So, a little bit of background on me...I am NOSEY!!! I love to read the blogs of folks I don't know and look at their pictures and enjoy their stories. I have even read the posts that give a random glimpse into a day in their life. So, I thought I would share a little snapshot for you.
When people find out we homeschool (I don't keep it a secret, just when it leaks out) they almost always say, "Oh, I could never do that!" Now, you might think after spending time with my children academically that all we do is school...however, get my kids in another setting and you'll hear the practical jokes, the songs, dances and desserts that we enjoy all day long. So, for those of you that don't have a minute, go read something inspirational...come back to this some other time, but for those of you waiting on the laundry to dry or something like that...this will kill a few minutes. So, welcome to a day in the life of Team Wessner.
I rouse around 6:00. Mike hits the snooze several times, so it's not until 6:53 that I actually get up. I usually have to sit up and then lay down again before I get started. Some of you may remember that we eat our big dinner meal in the morning so I had to get up to get our taco salad started. My Caroline slept through the night and I was grateful, but ready to feed her...know what I mean? So, I wander into the kitchen, discovering that my crap fairies have disappeared and everything that was out when I went to bed is still out. Oh, well...such is the life. So, start breakfast...greet Miss Ella, she's always the first one up. She snuggled up to read some books. Got everything out and on the table, Mike woke the other 2 kids up and then Miss Caroline popped her little head up...she must of heard I was about to sit down to eat my breakfast. So, I grabbed her up and fed her whilst the rest of my family ate. Fortunately for me, I am the little old lady that lives in a shoe with my many children and I could still be with them because our living room and dining room are really the same room. We listened to Proverbs on the Listener's Bible and then Mike headed off to work.
So, now it's just me. In my jambos (that's what we call pajamas...but it means hello in an African language. So, when folks see me in my jambos I'm like, "Hello!") I just wanted to point out that I wasn't up and dressed with makeup and shoes by 7:00. Sometimes I am, but my super powers wane. Caroline was happy now with a full belly, so I decided I should eat. It was delicious. I love waking up to a yummy meal. Although I know some of you think it would be super gross. It's super not! So she chilled in her saucer and played with Ella while I ate. Anson and Julia are, at this point, hoping I don't notice them curled up with some of their new library books. They are the luckiest kids! My belly was now full and I felt as though I could start the day. So, I remembered that my sweet little baby hadn't been bathed in an unmentionable amount of time, so I decided to give her a bath. The bathroom is messy...dang it! I scrubbed her up and got her in some clean britches and she was ready to go back to bed. Oh to be 4 months old!!!
Once Caroline was back in bed Ella thought it would be fun to take a bath. The only problem was that the hot water was tired of coming out, so it sent the cold water and Ella was so not digging it. I finally got her calmed down and explained she would simply have to wait. It's 8:30 and I had turned on GMA while I was getting Caroline dressed and Anson wandered into my room (where the TV and Caroline are stored) and wanted to see the Extreme Makeover thing. He got under my covers and looked so cozy that once I left the room I left him there with the bedside table light on and his book. The TV was off.
Now was the perfect time to snuggle up with my Ella to read some of our new library books. We went to the library yesterday and maxed out my card (you can have 50 books) and now we are gobbling up our new treasures! We read 3 books while Julia read her new Molly book (American Girl) and then Ella decided that the tub was probably ready.
So, she jumped in the tub and I thought that now would be a great time to work with my older kids on their Bible studies. We use the Kay Arthur and Janna Arndt Inductive Bible Studies for Kids. They require some work, but we've been studying the Bible with them for 4 years. Anson is studying Joseph, Isaac and someone else...it's Genesis and Julia just started with Esther. Anson works on his own and I am teaching Julia. Today when we were finished we googled some of the stones and marble that is mentioned in chapter 1 of Esther to find out how lavish King Ahasuerus' banquet really was. It WAS!!! So, we finished up with those (I set the timer for 25 minutes because sometimes they can take much longer...we don't try to get a full lesson finished, we just work until our time is up.) Let me interject something here...I have to fight my flesh to make this a priority. It is hard to say, "We are doing this first." I have to fight the desire to get the "real" stuff done and then do Bible. The Bible is the "real" stuff and if we don't have the mind of Christ, none of the other stuff will make sense. He holds all things together. So, the timer beeped...Ella is out of the tub and now Julia wants to get in.
