Friday, May 29, 2009

Just a Little Structure Please

We have been homeschooling for about 2 weeks now. The first week was spent figuring out how our days would go for the remainder of the school year.

Keep in mind, the girls were in an alternative school...there was little or no structure in the classroom. It was VERY laid back - to a fault. I also suspect there wasn't a real authority figure. Sure they had a teacher, but the kids called her by her first name. Is that really teaching kids to respect the leader of the classroom? I don't think so, I think it puts the kids and the teacher on the same level.

So, our first week I created a "schedule" and a list of "rules". I had the girls each review them with me, agree to them, and sign them. Then we hung the lists on their walls. This week we stuck to the lists like glue. They have to be up by 8am, be dressed, eat breakfast, have their teeth brushed, and rooms clean by 9:15.

This morning, Jenna woke up early...they are supposed to wake up by 8am and homeschool is supposed to start at 9:15. Jenna had completed every task on her daily list by 8am and asked if she could help me clean the kitchen.

I'm in shock. Jenna is my child that has always had the messiest room in the world. It has always been a challenge to get her to clean her room, get dressed, brush her teeth, or do anything! She has always been one of the most un-structured kids I have ever seen.

I am amazed at what a little structure for two weeks has done. Her room is not only clean in the morning, many times she cleans it on her own before bed! I didn't realize how the unstructured day at school was so drastically affecting the way she functioned in her home life.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Responsibility of Leadership

Sometimes the Lord speaks to you when you least expect it.

We went to church yesterday and Pastor Britt's message was on Hebrews 13:17 - Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.

Pastor Britt's message was on the responsibility of leadership and was all about the leaders in the church and their responsibilities to us, the body. Britt went on to list and discuss 25 responsibilities they have to us.

All of a sudden, about half way through his list, the Lord hit me over the head with something. I realized that my husband and I are leaders too. Not to the body, but my husband is the spiritual leader of our home and I am the leader (aka teacher) of our children. This was a huge eye opener, because as Britt was going through the list, I was realizing a lot of the responsibilities should apply to me as well (as the teacher of our kids). Let me just say, I fall super short everyday in leading my children!

Here is Britt's list:
1. They love and obey Jesus
2. They are called
3. Show you Jesus
4. Point you to Jesus
5. Servant-leadership
6. Purity
7. Accountability
8. Good Stewards
9. Take your lives seriously
10. Take the church seriously
11. To love the church
12. Protection
13. Practice church discipline
14. Family before ministry
15. Real Lives
16. Imperfection
17. Shortcomings
18. Failure
19. Repentance
20. Humility
21. Diligence
22. Tell you the truth
23. Availability
24. Equipping you
25. Teach you the bible

Over the next few days I am going to pray about and create a list of my responsibilities to my children as their mother and teacher.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I can do this!

Okay, this is going to be where the title of my blog really comes to life! I have made a decision! I struggled and prayed for 5 days about what to do...I checked out 3 different Christian Schools...contemplated the other public school. After a bunch of research on different curriculum's and after a lot of encouragement from 4 different friends who homeschool...I made the decision to do it! Why not? I work from home. I do have to go into the CEF office, but I can coordinate that to be when the girls are in dance, or at cheer practice.


I just really feel a peace about this! I believe in my heart it is the best thing to do for my two girls, therefore the sacrifice is worth it!

Yesterday I made it official and filed all of my paperwork with the state, got my binder together, and wrote a letter to the school, which I will deliver today. The name of our school is Mount Zion Academy!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Dilemma I now face

Despite the "Obama drama" I have had a pretty nice weekend.

My biggest dilemma is what to do about this last 4 weeks of school. I told several people Friday my girls weren't going back (out of emotional response). My girls started to clean out their desks, but didn't get everything. They also heard me say they weren't returning, but I don't want my pride to get in the way. I need to do what is best for them.
I have a few options:
1) Ask if their school work can be sent home for the final 4 weeks.
2) Send them back, and let them stick out this final 4 weeks...explaining to the girls that sometimes mom's react emotionally when they feel their kids are being wronged or exposed to situations they don't agree with.
3) Tell the school I'm homeschooling them for the final 4 weeks and do that.
Any advice would be appreciated!!!!

