Sunday Journal: Waiting, Inspiration and Something Beautiful

my fellas at the creek

my fellas at the creek

I’m not really sure how to describe this past week. In some ways the days were really good and other moments were not so pleasant. The tougher moments this week involved observing Sparkles trying to come to terms with her illness and general friendship troubles. She is emotional, confused, a little scared and trying to be brave.

I didn’t really realize just how hard this has been on her until I took her to the library. She loves books…she is Belle from Beauty and the Beast. She was so overwhelmed at the library that she did not

Sparkles

Sparkles

have the mental ability to pick out some books. After picking out a pile of books for myself I found her sitting in one of the chairs trying not to cry. I noticed she didn’t have any books and she just wanted to leave. She didn’t know how to choose a book. This is the girl who would check out ten books a week!!! I offered to pick some books for her and she thought that would be okay. I charged her with guarding my pile and wandered around the children’s section trying to remember some authors I loved at her age…I loved the Nancy Drew books so I grabber a few and some Susan Cooper and Madeline L’Engle. I was a total die-hard for Asimov, Clark and Heinlein around the same age but I’m not sure she would enjoy those as much…

one lazy Sunday

one lazy Sunday

Waiting for test results to come in is hard. Tomorrow I will pick them up so we can give them to the specialist on Tuesday. Maybe we’ll have some answers…just maybe I’ll feel like I can breathe again.

On a brighter note I found the most amazing homeschooling group called Wild+Free. I feel like I have found my tribe and have

at the creek

at the creek

spent a couple of mornings listening to podcasts and reading through the free sample magazine. This group is…just wow…I cannot find the right words without sounding like a crush stricken fifteen-year-old. I also finished up Teaching from Rest this week and plan to rewrite some of my notes. I’ve felt so inspired this week and even wrote out a first draft of a homeschooling mission statement. Well, it started out homeschooling based but morphed

Littlest resting at the creek

Littlest resting at the creek

into a family statement but I’ll have to send it to my husband before adopting and sharing. I think such a statement is a great way to keep your purpose and focus…especially when relationships get hard and doubts rule the mind.

In the midst of reading and absorbing all this goodness I found the inspiration for my art assignment for the Brave Writer retreat

bee and flower

bee and flower

next month. I filled up about twenty post-it notes of phrases and sketches trying to capture the feeling and image that filled me.

Our family is truly blessed. So many people are praying for Sparkles and the rest of us. I receive emails and texts everyday asking about her. She received several cards, an anonymous gift (Wow! You are amazing and thank you mystery person with a heart full of love!!!), a couple of packages, calls and a super awesome pen-pal. She is super excited about her pen-pal!! Like over-the-moon excited.

these two guys know how to cheer up neighborhood kids

these two guys know how to cheer up neighborhood kids

I didn’t expect any of these responses. Family and a few friends of course but not this…something beautiful that happened. The world was full of terrifying and very sad news this week…too much pain and hatred. All that sadness was in my thoughts as we continued to receive compassion and love from people of various faiths and backgrounds. I feel so tiny and humbled…and my heart is full to bursting.

Linking up with: Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Sunday Journal: Friendships and Downtown Traditions

poetry tea time

poetry tea time

The first week of November flew by in a whirlwind of activity. We spent a couple of afternoons in downtown Frankfort enjoying the local Candlelight Tradition, the town’s kickoff of the Holiday Season. I must admit I had a hard time feeling the Christmas spirit since the weather was a bit warm and…well it is the first week of November. Just too early for all things Christmas…especially the music. For me, anyway.

with Sparkles at Candlelight Tradition

with Sparkles at Candlelight Tradition

Thursday evening we walked around downtown visiting many of the local shops. The area is filled with artisan shops and I came away with plenty of ideas for field trips. Free suppers, snacks and sweets were everywhere. Local musicians and choirs played on street corners and at the Old Capital building. We also stopped to visit with some visiting exiled Tibetan Monks. We watched them

Tibetan Monk and world peace mandala

Tibetan Monk and world peace mandala

work on a mandala for world peace. Sparkles also found a little coin purse in their shop she wanted. The bookshop I’ve been longing to visit was open so Sparkles and I nosed around for a while. I can’t go to a book store and leave empty-handed! I bought a book on the literary history of Kentucky. I’m hoping it will inspire me to cobble together a Kentucky history for the crew. I had a text-book given to me on the subject but it was so awful I sent it to the recycling center. It should have been burned it was so awful!

