Summer’s End

one last picture...

one last picture…

I wrote this a few of days ago with every intention to delete or seriously revise. I’ve decided to keep it. These moments are mine and I choose to own them. I couldn’t sleep the night before the movers arrived…so I wrote.

Thoughts on a closing chapter

This morning I am an emotional bundle of nerves. My hands shake, spilling coffee.  I can’t stand the smell of my toast. Nausea is settling in. I am burning on the inside and chilled with goosebumps. I can feel my pulse in my neck and wrists. My heart feels like it has been squeezed into my throat. Times like this when my emotions are all at once and too many to capture I find overwhelming. I feel like I will be lost under their weight.

I am angry and hurt. Today I feel the rejection this move represents to me. I’ve kept it stuffed in the darker periphery of unacknowledged thoughts. To be rejected is painful…humiliating.

Now my chest feels tight around my breath…

I abandon my crappy coffee. I’m wearing a good portion of it anyway.  Life is too short for crappy coffee. I head outside to get myself together since it is almost time to get the kids up. Watching the sun rise I realize it is the last day of summer. The morning is also cold enough that I can see my breath. I still feel hot and a little dizzy. Maybe I have a fever too…

My anger is defensive. It would be so easy to just wallow in its poison. I’ve been here before. I’ve already faced this fear, wrestled with it until my soul bled. I was a daughter when they wanted a son. I was physical gratification to the one man who should have loved me enough to protect me. I’ve already accepted being unwanted or an object…garbage to be thrown away. What I am feeling now is a shadow of a past hurt. This current situation just brought these old wounds to the surface. That’s all. Truth dispels my anger and hurt. I’m just sad now and confused. I’m not sure what I did or said to cause the shunning from the family. I guess I am too honest and suck at being fake. Oh…and I pour it all out in words on this page.

I won’t quit writing.

My story didn’t end with my own family’s rejection. Jesus found me and kept me. He doesn’t throw His children away. He accepts me with all of my ugly flaws, bad decisions and brokenness. He doesn’t take those things away…He makes them beautiful. He hasn’t abandoned me this time either. Looking back I can see He sent other loving people into my life. I am blessed.

bunny therapy

bunny therapy

These are my thoughts while I gather carrots and weeds for the bunnies. I am grateful my friend brought them back to us this week. She will collect them again soon and care for them while we prepare a new home for them. Today the bunnies are here. I thank God for my friend and sweet bunnies. I thank Him for this beautiful morning even though I feel like falling apart. I ask Him for strength knowing it is already mine.

The bunnies greet me all excited for their treats. They are so cute standing on their hind legs looking up at me. I really enjoy this moment…when they run to me. For whatever reason these creatures are a balm to my inner turmoil. I wonder if the Lord meant for bunnies to be so therapeutic. I wonder what they must have been like in The Garden before man’s fall.

I remember and miss my grumpy cat. I cry for her and hope she is well.

I’m exhausted from examining all of these emotions. I want to go to bed now but it is time to get the kids up. The movers will be here soon. My insides still feel like jello but I am calmer now. Confident in God’s grace for today.

I miss my husband. We’ve lived separately for nearly a month now. I’m quit certain that living apart from him is detrimental to my mental and physical stability. He’ll be here at the end of the week. Of all the gifts I have ever received in my life my husband is the most wonderful. Together we will leave this house. The years of our life together here are closing. A new chapter with new adventures is opening to us now.

I’m ready to turn the page.

Welcome_Sign (400x200)

Journal: Anxiety and Detachment

at Hematite Lake

at Hematite Lake

The past couple of weeks have been rough. Wrestling with anxiety is an exhausting task. I am ready for a quiet week of healing after two weeks of heart flutters, breathlessness, stress sores and nightmares. I’ve been so stressed this week that we showed up at piano lessons without our music! We even stopped at the house after Lego Camp to get the music. I was ready to break down and cry.

