Tuesday, September 11, 2007

What routine? The week in review....

Hah! How naive of me to think I could actually launch right in and settle so quickly into a smooth routine of school days, soccer practice, orchestra, and tidy, organized days. Not so fast, alas. I was complaining to Coty this past Sunday as I looked at the week ahead that, with only a week of "school" under our belts, the coming week just had too variables, too much going, and not enough staying and settling.

On Tuesday morning, I fixed my tea in one of my favorite tea mugs, the one given to me by my dear Mary, longtime homeschool buddy and dear friend from our New England days. Written around the border of the mug are the words:

"I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation..." Phillipians 4:12b

I drank my tea encouraged and I endeavored to be content, even in the busy-ness of the early week with homeschooling high schoolers.

Warning and exhortation to those of you with little ones - you are busy now, for sure! But the nature of the busy-ness will change when your children get older. There will be more going. I suppose that's not inevitable, but if you have children who love sports and want to participate on a team, or ones who are musical and want to take lessons or be in an orchestra, or you want to find tutoring or classes to complement what you do at home, you will GO more. I am very thankful for the opportunities my guys have to participate in soccer, orchestra, and classes, but sometimes, like this past Sunday, I feel the pinch of time away from home and long for the type of normal routine we used to have. It's a new normal now and I'm getting used to it but how thankful I am for the way we guarded our at home time when our kids were younger. So, young moms, enjoy these days at home now and be careful not to fill them up with too much extra running around. You will likely look back on your early home days with longing later on!

If you're still reading and want to know, here's what took us hither and yon this past week:

Monday - A trip to Chapel Hill for an admissions tour with Andrew at Carolina. He loved it and it's a definite on college application list. After the visit, we went to Durham where Coty spoke at the Perspectives class. He gave the lecture "The Story of His Glory" which is Lesson 2 in Perspectives for those of you familiar with the class. We rolled back in the driveway around midnight.

Tuesday - A 9:45 drive to Andrew's new French conversation class with Alliance Francaise. Very exciting. I drove and he followed me since I was going on to Ft. Mill and he was headed home after the class so he'd be back in time for his new afternoon physics class. Tuesday is his "out of the house" class day! After showing him where to go, Matthew, Joel and I spent an hour at a downtown library for some study time. Then we headed to Ft. Mill for our first American Literature class with Matthew and my nephew. I'm excited about this and thankful for a sister who is eager to join forces with me in teaching and learning with our boys. Later in the afternoon, the cousins' soccer teams played each other. The game ended in a tie!

Wednesday - I stayed home ALL day! At least til Bible study in the evening. It was wonderful day of quiet schoolwork with the guys and some home organizing. We started reading The Comedy of Errors, aloud, dividing up parts for each act. We had a blast and can't wait to go see it on stage next week. We also listened to the "Air" from Bach's Orchestral Suite in D Major and worked on our poem. Matthew worked on his Greek and Andrew went to his first cello lesson of the fall. But, I got to stay home. I love having teenage drivers! I completely cleaned out my pantry and got started on the linen closet in the afternoon. Ahhh, lovely clean shelves with organized staples and new containers for bird and cat food, and in the linen closet, neat piles of towels and sheets. I hung fresh lavender from the garden in both places.

Thursday, we had another quiet morning and then headed to the school where the boys play soccer so they could go to the pep rally before their game in the afternoon. I, of course, stayed for the game. A loss, 4-0, but we won't talk about that!

Friday is the "outside of the house" class day for Matthew and Joel. M is enjoying his Composition class and J his Classical Conversations seminars on Nature Study and Geography. I really enjoy the moms at CC and am glad J's classes span lunch time so I get to visit with the moms. A couple of them are "older" moms, like me.

I started out this post writing about contentment. I'll finish with an image. On Tuesday, as I looked out the second floor window of the city library where we were studying, I watched the sprays of water in the fountain across the way. The breeze was teasing the jets of arcing spray and causing them to splash in crazy ways all over the surface of the water. I realized that those drops dancing on the surface, creating ripples and patterns in their joyous splashing, were what made the fountain alive and beautiful. The wind wasn't messing up the fountain, causing the jets to go the wrong way. They were still spraying in the direction they were pointed, but the breeze was scattering the spray and enhancing the fountain's beauty. That's how I'm thinking about the dance and splash of the boys' activities these days. The direction of our learning hasn't changed but we are letting the breeze of new endeavors and wonderful opportunities enhance our learning. I hope the end result will, like that fountain, be beautifully alive.

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