Today we went to church and heard a great message about the importance of doing good in the community around us. Of course, I know my reaction at school on Friday wasn't a good example of being a Christian (hence the mockery from crazy chair mom). I need to learn self control and patience in situations like that (especially ones that involve my kids!). Thank you God that I don't have to be perfect because You sent Your Son to be perfect for me. I would never get into Heaven if I had to be perfect!

I really need to surrender my struggle with self control and patience daily. Obviously, Friday I failed.

Now, for the fun news...I won an ipod shuffle today at the Vons grand reopening! I never win anything, so that was pretty fun. Especially since my 7 year old was with me.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Mama Bear Awakes...uh oh

Okay,, what the heck?

Maybe we should actually start with wait, we need to briefly go back to November! Inauguration day in the classroom. There were pictures of Obama on the blackboard, happiness and Obama talk everywhere, the kids were coloring pictures of him and the teacher was going to do a study of Bush vs Obama. That day a letter when home to parents of how Obama is our hope and inspiration (also it should be noted, a peace sign was at the top of this letter). You get the picture. Not exactly objective things going on in the classroom. Needless to say, I wasn't happy. The school was immediately notified by me, as well as the Superintendent of our school district. My girls are in 2nd and 3rd grade, they don't need this bologna at this age. My 7 year old was crying that Obama won...she was so confused and couldn't understand why people didn't like John McCain. Anyway, this situation was handled and I felt confident that the school realized not all of the parents were Obama supporters!

Now, to yesterday. I am at the school helping out in my kids class (I do this every Thursday afternoon). This particular Thursday there is a substitute. One of the kids runs up to the blackboard and draws a peace symbol. When the substitute turns around and sees it, he chants out Peace Obama! I was in shock and just stood there. I wanted to ask "excuse me, what does that mean"? But, I just stood there. I came home that night and told my husband and we just kind of laughed at the stupidity of the statement.

Then, we get to today. I arrive at school about 20 minutes early and sit in the car for 5. It's hot and I decide to go in for "circle time". Once again, there is a substitute (actually it is one of the parents). They are sitting in a circle, passing around a rock, and each kid gets a moment to say what they are thankful for. At the end of the first child's thankful list, he says "AND OBAMA". Immediately chanting from almost all of the kids starts. "Obama, Obama, Obama"! I look at my girls, and they are clearly uncomfortable. This continues with just about EVERY KID! Finally, they get to my child. I know she wont say she is thankful for Obama, she says she is thankful for her family and her mommy. Suddenly, one of the kids yells out "and Obama! The chanting starts again. Then the same thing happens when they get to my other daughter.

Okay, needless to say, I'm just super annoyed. Especially that they were allowed to sabotage my two girls thankful lists. However, it was a sub and I felt I should just let it slide. I told myself I'm sure she is handling it the best she can. There were tons of things I could have said, but these are 2nd and 3rd graders, and again, I'm giving the sub the benefit of the doubt. So I decide to just let it go. I just wanted to leave and get my girls out of this "Obamanation"!

Now to the stupid part! Try to keep following me. One of the kids (the worst behaved kid in the class) knocks down a chair twice. The first time, his mom is in the classroom and picks up the chair and says it is too big for the table, but turns it sideways and it fits. The second time, his mom was outside, but heard the chair fall and ran in to pick up the chair. She once again blames it on the chair being too big (as if it just fell all by itself). As she is taking the chair away, the child that the chair belongs to gets upset that his chair is being taken away. He was very upset and she just kept telling him his chair is too big for his desk. So, since she didn't see what happened, I decide to tell her that the chair isn't too big, but her son knocked off the smaller chair, which in turn caught the leg of the bigger chair and they "all fell down".

Holy Cow! You would have thought I told her son pulled out a gun and tried to shoot a child! She looked at me and said "What are you going to do about it". What the? I turned around, knowing I was already irritated at the chanting. I really didn't want to get into anything. I was in shock at her reaction. Well, then she gets in my face and says "It's none of your business". Excuse me woman, I saw what happened (which wasn't a big deal). You were outside. Now you are right in my face saying it is none of my business? She kept going off and finally I told her to JUST SHUT UP (so not like me to react this way).

Great, now I am finding myself completely pissed off. Not only at her, but at the whole chanting, the school, everything! This was like the icing on the cake that I didn't need. I went up to the front of the class and tell my girls we are leaving NOW. I find myself asking the sub if this type of chanting has been going on all day and tell her I'm sick and tired of my kids having to be exposed to the indoctrination every day of their lives! Whoa...Mama Bear is appearing. Crap, I hate when Mama Bear comes out! She is so unpredictable!

