Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thats what I love about homeschool!

After we finished our lessons together,  I gave each kiddo instruction on some lessons to do on their own while I finally got a shower. I had to go back to the laundry room to find my socks and I noticed everyone was gone from the school area-aka the kitchen table.  I thought I better double check that things were getting done and this is what I found....
 One boy laying on the couch all cozy under a blanket with his science workbook.......
and two girls on the back porch, also under a cozy blanket, with a math test and an SRA.

I love homeschooling☺

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Trying to control myself

Within the first few days of being laid up on the couch, the kids and I started talking about what lessons God may have for each of us through this trial. The fact that God knew what was happening and was in control was something I wanted to keep in the fore front of our minds. I began to pray, on my own and with the family, that we would learn the things God had for us to learn. There were many different lessons with selfishness being the big one. I could see right away that my husband and kids would have to put aside any selfish tendencies. Monty and the kids were forced to think of and put my needs before their own for obvious reasons. I COULDN'T take care of myself. I needed help with everything from getting across the room, to getting a drink, to cleaning house. Me and my leg had to be on their minds at all times. When anyone took a shower, they had to remember to make sure there were NO drops of water on the floor because the slightest wet spot would send a crutch out of control and I would be on the floor. When the girls played they always had to remember not to leave any toys laying on the floor or my path would be blocked and I wouldn't be able to get around at all. Monty had to think of things he normally never does; do we need toilet paper, what day is the electric bill due, do the kids have any clean clothes. They were all at my beck and call day and night because there were plenty of times that I needed something I couldn't get to or got into a position that I could not get out of on my own. It seemed rather obvious that God wanted them to put aside their own selfishness, and they were awesome. I was SOOO proud of them...but what lessons did God have for me?
 You see, I really like to be in control of things. I am the first born, I am the leader, I like to take care of business. There are times that I think, well I am doing everything for everyone...where would they be without me...good thing that I'm not selfish or these folks would be lost...and I could go on and on.
Well that is pure selfishness!!
Yes, I normally take care of everything because I am the only one that can do it right (or at least my definition of right). have to  make sure things get done around here or nothing will ever get done (or so I thought). Well it didn't take me long to see that my family is capable of surviving without me. They all ate, took baths, cleaned up and the kids even did a little bit of school WITHOUT ANY HELP FROM ME. No, Kenyon and Keslee did not do the laundry exactly like I do but the clothes were still clean. Even though the clothes did not always end up in the right drawer, they still got put away. Monty did not buy groceries the way I do. Sometimes he brought home things I would never get or even got the wrong thing but it worked just as well. I was helpless without them and they didn't need me to survive.
That is a tough one for this control freak. I was not  accepting my lesson nearly as gracefully as the others. They had so easily dropped everything to care for me and all I could think about was all I would have to do to fix everything when I was finally able. I felt selfish for asking my family to do everything for me. It took me a while to realize that they were happy to help me but I was the one that was unhappy about receiving that help from them or anyone else. God knew that my own selfishness was so deep and hidden that the only way I would be able to  learn this lesson was if I were taken completely out. I HAD to be rendered totally useless for more than a few days in order to even start to see it.  I say start to see it because now I feel like I have barely scratched the surface. I have so much to change. Now that I am able, I am trying not to just take over again. I am trying to find a balance between getting things done and letting others get things done-on THEIR time and THEIR way.  Funny how controlling things has made controlling get so out of control.  I am now attempting to take control of that control. I had always counted my ability to keep things in check as an asset but the Lord has begun to open my eyes to what a liability it really is. A liability to me and every member of my family.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Practical lessons

We have been back to school and going strong for a few weeks now. Lots of students have a fall break but we had an extended "break" break from school. While I was on pain pills, we just could not keep up with our daily school. Kenyon did work on alot of his on his own but with all the extra responsibilities he took on he didn't get a whole lot done. The girls tried and mainly only did some math and handwriting. As I mentioned before, I was on pain pills every 4 hours for almost a month. Thanks to the wonderful side effects, I could not stay awake long and often nodded off when we would try to do school. Since we use My Father's World, I teach and read most of the history to everyone together each day and we have discussions and make notebook sheets. Another side effect I suffered was double vision. I could not see straight to read. That really puts a damper on things when our days normally revolve around ME reading. Thankfully I have been homeschooling long enough to realize that not all, and often not even most, of our learning time is actual "school" time. Even though we were not hitting the books, my kids were learning every single day! Of course, most other people do not always understand that as evident by a conversation Keslee had with the little girl across the street...

Neighbor girl: How are you getting your school work done?
Keslee: We haven't really done much school lately.
N.g.: I feel sorry for you! When you are 21 years old you are going to be so stupid!

Although I knew they were learning, when my concerned daughter relayed this conversation to me, I knew I had to do better at letting the kids know that they were learning as well and how proud I was of them. I then started taking the time to point out the things that they were learning that they may not have if it weren't for this trial.

