Glancing Back – Moving Forward

Everyone has such catchy titles for their end of year posts. Mine just sums up how I felt today.

2014 was a difficult year for us. In ways that I haven’t written about because I just can’t yet. But even with grief, another failed adoption, etc – overall it was a year where things changed for the better. Are still changing for the better.

I have plans for 2015, and I regularly take them before God to make sure I’m not chasing paths and dreams I have no business pursuing.

Some plans are simply to continue what I’ve already started – homeschooling Bella. Going to therapy, and working on our marriage together. Figuring out how to still be a mama to three little boys I barely knew. Being a better, more present mother here.

Some are new, but have been on my heart for a while so I move forward with them.

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On Homeschooling Bella

About a month ago, we enrolled Bella at the CDC (Child Development Center) a little ways down the road from our home. It’s an on post child care and early school program that is highly monitored and adorable to boot.

We’ve loved it. I have her going about 3 times a week for a few hours – either so I can work or be in therapy.

Bella's Classroom

A few weeks ago, one of the teachers approached me about her upcoming class for the school year. It’s a morning preschool/PreK and she thought Bella would be a great fit. She showed me her classroom and the teacher inside of me wanted to pack my bags and move in. It was so perfect, with a schedule for the kids I couldn’t have made any more delightful.

I went home and suddenly doubted my desire to homeschool. After all, it was only 8-11am. We could homeschool in the afternoons. I would have time to work and clean, run errands. Bella would be with friends in a wonderful environment and with a great teacher.

What pulled me the most was the thought of normalcy that would come with it. I could be a room mom. My daughter would be in a school setting. After all the things that we’ve had to work through, this would just look so normal to everyone from the outside. We could seem – ok. That was a very huge draw for my heart.

Yet. 

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Little Changes

Lately I’ve been in a real funk. Besides all the horrible anniversaries next month, there has also been massive guilt about Bella. To put it bluntly – she’s been really hard to deal with lately. On top of that, I’ve been hard to deal with too, and Sam’s been working either the longest days or gone for a week at a time. We’ve all been stressed out and on edge.

Yesterday I was at my wits end. I just could not figure out whether I should continue with my desire to homeschool Bella, or if I was being selfish and it would be better if she was in a school this year.

On top of that, with our friends having moved, we don’t know any families with kids here, and it’s so hot out that meeting people at a park or something is out of the question.

I laid on my bed yesterday and bawled. I felt like on top of everything else, I’d pretty much failed as a mom this past year. I didn’t want to keep Bella away from peers, but with our story it was like facing a shooting squad to “join a mom’s group!” or “go to a Bible study!”

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Summer Adventures with Kiwi Crate

This post contains affiliate links.

Once a month, a little green box comes in the mail that makes Bella squeal and me sigh with relief. My uncrafty mom-guilt at this moment is squelched, because we have a Kiwi Crate.

Kiwi Crate is an award-winning, monthly subscription service that provides all the hands-on materials to inspire creative, educational fun. With themes like Music, Color, Robots, and Safari, these crates deliver everything needed for unique activities that you and your kids can enjoy together. See sample crates here ››

Kiwi Crate Summer Edition & Discounts

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Education Matters to Us All – How You Can Help

When I volunteer in and then taught school before Bella was born, I remember being pretty shocked at the amount of unpaid time it took for teachers to prepare for the weeks ahead and work with students. Even volunteering at public schools in California, I saw the amount of work and time each teacher put into running a smooth classroom, helping the kids, organizing things, and talking with parents.

I know firsthand that teachers spend an extraordinary amount of their own money (hundreds of dollars) at the start and during the school year to fill in gaps that the system isn’t able to provide to them.

No matter the grade level, each teacher truly went above and beyond to ensure her students del valued and listened to. I was privileged to watch these men and women at work, because it impacted how I taught my classroom and now my daughter. Even as a homeschooling parent, public education is important to me because one day, my child will be a part of all of her peers lives in some shape. Each child deserves the best education and start in life that they can get.

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