Lady C and her mom

Lady C and her mom

On Saturday my husband’s lovely friend (Lady C) and her mother spent the day with us. We hadn’t seen them in ages and enjoyed their company. The kids have already started asking when they are coming back. Littlest is just smitten! My husband grilled and Lady C brought her famous peanut butter kiss cookies. Yum!

meeting Santa

meeting Santa

Today we went downtown again to the Grand Theatre to watch The Polar Express. This was also Littlest’s first time in a movie theatre and Middle Boy’s second visit to one. I think the last time I was in a theatre was to see the first Iron Man movie. Most people wore their pajamas for the event but since we were going over after church and lunch we thought it best to wear normal clothing. Besides, since we homeschool it can be a novelty not to wear pajamas! Once the movie finished Santa Clause arrived. Littlest was so excited and just couldn’t

they no longer believe

they no longer believe

believe his eyes! He told me, “That’s something you don’t see everyday!” All of the children were given a bell. Oldest and Sparkles waited on a bench while Middle Boy and Littlest visited with Santa. Littlest was so bashful when his moment came. I couldn’t choose which picture to share so the rest are in the gallery below. I’m not sure if Middle Boy still believes in Santa or not. I generally do not ask and wait for the children to initiate discussion. Once the discussion takes place they are sworn to protect the mystery of Santa and seek ways to bring the secret joy to their siblings.

Capitol overlook

Capitol overlook

During our explorations around town today we learned Frankfort and Franklin County were named in honor of Benjamin Franklin. I didn’t know that little fact.

School went well this week. We started art appreciation and will be studying American artists. We’ll spend a couple of weeks studying a print and will do a monthly freewrite on the art piece. This month we are studying Indian Farmer by Oscar Berninghaus. I plan to alternate monthly having them engage in freewriting and poetry with a piece of art. This coming week we are looking forward to a little unit study on the Appalachian Trail.

Linking up with: Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers and Parent Teacher Meet-up

Sunday Journal: In Between

the empty school room...I cried

the empty school room…I cried

I am so very glad the moving away part of this adventure is now in the past. The week was hard for me…for all of us. Sparkles cried nearly every day. Several times Littlest was curled up on the floor clutching his Doggy and sucking his thumb. He took his anger out on the movers a couple of times! Fortunately the three men that spent nearly four days packing our things were kind and understanding.

Everyday this past week friends visited, brought us lunch, or invited us over for dinner. I am richly blessed with beautiful friends. Lovely people who accept me just as I am with all of my flaws. I missed them before I ever left their presence…

the movers arrive

the movers arrive

As the movers packed everything away I watched my home turn into an empty house. That hurt. I’ve always been happy to move in the past. New adventures, places and faces. I thought this house would be my forever home on this earth…at least until the children were grown and gone. I grew so much in my faith…and as a woman. I became stronger and more vulnerable. I found a best friend…a unique love I have never experienced before. I grew here and dared to spread roots for the first time in my life…so no wonder leaving is painful.

I would not change these experiences for the world.

Last night I left my home and followed my husband’s Mustang to Lexington…to our lovely “home between home”. At one point he lost me on the trip. I got caught up in traffic and mini-vans do not hug curves like Mustangs. I totally freaked out and cried…and cried. I knew the way to

We love you Suzann

We love you Suzann

the apartment but freaked out anyway. He didn’t leave me behind and slowed down until I could catch-up. He is amazing and puts up with my insecurities with loving patience. I just adore him.

This week I finally get to see the new house! I am looking forward to walking through the door. I haven’t been inside of it since I was sure I wouldn’t choose to live there!! My husband has sent pictures all month of the progress. This week the house should be done! I hope to see the movers again before the week is out…

Linking up with: Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Our First Weekly Wrap-up

I love reading weekly wrap-ups on other blogs! So I thought I’d join in this year on the fun! We had an amazing week and later today we will be going to a family get together to honor my husband’s nephew who is leaving for a long tour overseas. He will miss Thanksgiving and Christmas this year while serving our country and doing his part to keep us all safe. It will be great to see everyone but the reason is bittersweet.

We started our week at church and our Sunday School class discussed our pastor’s sermon on raising our girls to be Godly wives and mothers. Our teacher questioned us on if there was a way to really raise our girls to be true Christian women who took seriously the role of being a wife and mother. I do teach my daughter some housekeeping tasks and I do understand that she will learn much of what it means to be a wife and mother by doing life with me…but I wondered if I should be more diligent and purposeful in my instruction. Then I realized the answer was already in my hands! My friend who is moving away gave me the “Keepers at Home” curriculum to use with my daughter! So I pulled the books out this week to study and begin a more purposeful time with my daughter to guide and prepare her. Maybe we will have a weekly mother/daughter time or possibly find some other families willing to start a little group.

