Sunday, September 22, 2013

Autumn and What I've Been Up To

I am happy that fall is here. It is such a beautiful time of year with the cool breezes and the glorious autumn leaves on parade. I already broke out my fall decorations and candles!

Some of you might have noticed that I took the summer off from blogging.  :) It wasn't really intentional. Days turned into weeks and weeks to months. Blogging takes time and I wanted to give that time to my family over the summer. My posts may never keep up with the pace of other "pro mommy bloggers" but for me, I prefer blogging when time permits and I have something to say. 


Over the Spring and Summer my husband has been working a few hours away from home on and off for weeks at a time and that took some getting used to. It certainly altered our home routines. I missed him so very much when he was away.  Our whole family got to go with him a couple of times which was really great.  And our 17yo worked with him several times. It was a resort town in the mountains and really beautiful.  But now that job is all finished and I am hoping there won't be any more out of town jobs that come our way for a very long time. But either way, I am learning to be flexible and adapt.

My children are more and more becoming not children anymore, but men. They are 14 and 17 and taller than me now. All their lives as they inch closer and closer to manhood, our parenting has had to shift. I had to ease off my mothering instincts and allow my husband to take the prominent role in their lives. That started around the time they hit 7. In medieval times, once boys were 7yo they went to live with the men completely apart from their mothers. I am glad we don't live in those times because that would be heartbreaking. 

I am so blessed to have such a wonderful husband and father to our boys. They are learning how to be men by watching him. Something to remember ladies, is that the more you honor your husband and emphasize his strong points, the more he will develop those points. But it must be sincere. Pray that God works this into your heart. Whatever we focus on will enlarge. The more feminine we are, the more we defer to our husband's leading, his wishes, his direction, his wisdom, the more of a leader he will become. The more tender he will be with you. If you've been in the driver's seat or had your hand on the wheel for a while, I encourage you to repent and let go. Trust God to lead your husband. (I speak to ladies in healthy homes  -  NOT where abuse is present). 

This year we are taking a fresh new path with our homeschooling. One I have never wanted to do, but am doing for my boys. We joined a weekly co-op. It is only 2 classes (chemistry and literature) plus an hour of P.E. at the end.  A total of three hours every week. I've never liked the idea of anyone else teaching my kids, but they are getting older and need a social outlet which can be SO difficult to find likeminded families to involve our children in. We are morally opposed to the modern church "youth groups" as they are usually a hotbed for immorality under the cloak of religion.

So this co-op we found is pretty awesome with very like-minded families. It is fairly small which is wonderful, too. It's nice that I already know a few of the moms in the group from our homeschool group.  No drop offs allowed and mom's teach one hour, help in another and have the third free. 

Our older son was ambivalent about joining but after the first day said he said he loved it. Both our sons thought the kids were similar to them and showed genuine interest in the things of God, seeking him, helping others in service projects and prayer together.  I was happy they liked it so much. My husband and I feel that it's a good social outlet for our boys. 

That same day we tried out another group for Christian teens in another local homeschool group. We'd heard about it for some time and since they have specific activities for teens, we thought we'd check them out.  That same evening was mom's night in our regular homeschool group. I had a wonderful time, but it sure made for one full day! 

So we went to the Presentation Day and I asked our boys how they liked it, bracing myself for the possibility that they might. 

(The kids were pretty worldly. It's not that we won't let our kids be around worldly people or worldly 'Christians'. It is that we are careful to guard which pools we fish in for friendships. We have exposed our sons to worldly people whenever possible and we discuss as a family the "fruit" that we see from them.  But we're looking for godly friends for them and you don't search for fresh fruit in a back alley, right? You go to a farmers market or a nice grocery store. Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. - I Corinthians 15:33)

Anyway, when both my sons answered that they did not like the teen group and didn't want to go back, I was quite relieved. And also proud that they are learning discernment to make wise decisions. I praise God for his great faithfulness to our family. 

So for this school year, we will keep our focus on our new little co-op and our wonderful homeschool group that we've been a part of for almost 3 years which we are agreed that when we found them, we struck gold. :-)

I have company coming for dinner tonight so I am off to get things prepared for them. But I will try to find more time to blog in the coming weeks. 

I'd like to do a series on keeping the environment of our homes healthier once our windows close from chill and we turn on our heaters so be looking for that!

Autumn blessings to you!  


DeNiece Barnes said...

Welcome back dear sister in Christ. I have missed your blog posts so much. They were really encouragement for me. I understand why you take off the summer from blogging, because I too take it off to spend more time with the family. We started back home school right after labor day and as of right now everything is going well. We also go to a home school coop for art and PE. As you may know Fall is my favorite time of year so I am really looking forward to the time where we can spend cold nights under warm blankets and be cozy and watch some of our favorite movies as a family. Have a wonderful and Blessed weekend my friend....

Courtney said...

I'm so glad you're back! I always miss you on your blog breaks (although I completely understand why you do it)! I just started my first year of homeschool with my 4yo. Even though what I'm doing with him isn't hard, (numbers, letters, shapes, etc...) I still can't seem to shake the feeling that I'm not qualified for this! I'll get thoughts like, "What if I'm doing him a great disservice?!" or, "I'm not a good enough mom to be a homeschool mom!!!" It didn't help that I took all my kids to Target today, and an older man stopped us and said, "You kids should be in school!" URGGG!!!!!! Do you remember ever having thoughts like this when you started? How do you defend yourself to people who tell you to send your kids to school?


Simply Keeping Home said...

DeNeice, Fall is my very favorite time of year, too! I was absolutely giddy yesterday with the gorgeous crisp air. Cozy nights at home cuddling together, sipping hot cocoa and tea - is there anything better? Thanks for all your encouragement, I feel honored that I can be a blessing to you! I hope you have a blessed day and enjoy all those gorgeous leaves on parade!

Simply Keeping Home said...

Courtney, thanks so much for missing me. :) I'm so glad you started homeschooling your 4yo!!

I'm going to address your insecurities about homeschooling in an upcoming post because they are far too common and completely unfounded. That is not a reflection on you, it is a reflection on lies we've been fed. You just keep raising and homeschooling (same thing!) your little ones and praising God you have the freedom to do so. I'm looking forward to writing on this topic!
God bless!

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