Thursday, August 06, 2009

Swirling Thoughts: Inside Our World

It's no wonder that I was having tornado dreams. My mind, heart, and world have been in a whirlwind for the last week or so. This post is going to be me just pouring out the thoughts and events swirling around. Then maybe some of them can be laid to rest. So, in no particular order of importance or time, here it goes.

I am finally getting around to making our Family Prayer Rug. I am thrilled, and I will post all of the details in another post (sorry;)

For several weeks now I have had an undercurrent emotion about not having my girls. In my mind, Everyone has little girls. Please don't feel bad if you're one of the "everyone" that I'm talking about. It is nothing against you, and I'm not Angry at you for this fact. It's just a fact, you have little girls, and mine are unavailable at the moment. It's a real bummer! These emotions started to surface while we were in Brigham City (where the girls are buried.) I got out of the car at Leif's grandpas house and my eyes were drawn to the cemetery at the end of the street. Naturally my mother heart longed for the little girls whose body's lay in that cemetery. Then I went school clothes shopping with my sister in law for her daughter. It didn't take long for the emotion of it all to start bubbling inside. I would never be able to buy these cute clothes for my little girls. I decided it might be best if I stuck to looking at books for my boys (the boys clothes were no fun at that store.) Just last night I was surrounded by all of my friend's little girls. They are all beautiful and around the age that my girls would be. They are a good reminder of what I have to look forward to in the eternities. Until then, I miss them and the opportunities that would have been ours if they were here.

Jakob's a handful lately (no, always.) Not usually in a naughty or mean way, just a needy and entertain me kind of way. This is already wearisome for me, and then I ended up with an unexpected turn of events. For the last week or so I started noticing a pattern. Every time I thought about the fact that Jakob would be starting kindergarten I was overwhelmed by a dark cloud, a feeling I could not ignore. I finally talked to Leif about it. I was surprised by this feeling because I have been thrilled and looking forward to Jakob going to school. In fact, we were going to have him go to kindergarten and preschool to give me more time in the day and him more schooling. So when I started feeling like I needed to reconsider the plan, it has thrown me off a bit.

I need to explain our schooling situation where we live. We live in a very small community. I wish I knew the numbers. But the fact that Jakob's whole kindergarten program alone would have less then 30 kid's in it might tell you something. Another indication of the size is the fact that several grades in elementary only have ONE teacher for the Whole grade. Basically, when the kid's start out in kindergarten together they continue through school all together until they graduate high school. Leif's graduating class was less then 30 kid's (that's the WHOLE senior class.) So that gives you an idea of the numbers. Because of the low numbers of student's the budget for the teachers is low. But one of the main struggles that faces the school is the low morale of the students and parents that then rubs off on the teachers and administration. Now, this of course is up for debate constantly in the town and it depends on who you talk to whether things are good or not. But in my opinion, things are not good. Leif and I had originally decided to just pay attention to our children and give them extra help and resources for learning as they needed it. But now, we feel that the best option for us will probably be home schooling. At the moment, it seems a daunting option. But I think it will work out well. There are actually several families in our area who are going to home school and we'll set up a co-op so we can meet together often for fun learning. Jakob will also be involved in the community with dance, T-Ball, church, and whatever else comes up. So he won't be lacking for social interaction any more then he already is. Now, I just have to come up with a plan for the future. I have a few ideas. I'll keep you posted on this.

The reason this is such a daunting idea is because I already struggle with making the sacrifice necessary to meet my children's needs. I have concluded that I am selfish, plain and simple. It is TRUE! I constantly have one thing or another that I want to work on. A blog subject here, a rag rug there, a great book here, an email there. There is always Something that I would rather spend my time doing other then sitting on the floor building a train track. Some mother's are gifted with the art of PLAYING, I am Not. I love to read stories. If I take a moment with the kids, it most likely involves reading a story. However, I MUST change this within myself. I know this passion is within me, to play and explore life and learning along side my children. I just have to tell myself it is time, and DO IT! I think the easiest way for me to accomplish this will be to create a semblance of structure for our day. Not necessarily a rigid structure. But if I have a handful of ideas of things to do each day, I will be able to stay entertained. Yes, I said I will stay entertained. At this point, Jakob is fighting for my attention constantly. If I just surrender my time, he will be entertained and if I plan ahead I will be entertained. Pray with me that it works...

Caleb is a Busy Boy! Jakob has successfully taught him how to throw a fit. Luckily, I've seen worse. But it's still a bummer! I need to find him more age appropriate toys and books. He and Jakob are quite different in their interests at this age. Caleb enjoys more hands on, real life toys. Where Jakob enjoyed books and simplified things. Caleb is sitting next to me talking on my cell phone. He is a Precious little man! He has discovered his stacking toys. I need to find more things like that... Caleb has been fed more sugar in the last three months then Jakob was given in his first two years of life. The PediaSure drinks are PACKED with Sugar. Now that he will eat more food because of his teeth we're cutting back the PediaSures and encouraging whole milk and formula, along with Food, Food, Food.