I just realized that this might be my window for bathing and told Julia to go easy on the hot water because I was going to scub a dub dub right quick. I wrote Anson's list on the white board (the small board that is stored in between my computer armoire and small chest freezer...awesome, I know) It read, "Thank you notes:3, Copywork: History, Geography: trace new states and practice drawing the US freehand Math: 15's and there was one more thing...what was it? Oh, Math worksheets. We are working on mastering the basics. Anson is mastering multiplication and Julia is mastering addition. A simple thing that will reap huge rewards! So, I hopped in my luke warm shower thinking of my cousin in Cameroon and trying not to complain. Oh, Caroline was stirring, this had to be quick. So, Julia is in her tub, Anson is at the table and Ella is cleaning her room. I got dressed and it was time for Caroline to eat again. I would like to mention that my breakfast dishes were still on teh counter and the laundry was not yet sorted on the kitchen floor...I'm so efficient that my kitchen doubles as my laundry room. I know, right?
So, I let the baby yell at me while I was drying my hair and then brought her out to feed her. Anson was working steadily on his thank you notes and Julia was soaking. I reminded Julia she did have some work to do. Anson doesn't have to do Language when he's writing thank you notes. It's a rule I have for not making myself crazy. I want thank you notes done right, so I make time. While I was feeding Caroline I called out Anson's spelling words (Sequential Spelling and we usually do it out loud). I reminded Julia again that she should get out of the tub. It's about
10:45. Let me think. Finished feeding Caroline and went to check out Ella's room. Not quite sure what she did other than move some piles, but she wasn't asked to do it and she was thrilled...so I put on my happy face. What's next?
I think I started the laundry at this point and checked Anson's math. Still haven't touched the dishes. Got Julia going on her list and realized that she has a crummy attitude. She says that everything is taking too long...I remind her of her bath. She and I work on her First Language Lessons while Ella and Caroline played. Now it's approaching lunch time and Anson has Latin at 1:30, I better get a move on. Caroline is ready to go back to bed at 12:00 so I know we aren't going to leave early to meet friends at the park. I give Kelli a call to let her know I'll pick Jackson up and drop my older girls off with her at the new park. Julia is left to finish her language while I start lunch. We have assorted sandwiches, some pineapples with brown sugar and crackers. I am somewhat of a short order cook at lunch time. I think everyone should enjoy lunch especially because I don't enjoy making it. So, I make a special effort to make it delicious. I toast em' broil em' and put them on the waffle iron (it's like a panini). So, all of our school work is shoved to the center of the table while we eat. I eat standing up today (this is uncommon) because my sandwich was still being waffle makered and I was finally working on the breakfast dishes. I sat down for a minute while Julia was finishing her copy work and had to discuss her heart...again. She misjudged how much room she would need for her work and would need to do it over in order for it to be done correctly. Sorry. You need to repent of your attitude and choose joy.
Move the laundry over and load the dishwasher. Let the kids know we have to leave before too long. Anson walked the dog and I did the girls hair. The laundry is simply sitting in baskets in my "laundry room" and I look forward to folding it tonight while I watch Modern Family. We got everything put away, well, mostly, as I look around I still see a copywork book and some Latin not to mention wooden beads and our new Slugs and Bugs CD. So, we head out the door. We pick up our neighbor (how crazy that our neighbor goes to Latin too?) Today we didn't take the other Latin student, but his sister for her Math tutoring. She's super sweet.
Dropped by the park to pick up Jackson and unload my girls and then dropped the 3 off where they needed to be. Now, back to the park. It's a nice new park, so there are many friends there. It's still upper eighties here, so it was a nice day to be there. I got Caroline fed...again...and then got to catch up with an old friend that I haven't seen a while. It was a real treat. Kelli left to get the folks at Latin/Math and now they are back and playing. I really needed to get home...but it was NICE! We finally left around 3:30 and I stopped for a Coke (a guilty pleasure). So, got home, changed little Miss Caroline, laid her down and the other kids could read quietly since it was too late for them to actually sleep. Julia is so sweet she read many books to Ella and Anson finished two of his. I don't think either one of them was Where the Red Fern Grows which is what he is to be finishing. Oh, the laundry...I moved it and I'm sad that I didn't wash diapers today because it was a great day to hang the diapers. But, the whole hot water thing threw that idea. It will be sunny again...I'm certain of it.
So, I sat here and spent an hour typing my day. The kids are now outside playing in our awesome swing and whatever else they can come up with in our backyard. I did send Ella to her room for yelling at her sister while typing this...just told Julia not to hog the jumprope while going to the bathroom. Do you really need a jumprope in the bathroom or are you simply trying to keep it from your sister? No, Ella, no popsicles. I missed the times that I checked my e-mail, snacked on something yummy or sat watching the kids. We didn't look up the Dred Scott Decision, Compromise of 1850 or the Fugitive Slave Act to learn more about our history sentence. Julia didn't get to her geography or spelling and Ella didn't get her reading lesson. Not today. I can do it all...on different days! So, it's 5:00 and Mike should be home soon. He stopped by the PeachMac store for an IPad for work. Hmmm and should be home soon. Maybe we'll go ride bikes, or play outside and then we'll finish off the day with Daddy reading the next chapter in Little Britches and the kids coloring their giant Halloween coloring book. Once they are in bed I'll pack lunches for tomorrow for our field trip to see Cinderella put on by Storyland theatre. I might get the laundry folded, but probably not put away. Oh, and I did vacuum the bathroom floor, but it was wet, so I just used a towel and "mopped" it instead.
