Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sunriver Vacation . . .better late than never

First of all, I can't neglect to point out that Duck Football season is upon us. It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Now, before I lose them, I want to get these memories from our week in Sunriver recorded. There is so much of our summer that will go un-documented because I was one nauseous mama most of the time. All nausea aside, we did have a great week of vacation. Eric's parents joined us for part of the time, including a freezing cold (but really fun, truly) trip floating down the Deschutes ... of which there are no pictures.

But, I did get pictures of pony rides, which was really a horseback ride for Marshall.

Oh Jameson, someday we WILL lose that binky

Miniature golf for the boys. Marshall opted out of the train ride. I think he is starting to feel too old for it . . . sigh.

And finally, the Sunriver Half-Marathon. Eric ran the half-marathon. Marshall ran in the half-mile kids' race. Eliza ran the quarter-mile kids' race. And well, Jameson and I just cheered on the sidelines. I had completely forgotten that it was a Susan G. Komen event until we went to pick up Eric's packet. It was fun that Marshall and Eliza's first-ever race was a Komen event, since many of you know I lost my mom to breast cancer eight years ago. Marshall was even willing to wear a pink shirt for the race.

Monday, September 17, 2012

School Has Begun

Oh yes, homeschool is on at the Compton house. We're getting back into the routine of math, language arts, handwriting, reading, Bible and Spanish. And, let's just be honest. Homeschool is one of the best, and hardest, things I've ever done. In some ways, harder than my first year of law school. Truly. Teaching my own kids is beautiful, and I love getting to do school with them. It's also hard. and messy. and exhausting.

I wish I could tell you that homeschool was easy. That no one ever cries during school time. That I never cry during school. I wish I could tell you that I never yell. Or that I never call Eric crying about how hard it is. Or, that during the first week of school, I cried no less than three times because I wondered what in the world I'm doing, and the first day of public or private schools had already come and gone, so it was way too late to register my kids . . . . and . . . wondering WHY am I homeschooling them? I'm totally ruining them. They are going to have huge gaps in their education. And thinking that they need to have a teacher, who isn't me, who will never snap at them because she isn't their mom and she'll get in trouble with her principal if she does.


Now. Breathe.

Remember that the Lord's mercies are new every morning. Or, as a friend put it recently, the Lord's mercies are new every subject.

I'm thankful that the Lord made His calling for us to homeschool so clear. I'm thankful that I can look back and see exactly how He showed us that this is the journey He has for our family. Because when I'm really frustrated, discouraged, and questioning why in the world are we doing this, I have evidence that our family is exactly where He wants us.

I know that I could just blog away about the ideal parts of our life and the days of homeschool that are easy. Because those exist too. Some days are just a breeze. I love being with my kids. They love being home. They love learning. No one complains about having to do more math.

But, I know that I need to hear from other moms who are willing to say that homeschool is hard. That sometimes they want to quit. That they look with envy at the school bus as it goes by, and wonder what it would be like to put their kids on it and have a morning to themselves.

Marshall and Eliza are taking Spanish this year. Another homeschool mom, who used to teach bilingual education in the public schools, is teaching it. Last week was our first week of Spanish. And, for that hour, I had the chance to visit and receive encouragement from four other moms who homeschool. Every one of us shared that homeschool can be hard. and ugly. That we feel inadequate. Afraid that we are doing something wrong. Or not doing enough. Or that so many of our great ideas go un-implemented as we just try to survive getting through school, and laundry, and making dinner, and cleaning toilets.

And, you know, when I heard their honesty about homeschool, that it's not easy for them either, it made me want to keep going. Hearing about their struggles didn't discourage me. It encouraged me. I realized I wasn't alone. That these awesome moms who homeschool have just as much struggle as I do. And if they can do it, maybe I can too.

If I'd had silence from them. Or, if all I'd heard was that they didn't understand what I was talking about because it's just fun and easy for them, I probably would have been registering my kids at our local school the next day. At the very least, it would have shut me down, and I never would have been honest or vulnerable with them again.

Eric and I love author Todd Wilson, who speaks on the homeschool circuit. We heard him speak at the 2011 Oregon homeschool conference. And we often go back to his wisdom that "What is hard, is good. And what is good, is hard." I can't tell you how many times Eric has reminded me of those words when I've called him from our bedroom closet, hiding from our kids, to tell him that I just can't do this!

His book Lies Homeschooling Moms Believe brought me back from the ledge last week. His encouragement to be real with other moms made all the difference. I loved this quote: "Refuse to put your best foot forward as was the counsel of a prominent Christian leader, but instead put your "REAL" foot forward. Let the world see your failures and shortcomings and then demonstrate what God can do through your weaknesses. That's the power of being "REAL."

So, this year, I'm determined to be REAL as I blog about home school . . . and about life in general. To put our real foot forward. To show you the bad with the good. The messy with the beautiful. The frustration with the joy. And the failure with the victory. So that I can demonstrate that every victory belongs not to me, but to Jesus.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

We're Having a Baby!!!

We now take this break from Nausea-ville to announce our exciting news! Drum roll please . . . . .

Our fourth baby is due to arrive on March 17, 2013!!!  Yahoo! We are one excited family, awaiting the arrival of this little babe. It's fitting that he/she is due on St. Patrick's Day, as the girl name we have picked out is an Irish surname. Now, if we just have another red head, the St. Patrick's Day date would be so perfect.

Marshall is hoping for a red-headed boy. Eliza is hoping for a blond-haired sister. She's already announced that she is going to be very angry with God if it is another brother. Based on my weird salty food cravings, and total disdain of dessert, Eric and I are guessing it's a boy. Oh man. I hope God is ready for the wrath of Eliza.

This pregnancy is the reason that our blog has been so quiet. I'm usually really nauseous most of the day, and completely exhausted too, from weeks 6-16. Which means I have about another two and a half weeks to go. Heaven help us. Especially my husband. My husband, who by the way, folded eight (not joking) loads of laundry the other night to surprise me while I was gone. And, did the Costco shopping for me last night. He's a keeper, I tell ya.

A lot of life has happened since my last blog post. With three other kiddos in the house, life doesn't slow down too much due to morning sickness. We've done swim lessons, Sunriver, playdates, run a half marathon (Eric), run in a 10K (Eric), run in our first races ever (Marshall and Eliza), celebrated a birthday or two, played on the Slip n Slide, had a first loose tooth (Eliza), lost a few more teeth (Marshall), had new teeth come in (Jameson), made new friends, been to a concert, had a few date nights, started soccer season, and kicked off Duck football for the year.

I know I'll get caught up on here eventually. I have some blogposts started and half-finished. And lots of cute pictures of the kids that I don't want to lose track of. Give me a few more weeks, and it will be a blog writing frenzy around here. But for now, I'm headed off to try to not feel nauseous and to get some sleep.