Thursday, January 21, 2010

Rolling with the Current or Being Thankful in the Midst of Chaos

It's been a rough, tough, crazy, chaotic, normal week around here.  I have seen recent posts from a young mom who just had her fourth baby and is trying to find a new "normal".  All I can tell her is GOOD LUCK with that!   I don't think we have had a normal  day since back in the 1990's, seriously!!

Our lives look so normal on paper.  I can write out a plan for the day, week or month, make up a color-coded schedule that looks terrific on the wall, but none of that is what actually pans out.  This week has been a doozy as far as rolling with the current goes.  Lauren and the grands came up Sunday to spend a couple of nights with us.  We are always glad to see them, but having them here does add another dimension in our normally chaotic lives.  I tried to maintain our school pattern on Monday and we were all congregated in the den for our group time that afternoon where I was reading from several books and we were having a time of questions and answers.  I was trying to read so that everyone could hear over the three little boys ages 2, 1 and 10 months.  They were like little puppy dogs rolling around the floor, playing and carrying on.  Lauren looked at me at one point and asked if things were usually this chaotic.  Well, not quite as much, but adding in three more people and two of them very little ones does add another degree or two of chaos.  She was  homeschooled her entire life and has only been out of our home for a little over 4 years.  Has she really forgotten?  But I am so very thankful that they can come and visit with us.  Thankful that Caedmon loved having his two nephews to play with and that the older ones can help Lauren out with diaper changes and feedings.  Thankful that Lauren and I can sit and talk while we both nurse our little ones.  Or is that a little weird?  Caedmon was so cute trying to climb in Lauren's lap and love on her.  It has made me a little sad that he didn't arrive until after she was married.  In fact, neither he nor Jackson will remember her living here at our home.

Jackson has been sick with a croupy cough, congestion and wheezing.  He has been wired up all week from the steroids and breathing treatments but is feeling better now.  Caedmon has been having some of the same in addition to TEETHING.  I don't remember the others being quite as fussy, but I have been dealing with teething babies for over 25 YEARS now and my memory is getting a little foggy!

To add another layer to our chaos, Jeff has been working 14 or more hours each day this week.  The Homeschool Channel is extremely busy this week with webcasts and filming/hosting seminars here in town.  Jordan is also getting in extra work.  I don't think they will get home tonight until after 11.  On top of his work schedule being longer this week his truck is also in the shop.  Thankful that he has use of an AFA van or this would have been even more chaotic.  Devin uses our one other car and she has three trips to Memphis this week and teaches all day on two different towns.

So what have we done?  Well, something happened to the Windows program on my IMac on Monday so Aaron and Kaelan haven't been able to do any of their computer school...Teaching Textbooks, Quarter Mile and Typing Tutor, since Monday. I am hoping that my resident IT man will be home long enough this weekend to find out the problem and fix it.   They have kept up with copywork, handwriting, Daily Gram and reading.  They are doing geography on their own....looking through an atlas and labeling a map of Africa and making construction paper maps of the African countries.  Aaron and Kaelan have each read storybooks about Africa to Jackson and I also overheard Aaron giving Jackson a piano lesson yesterday!  They have played several rounds of Mancala and did some work on African maps using Geosafari.  Today I hope to have them work the Africa map puzzle again and play 10 Days in Africa.  They have continued with piano and violin practice as well.  Jordan has been working on some layering and texturing effects on PHOTOSHOP (the above photo is one of his) and started his MATH-U-SEE Stewardship course this week.  He has had lots of reading for history to catch up on, but with his work schedule this week I don't think he has gotten very far.  Jordan has decided that he wants to start doing a little cooking so I am eager to  turn over either Monday or Friday evenings to him.  With his work and school schedule, though, I am not sure how much time he can really devote to this.  I am very thankful that he wants to learn more in this area, though.

So what am I thankful for?
-a married daughter who will bring her babies home for a visit
-other daughters and sons who are willing to serve in our home--cooking meals, folding laundry, entertaining little ones and continuing to "do school" even during chaotic times (disclaimer here---they still make messes and leave them, they argue and tease each other too much--we are ALL works in progress)
-one vehicle that is running
-a husband who has not one job but two and is willing to work hard to do what it takes to keeps us going
-a son who gets to work with his dad and meets so many interesting people while learning real life work skills
-a house that is standing
-running water
-food (and lots of it)
-clothes and shoes
-medicine as needed
-children who are interested in learning

I think most of us should be counting our blessings this week.  It is so easy to get bogged down by the chaos and troubles that come into our homes.  However, when you look at what is going on out in the world our troubles pale in comparison.  Take some time to count your blessings, pray for the people of Haiti and other areas who are hurting and living in true CHAOS, and hug those who are near and dear to you a little closer.  I'll take my normal chaos over the real chaos that is out in the world any day.


Em said...

Love this, Anita! Thank you.

Laura at By the Bushel said...

'new normal'- hahaha... I keep waiting for a moment to sit down. I'm good at that, but everything else... ?
I'm with that new Mom of 4(and only have 2) thanks for sharing real perspective, that it's not all roses, and perfect order, even for 'the pros'.
Hope everyone is well soon, and you have a calme day to regroup for the 'more' hectic ones.
this maybe on the blog, but how does one access the homeschool channel? ... sounds so interesting.

Roan said...

Great post!
Chaos and thankfulness can go together. Thanks for the encouragement.

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