Thursday, December 25, 2008

Here I am sitting in my p.j.s at 2:15 in the afternoon on Christmas Day. And it's not 'cause I'm lazy. Buck and I woke up children at 7:15 and started the Christmas rituals.
Baking cinnamon rolls.
Reading the gospel account of the first Christmas.
Prayers and gifts offered to Jesus.
Buck sang his beautiful new song accompanied by his mandolin.
Opening mountains of presents spread before the tree. Our families are so generous.
Buck scurries to work, because God knows, the air traffic needs his guidance.

Turkey roasts in the oven, and it smells heavenly.

After the plethora of presents have been enjoyed, I send children to find spaces for new things in their rooms.
The boys burn the remains of crumpled wrapping paper and torn boxes.
I also ask them to thoughtfully pack for our trip tomorrow.
Next up is the laundry and lots of it, because one son had a fiberglass fiasco falling from the attic on his clothes two days in a row. All of his clothes are being washed for a second time.
We also are preparing for our animal care while we are out of town. Buck does not look forward to returning early from our trip to find our elderly cat's whims concerning the litter box. It's hit or miss, and lately it's more miss as he ages. He actually sits in the box and poops over the side. Insert eye roll here for the many times a week I must mop that floor. I've done so already once today.

Yesterday, I woke up irked knowing Buck would be working all day yesterday and most of today. It's much more fun to bear the load of preparing a feast and sharing the loveliness of the day with my husband, who always knows just how to make everything fun. Yet every year he must instead go to work on the holiday, and I fight an internal war against private sulking over the hours he's gone. I prayed yesterday morning and found a peace I hadn't ever felt before in offering this unhappy wrinkle in my Christmas plans as my gift to Jesus. I also determined to have my children in on the feast preparations. They all diligently worked along side me in the kitchen last night making of pies, fudge, dips, sides,and dough.

It may sound silly, but Peace, Pooh Bear and I have been interspersing games of gooey egg toss (thanks a million, Clay!) from Mast General Store throughout the many duties of the day. It's been a hoot. Tater and Wise One took a ride on their fancy and shiny new bicycles. I'm not sure if I'll ever see Wise One again, because he's broken into the giant box chock full o' Adventures in Odyssey he's never heard before given freely to us by a sweet friend. Pooh Bear is utterly engrossed in Felicity, her first (and probably only) American Girl Doll. Tater is listening to tunes on his new ipod purchased by his siblings for him from Craig's List. I expect Peace will remain scarce as he enjoys his new gadget.

No funk or blues here, even for me. I'm am glad of this new experience of peace in the offering of this time away from Buck.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Homeschool to High School

Peace finished his first semester of high school and the other three children have finished a semester of homeschool. Public high school had our family on pins and needles at times, but Peace has earned his first four high school credits with flying colors. We're hoping next semester will go more smoothly than the first. As with all classes, it all depends on the teacher. Makes me worry about my three children in home school. Wink.

Because Buck and have I been Peace's primary teachers for the last eight years, I worried my son might not be prepared in many ways for such a big leap. I breathe a huge sigh of relief that my worries were unfounded. Peace is a solid person who can hold his own, even through adversity, in a freshman class of five hundred.

I've learned some things in this high schooling process about teenagers. If you have been a mom of a teenager, you will know exactly what I mean when I talk about myself only holding so many teenager points at a time. The amount of points is proportionate to the power the teen feels. A teen can been made to feel powerless by injustice. These points can get sucked away from a parent by a difficult circumstance from another source for the teen. I've found the worse the problem outside our family, the less he has to give to the family. At times, Peace would come home from school with zero teenager points from impossible situations, and Buck and I would scramble for strategies to deal with a terrible grump. It has been my observation that most homeschool parents hold most of the teenager points most of the time, while school kids may have theirs torn from them.

Then why send our guy to school?

I do not love math or science, and I don't want to pass this apathy on to my science and math lovin' son. Buck has the passion but does not have time to learn and teach those subjects while being a dad to all. We tried homeschool cooperatives, but once a week teaching just wasn't enough to equip for an entire week of essential learning without parental study and preparation. It works for many homeschoolers to set their motivated children to sail, but this son has always needed more than a book and an assignment to accomplish academic studies.

