Monday, June 4, 2012

Four Years, A Minute, An Eternity

I don't know how four years can seem like yesterday. And then some days it feels like eons ago. I can never quite get my brain around how long exactly my dad has been gone, but the calendar tells me it has been four years today. Four...long...crazy...heartbreaking...lonely...busy...growth filled years. 

Most moments in most days pass without any heartache. Many pass now without even thinking about how much I miss Dad. We get up and go about our day, keeping busy and focused on the tasks at hand. Nothing significant most of the time worthy of stirring the memory.

And then there are the days when something major happens. A report card came for my First Born's first year of much my report card as his, and he got straight "A's." Yes, this is a moment when the wounded heart rips open when I remember I can't call Dad to share the joy. I know he would be proud of me, and First Born too.  He never doubted our abilities.

Small One, diva that she is, is reading like a high school lit prodigy. Dad wouldn't be surprised, he had high expectations of all of us. But when her eyes sparkle as she reads a poem that moves her I feel the ache rear it's ugly head in my chest because I know she will never experience sharing poetry with him as a child. He will never read her I Am Nobody! Who Are You? by Emily Dickenson. She will never hear him read Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost. I will never be able to tell him how she is gifted with the written word, just like he was.

I don't know if time will ever make sense to me again really. It isn't that I can't see my children growing and watch the days flipping on the calendar, it is just that time doesn't feel the same any more. I know the wound continues to heal. But I also know that life will never be the same and there will never stop being events that pick at the scab and pull at the scar. I continue to take one day at a time, always missing, always loving Dad...and knowing our time was cut short here on earth, but looking forward to eternity in Heaven.

I miss you Dad! Happy 4th birthday in Heaven.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Homeschool Year One-In the BAG!

As I sit and think about the past nine months I am in awe of myself, in awe of my children and in awe of having our first year of homeschooling under our belt. I cannot believe we, together, have made it through lessons, assessments, spelling, handwriting, reading, reading and more reading. Math was a breeze for both children, especially Small One; she had her entire year of math completed in January. Yep, January! First Born struggled with time management, his mother did too. But we finished the year, maybe not as strongly as we would have liked, maybe not as early as we would have liked, but we did it. And for that I am grateful to God for the patience, mercy and grace that got us through.

We are beginning our summer with First Born already off to camp. Small One and I are having a quite week playing with a touch more Language Arts...AND new curriculum is arriving! See, we spent the year in an all in one online schooling program. K12 has an AMAZING curriculum. The lessons are great, the teacher guides are great, the extra assignments are great, the book selections are great, the online teaching is why are we getting new curriculum?

 I have learned so much about us that I'm am not confident the K12 program is the right fit for our family. For the first year it gave me the courage to take the leap into homeschool. Without it my children would have likely been moved to a different public school and I would have totally missed the blessing of my kids. It gave me knowledge and bought me time to really delve into the options available to homeschooling families...and I totally took advantage of this time to figure out what might work better for us.

My children actually love learning together. So I am gathering programs that would enable me to teach them both the same material and give skill appropriate assignments. Reading together all the outloud books we can find, digging through maps together, creating science projects together, and for the really hard stuff bouncing ideas off of each other until they find a good solution. Yes, this is what I think will be the best fit for my family. It will cut school time in half and significantly help with the time management issues. And it will get my children learning together...which is one of the primary goals of this entire process for us.

As the books continue to arrive I will continue to pray. I am asking God for guidance because truly what this is most about is Him and what will enable me to help guide my children in their walk with Him. It is a lot to ask I know, but He is a big God and I know He cares so much for them (more than I can even imagine) He will put the light to the path He would have me follow as we walk with Him through the next homeschool year.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Planner Giveway, Yes please, I want in!

I have a new addiction. Well not so much an addiction as a new favorite website. The first thing most of you who know me will immediately think Pinterest. Although I love this one and can easily waste a number of hours there each day it is not my new fave.

My new fave stems from our new (relatively) homeschooling way of life. It is Home Educating Family and I just can't get enough. The reviews about homeschooling products are amazing and useful. The magazine, which available online, comes to my home as scheduled and I love curling up with it for a quiet read. The planners are beautiful too. I ordered one this past year and LOVED it, so I have a new one for '12-'13. They also have an utterly indescribably online homeschool convention you say? Yep, with speakers and vendor halls and everything. You have to check it out, even if you are not a homeschooling mama or daddy you will find useful information on the site.

