I don't know how to express just how tough this is. I know it doesn't compare to the struggles of others. There was a Baptist pastor who got deported to Russia for some (unknown) reason, leaving behind his pregnant wife and 7 children. So, yeah, this doesn't even compare. But knowing that just doesn't help me feel any better. There are days--no, moments of every day--when I think I just can't go on. As if I were a runner in a marathon, I decide that I cannot move forward another inch. The exhaustion overwhelms me, and the hopelessness suffocates me. I cry and ask God to help, and sometimes He feels silent and distant. But I do go on. The moment passes. And He sends someone to help. Ordinary "angels" disguised as my friends. :) There is Kristin, who took Zeke and Josh over to my friend Tami's house to play all day on Friday. And Laurie, who shows up to mow my lawn or watch the kids so I can go to the grocery store. Then the phone rings and someone wants to stop by. These diversions--although sometimes short, like my friend Bobbi's stop by the other day while she had groceries in the car--are like the supporters who stand by the track with those little 4 oz paper cups full of water. It's not much, but the gulp is refreshing enough to get me a little farther.
This is insane. It feels so weird that it's happening to me. Because if it weren't happening to me, I'd probably think, "what's the big deal?" Ahhhh...but now I know! It has been 28 days. That might seem like "only" 28 days, but when I look at my kids I know that it is long enough--too long. As resilient as they are, it's obvious that they ache as much as I do to be held by their daddy.
There is no end in sight and I feel powerless to change the circumstances. That makes this feel absolutely impossible.
Change of subject! School went pretty well this week. As organized as I try to be, I really can't do everything. We accomplished a lot in school, and not so much in housework. =P The kids all had tests on Thursday and Friday. I promised Micah that if he did well on his math test I would brag about him on my blog. :) So, he scored 91! He also scored 90 on his History test, 93 on his Language test, and 92 on his Spelling test. Eden scored in a 92 on her Language test and 99 on her Spelling test. She has a math test and a science quiz on Monday. Both of them had other quizzes as well, which they aced. Caleb had a Phonics test and a Math test. He aced both of them. Micah and Eden are still scoring poorly on arithmetic speed drills, so I'm going to start pushing the flashcards pretty heavy. For their other tests we use index cards to make flashcards, and that is obviously working well. I made a schedule for each kid, since there are some things they can do on their own and some things they need me for. I have a "master schedule" that is my time with each kid starting at 8:45 and not ending until a little after 1 pm. So now we can stay on task and they know what they are supposed to do while I'm working with others. And I can make sure I get "everything" done. Some days they have homework until 3 or 4 pm, but that's when we have lots of interruptions. So it's not really bad.
During school time, Zeke and Josh pretty much just run around and make messes. So I am usually on "cleanup" mode vs. "prevention" and that really bugs me. I'm sure as we settle more into a routine, I will be able to get a handle on them. Or maybe when we're not trying to sell our house, the messes won't bother me as much as they do now. They are quite distracting, however, and Caleb is often itching to leave the table and go play with them. His work load is light enough that I can offer him breaks to go do that. Naturally, Micah and Eden get pretty jealous of this. I try not to use movies to curtail Zeke and Josh, but occasionally that works well--except that makes all 3 of my students just as distracted--so I only use it when I think I'm going to lose my cool. I can handle Malachi pretty well, and can teach with him on my hip if I have everything I need prepped. Well, I can't do arithmetic that way. =S
Here is a picture of the kiddos enjoying an ice cream treat. Eden is holding the cell phone--they were talking to Daddy on speakerphone. We eat in the kitchen like this because our dining room is one big room with the living room, and is carpeted. We are trying to keep it looking nice.
We all need this to be over soon. But I really am powerless. We rely on God's help and timing.