Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Back in Time

On Monday a group of the Home schoolers from our area visited a one room school house, where Francis Willard originally taught. My calendar tells me that September 28th is Francis Willard day. If you want to be more educated about who she was, there is a lovely search box at the top of your internet browser that will be more than happy to point you to that information. And now you are more enlightened. You're welcome. Anyway, back to the story. We were encouraged to dress the kiddos in 1850's costumes to add to the fun. So I set about sewing long skirts and bonnets, like the good mom that I am. We all had so much fun. The sweet little old lady, who was playing teacher that day, gave them a good mix of a history lesson and a taste of what school would have actually been like way back when. My girls, being the drama queens that they are, jumped into character and you would think that they had actually travelled back in time. Emma sat perfectly still with her hands in her lap for around 2 hours, which is unheard of around here. The children had to go around the room in the beginning, stand up and say their first and last names. When they got to Abi, she stood up and said "Abi" very confidently. When the teacher asked her "Abi, what?" expecting her last name, Abi said, "gail." Obviously... Abi Gail, duh. Too cute. We had a mix of ages in our group, it felt very authentic. We have since been enjoying "Little House" stories and mommy's collection of old school books ( I have strange hobbies, I know). I am more than pleased that they are taking an interest in this era of time that I have long been fascinated with. I have always said that History was my worst subject, and I still hold that to be true- in that I have never been great at memorizing names, dates and places. I really didn't/don't care. However, when it comes to the social parts of history, I am fascinated. So, as long as I can teach them history in that context, we will all be good to go. My favorite part of this whole experience was the little motto that the teacher helped the children to memorize. It was supposedly the motto that Miss Willard had sitting on her desk. It goes like this...

I am only one,

But I am one.

I cannot do everything,

But I can so somethings.

What I can do, I ought to do.

With the help of God.

Friday, September 14, 2007


Abi is learning a letter sound a day in our phonics program. Emma learned them all last year and is reading pretty well. Abi followed along with us last year, but wasn't officially doing school yet, so she is reviewing them all this year. Today we were playing a game where they took turns making words out of the sounds we have learned so far. It is suppossed to give them confidence because they are able to make words already even though they have only learned 12 sounds. So they were making words like cat, hit, pin, pan, red and then Abi grabs the e, h, and c and I am ready to tell her that she cannot make a word out of those letters and she yells out...


Wednesday, September 12, 2007


I have been really struggling with depression for about a month now. I should back up and say I have struggled with depression on and off for quite awhile, probably most severely after I had both of the girls (PPD), but only recently have I been able to put words to what I am struggling with. No, I have not gone to the doctor for it. This is for several reasons, which I won't get into here, but basically Curt and I have agreed that right now I don't need to and that if we ever feel that I need to, I will. I need his help in that decision as I don't always see clearly, myself (or see myself clearly... either way). This last bout, I believe has probably been brought on by the stress of Emma's seizures (she had another last week, but we think we may have a little more insight now into what is causing them, please keep praying), combined with the stress of starting homeschool. I loved doing homeschool last year. We had so much fun. So far this year, I have been flipping out about it. I feel a lot of pressure to do a good job, which is justified, but I go overboard and expect myself to be a "perfect" homeschooling mom. I am realizing how much of a perfectionist I am. I guess I have always known I was, but usually pushed it aside, because if I were really a perfectionist, then my house would be clean and my life would be organized. They aren't! I almost posted pictures, but I like the Internet to only see the good :). Instead I constantly beat myself up for not doing things good enough. I am always trying to find better ways to do things. Self-improvement is ok to a point, but not when it becomes obsessive. I have been slowly making my way through a book about maternal depression and yesterday, while sitting on the porch swing reading, several statements really struck me. One passage really hit hard... she talks about how there is no one small thing that will lick depression, but lots of small actions added up "create synergy" and help the depressed person to have a more optimistic outlook. "In a way, you could say, an optimist is willing to think small." I have been willing to think small in the past... I would think and observe all the little things that were/are wrong with me, my house, my husband, my kids, our church, the people around me... The list always grows. After reading that passage, I kind of felt like a switch had been flipped. I need to find the good. Isn't that why I have this blog (that I have been ignoring because I don't think anything is lovely)? So we are starting fresh today. I will probably have to start fresh lots of times. But today is good. It is sunny and in the 60s. My favorite weather. The back ache I went to bed with is gone. The children are being good (or at least I am not hyper-focused on the bad). I have a new refrigerator and dryer! I want to choose to see all those things instead of the little messes, and imperfections everywhere. I will keep trying. I am going to make a goal to post more often. At least 3 times a week. Hold me accountable ok? And now for the required picture, because pictures and taking them make me happy. I hope you all are clinging to what makes you happy too.