Saturday, April 30, 2016

Updates to Life

Three years ago I wrote a chronological timeline of our journey of home education.  Here's the original timeline updated to this year.  Hang in there.  

 In the midst of a sea of belly button shirts and power suits with enormous shoulder pads, I started homeschooling our daughter.  It was 1991. .

Alice was four.  She could read fluently and I remember thinking that at least if I messed up super bad, she would still be okay.  Because she could read.

So here is a brief timeline of the highlights of our homeschool years.  Just for clarity's sake, I only say my kids are in a grade so they can give concise answers to people in grocery lineups who ask what grade they are in.  There is no inference to what we actually do in any particular grade.  We do whatever they are ready for and whatever sounds fun.

1990/91:  Let future husband know that I would like to homeschool our children. The one he is inheriting and the future rest of them. Get married.
1991/92:  Build a house. Start homeschooling for kindergarten.  Enter the Catholic Church.
Have a baby who cried inconsolably for four months.
1992/93:  Start homeschooling grade one. Build a another house out in the country.  Live with in-laws for five months.
1993/94:  Start homeschooling grade two.  Have a baby.  Baby never cries.  Ever.
1994/95:  Start homeschooling grade three.  Not much else happened this year.  Thank God profusely.
1995/96:  Start homeschooling grade four and kindergarten.  Move into another house.
1996/97:  Start homeschooling grade five and grade one.  Have a baby.
1997/98:  Start homeschooling grade six, grade two and kindergarten.
1998/99:  Start homeschooling grade seven, grade three and grade one.
1999/2000:  Start homeschooling grade eight, grade four and grade two.  Have a baby.
2000/2001:  Have a massive family crisis and don't really homeschool this year.  Did some reading.  Moved to a Catholic community.
2001/2002: Start homeschooling grade ten, grade six, grade four and grade one.  All the children get to skip a grade because of the crisis and the move.
2002/2003:  Start homeschooling grade eleven, grade seven, grade five, grade two.  Move into permanent home in new community.  Have a baby.  Write a book.
2003/2004:  Start homeschooling grade twelve, grade eight, grade six, grade three and kindergarten.  Getting pretty tired.
2004/2005:  One down!  Start homeschooling grade nine, grade seven, grade four and grade one.  New graduate helps a lot with driving and cooking.
2005/2006:  Start homeschooling grade ten, grade eight, grade five and grade two.   Have a baby.
2006/2007:  Start homeschooling grade eleven, grade nine, grade six, grade three.  One month into the school year mama gets really sick.  Really Sick.  Mama goes to hospital and we don't really homeschool much for the rest of the year.
2007/2008:  Start homeschooling grade twelve, grade ten, grade seven, grade three and kindergarten.  Mama still recovering.  Homeschooling has taken on a minimalistic approach.
2008/2009:  Mama finally recovers.  Another one down!  Start homeschooling grade eleven, grade eight, grade four and grade one.
2009/2010:  Mama is feeling like a million bucks.  Start homeschooling grade twelve, grade ninish-tenish, grade five and grade two.
2010/2011:  Yet another one who knows everything now!  Start homeschooling grade ten/elevenish, grade six, grade three and kindergarten.  First year in twenty that I have not been nursing a child.  Or two.  Start blogging.
2011/2012:  Start homeschooling grade elevenish, grade seven, grade four and kindergarten.  Have not had a baby since the last one, six years ago. Have lived in the same house for ten years.  Get a dog.  Start wearing nail polish.
2012/2013:  Starting, in another week, homeschooling grade eleven-twelvish (some debate going on here), grade eight, grade five and grade one.  Anxiously awaiting the outcome of our twenty second year of the Great Adventure.
2013/14:  Only three kids at home.  Feels weird.  Grade nine, six and grade two.  Adult children working, going to school, getting engaged. 
2014/15:  School year starts off smooth.  Preparing for weddings (yes, two), grades ten, seven and three.  My mom dies suddenly, days before the first wedding.  We pack up school in the middle or April. Five months of summer is still not enough.  
2015/16:  We start our 25th year of the Great Adventure.  Summer is approaching and we all need some rest after an intense year.  We will welcome two grand babies in the next couple of months.  

It's a good life, my friends.  It's a rich, beautiful, challenging life, and we grow daily.  
I wouldn't trade it for anything.  

Time flies, kids, circa 2011.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sure, Why Not

Sixteen year old to us:  I just thought of something.  It's kind of weird that babies are being born this year (his two sisters are expecting).  I mean, like, I was born in 2000.  Now it's 2016.  How do you think that makes me feel?

Dad to sixteen year old:  Yeah, I know.  How do you think we feel?

Sixteen year old's immediate response:  Well, no offence, but you guys are probably used to it.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Mom - edited.

A year ago we lost our mom.  She was our mom.

How do you reconcile that?  How do you account for that?

There is no accounting.  There is only grief that every single person experiences in their life -
To lose someone you love. I miss her every day.  I still even have days when I curl up and cry myself to sleep.  Mostly it's happy memories and gratitude.

But sometimes.  Only tears.  And aching for my dad.

It has been a year of struggle and sadness, blessing and bounty.   So much has happened that I feel like I'm just starting to get a handle on it now.  If "a handle" is what you get on death.  Her birthday passed, dad's birthday...all our birthdays and the special times and days and there was a void.

She was only 73, vibrant and busy.  It didn't seem like The Right Time.

Would I have thought differently if I got five more years, or ten?  Would I have been more ready?  Would I have wept less?  Probably not.  She prays for us and all her grand children, I know.  And she waits for us to join her in perfection.

I sense her presence in my life every day.

April 22nd will be etched in my mind forever more, no less than the birth dates of my babies and our wedding anniversary.

Mom and her first grandbaby.  I get to hold my first grandbaby in the next couple of weeks.  
Thanks for showing me how, Mom.

addendum at the bottom - this is not the first grand baby.  It's a very cute grand baby, but for accuracy when this blog is used as some kind of historical defining document, the picture BELOW this one is ACTUALLY the first grand baby.