simplifying

The kids and I cleaned up the school room yesterday. It needed to be done before we start school on Monday. I had mixed feelings about a school room this year. As incredible as it is to have a cozy, spacious place for school, the upkeep and management of the room eventually becomes one more room to accumulate a pile of work I can’t get to.

We pulled the schoolroom table out from the wall and toward the center of the room. I do love creating spaces, and couldn’t bring myself to scratch the schoolroom quite yet. Particularly with younger kids, the room brings a sense of vibrancy and fun.  We will see how this year goes, and will gradually migrate to the kitchen table soon enough.

From the start we used an old bookshelf tipped on its side to make lockers. It worked perfectly with five students and five spaces. This year, though, we only need four, and since we also have four desks, I decided it was time to drag the bookshelf outside. Along with that went the torn up Goodwill couch, which for $20, served us well for two years.

I’m not doing anything crazy with curriculum. My goal is to focus on reading this year. I ordered the boys reading materials from Christian Light Education and writing/penmanship from Memoria Press.  I like the old-school simplicity of Christian Light, and the classical touch of Memoria Press. They keep the basics very basic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

deluxe editions

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So much of the mind-talk is useless chatter. I’ve wanted to write for the past several days  but the chatter wasn’t there and nothing else was either. Every so often I start to get the feeling like I’m talking too much or too soon of my introspection.

All I could find was a picture of celery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

confession of faith

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The law of love is fulfilled in Christ.

“Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”

Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”

Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” John 6:27-29

This is what God requires of me:

“And this is his commandment: that we should believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and we should love one another just as he commanded us.” 1 John 3:23

“Imitate the Son in his keeping of the feasts…”

Those words are not there

and you cannot say they are assumed.

How are we encouraged to obey like Christ, to imitate Christ?

Philippians 2:5-8

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God,

did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;

rather, he made himself nothing

by taking the very nature of a servant,

being made in human likeness.

And being found in appearance as a man,

he humbled himself

by becoming obedient to death—

even death on a cross!

“Hail, Jesus, King of the Jews, and every tribe, tongue, and nation on the earth!”

Even the demons believe and tremble

at the sight, the sound, the song of the redeemed.

For you, Most High, are the great revelation.

 

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the next phase

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This school year will be made up of two first days.  The first will be for my oldest this coming Tuesday. I’m feeling incredibly excited for him, though it isn’t my usual hyper kind of excitement. It’s a longing, hopeful, peaceful excitement. Over the summer he’s noticeably grown up.  He had his first paying job as the camp kitchen dishwasher and spent every possible waking moment at camp. He’s taller now. His voice changed.

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The rest of us will begin soon after, preferably beginning by the end of the month. As she’s gotten older, my planning-loving grandmother has gradually acquired a one-day-at-a-time approach to life. I like that approach. I used to think I was horrible at planning, but now I think what a lot of people refer to “planning”, I refer to as “dreaming”.

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Plans or dreams, in their earliest forms, are nothing more than mere potentials. The process of bringing all the potential to actuality takes time, effort, trial and error, flexibility, patience, redirection, pain and suffering, and letting go.

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In thinking about school for the coming year, four words came to my mind rather quickly.  The words were Honor, Work, Service, Ingenuity.  Many of the dreams I had for homeschooling haven’t happened.  We still do not know the constellations or all the phases of the moon. I look through the curriculum magazines and see all this knowledge I never attained, all these academic levels I never personally mastered. I WANT this.

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But I’m learning it’s okay to let the dream become distilled.  When this happens, the matters of least importance tend to fall away naturally, and you’re left with the most important things–the diapers, the bottles, laundry, lunches, and suppers.

It’s incredible what happens–I’m not making this up.

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You realize the dream was always love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

sixteen years

Our sixteenth anniversary occurred on vacation.  My aunt watched the kids while we went out to eat.  It was our last night in Florida so we didn’t take longer than we absolutely had to.  We drove back to my aunt’s to spend a little more time with Grandma and Grandpa.

On the way back to the hotel we stopped by Publix, our favorite Florida grocery store. Elianna and I jumped out and clasped hands.  When it’s just her and I, we always hold hands walking into a store. I cherished the moment, knowing we’ve been set on the path to outgrow this.

We were looking for limes and margarita salt.  The lime we found quick, but finding salt was delayed.  It was on the complete opposite side of the store. In my limited knowledge of alcoholic drinks, I glanced at the corner housing beer and the wine. I figured sea-salt would have to do.

Elianna found the salt, alive beyond the aisle in a back-facing corner.  She says I technically found the salt, but I wouldn’t have found it if it weren’t for her.  While my eyes were scanning the hanging signs for “Spices”, she called from behind me, “Mom, this stuff here says ‘margaritas'”.

Dad made the drinks and I settled the kids.  They really don’t need too much settling anymore, but every night I try to give a hug and a kiss.  I didn’t think of it then, but we’ve spent a chuckling amount of our wedding anniversaries with all of our family squished together in hotel rooms.

The kids watched from their beds as the happy couple toasted from a chair and a couch cushion.  I like to ask couples for advice on their anniversaries, and this night we offered up advice of our own.  He said, “Be polite and respectful to each other.” I said, “Love the person for who they are.”

I think what I meant by that is “Don’t judge.” Leave plenty of space for each person to be themselves. Marriage is more than an intimate closeness.  There are present-day pickles, and long-term vantage points, and others besides our own selves to consider. There’s a whole world outside of our own selves to discover.

I don’t understand. It doesn’t always make sense.

Thanks be to God who’s always known what He’s doing.