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Showing posts from 2019

it's been a while - but I have something for you!

Hey, hi, hello- I'm still here.  I can't believe I haven't posted since May! Homeschooling two kids while chasing a busy toddler has left me with very little time in my schedule to write. When I was presented with the opportunity to give away a wonderful new Bible from Gateway Press I decided it was a great opportunity to revisit my online world. One of the main reasons I homeschool is so that I can teach my kids from a Biblical Christ-focused point of view. Raising them to know and love Christ is the most important thing, but it's also important for them to see His hand over history, science and all other subjects.  I was excited about a lot of the Fresh Start Bible features - opportunities to study the Bible with clear direction and excellent teaching interspersed throughout - but what really stood out to me was the historical explanations of each book. This last year I've learned how important it is to place the history of our world in a Biblical co

year nine

It is 5 days post Charlotte's birthday. I haven't had a moment to sit down and write before now. I'm not even sure I wanted to. But this is the space where I did most of my grieving so it feels odd to let Charlotte's birthday pass without some mention.  I was doing SO well - flying high the week before her birthday, feeling like I was doing GREAT. Even the day of wasn't so bad. I didn't even cry. Not on Mother's Day, not on the day after, not on her birthday, the 14th. That was a first. Then the 15th came and I deflated. I have wanted to spend the last five days flat on the floor with zero interactions or disruptions. I don't want to see anyone. I don't want to talk to anyone. I don't understand why I have to feed the kids three meals and two snacks every day. Basic tasks feel insurmountable. This morning before church I stretched out on the bed after breakfast even though I knew it was a bad idea. Get up, I implored. Get up, get dressed

bad attitudes and sibling squabbles

It's 9:45 on Friday morning and the house is QUIET. Harper is napping, the others are out of the house ... I'm basically alone! One of the biggest homeschooling challenges for me is the constant presence of people. Quiet time to myself is rare, but being an introvert I crave space and quiet. I was going to sit and read, but I'm having a terrible time finding a book with content I feel comfortable reading. New fiction is often chock full of things I don't want in my brain. I read a lot of non-fiction, but I can't read just non-fiction because that wears my brain out. I need to start on my get out and walk goal today. The weather has been so horrible - we have pockets of flooding around town because the skies have been weeping endlessly - but being from here I was born to walk in the rain and not mind. That's the general mindset at least. I'm more of a whiner. And I hate feeling the slightest bit uncomfortable. The weather is wearing on everyone. The

5 things I want to do

A friend snapped a photo of me talking to Harper during swim lessons today. She sent it to me with an uplifting message about how I'm a great mom. I was like, that's so sweet! But I don't love my hair and profile shots are the worst and I hope no one sees it ... And then I shared it on Instagram. Because if people look at me and see how much I love my children that's a good great thing. I read through Girl, Stop Apologizing (which was so-so) recently and Rachel Hollis talks a lot about goals. When I thought about what I really want to accomplish personally I kept coming back to: spend more time on myself. As I've thought about that more over the last few weeks I've realized there are concrete things I can and want to do for myself. 1. Get my hair cut every 6 weeks. Why do I wait 6 months to get my hair cut? I love having it done! 2. Take care of my skin. I'm in my 30s. I need to find a good skin care regime that's non-toxic a

on speaking up

Yesterday morning I wrote e-mails to state and city representatives while the big kids played in the snow and Harper watched and smacked the sliding glass door. There is a bill being fast tracked this week regarding vaccines and medical freedom so I wrote a strongly worded e-mail about that to the members of the house health committee. There is a hearing today and I live in the capital city so I'm trying to get brave and go.  I'll have to bring all three kids, which is so difficult, but the wording and purpose of this bill is extremely concerning and vocal opponents need to be present. After sending off those e-mails I wrote to the city librarian about the changes being made at the library. The reference desk has been eradicated. Books are being culled at an alarming rate. Shelves are emptying, cut down to half their content. As an avid reader and educator I'm appalled by the drive to promote popular reading materials (like bestsellers) over a strong core collect


