Today was unusual...highly unusual. I took a nap. That NEVER happens, but it sure felt good! Dominick is the Nap guy, catching cat naps here and there that really do help him. The kids and I came home from church and Matthew is fighting a bug and said he felt like taking one, and so did I. I let go of any guilt and told the kids I was going to go lay down for an hour. Matt decided not to, and so he and Olesya went out to muck out my disgusting Mom-mobile. Surprise, surprise, 3 hours later I awoke and Dominick was home from work, the house was well picked up, my van was clean AND stew was cooked for us all. Man, talk about feeling totally spoiled and incredibly guilty. OK, maybe mildly guilty. If I did it all the time it would be different, but I don't think I have had a nap like that since the last time I was ill. It felt great, but I'll probably regret it tonight as I lay awake at 3:00 AM trying to get to sleep! Hahaha!
I have been in a very weird place these days, and I can not pinpoint it. I am going through the motions, but not feeling really engaged the way I should be. Everything that should be getting done is getting done, but for some reason I just seem to have a case of the doldrums. I am not unhappy at all, and in fact am thoroughly enjoying the way I spend my days with the kids, even more than I thought I would. At the beginning of this homeschooling adventure, I anticipated feeling...well...if I am being totally honest I thought I might feel a bit trapped. You all know I adore our kids, but that has nothing to do with feeling like maybe I had jumped into the deep end and couldn't get out. Much to my surprise, I find that I really, really enjoy teaching...and I never thought of myself as the teacher type. There is something very satisfying about doing this at this level though, charting growth, seeing it in areas that are not always measureable by grades. It is not something that will garner me a paycheck or promotion, but it is more rewarding than anything I have ever done, and I am not half bad at it either, at least at this stage. Would I win any Teacher of the Year awards? Uh...no...but I also wouldn't be put on probation either :-)
This "out of it" feeling though is not going away, and I am not really a "going through the motions" kinda gal so it is a wee bit disturbing. It might be that my ministry classes were filling a hole I hadn't realized existed for my own intellectual engagement. It could be that I still have not solved the problem of not getting out around adults more. Or it could be one of those typical ebb and flow kind of moments in my life, who knows?
Today was a happy day at church, we had our first awards ceremony for the Explorers Club which we created for the kids. We had 16 kiddos there who all had earned pins, and plenty of parents and grandparents present to help celebrate. Aside from the kids, those of us adults who are working on this together are having a lot of fun too. Funny how when you pull together the right folks with the perfect fit of gifts and talents that compliment each other, everything seems pretty easy. We have a couple who are very craft oriented and creative, and then myself and my friend who are craft impaired. We have organizers and planners and doers, and if they say something is going to get done, it absolutely will, without question. The nicest thing though is that this particular little group of friends are all so flexible and adaptable, if something falls through no one panics and we just quickly come up with a Plan B without any stress. There are no anal retentives among us, and I think that is why this is so relaxed and fun.
We are using some of these wards to acknowledge what our kids are doing at home with school related things as well, and so we had a little candlelight ceremony tonight with everyone which included using our singing prayer bowl and each of the kids "pinning" each other as we congratulated them on their accomplishments thus far. We awarded the girls pins for learning a foreign language, and Matt and Kenny both pinned their sisters for that. There are reading awards, which in particular meant a lot for Kenny. They earned lapbooking awards for creating lapbooks, and Matthew and Angela received awards for learning pottery. The nice thing about these award pins is they have a wonderful array of them, and you can create your own requirements for earning them.
For homeschoolers, there are not awards assemblies to look forward to or Student of the Month awards, so this is a nice little extra way of marking new skills learned without pitting one against another, it is more about each individual learning what they can and trying new things. If interested, you can purchase them from http://www.keepersofthefaith.com/ I hadn't thought it would be as meaningful for the kids as it has been, even for Matthew who I thought might find it a little corny. But when we awarded him the Master Reader pin tonight, he was visibly moved. It also gives each of the kids something to look forward to earning.
Josh's pain has thankfully totally disipated, but he still isn't able to eat anything solid. He is going to have his tooth removed on Wednesday, and we are so thankful that the antibiotic reduced his pain. When I think of what life was like before modern medicine, and how people had to suffer, it makes me quite happy that I am living in this day and age.
We have a rather mundane week ahead (I hope it remains that way!), with school and not much else exciting going on. The following week is when I leave for Memphis, and I am growing excited about that. We are so grateful to have people volunteer to watch our kids for us so I can take advantage of this wonderful opportunity. I am also very much looking forward to spending time with Madon Dailey, the woman from Nancy Larson Science who oversees the homeschool marketing. We have had some very warm and interesting phone conversations in the past, and I think we will enjoy getting to know one another.
That's about it I guess! I am going to try and find something we are doing interesting to post photos of. As our kids are older, we don't always have the cute artsy craftsy stuff to take photos of for the blog as many homeschoolers do. Not much exciting about workbooks and composition notebooks open all day long!
Hope everyone has a happy week!