Thunderstorm!

The part that I love most about homeschooling is when the kids grab a hold of something and run with it. The excitement that comes over them when it hits them and all they want to do is learn more…it’s priceless.

This morning we read about thunderstorms, as we’re learning about the different layers of the atmosphere through this book. I thought it would be fun to watch some videos of lightning strikes so they could see what we are learning about. Where we live there aren’t many thunderstorms and I don’t think they’ve ever seen lightning actually strike the ground.

Thanks to YouTube we found two short videos (here and here) and the kids were amazed! They were yelling and jumping around every time the lightning struck the ground in the video.

Afterward, we pulled out some paper and pens and I told them to draw the most awesome lightning storm they could think of. Here is what they came up with. Of course, Leah decided to take it up a notch and color a volcano lightning storm. Haha!

These unplanned moments of discovery are such a sweet treasure to me as I watch them learn, grow, and discover the world around them.

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Countdown to September – Baby #4!

Be prepared for the most anticlimactic announcement in the history of announcements:

We’re pregnant.

Yay!

Now, of course we are brimming with excitement and looking forward to Baby #4 joining the family sometime in September or October (and planning for another home birth in Mexico).  We are grateful to have another life to welcome to the world and into our home.  The kids already know how to talk to the baby and Leah is particular about making sure my shirt is pulled up and my belly is exposed when it’s her turn, especially if she’s ‘reading’ a book to the baby.  Oh, and the name suggestions are out of this world.  Possibly blog-post worthy all in their own right.

The reason for the wah-wah nature of the announcement is that I wanted to start writing about how I’m processing becoming a mom of FOUR KIDS.  My heart and mind are already picking up habit loops based on what I think life will be like, trying to grasp onto some sort of plan to help us survive those first few months.  Let’s face it – newborns are the most unpredictable creatures on the face of this earth.  And for an INTJ mother whose StrengthsFinder score is all DisciplineStrengthsFinder score is all Discipline and whose DISC score is a soaring S, a tiny, wailing, inconsistent, irrational human is so hard to deal with.

I love them.  Yes.  But there’s a lot to process and I want to use this space to help do just that.  Here’s to new life and more diapers!

Simple machines – wheel

It was wheel day today.  The kids used all the simple machines we’ve discussed so far (inclined plane, lever, wedge, and wheel) to make this own machines.  
  
  Hunter is explaining how the energy travels through his machine. 
 And what a surprise on our walk this morning – a REAL machine doing work.  We watched for a bit and the kids pointed out the different simple machines they saw on the backhoe. 

Lately…my mornings

Mornings have become the sole moment of my day that I truly crave and cherish.  For the first time in my life, my alarm is set for a time before 6:00 AM.  On purpose.  After reading this book (in Spanish!) and leading an online challenge group on this book, I came to realize that mornings can be for me.  Sure, that sounds selfish and yes, I still struggle with the tension between selfishness and self-care.  I’m finding that when I take time to do a few simple, nourishing things in the mornings that the rest of my day unfolds much more peacefully and gently.  I could use the mornings to do laundry, answer emails, flip through websites, write thank you cards, and knock off a few other items from one to-do list or another.  One of the chapters in this book really resonated with me when it challenged the reader to do what is important but not urgent in the mornings (echoes of this paradigm-shattering book).  Use those early hours to focus on the areas of my life that fill me up, that I long to grow in and develop but can’t seem to make space for in the rhythm of my everyday life.

So, what are those things for me?

Gentle exercise.

It’s only taken me 30+ years to learn that I don’t like sweaty, heart-pupming, aerobic intense exercise.  Give me some Pilates or Yoga and I will leap out of bed with anticipation.  I’m working through this challenge with a personal goal of also doing a set of Yoga flows each day (one more every morning…up to four today) and loving it.

Writing.

This blog has become my outlet for thoughts, processing, questions, and the occasional brain-dump.  When I write, I am happy.  It relieves my brain of all the internal processing and conversations I have with myself and puts it all somewhere I can cycle back to and browse through if I need to.

Reading.

So far I’ve only been able to read through a chapter of the Bible before I move on to the next part of my morning.  I would love to add a few pages of a growth-type book as well, like a non-fiction leadership or human-behavior type book.  I’m reading this one right now and would love to knock out a few pages each morning.

Music.

Yes, I’ve been hitting YouTube up for some cheesy ‘morning music’ to play while I write and I love it. I play it through my headphones because it helps me stay connected and focused to what’s in front of me.  Why?  I have no idea but it does.

Each night I set my alarm for five minute earlier than the night before.  Each morning I find myself scrambling to fit in all that I want to do before the kids wake up and the momentum of the day sweeps us away.  Tonight when I click those numbers on the clock a few more digits backwards, I’ll smile and know that the morning will be waiting for me.  Just me.

It takes a year

After three kids, I’ve learned at least one thing:

It takes me a year to feel like ‘me’ again.

The days start to make sense, we fall into some sort of rhythm, and I can slowly begin adding pieces back into my life that feed and nourish me.  Funny thing is, though, that we usually try to start getting pregnant about a year after our last baby was born…which means we are gently moving towards the thought of Baby #4.  It’s sort of cruel and hilarious at the same time – right at the moment when I start to gain momentum and see some progress and wholeness ahead of me, everything is thrown to the wind as we begin from ground zero again.

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Happy Birthday to me feeling like me again!  source

Now, I love being pregnant.  If I could be pregnant for months on end, I totally would.  There’s something about growing a human being inside me that fascinates me.  The nutrition, the science, the ways I can nurture my child even before he or she enters the world is so intriguing to me.  I actually take better care of myself while I’m pregnant than I do in most other seasons of my life.  Something about knowing my actions directly affect another human being helps me up my game a few notches.

However…I have loved the last three or four months of my life.  Leah is a few months past one, and Hunter and Madison are well into their preschool years.  I can set my alarm for a certain time in the morning and know that I have an hour or more to myself to focus on the necessary but not urgent stuff that fills me – reading, writing, gentle exercise, listening to calming music.  In the quiet morning hours I am filled with hope and expectation for the day.

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The thought of another baby dashes those hopes into a fine, powdery dust that drifts away on the morning breezes.  Oh, how I long for another little one in our family.  That ache of ‘We’re not quite done yet’ pulses strong inside me.  Hence, this entire entry resonates with contradiction, right?  The tension of expectation and sacrifice – knowing there are great and precious things to come, but facing the loss of a few of my own precious things along the way.

When I peel back, zoom the view-finder of my life out a few degrees, and realize that this portion of my life, the baby-toddler-preschool ages of child raising, is merely a blip in the entirely of my existence, I can slowly exhale and realize it will be okay to let go of the things I have picked back up during the past few months.

There will be many mornings for me to read, write, sit, notice the quiet and the sunrise and set my day along the path I intend it to go.  For now, I am soaking in the mornings that I can and cherishing the ones to come.  The ones that begin around 2:30 AM with nursing snuggles, sore backs, tired eyes, and shushing of babies.  Those are the fleeting moments which I truly long to grasp before they slip away forever.