Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Homeschool Hop

Hello, Dear Readers! For those of you who are still hanging around here, even through a serious decline in postage activity, Thank You. I wouldn't blame you if you just gave up and moved on to better (or at least more frequent) reads. But I'm so glad that you are still reading...you are, aren't you? Hellooo?? Anybody out there?

You guys get ready for some whining, 'cause I feel like dishing it out tonight. I know, I know. Proverbs 31 women do NOT whine. They suck it up and grit their teeth and *SMILE* and use all these little frustrations as opportunities to build character. Well, I am human after all. I'll build character tomorrow. Right now I feel like whining.

When I wrote that blog a year ago, about Going Beyond Myself in the area of homeschooling, I, uh... I really didn't have any idea just how much it was going to stretch me. I mean, this homeschooling thing is a RIDE. I'm not saying that I regret it or that my husband and I made a wrong decision concerning home education. I'm just saying that as much as I thought I was prepared, I had NO IDEA. You Moms who homeschool 5 and 6 kids and keep your house clean and have supper on the table when The Man comes home every evening and never let your laundry pile up and keep your baseboard dusted and exercise an hour every morning and write an award wining blog and conduct the church Christmas Play and my goodness, PASTOR a church and never break a sweat through it all....HOW? Please tell me.

Our school days are beginning to find their flow, but for the first 2 - 3 weeks, I fell into bed exhausted every night, my husband was lucky to get a baked potato for supper  (don't worry, I threw in some toppings and called it "loaded") and the laundry spilled out of the laundry room door...the part that even made it in there in the first place. I may or may not have bathed before I fell into bed.

Talk about redeeming the time, I just thought I stayed busy before but NOW I don't even sit down at the computer until 3 or so every day. I hop on and check my email and hop off.  I am a hoppin' MACHINE. Chunky girls like me get wore out from hoppin'. Quick.  And that's just the physical exhaustion part. I am mentally zapped by 2:00 every day. I used to get all kinds of stuff done while the kids had afternoon quiet time, but now we all collectively pass out for about an hour.

Please, someone, tell me it gets easier....although I can see that it is getting somewhat easier each week, I need to hear that this is all normal and I am not headed for impending failure as a homeschooler. Any words of encouragement?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Going Beyond Yourself, Part 2

Hi! After a (mild) scolding from my Mom for not blogging often enough, I thought I'd give it a whirl. I mean, when Mom gives an order....:).

About a year ago (6 days short, to be exact), I composed a post titled Going Beyond Yourself (click title to read). In it I challenged my readers and myself to go beyond what they believe themselves capable of, in just every day life in general and also spiritually. This week, I found myself reflecting on the same concept, not realizing that it was this time last year that I published that post. Maybe there's something in the air this time of year that makes one reflect and challenge oneself?

It would be a shame to write such a thought and not act on it, would it not? This may not seem much to anyone else, but one way that I have "went beyond", for lack of a better term, is.....I am learning to play the piano. Yes! At 30 years old, I am taking piano lessons. It is something I have wanted to do for YEARS but have always reasoned within myself that it was neither possible nor practical for a stay-at-home, homeschooling Mom of 3 to find the time, money, or opportunity to take lessons, let alone practice 30 minutes a day.

I heard about the Matthew Stephens Piano By Ear DVD course via Facebook, and after doing some research and persuasion, the hubs purchased the Beginners lesson set for me last spring. Now I am not here to sell this piano course, but it has been just perfect for me. I can take the lessons as I have opportunity and also practice when I can without the pressure of knowing I have to attend a weekly lesson. So far, I am learning more about the piano than I ever knew, and enjoying it so much. It is great to have something intellectually stimulating to look forward to each day. Yes, unlike my 10 year old self who tried to throw piano books out the car window, and would not practice even with a switch staring me in the face, I LIKE to practice the piano! And if I ever get good enough to actually play in a way that is useful, it will be a great asset to my husband's ministry.

 There are many other things I hope to accomplish, but one thing is for sure, if I never try, I'll never know what I can do. For myself personally or for the kingdom of God. 

Is there any way in particular that you have stepped out of your comfort zone lately? If there is something that you have been putting off, I encourage you to take the plunge and see what God can do for you! Stop doubting yourself and you will see you can Go Beyond Yourself in ways you never knew.