a grocery trip, which is kind of a big deal.  I felt very accomplished to have food in the house.  Hubby even remarked that he hadn’t seen our fridge so full in such a long time.  I kind of winged grocery runs this summer.

I reviewed today’s lesson plans and tried to wrap my head around our new schedule.  We are doing some new things this year and I feel a bit lost.  However, I think it will be a good change once I get the hang of it.

So, today I am figuring this first day thing out.  The kids are figuring this first day thing out.  I hope they aren’t too disappointed to see summer break go.  I’m relieved.  I think.  Ask me after coffee.

To wrap summer up we:

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Became parents to a teen.  Started wearing makeup. Lost a tooth. Readied ourselves for school.

That’s our good.random.fun. for the end of summer 2014.

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Little Things Thursday

My husband took our kids this evening to give me a little break.  I’ve been knee deep in details, and really just needed to have a little downtime as summer comes to a close.  Even if only for two hours.

Also…my kids will not stop bickering.  That’s a sure sign that we need structure and work.  Our days need purpose.  Summer has had its purpose and now it is time to move on, for my sanity.  And might I add their well-being?

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My quiet time of sorts was used just to tie up loose ends around the home, put out fires in my email inbox, and journal about what changes we need to make in this coming school year. I felt like someone had to pull me to the finish line this past year.

I really need a time of getting centered before new beginnings.   While I know that I have such good intentions about changes this year, I know that distractions are such a thief.  I want to live more intentionally about so many things.  I want my family to a priority and that means saying no to things that don’t fit our vision across the board.  I don’t want us to live as warm bodies, but as purposeful beings who use our time and talents wisely.

I’m realizing that I’m a person who paradoxically needs quiet to think  and loads of creative stimulation.  When I don’t get either I can feel caged very quickly.  So I want this year to provide more balance in these two areas.  I don’t know how that will look yet, but I’m praying that I figure it out.

One way might be in giving ourselves more freedom to not have to be slaves to checking off boxes.  I don’t even want to be slaves to “normal”.  I want this year to be about the journey of enjoying life as art.

Because life is the artwork of our creator, even though we try as might to mess it up at times.

I’ll need y’all to remind me.

So yeah…all this from a little quiet and a cup of tea.  I hear the garage door opening and that means the troops are home. Quiet time is over.

I’d love to hear how you are seeking to live artistically.

Link up with Little Things Thursday:

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