9.11.2014

One of Those Families

We're one of those.

We've joined the other side.

We're homeschoolers.

Yep.

It was a decision that weighed heavily on my heart and kept me awake many nights for close to a year.  I forced Justin to talk about it all the time.  I cried about it, prayed about it, fought the urge to say we were going to do it, until finally gave in and said, "I think we should do it."  I didn't want to be "one of those" people.

I didn't want to deal with the raised eyebrows of people who thought it was a bad decision; those who would say:

"You can't shelter them forever."

"They've got to go out into the real world without you sometime."

"They need socialization."

The list goes on, and on, and on.  I didn't really want to deal with people and their thoughts on what we should do with our kids, so for a long time I didn't say anything at all about it.  I really didn't want to feel the need to give a long explanation of why we've decided to homeschool.  Heck, I don't really and truly know myself!  I just know there was no fighting the feeling in the pit of my stomach when I thought about sending my boy away to big school for 40 hours a week.  The instant relief I felt when I finally said our decision out loud confirmed for me that it was God urging, not some crazy bandwagon I was trying to decide if I was jumping on or not.

So here we are, homeschoolers.

It sounds sort of odd to me, but I'm excited about it!  We all are!

The beautiful thing is, we actually get the best of both worlds.  A few years ago a friend I used to teach with started a school for homeschoolers.  Oxymoron?  But, the school is two days a week and all of the homeschool kids go to "real school" together.  It's perfect!  They have lunch and recess, art, Spanish and other electives along with their core classes.  They'll go on field trips and have a science fair and a wax museum.  They have teachers other than us and have to follow class rules and work with other children.

Two days a week.

It's awesome!  We just finished week four of school and we're loving it.  You know my favorite part?  Every single morning of "school school" starts with Chapel.  We all start the morning with 30 minutes of praise songs and a devotion for the whole school.  I can't even describe what it's like to hear the voices of 200 children singing, "Bless the Lord oh, my soul" together.   If it doesn't give you chills I don't know what would!  

So there you have it.  We're homeschoolers.  I've been told by a few seasoned homeschool moms that it's a year by year decision, so that's how we're looking at it.  Who knows what the next years will bring, but for now, we're happy with the choices we've made.  The kids seem to be happy too, so that's definitely a win!

It was such a mixture of emotions sending this boy off to his first day of kindergarten.  We're so very thankful this day came.  It was one that for a long time we weren't completely confident that we would see.  So thankful!

He had a really tough time the first two weeks...which was really only four days, but I think we're finally past that.  Now he's loving it!   Thank goodness!!

And Jenny Kate...my girl has been looking forward to this day for a year!  She was so insanely excited to go to school!
She's had a really fun time at school and it wasn't super difficult for her.  At first.  I think she picked up on Derrick's anxiety (the boy wasn't even sleeping!) and after we got through the first two weeks decided she'd start crying when it was time for school.  At least they weren't both having a crazy hard time at the same time.  That would have sent me over the edge for sure!  We're still working through Jen's anxiety, but I'm hopeful that it will end soon.  She just told be she loves school but she's never going to stop crying about going.  Ha!  Drama.  I'm pretty sure she'll give up soon.

So far we've loving school days at "school school" and with school at home.  Speaking of, it's time for me to drag the kids in from their sidewalk painting outside this morning and do a little school work.   I do love these non-rushed school mornings!

I had to be in a first day of school picture too, because it was the first day for all three of us!  I'm back in fifth grade and teaching a pre-algebra class at their school.  Loving it!


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8.01.2014

Slacker!

You know it's time to update the blog when your mama asks why you haven't updated lately!

We've been enjoying the summer swimming, playing at the beach, watching movies and just hanging out.   I have a bizillion pictures and posts, and actually think about blogging almost every single day, I just can't seem to make myself sit down and do it.  This is a super quickie because I wanted to share something you may be interested in.

 I promise to be back soon to share pictures!  Pinky swear!