Meanwhile, crazy chair mom is rambling things in the background. I hear her say she is glad we are leaving the school next year and I hear her say God Bless You (this was her making fun of me, her child tells my girls there is no God, so I know she doesn't believe). I tried to tune most of her ramblings out.

Finally, as we are going to the car, I see a friendly face (Debbie). I begin telling her what happened and suddenly I hear Mama Bear telling my girls to clean out their desk because they won't be going back at all. UH OH...this isn't good! The bear has been awakened.

Seriously, all I wanted was to go home, vent to my husband about the chanting and talk about how glad we were they were going to a different school next year.

On a good note, I have gotten kudos from 3 different parents for telling crazy chair mom to SHUT UP. Evidently, several people have wanted to do this! She just got me on the wrong day at the wrong time!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Weekend of Love...

Joe and I went to his cousin Rebecca's wedding on Saturday. It had been a long time since we went to a large wedding. It was perfectly beautiful and we had so much fun seeing his family and celebrating! I don't have any pictures from the wedding itself, just the one I tried to take of Joe and I before we left the know, one of those funky self portraits that always turn out weird.

Oh, and the was Club Sport Renaissance. Now, let me just say, we aren't into working out at all anymore (although we probably should be) it was pretty funny to stay in a "fitness hotel". They had all kinds of things we didn't use, like a sauna, racquetball court, pool, 24 hour work out we even had little hand weights in our I guess people like to lift weights while on the potty? I don't know...but we got a good laugh about it. Oh, and they give you an apple in your room instead of chocolate or a cookie. What's up with that?

Now, the wedding was on the Saturday before Mother's, since we spent the night at a hotel, which meant I woke up with no kids on Mother's Day! That felt so strange. Joe took me to breakfast for Mothers kids. Then we started the drive home and had a nice lunch at Joe's cousins restaurant Casa Del Rey in San kids. Finally, around 3pm, I got to see 1/2 of my kids...we picked up Jenna and Kami from my mom....of course they were exhausted from hanging with my mom...this was them within a few minutes of getting in the car to head home.

Once home, I walked into the house and my wonderful daughter Jackie and son-in-law JP had bought me did my son Joey too. I also had the sweetest card from the three of them. Jenna and Kami wrote some really cute poems at school and gave those to me.

After that, Joe passed the BBQ torch onto JP (this was huge) and JP cooked us up some tri-tip. It was a great end to a fun weekend. I love my kids and am so blessed!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Shopping in Carp!

Today, Joe and I are leaving at noon or so to drive to San Diego...we are going to his cousins wedding. It has been years since we went to a "big wedding"...probably about 16 years!

Of course, I needed a yesterday I asked my oldest daughter if she wanted to go shopping with me. I decided to try to shop locally see, we live in a small town and of course, our local merchants are hurting. But, it can sometimes be a challenge to find the right thing here because, there just isn't a lot of selection.

I started with the dress...we went to a local store called By The Sea...she has great shoes...mostly Italian or Brazilian. Right away I found two dresses that I liked...I tried them on and they both fit great...I didn't feel fat...didn't feel like I would have to constantly suck my stomach know the fit! I couldn't believe it. I ended up going with the black one...I know the old fashioned belief is no black at a wedding...but EVERYONE assured me that has I went for it. I also got some great shoes to go with the dress...and they were on sale.

Next challenge was a wedding gift...well, I lucked out with that too! I knew the bride and groom liked wine, as they registered with an online wine store...they must be building a wine collection. So...we just happen to have a great wine store here in Carpinteria...I found a perfectly nice romantic bottle of wine (from Sunstone Winery in Santa Ynez)...and some of those adorable wine charms that are hand made. I really want some of these...right now I use an earring on my glass so it doesn't get mixed up with another. I used a pretty ribbon to attach the charms to the bottle...notice how the picture on the bottle of wine is a picture a man and a woman kissing...

Then, I realized, I also have to get Mother's Day cards and gifts...would you believe I found those in Carpinteria too?

So, poor Jackie, was all dressed up and ready to go shopping (outside of our sleepy little town)....but I found everything here and we never left. Best part was, it felt good to support our local merchants!