More Musings

Location: Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

I am a Christian wife and homeschooling mother to two adolescent boys. I love to write and recently self-published a book about our family's homeschooling journey. I cut hair to help add to our family's income. We attend a Vineyard church.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Quitting Blog

This is my last post. I looked for info on how to delete a site but couldn't find it. So this is it. I don't feel like blogging anymore. Bye.

A Full Social Calendar

Life continues to be a whirlwind of activity. My eyes feel glued shut this morning I'm so tired. Too many late nights. Yesterday was the boys' football wind-up, which I fully anticipated participating in, but at the last minute didn't because none of the other parents were staying. So instead, I showed up on a friend's doorstep and invited her out for lunch. We went to Taco Time and she actually paid for my lunch! Another surprise as I had been the one to invite her...

Tymon joined most of his team-mates for the Rams game in the afternoon but Asher hadn't wanted to go, so after lunch I went back to the restaurant and picked up Ash and his friend and dropped them off at our place. Then I headed to the cheap theater to see "Bourne Supremacy". The first one, "Bourne Identity" was better, (it's one of my favorite movies), because it was more mysterious. But this one was pretty good too. I like the moral element of these movies. I don't mind going to movies alone either. There are so few movies that I go to or rent, out of the millions that are produced, that when I want to see a movie...that's what I want to the movie.

After the movie and running a couple of errands I headed to my parents' place. My mom and I were joining my sister at a restaurant for supper but I had some time to kill so I sat at mom's, drank coffee and chatted about nothing.

Supper was delicious (I had baked speghetti) and afterwards we all went to Asher's first basketball game. They lost. They just weren't making their shots. There are also too many "leaders" on the team. They're going to have to learn to work together better.

After the game we piled back over to my parents' place to watch the Rider game. It was a surprising, exciting, but disappointing game. What looked like a loss for the Riders turned around for them in the last couple of minutes and then in the last seconds, victory was snatched from their hands with one amazing play. They still have a spot in the playoffs. They just lose the opportunity to play at their home field.

Anyway, I've got a cup of coffee in me and so I'm slowly waking up and getting ready to face the day. It's Hallowe'en and we have church this morning, lunch at church and then the boys are joining their friends to go out gathering candy tonight. Yuck. I think I'll hole up inside with another movie I've wanted to see for awhile..."Jersey Girl"...and try to ignore the cries of "Hallowe'en apples!!!!" on my doorstep. Hopefully this will be the first and last time the boys go trick or treating.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Catching Up

I'm pooped! I don't know why I'm so tired. I guess it's just because I've been so busy trying to get Asher's room painted and all. Dad's coming over tomorrow morning to help us lay the new rug. The blinds I ordered look like they'll fit, so I'm relieved about that. It's such a hassle trying to order the right size blinds! His room will sure look nice and feel cozier though...that's for sure!

I've only made it out for a couple of walks this week. The weather has been mild, but grey and dreary, and I've had so much to do that I haven't bothered making time to walk. If it was sunny out I'd try harder. Painting feels like exercise though. My wrist is sore!

Football is now behind us for another year (except the windup. The team is meeting for pizza on Saturday and then heading to a football game...the Rams I think.) Asher's basketball team has practiced only twice so far and their first game is on Saturday evening. The Dieppe volleyball team has won two games and lost two games and there is only one scheduled game left. That's sure a short season! Right now the boys are out shopping for new skates with their dad. They didn't skate once last year, but Asher brought it up the other day and hopes to go skating soon.

Arche Afternoon Activities is almost over. The two classes the boys are leading are going well and they plan to lead a gym class again next session. I'm offering an Improv drama class in the next session because the boys were interested in doing that once again, and maybe they'll take gym again. This session, gym class has been sorta "hit and miss".

Today the boys wrote their first ever science test! Tymon did better than I expected getting 82% and Asher passed at least, with 68%. (Not great, but not that bad considering he dislikes science so much.) We're done module 1 and I know I've learned alot! Fifteen more modules to go!

