August Potpourri

I was dragging my tail at 2 o’clock this afternoon, so naturally I made myself a cup of coffee. Now, at 11 o’clock, I am still feeling it. I can’t handle caffeine, I know.

The last 2 weeks were stuffed full of fun and relatives on both sides of the family. We spent a few days up north with Gabe’s family in the middle of August. His folks hosted a reunion for the Peight family, no small matter when you consider that there were 14 boys and 2 girls in the original clan and most of them had substantial families as well. Gabe has more cousins than you could shake a stick at! The Peights are notorious for not getting together very much, but when they do, they have a great time, especially telling tales of the old days. I have often wished I could have met the mother of all those boys. (Or wait, was it 12 boys and 2 girls? Pretty sure it was 14, give or take a few.)

We were back home for a few days before two of my siblings and their families came for a visit. My parents have guest quarters in their basement, so we spent most of our visiting time at their house. With our limited space, it is easier for us to host a crowd if the weather is nice so that we can spill out onto the deck. However, it poured on the evening that we had the crew at our place for supper. Gabe grilled sausages with a  big umbrella over himself. Eight adults and twelve children in our living room felt nice and snug. 🙂 To top it off, I had roasted cauliflower in my oven. It tasted amazing but put off an awful stench that lingered the entire evening. Note to self: next time roast on the grill and let the zephyrs drift away.

Over this past weekend we also did some last minute socializing with Gabe’s SD brother and his family, sharing our popcorn and ice cream with them on Sunday night before they packed up to leave Monday morning. I would venture to say that we value time spent with them more now that they live 20 hours away than we did when their house was just a mile down the road! 

We keep putting in about 3 days a week on school, in between all the mingling. For those who wonder about the social aspect of homeschooling…. It’s not a problem, truly. I was so worn out yesterday that I just feebly lay on the recliner with a book and let the children scatter Legos all over the living room. Eventually I bethought myself of the hampers flowing over onto the floors and we did laundry. That was all. Just that and a bucket full of green beans. Well, we cleaned some floors too, and mowed the lawn, but I had the troops busy and let me tell you, that is a huge asset! 

Every year I like to adopt a motto when school starts up again. When I was a teacher I used to have a weekly pep saying or verse for myself in my plan book, but homeschool is a little different. I just need one to hang onto all year since I really don’t have time to rethink every week. :p I have been reading Hebrews and seeing a continual pattern of faith, of course. I had never noticed before how many times it is coupled with endurance, patience, and just general “do the next thing-ness”. As soon as I have time I want to paint myself a little sign for this year’s motto: FAITH and PATIENCE

It comes from Hebrews 6:11,12 in the ESV.

And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” 

And again in Hebrews 10:36 this idea is repeated.

 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.”

I don’t know about you, but I really, really need endurance and so do my children. None of us are thrilled with hard stuff day after day. I explained to my boys how doing difficult assignments opens more neural pathways in their brains so that they can think better and do even harder stuff. “It’s like a mole tunneling new ways and making more connections for thinking to happen in your brain. If you never do anything that is hard work, your brain stays mushy.” They want the expanded tunnels but aren’t so sure about long division and summary writing to get them.

All the while I was explaining this to the boys, I was telling myself, “So quit trying to constantly make your life easier. Embrace the season and the mess and the hardness! Don’t complain about how everybody always needs you. Just wash the floor already instead of sighing at the remnants of fruit jello smeared under the table. Take the time to address that bad attitude instead of hoping it will go away while you sip your tea. Let it all expand your capacities…” 

Oh, but Lord, it is hard sometimes…

And it is funny sometimes. We had a sign up sheet for a 24 hour prayer chain at church. Just a fifteen minute slot- that was all I signed for. Yesterday I made sure everyone was fed and happily employed before my 15 minutes. Predictably, there were calls for help in the bathroom, which I serenely ignored until my big boy came racing up the steps calling that there was water dripping from the basement ceiling. Out of the entire day, that was the time for my tot to clog the toilet with paper and flush repeatedly. And that is why there were 15 towels on my clothesline today.

Faith and patience.

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