Our 5th Annual Hope for BraveHEARTS Golf Tournament is tomorrow!!  We're stoked and praying hard that it doesn't rain tomorrow!!  We have an online silent auction that some of you may be interested in, so I wanted to share it.  It's only open online until 7am tomorrow morning but will remain open at the tournament until the last golfers finish.  If you're a Facebooker, here's the link.  There's some really good stuff there so go check it out!

If you don't have anything to do tomorrow come join us for golf (teeing off at 9am) or lunch around 1pm.  We'd love to have you! And if you're there you can continue to bid on your favorite items!  Here's more info on the tournament.

And because I must share a pic...

This was a few weeks ago when we were at Hilton Head.  The kids had a blast hanging with their cousin Carter.  More to come, for real! ;)

P.S.  Excuse the messed up look of the blog.  I started working on a new look and got side tracked...the story of my life! Oops!

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4.24.2014

Throwback Thursday :: The First Time

My boy turned FIVE on Sunday.  I thought it was pretty special for a little miracle boy to have a birthday on Easter.    It was a great day to rejoice because he and He are alive.  My cup runneth over.  

In true Shannon fashion I have a birthday blog post in my head but have not found the time to sit and put it on "paper."  Eventually it will come.  It's one of my New Year's resolutions that I haven't started yet.  

I realized this morning though, as I looked at the date in the top corner of my devotion, that today is April 24.  Forever that will be a date full of emotion because today, five years ago, when our sweet boy was four days old, we got to hold him in our arms for the very first time.  It was only for a few short minutes, but those minutes carried us through a whole lot of really long days afterward. 


I think these photos will bring me to tears for the rest of my life.  It's hard when you can't hold your baby, but oh how thankful I am to still be able to hold this baby.  Five uncertain years later and I still get to hold him.  

Thank you Jesus, You, and he, are ALIVE!

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3.20.2014

Learning

We're learning a lot these days.  The biggest learning lately seems to be happening on the baseball field, although Derrick isn't the only one learning from this whole experience.

Tonight at the end of practice the coach had them run the bases.  The first two times Derrick crossed home plate (well, he didn't actually cross...we're working on that concept) he had a huge smile on his face.  The third time he was struggling some.  By the fourth trip of non-stop running around the bases my boy had slowed down a good bit.  He was the only kid out there still making his way around.  The rest of his team had finished and he was rounding the corner of first base, but he kept trucking along.  Those little legs were moving and his arms were pumping.  I could see the determination on his face...eyes straight ahead, tongue poking out...that's D's determined face.  He was going to make it around just like every other one of his teammates. 

And he did.

And I was in tears as he did it.

It took every ounce of control I had not call him back as he started that fourth lap.  As soon as his team did their little huddle I ran out on the field and asked him if he was ok.  He was opening his drink and said, "I'm tired!"  Nothing about being out of breath, nothing really at all.  I think more than anything his legs were probably pooped because he's never run that much in his life.

I am so proud of how much effort he's putting into baseball.  He really loves it.  He listens to his coaches, he tries hard and he does everything the other kids do, even though he's always the last one finished.  He's learning the concepts of the game and what it means to be on a team, and I'm learning how to step back and trust him a little bit.  I'm learning to trust him to listen to his own body instead of rushing in and limiting him.  It's hard though.  I want to see him succeed more than any person in this world, and I don't want to hold him back or embarrass him because I'm afraid he can't do it.  Because as he proved to me tonight, he can.  He's not the fastest but by golly he's the most determined.  And I think that may be even better.

They had their Opening Day game Saturday (which was hilarious, by the way!).  I took my big camera, pulled it out at the beginning of the game and realized I had no camera card.  Ugh!  Crappy phone pics it had to be...


And speaking of learning...this priss has now decided she should be in charge of her outfits and insisted on this ensemble this morning.  She's such a mess. 
I'm trying to learn to let go a little there too, but we have some color coordinating lessons to go over.  :) 

Happy first day of spring!  Bring on the sunshine!!