Wednesday, December 1, 2010

What's So Boomin' About Being a Boomer?

So, I turned 54 years old this week. Wow! How did that happen? Just yesterday I was 29 and giving birth to my first child! It's true what Mom has always said, the older you get, the faster time flies.

This seaon of my life brings so much change and I just do not do change well at all. My father-in-law died DEC 2005; our oldest son got married Summer of 2007; our youngest son began college Fall of 2007; and my father died 2 years ago Thanksgiving. While all are natural occurrences in the cycle of life, they bring change. One positive change has been our purchase of a coastal home in the Florida Panhandle. Yes, we are blessed by this luxury and my hubby has reduced the stress in his life by enjoying salt water fishing. But....this second home is still a change.

Maybe I'm sounding a little whiny, so let me reflect on my many blessings I am experiencing during  this stage of life.

My mother, who has suffered debilitating anxiety and depression over the years, is actually coping fairly well with the loss of my daddy. I am coping very well with the loss of my daddy! If you'd told me before Daddy became ill that I would have handled his illness and death so well, I would have disagreed with you. Surely it was and is the grace and mercy of God, and the fact I was able to spend almost every day with Daddy after the grim diagnosis.

Being a mother-in-law has not been nearly as difficult as I had imagined. I give God the glory for working in our hearts as we grew to love our daughter-in-law.

As for parenting our adult child who is still living at home, this, too has been relatively easier than I anticipated. At the age of 22, he works and attends college and respects house rules while contributing to the care of home and property. His joyful spirit is a light in our home and we will truly miss him when he creates a home of his own.

Our 29 year marriage has not been without bumps in the road. My hubby and I have remained committed to our wedding vows and God has honored that. We enjoy our time together, but also appreciate our time apart. I am pursuing my writing career while he pursues the biggest fish in the sea!!!

We are so very blessed that our mothers are independent and healthy, continuing to live alone, attend church, and enjoy their families and churches. We are so very blessed that our finances and health are stable. We are so very blessed that we have loving and attentive children who serve the Lord with their time, talents, and treasures.

So, what is so boomin' about being a boomer? GRANDCHILDREN!!! Our first grandchild, a little boy, is due in 5 weeks. His name is Judah Nathaniel, which means, Praise God for He has given!

Merry Christmas y'all!

Soon to be Grandmother Mom and loving it!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Back to School time; Why homeschool?

It's "Back to School" time again. A season when I experience a plethora of emotions ranging from tears of sadness when I observe mommies and their little blonde haired boys shopping for school supplies, to "YIPPEE, those days are gone!" Our family completed our homeschool journey DEC 2007, when life as I knew it radically changed. For 15 years my life revolved around our sons' daily lessons, planning for co-op days, field trips, and at the high school level, homeschool athletics. As I ponder those years, I am convinced homeschooling is so much more than a quality education. We began homeschooling our first born at the age of 5 in 1991. Back then, home education had not entered mainstream America, but its popularity was rapidly growing. We were often asked the question "why homeschool?" The year our son entered Kindergarten, our local school was an inconvenient 13 miles from our home which meant 2 hours on the school bus each day. Further, Kindergarten students rode the same bus as middle school students, a downside to our rural locale. While initially convenience was our primary reason for considering this nontraditional method of education, we soon realized other important reasons for our family's decision to homeschool.

1. It's all about the family. Our sons are 34 months apart and grew up as the best of friends. Today, at the ages of 21 and 24, they are still very close and involved in each others' lives. By the nature of the amount of time siblings spend together during the school day, homeschooling promotes sibling relationships. The same holds true for parent - child relationships. With peer influences minimized and parents closely involved in the child's education, bonds are naturally strengthened. 

2. The love of learning. By having control over the subjects taught, parents have the opportunity to instill a love of learning in their child. For example, if the student loves horses, he is much more likely to enjoy reading about horses rather than, say, cars. Unit studies allow for this type of teaching/learning and are especially beneficial to the homeschool in the early grades. By fostering a love of learning in the younger years, the course is set to enjoy school during middle and high school.

3. Keeping God in the classroom. The homeschool classroom is an extension of the family and homelife where God is revered and worshipped and prayer is a natural occurrence. Religious symbols, Christmas, and Easter are not subject to intolerant rules of government schools. The freedom to express personal faith is reason enough for many who choose home education.