Wednesday, January 13, 2021

2021 Changes

It's 2021! Another new year. All I can think about currently are my hopes and dreams for 2020, none of which I attained. Life is funny like that sometimes. I wanted a baby in 2020, and I had two miscarriages. I made a list of books I wanted to read, and things I wanted to knit, and I finished about half of them. I wasn't expecting covid, riots, civil unrest, politcal stress, or the entire nation to start wearing face masks. I started the year excited to start homeschooling Reuben for kindergarten in August, ready to grow my family and have a lot of summer adventures.

Instead, we had quarantines, churches were closed, and I battled some serious anxiety and chronic illness issues. My summer was spent recovering from my second miscarriage and sleeping off chronic fatigue (well, you can't sleep that off, but you get my drift). 

I learned that even when nothing goes the way you plan, God will still meet needs. I am lucky to have food, a wonderful family, and a house over my head. My health is "fair" at this point, and I am able to function now. I am grateful. I never thought to be thankful for an ability to get out of bed, cook, clean, and stand up: but now I am. I totally am. 

This year my "word" of the year (a practice I have scoffed at in the past) is abide. My goals are to learn to play the violin and read more of my bible, and abide in Christ. I want my hope, my faith, my foundation to be in Him. So, unlike last year I'm not going to make lofty lists or monthly progress posts. 

I've slowed down a lot. We have a morning and an evening routine, and I am not a routine person but I love the structure it brings to our family. We stay home a lot. I love staying home. Homeschooling and chores and cooking and cleaning, knitting and writing and relaxing are all done at home. Going out a lot just isn't possible for me in this season of life and I'm getting used to it. Structure has made me feel like I'm not all over the place all the time playing catch up or two steps behind. It isn't fun living in flight or fight--that is what I will call the newborn phase, or whatever the first year of life after having a baby is.

I've also begun treating motherhood like a job. Maybe I should make a whole post about this, but honestly I came to the realization that motherhood is like five full time jobs where you also live (and sleep) at work and your coworkers don't understand personal space or emotional boundaries. So, I thought: why not treat it like a job? I mean, obviously I'm a mother, and it's more than a job: but what if I gave myself the things you get in a job? Like a lunch break and an ending time. So I did just that. I end my "job" at 6pm and rest before bed. I sit down and knit and I don't get up unless someone is bleeding. I also give myself a lunch break where no one is allowed to bother me or ask for snacks. It has greatly increased my mental and emotional health and it only took a few days to make it part of our rythem. Try it, if you can!

What else has changed? We switched math curriculums. I was using Singapore math, kindergarten level. Both Reuben and I grew to hate it. It is heavily parent-lead, and Reuben found it too easy and complained of boredom a lot.  We have switched to Masterbooks, Year 1, and suddenly math is fun for both of us again! I love the master books approach of teaching math through storytelling. Reuben talks about the characters in our math book like they are real and I see him applying his "lessons" in real life. This isn't me saying Masterbooks is the best math for homeschooling. This is me saying Masterbooks is the best math for Reuben. Every kid, and every mother is different. We did not like Singapore math but we LOVE Masterbooks. Finding a good fit for Reuben has made a night and day difference in our homeschooling!

Here are the other things we do daily: read books, do memory verses, and teach Reuben to read. We also work on habits, art, crafts, music, poetry and nature weekly. This week we did puzzles and made paper airplanes! Becky comes along for all of it and enjoys most. 

We have a great Wild and Free co-op that meets weekly for socialization and have a lot of play dates. I can't believe our kindergarten year is half over, and I am planning our Year One from Ambleside Online

Do I have any hopes and dreams for 2021? I think I am just going to accept what the Lord chooses to give me and be thankful, and pray. 

How are you all? Are you working through the drama (and trauma) of last year? What a year. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

What kind of world are my children going to inherit

I don't want to leave my children a world where red vs blue. 

I don't want to leave my children a world where two sides are always at each others throat, where the divide is great and full of hate, and violence flourishes as blossoms in spring. A branch full of buds that are bent on destruction of all we have achived. A tree rooted in lies, sin, murder and greed.

I want to leave them a world where kindness is not forgotten. A world where we listen to each other and place our emotions on hold to save space for the history. A place where we respect the experiances of others. 

We are not a hive mind bent on forcing each individual to conform. 

There is always a choice.

I want to leave my children a world where they can practice their religion without persecution. A world where the smallest among us are valued and seen as precious and wonderful, and not discarded unwanted, unborn and unloved. A mother never forgets. 

My heart aches. My soul longs for the presence of my heavenly father, for the peace and safety of his everlasting kindness and love. He alone is goodness, he alone is worthy. 

I do not hold any illusions. All the facade of my youth has been discarded the day those towers fell and I watched people jump to their deaths as the floors burned above them. Those on the roof, waiting for help that never came, dashed to the ground as the buildings collapsed. I'll never forget. I was in 8th grade. The world stopped for a week, a week that felt like a year. We have never recovered.

We are not a christian nation. We are a nation of sinful humans who wreathe with greed and envy, lusting for power and willing to do anything to climb up one rung. At what cost? The cost of our morals. 

My children deserve better. 

I am powerless. But I serve a God who is powerful, everlasting, who began our world and will be there at the end, who died on the cross for my sins. Who loves, and forgives. He is what I put my hope in.

I don't want to leave my children this world, this world of deceit and lies, where you can't trust the news or the government. It shouldn't have to be this way.

They don't know yet. They are three and five and the world is full of games and trees and laugher and toast, with one exploration after another, but soon they have to grow up and what will they think, what will they say, at this mess we have left them to dealt with one day. I shudder to surmise.

What kind of world are my children going to inherit. Have we left them something we can be proud of? 

Think of them next time. Think of them, and choose differently. 

How can you look in her eyes and say

you deserve a world that was used that way

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Becky's Mini Unbearable Hoodie

I finally finished this unbearable hoodie!! It's adorable. And it was HARD! I also made a video reviewing the pattern and the sweater, so check it out if you want to know more!


Becky loves it. She has been wearing it NONSTOP and we can't get enough. 

It is knit in DK yarn. I changed some of it to crochet (check out the video) and made a few other modifications. Happy bear time!