Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Last Week of August, (2020 Vlogs)

The rest of August was fairy normal. Homeschooling, family, fun. These vlogs are from the last week of August.

We are in a good routine for this season. Go out twice a week. Stay in most of the week. Homeschool, Christ, and family. Oh, and knitting. Don't forget about the knitting. These are hard years of discipline, but there is always knitting.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

The Pinwheel, Scissors Case and Tray (Paper Sloyd Tutorials)

Here are some more paper sloyd tutorials by Ednah Anne Rich! These are numbers 4-6 from form one, and include the pinwheel, scissors case, and tray. Enjoy! 

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Homeschool Week, (2020 Vlogs)

These three vlogs from this week are full of homeschooling. Our kinderplay co-op met, and we did school each day! I'm still getting in the swing of vlogging, homeschooling, parenting, knitting, and cooking. It's a lot. But I am grateful for each amazing day with my wonderful kids and hardworking husband. God is good.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

THINK poster

 On the wall of our church is the following (handwritten) poster:

Every time I see this I stop and think. 

Is it True? Is it Helpful? Is it Inspiring? Is it Necessary? Is it Kind?

What wise words!! I wanted one for my own home, so I designed one to print off and display. And I thought to share here in case anyone wants these words of wisdom for their home and their littles. Right click and save and print one for yourself too! I made this with Canva, I am no designer! Hah.

They Bulldozed the Park!! (2020 vlogs)

This week was the week the Lynchburg Parks and Rec decided to bulldoze my sons favorite park with literally no notice. During covid in the middle of summer while schools were closed. WTF? Bad timing all around!! Crazy. This is also the second week of my candida cleanse from the natural doctor. This week I horrible sugar cravings and problems feeling full. Guess my yeast was hungry. I'm sticking it out and hoping it is helping. I want to be well.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

I am all the bad girls in the Bible


One night as I was falling asleep I thought to myself I'm not ANY of the good bible girls. I'm all the bad ones!! I immediately started chuckling to myself, because its true!! 

I relate so much to Lot's wife. Like her, I keep looking back at what I shouldn't. Except instead of the city of sin being behind me, its my child-free years I keep expecting to see again. Of all people in the Bible, I never expected to sympathize with Lot's wife, or to understand her-- but you know, if I had been in that position maybe I would have looked back too. It would have been my home. 

Instead of a pillar of salt, I was granted mercy. That's what I thought next. For all my neck-craning and weeping over my loss of "free time" when I sprouted babies from my womb, I should have been turned into a pillar of salt. Sin is death, right? And whining about God's blessings surely is a sin. I love my children, but I also mourn the changes in my life. Mourning and moving on is one thing; the pity party I throw myself over all the work I have is another.

I have always known I am the women at the well. I also was promiscuous in my early twenties, much to my regret. And God also saved me. Not in person, at a well--but he still offered me the water of life and showed me everything I had ever done. He knew me and my sins; I could not hide from him. And like the woman at the well--this is why I talk about my shameful past openly. Come and see, come and see a man who has told me everything I ever did.

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." Luke 10:38-42

We can never forget Martha and Mary. These women have been held up as dichotomies to me since I was in middle school. A mere year ago I would have rolled my eyes at hearing the story rehashed. Here we go again. Another person is going to do the Martha and Mary bit. 

In the 90s in my fundamental church, it was always be a Mary and never a Martha. But I am a Martha, and thus I always felt judged or like I had to hide it. No one ever tells you HOW to be a Mary, do they? They just point out that good girls should and leave it at that.

Now that I am older and I understand Martha and Mary more, I see a lot in that passage that I didn't see before. And I accept that I have been both a Martha and a Mary throughout different situations in my life. Like her, I daily am distracted by all the preparations that need to be made. It is a discipline to clear my mind and focus on Christ in the midst of all this life that is going on; with small children and marriage and dishes to wash.

Yet Mary is an ideal I hold in my mind. What would it be like to be focused on christ so completely I had the wisdom to know when to work, and when to rest? And also, I am sure, she possesses the deep trust not to worry overmuch what she is wearing or what kind of lunch her children are eating or how dirty her floor is. Ah, to be such a woman.

