Aug 18, 2013

Homeschooling, Addicitons and Being Intentional - A True Story-



It's been a roller-coaster couple of weeks people, let me tell you!  In some cases I have spent days, where literally hour by hour my thoughts and emotions would take one eighty degree turns!  What brought about such debates and flip flopping you ask- homeschooling, that's what!




August is speeding through and for many kids, they return to school (or begin for the first time) next month.  Blog land is already a flutter with many homsechoolers talking about how lessons are already under way, or which curriculum they are choosing or how they are gearing up, as with the rest of our culture, to start in a few short weeks.

Here at our home we have been...'unschooling' for a couple of years now.  It's basically a "take each teachable moment" approach and has worked well in many ways.  But I know it is not something that can work long term, not for us anyways.

So my dear hubby and I spent many, many hours, talking, debating, praying, searching, thinking about what we were going to choose for this fall.





Hubby and I had to take a long hard look at our reasons for home education.  We wanted to know why we wanted to do it and what it meant for our family.  I had been feeling like I was sinking for some time now, loosing myself in the fast paced world around me and still reeling from my year surreal!

Was homeschooling just one more thing on my already overflowing plate?

That, dear friends is when my computer crashed and my internet issues arose.  And in that 24 hour period my answer came.  Okay...so that isn't entirely true - but in that 24 hour period my answer that I had been seeking was laid plain and clear for me.  I had been praying, seeking, sought out wise council, weighed the options, and looked at the issue from every possible angle

In those 24 hours of no technology I learned something remarkable and terrible.  I learned that I was sinking because I was lost to my addiction of technology.  God laid it out before...or more so, smacked me right in the face with it.  I was sicken by the truth...His truth....I had a real heart issue and the internet was at the center of it all.







I'm being real here, hoping to help others, someone...anyone....so that they too could see that it's easy to get lost, trapped and taken control of with areas of sin in our lives.  I don't know if anyone reading this has the same issue, or is struggling in any particular addiction type trap but this is my story and I'm laying it out, honest and real for all of you.

That first day, when my computer was gone to get fixed and I could not go online with my iPod/Phone thingy, well that day was a real eye opener!  I'm telling you, every fifteen minutes or so I could literally feel my body turning towards where my computer usually sat - wanting to just sit, "for a minute" to see what was going on in the world.  To check in on friends and family, to read through some blogs and meander through some of the net to...just see.  Every.fifteen.minutes, it had to be, I kept making the move to go and then I would stop.  Stop in my tracks.  There was no where "to go".  There was no computer, no internet - there was only myself, my children and my home...

...And friends can you imagine what I accomplished in that 24 hour period? 





Well...the point isn't so much what I did or what I didn't do but that I was intentional with the time given to me.  No, I wasn't completely productive with every minute of the day - but I was a heck of a lot more productive then I have been in a long time!

And it's funny - I was looking for the link for my year surreal there and ended up re-reading that post and I realized that this lesson I'm learning right now - lines up so perfectly with all that I intended to take away from last year.

The loss of my computer/internet has forced me to be more intentional with my time, to make better use of it and to appreciate it more.  How easy it was to 'kill a few minutes' on the net, be it useful or not!  That phrase alone makes me cringe - "kill a few minutes" - like any of us has time to spare in that manner?!?




 
So what does all this have to do with homeschooling you ask?  Let me bring it full circle here.  Before I lost the internet and my computer I felt like I was drowning.  That there was too much on my shoulders and too much for me to handle.  I felt like I was permanently treading water and never getting anywhere.  I thought that choosing to homeschool this year might be the end of what little sanity I had left!

I thought that I needed a break and the only way to get it was to send the kids off and try to regroup.  But over the past week or so, leading up to my techno-fail day, I began to see that maybe that wasn't the case - that yes, some things need to change but was sending the kids to school going to give me the break I needed?

When that techno-fail day came, so did my revelation.  I was drowning alright but I was drowning in my lack of time and the lack of being intentional with the time given.  I realized that I was basically addicted to the computer and the internet and that, in there, was the break I needed!  The break He wanted for me!