Instead of starting up our summer session this week we are going to take a break from school. No math, no science, no grammar, no history…well that might be too drastic. I think we will read one of our medieval history books. We have two books about Eleanor of Aquitaine to enjoy so maybe we will binge-out on read

we crossed many bridges

we crossed many bridges

aloud time. Maybe I’ll find a copy of The Lion in Winter with Katherine Hepburn and Peter O’Toole for us to watch too. I spent a couple of hours in the school room today preparing a scrapbooking project for the kids to work on this week. I got each of them their own photo album so they can put together their own photo books of our last trip to Disney. I’ve set out all of my shape cutters, stickers, and pre-cut papers for them to get creative and have some fun.

While the kids are working on their creative project I plan to explore “the Hive’s” (the Well Trained Mind Forums) opinion on Teaching Textbooks. I think it may be a good fit for Sparkles. Before ordering it (or some other math

by the uprooted tree

by the uprooted tree

curriculum) I plan to try working with her a bit on decimals, place value, and fractions. Since the curriculum we currently use reviews frequently she may be fine anyway. Emotionally, it might be better for her to use a different curriculum from her little brother who has caught up to her academically. I’ll also spend some time pricing out art supplies for next year and getting those items ordered. I’m also going to register for Julie Bogart’s writing conference at The Well Trained Mind Online Conference. The more I read about her Bravewriter lifestyle the more I believe it will work for our family. The kids are excited to add a Poetry Tea Time to the week and actually asked for Shakespeare! I told them I wasn’t exactly ready for Willy but planned to start with my

Lake Hematite

Lake Hematite

all-time favorite Shel Silverstein. I did get a copy of the Lamb’s Tales from Shakespeare for my crew. I’m really looking forward to this conference!!!

Yesterday we enjoyed a lovely outing to the Land Between the Lakes. We left early and walked around Hematite Lake. The morning was perfect! The kids explored everything along the path. This year they were fascinated with the teeny-tiny frogs. We found a fish that had cleared out a spot for some unknown reason. We speculated that maybe the cleared area was for laying her eggs. Littlest walked the entire path around the lake! I took pictures of mushrooms this year. I was fascinated by their colors which did not show as vibrantly on the

history projects

history projects

camera. At The Nature Station I just loved the St. John’s Wort plant. I’d like to have one of those. I once had a lovely herb garden…many moons ago. I think I’d enjoy having one again…something to dream about. The rangers keep and tend to injured birds at the station. of all the birds Littlest loved the Screech Owl because he thought it looked like an Angry Bird. After a picnic we went to The Homeplace and enjoyed some Bluegrass music. I found a treasure trove of American history projects for the kids for next year. I also purchased a lucet and embroidery project for Oldest to use with his medieval history course. The sky opened up and rained on us at The Homeplace but it was so warm that the rain felt wonderful. The kids just played in the rain and had a blast. I didn’t feel

my husband and Littlest

my husband and Littlest

well at all while we were out but didn’t let that get in the way of spending a lovely day with my family.

Today we said goodbye to our pastor at church. He has been assigned to another church. I will miss him…so will the rest of the congregation. He seemed really sad at times. I thought Sparkles would cry but she didn’t. I think she just didn’t have any more tears to shed since her best friend moved away last month. I didn’t cry either and I always cry at times like this…

I’m already detached…

This weeks reads:

Beautiful…I hope my kids know that I believe in them…no matter. Have your tissues ready!

Did you see these chalkboards! This video explains the math circles on the chalkboards. Here is a printable to use with the math circles.

Experiences not things…makes sense to me.

The season I am in at the moment.

Linking up with: Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Weekly Wrap-up: Snow and Anxiety

Middle Boy playing in snow

Middle Boy playing in snow

Today has been the longest day. I was awake hours before my alarm officially woke me at five. I awoke several times from terrible dreams. I never sleep well when my husband is away. Early this morning I laid in bed wondering if he was going to make it home today. I wasn’t out of bed yet and already felt the anxiety eating away at me. My husband left for Pella (Iowa) on Tuesday on a business trip. Yesterday it rained nearly all day. Then sleet fell for a few hours. I’m not really fond of sleet but it does make this sweet tinkling sound as it falls. Just before we turned in for the night the snow started falling. By morning there was just over fifteen inches of snow.

