Saturday, January 24, 2015

Warts and All

There is a story about the famous portrait painter, Sir Peter Lely, and Oliver Cromwell. At the time, Cromwell was Lord Protector of England. Lely had already done royal portraits before Oliver Cromwell commissioned his work personally.  Lely's painting style was fitting with the custom of the time - paint your subject to flatter them whenever possible, and necessary. Royalty especially expected them to be painted in the best possible light. 

Enter Oliver Cromwell. 

Cromwell preferred to be portrayed as a gentlemen of military bearing, but was known to be opposed to all forms of personal vanity. When Lely came for Cromwell's painting, he supposed he should paint him in the same manner. However, I'm sure he was surprised when he heard Cromwell reply: "Mr. Lely, I desire you would use all your skill to paint your picture truly like me, and not flatter me at all; but remark all these roughness, pimples, warts, and everything as you see me. Otherwise, I will never pay a farthing for it."
 Though it's not proven that he said this, the information only coming from a conversation recalled after Cromwell's death, it is said that this is the origin of the common phrase - "warts and all". 

Warts and all. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

Here it is.

Sometimes, my children don't want to do school. Sometimes, they get in a slump and don't want to get out of it. They get stuck in the "School is not what I want to do today, and I don't feel like doing what I need to do, and I really don't care how much fun it might be" kind of mood.

There you have it - raw reality. Just so you never think we have the perfect routine and have it all figured out. We are in the trenches here, wading through deep water and some days just feel like I'm barely holding my head up, to be honest with you. Life, however, is not made of all things planned. Life, I have learned, is in the interruptions!

So don't lose heart my homeschooling friends :) Real life isn't full of Pinterest moments and perfect blog posts :) It's just working hard to get something done, even when rough days come, even  when you have to teach your child(ren) that we can't succumb to tears and frustration, but keep on, keeping on! 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Where We Are Now And What We Are Up To

Well, I didn't expect it to be almost the middle of January before I got back to blogging. Life wouldn't have been possible without this break, though. Things got so hectic, and probably will continue to be a little busy for the next couple of weeks as we try to enjoy as much time as possible with our family all together, and also try to prepare my husband to leave us for a 5 month stretch, then do a turnaround and leave again for 2 months. That's five months of  3 seasons worth of clothing, two types of uniforms, and so much more to get ready!

Anyway, that has nothing to do with school and everything to do with life right now.

A little update on the things we've been doing since the beginning of December. First of all - we moved, temporarily. If you didn't read the last post, the kids and I are staying with family (my mother) while my husband goes to an intensive, 5 month long school this year for his job, then follows it up with 2 months of OJT (on the job training) at a base not too far from us that already has the same mission our AF base is converting to. We spent a great deal of the month of December packing, storing, getting rid of, or moving our things from one place to another. We were able to be finished just in time for Christmas rush to set in. We did have a wonderful Christmas, though. The kids had their first Christmas program through the homeschool music group we are a part of.

Everyone - well, the kids - all got new bicycles for Christmas! We have spent many days outside giving them a chance to ride. Some days were nice enough to do so, and some days - it was all I could stand to let them be out 30 minutes before going in to warm up.

Yes, that IS Bug outside, on a bike, in a robe. Since, apparently, when you get both for Christmas, they must be used simultaneously. :)

More legos were added to the stash that we brought with us. This set was actually pretty cool - it comes from the LEGO Technic line, which, when put together, was a fully assembled pull-back-and-let-it-go car. I see more of these showing up in the future. Hoss loved putting this together.

New Years was started the same way we do every year - at church, where we have preaching and fellowship until almost midnight, then pray the new year in! I pray that God's Hand works through our family this year and that we are a better testimony than last, and His grace can get us through the tough days that  may lie ahead!

Oh, and we got a sweet gift :). My nephew, Big Z (who has shown up in blog posts occasionally, especially in the summer) got a new little sister for Christmas. Baby fever has definitely settled in with Buddy Boy getting older, so snuggles with this little joy are welcome any time! She shall henceforth be known as 'Little E'. :) 
(and yes, that is a onesie with an 80's throwback to Home Alone!)

A little Montessori practical life? Maybe.... or, just Miss Priss' attempt to make her bicycle faster so she could beat Hoss in a race around the block.

A little more practical life help, with Bug and Buddy Boy working together to get him ready to play. 
(note the tongue of concentration!)

And lots of fun, free time! Four out of five of my kiddos got together one cold afternoon to have a tea party. The girls love tea parties. Buddy Boy, well - he's just in it for the cookies :) 

That's a little glimpse of the non-school time that is going on. I will try to update you in the next few days about our rolling start back in to getting some school time in and the changes that have to take place in our circumstances. 

If you want to see more daily life - uncut, raw footage (lol) - you can find me on Instagram. Just request to follow - I don't mind at all approving a request, I'd just like to know who's looking at the pictures before they see them :) 

I hope everyone is having a great New Year!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Big Changes

Well, there's no time like the present for changes to occur. Especially unexpected ones!

In a nutshell, my husband will have to spend the better part of next year away from us, due to work, school, and retraining for a new job [insert sniffle]. We had talked before about any changes we would have to make while he is gone - if you know much about the military, you will know that a lot can be involved in a temporary duty assignment, and when you have a family in one place and you are in another, it can get tricky all the way around. On account of that, my husband decided the best and easiest thing in the long run would be for my children and I to stay with family, where I wouldn't be alone and it will make some important things a little easier. 

So, about two weeks ago, we began preparing to relocate the kids and I and what we can fit in with my mother, and have been feverishly trying to pack, clean, organize, and dispose of unnecessary items. This also brings a big change to our school, because I will have exactly two shelves and a couple plastic drawer units to store our school materials on/in. I have thought it out, and instead of trying to cram too much on them and make a big mess instead of order, I am going to temporarily move to Montessori inspired unit studies. Actually, somewhere in-between unit studies and focused learning. Which sound almost the same anyway.

That being said, I may be on a small blog break for a little while, giving us time to adjust to the changes, settle in, and get through Christmas together!

I will try to make sure we at least take pictures to give an update on what's going on whenever I get the chance :)

I do hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas season, and that you all spend it with family, cherishing the moments!

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