Our Family

Our Family
"These are the children God has graciously given to me. (us)" - Genesis 33:5

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

A Blessed Routine

We have been a homeschooling family since Ethan's first day on November 5th, 2007. It has been one of the most difficult but rewarding endeavors we have ever been involved in. It means that I am able to be home with my children 24/7 to not only teach them, but give them an environment and opportunity to thrive.

For those of you who don't know, we currently homeschool Ethan in 3rd grade, Joshua in 1st grade, and Rebekah in K. We are currently in week 22, the 3rd quarter of school, having finished 2nd quarter the week after Thanksgiving. The kids had last week off, so getting back to school yesterday could have been disastrous...but because Mike was home, it went smoothly.

Routine for my children, (and for myself as well) has become incredibly important in how well we are able to function throughout the day. I used to consider myself fairly flexible, and in some ways still am, but have found that my ability to control the day for the kids can snowball out of control with one little interruption in the day. That could be an unexpected phone call, a visitor, illness, etc. Most of the time I can reel things back in...but when you throw the holidays into the mix...oh boy!

I have always been one to look forward to the holidays...from Thanksgiving on. I love the decorations, food, music, family and friends and the general cheeriness of strangers you meet when out and about. Not this year. We didn't decorate for any of the holidays for several reasons. Reason #1: Hurricane and Tropical Force Twins. They are truly a force to be reckoned with and are able to turn a room upside down in about 3-5 seconds. Seriously. The thought of dealing with a tree, lights, bells, candles, etc. was overwhelming as I pictured myself chasing after them all day saying "don't' touch", "get away from there", "get down from there", etc. Reason #2: We have no room. You can only imagine how limited our space is having 6 kids. Every available shelf, wall, corner, cabinet etc. has been used to the best of it's capabilities. There isn't any space available to move around to accommodate a tree. Reason #3: Sarah. She had just learned how to walk and due to Reason #2, only has so many rooms she can be in...the living room being one of them...and she likes to eat EVERYTHING!!!

So, we had to really get creative with helping the kids understand that it was the holiday season even though we weren't making the traditional foods, decorating or following our traditions. Our Christmas Craft Chaos day, setting up John Deere and Jane Doe with our Christmas lights outside, and playing Christmas movies and music every chance we had, certainly helped. Even with that, between all of the relatives, friends, change in our shopping schedules and interruptions in our school days we managed to stay mostly sane, put together and kind of in the holiday spirit. Well to the outside observer. Those who know us and are a big part of our everyday lives, knew better. :)

Needless to say, a return to our typical routine is a nice respite from the craziness our lives have been for the last 6 weeks. From colds, croup, fevers and teething to gifts, visits from friends and relatives who live far away, and a kickin' New Years party; the kids, (as well as myself) have desperately needed the return to the scheduled routine of our lives. I'm sure it will get old by mid February, but for now I will take it.

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