"Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to let you in."

-- Robert Frost

Thursday, January 28, 2016

the world is our campus

Since this new semester began, my kitchen pretty much looks like this:

Faced with need for an individualized plan that we just weren't finding, I presented some choices to Grant for taking charge of his education. He wanted to try a homeschooling program.

I had no idea where to begin so I called my sister because she's a pro.

Knowing I needed some added guidance, we decided to join an online school. Basically, we use their curriculum to turn the world into our campus.

Though rocky at first as we struggled to get our feet under us, we've flown and decided we love being constant learners.

Nothing thrills us more than realizing how everything is connected.

We have science projects going on in every corner.

And history timelines growing on the walls.

There's time to slow down and enjoy the ride.

We're fascinated by all there is to soak in.

And once in awhile we get a little crazy ... and maybe threaten to stick our tongue to an ice core sample from Antarctica with precipitation dated back to the Jurassic period.

But nothing gets us more excited about education than filling our days with what we want to learn and knowing that if we want to, we can learn anything.

There are dear friends missed but rekindling that spark of love for knowledge has been priceless and the freedom to choose how we do that has made us grateful.

To all my talented home school mom friends, I've gained a new appreciation of you! You are amazing.  And if you feel like sharing a tip or two .... I'm ready to soak up all I can learn from you ;)

Thursday, January 21, 2016

living intentionally ... how to eat an elephant

New years are always brimming with hope and new promise. I love setting goals. I'm an excellent starter at just about anything. However, some goals progress, some lose steam, in the end almost all of them are reflected upon with a feeling of insufficiency.

Maybe my internal meter will always struggle to measure "enough" much less "good enough".

These last couple of weeks, I've been evaluating some things I'd like to see in myself, my family, this life. The saying, "How do you eat an elephant? ... One bite at a time" keeps coming to mind.

Change can feel huge. A year's worth of change, possibly but not probably. 
Monthly? Weekly? Daily? How about hourly? ;)

For me, 2016 is a year of daily intention. What do I want to see just today? 

At day's close:  A moment of evening reflection on the minutes where my intention was present with a brightness of hope that when I do feel the looming weight of failure, I'll see in myself even the very smallest incidence of the day's intent. And maybe, just maybe, that shift in perspective will lead to more.

My mind is like a sieve and I can remember very little, much less the fact that I even made an intent for the day. To help me out with a visual reminder, one of my girls made for me, an "intention" bracelet to sharpen my memory at it's notice. 

And bite by bite, I hope to end this year ... this month ... this week .... this day ... this hour,  knowing, it was quite possible, "good enough".

With one exuberant three-year-old climbing on my back at this very moment, I'm not sure if any of that makes real sense at all. 

I rarely do these days. 

Just the same, today's intent was to see the true beauty in every person I interacted with and so here's a bunch of pictures capturing the beauty of life as I see it right now.

Here's hoping for greatness in the year to come.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

wrapping up 2015

Our fall into winter got pretty crazy but I'm hoping this wraps up our scattered year and I can resolve not to let my memory fall behind in the new one.

Christian hit the big 17 and with it 6'6". I haven't seen him to get one of our traditional back to back pictures. He is a working man so he's hard to get a hold of.

But I did steal him from the high school for a date.

We also had a date with a judge in a courtroom. Racing to get a date home before curfew never pays.

A parent is required to accompany so he and I spent one very long afternoon here.

Nervously at first, he sat and began to look around, then noticed he knew just about every other person in the room. One was a teacher, one a friend, one a co-worker, one guy from a class, one girl from church who he's danced with at a dance ....

I think he began to relax just a bit much because a few minutes later he was nearly giddy with excitement of it all. He loved standing up there talking to the judge. He loved talking specifics with his court appointed council. He left excited to fill out an application to volunteer on the teen court.

So much for punishing that kid. Nothing will ever get him down.

The snow began far too early for my liking and I slid right in the a ditch out of the starting gate .... that gets me down ;)

Charlotte and I got to go eat holiday lunch with Eliza. She's all I got pictured because despite my best efforts, Eliza ditched me for friends on the playground ;) 

This happened.

I just got released from working with the youth in our ward. Man, will I miss those week night activities. Most especially seeing my kids interact with their friends.

My last attended activity was sledding in the local park. Christian and his good friend had to turn it into a ski jumping competition.

Eliza will miss those midweek activities too. She adores every single young man and woman.

Grant got new glasses.

And Eliza got her first pair. That girl was radiant about that little fact.

First day of winter break means dentist appointments for everyone. We take up all the hygienist chairs in the office.

Charlotte was so, so, so excited.

Newel and I took a little getaway to the mountains. My Great Uncle Bill and Aunt Nancy were in Vail and we loved meeting up with them for dinner. It was just the perfect shot in the arm of southern heritage that I needed.

The next morning, Newel and I skied just the two of us. It was so nice to have a day date and talk and talk.

Just because she's cute on a breakfast out over Christmas vacation.

We stopped in for some fun at Christian's place of employment. He's a court monitor at SkyZone, a trampoline play place.

It's the perfect fit for him.

But standing around watching people jump continually nearly kills him ... because I'm not sure he's ever stood still a day in his life.

I was tickled to see him in an environment that is all his. Where he's responsible and respected and in charge.

This female carbon copy of him pretty much loved it too.

And that's a December wrap.