Does this make high school outside of homeschool worth giving up so many teenager points? I say, "Yes" for us. The teachers he has encountered so far all thankfully love their subjects even if they are not meant to be teaching. Peace has come up against some tough circumstances with one teacher in particular and several students which have revealed the good stuff of which he is made. He's shown amazing self control and strength of character. I know I've said so before on my blog, but I admire Peace as a person.

I think the hardest lesson I've learned and I still haven't figured out all the way, is to let circumstances play out when I don't have any teenager points left. Peace says his big lessons have been how to figure out what a teacher wants, and that sometimes even that isn't enough (a bitter pill to swallow). Another downside is that he's traded a bit of his love of science due to something a little less than the ideal classroom experience. He liked both the teacher and most of the course, but there were far too many students and not enough time for the teacher to give needed feedback. I'm just used to Peace glowing after taking in new science concepts, but the shine has worn off a bit.

Peace actually thanked me for helping him "grow up" this semester when I picked him up from his last day of finals. What mom gets to hear those words during the teens? Yep, I'm lucky.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Wise One turns twelve today.

Here's my best advice- try not to have three of four children around the holidays, especially if they are not all the same gender. Girl and boys have very different ideas about parties. Wise One has spent the night with a friend on his birthday to escape a gaggle of giggling little girls about to invade our home for Pooh Bear's party.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Pooh Bear is eight today. Where has the time gone?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I asked Buck for permission to post this. He doesn't mind the enormous amount of humor I find in his idiosyncrasies.

A few nights ago at 2:18 a.m., Buck bolted upright in the bed. Then he dashed to the bathroom. I soon after heard some loud thuds and I called out, "Buck?"

When he didn't answer I collected my sleepy self and lunged in the dark toward the bathroom calling, "Buck?" again more urgently.

Was he's unconscious? Should I wake up the kids and drag his body to our van? Should I just call 911? At this point he weakly answered, "Yeah?"
I got to the bathroom door and found him standing up looking mighty confused. He rubbed a red spot on his head.

"Did you faint, love?" I asked.
"I think so," he muttered.
"Do you understand why?"
"Can you explain it to me?"

To enjoy and appreciate his answer, you must understand that Buck is not a fan of medical procedures. In fact, the thought of taking his blood pressure renders him incapacitated. He's also passed out entirely while having a simple x-ray.

So, why did he lose conciousness in the bathroom a few nights ago?

He sheepishly replied, "Well, I dreamed I was having a severe medical problem, so I ran to the bathroom to make sure it was just a dream. But I was probably thinking too much about the medical problem, so I felt light-headed..."

Don't worry. Buck is totally able to man-up when push comes to shove when the kids or I am hurt. This happens only when he's considering, even dreaming of the effects of treatment on himself.

Monday, December 08, 2008

one word meme

Meme found at Thicket Dweller's
Where is your mobile phone? desk
Where is your significant other? here
Your hair colour? red
Your mother? trip
Your father? home
Your favourite thing? husband
Your dream last night? unremembered
Your dream goal? love
The room you're in? warm
Your hobby? reading
Your fear? hurry
Where do you want to be in 6 years? independent
Where were you last night? home
What you're not? flawless
One of your wish-list items? countertops
Where you grew up? Kentucky
The last thing you did? lunch
What are you wearing? slacks
Your TV? off
Your pets? plenty
Your computer? Dell
Your mood? reflective
Missing someone? yes
Your car? van
Something you're not wearing? girdle
Favourite shop? market
Your summer? difficult
Love someone? abundantly
Your favourite colour? blue
When is the last time you laughed? yesternight
When is the last time you cried? yesternight

Friday, December 05, 2008

A Homeschool Conversation

Me: (on a fill in the blank) One uses it to fish.

Pooh Bear: A catcher!

Me: What's the name of the catcher?

Pooh: A fishing pole.

Me: What's at the end of a fishing pole?

Pooh: A pole, silly.

Me: The other end?

Pooh: A string.

Me: At the end of the string?

Pooh: A worm.

Me: Worms just squiggle away. How do you catch the fish?

Pooh: Oh yeah, on the hook!

Me: (I wipe the sweat from my brow)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Eleven years ago,the state of Tennessee recognized that our son Tater became a Vyne. Buck says God knew this before the foundations of the world.

Happy Adoption Day, our precious son.