17 June 2008

summer happenings & questions~

I know, I know. I've not been the best blogger lately. Actually, I've never really been a very regular blogger, but, you know....I do have a few other priorities around here :o) In all honesty, it's nice to know I'm missed.

I always think summer is going to be a time to slow down and relax and do nothing, but it never quite works out like that.

The Monday after New Song was finished, Anna woke up during the night in severe pain. She had been coughing for about a week, nothing serious, but as soon as I saw her that night, I strongly suspected she had pneumonia. She looked and acted just like I did last year when I got it. One of the hardest things for me is seeing my children in pain that I feel helpless to fix. I am definitely a "fixer," and when I can't "fix" it is really hard for me. She was crying, gasping for breath saying "I don't know what to do Mommy, I don't know what to do." Thankfully, my sister was spending the night, so I didn't have to worry about childcare and Glen's work (although he would have stayed home if he needed to), and was able to go straight to the hospital. We are not really hospital/doctor people. But she was in a lot of pain and couldn't breathe. Glen had to carry her out to the car. Anyway, they got her started on meds immediately, and she was feeling much, much better a few hours later when we came back home. Needless to say, the rest of that week was spent taking care of Anna and fending off "that's not fair" cries from other little people around here when she got pretty much unlimited reading/computer/tv time. And no jobs!! How unfair :o) We all got to practice serving that week!

Pneumonia recovered. Next up, grammar and study skills camp. I know, sounds boring. Anna actually had a lot of fun getting to see some friends and have four "fun" school days. Made for a lot of driving, but she got a good review.

Wednesdays are swim days. My good friend Elizabeth has a huge heart for women's ministry and moms and opens her home on Wednesdays for whatever moms and kids want to come over to hang out and swim. It's neat to see how different women connect and how the Lord uses them to speak into each other's lives. It is a lot of work for me, though, to pack lunches and swim stuff for six kids all alone, not to mention watching a very mobile baby and fearless 2yr old, so we're taking a break from that for this week.

Last week was spent planning and getting ready for a two night anniversary trip Glen and I left for last Thursday. It was our 11th anniversary. We have always really enjoyed water parks, so the plan was to go to Holiday World in Indiana (they have three gluten/allergen free places to eat there!). We drove 5 hours to a very, very nice hotel for the evening and went to Holiday World on Friday morning. When we arrived (before we bought tickets, thankfully) it started pouring down rain, so we scrapped that idea and drove back to Nashville. For someone that hates driving, this would be pretty disappointing, but I love "the trip" just as much as the event, plus we had a good book on tape, so it didn't bother me in the least. The trip took us right by my grandparents' house, so we stopped in and visited for a little while. That was really nice since we usually have all our kids and the whole family there when we got up. It was just us and my Nanny and Papaw, and I really enjoyed it. We won't talk about how much we spent in gas, though. We stayed at Opryland Friday night. My sister works for Gaylord, so we were able to get a room overlooking the cascades for $50 - whoo hoo! Not being the type who willing pays $16 just to park your car in the parking lot (self parking, not even valet), we parked at Opry Mills and got in a little exercise. We also went over to some old friends' house Friday for several hours and had a great time.

We're now finally settling into a routine now that there are no set plans or anything we have to do on the horizon. I plan to go up to my grandparents' farm in Kentucky a couple of times to pick green beans and corn, and then again in August to pick up our cow once it's butchered. The kids are really looking forward to going up to work in the garden, but I don't think they really have any idea what it will be like :o) My good friend, Sarah, who lives in Florida, is coming to Chattanooga in July and I am planning on going down there to spend a day with her. VBS at my aunt's church is also in July, so that month is looking to be busy as well. That's mostly evening or weekend stuff, though, so I'm hoping to keep the week days nice and calm.

I've had this routine for a few years where I do all my grocery shopping and errands on Saturdays. Every week, a different child gets a turn to go out with me. We spend the day together and they get to choose where to eat lunch. This has been really nice and they all look forward to their turn. The only downside is that Glen and I are apart on the one day we really have to just spend together. He's home on Sundays, but once we get home from church, eat, and take a nap, there's not much day left. This summer we're trying a modified routine in that he is coming home early one day a week and I'm doing my stuff in the evening. I'm still doing the turns with the kids. So far it's been really nice. Glen recently moved his office to our basement, so he's able to work down there and the kids can play, or nap, or whatever.

We school year round, and the plan had been to continue on seamlessly. That didn't really happen. We're still deciding on the plan for fall (although it's looking like everyone is just going to be home full time), so I decided to take June and decide what I want to focus on summer-only, and what I want to plan for last year. I've really wanted to spend a lot more focused time studying and reading the Bible, so I'm deciding what that's going to look like. I'm trying out something I heard of through my MOMYS group right now that I can do part of with everyone, and then a little more with the older three. So far, everyone is enjoying it quite a bit. We spend an hour or so in the morning doing it. The Lord had been talking to me about the principle of seeking first His Kingdom and trusting him that all other things would be added and the need incorporate this more heavily into our home school, so I am excited to see how it's going to go.

