Friday, September 16, 2011

Leaving The Failure Parade

I realize this whole post is just whining with a cute dress on - so feel free to ignore it.  Really, I just want to get on with what needs doing without all this internal kvetching. Writing helps, it would seem.  I feel better already;  almost like I can go and conquer the school schedule and the laundry AND the peaches in my life right now.

I probably love to conquer more than I should.

I don't do laundry - I conquer it.  I don't teach a lesson - the lesson in conquered. I don't make dinner - dinner prep is conquered.  In fact, I don't even eat dinner -eating is conquered - as quickly and politely as possible.

This love of conquering is a double-edged sword, and also happens to be the main reason I don't consume alcohol. I'm sure you'll agree that,  while interesting, that is hardly the point of this post.

Sometimes, when the conquering isn't going well, I unintentionally throw myself a Failure Parade.

Have you ever gone to a Failure Parade?

I seem to attend one every time I start something new, and this September is prime-time for parades.  September is always busy, and I always chafe a little at getting back into a more rigorous routine (of conquering), but the din of the parade is wearing me down this week!

It's not depressing me, it just makes me feel, I don't know - grade-nine-angsty.   You know exactly what I mean, don't you?

I feed the failure parade when I listen to those voices that tell me I'm not enough, that what I know I'm supposed to do, can't be done.  It's a different kind of crazy-making than say, dealing with a schedule that is over-booked, or a life situation that is unavoidably stressful - although the parade often makes an entrance there too. 
The problem is me.  I feed the parade.  Heck, sometimes I buy cotton candy and join the hecklers.  I remind them of every screw up I've ever made in the past and encourage them to throw insults, cause after all, I probably deserve it.  I give credence to circumstances that shouldn't define me and allow the one or two voices of those who don't matter carry more weight than the many, many people who are screaming "You can do it - don't give up!" at the party on the other side of the street.

 Girlfriend has had enough.  I know what I am supposed to do right now.  I know it's gonna be hard sometimes.  But I know I can do this, and I can do it well, and I can do it with joy.

I'm going to listen to the voice of Truth.   The voice of God.  The Voice that said I was worth dying for.  The One who gives me the strength to do what I do well - not just to survive life, but to grow, to thrive and in the best sense of the word - to conquer.

If I spend more time listening to the voice of the One who knows me best the parade fails to materialize.  When I actually count the myriad of friends and family who do such a great job of  cheering me on when I do well, and lovingly holding me to account when I miss the mark, in contrast with the very small number attending this Debbie Downer of an event, then I think the Failure Parade won't matter so much anymore.

The people on the other side of the street are at a way better party than me.  It's time I bought popcorn and crossed the street. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

As Three as Three Can Be

This little schnert turned three at the end of August. Most of the time, I'm okay with that.

You might say he marches to the beat of his own drummer.

And most of the time, I'm okay with that, too.

Right now, Keaton is especially in love with:

his cousin, Wyatt...except for when they're trying to kill each other.

his friend Madi...except for when they're trying to kill each other.

and his big brother Tyson...except get the idea.

While I'm sure he loves all of his Aunties and Uncles, he is also especially in love with, or at least in love with the idea of,  Uncle Matt & Auntie Fify. Every single night he prays for "Unko-Matt an Auntie Fify, and der baby will be so healfy and so strawn and so healfy....and so strawn... and dey lif in a tree...Mom, dey lif in a tree?"

How "Botswana" translates into " a tree", we will never know!

What I especially love right now:

His puppy imitations, with real puppy kisses, make me laugh every single time, though I try to contain myself.  It's certain that a three year old tongue is not nearly as hygienic as a dogs.

I love how honest and easy to read he is.  It's true this is not-so-secret-Mom-code for when he's happy, he's really  happy, when he's not, he's reeeaaaally not.  But I really do love him to pieces, even though he has me questioning my ability to raise him on a weekly, if not daily basis.

I love the little songs and jingles - his soundtrack for life- that he so often is singing while he is playing or moving from one thing to the next.  Sometimes it's parts of a recognizable song, other times, it's just part of life.  I agree that life deserves a soundtrack, and when in doubt - make your own.

I love what a natural problem solver he is.  It's true that gets him into as much mischief as it gets him out of, but I never doubt his ability to persevere!

I love the way he asks for whatever it is he wants with the end note of : " and dat's go-be all done."  Except you know as well as I do - he never is!  His favourites include:

"Mom, I take your glasses, and I put them on Keaton, den I give them back to you, and dat's go-be all done"

"Mom, I have one more fwoot snacks, and dat's go-be all done."

"Mom, I have a baf in your room, and den we add bubbles and den I be all clean, and dat's go-be all done."

He'll never be done, he'll always be doing something, and that is something I totally understand!

I don't always love the screaming fits, but so far I manage to quit screaming before it gets too out of hand, and you know, we're working on it, cause we love each other, right?

I love you to the moon and back Keaton - Happy Birthday!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Learning is as Learning Does

Hey there!  It's that time again - the Family Matters blogpost of the month!  This time we're talking about...duhn, duhn,!  It seems fitting to talk about it while we're flying our homeschooling flag high this week and enjoying a little camping vacation during the school year.

Here's an excerpt for your enjoyment:

Thirdly, and this is fairly important: I think the ways we choose to educate:  homeschooling, private schooling or public schooling, are neither good nor bad.  There is no right or wrong way to educate your kids.  Or to paraphrase Paul in Romans 14:  “everything as it is in itself is holy.  We, of course, by the way we treat it, or talk about it, contaminate it.” So if you want the definitive answer on which method of schooling you should choose, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
On to the good stuff:
May you grow in confidence and strength in whatever form of educating God has called you to!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Favourite Things

This past week has been a mad flurry of activity getting ready for the new school year.  We sort-of-kind-of  follow the traditional school calendar, so tomorrow marks the beginning of the new school year for us.

Here are my three favourite school things this year :

3)  Unreasonably Decluttered School Room

You know it, and I know it - this room will never look like this again.  In fact, it doesn't even look like it right now.  But I love getting the possibilities this picture holds right now.  It speaks to the optimist in me.

That's right, my school room talks to me.

I'm just willing to own up to my weirdness now - it's the freedom that being 34 and 3/4 brings.

2)  Organization That Compensates For My Weaknesses

I love these spice racks from Ikea - they are inexpensive, ergo, I have bought MANY of them over the past year and used them for everything but a spice rack!  They work perfectly inside these cabinet doors, and they hold a multitude of sins - or in this case, stationery.  We're trying a single station stationery concept this year, rather than pencil cases.  I love, love, love these glass canisters. 

I hope it works out.  Really, I'll be okay if it doesn't - because at least the containers will still look nice with mess all around them.
 I am trying to embrace my need for things to look like something fun, and yet they also need to be manageable and simple.  These are saying "you can be spontaneous and clean up quickly, and so can your 5 year old" to me right now...what?  Your containers don't talk to you either?

1) Clipboards

I am a visual learner.  I am also very forgetful.  I also like things to look nice.  Here's hoping these kill three birds with one stone.  They are meant to hold the kids weekly assignments, and any booklets, or other things that need regular updating.

Almost Forgot:
I don't know if it's a runner-up, or really the grand prize winner, but this year I bought a laminating machine.  Let's just say no piece of paper is safe!

We're looking forward to the school year, although there are still lots of events from this summer I hope I get to writing about before the sunshine is but a distant memory.

Here's to new beginnings - may yours be fantastic too!