What I am most excited about this week though is the giveaway. Who me, like a giveaway? You betcha! Check out the Weekly Giveaway to see this amazing tool. It is a homeschool parent's dream for scheduling software. It can keep track of dozens of kids, in dozens of grades, with dozens of assignments...and keep your household management schedule on track too. Not only all this, but it is pretty too. I can't wait to get my hands on this product and look forward to reviewing it after using it for a month or two.

Check them out, enjoy their amazing site, and learn a ton. You won't regret looking into my new addiction.


I love having a blog...not so much being a blogger, but having a blog. I am secure knowing it is always waiting patiently for me, with no expectations, and happy when I return for a visit.

My first blog post ever was so very true. I WANT to be a blogger, I really, really do. But I find myself distracted so easily, and then life happens, and I get sleepy, and I get busy, and I find myself on my knees asking for strentgh to get through the day... And the blog? It waits patiently for my triumphant return.

See my blog knows I am constantly thinking about it. It knows I have posts constantly running through my head, chomping at the bit to get posted. My blog is secure in the knowledge that I love it and care deeply for it and I will certainly return, eventually.

Maybe this summer will be the summer I really become the blogger my blog knows I have locked away inside. I am certain life would be much simpler if some of the ideas came out the fingers and stopped bouncing around in my head. I would love to be one of those goal driven gals that said something like, "This summer I will post a minimum of five writings per week!" But I know myself well enough to know that is definitely not an effective method to inspire me to get the fingers moving. We will see how it goes.

Again I say, I want to be a blogger, I really do.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Dear Sixteen Year Old Rachel

Dear Sixteen Old Rachel,

Happy Birthday wild child! I know you had the most amazing day driving to school and getting your license today, what a blast! French silk pie and all your friends over for a great party, but hang on to your seat, you have no idea what is in store for you!

You are going to have a wild ride. That boy you think is so sweet right now is a dork (you will find this out in 20 years). The next boy you adore will have the brains of a turnip...he is a super hot turnip, but a turnip none the less. When you are 20 you are going to think you have found the love of your life...for the fifth time. He is just a passing fancy, your heart will recover and so will his. ;) The love of you life when you are 21 will have no problem sending you 2500 miles to college, you will recover from this one as well. The first husband will treat you well, but will still not be the right fit. In fact, the one who will truly capture your heart won't show up for what seems to you now like a gazillion years. He is going to give you two amazing babies and love you like you never knew a person could love.

You are going to have so much fun! You will get in to SO much trouble as well...but there is so much more you will get away are going to think you are invincible. Fast cars won't kill you, even though you total three of them. The boys won't break your heart. The cigarettes you think are cool right now really will disgust you in a number of years and you will quit, so they won't kill you either. Any other experiments you might have will just season you for the future.

You are going to lose your dad way too soon...and for a time you will be certain you have lost your mother as well. You will band close to your brother and find comfort in your family and friends through this dark time. I promise you there is light at the end of that tunnel.

The most amazing thing will happen in your thirties though. You will find out you have had someone by your side through all of these times. When you walked out of that car that rolled over and over down that hill, when you drove through Pacific Beach too toasted to walk let alone drive, when you moved across the country, when you cheated on a test, when you finished college, when your dad dies...God will be holding you in the palm of your hand. THE ENTIRE TIME! I know you don't believe me now, you don't think He even exists, but He is real and you will be so utterly blown away by his grace and love when you finally realize how real He is.

Don't regret a single thing you do (even when you know better) because all will be forgiven when the time is right. Have a blast on your journey, know you are loved, and remember no matter how dark it gets you are never alone.

Be blessed Sixteen Year Old Rachel! I love you, and occasionally miss you, and wish you the ride of your life!

Forty Year Old Rachel

Monday, March 19, 2012

Exciting Curriculum Program

I've been invited to try Time4Learning for one month in exchange for a candid review. My opinion will be entirely my own, so be sure to come back and read about my experience. Time4Learning can be used as a homeschool curriculum, for afterschool enrichment and for summer skill sharpening. Find out how to write your own curriculum review for Time4Learning.