So dear friends - some things have been put in place and some changes are being made.  I am going to take the word intentional as my word for this year (yes, these words seem to come late in the year for me - but come they do and perfect they are when they come!)  I plan to make better use of my time, set aside time for all the various things I love to do and remove myself from the pull and lure of the net.  Oh, I'm not giving up on it - I love, LOVE to blog but it will have it's place.  I do enjoy social media, it helps me stay connected with people I care about and it's really my only source of news - ha! - sad, but true! Just not every fifteen minutes.  Oh and I'll still have my Pinterest nights - I really love the wealth of ideas there! But again - in it's place.  I will not be online during the day or at all on some days and that's good, that's okay!  I plan to have time for my other, long forgotten hobbies and for learning new ones too!  Time...I plan on being intentional with as much of it as I can!

 




For some of you, you may not see the big deal here, for many people they don't have a problem in this way - but I do and I see it now!

So I made the choice, when I realized that the issue was not that I needed a break from my kids - it was quite the opposite.  My kids were exactly what I needed and homeschooling was going to be the only way to gain more time with them.

They are just little for such a short time and I realize that more and more.  They are growing crazy fast and the days fly by much quicker then I care to realize!  Yes, some days drag out and some days my kids drive my quite crazy....many days lately! ;)  But oh, those moments, those fleeting, special, gone in an instant moments, those are what make life worth living.

 





Time is precious and with our choice to homeschool I can soak up more of those very special little moments of life.  I want to hold fast to what is eternally important in this life, ignoring what the world is asking of me yet not being ignorant to it.  I don't know if we'll homeschool forever - I don't even know how to menu plan for a whole seven days, let alone tell you if we'll be homeschooling next year or the year after.  But for us, for right now, making the most of the days, enjoying our littles while they are little, that is the driving force behind our decision.

I think there are many other wonderful reason to choose homeschooling but that's not what this is all about.  This is all about a woman with an addiction, a few choices and intentional eternal living.

Oh I sure hope this true story finds a happy ending...or maybe...it's a happy beginning..?




 
 
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
    His mercies never come to an end;
 they are new every morning;
    great is Your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
    “therefore I will hope in Him.”
Lamentations 3:22-24








*A number of these photos were taken for the photo challenge that I wasn't able to actually accomplish - and some...well they were taken just because I love these precious people so!* ;)






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Aug 9, 2013

Kids Photo Challenge - GAME OVER!

Sooo....you might have noticed I have been absent from the photo challenge...for about almost a week now... I'm sorry!  It must be awfully hard to link up when there is not a link up thing!

:(

Problems were that, first my laptop caught a nasty virus and had to be taken to the 'doctor' for a couple of days.  When my hubby left with my computer in hand, I gave the kids breakfast and prayed, as I always do, before we commenced eating.  After I finished praying, my eldest daughter looks at me and says, "You didn't pray for your computer!"  Sweet thing, she is! 

After my computer bit the dust my internet decided to follow suit!  It appears that my internet is maxed out (we're on a data plan...because we live in no where land...and that's how it rolls...for now...) I think the virus is to blame - but that means I have very little internet use for the next month!

Sucky time to run a one month photo challenge eh!?!

So I have been keeping up on the challenge but I am not seeing any time soon where I will be able to post photos.  It's just not feasible!  So dear ones- I'm bowing out.  I can't keep up and I don' t know when I will be able to post photos - even though my very kind neighbours have offered to allow me the use of their internet if I walk on over - it's just too much to keep up with and I really can't harass them everyday!

It's too bad - I was enjoying it and it was such a great 'end' to the summer!

But well...I've learned a lot about myself this week.  I am truly amazed...and sadden at some of my discoveries since going techno-free!  I realize that the internet has a strong pull on me...much stronger then I ever realized ...or cared to realize!  I see now that less is certainly more!  And so I will enjoy my technological break for the month.  I hope to post a few more posts this month, share the photos I did  take, which well let me sneak in a few extra neighbour visits at the same time! 

I will say, I also learned the power of a praying husband!

