Saturday, January 14, 2017

New Year's snow and Christmas memories

We had snow last week. It was a fun way to start the new year. Joe had 2 snow days, after only one day back to work after Christmas break. I failed to get Hazel out for a picture in her first snow, hopefully there will be another snow soon for that. I did however succeed at grabbing a picture of myself with each of the other kids. Snow is always an exciting bookmark in life, especially winter!

It was a surreal moment watching my oldest 6 lined up to sled down the hill. Not just any hill, the hill I grew up sledding down. In fact, I broke my collar bone, at 10 years old, when I hit a tree sledding down that hill. It just blows me away when I get little glimpses outside of my normal viewpoint and realize this is my life and these kids are mine. CRAZY!!

Life is full of craziness and I thought for sure I was gonna forever lose my mind on Monday, in the worst way, when it was back to home school realities. A little bit of that was myself and Hazel started with the flu most everyone else in the family had the week before. There were tears over multiplication, arguments over reading and an attitude over exponents. There was a fussy baby and two loud, mess making toddlers. I heard myself saying, "I don't care what you did, you came up with the wrong answer, so do we really want to go down that path again?!" And, "I've been to Kindergarten, 30 years ago!! And this is my 4th time teaching it, so who are you going to listen to, me or you!?"

I am so thankful we can homeschool, there are many things I enjoy about it, but it also makes me appreciate the simplicity of snowdays or family time. It helps me enjoy the slower days of just being mom, not mom and teacher. My days are so much easier when we are out of school but I'm grateful for them both.

Homeschool is challenging for sure and I guess that's why it amazes me that I'm actually doing it. Sometimes its hard to recognize what I accomplish when I'm in the midst of so much chaos yet, I can easily identify things I don't or can't accomplish. This new year has started off with a needed reminder to say no to guilt. So much guilt I take on for things I can't manage to fit into my days, things I don't have the energy or passion for doing and instead of recognizing, I just can't, I translate that to guilt. Guilt is a heavy things to carry on my back, it does not make me a better person, it is not my friend and one of my goals in 2017 is to break up with guilt.

It's game on, I'm going to be more intentional about identifying the voices of guilt and kicking them out. I think that gets easier when I keep my focus on what is important in my daily living. When I know what my goals are and if things don't fit with callings and passions God has given me or our family, than they just aren't meant to fit into my days and there is no guilt for that. We all have 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. We all get the same and it can be so difficult to manage them well. I'm currently in the process of clearly identifying what God has called me to do, given our family passions for, and putting that into a family purpose statement. It is really important to individually identify these things because every family is different and has different gifts and passions. We need to embrace who God has designed and created our family to be, rather than feel competitive or guilt because we aren't like others.

2017 is about me finding freedom. Saying good bye to guilt is really just a small part of my prayer for this year.
Christmas is such a special time of year, especially with all these kids. I know that these years of exciting Christmases are numbered and I'm so grateful we had another year with all our 7. We went to see the lights in Nashville and that was a very fun day but mostly we stayed home the rest of our break. Like I said, we are on the tail end of a flu but I really haven't cared too much because I'm so happy we were well all of the Christmas season! No sickness at Christmas is a HUGE blessing.
My favorite part of December was getting away for 24 hours with Joe. It sounds like such a short time away but it was life giving! Nothing makes me happier than getting time away with Joe.

Last fall, we camped at Clifty Falls in Indiana. I fell in love with historic downtown Madison and mentioned to Joe that I would love to go there at Christmastime. When we found out it was going to work for us to have a little getaway Joe said he wanted to go to Madison, which meant more to me than he will ever know. We stayed at the Clifty Falls Inn. We arrived late evening and planned to shop a little but all the shops were closed so we ended up grabbing coffee, Chinese take out and watching a UK basketball game in our bed, perfect! The next morning we had coffee again from the same shop, soo good, and took a fast walk across the Ohio River bridge. It was super windy and bitter cold but we made a memory. :)

We spent the rest of the day going to little stores and antiquing, a perfect thing to do in Madison. There was a certain set of Pyrex I had mentioned wanting to Joe as I was a doing some research about Pyrex age and history, after I added some of my grandma's Pyrex to my kitchen. It was a set of 4 nesting mixing bowls in 4 primary colors. The first antique store we went to, had all 4 bowls for sale. I am not one to spend for unnecessary things, especially for myself. Joe knows this and immediately picked them up and said he was buying them. When I tried to argue he told me to hush. :)

So, I did.
And I now have 4 beautiful, sentimental Pyrex bowls.
It makes me happy.
...I don't feel guilty,
because I'm saying no to guilt. :)

1 comment:

Wanting What I Have said...

I LOVED reading this! I laughed hard about all you had to say to your kindergartner. ;) Love your perspective on families and their gifts and strengths and to be mi dfulnof His intentional creating of all families...and the bowls. I love that story. So glad y'all had a getaway. That's awesome!!