My friend, Erica, calls these blog brain dumps. I haven't updated in a while, so that's what this will be...catching up.
After much prayerful consideration (and getting multiple obvious points of guidance that I believe were God-sent) I have pulled Elizabeth out of the Mother's Day Out program she was in. I want to have more time with her, and it wasn't a good match for her or our family. I discovered a one-day-a-week (FREE!) Waldorf-based outdoor program that she'll go to on Tuesdays. I can stay or go, which is nice. That gives us the rest of our week for play dates, play groups, library story time, music class, or whatever else we want to do together. I missed enjoying those activities with her. And really, though many value that time to run errands or take care of business, I found it a burden to drop her at a certain time and stop what I was doing to pick her up at a certain time. She is at an age where I can do most of my "duties" with her in tow, and I'm no longer freelancing, so I don't need the time for (paid) work. I did have to give up volunteering in the library at Caroline's school, but that is not a big deal to me.
After having Caroline home for two weeks during her tonsillectomy recovery, I started fantasizing about homeschooling her. There are no problems in the situation we have now -- our neighborhood school is fabulous and she is very happy there. I love the community feel of it. I just dreamed of not being tied to a mandated schedule -- vacationing when we want (cheaper!), sleeping in, doing things together. I've always said I'd do it if I needed to. I just thought for a bit that I *wanted* to. And I worry about third grade or so, when homework is more and testing is over-emphasized. As of now, I feel that I should not worry about what might come but should just continue with what we are doing. I am happy to do it, though, if that is what is best for her, for us. I am open.
The best "new" thing lately is my weekly Bible study with friends. I kind of hand-picked some like-minded Christian moms and asked them if they'd want to meet weekly for prayer and Bible study, and they did! And we are! And it is a highlight of the week for all of us. We met ourselves and kind of caught up a bit for a couple of months. Now my priest (not all of us go to St. Julian's) is leading us every other week and we lead ourselves the off weeks as we discuss the coming week's gospel reading from the Lectionary. I love these women and their families. I look up to them and look forward to our time sharing and praying for each other every week. I am learning so much from our discussions. It's me and four friends -- all connected through La Leche League (four of us were Leaders). Between us we have seventeen kids!! (Obviously I am the slacker in the bunch with my wonderful and lovely two.)
For my daily devotional, after seeking input from a few trusted loved ones, chose Jesus Calling. I must admit that many of the decisions I have mentioned here have been influenced with timely readings from there. And, thanks to the suggestions I received, I have devotional materials to last me the next three years! I am also enjoying reading daily encouragement from Proverbs 31 Ministries.
I'm continuing with my weekly dinner swap group -- going on our third year now! I have done quite a bit of decluttering (some thanks to St. Julian's moving in to our own space this summer, giving me a place for toys that need to be culled!) I do feel that I have a handle on decluttering and organization (a never-ending process but one I enjoy) but that I don't have the nitty-gritty deep cleaning mastered. I need to work on that. I am quick to blame the cats, but it seems they aren't planning to die anytime soon and I am just going to have to work in their filth to my cleaning routine.
I just finished reading Stephen King's newest book. OHMYGOODNESS. He is a genius! It is 850+ pages, and I borrowed it from the library via hold. That means someone else has it on hold after me and I can't recheck. I was a bit nervous about finishing it within the two weeks, but I finished it today and it's not due until Wednesday. :-) I must say, it ended as it should have, though not as I had hoped halfway through. I've added a sidebar to my blog to keep track of what I read this year.
Now that I have finished the book, I can pick back up on season one of Downton Abbey. I watched the first two episodes the night before I picked up the book. And then I had to forgo any television watching to finish the book on my deadline. I am really excited to get back into the series...maybe even catch up and watch it in real time at some point. I'm excited that it's a series I *can* watch in real time since I can't with many (we don't have cable.) I won't have another library book until Wednesday, so that gives me a few nights to get some watching in...perhaps I can finish season one before then.
Oh, and John's party was fun! He LOVED the memory emails (but asked that I not publish them as some were personal...read as embarrassing!). We had about 50 folks here last night for karaoke. Always fun! We ordered the karaoke through http://www.thekaraokechannel.com. Great customer service and an easy at-home-party karaoke. I recommend it! $20 bucks for the set-up plus 48 hours access for our party. Now, I have the equipment, so it's be 4.99 for 48 hours access in the future. Heck yeah, we'll do this again! ANYTIME!