Everyday has become a challenge. Homeschool is not what I hoped or expected it to be this year. I feel like I’m constantly wrangling cats when it’s time to get the boys to sit down and do their school work. I also feel a bit like a hostage negotiator, as I’m always trying to get the boys to participate in any activity we have lined up. It’s exhausting. There are days where we have a lot of fun and I really enjoy the opportunity I have to homeschool the boys but those are becoming fewer and fewer.
When we started on this homeschool journey I told Joe that we would take it one year at a time and one kid and a time. We are in a position where we have the luxury of choosing to homeschool or not and I want to do want is best for out whole family, that includes myself. I’ve found that this school year I have been greatly neglecting myself. From the time I get out of bed (7am) until the kids are in bed (9pm) I’m non-stop go. I’m not in a healthy place physically, emotionally or physically because I can barely catch my breath on a daily basis. (It’s also why I haven blogged much lately. Blogging is an outlet for me and something I typically make time for because it helps me organize my thoughts but I haven’t been able to make time for it lately.) I realize I can’t sustain a lifestyle like this and I also realize that some of my stress is only temporary, like having a busy toddler around the house. But instead of killing myself to do it all I’m looking into what changes I can make. We will most likely be adjusting what we do with the boys for school next year, although I’m not 100% sure what those changes are yet. But until then I’m trying to get through the end of this school year without loosing my mind. I’m extremely thankful that Joe works from home, although we probably see him less because he’s always on conference calls in his office, it still frees me up to get stuff done during Abel’s nap time. I’m also focusing on the parts of school that really work for us like field trips and outdoor learning.
I know that whatever we decide to do for school next year the boys will be fine. Kid are great at adapting and as their mom I planned to be heavily involved in whatever form of education we utilize.
2016 had it’s ups and downs for sure but overall it wasn’t a horrible year for our family. There were a lot of hard things we endured but we also got to celebrate a lot too. I’m not much of a goal setter when it comes to the new year but I do like to look back at my year and see what I’d like to improve or change. Sometimes we get stuck in a rut and constantly struggle with the same things and we aren’t even aware of it. So, I like to look at the areas of my life that are hard and think about ways I can change so they become less of a burden.
Each new year brings a new hope that things in our life may improve but we must adjust our actions if we want things to change. Hope is what drives us to make changes. We have hope because we know that we were designed for better things.
My prayer for this year is that when circumstances get tough and life seem overwhelming that we have hope. Hope that we are called to something bigger than just today. Hope that our circumstances do not dictate our attitude and actions. Hope that our hard work will lead us toward a life that is full, not perfect but fulfilled.
So as I look back at 2016 I reflect upon the good times that brought me so much joy. But I also look at the hard things that taught me how to look past my circumstances and to find the joy, find the hope.
My boys love all things Nintendo. Santa will be bringing them a few new games come Christmas morning including a few surprises in their stocking in their stockings.
If you’re looking for some awesome stocking stuffer ideas for your gamer try a Nintendo DS Game like Mario Party Star Rush or Amiibo figures.
We love Mario Party so Mario Party Star Rush is a huge hit because it’s a game everyone can play. Players roll the dice, roam the board, and recruit fan-favorite allies to help earn stars and coins in frantic minigames. But unlike the previous Mario Parties there’s no waiting for your turn, all players participate simultaneously working to take down bosses on each game board. What’s really cool is that your friends don’t have to own the game to play with you, they just need their own DS. There is a guest download available on the Nintendo eShop that allows you to play with up to 3 friends.
After you’ve bought the new Mario Party Star Rush for Nintendo 3DS you’ll want to pick up a few Amiibo figures. Amiibo are figures that can be use with the Nintendo Wii U GamePad or New Nintendo 3DS series. Amiibos allow you to add special characters to games, unlock bonuses, or help level up existing characters. In Mario Party Star Rush specifically, you can use one of 7 new amiibo to immediately team up with Mushroom Kingdom allies.
A Few of your favorite Amiibo figures for Mario Party Star Rush are Boo, Wario, Donkey Kong and Daisy.