We also enjoyed the Top Gun Cruise-in in Mayfield this week. We love going as a family to the car shows and enjoying the beautiful works of art cars were in the old days. Cars are generally not as beautiful and colorful today as they were in the past. I did get to sit in my favorite car…a 1978 Firebird Trans Am Special Edition!! The owner let me sit in it to look at the Burt Reynolds signature. I really cared more about the car than the celebrity scribble. Awesome!!

Just for fun I entered a picture of the kids in the current Apologia contest. Right now you can download two chapters of the new elementary science book on chemistry and physics. We did the experiment on buoyancy and had a little competitive fun with it too! Sparkles ship was the last to sink and held 103 pennies overall. We also tied that experiment in with Christopher Columbus’s last voyage to the New World…school is fun when we can tie subjects together that way!

This week also held our annual breakfast at Hutchen’s and the mailing off of the official “Letter of Intent to Homeschool” day. The kids enjoy their annual (well…our second annual but we plan to keep it up) breakfast out at our local favorite diner. The kid’s always have a wonderful time and enjoy all the attention they get from the patrons. Littlest even managed to get a few sweet potatoes from the gentleman in the booth next to us. We then went to the post office to send of our letter by certified mail. Our second homeschool year is now officially started…and we are already five weeks in!

Tuesday morning I discovered a mouse had visited the pantry…grrr…yuck…eeeww. We spent that morning cleaning everything out of the pantry and bleaching every can and bottle. The mouse ripped all of the paper off of the Hershey’s powdered chocolate and tried to eat through the green plastic lid on the parmesan cheese. That night my husband set out a trap but the mouse managed to eat the bait and escape. The second night he set out more bait and sticky traps. The mouse managed to escape again and still eat all the bait. The mouse was finally trapped on Friday while we were out and the babysitter was over…finally! Today I will be cleaning and putting the pantry back together.

The best day this week for me was Friday. We spent the morning with friends…visiting and planning for the school year. Then I enjoyed a wonderful date night with my husband…something we had not got to do since before my brother had moved in with us…and the mouse got caught!

 

Of Superman Days and Supermen

Super heroes...

Super heroes…

We recently enjoyed a daytrip to Metropolis for Superman Days. We went on Friday and avoided most of the crowds but still got to see a few people in costume. I looked for a good quality Dr. Who t-shirt but couldn’t find one…the shirts there seemed like the type that would fade and fall apart after the first washing. The weather was just right and I think the kids got a kick out of all the superheroes strolling about. There were a few that I couldn’t name and some should maybe consider dressing up in a costume with less spandex…

As I was searching the vendor stalls looking for the perfect…and still ellusive Dr. Who t-shirt…I started thinking about sin and legacy. Kinda odd thoughts for a Superhero festival but those were my thoughts. I was a little down at first…thinking about sin and the dark taint it leaves behind. Our sins hurt everyone around us and it moves outward like a stone’s ripple in water. The wounds of generational sin especially bothers me and is something I suffer over. I come from such a completely broken and  messed up family. I try very hard not to pass any of that ugly legacy onto my own children.

Then I began to thing about the real supermen in my life. My husband is my very own personal superhero…but I also thought about another man. Mr. N is the father of a dear Jesus sister. She is a strong Christian influence on me and has helped me through some of my spiritual struggles. She is part of a Bible study group that I look forward to every month…actually she started the group and leads most of the studies. She is amazing and her legacy is strong. Her legacy is passed to her by her parents…especially her dad. I got to thinking about her dad and how his life has influenced mine in such a positive way. He barely knows me and yet his influence on me is strong through his daughter and the community he serves.

I told Jesus that if I could have picked anyone in the whole world to have been my parents I would have picked him…Mr.N and his family. They are a beautiful Christian family…a strong family with a strong legacy. I am so privileged to know them. A type of legacy I hope to leave to my own children.

As I watched two of my sons bounce on…not sure what that contraption is named…I thought of another man. A Christian man I have never met who’s life touched mine through Mr. N.  These two men were accountability partners. Recently, Mr. N’s friend left us all to join Jesus. He influenced my life through the daughter of his friend. I think that is beautiful. He left a strong legacy for those who love him and miss him and my heart grieves for his loved ones. Someday…I will meet him in Heaven.

I believe the good things matter. Our friendships matter. Our love for one another matters. These good and beautiful moments become our legacy and move outward touching the lives of complete strangers. Grateful strangers. Anyway, these were my thoughts while wondering around Metropolis and watching the superhero parade. I am glad Jesus reminded me to be grateful for the lives and influence of the superheroes in my life…even the ones I have never met.