It has been a long time since we last updated the blog. I guess you could say we have been too busy living, enjoying and at times barely surviving life. To say the month of September has been full would be an understatement. (sorry to those who have the blog emailed to you, the first email was not completely finished)
Our month began with Amanda starting 9th grade at Neshaminy High
School. So far so good although it has been a learning
experience for all of us as this is our first "traditional"
school experience with all of our kids. For me it has been an
experience in giving up control and learning trust. For
the last 14 years I have had complete control of Amanda's life and
schooling (or at least I thought I did :). I have been able to
adjust her schooling to her learning style. I have been able to
speed up the learning process or slow it down as necessary. For
the most part, I (as teacher) determined the grades. We could
easily retake a test or drop the lowest score. Amanda has
always scored very well on the standardized testing and was usually
above grade level so we really were not too worried about her
performing well academically. I guess the key word in the last
sentence is performing. We are being reminded school is 99%
about performing and meeting the expectations of 7 different teachers. I am not there holding her hand through the
day. I am not there to speak up on her behalf during each
class. I am learning to let go and trust. Trust Amanda to to
make good choices. Trust Amanda to speak up when needed.
Trust her to talk to her teachers when necessary.
Unfortunately, I can be a slow learner and so to be completely honest
we have had some rough days as we learn how to navigate this new
chapter in our family. On the upside, Amanda is loving the whole school experience and perhaps adjusting better then her mom.
Next up was Jordan's10th birthday! Double digits.
Jordan is such a great, easy going kid. We began his birthday
with breakfast in bed. Homemade pancakes with sprite.
Jordan's best friend Nate slept over and we headed to the Lego
Discovery Museum for the day. Everyone had a great time.
It was the perfect way to celebrate Jordan's birthday as he loves
legos. We ended the day at the Chinese Buffet. According
to Jordan- this was the best birthday ever.
This month has been challenging for me. Finding a new way of
relating to Amanda and her schooling, homeschooling the 4 school age
boys, and working with Leo and managing his 5 weekly therapist visits
for him. Each child is also involved in other activities like music lessons and chess club. We are learning to manage what can be a busy schedule at times.
On Saturday, I participated in the Mudderella. This was a
six mile course that consisted of 15 obstacles. I was part of a
team of 19 individuals. I have never, ever done anything like this in
my entire life. I am not sure why I signed up for it except I
gave into peer pressure? The best part was completing this
course with some of the greatest women and a few men I know.
The majority of us trained together before the big day. We had
no idea what to expect but went into it with a sense of unity and
that no matter what we were going to complete this course and not
leave any man behind. I personally began the training feeling
like a frumpy, 40 something, homeschooling mom of 6 who really had no
business registering for this event. By the end of the course,
I felt like I could take on the world. This course challenged
me physically and mentally. There was one pivotal moment on the
course. Up until this point the obstacles had been hard but not
impossible for me. But then we came to the cargo net. One
big cargo net suspended between 2 trees. Probably 10-15 feet
high and it swayed back and forth as you climbed it. I was ok
climbing up but once I got to the top I panicked. I froze.
The net was swaying and I was expected to somehow swing my leg over
the other side of the net and climb down that side. The net was
filled with women (and men) climbing quickly up and over like it was
nothing. I almost let fear win and was extremely tempted to
climb back down, but here is where my team stepped in. Many
were already on the other side. They realized I was heading
into panic mode and they talked me over the net and down the other
side. Once my body had somehow managed to climb over and I had
my footing on the other side, I think I almost floated to the
ground. To say I was happy when I hit the ground would be an
understatement. I was so proud of myself for overcoming my fear.
I couldn't stop smiling. The cargo net was about half way
through the course. I went into this course wanting to challenge
myself but also prepared to skip a few of the obstacles. I am
proud to say I completed them all! I am still sore, but I am so
thankful that I competed in the Mudderella with Team Determination.
I will never forget this day and when life gets hard I know I will
think back to those cargo nets.
Through all of this craziness God has been faithful. We are
far from perfect parents (just ask my kids) but every so often God
gives us confirmation that we are on the right track. We continue to seek God's will for our family. Not sure what the future holds, but we know God is walking each step, everyday beside us even when life is hard and/or crazy.