Oh boy. I surely am a bad blogger. At least when it comes to being a regular blogger. Or dependable. I can think of all sorts of solutions to this "problem", but I've already determined that it can't be solved so it's just too bad. So anyway, there you have it. I'm always going to be running around blogging in my head all these wonderful ideas and by the time I sit down at the computer every single one of them has flitted into oblivion and all you get is "catch up."
What I'm going to say next is purely for my friends and family back home in Virginia (Tennessee, Kentucky, etc):
I made FRIED APPLE PIES for the first time ever this weekend!!! I was SO excited that they tasted decent. I waited with baited breath for Mitch to come home and try them. And get this--get this--he said he had NEVER had a fried apple pie. Can you imagine??? An entire lifetime without tasting one of Granny's fried apple pies??? Nearly FIFTEEN YEARS of marriage and I hadn't even tried to make them for him?! Oh man!!!
One pie, and he was hooked. Yummmmmmm. He said that now I'm speaking his language!
Granny would be so proud.
Well, except for the fact that only one of my kids was willing to try them (that would be Zeke). But that's ok, it just means more for me and Mitch. And don't ask me how to make them, because I couldn't tell you. It would come out something like this: Cook some thinly sliced apples on the stove with some butter and brown sugar. Make a pie crust. Let the apple stuff cool completely. Pinch off pieces of pie crust and roll out to make little individual pies (as shown). Put apple filling down one half and fold other side over, sealing ends with a fork. Fry in hot shortening (or lard). Sprinkle with sugar if your taste buds seem to need it.
Ok, so that was my big accomplishment on Saturday. Whew! Besides that, I sewed Obadiah a pair of fleece pants (the boy has some nice fat thighs that make the majority of his pants not fit), and set snaps on 8 pocket diapers for him (but I have no idea when I'll actually get these diapers finished).
I am in the process of reading a bunch of new books and need to write at least 3 book reviews already. Ouch! Check out my bookshelf in the right-hand pane to see what I'm currently reading.
The kids and I are plugging along in the school year. For the most part, things are going well. Micah and Eden have really stepped up their note-taking skills. They are learning to take notes on their lessons, and they are taking closed-book quizzes and tests (I do let them use their notes, but their lessons are unavailable to them). Despite my fears that they would fail miserably, they are doing wonderfully. I also feared I would be met with strong resistance, whining about sore hands, etc., but that has not been the case either. I think they will be well-prepared for high school and beyond. Caleb is hanging steady on his schoolwork. He slides through most of it like it's no big deal, and is almost always done before lunch. Zeke is struggling mightily to stay focused and get his work done. He tries really, really hard. He does. I keep telling him we just have to find the right key to unlock learning in his brain. I have been watching him very closely, and I have been attentive to his thought patterns. I believe that he sees things and understands them in very much the same way as I do, so I am trying to pour on the patience. Once he makes those connections, I know they will stick strong. At this point, though, he is distracted by his own analytical thoughts. I totally get that!!! (See the first paragraph of this blog post). Josh is plain-old bored. While Zeke is working hard to get each assignment done, it seems like Josh breezes through his work like it were nothing. His biggest struggle has always been, and continues to be, handwriting. I wrestle on a daily basis with thoughts of if I should move Josh on or not. I leave him where he is for Zeke's sake, and all the while second-guess myself. While I may not move him on in Phonics or Spelling, no books are off-limits. He is welcome to read whatever, whenever he wants (well, except when he's supposed to be doing handwriting, that is). In this way I feel that he will be pushing to learn at his own pace and the phonics work we do will just be a matter of formality.
For all the kids I wish I could clone myself to sit at their sides while I explain each lesson, learning with them, challenging them, and stretching the lesson to the next level. Almost daily my heart feels burdened about this. Micah is good about laying on the extra guilt, too. Just drive that knife in further, buddy. He says, "Mom you never work with me!" (Not true) or "Mom, SEE, I got a 98% on that quiz after you did those two lessons with me!" Ugh.
I am struggling in many other areas too. There is so much I want to do and show them. So much grace I want to pour out. So many things I wish I could take back or undo. Am I getting any better at this, God? It sure feels like I'm getting worse! I have to pull back and remember that my plans for my children are not God's plans. He is writing the story. I don't know how it all works. I don't know how He can take my screw-ups and make something good out of my bad choices. My bad examples seem to multiply as each child passes it on to the next. But I cling to the promise of the Gospel. That He has forgiven. That He makes all things new. That He works everything out for good. I don't need to know how.
I have a tendency to worry about things. I worry about all kinds of things. When I'm reading a story, I am ALWAYS tempted to flip to the back of the book and read the ending. (I am ashamed to admit how many times I have given in to my temptation).
This, this is what I keep coming back to. As I let everything else fall away--pressures to teach, to lead, to correct, to discipline--the Gospel remains. For me. For Mitch. For our children. Nothing else is more important.
"God is completely sovereign. God is infinite in wisdom. God is perfect in love. God in His love always wills what is best for us. In His wisdom He always knows what is best, and in His sovereignty He has the power to bring it about." --Jerry Bridges