 For instance...How many (non-homeschooled) 9 year olds can make an entire meal for a family of 5? Keslee had not done much cooking but always likes to "help" in the kitchen. One night she decided that she wanted to make dinner all by herself and she did! She ordered me to stay out of the kitchen and if she had a question she would come ask. When it came time for her to drain the grease off of the hamburger meat, I told her I would come help with that so that she did not burn herself. She assured me that she could do it but I just wasn't as sure. I decided to make my way into the kitchen anyway. Since I was not as quick as I used to be, I made it there just in time to see her finishing up with a smile on her face to say "See? Told ya I could do it."  She made taco salad for supper and topped it off with strawberry shortcake for dessert.
 After I got my staples taken out, I had to remove my splint and wash my ankle everyday. The incisions were doing good but the wound that the bone had made had to heal on it's own from the inside out. That was the only spot the doctor seemed real concerned about and we had to be sure that it did not "get ugly" (as my doctor put it). Since Monty is gone the biggest part of the day, I had to do something I never would have thought I could do. I had to put my medical care in the hands of a 13 and 9 year old. Kenyon and Keslee took over and were unbelievable! Everyday one of them would help me remove the splint and wash the wounds.
After everything was clean and doctored, they re wrapped my leg. Having 2 broken bones and no hard, protective cast really made me feel like my leg was very vulnerable.  The times that the splint was also off was a stressful time for all of us. My foot was purple, about 3 times fatter than the other one, had scars, steri-stips and open wounds and I could not move it. Any wrong move or if the splint was not exactly in the correct position put me in horrible pain and my nurses were very aware of that. To be able to wash, doctor and wrap a wounded leg under that type of pressure would have to be tough for anyone. To do it for someone you love and would never want to inflict pain on, well that is serious. All I can think about are the times when my kids had a splinter or a huge, deep sticker in their foot. As a mother, you know you have to get it out but as a mother holding a crying child that is screaming "DON'T TOUCH IT!" you almost don't want to do it. That must be how my own children were feeling. (and, yes there were times when Keslee and I both cried through the whole process.)     When I say that my children amaze me what I mean is...they AMAZE me!!!

There were lots of other practical lessons that the kids were learning along the way. Kenyon cooked almost everyday. He also did the laundry and taught Keslee how to use the washing machine so she could help. Kalysa got really good at taking clothes out of the washer and starting the dryer. Since our dishwasher went out right in the middle of everything else, Kenyon got to do dishes. The girls have done dishes by hand several times and I just did not realize that Kenyon never had before. Kalysa can now sweep the floor correctly. Since Monty got to do all the shopping, Keslee was the go to girl to ride along. She knows just which kind of dish soap, toilet paper, shampoo and etc. that we use in this house. It wasn't just me that noticed what all the kids were learning. One day my grandma came by and she told them that they shouldn't worry to much about their school work because we can catch that up anytime but they were learning things that they will use their entire lives; lessons that most kids today don't ever get to learn at home. Hearing that from her was a blessing to us all.
 Oh yeah, there was plenty of learnin goin on 'round here!  And of course EVERYONE in the house learned.....

how to walk on crutches ☺.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

....2 months later.....

Well, it has been 2 months since that fateful night that changed our entire lives. I would have never guessed how much one broken ankle could effect-every-single-aspect-of our daily lives!!! I mean, I had done it before with no problem.
I broke the same ankle 20 years ago. I was 19 (HEY now-STOP doing the math!!!) and in college. We had already had a good snow storm in the Oklahoma Panhandle and on halloween day I was wrestling around with one of the basketball players as we each tried to throw the other into a snow drift. In Oklahoma, we don't just get snow without a good layer of ice to go with it and I found that ice....right in front of the dorm...with plenty of onlookers...I broke my ankle. As I sat in the ER with my best friends, Amy and Cathy, we laughed and joked the whole time. I got a splint and some crutches and headed back to school. I made it back to my room (did I mention that I lived on the the 3rd floor!?!) and that night I stayed in my dorm room all alone and watched out my window as everyone else went across the street to the ballroom and a weekend dance. That dance was the only thing I remember missing out on the entire time(well, besides some classes but that can't really be blamed on the leg). That broken leg did not  slow me down at all. I went up and down 3 flights of stairs everyday, I drove, went to the sporting events,  hung out with my friends, and I even moved out of the dorm and into my first house with that broken leg.

This was definitely not THAT broken leg.

Of course I have to note that...
     I only broke one bone then and this time I broke 2
    The bone did not come through the skin then like it did this time
     I did not have surgery then like I did this time
     and of course I am NOT 19 this time
This time I almost could not even function. The pain was unbelievable!! For about the first month I was on pain pills every 4 hours. I never slept more than about 2-3 hours at a time during the day or night. I had crutches but it was not anything like the first time. Since I did not have a hard cast and did not even have the surgery for the first 10 days, I could not even rest my foot on the floor. The angle of the splint was not 90* so my toe was slightly pointed. That meant that I could not put my foot behind me without banging my toe on the floor. Have you ever tried hopping on one foot with the other held straight out in front of you?? It is NOT easy. Thankfully the church loaned me a wheelchair and I don't know what I would have done without that!! Since I was basically immobile my husband and kids had to take over. Monty did all the shopping and errand running. Kenyon took over the cooking and laundry. Keslee and Kalysa helped out being mom's nurse, cleaning up and helping Monty and Kenyon as much as they could. Through it all, God was/is still in control and we each had lessons He wanted us to learn. We each had growing to do.  I am collecting my thoughts and hope to share some of that with you soon. As for now, I am up and walking-in a huge and uncomfortable hard boot! I am now able to gradually take back over the running of my household and we are getting back into a good routine with our school work. God is good!
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