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The 199 days of January

The 199 days of January

Help, Y3K came early! Our phones and computer were out all day yesterday. Yes, that’s all day—24 plus hours of outage. So goes the perks of having Digital Voice phone service.

Now, I can truly identify with Carolyn Ingalls. Especially since I dusted my face with powdered sugar just for effect.

From a donut of course!

Hey, I needed something comforting to keep my mind off the outage.

Hubs has a strange fascination with primitive living. He can’t think of anything more fun than holding up in a dark house with candles and camp stoves. I think it reminds him of his frozen roots.

Someone bumped into me in a line at church recently and we started up a conversation about kids. Turns out this girl would like to home school eventually. When she discovered we had four kids and home schooled she enthusiastically wanted to become my best friend.

For starters, that girl you know that stands behind tables at book fairs to tell of homeschooling joys and challenges and tips and tricks … well … how shall I put this … I’m not that girl.

I try very hard to be realistic about home schooling when I talk to folks.

So I told her, “Absolutely put your kids in school!”

I kid. I didn’t really say that.

I did say that January is not a great time to ask a mom how she likes homeschooling.

Um, have you been outside lately?

That’s the point. Neither have my kids.

Which means they’ve been inside with me …

Someone told me last night that it may reach 55 today; a scorcher compared to what we’ve had.

I just may toss Math and History books out on the lawn with occasional crusts of bread to sustain nourishment. The kids are getting quite proficient with starting fires. So a bag of marshmallows and toast ought to do the trick.

Certainly there are days when going to lunch with a friend sounds better than almost anything. Or getting a haircut without a major family production, or keeping a good running schedule during parts of the days when I’m NOT so run down already … that all sounds really good some days.
Especially days in January.

But in all reality, I do love being home with the kids so much. I wouldn’t change a thing. It is nothing short of a work of God in my heart over the years. I’m thankful that God has provided the means for us to do it. The freedom we enjoy in this country to make important decisions where our kids are concerned is something I do not take lightly. But most of all we greatly benefit from extended hours spending time together as a family.

Yes, the days in January are long, and cold, and dark. But those are good days to really sink our heels in at home, take advantage of a less busy schedule, make some good headway with our work, catch up on house projects, play lots of board and card games when the afternoons get dark and anticipate spring right around the corner.

If my kids were in school right now, the upstairs hallway and bath would most likely be painted,

I would hopefully be running a few miles longer than I am,

the attic might be organized,

my “to-finish” book stack would be shorter,

the kitchen would be mopped more often,

my hair would be fixed … maybe,

but I would miss …

Little Man breaking into the world of reading.

Big Guy wanting to turn his science lesson into Bible study for his siblings (that boy will be a teacher some day).

Sweet Girl leaving me countless notes around the house.

Baby Girl learning a little here and a little there from auditing grades 1, 3, and 6.

Lunches outside on the picnic table.

Spelling words on the front porch swing.

and many many free evenings with Hubs because there is no homework. Love that.

For us, homeschooling is a decision we make year by year. Not in January either. Not knowing how long I’ll have all the little chicks here with me and with each other—it is truly a joy to soak up these days together.

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