In jest, I think that perhaps Mary was single and Martha was married. And she was stressed because of what Paul says.

"But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this...I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord's affairs--how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world--how he can please his wife-- and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord's affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world--how she can please her husband." 1 Corinthians 7:28;33-34

Bah ha hah. It is great to end on a joke. But for sure, marriage is glorious and also, exactly as Paul states. 

What bad bible girl are you?

Please tell me. Unless you are one of Lot's daughters. That is some drama I don't need to carry. 

Monday, August 9, 2021

I keep changing my mind

This is going to be a short unedited rant about homeschooling decisions. 

shopping for school supplies at hobby lobby

Reuben is six, he turned six in July. Last year he was five, and we did a year of loose kindergarten during a pandemic and also while battling my severe chronic illness. I have lapsed elloquent on this subject in 2020 blog posts, so I won't rehash it here; but it was not a good year. 

That is why I decided to do another year of kindergarten with Reuben in 2021, a "proper" year to "catch up on all the things I missed." A year to do kindergarten right. With hopefully no pandemic or raging Lyme disease or other disasters. 

I felt I was making the right decision. 

BUT THEN I listened to this podcast. And entered into an existential crisis. Suddenly, I doubted my "second year of kindergarten" idea. 

Well, you will have to listen to the podcast to hear what it said...but it was eye opening!! (A child is capable and deserving of a wide education!!)

Reuben is eager to learn. Why was I holding him back again? I was faced with the certainty that it was because of me and not because of him: and that both of those reasons were not tenable. 

I don't think I should "hold him back" anymore. I see now he is ready for year one. It is just ME who wants to "Redo" the year and do the things I missed because I feel guilty about being sick. (not to mention all the chaos and stress of the global pandemic) But to Reuben, his "Year Zero" kindergarten is all he knows. To him, it was a great year!!! It does him a disservice to hold him back just to make sure I "Do it right". I did it, and we must move forward. 

As the podcast says, we wouldn't give a child a diet of only breastmilk at 5 or 6 if they had formula to drink as an infant. Such a child would not need to be "caught up" on what they had missed as a baby. No, that is a ridiculous thought!!

The podcast warns: beware holding off too long when a child is open to learning. 

Reuben had a full 6 "early years". He is ready to start school, and thus we should start. But. But, I listened to this podcast in our first week of this "Second Year of Kindergarten" I had designed, and I was loathe to throw out all of my plans and all the books I had gotten excited about reading with him and the curriculum I had purchased. 

Then I realized that what I was doing wasn't really kindergarten, at least not by Charlotte Mason standards who does not advocate formal lessons until a child turns six. So what we are indeed doing is a Year One that I was calling Kindergarten just from my desire to do things right and get rid of the mistakes of last year. (please feel free to roll your eyes at me)

But, I wanted to do Ambleside Online. And what I am doing is not Ambleside Online. Oh, more dilemmas. (can you laugh at me now) 

Anyway. We will start "Year One" Ambleside in January of 2022, and continue with the lessons I have planned for 2021. This way he gets a year one that is both what I already planned and is also Ambleside Online. And he can move right into Year 2 in the fall term of 2022. It will be okay! I can do this! He is ready, and I won't let my mistakes in my past hold him back. 

Last year, many kid's educations were waylaid due to the global pandemic. And all of these children are going to be fine! So is my Reuben; even if his kindergarten wasn't what I expected. He has great memories and this year, "Year One" will be no different! I'm ready, and so is he.

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Reuben starts Kindergarten (2020 vlogs)

Well, it's official! We are a homeschooling family! I am my sons teacher. I couldn't do it without God and my husband and all the support of my community. God is good. This is all I filmed for the week of 8/5. Hugs!

Saturday, August 7, 2021

Becky Hat

I make my kids a hat every fall! And sometimes gloves too. It isn't fall yet, but I am trying to get ahead of things before they creep up on me. Usually I make up my own pattern, but this time I used Slouchy Snowfall Beanie by Hello Happy, whose patterns are my favorites. They are so cute!! 

I did not do the decreases, and it made "ears" on the hat! Becky loves it. Now I will make Reuben a hat!