Work was busy this week. I just wish I wasn't so tired of doing hair...

Tymon got bands put on his teeth in preparation for his braces which will be put on Monday afternoon. His teeth are sensitive already...especially when he tries to chew.

I'm not making much progress on my writing or book sales. The odd opportunity to publish an article or promote my book rolls across my doorstep but more often than not I'm emailing and emailing editors that take forever to respond. I have no idea how so many authors out there can keep churning out book after book! I just left the library web site where I put about a dozen new books by favorite authors on hold, and filled out material request forms for others I've seen advertised in flyers. I guess I just don't have what it takes to make it as a serious author. I was happy to just get one book out!

Tomorrow night the boys are missing out on an opportunity to go to a Hallowe'en party to watch scary movies because we're so "mean". Maybe we'll work on putting Asher's room back together or go grocery shopping tomorrow night instead of leaving the boys at home or dragging them with us to home group...or maybe we'll rent a movie to watch with them.

Saturday night I'm going "out on the town" with my sister and mom. We're going out for supper, going to Asher's basketball game and then possibly going out for dessert or to a movie. (It was my sister's idea. ) She hasn't been "out" since her son was born a year and a half ago and she's expecting baby number two in January. I hardly go out either...mostly because I'm content to stay home for the most part and there's not many people I'd actually call and go out with! I'm just out of the habit I guess...preferring to stick around home so I can supervise the goings on of my kids and share in their activities. But I'm looking forward to our "date". There is actually a movie I'd like to go see but I don't think I'll be able to stay awake long enough to take in the late show after Asher's basketball game!

Unfortunately, the kids are going Hallowe'ening on Sunday night with their friends. I'm not sure what Ted and I will do during that time. I'm not handing out candy or anything and I kinda want to be around in case the boys run into any problems. We'll see. I know I won't relax until they're back home safe and sound!

Anyway...just realized it's been awile since I wrote, so for anyone who is actually reading these blogs...I wanted to bring you up to speed with what's been going on lately. Hope I didn't bore you to sleep...Goodbye for now!

Sunday, October 24, 2004

A Full, Active Day

The boys won the city championships for the PeeWee division of RMF! (Regina Minor Football) They beat the Razorbacks by only 2 points. It was a tough game with our team playing "catch-up" throughout most of it. I was actually surprised that they won...

After lunch and showers, the boys spent the afternoon with friends having a snowball fight, target shooting, talking on MSN, and listening to music. Meanwhile, I got a start on painting Asher's room. I cut into the corners and edges, rolled one coat of "Midnight Garden" (a dark muted bluish green that Ash picked out) onto the walls and then cut in a second time. Today after church I'll try to apply a second coat and put primer on the window and door trim. (Yesterday we washed walls, filled holes, sanded, and painted the baseboards.)

Three of their buddies had supper with us and then Ty and I left to pick up Ty's friend for youth group and Asher and his friends went to a hockey game. Ty and I enjoyed our evening, watching Nascar racing at the Imax and hanging out at the youth leader's place, eating pizza and shooting hoops in the back yard. It was a nice evening depite the snow on the ground and we kept warm because of the fire pit in the yard and the woodstove in the garage.

Lots of fun stuff going on to keep us busy and I don't see it ending anytime soon...

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Things are Just Hoppin' 'Round Here

Well...Our days seem to be pushed up a notch speed and intensity. We got the Apologia text yesterday and dived right in. I was surprised by how much Tymon actually liked it and not surprised that Asher didn't. But I was surprised when he winged a pencil across the room at his brother who was gloating over the fact that he'd enjoyed it so much while Asher didn't. I grounded him from electronics for the lunch break. Tymon could have lost an eye. Usually Asher is the one who mocks and jeers at Tymon and Tymon is the one to reach out physically to shut him up. It seems easier to call the boys on violent, physical behavior than general cheekiness...although both are equally wrong.

While doing math, Ty and I ran across a problem that neither of us could figure out. I left a note before leaving to work for Ted to take a look at it and after perusing the lesson he was able to figure it out and write down the explanation. That's the first time we've called on him for help but I believe it'll happen more and more if we continue homeschooling through the highschool years.