So, what do you think? It's totally possible for anyone to do what I do. You just have to know yourself, know your kids and be willing to enjoy your days rather than enjoy checking off a list of things to get done. Some folks do a lot more than me. Some do a lot less. I did stop asking, though, cause I'm just gonna do what I can do. I plan on home-educating until the kids leave, so I need to pace myself. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Thanks for reading...now, go enjoy something!!!
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
No, I only asked Jesus into my heart once, I know I don't need to be born many times! This is the last day of birthday season for us. Well, there is one more birthday in November, but as far as the kids go...today was the last day. Today Ella turned five. She got to get her ears pierced and was a little nervous that she might not be five tomorrow. She is too funny. This morning we didn't have to pack lunches for co-op, so we had some time. I found the DVD from her first birthday and also a disc Mike made of pictures of her birth. I looked at myself in those pictures and as unselfishly as possible I thought, "That day was about me, too." I was born again. With each child something new births in me. I am not the same. The minute they show me that little person I become someone new. I have to change to accomodate the new role. I have to bend to my new responsibilities. I become a little more who God made me to be. For example:
Anson: I became a scheduler. I LOVE to fly by the seat of my pants, but I became the nap nazi with my little man. I wanted to be sure that he slept and ate and "waked" when he was supposed to...and he did! My joy was intensified with every new day. He was happy and compliant and smart! Not to mention a good lookin' boy. I became a Mom with Anson. I began learning about small pieces and taking temperatures and getting up from a dead sleep to make sure that all was well. I watched Three's Company in the middle of the night and mourned when John Ritter died because he had become a friend to me during those late night feedings. I became convinced that I could not balance working outside of our home and became convinced that I was made to be a wife and a mother. I was in love.
Julia: I became a task master. I always had to be just a little bit ahead of those two. I needed to have lunch ready before they were and get them to nap before we all fell to pieces. I became more feminine than I realized. I figured out how to make bows and I made them...a lot of them! She got sick with a nasty bone infection and I became an advocate for my children. I realized that no one is going to speak up for them but me. I became a little crazy. My anger emerged and I realized I scream. I became the woman that I had judged for so long. Anson didn't prepare me for tantrums. I became normal.
Ella: I became rather busy. I learned how to cram many people into my lap to read books and realized that bed-time was for everyone. I realized that I need Jesus to control my temper and that little girls with curly hair are nuts!!! I became a Mom that had to start thinking for others and spreading my time a little bit. I had to start deciding what was the best way to spend my time because I didn't have very much of it anymore. I became submerged in my world of Mom. Parks and playdates and libraries oh my! I loved it...and struggled at the same time. I began wishing for the "easy" days that I was sure were before me. I longed to sleep until my body woke me up and struggled sharing myself. I learned that Jesus is the only way and that when my children see me ask for forgiveness they begin to understand that Jesus is for everyone. I became a discipler.
Caroline: I became thankful. I welcome the mess and the night feedings, the tantrums (we don't have those yet which is why I can say bring it on...my memory fails me a bit). I became aware of how fleeting this life really is and that I do have time to watch my baby smile and talk and even wash diapers. I have time right now. This is the only time I have and I want to wring it out and relish every dirty, stinking, wonderful minute of this 24/7 job. I think that I am becoming a mother. Slowly. One person at a time. God is shaping and molding me more and more into a Mom. Yup. I'm just plain thankful.
With each child I feel as though my emotions are intensified a bit more. My joy, my anger, my fear, my contentment. Good or bad I feel more intensely. I love them and hate sin which threatens them on a daily basis. It's bizarre how they have changed me. Or maybe they haven't changed me. Perhaps they have developed me. They have been used by God to mold me more and more into who I was really already. The person that I was molded to be. With His help and for His glory I pray that I fully become Alison Wessner. I hope these kids like what they have helped create!!! :)
Note: The pictures are NOT in order. From top to bottom they are Caroline, Ella, Julia and then Anson. I didn't have a picture of Anson with me in the hospital. They were on another site that dropped them in a dark hole somewhere in the cyber world. Hmmmm