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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Homeschool mom

Sometimes I write up an entire blog post in my head. I tell you about my life. The times- both good, bad and overwhelming. I tell you about my family and friendships. What hurts my heart and what is good. I'm often too busy with the kids to write it all down. But somehow, it's somewhat therapeutic for me to sort it all out and write it down in my mind.

Just this morning, I shared with you how anxious I was feeling. I was holding a weepy Eli, who had been awake since 5 this morning. While sorting through all my thoughts, the other three were asking questions and doing a good job at interrupting my story process as I scrambled eggs on the stove top.  

I wonder what it'll be like some day when our home falls silent. Our children will be grown and I will no longer be interrupted. I'll probably write often about these days. How I miss a tired baby, half asleep and heavy in my arms. A toddler crying over juice choices and older kids threatening to, "never play with each other again" because they simply aren't in agreement with what they are playing. I know I'll miss this. In so many ways, I already do now.... some how.

We start school on Tuesday. I am both excited and nervous for the new year. I wish I could silence the doubting voices. They aren't loud but they exist. Hearing my own voice somewhere deep, down inside that says, "why try?" Sometimes I need a stadium-style speaker, bold and loud, singing the voices of those who have been supportive. "You've got this, Jess. Gods got this." 

Please remind me when I forget. 

I remember when I was homeschooled. It wasn't the kids that made me feel different but some of the adults most certainly. Adults that would give me the weird eye when I confessed I was taught at home. "Did your mother go to school for this?" "Do you like being homeschooled?" "Are you learning anything?" "Don't you miss real school?" "Aren't you sad you can't go to school parties?"

But really. Shame on those adults. They should've known better. May we all be the kind of humans that can learn to accept good differences. Respect eachother. What really matters in the end? ....That was the song of my 13 year old heart.

Our differences make all the difference.

My favorite thing homeschool taught me? ....Acceptance for those who dare to live a bit differently and the heart to encourage those that are struggling to live on the not-so-mainstream path. How blessed we are to be free to be who we are. ...LIVE in such a way. 

To the kids,
I have no idea where this path is leading us. I simply know God had it in His plan to write it on my heart. That's enough for me right now. May this school year be fun. May it be fun and rewarding. You remind me each and every day what a gift it is to be able to be with you. It's a blessed life, this one. One I could have never dreamed up for myself. I wouldn't trade it for the world. 

You are treasured. 

Public school, private school, unschool, homeschool - may you all have a rich, rewarding school year. May our differences light up the world in every beautiful way.

Xoxo, mama Jessie 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

That time I almost won a funeral at a baseball game.

Some pictures taken from my camera - others taken from my phone.

On August 1st, Josie turned 5.
Late night balloon helper

She wanted this monkey in the worst way.

Josie had ballet camp the entire week leading up to her birthday. That Friday, they did a little demonstration of all they had learned.

Her friend Mallory spent the afternoon with Josie.

She requested Chinese food for her birthday dinner.

The next day, we celebrated 5! with a party.

Her piƱata was made from a brown paper bag and tissue paper.

Oh, Josie. We love you, girlfriend. *fist bump*

Some other sweet memories of our August (so far)...

Having your best friend carry your toddler by football hold out of the park. Priceless.

Matt's birthday

On a whim and for laughs, I typed up an essay on my phone and submitted it to the Syracuse Chiefs for a crazy funeral promotion they were having. 3 finalists would be able to stay in a luxury suite and they'd find out the night of the game if they won a funeral. It sounded absolutely ridiculous.

I thought, just submit an essay and try to get the luxury suite. If you end up being a finalist and you win a funeral too, at least it'll be a funny story for the kids to share some day. "Remember that time mom won her funeral at a baseball game?" They'd be able to laugh at the memory.

Well, I indeed got a call back and was a top 3 finalist. Luxury suite, free food. They called it "a celebration of life" night. That was the theme of the essay. We had to write about how we celebrate life and what makes our life unique. ...Totally up my alley.

I'm not going to lie, when I first got the call back my attitude quickly went from, "haha, what a story to my life this will be!" To- "OH. NO. WHAT HAVE I DONE?!"

In the end, it was indeed a great story to add to my life. That time I *almost* won a funeral at a baseball game.

While we were downstairs taking pictures and buying cotton candy, they read my essay to the stadium and had our pictures up on the big screen. I wish I had gotten an actual picture of the screen.

The picture from the screen

Liam threw out the first pitch of the game. Josh and the kids were able to stand on the field with me. It was an awesome moment.

We walked away with two foul balls the kids "caught" and a ball from the first pitch. I also received a big bag of goodies that had things like foam fingers, stuffed animals, free tickets for different places and events around Syracuse (like the NYS fair) and they gave me my own Chief's hat.

Eli's first baseball game = awesome.

This past weekend, the kids started Soccer.

Sunday was the family fun fair at our church. Berean Calvary Chapel has an amazing group of human beings. Kids are everywhere and the adults are amazingly kind. I'm so proud to say it has become our second home.

The Walruses joined!

Today = Waiting for the arrival of Grandpa Victor and Grandma Diane, sunshine, soccer and peanut butter and honey sandwiches.

May the rest of your summer days be filled with things like sunshine and peanut butter and honey sandwiches.

xoxo, Jessie