Monthly Archives: June 2013

Our New Schedule begins…

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This week our new schedule begins.

We’ve just taken the month of June off. Well…I say ‘off’ loosely. We spent quite a bit of time getting ready for my parents 50th anniversary party and also getting ready for a bike across Michigan trip, along with changing our water heater on the fly and going to a church conference event.

Now after biking across Michigan successfully for the most part and spending quality time with family we’re back home.

This week begins homeschooling for us. It’s early. Our plan though is to work ahead so that throughout the year if we take a few days off here and there…we won’t be behind. So this week Lydia begins homeschooling for the first time. I think she’s actually excited, which will help at least initially :). She’s taking Geometry this year along with Biology, Latin, American History, Grammar, American Literature, and P.e. Should be a good but full schedule for her. I’m going to go get her a bike this month to help her get a good start on P.e. and future bike trips for all three of us. I’m hoping that we might take on part of the Katy trail this fall in Missouri on our own. We’ll see if that comes to fruition or not.Lauren is going to be taking Physics, Algebra 2, Sign Language, Health and P.e., American Government, and a creative writing fiction class. Should be a good second year for her if all goes well :). She’s a pro at the process at this point. Lydia is a Freshman, Lauren is a Junior.

I’m hoping that the girls can get on a schedule of working on school work from 9-12 and then from 1-3 or if they get done sooner that’s fine. I will be on site to help as needed and honestly…I kind of enjoy learning along with them, especially when it comes to the literature and history parts and maybe the foreign language parts. Math and Science are not my forte so I avoid those areas and if they get stuck I’ll have them help each other or set up a tutoring session. Thankfully we have several people that are friends locally that are good in those subjects.

Beyond that I am still doing private voice and piano lessons throughout this month. It’s a bit hit and miss presently as this is a big vacation time for a lot of people. I’m even giving my girls the month off…so I only have 4 regulars at present. Come the end of July and the beginning of August I will be putting a big push on to pick up students as I would like to have 26 slots filled by the fall.

In the mean time we’ll still go to Six flags once in a while and even are going to make a trip down to Branson to visit my sister for a long weekend this month…so summer isn’t completely going by unnoticed 🙂 But…the good news is, we can do fun things all year long this year. I’m really excited, without rushing a moment past, to enjoy a fall season with no school schedule for me. This is whole new territory for me 🙂

I’m also on a personal level working in writing/reading time for me each day and house work time, along with exercise. I would like to keep cycling and keep those muscles in shape.

It’s time to fall in to some really healthy, good routines and schedules for us here in my house. I’m looking forward to it. And I love the fact that although those school supplies will be coming out far to fast this month, they mean nothing bad to me…I can walk right by and smile :).

 

Best laid plans…

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Sometime things don’t go as we plan. No big surprise there I guess.

This week my oldest daughter, Lauren and I have been on a bike across Michigan trip with my sister. We started on Saturday. We even biked a practice ride together at home on Friday to prepare ourselves.

However…today when we woke up (Tuesday) it was raining hard, thunder and lightening and from our limited knowledge and what we were hearing it sounded like that was going to continue for most of the day.

For some reason…just before this bike trip started, Lauren got sick. I thought it was just allergies and was doctoring her accordingly. But as time progressed it became obvious that it might be something more and so I added medications as I thought they might help her. She was struggling but was trying to hang in there.

She biked 40 miles on Friday. 46 miles on Sunday and 47 miles on Monday.

Somehow…I knew with the weather and the increase in milage today up to 58 miles we were going to hit a wall. The roads we’ve been biking have been very hilly. Ok…if you’ve ever biked mountains maybe you wouldn’t think so but for us to go from one hill to the next with little to no downhill in between was exhausting on Monday. Plus the heat. It’s been a hot, humid week for Michigan this week.

So…we called for help. We were already dealing with taking down a tent in the rain and gathering our stuff in the rain…the thought of heading out onto wet roads and possibly losing control or having some other accident occur to my child was more than I was willing to risk.

