At our co-op meeting the other night we shared a lot about our everyday lives schooling our children at home.  We are all going through the same thing right now.  I love the fact that we have made our relationships important, not just the relationships with our children.  That means a lot to me, and I know has been really helpful and encouraging to us all.

I was explaining some struggles I have had just these last few weeks of getting back in the school mode.  Getting back in it from Chad being home for 2 weeks, the crazy fun holidays, and just being lazy has been hard.  One of the gals was kind of surprised that I even had such struggles.  She reads my blog.  She sees all the fun things we do during our GTG studies, etc.  I can make our lives as grand and fun as I want it to be.  I can essentially make our daily lives however lovely I want it to look like.  But let’s get real here, everyone.  There’s no recording of our every day battles.  I’m crazy about my boys.  I think most people would say that I thoroughly enjoy being a mother.  But unfortunately it’s not all fun and easy!  I do want to be an encouragement to others who are homeschooling, who may be thinking about it, or just encouraging someone as a parent.

Being a full time mom, teacher, wife, housekeeper, meal planner, deal seeking mom can sometimes get a little hectic, to say the least!  My goal is always to rise up early, exercise and get into the Word and prayer.  God really has helped me with this over the last couple of years.  It’s so good for me.  I try to give my day to Lord.  I don’t always remember to pray that prayer early in the morning hours.  Or if I do, I get sidetracked and forget Who’s day it is.

Somedays I wake up in a bad mood, or the kids wake up going at each other right away.  I’ve got laundry ALL the time.  I can never seem to keep up with it.  Most of the time, it’s the clean clothes that I struggle with putting away.  So we live out of piles sometimes.  I love keeping a clean kitchen, so most of the time I have no problem doing the dishes.  Except sometimes when I am so over hardly ever having it clean more than half of a day.  We eat 95% of our meals at home.  That can make for work.  But I do love to cook, and I especially love smiley faces when I make them cookies or bread.  So I mostly spend half of our day getting things done around the house…cleaning, organizing, deal searching, meal preparing.  I also use mornings (no earlier than 10!) to run errands.  A lot of times I will use the mornings to do art or GTG stuff.  Samuel takes a nap and I take a little break on the computer.  Then I try to round up A & E to start school.  That’s my biggest irritation lately.  Andrew likes to hoop and holler about starting school.  He’s not ready, although he’s had all day to play.  I can’t say it’s easy getting going myself sometimes!  So we get going and a lot of the time he likes to whine about what he has to do.  That makes me crazy!!  So the whining has stopped a great deal when just last week I came up with a simple plan.  They love the Wii, and I do let them play once a day if they ask.  But whining gets you no TV or Wii for the rest of the day and the day after.  I had to do something!!  I talked to him about school the other day.  I want him to know that I care and understand and want to do what I can to make it better.  One of his major issues is that he feels like it’s not fair that E & S don’t have to do school.  I have Ethan do stuff a lot, but nothing official yet.  I get that.  So I try to understand it and work around it.  Andrew is a much more of a laid back, or I could even say lazy kind of boy.  Ethan seems to be completely different.  So getting through our Horizons stuff can sometimes take forever.  I like to get it all done before Chad comes home, but if we don’t, we don’t.  That’s the beauty of homeschool.  I want to be relaxed.  After all, he’s in first grade.  We have many more years where they will all be doing a whole more together.  I still find myself being impatient and aggravated, though.  It’s not easy, but worth every second of it in the long run.  I have a hard time believing that I will one day regret being all serious and strict with their academics.  I am afraid, however, of regretting that I wasn’t relaxed, had fun and let them play as little boys should.  My ultimate goal is to raise Godly young men.  We have plenty of opportunity to work on that during our days.

I love, love, love having them home with me all day, every day.  The thought of Andrew being gone all day and Ethan gone next year just makes me sick to my stomach.  Am I too protective?  Yes, and proud of it.  I will protect my babies as long as I possibly can!  And I LOVE breaks.  So if anyone wants three boys for a few hours, I’m all over that!!

Regardless of how bad of a day we might have, this is what God has called our family to do.  So we will stick it out together.   I love my children.  That’s the best thing that I have to offer them.  And the only way I can do this thing He’s called me to?  His strength and power.

I will go in the strength of the Lord God. —Psalm 71:16

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