Tomorrow is the end of a chapter for us. We have been feeling the pull since the beginning of Nat's fourth grade year to homeschool her. She asked us about it and we had agreed at the end of this year we would revisit this for this fall. Then things changed a bunch. Here's what I know, math should not be taught only one way. When I as a parent have no idea how to help her and my husband who is a freaking nuclear scientist is outraged how they are forcing these kids to learn math it's time to do something. Math shouldn't cause tears for a kid that is genuinely good at it. Also the night she came home and told us her teacher had told her that parents can't help her with the homework because they've never done math this way so don't ask them for help, we were done. There is much to be said about common core and I'm sure if you've made it this far you can figure out that I'm not a fan. I don't agree with what the feds are pushing on our kids. It's time as parents that we started paying attention and speak up.
The elementary school has been our home for the past nearly 12 years and it breaks my heart a little that so much has changed. It's not an easy decision. The easy thing would have been to just leave her where she is but nothing is gained when we make the easy choices.I was watching her lose her love of learning and it was killing me. I know this is the right thing to do. Each of the kids have done amazingly when we made the transition, it's just the unknowns and going through the goodbyes that make me sad. It's also me being a bit scared but I always feel like I should be a little scared. Nat is by far the child that is most like me, my mini me. We have always joked she could be the one to break me. We joked because I thought we had years before we started this journey. Now we are here.
She will do great. She's excited to start her classes with Maddie on Monday. Her teachers have already emailed me about catching her up in a couple classes. I am excited for her. It's just getting through tomorrow that will be hard. There will be hard days as well as we begin, and I've told her this. So here we go with lots of prayers and a few tears and hugs.
I'm not sure if we get a little better at simplifying or what but it seems like we enjoy each Christmas a little more. Maybe it's because we had two new babies to love on this year, I don't know. Christmas was wonderful and we had a really good time being together with family and missed those who weren't here. Here's the pictures.
Santa always visits our house each year. We love our neighborhood for this reason. Oh the memories. Maddie meeting her sweet cousin Eva Mei for the first time. Benjamin was playing photographer for part of Christmas Eve. Selfies with my big camera but he did it well. Nat told Sara, "If you lived here you could be my BFF." Awwwwww...so sweet. She loves her Doodie.
This morning when I dropped Ben off at school I pulled around the corner to see him walk over pick up trash and throw it away.
This evening while he was playing a computer game with friends he stopped because Nat was crying. He helped her fix her art problem then went back to his game.
His kindness sometimes just takes my breath away.
A birthday photo of all of us. I had a good birthday with lots of phone calls, texts, and love.
Nat won an award for cooperation at school. Mads, Tim and I went to the assembly. Pretty proud of our girl.
We did a little sign waving last Monday. The kids did great this time around.
Tim was traveling last week on top of all the other stuff we had going on. So the kids and I ate out a bit while life moved at breakneck speed.
By Thursday evening Maddie wasn't feeling great. She's fighting the cold and congestion crud. Tim came home from San Francisco with the same crud and went to the walk in yesterday. He's got a sinus infection. Maddie still likes to snuggle when she's feeling crummy.
Friday the kids gecko died so they were pretty sad about it. I'm actually shocked it lived as long as it did. Nat is now wanting a fish, because that's just what we need.
We did the trick or treating thing last night. Maddie didn't go she didn't feel well enough to go. It was raining and windy here the whole night so it made for a rather miserable trick or treating night. We still had lots of kids show up and brave the weather.
This week we celebrate Natalie or as she told me on my birthday, "Mimi, do you know what two weeks from today is? . . .It's all about me!" Funny kid but indeed it will be.
I've been feeling that life is too busy and I'm falling behind on everything. It's caused me to feel angry at myself and just how things are around our house as a whole. We spent yesterday trying to catch up and I was in a foul mood. I need more help from the kids and Tim and they are tired on the weekend and not wanting to do anything other than veg out. Ideally that'd be what I want to do also but then nothing gets done around our house. I've read all the articles on how we as a society perpetuate the "busy" lives thing. I know this believe me I do.
Here's the thing I drive roughly 220 miles getting the kids to and from their three schools each week Monday through Thursday. Just school. It's a choice but it's what's right for our kids. Friday Tim and I split the difference so it helps because by Friday I'm ready to not be in the car as nice as it is. I do love my suburban.
I was frustrated and not a lot of fun to be around these past few days. Last night I decided we were going to church this morning. In the past we have tried to do this but it ended in the kids crying and just a lot of chaos when they were little. Now they are old enough to get themselves together and out the door to make it in time to the middle service.
The big kids have friends that attend this church that Tim and I like the Pastor and the messages when we have attended. Mostly honestly it's been Christmas and Easter. There it is. When we told Nat we were going to Easter service this year she looked at us and said, "Well we were just there for Christmas so....."
Yes it's time we start going more regularly. The world is a chaotic mess and the more I read and see it makes me feel unhinged and more out of control. We need this hour each week to be quiet and listen and be in God's house. Today was nice and ironically the message was exactly what I needed to hear. It was a series on forgiveness. On forgiving others and yourself. It made me think and feel a little teary and just more at peace.
After church we ran a couple errands and in the parking lot was this truck full of dogs. The kids thought it was hilarious. There were 6 white dogs and 1 black dog. It was really something to see.
The girls reluctantly cleaning yesterday.
It has been a really chaotic year with lots of travel for all of us. I am trying to take a breath and forgive myself for not being able to do it all. To forgive others for not being what I think they should be and not trying to take things so personally. To just be more at peace and less stressed. Today has been good. We got a few things done but more importantly I can feel in my heart less anger and more just being okay. I know we are blessed and have a wonderful life. I'm trying to let go and focus on what is and not will be or might be.
We are good, everyone is healthy, knock on wood as it is that time of year. We are finding our way together as a family.
It's been a tough week here in the Tri Cities. Saturday an eight month old was killed in a car accident north of here. Sunday a 13 year girl died unexpectedly, more heartbreaking was that her brother died when he was 8 years old from cancer a few years back. I cannot even find the words to explain parents losing two of their children. My only hope is they are surrounded by a community of family and friends who will support them now and in the years to come.
Last night a 16 year old boy lost his life in a car accident. We found out today Maddie goes to school with his sister. She is friends with her and is so sad this afternoon for her friends loss. I left her with Benjamin while I went to pick up Nat. My heart is just so sad today for all of these awful losses.
When I picked Nat up this afternoon she told me she got common core test score back and hers was good. She asked her friend at lunch about her score and her friend didn't do well and Nat could tell she was embarrassed. Nat quickly told her it was okay, and it's not like this score will mean anything or stick with us our whole life. Nat said her friend quickly changed the subject and Nat said she went along with it. She told me she was glad she didn't have to share her score because she didn't want her friend to feel uncomfortable or worse.
I told Nat I couldn't be prouder of her and that kindness means more to me than any test ever could. She is more than a score and kindness matters more.
We made a quick trip to Seattle this weekend so the kids could meet their sweet baby cousin Davyn. They were so completely in love with him. They took turns baby hogging him. They always wanted to be holding him.
It was a wonderful weekend with family.