In June Monster turned one. We had a great train themed party with friends and family.
In July we purchased a membership to The Henry Ford. The children love the train rides, going into all the houses and buildings and the beautiful carousel.
August brought joyous news that we are expecting baby number 4!
Goldilocks turned three in September. She had a beautiful princess party.
October brought a huge change for me, the dreaded 30.... I told a friend one day that I wasn't sure if I was dreading 30 or if I felt like I should be dreading 30 because everyone does. Turns out the past 6 weeks haven't been bad at all. I guess I'll just wait a few more months to see how I really feel about 30.
We found out November 10 that Squisher #4 is a boy! We are so excited that Monster will have a buddy just like the girls have each other. Our Christmas tree went up in November as usual and the children are all so excited about Christmas. Little Bo Peep asks daily, "Is it Christmas today?" It doesn't seem to matter that we have multiple countdown/advent calendars the anticipation is too much for her little self to wait yet another day.
December 14 will bring our half way mark for Kindergarten. Little Bo Peep is doing so well with school and Goldilocks loves tagging along for all the Kindergarten lessons. If she understood what Kindergarten was I think she would insist on saying she too was in Kindergarten. I think some days she is more excited about math and science than anyone else!
Back in May I really felt God convicting me of something I felt He had placed on my heart months before. This is the email I sent to my fellow homeschool group moms in January:
I was talking to Brad tonight about one of the struggles homeschool moms have about teaching. Often we doubt ourselves and our ability to teach our children. My sister-in-law, who also homeschools, has a book, Lies Homeschooling Moms Believe, by Todd Wilson. The title caught my attention. I skimmed through it at her house one day and then went to his website. He is a homeschooling dad and has a heart for other homescooling dads. We just read Help! I'm Married to a Homeschooling Mom. I love how he speaks truth with such humor. I am planning to purchase the Lies book soon. If you want a copy let me know and we can save a few dollars on shipping.
I was also talking to Brad about teaching for Magnificent Milestones [our homeschool group]. It is one thing to teach your own children at home with no one around, but it is intimidating to teach other's children, especially with that person sitting next to you! I don't usually feel confident about my teaching. I need to be encouraged in my homeschooling by other homeschooling moms, but I should also be encouraging other homeschooling moms. I know that God has blessed me with the ability to teach. Brad suggested maybe this would be a part of my ministry. His comment made me start thinking about the uncertainty I have heard from most of you and that maybe I could be encouraging you as we begin our homeschool adventure.
I need to set time aside to plan for M&M and for teaching my own children at home. Right now I am thinking once or twice a month I will go to Panera (free Wi-Fi and all!) and spend some time planning. We can encourage each other with ideas, lessons, frustrations and any other things life throws our way. If you would care to join me let me know and we can figure out a day and time.
I read Lies Homeschooling Moms Believe, by Todd Wilson after this email. While I am in my first year of teaching "school" I have been preschool homeschooling for a few years and was homeschooled myself from 6th -12th grade. I felt over and over again that Todd was talking to me because no one else could possibly feel this way, right? Wrong! Some of the other moms in our homeschool group also read the book and Jenny and I committed to be "real friends" as he calls it in the book. It is wonderful to be able to call her if I am having a problem or frustration and know that she can rely on me to answer my phone when she is having a day. Even though I have her as a real friend this email is still in the back of my mind and the guilt is eating me....
God keeps giving me gentle reminders to what He wants me to do. I have had at least five friends ask me over the past few months about homeschooling. All the emails I have received from them have been similar, "I've been seriously considering homeschooling my child, when did you start and what curriculum do you use?" I feel I need to start looking at these emails seriously not just thinking "Oh that is cool so-and-so is thinking about homeschooling." I need to start setting aside time for this ministry God has placed on my heart. Motivation, where to start, my abilities, time, the excuses are endless but as Nike said, "Just Do It."