I really am going to post more about our book year but I wanted to do it regularly throughout the year and I think the last Friday of the month will be my book post. That will keep me on track and looking forward to collecting all that we read that month in one post. I will just share that I am super excited about the amount of reading we have been doing since I became more intentional about the whole blessed thing. What an achievement to be 26 days into something and still be...into it!!
But for now..a little getting to know you again post...here is the cast that keeps me wonderfully happy throughout these rainy days.....
#1 Goes to public middle school and is doing wonderful there. She is school secretary, plays flute, ran cross country, dances ballet and jazz, and just won the 2nd place in the spelling bee and may go to Anchorage for state spelling bee if the first place winner can't go.
At the moment she is obsessed with frozen junk food..she loves hot pockets and pizza rolls. She reads insanely and has just started wanting to iron her clothes..which makes me hopeful that one day she will see the need to HANG THEM UP!!!
She is the beloved sister of Jack...who thinks she has hung the moon. She is our very capable babysitter and loves the job of allowing junk food eaten on the couch and watching whatever they want...which is mostly The Amazing World of Gumball...which I can't stand!!
#2 Goes to the same public middle school as #1 and is doing just as great. She also plays flute, dances ballet and jazz, and is class rep.
The most exciting thing that has happened to any of us is the blessing of Molly being cast as Annie in the play ANNIE!!!! Sitka Fine Arts Camp Musical Theater program puts on great productions and this is the first one Molly went out for..She NAILED it...got Annie and now is working very hard at making it all hers. I must admit to being a bit over the moon about this little situation. I feel as though I was meant for the stage (at her age), but never got my chance. This may be even better..being the mom of Annie...same excitement with half the memorizing!!! This will cost me a fortune...because Lucy is also in the play...but I have never been so excited about going broke over something .
Molly plays with the little kids ALL THE TIME and they each adore her. She had the kids do a Christmas concert over the Christmas break and it makes me cry remember her having singing practice with them each afternoon.
Molly reads insanely, like Emily, and has taken a step towards reading pretty classics...she too like a hot pocket now and again.
#3 I don't know where to start with this little guy. I get butterflies in my stomach every time I think of the day he does not live in Alaska...how will he ever be happy being on a soccer team or living in a neighborhood where he can't cut down trees???
He is a natural outdoors man. Often times when we are packing up for school in the morning I have to remind him no knives. That may sound crazy to you...but that is a very natural thing here...boys having a pocket knife with them at all times, in pockets. So accidentally being taken to school, or church is very common. What a life for him.
He just went hunting this passed weekend with his buddy who shot his first deer. Jack was walking on clouds the rest of the weekend. The also trapped 11 crabs which we ate for dinner on Sunday night. His life is ..perfect here.
He is a wrestler and still hates reading. He is a good student at school and his teacher loves him...as do we all in this house. Andrew scored the best big brother in the world....
Sweet, smiling Lucy who loves to kiss you on the lips...she will be lighting up the stage in Annie playing Molly, the youngest orphan. We were so excited for her and think she has a future for drama...naturally.
She loves to read and is getting much better at it. She tries to read bigger books then she can...but she really can't wait to get there.
Sassy. Little. Thing.
That could pretty much be all I say here and you get the picture.
But really, she just turned 6 and I am seeing a bit more of a sweetness settling in. She is a spunky fireball of a waif and she reminds me most of ME!!
She has no need to learn to read..and she kind of refuses to grasp the fact that letters have sounds, same one each time and they are put together to make words. She does like to be read to...but we have to stop every 15 sentences to bring her up to speed on what exactly is happening. She likes to understand each aspect of what you just read....but has no interest in reading herself. It will come!!
She gets to ride the bus home 2 days a week and she loved it at first and now, not so much!
She eats nothing and I'm not sure how she exists. It will all work itself out...the eating, the reading, the sass....right?
She will be a clever, quick witted woman one day...if we both make it that far!!
Lucy is her very reason for living. She ADORES her beyond compare but her sass gets in the way of showing that love...lovingly.
This 3 year old really likes me. He does not want me to leave EVER..he actually cries when I leave...and that has never happened to me before. Nobody really cared if I left..this guy cares...
