Random musings from a Wife, Mom, Homeschooler, Student, and Friend

Archive for the ‘Just One Year: The Home Making Project’ Category

Just One Year Later…

In 6 weeks minus 1 day, the Just One Year: Homemaking Project will be over. As of right now, we don’t know where we will be living or where The Hubs will be working, but our heavenly Father knows that we need all these things, and I have no need to worry. Right? Right.

So, The Homemaking Project. Was it a success? Let’s take a look at what I set out to accomplish.

Move closer to The Hubs’ job to have more family time? Check. The ‘hood surrounded TH’s job is sketchy, but we found Millie–just a two-minute walk from the hospital. Now we have a year’s worth of stories about stink bugs and the Leaning Toilet of Terror to remember and giggle over. Some day. We were able to go down to one car, and I learned to parallel park.

More entertaining? Didn’t really happen. Our backyard is still a hub for all the neighborhood children, but the house has become off-limits since I got sick in November. My migraines are now just background nuisances most days–praise God, but the scale can tip quickly, and keeping the house dark and calm helps. The kids are just as happy playing out back, and twilight gives a built-in boundary for all the kids to go home.  Lily still comes over regularly, Littlest Pet Shop or My Little Ponies in hand. Through the kitchen windows, I hear the girls enter a rainbow world of fun and fantasy that is still so sweetly innocent. I am going to miss Lily.

General Homemaking? We are cooking more, and I finally got the kitchen organized in a way that makes sense. Ish. Sense-ish. The kids still request Beans and Weanies for almost every dinner, so I’m not sure what that says about any positive change in my cooking skills this year.  As for crafts, we made a catapult, faux stained glass windows, Play-Doh sculptures, bead projects, and attempted chain mail. (We ended up with lots of necklaces rather than chain mail, which was fine with me!) No sewing though–sadly, the machines stayed in their cases this entire year. Cleaning? The place has stayed pretty clean, thanks to vicious and regular decluttering. Dust, however, remains my nemesis. Dust and dog hair. The kids have been extremely helpful with the laundry, and I rarely have to venture down in the dungeon, er, basement anymore. This, is my greatest achievement to date. Not teaching my kids to read, not teaching my nephew pre-Algebra, but having children capable of doing laundry by themselves. I am the champion!

Homeschooling with A World Of Adventure? Sorta. We used it for a while, and wandered into Story of the World for history, which we have absolutely loved.  I’m going back through the Ancient Egyptian unit of AWOA with my nephew, and using it with an older student gives an even better perspective. It is truly a treasure trove of information. We loved the Ancient Greece unit in AWOA, and I may revisit this curriculum when my kids are older.

Simplicity? Yes! In a way. Sort of. I’m free of Facebook. I batted around the idea of deactivating for a long time, and the list for losing it was much longer than the list for keeping it. It was not a tool that enhanced a simple life for me. It dragged me down. Sure, I could block people, and de-friend others, but what is the point in that? It had to go. I feel so much better now! To be honest, I had quite a few days of detox to get it completely out of my system, but all-in-all, I’m glad it is gone. We also stopped watching as much TV. We didn’t even notice it was gone most of the time. Less HGTV for me meant less wanting of things and feeling discontented. I have more time to read books like How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids by Rachael Carman and The White Stallion of Lipizza by Marguerite Henry. (Loved that book! I need to write an entire post on it!)  I moved two courses closer to my doctorate, and encountered a book that helped me to crystallize my homeschooling philosophy: Philosophy & Education: an Introduction in Christian Perspective by George R. Knight.  (I highly recommend that book, Carman’s book, and For The Children’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay to all Christian homeschooling parents. I wish I had read them from the very beginning.) The Hubs and I just finished our first year of helping out at AWANA. As busy as The Hubs has been, I am so proud of him for committing to AWANA this year. Sometimes he had to show up in scrubs with his pager glued to his side, dinner a hastily eaten granola bar or nothing at all to get there on time, but he did it.

The kids still miss their friends from Michigan, but they seem to have grown even closer this year. Especially Lemony and Beanie. The Boy now has his cousin to look up to, and his cousin is kindly tolerant of him.

My cup overflows.

I didn’t do all that I set out to do. I didn’t plan on getting sick and sending months in a fog. But, I’m satisfied with our year. We’ve laughed a lot. Cried a lot. Read a lot. Prayed a lot. Loved a lot. It’s been a good year.

The Attic/Garret

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We read the book, A Little Princess, this year and I fell in love with the word garret. Millie has provided us with two potentially wonderful garret spaces.

Just a few hours ago, one attic garret space was a crammed full of forgotten toys, dust, and cardboard boxes filled with mementos, trash and lots and lots of empty hangers. Now is a passable guestroom space ready for guests. As a kid, I think I would’ve loved a room like this. It definitely has a creepy – cool vibe to it. And obviously, it must be comfortable, because after all, the Hubs is fast asleep in it.

Life is Messy

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I’m sitting here waiting for our 17th anniversary table and chair set to arrive. (It’s taken almost 18 years to get it, but that’s beside the point.) I’ve spring cleaned as much as I can and I’m done. Done, done, done. After the dusting, and the sweeping, and the swiping of things that need to be swiped, the dust is settled, the dog hair has wafted back down, and things are still messy. Life doesn’t stop it clean. Life laughs at clean! And so does Millie.

Thoroughly Unmodern Millie, the Poo Edition

Topping the long list of things that I dislike doing, such as licking envelopes and cleaning behind the bathroom faucet, is anything to do with cleaning up  poo. Especially when I am not quite sure whose poo is whose. Thanks to Millie, I got to come face-to-face, er, nose-to-nose with creeping, seeping, heaping piles of poo today. Sewer back-up.

For the first, maybe second time this whole year, I’m glad to be a renter. After a  quick call to the landlord, and a man with a noisy, crusty, yet efficient looking machine came to my rescue. When I answered the door, he said, “You’re new here.” Not a question. Apparently he had a long-standing contract with my landlord almost exclusively for this property, almost exclusively for this very problem. A Zip! a Snap! and a  Slurp! later, the poo was gone!

As my new hero left, he said kinda cryptically, “See you again soon.”

Oh Lord, please, I hope not.

The Blob

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I was reading a great blog post today about getting more out of mothering. I needed it today because I feel like I am fighting my children’s love of The Blob. Things ooze here, and I’m not just talking about the mold in the basement. Even though our time with ‘ole Millie is drawing to a close, the lack of storage here is giving me the twitches worse than ever. In one part of this post, the author writes that we should, “Find out what drains and what fuels you.” That came on the heels of “Clean less.” And there’s the rub. I know what drains me. I’m staring at it right now–you’re probably staring at it right now. It’s stuff. Stuff everywhere. Why is there an open pack of lunch meat, a level, Febreeze, a random glass bird, rings that are supposed to be made into chain mail, a giant jack, a wooden pear, a history book, every Skylander ever created, reading books, game controllers, maps, more books, boxes, ibuprofen, and the Hubs’ game guide all on my coffee table? Did I mention the opened pack of lunch meat???

ENOUGH already! If I wasn’t so freaked out about scarring my children into becoming future Horders, I’d break out the big green trash bags and toss it all. Especially the lunch meat. The Febreeze can stay.

I need my family to embrace the joy that is the clean, uncluttered, horizontal surface. It is perfect in its simplicity and its beauty. The anti-Blob.

More from Millie

When toilet water, kitchen ceilings, and light fixtures collide…

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Two by two

No closets for shoes? No problem!

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