Today the kids are with my sister visiting the sprinklers at Bicentennial Mall and going to Centennial Park, so my plan is to get a HUGE box of school stuff organized and the next few weeks planned out. Haven and I both had bad allergy attacks during the night, so now that's he's napping, I need to get started. I also killed a very scary caterpillar in my bathroom. It was probably two inches long with long, black stinging spikes. I sprayed him and then dropped a heavy box on him (that's my default bug killing plan). Glen can deal with him later (super husband to the rescue!). I spent a little time online trying to figure out what it was and I'm pretty sure it is a buckmoth caterpillar. They can actually sting really badly, and Haven was sitting right next to it! Thank you, Jesus, for protecting him :o)

I also have a new favorite thing. Any guesses? It's mowing! I've never mowed in my entire life, due to a pretty bad (or so I thought) grass allergy. (Turns out that it's more of a contact allergy. I can't touch it or I break out and itch for days, but it affects my asthma minimally and as long as I carry my inhaler I'm good to go. I'm hoping the mowing will have the same effect as allergy shots would.) We have one of those huge, super fast zero turn mowers and Glen has been telling me for a couple of years that I should try it, that I'd probably like it. I finally decided to take him up on it, and he was right! I love it. It takes three hours to do all our mowing. I strap on my ipod and away I go. I already love driving and the down time that it gives me to just sit and think, so it turns out that I love mowing as well. It's also a pretty good way to get a nice tan. I listen to either teaching stuff, or just worship music. It's great. I've even been mowing our neighbor's lawn. Getting paid to do something I enjoy - it doesn't get much better than that. It also feeds the ocd side of me in that I get to create these fabulous, parallel lines in my grass :o) I do have to battle the urge to re-do the ones that just don't feel right, though. Funny, eh?

I also have a couple of questions. One is really a request. Only a few people that I know of actually read this. That's fine with me as it's really my way of keeping a record of what are life is like so when I'm old and can't remember those baby years I can go back and remember. I do see, though, from my little sitemeter thing, that there are quite a few people who at least stumble through every day, but I have no idea who they are or if they come back. So, if you are a regular reader, I would love it if you would leave me a comment...just so I can know.

My other actual question is to find out what other people would like to see in this blog. Like I mentioned earlier, it's kind of my way of journaling for my personal benefit and that of my family, but I always do these looong posts that take forever, and then it's a couple of weeks usually before I get around to it again. Do those of you that read this like that? Would you prefer to hear something more frequently, but shorter? More of a "today this is what we did, this is what I'm thinking about, this is what our life is like" kind of blog, or do you like the "this is my novel for the month" kind of blog? No promises, but I would like to blog more frequently, I just tend to let things build up. Just curious.

Hope everyone is having a great summer!


lillianb said...

i read! just letting you know! you freakin' amaze me. seriously, you are wonder woman. i am overwhelmed at 3. and you are trucking along with 6. yikes! go mama, go!

Rachel Wilson said...

Im a faithful reader! Hopin to get together soon. Alie'd ear drum ruptured in the middle of the night. We woke up to a very bloody child who was in a lot of pain! So we have to see an ENT tomorrow. This is the 3rd time this has happened. I am very worried about the affect on her hearing. Any suggestions?

Jessica Little said...

Hi Shyla,

I am a faithful reader! I stumbled upon your blog when I was searching for a Christian mom's pointers on rearing a strong-willed child. I've read and re-read your post on the 'two year old', and I love what I read. When I've been trying to implement the techniques, I just get fits...=( Anyways, more on child training would be enjoyed here; also, amything the Lord's teaching you; more on how you homeschoool would interest me; how you balance being a wife and mom...
Thanks for your openness and honesty. Looking forward to many more encouraging and helpful posts!

Lori said...

Faithful reader am I, as well! I love your little snippets AND your novels. Please continue to write both!

Christy said...

Huge fan of Shyla the Super Mom...yes, I check for new posts regularly. :) Please continue to write -- snippits or novels, as long as we hear from you.

Yes, the buckmoth caterpillar. I am familiar with those. My oldest son was about two years old when he was SAVAGELY attacked by one. We were at my parents' home in TN (of all places), and he was walking barefoot in their yard. He began crying, came to my husband and expressed that he had been stung. We cleaned it off, and he took his daddy back to where it all went down. Lo and behold, there was a big spiky caterpillar... My husband proceeded to pick it up and rub it against his own hand and also against my son's leg. (Ah, see...nice cute caterpillar.) Moments later, they both experienced a stinging sensation all over the area, along with a nice elevated welp. (I think they then destroyed the villain.) The scars hung around for weeks, serving as a reminder of the buckmoth BEAST. lol.

Summer is always so busy, with so many opportunities to enjoy outside... Looking forward to reading about more adventures.

Kohana said...

I'm reading too! I just like to hear what's going on with you, and I also like peeking into your large family. I don't know if we'll have six, but I like hearing how you do it.

Wendy said...

You know I read, and I think my mom and sister-in-law peek in as well. I think your epic-posts are just part of who you are... I like how detailed you get, as it gives a lot of insight. I keep wishing I could write a little more in my blog, but I tend to be a woman of few words most of the time...

Rachel Lee said...

I read about once a week and love hearing your heart, your stories and your parenting tips. The long ones sometimes get skimmed but I am still very encouraged!

"And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

Your heart and ability to mother gives me more room to lead my small family. :)

julianalovespy said...

I love to read all your posts, no matter how long or how short. Your life is fascinating to me because when I feel barely able to mother my one child, I think about your family and tell myself, "If she can love six that well, then I can do it with one!"

I am convinced you have super powers, and I love to read about how you use them in your daily life.

Oh, Jessica told me about that fabulous adults-only party Friday night. I am sure it was LOTS of fun to have complete conversations with old friends with no interruptions! Happy anniversary!

HC said...

This is posted late, but I'm catching up on archives! I read! I read! I love your little snippets and your novels, as Christy said! I also have 6 kids, and find your sense of humor to be just like mine! You make me laugh out loud! I also am striving at, and curiously new at being a Biblical Woman, and love to hear your thoughts and knowledge in this area as well!

"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