Friday, May 25, 2012

The Sweet Smell of Summer Vacation

Our family has survived another school year.  This last year has been a big one,  we have had one in middle school, one in elementary school, I home schooled one child, and my husband completed his college degree.  All of the above has had its ups and downs.  Middle school speaks for its self.  The things that went on when I went to Jr. high are the same things going on now, the kids are just wearing different clothes and listening to different music, but they, for the most part are dealing with the same things.

  There are some big differences, one is our country is at war, and has been for a while now.  The last full week of school, our community was reminded of this fact.  A road side bomb on the other side of the world killed three US soldiers, and one of them was a young man from our little town that had graduated just the year before.  Our students and our whole town came together to line the roads in support of his family and in honor of this hero as they brought his body home to his final resting place.  I wish you could have seen the road lined with people, our world stopped, if only for a moment.  The kids had a real life civic lesson they soon won't forget.
Our son who completed 5th grade this year, had a tough year with changes abound in his school. Four different principals for one thing.  Adults can have a hard time with change and our kids are no different.  We are making some much needed changes for our upcoming 6th grader that should help so many things.  I will brag and say both of my boys received all A's and B's the entire year.  They both love to learn and take school seriously, ( they did not get that from me )  I do take education to heart now.

Our daughter completed Kindergarten in our brand new home school.  This was a first for our family. We had ups and downs, but together and with the grace of God, we figured it out.  Now that the first year of homeschooling is over, I can honestly say I am glad this is the path we picked and I am looking forward to teaching a brand new 1st grader this fall.

My husbands school story is much different. Several years ago, he decided to go back to school. He did this while working full time in a very physical job.  He has switched shifts several times to accommodate class schedules. I witnessed him working all night on 3rd shift and coming home to sleep for 3 hrs and then head to class. He would come home and do homework while eating an early supper and heading back to bed for a couple of hours before he had to be back at work. These last several years have been hard on the kids, hard on us at times, but so hard on Mark. I wish I had 1/2 of my husbands determination.  When he decides to do something, there is no stopping him. Sometimes his tunnel vision infuriates me , like when we are trying to come to an agreement on something. Other times, I am so thankful it is there, because I want to give up when things get hard, I try to shut down but he won't let me. We are 2 very different people, but we even each other out. I am so proud of him for setting this goal and doing it. He did this of course for him and for the hope of a better life for our family. But one reason he went back to finish school was to show our children that you can do whatever you set your mind to.  It might take a lot of hard work and prayer, but it can be done.

This last school year for me has been busy trying to keep everyone going, Between carpools, and booster clubs and school board meetings, not to mention the brand new world of homeschooling, there have been days I'm not sure my head was on straight. But as of yesterday afternoon, the school year is over. I feel a strange sensation in my nose, I think they call it breathing. I love summer time.  I love having all my kids home. This first day of summer break has been so nice.  I slept in till 7 am. That felt so nice. The first day of summer break is a free for all at our house.  It is the one day they can watch as much television as they want or play on the computer as much as they want. They don't even have to get dressed the 1st day.  Of course this is NOT the rule the rest of the summer, but the first day it is. Now that they are all asleep and the day is done, I find it funny that they spent very little time in front of the screen and spent most of the day outside. My oldest spent a good part of his day parked in the hammock with a book in his hand. He said it was perfect. My youngest 2 spent the day outside playing and the middle one spent 1/2 the day downstairs in our basement building something. My husband gave him some old wood, some safety glasses and some nails and a hammer and he is in his on little heaven. He loves to make things. He loves to fiddle with things and find a way to make them work together. I can't wait to see what he ends up with. Our daughter would live outside if we let her. She loves to check on the garden,  find new things, and just be outside.  Walls confine her.

Here is to what I anticipate being a great summer.

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