There’s something really crappy though about setting a goal and then letting yourself off the hook. We felt like we cheated today when we called my father inlaw and had him cart us and our bikes to the next stop. Lots of other people did it. It was the safe choice. But it still felt like now we won’t be able to say that we really “Biked” across the state.

I’m not good at that kind of thing. The truth is…it really doesn’t matter anyway…but if you’re like me you know what I’m saying.

In the process…Lauren ended up choosing to leave the ride for the week. She went home with her sister and grandpa to Davison to rest and hopefully return to good health. I think it was honestly one of the hardest decisions for her. She was afraid of what other people might think or say. She was afraid I might be upset with her. She’s such a strong, determined, loyal girl…that giving up even though she felt terrible all week was hard.

It was hard for me. I didn’t want this experience to become a negative…like “We could’ve done it…but we didn’t”. The whole point of this was to create a really great moment in her life for her to really feel good about. Being sick and backing out half way through the week was not the plan.

But here we are.  Sometimes real life intervenes and changes our best laid plans.

I’m still proud of my daughter though. She felt like crap and still came, still biked for three days. She struggled with the decision about what was best  and knew ultimately that no matter what she chose she wouldn’t be fully happy with her choice but would have to accept the decision and make the best of it.

And who knows why it turned out the way it did. I could easily wonder why God allowed her to get sick this week. I prayed and prayed for her to get healthy and bought whatever medicine that I thought might help. It didn’t matter. Maybe if she had stayed something bad might have happened. We’re going to be biking in rain tomorrow quite likely.

But then honestly…I just have to stop and say…I have no idea why this experience played out the way it did and I don’t even feel like trying to analyze it and figure it out. It just is what it is.

So now I’m on a bike trip with my sister finishing out our last three days. This was not the plan I had in mind…but it’s reality.

This is life. Change happens, plans change, best laid goals and standards sometimes go unmet. It would be easy to see it as a failure… but I refuse to feel that way. And I refuse to accept that for my daughter. Sometimes it’s just time to let go and be at peace with the release.

After Lauren made the decision I felt some form of relief for her and I know she was relieved…with disappointment mixed in.

Sometimes all we can do is the next step that brings us peace. Even if we feel we might be letting someone else or ourselves down.

 

 

Aunts, uncles and extended family :)

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This is being written from my tent on the first night of a bike trip across Michigan. I’m with my oldest sister, Mary Anne and my oldest daughter Lauren on a grand adventure.

It all started last fall. My daughter needed a pe class for homeschooling. I was trying to appeal to her interests and she said she would like to bike more. We have nice bike trails around our house so I figured…why not. So began the process of us becoming official bikers.

We now have the official equipment for our bikes, bodies and for camping. Let me tell you it’s an extensive list. In fact, had I known I might not have committed so easily. But I would’ve missed out on this night and this week and what might very well become a family tradition for us.

I’m laying here tonight trying to fall asleep in a sea of tents. Realizing that I never did anything even close when I was a teenager with my mom and a sister of hers. It would’ve never even crossed our minds.  We only saw my aunts and uncles at holidays. I made no real memories with them outside of normal all family gatherings.

Lauren…is instead sleeping between her aunt and I on the hard ground with thin air mattresses in a tent with people talking all around us and fireworks going off anticipating a 46 mile bike ride tomorrow.

Wow…what a memory she is  making this week! We will all persevere and endure together. There is something amazing about that kind of thing as a team that brings unity.

So…my thought is this. I wonder how many of you involve extended family on your vacations and other plans? How many times do your kids get to interact with their aunts and uncles? We live out of state so it’s not easy to do it…but when we are intentional about it I find it to be an amazing thing for me and my kids.

It takes a village to raise a child. I can’t be the do all, be all for my kids.

I’m so grateful this week for the fact that we are adding memories and moments to our lives that involves extended family.