August 20, 2007

I made it

In keeping with family traditions, I took photos of my kids on their first day of school. Unfortunately it has been raining for two days, so the pictures are kind of soggy. But here they are in all their glory (and totally thrilled with holding the umbrella).

When Everett came downstairs for breakfast this is what he was wearing, complete with the nametag from vacation Bible school. I didn't say anything, but he later informed me that this is his school "uniform" and I need to wash it every night. Yeah, I'll get right on that. To further comment, he's paired a seersucker jacket with plain gray t-shirt and jeans. Quite the fashionista, takes after his dad.

I wouldn't say the day went beautifully, but it...went. And, we are all excited to do it again tomorrow. Everett's statement before bed was, "The second day of school is even better than the first." Let's hope so. I've got to tweak some things, but I really need to focus on these three and just get us into a routine. Then I can deal with adding babies to the crowd in a few months. I kept looking around thinking, "How am I going to manage? What in the world will we do?" Not a good first day attitude. Since it's overwhelming enough. It's hard to step back and realize that I'm homeschooling because we felt like God was calling us to do it. So I know that God is going to take care of us, BUT I don't remember that when I'm up to my knees in questions, pleads, and squabbles. Deep breath.

Honestly, we had a very rewarding day. Ella was fabulous (I was most worried about her), she patiently listened to me, worked hard, and kept herself entertained with quiet activities. We had a great moment during our math lesson (very basic right now), when she was so proud of herself for answering correctly. The problem kid turned out to be Eli, he wanted to "work, work, work" and that doesn't happen with kindergarden. Since he couldn't work, work, work, he bugged, bugged, bugged me. We sat down later and planned out things that he could do ALONE for tomorrow.

One hour....

before school starts. I feel incredibly silly because I only have three students, and they are my kids. AND they are so excited about starting school that Eli said he's going to cry today because of happiness. Could I ask for anything more?

But I'm nervous because this year I have three kids to teach. I feel like if this day and this month don't go well I will have a nervous breakdown wondering if I can manage five children, homeschooling three of them.

Did I mention that my palms are sweating right now?

I feel even sillier because I'm in my robe sipping coffee, have oatmeal baking in the oven (with white chocolate chips in it) waiting for my kids to wake up. I'm the picture of peace--my books are laid out, supplies are purchased and organized. Our school area is pristine (though this only happened last night) and inviting. But I feel so much pressure because I don't know if I can do it. When people ask how I'm going to manage five young children my answer is, "I don't know." I don't know HOW I will do it because I've never done it. And so I've put myself into this place thinking if today goes beautifully, then I'm one step closer to managing my family in 6 months when I add two babies to the clan. It sort of makes sense, right? Or am I completely out of my mind--yeah, yeah, don't answer that.

The more I type the more butterflies I feel, so I better stop now and just promise that I'll post later (if all goes well and the wild children don't tie me up in the basement because school didn't live up to their expectations).

August 16, 2007

Touring the Eastern Shore

I failed to mention 3 weeks ago that my kids and I were boarding the minivan for an extended trip along the East Coast. For everyone who has emailed or called wondering if we dropped into oblivion--nope, still here. For the rest of you who knew we were gone, but have emailed or called wondering if we have heard anything about our adoption--nope, still haven't. Thankfully, life on the highway passes by fast and from the look of my annoying ticker at the top of the page we've been waiting 3 months. Since I'm recovering from vacation and planning to start school in 4 days, my brain is fried. Here's a look at our past three weeks.

Day 1- We meet our first obstacle, fitting all of this into the van.

Day2-8 No photos because my camera battery stopped charging after the previous photo.

Day 8 Reinforcements meet me at the beach. My sweet hubby gives me a memory card for the video camera, so I can bug everyone by taking photos. Unfortunately, the video ability is null because the humidity messes with the (brand new) camera and it malfunctions everytime I try to video.

Day 12 Ella loses her tooth while in the pool wearing a snorkel mask. I thought she vomited, but thankfully (since we have been down the vomit-in-the-pool road before) it was just a bloody tooth. Double thankfulness that I didn't have to pull it, because it was in that nasty hanging by a thread stage.

Day 14 Cool beach boys.

Day 19-On our way home we drove through the town of Everett, PA (or VA, or WVA, or even MD not sure, we were passing through states pretty quickly). We pulled off for a quick photo which turned into half an hour looking for the town and finally determining that Everett doesn't exist. Seth griped about the photo seeming quaint if he hadn't been involved. We finally just decide to turn around and take a picture next to the exit sign. Good enough!
Still driving, the natives are incredibly restless. At one point I turn around to see Eli playing with a bag of dirty clothes. Naturally, I take a picture.

Nearing the end of the voyage, Seth and I determine that with five children we will no longer fit into our van. Well, WE will fit but our luggage will not. I think we were pretty burned out because we never figured out a solution to that problem. Perhaps Seth thought that this would be the last of our family vacations. I'm thinking we need a 9 seater monster SUV. Unfortunately, he's more the cargo van kind of guy.