He is potty trained and really loves to poop....
That is the extent of his accomplishments to date.
He does plenty on a day to day basis ..like ask for food all day, change his shirt 50 times, ask to watch a show and scream when Emily tries to kiss him for the 100th time that day.
My Reason For Living...
This guy...he is the school lunch making king and life without him would be unimaginable ....and not just because I would have to make the school lunches.
He is the rock who tells me to chill when I may be tempted to engage with 13 year old....
He is the guy who says.."Say no, blame me"...sweetest words a mom can hear
He calls the school when the English teacher talks about legalizing marijuana...he is so well spoken and no emotion gets tangled up in the point of the phone call.
He takes my boy out....making him into a man that every boy should become.
He loves my girls like every daddy should....
He plays with my hair and lets me change my mind about everything..all the time.
Insert picture of me here.....
And hopefully a bit more blogging!!!
Monday, January 26, 2015
Thursday, January 22, 2015
Once again you may think it is this sunny and clear here in Sitka all the time, since that is what I keep posting. But you would be 100% wrong in that thinking. These were taken on one of the 4 sunny days in December. I remember it well, cold, clear and beautiful. The days that have kept January so far and very much not clear, cold and beautiful...but next Tuesday there is supposed to be sun..only 20% chance of rain..and that right there is hope. Which is all I need somedays!!
And with all the rain this new year I have a new mission as well. A mission I stumbled upon in the Seattle airport during a layover to see Pete's dad. I sat in the airport and read the newsletter from Amongst Lovely Things and she talked about her goals and her One Thing. I remember reading it thinking...I wish I knew my One Thing. My one goal that I wanted to set. I was not even allowing myself the luxury of thinking od different goals for different areas of my life. I just wished I could focus on one goal in one area. That would have really felt like MY ONE THING.
My struggle sometimes is I want to do so much that I overwhelm myself and wind up doing nothing. And then I stumbled on Modern Mrs. Darcy blog. And after days of reading her end of the year book posts, my One Thing began to take shape in my mind. My One Thing could be to read more. I love reading. It is what made me want to home school my kids in the first place. I read all the book lists in Laura Berquist's book and REALLY wanted my kids to be that well read...and hopeful that I could join the in reading them.
And part of that equation came true, Emily and Molly are amazing readers. They read ALL the time and they always amaze me with their ability to plow through a stack of books like it is a bag of chips. But I stopped reading as much as I wanted to. I listen to books ALL the time as I run ...but holding a book and reading quietly just stopped. I used to read to them ALL the time. Hours a day we would read. And then babies kept coming and I stopped reading out loud that much. The older girls were such good readers and the three middle people were so busy and not that thrilled about reading for hours. And I just got busy and put it all on a shelf.
And guess what Jack, HATES reading. He would rather do most anything else then read. I blame myself, but I will confess that whole situation another time. Lucy like the idea of reading but it is not a love yet...and Priscilla loves a story read to her but her actual reading skills are just about non existent. I could blame the public school system..and some of you guys reading may...but I blame me. I could have, I should have read more to them. I knew better. I saw better. I just forgot!! I just got busy. Getting piles of fresh books from the library became very hard...oh the list goes on.
Anyway...I am back to it !! I have a mission. This year is my year of BOOKS...all things books...for all of us. How can I expect my little kids to love reading if they have never seen reading being LOVED...if they have not had books wrapped up with good memories...and love...and mama???
It is not to late. I can change their hearts when it comes to reading. I been very inspired by Sarah and her podcasts and her revival, and by Anne's book posts and amazing blog. I will be back to share more later this week....
How can a mom who is not home schooling make this work?? Watch me try....
Thursday, January 15, 2015
Pete got me a Fit Bit. I'm not sure if that was the greatest thing for me because I can be a bit obsessed with a device like that. I would not consider myself competitive with others, but with myself...that is another story. I feel the pressure to up my numbers everyday ...even when I kind of killed myself on that day getting my numbers "upped". But for now it is fun and I am enjoying it.
I have been finding more ways to walk throughout the day. And yesterday I got to catch up with an old friend who is very much part of who I am today. We did not miss a beat. It was like it always is...open up and jump right in.
