Monday, August 25, 2008

School has started

It's only August, but according to the school calendar that I get from the charter that we home school through... school has officially started. That big yellow bus stops in front of my house every morning as a reminder. A reminder of many things...

A reminder of the privilege that it is to teach my boys in our home with the freedoms that many don't have.

A reminder that my boys are growing so fast and before I know it, they will be driving themselves all over the place (hopefully NOT up and down Foresthill Rd.).

A reminder that I need to ask others for prayer concerning this school year.

My heart is tired as we start this school year. That has never happened before. I have always started the school year with excitement and anticipation over what is to come. Right now though.... I feel empty. At first I questioned that maybe it was time to send the boys off to school. I spent a great amount of time praying about that though, and I genuinely don't feel released to do that. Once again, this struggle that I'm having is part of a bigger picture. I feel like my life right now is just a puzzle. The pieces are scattered out on the table. As I stare at the pieces, nothing makes sense, BUT... that overwhelming sense of knowing that God sees the finished "portrait" keeps me going. I do find comfort in that.

I'd love any ideas any of you might have concerning getting my school year off right. Have any of you other home schooling friends (and recent "blog friends") struggled with starting the school year off with a stinky attitude? What helped you? I'd LOVE any advice (big or small) you want to share... and, of course... your prayers.

I know God is in this. He challenges me in ways that He knows will get my attention.

My attention is yours, Father. Please show me the light to the path on which I'm to follow... with a heart that is willing and above all else, excited!

Monday, August 18, 2008

My Baby Turned 7!!!!

So hard to believe, but it's true. How does this happen? Just yesterday I was holding this sweet baby boy and smelling the yumminess of infant-hood. Today I think about this same boy's basket of dirty smelly laundry that beckons me from a corner of his room!

Caleb Ross certainly completes us. He makes us laugh with the things that he says and does, and he continues to be the one that still loves to crawl up on his mama's lap and twirl my hair and "snuggle". Even though he seems to be the most independent of "the bunch", he's also the one who has been known to ask us if he can live with us forever. He still LOVES working hard on anything outside and specifically construction. I have been assured that he will build me my dream house someday (with his own separate living quarters I suppose) FOR FREE!

My prayers for Caleb have always been unique. He has such a strong personality (he always has... since the first moment I laid eyes on him). I have always known that he was created that way for very specific purposes. It is my duty as his mom to pray that his strengths will be used for good. In my journals, there are pages and pages of prayers for my boys. I consider it an honor to pray for them in specific ways and see how God works in their lives. I have seen this many times already in Caleb's life.

These are the specific prayers that we (Jason and I) will be praying for Caleb this year. We would love to have you join with us!

1. Prayer for his strengths to be used for good as he continues to learn in school (especially with reading).
2. For physical protection of his body as he continues to be a very active outdoorsman and soccer player.
3. Prayer for confidence in his character.

Happy birthday sweet Caleb! You are very loved...

**** NOTE ****

As an example of what I'm talking about when I say that Caleb says things that make us all just chuckle...

One of his chores is to empty the clean silverware from the dishwasher. This afternoon he did that chore, but when I called him back to the dishwasher because there was still a wooden spoon and a pink spatula in there, he simply stated...

"Mom, I don't do pink-ware OR wood-ware. My job is to do the SILVER-WARE!"

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Simple Things

The past few weeks have been the highlight of our year! Being involved in so many things has it's rewards, but the simple things in life are what bring us the most joy. We had an amazing time of enjoying each other, reflecting upon God's goodness and setting new priorities for our family.

It all started with a camping trip to Morningstar. Morningstar has become a summer tradition. I'll admit... the thought of going this year without our camping trailer WAS NOT appealing! I actually told Jason that I thought I'd let the guys have their own trip and I'd stay home and have "girly time". Of course, nobody liked this idea and they talked me into going. I'm so glad that I did, as they treated me like a princess! I did NOTHING but read all weekend (and enjoy the FABULOUS cooking). I can totally get used to this NEW summer tradiiton!

After our camping trip we were off to Lake Tahoe for Jason's brother's wedding. The weather couldn't have been more beautiful! We soaked in the sun on the beach and visited with family that hadn't been seen in years (some we met for the very first time). Oh... and the boys showed everyone how it's done on the dance floor at the wedding. SO CUTE!!

We were home for about a day and a half before we left for Mendocino for a couple of days. What a beautiful place... So peaceful and romantic. Yes... I did say romantic... even with three boys. That says something! We didn't soak up much sun there as it was pretty foggy and cold, but it was such a nice break. The air was clean and fresh. Everything was green and dotted with flowers of every type and color. We strolled beaches, hiked to lighthouses and played together. It was such a blessing to our souls. There's something about the ocean. You breathe deeper there and whatever "load" you carry is immediately dropped and left in the sand. Our room at The Little River Inn ( I highly recommend this place) was perfect! Outside our room was a deck with two oversized rocking chairs overlooking the ocean. Jason and I cuddled up in those chairs while the boys hung out inside each night that we were there. The boys called it our "date" spot. I felt like it was heaven on earth!

The best part about this time together was that it was just simple. There were no extras. No camping trailers... just a tent. No fancy hotels in Tahoe, just a little cozy room and an entire beach that God put there for us to enjoy. No five star gourmet restaurants in Mendocino, just pizza in our room while cuddling with our boys and each other. The smell of the eucalyptus trees and the ocean air is enough to intoxicate you. It puts you in a state where everything feels good. Life slows down and the faces around you that you see everyday somehow look different.

I'm so thankful for this time that was set aside for us to "refresh". These simple pleasures and moments are priceless, aren't they? I pray that each one of you has the ability to set time aside to enjoy something simple... there's nothing else like it!

** If you've never turned your volume up while checking my blog, now would be a great time! :0)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Stay tuned...

HI friends!

I'm overwhelmed with pictures and stories of a couple WONDERFUL weeks of relaxation and precious time with my family. My thoughts are still kinda scattered about the whole thing, but I can say it was GLORIOUS! There will be more to come... so much more. So stay tuned...