I had a busy shift at work and when I came home, besides looking over that math lesson, I was informed of the fact that Ted had granted the boys permission to go Hallowe'ening with their friends this year. We agreed to disallow them from going to a Hallowe'en party they were invited to the evening before however. Plans involve watching a "scary movie" and neither of us felt good about allowing our boys to start watching stupid horror flicks at this point. (Despite the fact that we allowed them to participate in Hallowe'en for the first time.) I was surprised by how easily they accepted our "No". Ash just said "Ok"and went back to what he was doing... and Ty said "I don't even want to go. I don't like scary movies." My innocent 13 year old had spent the evening outside at his friend's place building a 10 foot high snowman!

Asher and I are also planning to paint his bedroom. He's had a color in mind for about a year already and we just haven't gotten around to doing it. He also wants rug on his floor because the lino is so cold in the mornings when he slides out of bed and the area rug isn't very big. Maybe we can get some carpet for cheap at "End of the Roll" and maybe my dad would be kind enough to put it in for us...Hmmm. I'll have to ask him. We just got invited over to my parents' place for homemade chicken soup at lunch. Asher had asked her if she'd make us both chicken soup and bean soup sometime soon and she promised she would. Too bad it'll be a hurried lunch before Arche Afternoon Activities.

I also printed off Asher's basketball schedule. There's the odd Saturday game but most games are weekday evenings. I need a 2005 calendar to finish posting the games though. And the playoff schedule won't be put on the web site until January 15th so I have no idea yet whether or not Asher will be able to come to Saskatoon with us for the homeschooling convention.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

I was Asked to Lead a Workshop...

Last night I received a phonecall that I've admittedly been expecting for some time now. An individual from the SHBE board (Saskatchewan Home Based Educators) left a message asking if I'd consider leading a workshop at the annual homeschooling convention in March. The subject they wanted me to present was "Encouraging Parents to Teach to Their Children's Strengths and Interests". I haven't called them back yet, but I'm pretty sure that I'll do it as it'll be a good opportunity to promote my book "The Homeschooling Trail...A Journey of Faith".

I'd been expecting this phonecall because back in June when I first released my book and I was actively pursuing marketing opportunities, I'd approached SHBE about putting a link on their site. I thought that they might be interested in the fact that I was a local author...and they were. I received an email asking if I'd consider leading a couple of workshops. The speaking engagement that was supposed to be happening in October never did pan out, but I half expected to hear from someone concerning the March convention.

Although I'll most likely agree to do it, there are a couple of hindrances to me jumping at the opportunity. Asher will probably be in the middle of basketball playoffs about that time. The playoffs for the B division run from March 7-22. I'd hate to miss a big game! (Although I'm sure my parents would be happy to take him to any games he has scheduled and pick up the slack in the cheering section.)

Secondly...I'm still not sure about our plans for next year. Asher might decide to go to school for grade 8 and Ty might go to highschool...on a part-time if not fulltime basis. We should be getting that Apologia Science text soon, and after a couple of months the boys should know whether they'd like to continue with Apologia next year, switch to another resource like Abeka, or go to school for science.

As well, part of my disappointment in this whole homeschooling journey is that despite the fact that I have tried my best to teach to the boys' strengths and allowed them to follow their interests, at this point, neither are interested in much outside the sports arena, electronic gaming, and hanging out with friends. So...although I'm still very conscious of their likes and dislikes, and their strengths and their weaknesses, the academic portion of their day is something that they just get through.

I believe it's a year to fill in gaps...understanding the scope of history, getting an overview of science, sharpening writing skills, accessing information through reading, working independently, and doing grade level math, are all areas we're focusing on this year. Whether next year involves a new season of going to school or continuing our homeschooling lifestyle but becoming increasingly independent learners...they will be prepared.