Sparkles clearing vehicles

Sparkles clearing vehicles

I decided to cancel school for the day before getting out of bed…before looking out the window. I was anxious. If I tried to homeschool today the kids would notice my anxiety and they would be anxious too.  Then we would all start snipping at each other and that would be followed by punishments that would really be all my fault. I told the kids we were taking a snow day but it was really a mental health day. I shoveled lots of snow. The kids played outside some (except for Littlest…Oldest and I took turns staying inside with him). They also helped to make paths and clear the vehicles. Shoveling snow helped disperse my anxiety. My husband called to let us know he was in St. Louis. He decided to continue driving home today instead of staying the night there. I went out and shoveled more snow. He made it home before dark. We are all delighted to have him back home!

Oldest and Visual Latin

Oldest and Visual Latin

Everyone is chugging along nicely in the homeschool. Oldest completed his paper on ancient Greece this week. I was very happy with his progress and to see how much he has improved since his ancient Egypt paper. All of his paragraphs have more than one or two sentences! He has one more paper to write on ancient Rome and I’ll let him combine that with his final paper for writing. I let him dump the critical thinking curriculum. He’s never missed a single question and is bored to tears with it. He’s also been begging me to start Visual Latin since it came in last week. I really wanted to wait until we started our next academic year…but was that really a good reason? I couldn’t justify not letting him learn and handed the DVD’s over. He has only completed the first week of lessons but loves the course so far. Littlest completed another week of Kindergarten material. He is getting better with the scissors. I was able to give him a small task to complete and then help someone else with an assignment without a major breakdown out of Littlest. I need to research some busy bags for him to do. Maybe I’ll find some fun things for him at the convention next month.

Littlest getting a much needed haircut

Littlest getting a much-needed haircut

Over the weekend the older three enjoyed a movie, crafts, and snacks with their friends at church. While they had fun my husband and I took Littlest for a much-needed haircut. I also made a masala chai concentrate. I noticed many of the ingredients in the tea is good for fighting inflammation. I researched a few recipes to try and now know lots of history on the origins of the spiced tea blend. I combined a few recipes and am rather happy with my first attempt. Once I make a few tweaks and master the technique I’ll share.

Articles I enjoyed this week:

Floordeboor’s Three Degrees of Contagion  Getting fit and choosing a healthy lifestyle is good for the people around us too!!!

Rebecca at Beautiful Feet Books Blog shared several great links about education.

Hoping Pistachio finds a forever home this weekend!

The Beautiful Ordinary’s letter to her daughter…tears…I had to go hug my Sparkles.

Linking up with: Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Weekly Wrap-up: Well…Monthly This Time

beautiful moment

beautiful moment

Time got away from me this month and I am very late getting the weekly wrap-ups posted. Turns out my husband likes to read them and misses hearing about our school week and my silly banter. I have been a bit quiet on the blog lately…maybe too quiet. I am just upset and troubled over a few things and couldn’t get the words out of my heart. Writing is a wrestling match for me but the process helps to calm my emotions in the long run. Sometimes I have a hard time controlling my feelings…those inner emotions that should be kept under lock and key…Most of those writings do not make it to the published page, but I do write them out and feel better and spent. A little wine can be helpful too.

