Sunday, January 16, 2011

Granting myself Grace...

As a mother, we often have to give our children the room to fail. To have a shortcoming and be ok with not being perfect at everything. As a Christian, I call it granting grace to my children. I do it when they can't clean up messes by themselves, or when they need extra help with something. But, we rarely extend this grace to ourselves.

I am not a housewife at heart. Cleaning and meal plans are not second nature to me. I often beat myself up about thid. I SHOULD keep a tidy house effortlessly, and be able to whip up a month worth of yummy freezer foods in 30 minutes and bake bread from scratch twice daily. I mean, any good housewife can, right?

But the thing I am the worst at? Clothes management. I don't save clothes for the younger kids as the older ones outgrow them. I am saving a few things for Reese since she is so close in size to Anna-Lee now, but as a rule I don't save clothes by size and season. We just buy clothes from the thrift store and sales and consignment places as needed. I spend around $2-400 a year on clothes for all 5 of us. Hubby and I of course keep clothes since we don't have growth spurts to worry about!

I've decided to grant myself some grace in this area. Its ok to not save and store every article of clothes in case we can use it again down the road. By donating it, I'm passing it on to another thrifty mama for her little ones. I'm letting myself stay sane, save space (we have no room to store totes of clothes even if I were so inclined), and I remind myself that its ok to not be perfect. Now, I've got 30 minutes and 25 meals to cook if you'll excuse me.

Where can you stand to give yourself a little grace? Maybe you beat yourself up about sleep issues with your baby. Its ok to have a crappy sleeper. Eventually they outgrow it, or are old enough that a doctor will listen and help. Maybe your body doesn't want to let go of those last few pregnancy pounds...curves are HOT! Be gentle with yourselves, and extend the grace we as mothers give to everyone else to yourself once in a while. You'll be glad you did.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Hybrid Schooling

We are a homeschooling family. A homeschooling family who, as of January 25th, will have one daughter in public kindergarten. I still consider us a homeschooling family. We are doing hybrid schooling. Everything can be hybrid these days. Cars are gas and electric. Diapers can work both as cloth or disposable. Why can't schooling be a hybrid of classroom and homeschooling?

Our decision is one of both convenience and personality. A-L went in for her speech evaluation and she will need to be at the school for speech therapy 2-3 times/week. We do live close to the school, but the fact is that it would mean getting the other kids both dressed and ready to go twice a day 2-3 times/week when they don't need to go anywhere.

As we were leaving, I saw my first grade teacher, who is now the kindergarten teacher. We stopped to talk to her, since I've stayed in touch with her. A-L has been asking to go to Kindergarten. I asked the teacher, Mrs. W, about the possibility of Anna-Lee being in her class. She said they could definitely have her in class. We then went down to the room so A-L could see it. We talked a while, and Mrs. W told me to be sure to come down and help out with class parties, field trips, etc. whenever I could. We even discussed the possibility of us hatching some eggs in the class. She also made sure to tell me if public school wasn't working out, just let her know and if she could change anything she would. Otherwise don't feel bad about pulling her out. She also offered to get me in touch with other homeschooling families in town. Love this woman.

A-L and I also butt heads with my teaching style and her learning style. I think her and Mrs. W will be a better fit right now.

Which is where the hybrid comes in. I will continue to work with her here at home. Especially on science and history stuff. And I will work alongside the lessons she's learning at school with Mrs. W on other subjects. That way, she can be learning it while we work on finding a teaching/learning style that suit our mother/daughter dynamic. Best of both worlds. Hybrid schooling.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


My sweet, wonderful Anna-Lee. She is five. How, when did that happen? I feel like she was just born. That sounds so cliche, but boy how its true! I wanted to do a little post introducing the world to this little girl who I proudly call myself mama to.

She's grown into an awesome child. But, to challenge me, God has blessed her with a personality like her mother's. This causes us to butt heads, and often. She is inquisitive, scatter-brained, silly, shy, serious, bossy, quick to anger, but also quick to love and to nurture. She's sassy, and smart beyond her years.

To her downfall, she has speech issues. This has made me overly protective. She's such a delicate soul. And she feels so fully and passionately (also like her mother!), that I have been terrified of her getting made fun of for how she talks. I had planned on sending her to school for preschool through 3rd grade before homeschooling. But each year I've found a reason not to. And it is because I was scared of her getting made fun of or bullied by other kids. As the victim of bullying myself, I would do anything to keep her from that.

Some of her favorite things are dinosaurs, astronomy, princesses, dolphins, snuggling with baby Lucy and Reese, and spending time on "family dates". She CRAVES time with other kids, which now that we are out of my crazy time at work, I will be setting up as much as I can. We are looking for dance lessons, and perhaps something like 4-H, Girl Scouts, or Youth Group.