My heart's desire all along has been to honor who God made each of them to be. I believe that each person is designed with a specific plan in mind, with strengths, passions, and abilities to accompany that plan. My job as a parent is to help them discover their identity and their calling... and walk it out. Allowing our kids to follow their interests as much as possible...while easing them along in their weaknesses, is the best way I know of honoring the children God created and gave to me to raise.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Feelin' Better Now

We just got back from the boys' semi-final game and I'm pleased to report that the boys won 18 to 0. My fingers are still numb as I attempt to type this post but I'm feeling better than I was before I left for work. My mom came in to get her hair permed and we were able to have a nice long talk. She's praying for some strongholds to come down and I'm confident that it'll help.

The boys look forward to playing the final game on Saturday and I look forward to cheering them on... Go Huskies!!!!

Some Days are Just Bad

Ever have a day that's just all around bad? You wake up and the ground is covered with snow and the white, fluffy stuff just keeps falling from the sky with no end in sight. It's only October 19th and your kids have a semi final football game to play in freezing temperatures at 7:45 pm.

The early morning hours find you hunched over a vacuum cleaner, mumbling under your breath about how no-one else in the house knows the least bit about organizing and managing their things. How many pairs of runners does a person need piled by the door? How many water bottles with neighborhood kids' names on them should a person have stashed in their porch? How many other mothers allow their boys' football equipment to be piled behind the couch in the living room?

Then by mid morning you can be heard fighting loudly with your 13 year old over multiplying and dividing mixed numerals and you can't see yourself putting up with trying to work with this stubborn, belligerant kid into his highschool years.

Later, while trudging through the snow on your noon walk, heavy boots stealing what energy you have left, you begin to reflect on your life. Nothing has lived up to your expections. Not your marriage. Not homeschooling. Not your life's dream of writing a book. Everything pales in comparison to what you'd hoped for and what you'd dreamt about in earlier years.

You spend the afternoon ordering your kids around, getting them to shovel the sidewalks, tidy, dust, and vac their bedrooms, do the lunch dishes, and practice their cursive or read until you have to head out the door to go to a job that you've been tired of for the last 15 years...after running a few errands on the way.

Maybe I'm just PMSing but life feels like a big fat disappointment today and I'd rather crawl back into bed and get up on the other side rather than see the rest unfold before me through these dark glasses. I am looking forward to the boys' game tonight though...regardless of the snow. At least that's one thing in my life that's turned out better than I expected. I love being a sports mom!

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Conflict as a Measuring Stick

I hate conflict. My hands and knees begin to head begins to pound...and sometimes, an unstoppable surge of anger threatens to overwhelm me, robbing me of my peace and rational behavior. But sometimes conflict can be a measuring stick in our lives, pointing us to unresolved issues and showing us how much we've grown...or how far we still have to go!

Recently I've found myself in the midst of a conflict. I didn't see it coming but usually you don't. That's why it's such an honest mark of how you're doing...emotionally, spiritually etc. It hits you out of no-where and you just react.

I have not always dealt with conflict in a mature fashion. Far from it! As I reflect on conflicts in the past, I am ashamed of the way I allowed my emotions to rule me. But despite the fact that I wish this most recent episode never happened, I am allowing God to show me the silver lining beneath the menacing sky.

This time, I never took any of it personally. The sarcastic, obnoxious, and hateful barbs directed my way hurt me when they struck...but they didn't stick in. They just bounced off and clanked on the ground. I was able to remain calm and rational instead of attacking back, trying instead to speak the truth in love. Finally though, I had to disengage and wash my hands of the whole mess as it became obvious that the situation would continue to deteriorate. The sin for me in conflicts of the past, has been letting my temper get the best of me. But this time the sin would be wallowing in it...going back and forth trying to reason with the opposition.

So although I half wish that I'd never responded in the first place to the pleas for help in this difficult situation...I am thankful that God can use even the worse situations as a measuring stick...pointing out our own spiritual and emotional growth. Although I'm far from perfect...and my husband and kids would readily agree to that...I'm glad to see some growth in the area of dealing with conflict. Praise be to God for He is good.