Friday, March 22, 2013

Alex's 12 Birthday/Remembering Cadence

After a long, but joy-filled day for my little household, I sat down to write tonight about Alexander turning 12. 

I checked Facebook to see how everyone is doing and say thank you for the birthday messages to my son...to just mellow out before I wrote my boy his "scrapblog" note.

To my absolute heartache, I saw the gut-wrenching news that my husband's cousin and his family are experiencing the loss of their little girl who was kicked by a horse Tuesday.

Stunned.  Dumbfounded.  Utter disbelief.

I am celebrating the life of my son, while they all must face the death of their precious daughter/granddaughter/niece???  

Sometimes I HATE living in this fallen world!  

Sometimes I long for Heaven's joy so badly I cannot stand it.

Cadence 9/06-3/13

Alex, this message is turning out much differently than I had originally planned, but nonetheless, very important for the story of your life. 

This is your Daddy's cousin, Patrick's sweet little girl.  You met Patrick only once at Grandpa McCracken's funeral.  There were so many people you were meeting for the first time, that you may not even remember him.  

You may remember Uncle Paul, your Nanny's brother.  You may remember Uncle Paul and Patrick embracing and crying very hard at the end of the funeral service in the church, as they were standing in front of us.

We did not have the pleasure of knowing Cadence, as we live in different states, but we know pain, grief, and fear don't we?

We have seen other parent's try to move on without their children.  We know part of our family has a long road ahead and so we do what the Word of God says:  mourn with those who are mourning.

I don't really know what to say in this letter to you now.  All that is coming to my mind is to tell you how much I love you with all my might and being...how proud I am of you for who you choose to be...how blessed I feel to have been entrusted with you as an inheritance from the Lord...all the things most parents would want to make sure their child knows, beyond doubt, in case the worst happens to either of them.

There has never, ever, EVER, been  a second that I have had the thought that my life would be better without you.  I treasure you my sweet, sweet son.  All I can think to do is make sure I say that enough and show it enough.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Slipping into the Future

It is March already!  Today, the sun is shining, the windows are open, and I can hear birds singing to one another.  

Tomorrow there is a chance for snow! You gotta love the Midwest!

We are trucking along with school, pushing through until we take spring break the same week as some cousins.  Alex, Trey and I just finished up a fascinating unit on the Maya people, complete with written and oral presentations, and the ancient Indus Valley civilization.  Next, we will all launch into studying about the life of Christ leading us to Resurrection Sunday, and then, Ancient Greece when we can read the works of Homer, look at architecture, traditions, art, language...ahhhh I love studying culture!  I love seeing HIStory unfold.

I was able to spend the entire afternoon with Garrison...reading, discussing, learning about him.  Now that Alex and Trey can do so much more on their own, I can have a little more time with G again. It is so hard to believe that in two years, he will be done with school and move on to college.  sigh  Bittersweet.  He needs me less and less.  This is what we have worked for, and now, I look back and think of the hard days I thought I would never make it through and miss them so!

It will be amazing to see how this journey all pans out in the end.  Three very unique human beings, entrusted to our care...it's still hard to understand how all this works.  I'm glad God doesn't show us the whole grand plan.  I think I would fret and fear worse than I already fight against in my mind!

To any of you who may read this and who are just beginning to teach your children...whether homeschool or parenthood...breathe, take time to enjoy the moments, give your worry over to God, seek to know each of them as individuals, and don't compare yourself or your children to others.  Life is too short.  Be the best you that you can be and help your kiddos be the best too!  It goes by so quickly.

Monday, March 4, 2013

An Inspiration to Me

I have been researching high school homeschool information.  Thought my head might explode yesterday after all the hours of reading!    

If I am understanding things correctly, Garrison (14, 9th grade), will meet and exceed all credits needed to graduate by the end of his 11th grade year. 

I had a little moment of tears when I saw it all written out on paper.  WE didn't plan it this way, but we did seek God each year and follow His plan for our son.

We started this journey of home learning as a family when Garrison was 6 years old, beginning first grade.  Well, at least that is what we used to think!

Actually we began at conception didn't we?  From the time he began to develop in my body, we have been learning together.  That has morphed so many times over in what it looks like.

I have heard people say that you cannot be your child's friend and parent.  I must now say I disagree.

One day the thought hit me that there is nothing about a friendship that I don't have already with my children. When I think about the characteristics one looks for in a friend, I can say wholeheartedly that I have all of that with my sons, as well as a position of respected authority in their lives.

The older my boys get, the closer we grow in this friendship, but I can tell you that I already value their opinion, appreciate their loyalty and honesty, share many happy memories, and trust them with my heart and possessions.

I have learned to treasure them as people, not look down on them as someone I "own" or dictate.  They have learned that I am for them...always...not against them, and they seek me for guidance and listen to wisdom.

I believe all the time we have spent together learning all kinds of things has knitted our hearts together.    

I am so very excited for Garrison to see all of his diligent hard work pay off in a reward he was seeking.  But, more than that, I am overjoyed by his character and integrity...that he is a man others can count on.

I have no idea where he is headed, but I rest in knowing that God's hand is evident on Garrison's life and heart.  Whatever lies ahead, I can say truly, "There is NO greater joy than to know that my children are walking in the truth!" 

Garrison didn't reach his academic achievements without counting the cost.  He hasn't become the honorable guy he is by sowing to his flesh.  He has wisely looked around and observed what happens when you choose to live God's principles and when you do not, and he is reaping reward of time and effort well spent.  He inspires me.