She is at the sweet spot of her mama journey...all kids on the launch pad...or already launching. She has done a remarkable job and I value what she thinks and says. We got to talking about my biggest struggle right now. And I immediately went into the sibling squabbling...it breaks my heart. There is a dynamic between certain groups that just seem to not get on very well...and it wears me down, makes me sad, and sometimes gives me doubt.
I want my kids to be sweet to each other. I want them to have fun together. I want them to value each other as their most prized possession in life...because they are.
When Pete's dad was dying it was his siblings and his children standing beside him. No spouses, friends, or parents...just brothers and sisters and sons. His treasure was all around him. There was no one else on earth he wanted there. It was so beautiful. My friend had a similar experience recently with her sister. Her sister was in a moment of crisis and the people beside her where her 4 siblings.
If I do nothing else right, if I feed them hot pockets and soda after school, if I don't read to them before bed, if I don't solve all the sibling squabbling, I still did OK because I gave them gifts far greater than they realize right now. Each. Other.
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
I still have not been able to take a picture AT ALL this week. When I say the sky is grey...I do not men trendy grey that people really enjoy seeing...I'm talking ...light black with grey highlights. So for now, the sun of the past will carry me until the next day we actually see blue sky....
Besides waiting for sun...life goes on.
And since we are 14 days into the new year, I thought I would gather some thoughts on goals I NEED to set for myself. I keep telling my older girls...you should set some long term school goals and see if you hit the mark...
And now I need to take my own advice. If there is one thing I am learning is that kids only do what you do...never just what you say...and why should they.
So...hopefully tomorrow I will be back with more time and more details on some of my very own goals...
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
Getting back in the swing means actually taking a swing, right?
I do not have to come and write super profound things, right?
I can tell you that my older girls got into world war III over who was going to eat the last Hot Pocket....
But then I would be somewhat embarrassed that I just went on record as allowing my kids to eat Hot Pockets....
Well...then I shall tell you that I had a mini meltdown when putting the little girls to bed last night...I kind of screamed at them. I actually have not screamed in awhile. I have been doing really good...but I think the silliness of the hot pocket situation made me a bit... touchy....
Then Pete came home..for about 35 seconds and I was able to get into a mini argument about wanting to send all the kids to Catholic school at some point in our life...all at one time. And I would like money to just appear so we can do that....
These are the type of things I can share without blinking an eye...nothing profound...just me, here, now....
Monday, January 12, 2015
These pictures were all taken in September 2014. The fall was really pretty here this year, sunnier than the summer. Pete's family came for a visit and it was very fun. But this fall was probably one of the most intense seasons of our marriage, which by the way, is in it's 18th year.
Starting school was very intense for my older girls and there was a lot going on there...which makes a mama weary and heart sick. It is all part of their story, but the day to day management can make you want to hit the fast forward button...just for a moment, just to see that it will all really be ok.
But the most intense, the very most saddest thing that has happened to Pete or I was the death of Pete's dad. With a terminal diagnosis in October, to his death a few days after Christmas made this passed few months sadder than I would have ever thought possible.
To say I loved Pete's dad feels to small to describe how I felt about him. The first moment I met him I knew I wanted to gain his favor...and I did whatever I could to make him love me...which was not hard because he loved everybody. He was amazing and my heart has a hole that will never be filled. My sadness does not even seem to be enough....
Pete and I both got to Florida, by the grace of God, to see dad before he died. We were surrounded by family and it was most wonderful. I was told, more than one time that they all wanted me to get back to blogging. They missed seeing us!
Where has my heart for blogging gone? So much has changed since I started this little place and sometimes the ability to reflect over it through my words and pictures makes me ..sad. I miss the places I have been and the times I spent with so many wonderful people. Seeing it here makes it hard sometimes.
But that is not the best place for me to leave it. Seeing the beauty of my life through picture has always helped me love the good times with the hard ones. I can't blame the gray light in Sitka...I have to find the light that is there even when I can't see it.
Trust me, I still write blog posts in my head and I do have a lot rattling around....I hope I can find the rhythm to come back more often.