I foresee our family playing a lot Mario Party Star Rush this holiday season.
Nintendo of America provided me with a New Nintendo 3DS XL system and games for review. All opinions and thoughts are my own.
This question has been a hard one for me to answer for years, mostly because I don’t feel like I have a lot of free time. I’m in mom mode almost 24/7 and kids are constantly interrupting me. I used to have a lot of things that kept me occupied during my “free” time. I played the piano, played the guitar, wrote music, went hiking, created art, edited videos, and much more… just for fun. Now I find that my free time includes cleaning or staring blankly at a screen. I think a lot of moms feel like this, you give yourself over completely to motherhood and you seem to lose yourself. While I don’t completely agree that I’ve lost myself to motherhood, because I feel like motherhood has changed who I am and I think my old self is far too small for my new life as mom. However, I do feel that as a mother I need to have a strong sense of self in order to be the best mom I can be. This is often found through self-care, the one area that I find myself neglecting. I’m getting better about making time to care for myself but it’s still only maintenance. I’m learning that self care goes beyond taking a shower, going shopping alone, working out, or getting a pedicure every so often. Self care is about making time for things that bring me life. It’s about creating “free time” to have a hobby.
For many years now I’ve been playing with photography. It’s an intimidating and expensive hobby but it’s something that brings me peace and joy. I enjoy capturing moments and my role as mother has only intensified my desire to capture so many moments. There have been time when motherhood was so overwhelming the only self care I could manage was a shower every few days but the newborn phases are gone and now I can carve out a little time for me. I just recently pulled out my dusty old camera and have decided to start photographing moments. My craft may not be perfected but for me photography isn’t about the end result, it’s about slowing down and stepping back to observe and embrace life around me. It’s a form of self care for me. As a mother, as a wife and as a human I think find free time to have a hobby is so important.
We spent Thanksgiving with some of my extended family this year. We played games, ate too much food and gave thanks for so many things. I took a lot of picture so of course I’m not in any of them. I really need to teach someone else how to use my camera.
Abel in suspenders!
My Uncle Zack carves the turkey.
Joe and my Uncle Keith talk Big Green Eggs.
My cousin and his beautiful fiance.
Noah and Simon love my cousin Nikki.
Abel and Boogie playing
My Cousin Alexa showing her Dad something on the internet.
Noah enjoys the acorn treats we made.
The boys decorate turkey crafts.
Noah showing Grandma his colorful turkey.
Great Grandma Lois admires the turkey crafts.
Simon working hard on his turkey.
Abel enjoys the orange icing.
Aunt Laney telling everyone a story.
The other day I took the 3 oldest boys to Pullen Park for a last minute afternoon adventure. Because Joe works from home we have ability to sneak away while Abel takes his afternoon nap. It’s actually very ideal because the boys get really loud and rambunctious in the afternoons.
I love a good plan but I also like spontaneity especially when we can just go along with out any major time constrains. I hate living chained to the clock and calendar. Obviously we have responsibilities but every once in awhile a day or even part of a day is wide open and I love heading out and seeing where the day takes us. On this particular day the boys chose to ride the carousel and walk around the pond/lake. I was pretty surprised by their decisions especially since they are very fond of the train and giant playground. But they are curious creatures and I don’t think they’d ever walked around the pond and we’re always up for a good adventure. We were also the only ones to ride the carousel which was pretty exciting.
I love family outings that allow the kids to indulge their curiosity and gives them the freedom to make decisions about how we will spend our time.
Last Wednesday Abel decided to give Joe and I a bit of a scare. While Joe was upstairs working and I was in the bathroom he got under the kitchen sink (which was child proofed) and drank some Mr. Clean (which is one of the only non-natural cleaners we owned and was in the very back of the cabinet). Thankfully Jude was there to take it away from him pretty quickly but it was evident that he did in fact drink the cleaner.
So after reading the bottle and giving him some water (what the label suggested) we call the pediatrician. They suggested we take him to the ER, which we did. He threw up a little and then seemed mostly fine after that but not without giving us a scare.
They watched him for a few hours in the ER and then the doctors gave him the all clear to go home.