15 November 2007

something you don't see every day~

I love living in the country. Most people I know say something about how it's so beautiful, but they would never want to have to drive this far out on a daily basis. Well, I don't get out daily, so that obviously helps, but when I do get out, I love the drive. It is beautiful. It is calming, it is relaxing, it is very much downtime for me. Getting all six sweeties out the door can sometimes be frustrating, so it's nice to have time to just relax. I don't want to have to get out of my car five minutes after I get in it :o)

Anyway, that aside, guess what I saw today! I saw a mother cow giving birth in a field right alongside the road! I have never in my life seen an animal giving birth, come to think of it, aside from one of my nieces, I've never seen any birth. I didn't see my own births and I was behind the video camera for Millie's, so I've never really seen a birth. Rats that I pretty much missed the cow's too, but I sort of saw it.

I was driving by and saw a cow lying on her side with a leg stuck up in the air, a very large, bulging stomach, and a partially born calf coming out! I promptly (not promptly enough, apparantly) found a place to turn around and went back. I pulled over, but the mother cow was already standing up, eating(?) the bag and umbilical cord (yuck...), and licking the little cow like crazy. It was squirming around some, but mostly still just lying there all wet. Still....pretty amazing. As it was on a not so busy road, I got Moriah out to look. Since it had really already happened, she wasn't particularly impressed, but oh well.... I was! Now every time I drive by that field and see that little calf with its mother I'm going to feel like that's my little calf :o)

I'm a little bored :o) Not that I don't have piles of things I can do, but I'm fighting off getting some kind of chest infection (again), so under strict orders from the husband of the year, I'm not doing much...

I still think the cow thing was pretty cool, though, just wish I'd been able to see the whole thing...

Kind of weird, too, though, as Glen and I are thinking about getting my grandparents to raise a cow for us this next year (well...for our freezer, if you get my drift...)

12 November 2007

pondering in my heart~

"...But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart."
Luke 2:19

I spent a good part of worship at church yesterday morning holding Ethan. For those of you that don't know Ethan, he is my stocky five, almost six-year-old funny man. We always joke that God must have pulled his personality out of the surprise box as he is one of the sweetest, yet uniquely funny kids I've ever met, and honestly, that is a fairly un-biased observation :o)
He is at the sweetest stage of life, mostly big boy, but still in love with me and oblivious to the "mom, my friends are all watching" public display of affection awareness that sadly comes with age... He kisses me, hugs me, holds my hand, rubs my back, all with childish abandonment. His particularly sweet nature and personality just makes it all the more pronounced. As hard as I am trying...there are really no words...

I've mentioned before how my children seem to be more affectionate with me at church, although I've noticed it when we watch movies together or read as well, so I think it is really more of a "mom is sitting down, let's grab her" kind of thing, not specifically related to church. But that is where I tend to notice it most.

So, we're at church, standing up and worshipping. I've been holding Noah, then Moriah, and the next thing I know, Ethan is reaching up for me to hold him. So there I stand, holding my fifty pound sweetie. For a good 15 minutes I stood and just held him, holding the tears at bay. Thanking the Lord for my precious boy who, in that instant I realized, was soon, in the blink of an eye, going to be bigger than me. I treasured up every thought, every feeling of his still small body holding onto my neck, resting his head on my shoulder, rubbing my hair and giving me kisses. Before I know it, this stage of my life will have passed and I will be left aching for small arms to embrace me with pure childish abandon.

Somewhere along the way I crossed the line. You always hear older moms say to treasure it, to not wish it away, yet it is so hard when we are surrounded by laundry and toy squabbles and diapers and dishes and impatient two year olds, to not wish for that next, optimistically easier stage of life. To wish our children into their adulthood. I eagerly anticipate my children being even more self sufficient and the evolving of our friendship that will come with age, but I am beginning to get a taste of what those older, wiser women mean when they caution us to treasure those moments. When I was holding Ethan I had this intense, conscious realization that out of the span of my whole life, the very narrow window of time that I have with him as a boy totally in love with his mommy is almost past, and to savor every minute, to treasure it, to store it up in my heart. So I did. I relished him. And I've begun my week with renewed focus on the important things of life.

People ask why I have so many children...now you know...because it is worth it. Every smile, every slobbery kiss, every shiny rock, every flower, every picture, every hug, pajama feet and freshly scrubbed children running in towels, children piled on the bed with popcorn and a movie complete with 3-D glasses on the two year old, Bible stories told by Dad, Anna teaching Moriah how to write her name, bigger boys explaining to little boys how they're going to teach them to play dinosaurs and shoot arrows, 4 year olds learning to write their name and pictures of stick people with big heads on my refrigerator, silly songs and sleepy baby stretches...I can't resist it. It is the stuff life is made of. It is my life.

For which I am exceedingly and overwhelmingly thankful...

06 November 2007

the homeschool guinea pig~

A little bragging is in order around here. I just want to let everyone know how proud I am of my sweet Anna! She tested into Saxon 7/6 Math which is a sixth/seventh grade math! As Anna is only in the fourth grade, and often gets down on herself about math, I just had to brag on her a little!

I have decided, mid year of course, to switch math curriculums for Anna. I did very well in math, but I am very much a "just tell me how to do it and I'll do" kind of person. I don't really care that much why it works, just show me how. The math curriculum that I have been using with Anna since we started homeschooling is called Singapore Math. It has a tremendous track record and is very effective, but it is slightly unconventional. It focuses a lot on mental math and then moves to concrete "how to" kind of stuff. I really have liked it and it hasn't been too difficult for me to teach, I've just had to shift my brain from what is my normal way of thinking. This year, though, has been more challenging as Anna moves into slightly more advanced math. I was spending way too much time figuring out how to explain it to her. I knew how to do the problems, but they were presenting things in a way that was not conducive to how I thought about them. Make sense? Instead of being able to just teach her the way I understand, I was having to first teach myself how to teach her the way they were presenting concepts.

I have always planned on switching to Saxon Math as that is what I used from seventh grade on and liked it very much. I just wasn't sure when I would switch. I really believe the verses in the Bible that talk about asking for wisdom and that the Lord will give wisdom when one asks for it, so I have developed a habit of just asking the Lord for specific wisdom in different aspects of parenting, homeschooling included, and just watching for His direction and answers. He promises to give it, and He has never failed me. It has always been quite interesting, actually, for me to be actively watching for His leading and seeing how He sends it!
So anyway, I decided to switch, gave her the placement test, and was blown away when she tested to be able to skip two Saxon books and move directly into the 7/6 book!

The other side of this is that I am feeling a great sense of relief and very settled regarding math right now. I feel my decision to use Singapore at the beginning has proved successful, and I have a renewed sense of confidence in my ability to teach my children. I think the concern lurks somewhere in the back of the minds of many homeschool moms if they are really doing a good job, if their kids are really getting it, if they are really on track, etc... Vindication... Such a wonderful feeling...

And not only am I at peace, Anna also now has a sense of pride and accomplishment that I could not give her without it just coming across as "mom being encouraging", she has been able to see it for herself, and to a homeschooling mom, that is priceless...a little self confidence can do wonders for a nine year old girl :o)
"How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about arithmetic, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No; a woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness." ~GK Chesterton

2012 November

2012 November