Wrap It Up: April 17

Don't we say it at the end of every month, especially the older we get, something like, "I can't believe April is already over and we're almost to the half way mark of 2017!!!"?  But, alas, here we are, wrapping up April and rushing into May. Here are a few of our highlights and favorites from this month...

Akin Academy- 

Homeschooling is more of an ever evolving lifestyle, than it is 'school'. Last year was my first year and I only had our oldest for first grade. This year, I dove right in to all four and it has been a trip of epic proportions on some days, and an utter flop on others! I change how I school, when I school, or where I school, almost weekly as we seek to find what's going to work best for everyone. Our 'official' school site is in the basement where Gram lives. When her health suffers, it makes it harder to have our loudness down there, so we move up for a while, then she improves so we move back down. One child falls behind a bit so I push him a little harder for a time, which tends to have the opposite effect from what I'm looking for. He gets stressed, I get angry, everyone suffers. Well, literally this week I've had the eye opening, "What are you doing?!" realization that this isn't 'school' and doesn't have to match school, or fit into school constraints. I've known it for a long time, but now I finally see it, and I feel so freed!! One of the biggest benefits and points to homeschool, is that life is learning...all the time. Yes, I am a believer in the repetition and book work of traditional school, but that doesn't have to rule our days. So, long and short is that a new leaf has been turned at Akin Academy and I can't wait! I have literally felt the stress of expectations melt away the last couple days which, ironically, has had the exact effect on the kids I have been looking for.

 Mason, doing some map work.

Mason, doing some map work.

Also this month, Sophia keeps improving on her colors and basics, my big one, Timothy, worked so hard on a story about Jonah, I can't help but be proud of him, and my five year old, Elijah, wrote his name in cursive for the first time!

Spring Break-

I've already done a three part blog on our spring break trip to Oklahoma for my sister's wedding, but since it was such a huge part of our month, just one last mention of it here seems appropriate.. It was awesome! When I hear parents with young kids talk about being fearful of travel I think, yep, so was I, and still even wonder if our travel fortunes have been a fluke, but so far, the two long trips we've made with our kids in the last year, have been some of our best family memories! They have all done far better than we could have hoped for and the time together has proven refreshing for us all. Moms and dads, load those kids up and go! What they want more than anything from you is your time and attention. I can think of no better place then in a car for hours on end. Unplug and go! Oh yeah, and we bought a new van, while in Tulsa for my sisters wedding, 639 miles from home. (this is only slightly impulsive since we'd been shopping these vans for about nine months)

Baseball Season-

One of my favorite times of the year!! I played fast pitch softball for fifteen years, on travel teams, won a State Championship my senior year, through college, and even played against the 1996 Women's Olympic Team, and it all started with mom and dad dragging us young girls to the ball field when we were awkward and uncoordinated, when gloves and hats always seemed too big and the idea of State Championships and college were laughable.

Being on the other side of the field now watching my boys finally contribute at the plate, and understanding the defensive game better and better each year....my goodness it's the best! No wonder our parents did this for us for all those years. We are only three games in this season, but the improvements they have all made are remarkable...no ones thinking about college quite yet, but they are thrilled with each base hit and that they all get to wear a cup. (#boys)

Easter-

Jesus. He died on the cross for you and for me. That's what Easter is all about. The bunny and the candy stuffed eggs are fun, but the empty tomb...that's worth celebrating! If you don't know Jesus, my prayer is you will seek Him, and find Him. Photos include our family dinner and kite flying, church egg hunt and family picture. 

 

Family Musings-

Following several situations our family has faced in the last two years, I have spent the better half of that time on a roller coaster of anger, fear and hurt, and taken much of that emotional angst out on my kids. I have been angry at their childish behaviors, embarrassed by their immaturity, and frustrated that all my yelling hasn't done any good

Enter the month of epiphanies! I have four kids, four and a half years apart, ages four to eight, three of them boys and three of them from different gene pools. And regardless of those statistics, it's enough to say I have four kids! They are going to be a lot. Naturally! And I would be crushed if I had four kids that clung quietly to my legs and never showed interest or curiosity for the world around them. They have a lot to say, they are busy, loud, and they are wonderful! 

I have decided to let it all go and accept exactly who these kids are. Do we still expect obedience and certain appropriate behaviors, of course. Will I still be frustrated with repeating myself over and over, sure. But they are going to fail and act up because they are human, so I'm done being angry at them for the loud, the busy, the bossy... This stage won't last forever, no matter what I do, so why spend it on this emotional tirade?! 

I wouldn't want any other job in the world, but to be Mom to these kids, so I'm sending my two years of anger out the window with April and ushering in a new attitude with the new life of May. 

 

Favorites-

This Rustic Cuff bracelet, my family, that expression, my girl, my silly crew, my man.

These girls, that dress, these cousins, my Dad, my boys and that high five!

This country life, ballpark friendships, this moment, spring flowers, my loves, their faith, that flag and His beautiful sunset.

With that, April, I bid you farewell, until next year. My prayer for our family, and yours, is that we will know God's love for us more each day! Be blessed,

~Jules~