Young Women's is overwhelming at times. We really need to find a way to revive the girls' enthusiasm...

Leif, ahhh Leif... Well, he's done with Summer semester classes. Fall classes start in a week or so. During his short break he's hoping to add on to our existing chicken coop and begin building another chicken coop. There is a Very Rare breed of chicken that has been brought into the US that Leif is hoping to breed and sell. People are paying A LOT of money for the rare birds. It's pretty amazing. So, that's his latest project. When it comes to employment, the school called him and offered him a job. Leif quit last year because of the 20 credit hours in school he'll be working on in the Fall. But the school has several positions they need filled and they offered (well, it's not official yet, but soon will be) a position working with the in-school suspension kids. This will give Leif the time he'll need to do his homework throughout the day along with his job duties. So we'll see how that goes. He will also be working again with Coconino Community College as their F(our town) representative. So, once again Leif will be a VERY Busy man this year. But we'll manage. I want to help Leif with some idea we've had with his church calling as well. He is the children's primary music chorister. The Sacrament meeting program is coming up, I hope to help him find some posters or flip-charts to help the kids learn the words to the songs. He has done an amazing job so far. He focuses a lot of his Sundays teaching the kids the principles and meaning behind the words to the songs. But it is difficult to help the kids memorize the words to the songs when they're only practicing once a week. So I hope I can help him find what he needs...

The garden has flourished this year. It is no thanks to me. I have weeded the thing a total of two or three times this season. Leif on the other hand has watered it daily and nourished it to fruitation. We recently harvested the garlic:) That is exciting! The potatoes are going to be Wonderful! We picked a few and fried them up with a couple of onions we harvested as well. The tomatoes are still keeping us hopeful. Now the squash, that's a different story. We get squash bugs every year. Eventually, they always end up taking over the squash. Next year, we're not planting squash. Oh! We had a good crop of beets this year too. I've made a cake with them so far that was delicious. And I hope to continue experimenting with beet recipes for the next little while.

Our house is cozy as ever. Sprinkled in through my contentment in our situation is an occasional day dream of how we could build on to the barn (our home) to make things more spacious, or heaven forbid move in to another place. But in all honesty, I just don't want to go anywhere else right now. Sure I'd love a wall to my bedroom and an office. But for now, I'll settle for the makeshift bathtub that we're going to install. Now that is going to be interesting... Just wait for the pictures!

Me? Well, just read what I wrote up to this point and you'll find me. This is my world. I really do love it. Along with all of this, I have a love for reading good books. I don't mean good like WOW that was a great Story! I mean, WOW that changed my life type book. If I start reading a novel and I realize that it will not uplift me in any positive way, then I can't waste my precious time reading it. If I am going to make the sacrifice to read, I must get something from the book in return. I love Anita Stansfield because her books teach me through incredible stories. I love historical fiction novels as well. I love to learn about the lessons of the past and how I can apply them to my every day life. Those are Lena type books...

Life is swirling, rolling, evolving, growing, Good!


michelle said...

Lena, You need to send him to school for him and you. In the school that Bryan and Brandon go to they move up with thier class every year. They love it. They know who is in thier class and who the next teacher will be so they get to know her throught the year. jacob need to experience of socializing with other kids and learning to listen to a teacher. You and Leif will manage just fine with the low morale and you will bring positive to the school. That is what the school needs. If every parent kept thier kids out of that school because of low morale then there would be no school. Hang in there and really really think about your sanity and Leifs also. You two are trying to accomplish school also. Love ya

Molly said...

I've been worried about sending my daughter to school this year. It isn't for her sake, I know she will have so much fun and learn so much more from someone other than me. Still, the reason I haven't signed her up yet is selfish. I want to keep her. I will miss her so much during the day, but I realize it will be better for her to go.

I'm acutally more worried about my 6th grader. He doesn't know how to take notes, write an outline, or use correct puncuation. :)

I've decided, it is easier to put them in school and let them try it and then pull them out if it isn't working, than it is to try and homeschool, realize it isn't working and put them into school.

Homeschooling takes a LOT of dedication. You must keep it up everyday for the entire school year. It isn't a fad that you can quit because you loose interest. You never get a break from the kids either. Children often learn better from a teacher than from their parents when it comes to school stuff. Let a teacher teach him how to read this year in K. If at the end of the year, it was a bad experience, keep him home, but at least he will already know how to read.

Good luck with all your other activities. Sounds like you are staying busy.

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