Friday, August 24, 2007

School Time

This marks the end of our first week back in school. It wasn't too bad. Really. I think everyone is adjusting to our routine quite well. The subjects are a little more challenging for everyone, and we will need to put some extra effort into our studies, but it is do-able.

Bethani is in 3rd grade, and it is substantially more advanced than 2nd. The papers look more like the older kids, and they are expecting a lot from her already. And she is delivering it. Our goal for her this year is beautiful handwriting.

Jeremi is in 8th grade, and it is much like 7th. He will, however, need to study more. They expect specific answers 'filled in the blank' on tests. A Beka really isn't a 'cake-walk.' Because his schedule is not too heavy this year, we are going to slip in typing and possibly shorthand. (This is something he has shown an interest in.) Apparently this lighter schedule is just a reprieve for him before he hits high school. Look out Jeremi, they don't mess around in 9th grade! Our goal for him this year is to eliminate school procrastination, finishing each day in a timely manner while being thorough.

Tiffani is a full-fledged high school student. She has a heavy DVD load with Grammar/Comp, Algebra 2, consumer math, world history, biology, and French. She started to struggle in French the first 2 days until she found a "suitable tutor." She is excelling now. Our goal for her this year is to cram as much into her little head as possible in order to excel on her SAT and be accepted at Richland Collegiate next year.

They are awesome students! Sometimes I tend to focus only on the things that they still need to master and forget to recognize the good that is already imbedded. I was just pondering this morning on how well-disciplined they really are:

  • Promptly at 8:00 EVERY morning, all three of my children are dressed and sitting in their seats in the school room--all on their own, and most of the time without me. (It is here that I confess to sometimes [okay, many times] checking my email from 8-8:30.) Now, granted, there is a small reward for them if they are on time--not one minute late. Nevertheless, they are establishing a good work ethic.

  • Each morning we gather for family prayer--sometimes with mom, sometimes with dad. Occasionally they sleep, but hey, so did Jesus' disciples! We are setting a precedent for them, (right Jeremi?)

  • We work diligently until 12:30 with an occasional 5-minute break, and then have lunch until 1:00. Any work left-over must be done after lunch. Obviously, the goal is to finish before lunch time, and most of the time they are trying.

Now, before this sounds like pie-in-the-sky, let me confess that just about every day we have an issue with someone. You see, my children are not perfect. But then again, neither is their mother. We are, however, continuing to become. God is helping us, and I believe this year we WILL see more fruit.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Riding Blindly

This morning during our devotions, God spoke to me in a powerful analogy. It was so forceful!

I remembered our tandem ride last week along the coast. Because Craig is so much bigger than I am, when I sit behind him, my view is completely obstructed. I can see to my right and left, but there is always this huge wall of a back in front of me. It is higher and wider than I can see. If I were to try looking around his side, we would most certainly 'dump over.' If I were to stand up to see above him, I would have to stop pedaling, and if he didn't...well, not good. Two people on a tandem have to pedal together in order to go forward. (Now that will preach!)

It had been a while since we had ridden a tandem, and my first feeling was a bit of anxiety. That same helpless feeling came over me briefly, and then I had to remind myself of the facts. I trust that he is not going to run us into a wall. I trust that he sees other motorists and pedestrians, and will steer accordingly. I trust that he won't ride through a mud puddle. He is taking all the precautions, and, well, I trust him.

Eventually I was able to relax and enjoy the view to my right and left. It was kind of nice to realize that I was not responsible for any driving mistakes. I was not the one directing. (I did, however, have to pay attention to which way we were going soI could actually help my directionally challenged husband get back.)

I don't know what my future holds. I could worry. I could stress.

The message this morning from God: "You don't have to see what is in front of you to go forward. Relax. Let me lead. I won't steer you wrong. We will not go the wrong way. Trust me and I will take you where I want you to go." I felt comforted to realize that we are in this together, and He is not going to abandon me. After all, a tandem ride is not possible with just a passenger, and I don't feel comfortable in the driver's seat. So "Jesus, take the wheel. I will sit behind you and trust that you know where we are going. I don't have to know. You won't even get us lost!"

Thursday, August 9, 2007

17 Wonderful Years

Happy Anniversary, sweetheart.

I love you more now than ever.

I will be here.


Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Summer Grand Finale

Well, this was the last big hurrah before the end of our summer. Nana flew in, picked up the kids, and took them back to her house to stay with Papa and Grandma for 11 long days (just ask her).

This summer trip has become a tradition for them that they look forward to with much anticipation. This year they went camping in Nana and Papa's RV. I am sure that had to bring back memories, at least for Tiffani and Jeremi. Jeremi proudly declared that he was the only one who caught fish, but Tiffani defended her cause by saying that it was only because she didn't participate.

They got back on August 7, and they are already making plans for next summer. Thanks mom for making such great memories a priority.