On Saturday I had a post to write about a bereavement training speaking event and watching Tangled with my family. The first time I watched the movie was after Charlotte died and it was really hard to watch because I wanted my daughter back. Saturday I watched it surrounded by my children and I couldn't believe how much has changed in nine years. Sunday we attended a small remembrance service for my grandmother followed by a dinner. On Monday I was ready to catch up on housework and laundry and prep for the homeschool week and finally write that post when we got our first call for a Safe Families placement (a non-governmental organization that provides temporary respite care to overwhelmed parents). There were three young kids who needed a place to stay. Jonathan was home, only one night was needed and my solo time with six kids would be minimal so we said yes. Now my brain feels tangled. Guys, it was so intense and overwhelming. My emotions were at the tip- top after Sa

cookies, jeggings, dreams

When Jon called at 7:15 this morning I thought, "He's going to surprise me with a day away!!!!!" completely ignoring the fact that I have a baby who has never taken a bottle in her life on my hands. I was quickly brought back to reality when he asked if I'd seen his prison access badge on the dresser. Oh. Not a day away. Reality and more reality. I still had to feed the kids and take them to swimming lessons and stay awake all day. The bright spot in the mundane is that tomorrow Ainsleigh doesn't have preschool so we can stay home all day! I have a commitment on Saturday and Sunday this weekend. I keep praying, "Lord, help me not be an introverted monster Sunday evening when I hit the being with people wall." I've also taken up sugar again for a couple days because it's Valentine's Day, I wanted sugar cookies and my Saturday engagement involves speaking about Charlotte. I haven't done that in a long time. I'm hoping I manag

when you can't fix it

Ainsleigh had a field trip today. My attitude was not great. It hasn't been great for a few days. We're reading the Little House series right now and I'm realizing I would've died. I hate the cold. I don't have the wherewithal to make it through a long winter. Why is February so hard? Every year I'm like, oh yeah, I hate you. You are a terrible month. I had to do shuffling and hustling to make the morning work because Ainsleigh was determined to have me go with her on the field trip, which was to a pizza place. We toured the kitchens, stood in the walk-in refrigerator, toured the blacklight mini-golf course, which was dark and full of skeletons - super fun with a group of preschoolers- and then ate pizza, which Ainsleigh doesn't eat. And then Ainsleigh cried (more on that in a minute) and we left early.  It was the lamest field trip. I can usually get into things and make them educational and find the fun, but this was just silly. When I first saw

anxiety: what it's like

Yesterday I woke up thirty minutes late. Usually I can wake up when I want to without an alarm clock, but yesterday that didn't work out for me. As I was rallying the troops to get ready for our big day in Portland (we were going to a play) Jon said, "The dog was in and out all night. I don't know what's going on with her." My first - unvoiced - thought? The dog senses that the big earthquake is coming. We're all going to die. You can't live in Oregon and not know about "the big one." A big earthquake off the coast will happen someday. We are woefully under prepared. Our houses, even this far inland, may collapse. We will be isolated and unable to access food for weeks. Etc. Etc. It's doomsday stuff. And one article I read said pets will likely sense it first - like a three minute warning - so if your dog is restless maybe pay attention. So the dog is restless means ... WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE. We left the house on time some

deep end

The kids are taking swimming lessons right now. Their class is them- B and Ains - and a 3-year-old girl. The girl is bananas. Pull B off the side of the pool, yank Ainsleigh's hair, splash water in their eyes bananas. We've had a lot of conversations about how little kids don't always know how to make friends appropriately. We've also talked about not hitting or splashing back and saying, I don't like that, when she starts in. The lessons are an exercise in fortitude for all of us. I have stepped in a couple times when the teacher was busy in the water. The mom will sometimes say something, but is usually on her phone and distracted. It's a good opportunity for all us to show grace and bite our tongues. It's so hard to learn how to do that isn't it? The kids have two lessons left, but I think we're going to sign up for another session because B's beloved parkour gym closed. Two things B loved, but only got to do for a short time- parkour a

koalas at 3 am

I've learned so much about koalas this week my brain is oozing koala facts. Jonathan comes home from work and I'm like, "Did you know ...!!" (I'm trying to decide if this is better or worse than the days when my big end of the day news was how many diapers I changed, and of that number how many were blowouts.) In the last few days I've also learned the origins of the word agony and the lineage of the Greek gods and goddesses. And as if that wasn't enough I'm mastering the two-fives and eights trick in math as well as trying to remember what a vertex is. All on 2.5 hours of sleep. Over the last 5 days. Okay, that's an exaggeration.  But I haven't slept much lately thanks to Miss Harper. And then last night when I finally got her settled I heard Ainsleigh "reading" a book in the living room. At 3 am. What's up with this girl and her random 3 am parties? There's no consistency, or pattern, she j


