Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A New Normal...for a while anyway

If there is one thing I have learned about "Normal," it is that there is no such thing as normal.
Just as I get life figured out (I think) with baby number 1, we find out baby number 2 is on the way.

Then, when I have a somewhat handle of babies 1 and 2 a full year after baby number 2 has turned the age of 1, I find out that baby number 3 is on the way. Throw in a move and 2 job changes and new State and I'm rockin' and a realin' trying to find my bearings. I had just completed college and had not been prepared for the "smack in the face" of life.

I'm a routine kind of girl. I like routine. I don't mind messing with my routine, but I need a heads up. I'm guessing that is where baby number 3 got it from. School has been an interesting adjustment for him. We held Good Lookin' back a full year knowing that emotionally he needed another year under his skinny little belt before we started him onto a "new normal." This is my child who didn't go to childcare for my mom's group until he was almost 5. This is my child who when he was the ripe old age of 3 we were told by his pre-K that "he might fit in better somewhere else" because he has screamed for weeks to "go home!" It takes him a looooooooong time to adjust to anything new and if it's not consistent with the same people every time; well, you might as well forget all about it. We decided the teacher might benefit from him waiting another year as well. The first month has been HARD with all CAPS included! The kid has hated school.

Let me just say that this "new normal" for him was hard for me to emotionally grasp....only because I also was, and am somewhat still, feeling overwhelmed with the "new normal" of homeschooling his older sister as well. I feel like I'm wading into new territorial waters of both homeschooling and the pre-teen years that seem to have snuck up on me. The emotional energy at the end of my day is a big fat 0.

But, back to Good Lookin.' After numerous phone calls with the school counselor and some plans put in place where he can have some grasp of routine in his new 300 plus child kindergarten, we are finally, as of yesterday, seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

It has been 4 weeks since school started and this is the FIRST day he has said that he "likes" school. He came upstairs with his backpack already on and declared that he was ready to go. It was 6:30am! I had to make him sit down for breakfast or he would have walked on out to the car! Yeah!

I've prayed a lot in the last several weeks. There is nothing more heart-tugging than your child crying, pleading to stay home with you and then point out that his older sister "got to quit school!" How do I explain that she IS STILL doing school and that right now he is exactly where he needs to be. We've prayed together. We've rocked. We've hugged. I've cried with him and yet told him he still needs to go. I think of the times when I have begged and pleaded with God for something to change in my life that I so desperately wanteded to turn out differently, but I think I am that same stubborn the child in His lap. He has been telling me that He has me exactly where I need to be even if I don't see a reason or purpose or where He is leading me.

The "New Normal" will change for all of us. I have to learn and I need to help my children learn to TRUST that God is not going to drop us, fail us, forget us or even purposefully pull the rug out from under us just for "sport."

He's got me exactly where He wants me and I can trust in that.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

August Blessings

Blessing One:
Family Reunion:
Growing up in a family of educators, a child cannot help but learn to see books as a best friend. When all else fails, my Bible and my books stay the same.
Every family get-together; since my earliest memories, my mother and aunts would call us 17 grandchildren together and we ALL would listen to my Grandpa read a short story out of one of his Patrick McManus books. I LOVED this time.
Now Great-Grandchildren are gathering around and laughing together at the antics of the author and his best friend Eddie Muldoon. Even the youngest members toddle in and out of the amassing generations and participate in this tradition.
One day, my Grandpa will be gone and I pray this is a memory that my children will treasure.

Blessing Two: Breath
Dear little Good Lookin' had a rough last month of the summer.
Numerous visits to the Dr. and finally a medication that worked. The simple art of taking a full breath has been a blessing for his younger brother that we don't take for granted, but Good Lookin' got his first chance to stand in his little brother shoes and appreciate what a blessing it is to breath without gasping for air.
The drought and dust this summer was the root cause and the rain that we are finally getting has allowed us to back almost totally off his medication.
Blessing Three:
Fresh Fruit and Friends who share:
A couple of weeks ago a friend who is also passionate about feeding her children healthy and preservative-free food called and said they had been given access to an apple tree and invited us to come pick with them.
The whole process was not just yummy; it was also fun!!
We canned 27 quarts of applesauce and made 7 gallons of apple juice in one day. I also took home a crate of apples to dry thinking we'd "squirrel that away for winter. ( My kids loved it and now we only have one zip-lock bag left).
Blessing Four:
County Fair
The weekend before the Fair, Good Lookin' was emphatic that he was NOT going to participate. He HATED his goat. (It is a little crazy and stubborn, but Luke and I joke that she's just like her little master). We told him that he had to do it this year and if he still didn't like it then he didn't have to do it again next year.
He loved it and was upset that the Show only last one morning.
Precious Jewel got Best of Show for the 4-H Division and Best of Show for the Open Division.
We are such novices that we had no idea what Open Division meant until we were told that it means anyone can enter an animal and show it and compete.   
She beat out everyone and got the coveted Rainbow Ribbon and Banner.

County Fair time is that one time of year (aside from Christmas) that when the sun goes down my kids aren't afraid of the dark. The sky lights up. The bands play. The sellers hawk their rides and games on the Midway.  
Magic Shows up in the form of a painted dragon riding in circles to the tune of organ music and a lit up Ferris Wheel.
Blessing Five:
First Day of School
Precious Jewel is entering 4th Grade and we are embarking on the new journey of homeschooling.
Mr. Smiles in entering 3rd Grade and is privileged to sit under another male teacher this year.
Good Lookin' finally gets to start Kindergarten.
Nater Mater is begging for Preschool but I want to wait one more year because it means full-time every day and mommy is just not ready for that yet.  
Blessing Six:
Another mom from our church alerted me to the Secret Keeper Girl Pajama Party Conference that was being held near our small town one evening.
Let me just say it was a precious time for my Precious Jewel and I to show up at a church dressed in pajamas for an evening of fun and encouragement. She and I are both excited to start our Mother/Daughter dates when the boys start Boy Scouts.
I came away feeling so encouraged by the Conference. Life throws way too much at these precious young lives and this generation of little girl's are being stolen away. Secret Keeper Girl's in an incredible resource for families to keep their daughter's hearts on a path to loving Jesus.
Blessing Seven:
Nathaniel's 4th Birthday
 A sweet little boy turned 4 this last week of August. My sweet precious, snugly, rambunctious baby boy has turned into a pre-schooler before our very eyes. We measured him and from this time last year, he has grown 4 inches! Crazy Birthday Boy. No wonder he's begun sharing his brother's clothes!
Love you Nater Mater!