Thanksgiving day

Thanksgiving day

I should have sat down at the keyboard before Thanksgiving. I was a bit pathetic and I am kinda cross at myself for losing control. OK…that sounds like I was horribly rude! I just had to get out of the house. While we were praying and thanking God for the food my skin just crawled, my heart went crazy, I had this panicky feeling come over me and I had to get out. So I did. The road was a nice place to hang out for a while. I then went inside and got Littlest and took him so my husband could get something to eat. Littlest and I went outside and I rocked him until he was sleepy. We went back in and I held him while he slept. After a while my husband suggested I get a bit to eat so I tried but couldn’t eat much. One of my brother-in-laws tried to talk to me about my departure but I told him to find something else to talk about. That went over well…I then returned to my husband to rescue him from being Littlest’s nap pad but he suggested I go see my friend at the end of the block.

playing in yard

playing in yard

So I did and had a wonderful time. I visited with her at her in-law’s. Most of the people were strangers to me but I puttered in the kitchen with the ladies and left feeling like I had spent a couple of hours with life long friends. I then returned to the family gathering. I was asked again about my “episode” and since I wasn’t exactly sure what to say I just said that the crowd made me feel anxious. Which was followed up with a statement about me staying home all the time and these things wouldn’t happen if my husband let me out more to socialize. I took that for what it was…criticism for being a homeschooler. That’s fine but the stab at my husband wasn’t nice…not at all and I felt angry and let down. I then found my husband, we rounded up the kids and left.

I’ll remember this as the awkward Thanksgiving but it is not my worst Thanksgiving.

horrible meal...for a review

horrible meal…for a review

The other struggle I’ve had the past few weeks is determining to stay with the review team. I like reviewing things but not being used for free advertisement. I’ve had to do a couple of things that made me uncomfortable and…well…I just need to pray over this concern. I’ve two more reviews due the early part of December and then I’ll need to make a decision.

Middle Boy working on his Squanto narration

Middle Boy working on his Squanto narration

We’ve been very busy this month at school. We finished up a two month study on the Pilgrims and Squanto from our favorite history curriculum…Beautiful Feet Books. We enjoyed the study and finished up the day before Thanksgiving. I had each of my scholars write-up a final paper and gave them several prompts from which to choose. Oldest wrote about Dr. Who taking him to the first Thanksgiving which I thought was fun and creative. Sparkles wrote a letter from the Mayflower and Middle Boy narrated the life of Squanto. I was very impressed with Middle Boy’s report since he wrote most of it without my help and his paper needed the least editing and input from me. I am working on another post about our Pilgrim studies and hopefully will get it up soon…

art project

art project

We also enjoyed Literature Club this month with one of the local homeschool groups. Oldest read A Christmas Carol and really enjoyed the book…he didn’t get it finished in time for the meeting but that happens sometimes. Littlest slept through his class…he is a tired boy these days. I’m constantly finding him asleep! We also enjoyed another art co-op with our friends this month and did a collage. The art class was at Mrs. Cuddle-me’s house again. My crew loves to go to her home and her boys are wonderful young men. My kids also like to chase her turkeys…and get chased by her turkeys. I’m going to have to get a picture of it sometime because it is absolutely hilarious!

International Fair

International Fair

Last week we went to the International Fair at Murray State. The kids enjoyed getting out for the day and we learned a few things from the international students at the university. The kids have papers with their names written in Chinese and we sampled a few goodies from the different countries. I liked the Chinese rice crackers and the kids liked the German gummy bears. I think they were most impressed that Angry Birds was created by the descendants of the Vikings! That is a funny statement but I am just glad they made the connection when they looked at the map!!

Last weekend I immersed myself in all things Dr. Who and totally loved the Day of the Doctor! I am looking forward to the next episode on Christmas Day and meeting the new Doctor!! I also learned that I am the only Whovian in my Sunday School class…so sad but true.

Thursday night I went Black Friday shopping with my friend and had a blast. I enjoyed hanging out with her and chatting with strangers in various lines. The only hard part was finding a place open to eat around midnight. Yesterday we put up the Christmas tree and had fun remembering all the places we got our ornaments for the tree.

Seems like there were a few other things that happened the past three weeks but I have misplaced my memories. For my praying friends out there please keep a friend of mine in your prayers. She went into the hospital to have a C-section on Wednesday. The baby boy is just fine but mama is still in critical care and her situation was life threatening at one point. Hold your family and friends tight.