On Christmas Eve Jonathan's brother said, "I'm running out of projects to do on the house. I need to come up with something to do." "Oh, will you move?" I asked. "Pull a Rodman?" he asked with a smile. "No, probably not." Jonathan's parents built or massively renovated every house they lived in. Often they moved before renovations were complete. The house they're living in now is beautifully redone, but every time Jonathan tells me the kitchen is on the opposite side of the house, clean moved across the whole darn space, my brain twitches. I lived in one house most of my life - 5 on up - and when my parents sold it in my early 20s there was a long list of needed repairs. Home repairs were not our thing, much less gut jobs and moving kitchens. Last night as I was putting away dinner Jonathan said, "Babe! I found a project house." Me, looking around the very unfinished kitchen I was standing in, " This i

that's not what I meant

So yesterday when I said we're busy and I need a stay at home day and it's all so stressful ... I did not mean B needed to get slammed with another virus. We spent our afternoon and evening at home, which was not the original plan!! And B slept from 4-7 pm on the couch, which means I have a 10 month old sleeping in my arms and a 7-year-old next to me reading Plants vs Zombies. Jonathan's at a friend's house. I don't mind him hanging out with friends, but I feel like he enjoys the experience more. He goes and he's gone until he comes home. When I go I leave half my brain with the kids. Is the baby crying? Does she need me? Are the big kids listening? Is the baby starving because I'm her primary food source? Is everyone fine for two hours without me?! Of course they are, but I can't convince my brain so it returns to the kids over and over as I try to relax and enjoy my time away. I'm going to try to convince B to go back to sleep,, but

finding space

One day and change back into the preschool / homeschool / routine grind and I'm hair on fire stressed to the max. I didn't realize how much stress the daily routine put on my shoulders until we had winter break and our days were slower. Can I get a cookie, a muffin, a donut and a baby who naps? Would that actually help? Harper is cutting two teeth and has decided the best way to deal with it is to shriek at the top of her lungs unless I'm holding her. That seems reasonable. I might join her. I'm trying to fit so many things in so few hours. I was so grateful Ainsleigh's home visit this morning was cancelled I could've cried. Having that extra hour to homeschool before swim lessons was vital. We just found out B's parkour gym is closing and won't be refunding the classes we've paid for so we're trying to cram in 3-4 classes a week this month on top of everything else. I thought I was really good at keeping our schedule open and lo

how to quantify a life

Yesterday morning I walked through Charlotte's story. I dug through old files, I found the book I wrote, I sat with chapters I'd long given up on.  I was glad Jonathan had the kids out running errands with him as I stared at words I wrote years ago and then typed them out once more, editing as I went. I had to stand up and take breaks. Shake my hands out. Make tea. Stretch - right leg back, left leg straight, fingers brushing the floor. There was purpose in my work. There was a reason to revisit her story, but it still made me sad. I want to save the person I'm writing about from what's coming, but then I remember it's me. If I hadn't been there I wouldn't be here. I'm so glad God is in charge because there's so much I don't understand. Then this morning, a phone call. My grandmother died. We knew it was coming, but were hoping for a little more time. My parents are traveling and so the timing is not ideal. It's strange,


I shut the back door of the van on Harper's head today. It was a terrible confluence of events. She was in the wrap - sleeping I thought - and I was tossing a bag in the back of the van while the kids waited on the sidewalk. There's a tiny parking lot between a Goodwill and an independent bookstore a few minutes from our house. We park there, go to both stores, and call it a fun morning out. After Goodwill, but before the bookstore, I put the bag in, Harper threw her head back just as I was closing the hatch, and BAM! baby head meets unforgiving door. Harper cried for a couple minutes, then tucked in and went to sleep. Of course I thought she had a massive concussion. Especially when she transferred to her car seat and continued sleeping all the way home and then in her car seat in the front hallway for fifteen minutes. I called Jonathan, but he doesn't have a job where he can answer the phone often, so I prayed, Lord, if she is seriously injured please make it obvious .