A few years back my dear hubby prayed that the Lord would remove anything that was a hindrance in our life or anything that was stopping us from following Him.  The next day my dishwasher died!  And believe it or not, I learned much through that experience...strange as it was!

So guess what my hubby was doing Sunday night....the night before my computer AND internet when kaput???  Yes, that's right...praying that same prayer.


Oh and I won't go into details....but I no longer have Photoshop.


It's been a rough week, people...a rough week!


Well...it feels weird to not have a picture for you all...especially when I have so many waiting...but they will wait and maybe this coming week I'll take a walk down the road, have a visit and a chat and upload some for ya'll!

Until then, blessings and love to you all! 


See you when I do!








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Aug 4, 2013

Kids Photo Challenge - Day 4 - PRETEND


A bird.
















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A snake.











 

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Climbing a wall to escape.







Tomorrow's Challenge - SNACK



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Aug 3, 2013

Kids Photo Challenge - Day 3 - HAPPY


Well we were out all day.  Went to a lovely wedding and left the kids at home with their Granny.  I had the great idea to catch them when they saw her arrive - for they would certainly be happy!  But hubby and I over slept and I was in the middle of getting dressed when she came.

Then I had the bright idea to capture them when we came home - I even brought my iPhone (which isn't really a phone...but that's another story) to capture their smiling faces upon our return.  But we were late getting in and they were all sitting down to dinner.  And though they were happy to see us, honestly - our return was completely trumped by the fact they were eating noodles!

SO, after my hubby left to take his mom back to the city - I snapped a few shots of the girls at play out side because my gals are two very happy kids when they are playing outside!  But my favourite picture for today's challenge - isn't actually one I took today but a week or so ago - my bad, I'm sorry - but I love it!! Joseph is definitely happy in it and he is doing one of his most favourite things - playing with his Daddy!






 
 
But if it makes you feel any better - I took a couple hundred of the girls tonight to make up for it! ;) Olivia is most happy outside when swinging!!  That girl went from barely being able to get onto the swing when we first got the play set - to now a swing champion!!  She LOVES to swing and is over-joyed when you are willing to watch her!
 
 




And Catherine, well that girl is happy doing just about anything but honestly, yesterday was her true day to shine because that kid - well she's so happy when she is being silly!!!



 
 
 
But the swing set makes them both happy girls!!  They spend hours, many a days, out there!  Enjoying warm sun, fresh air and seemingly endless play!  They are good friends for each other and seeing them playing and growing together...well that makes me happy!
 
 
 


So a wedding, visiting with family, date with my hubby, shopping (new curtains, yay!), noodles, swinging, songs, snuggles, laughter, a game of tag, beans from the garden, sunshine and rain, all in all it was a happy day! 



Tomorrow's Challenge - PRENTEND
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Aug 2, 2013

Kids Photo Challenge - Day 2 - SILLY


Silly - oh that was easy - my kids are often silly and my middle one, well she's the Queen of silly!  And so it wasn't hard to get some silly faces out of these three today!  I have posted these in order of silliness of my kids!









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Oh so silly! 

And as I often tell my gals...there is good silly and not good silly.....today we had both..... 




Well it's bound to happen!

How was your silly day?




Tomorrow's Challenge: HAPPY


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Aug 1, 2013

Kids Photo Challenge -Day 1 - HANDS




 
 
Hands - oh the things that they encounter!  After today's challenge I come to the conclusion that kids hands are different then adult hands, yes besides the obvious physical differences - what I came to conclude today was that children's hands don't tell a story the same way adult's hands do.
 
 
Children's hands are the story!
 
 

 
 
The story of play, of building, creating, destroying and rebuilding....
 








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....the story of curiosity, exploration, discovery and adventure....






...they are the story of creativity, crafting, growing and developing....








....and on occasion they are the story of rest, relaxing, quietly sitting...



 
 
 
 
 
....kids hand are quite the story!  An ever changing tale of life unfolding and one day that story will be written in the lines, callouses and creases of this little hands.  But not today, today these hands are young, ready and waiting for what each day will bring.
 
 
 
 
 See the challenge list here
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