Thursday, April 28, 2011

Finding Joy in Sorrow

We are completely grateful that our home and the homes of our family were untouched by recent storms. Unfortunately, there were many that were lost in the storms last night. It is completely overwhelming to think of all the loss, but we must find joy despite the sorrow. I am going to hug my babies close today and find joy in their smiles.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Miracles...

Jake and I were honored to meet the little one of dear friends last night. New life never ceases to amaze me. The possibilities for a new little human being are endless. I always feel so full of emotion to see this new little person that has so much potential. It is particularly joyful to see parents who welcome this child with such joy, thankfulness, and a realization that they are not  raising a child but raising an adult. I am still wallowing in the happiness of a new life on this earth. Welcome Brooks Nathaniel. We already love you. Cannot wait to see the mountains you will climb, the heights you will soar, and the new trails you will blaze.

"The potential possibilities of any child are the most intriguing and stimulating in all creation. " ~~Ray L. Wilbur

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

SPRING!!!


I love spring. It is particularly fun with kiddos. It is a season of discovery. The children are loving spotting flowers, inch worms, trees budding, birds singing etc...It is a great reminder to me that they are learning constantly. Learning can be fun and exciting!! I love it when they get excited about wild violets or when Gideon shouts every time he sees a Grancy Greybeard. And, it thrills my heart that they wanted to take visitors on a tour of our Dogwoods. Their excitement is contagious. Sunshine is certainly good for whatever ails ya. :)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Looking ahead.

So, I homeschool my oldest. It is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I truly love it. And,  barring any unforeseen circumstances, I am planning to educate all three of my children for all 12 of their school years. But, it is very scary to be the one selecting curriculum, deciding what kind of learner each child happens to be, finding ways around personality conflicts and a couple of minor learning difficulties. Then there was the frightening realization that homeschooling means that they are always home. ;) Honestly, it was a little alarming when my son reached 4 years old and I realized that I would need to find (or at least help him to learn to find) something constructive to do for the hours when we were not actively doing school work. But, we are all learning together. It is truly a beautiful thing to see my children interacting with one another. They have such an amazing relationship with one another and I am grateful for that. We have always been the Franklin family, but now I see that we are becoming THE FRANKLINS. We are a team.The children are fully on board and are happy to be team players. I am grateful that we have chosen this path. I have to remind myself how grateful I am because I am currently in full planning mode. Choosing curriculum, deciding on a homeschool covering, planning on how much of a break we will take this summer. During this time I have to remind myself to take a deep breath and relax. It is alright to plan and to look ahead, but it really is always best to take one day at a time. I know that I am fully capable of teaching my children. I know them better than anyone else does. I know I do not want them to have a "conveyor belt" or "one size fits all" education. But, I also know that I am going to make mistakes. Sometimes, I am going to choose the wrong books or maybe use the wrong method. But, I will continue on this path because I  see not only an incredible love my children have for one another, but the incredible love they have to learn. And, in my mind loving to learn is one of the most (if not the most) important thing in educating children. So, I will continue on this journey because I know it is the right one. I will continue to look ahead and try to plan but mostly I will just take one day at a time.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I have never read Bleak House by Charles Dickens, but this quote was on my calendar this morning. "Oh running stream of sparkling joy. To be a soaring human boy!" 

I love being a mother to my boys and girl. But, there is something fascinating about the energy of a little boy. It is endless and sometimes I just watch in amazement as my little Gabriel Coy (17mos) crawls up on top of the kitchen table. The inherent differences of girls and boys fascinates me on a daily basis. But, I love this quote because it puts that energy in such a positive light. It must be a wonderful thing to have that kind of energy and zest for life. Boys are always looking for the next adventure, the next mountain to climb. As a girl (a very girlie girl, at that) I admire that so much. It is easy to try to squelch it instead of fostering it in a healthy way. So, thank you, Mr. Dickens for such wonderful words of wisdom. 

Monday, April 4, 2011

Hard....

We took the kiddos to Dairy Queen for a post soccer lunch this past weekend. They sat at the high stools across from mine and Jake's table. Sigh....I guess it is that time already. I noticed there were two little girls near us and they had a pretty good case of the giggles. Since I had my own little giggler/wiggler in the high chair next to me, I didn't pay much attention to them. When it was time to go, Gideon (5) told me that the girls next to us were giggling and smiling at him. Then, he kind of sadly said, "Maybe they were making fun of me". Those of you that are mothers know what my heart felt like at that moment. I was torn between going back in and giving those girls a very long lecture. Or, I could grab my little boy and go home where I was confident I could protect him from people that would hurt him. But, I know deep down in my heart that he will experience hurt. Some hurts (like this one) he will rebound from quickly and others will be much deeper. So, how do I prepare him for this? I honestly am not completely sure. But, I do know that I am going to try to prepare him everyday. It is my intense desire to help my children to become responsible human beings that are confident of who they are and what they believe. To be thoughtful of others, but not to be swayed or hurt by the views of others. It is however, impossible to protect them forever and I shouldn't want to do that. It is my job to create independent human beings that are ready and eager to leave me when it is time. It is my job to make them able to leave my nest and do wonderful things. It is my job to help them manage the hurt feelings without being overcome by them. So difficult, but possible.
                                                     Photo by J Woodbery Photography

So, I told my 5 year old "I am not sure if those girls were laughing at you or not, but even if they were, it doesn't matter. You know and I know what an amazing boy you are. That fact will never change no matter what other people say or think. " And, then I prayed...A LOT!! :)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Beautiful Messes

Parents are faced with lots of messes and it is hard to see the beauty in them. When I think of messy, I usually think about toys all over, sticky floors, and finger prints on the window. But, it really can be so many other things. And, sometimes believe it or not, messes can be lovely. It has been difficult for me to live my life without fear of messes since I have had children. As mothers, we are always planning things on schedules because if we veer from our routines, it can create a MESS!! But, sometimes an adventure requires us to leave our comfortable routine. An afternoon of hiking can create very tired little ones, but the memories are so worth the fussiness that comes afterward. A morning of play dough and finger painting can create a huge mess, but OH THE FUN!!

I read once that you should live your life as a movie. It needs a good plot or mission. It requires love and bravery. And, it needs to be interesting. Sometimes those things require you to step out of your normal comfort zone. Adopting a child can be messy. Building a new home can be messy. Having more than 2.5 children can be messy. But, all of those things will add so much to your life. I am grateful for a husband that is constantly pushing me beyond my normal comfort zone. He is constantly reminding me that just because things are not our "norm" doesn't mean that we should not try them. Since I have married him, I have tried so many things that I would not have been brave enough to try before. I have hiked into very remote places (which means that I have gone days without bathing...MESSY!!). I have taken music and knitting lessons. I have become a gardener. I have ridden motorcycles, run in races, given birth naturally, camped with infants and toddlers, homeschooled my children, and now consider myself a cloth diapering tree hugger. :) While all of those things are or have the potential to be messy they are all so wonderful and I am grateful to have experienced all of them. As a mother, I would love for all things to go as planned and to be neat and tidy, but really... where is the fun in that? Life is meant to be lived in joy and sometimes that means you have to get a little messy.