I don't knit or crochet as much as I used to...homeschooling really takes a lot of time. But I am enjoying these years of educating my small children. Next week will be our second week of the 2021 school year. And, I still get to make a hat for Reuben!!

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Paper Sloyd by Ednah Anne Rich

When I was researching for this video series I tried to find out anything about Ednah Anne, the author of Paper Sloyd. Who was she? Where is she from? What was she like? I can't find anything! (If you know about her please tell me!)

But we are doing Paper Sloyd this year, and I am videoing the process.

Here are three paper sloyd tutorial videos: the note, the wall pocket, and the picture frame. I hope this helps any homeschoolers or curious sloyd-ers who are lost or looking for a place to start. 

You can download Paper Sloyd by Ednah Anne Rich from Google Books for free. 

I plan on doing a video tutorial for each sloyd project in the whole book.

For these three, you will need a 6 by 6 inch square of cardstock, a 12 inch ruler, scissors, a hole punch, string, and a piece of tape (or a sticker) for the note. Happy Sloyd-ing! 

Sunday, August 1, 2021

on the Eve of the Monumentous Day

This is it. We have arrived.

Tomorrow we start homeschooling. Everything is ready. I've cleaned the house, made our curriculum, set my alarm for 6 am and steeled myself for discipline and education.  It's our first year of official homeschooling; after my last year of sickness and spurts and splutters. (We tried a lot of different things and found what works! But I was sick a lot. We took whole weeks off. I always thought of Kindergarten as a learning year. But I guess, maybe, they are all learning years)

Last year I discovered a lot about my teaching style and about Reuben, and now have a vague idea of the educational roadblocks we might encounter... (my own irritability at doing the same thing over and over again...both of our rebellious hearts...not enough hours in the day) I could go on a tangent on all my fears and desires and head canon you to death, but I will spare you the melodrama and specifics. 

I'm excited. I'm nervous with dread. And tired, but that's lyme and motherhood. 

I wonder how it will go. Do I really have what it takes? How much grace and mercy am I going to need on a hourly basis? I mean, our school "time" isn't long, but it has to fit into every day and be consistent. 

I know I am making more to this than I need--its just school. All kids go to school. But it is more. It will be a foundation for how he views the world. And, I want him to love learning and love the Lord. Any methods that can reach that, at the end, will leave me satisfied. I also have an acute understanding that I will make mistakes, I will mess up. I also have the awareness to know this journey isn't about my own satisfaction. In my more sane moments, I wonder; why did I choose this path? Am I indeed, crazy? But no, this is going to be fun, and what other greater purpose could my time have, if not to be given over to my son? 

I want to homeschool pain free, but this week my lyme pain has been through the roof so I am also going to have to battle that. 

I'm ready to make homeschool a priority. To give it a space it deserves. I have a plan, and a God who loves me and a husband who supports me and nods through all my wacky craft ideas. We are going to have a good year. I am going to see my children grow and to be able to watch that is the best gift any mother can hope for.

Here is to tomorrow, and the rest of our lives. Here is to first grade through high school. The beginning of my little boy growing up. The end of his little years, preschool. A milestone will be embarked upon tomorrow, and I will rise to meet the day with a prayer and a determined heart.

The Vlogs are Back

You are probably confused. It's 2021, Carolynn. But in this video Reuben is five. What? Yes. This video is from August 2020, a whole year ago. When I quit vlogging due to health reasons I had about a month or two of vlogs that I had not edited. Well I am finally getting around to editing them and posting them, and its so late I just decided to schedule them a year later. So yeah, that is what is happening.

The reason I vlog is so I can see what has happened in our family. These are MY video diaries. These vlogs are for me, I just use YouTube as a method of saving them, and I don't mind people watching them. With social media and my kids growing, posting everything one year later just makes sense to me! So yes, welcome back to covid. I hope, in 2021, that it is GONE. Welcome back to my life. 

I love you all!
This was the week I started treatment for chronic fatigue with a naturalistic doctor. I didn't film much,but here is what I got. I was sick a lot this week with my chronic illness. It was not fun. I want to get better!