Today is the first weekday of my voluntary unemployment. I just loved my job at Starbucks. It was fun and I was privileged to meet so many wonderful people that I would otherwise probably never meet. I have friends for life from that one little store. I consider myself blessed. When I was at work, it was pure fun and it was all because of my co-workers and customers! And it was perfect in that I could leave any worries at work and not bring it home. However, all things have a time. It was getting very difficult to plan our home-school days, work, chauffeur, and take care of a house and family all at the same time. I have been stressed for weeks. I was reaching a breaking point and the closing of our store was a blessing for me. I say that with some reservation, however. I won’t have the opportunity to spend so much time with my friends again and that is very bittersweet.
Today I am looking forward to making a nice dinner and sitting down to dinner as a family again. What is on the menu? I’m torn, but I think I’ll go with the ultra popular tacos! I feel like it’s too easy and that I should be fixing a traditional, labor intensive, meat and potatoes kind of dinner. But my boys love tacos and it’s really the act of sitting down and talking with one another that is important.
Today was tough. We are trying out this Orton-Gillingham method of reading and spelling. I’ve given Austen the assessments and now we are working on his lessons. He really knows most of the sounds, it’s just getting him to really sound them out. He only made one mistake today and when I asked him to look more closely at that word, the tears just flowed. I don’t think I really know the depth of his hurt or frustration in learning. He is an absolutely brilliant boy. He is detail oriented with a fabulous memory! He is creative and thinks outside the box! He is definitely my nature boy! It broke my heart to see those tears. He really didn’t make a terrible mistake, but I think he feels like such a failure when he is not right. I really hope it isn’t me. I want so much to help him. I try so hard not to say the words “you’re wrong, no, etc” I just asked him to look at it again and he didn’t say anything, put his head down and I saw the tears stream down his cheek. I think he is wounded and a whole year after leaving school, the hurt is still there. We switched subjects and I told him we would continue tomorrow with the reading and spelling. He seemed fine when we were listening to Story of the World later. I guess I bring it up only because I am worried. I wanted this to be a happy blog, never a complaint. I wouldn’t trade our decision to home-school Austen, but this threw me. Ah, well. Most everything seems better after a long nights sleep. Wish me luck…
The St. Croix River at dusk
Change your thoughts and you change your world.
What a wild week! Painting, working, learning and an emergency room visit!
Seriously, I don’t think I could possibly fit anymore into this past crazy week! I am so sorry that I haven’t posted. I’ve got all these ideas for posts bouncing around inside my head, but first I have to get this week off my chest!
We had been painting Austen’s new room most of last week and into this week. I close my eyes and see black and blue! But we are finished and here is his new room…
On Saturday I attended a workshop on the Orton-Gillingham method of teaching reading and spelling. It was fantastic. The instructor, Kathy Fears, described my son to a “T” and she has never met him. I teared up because for the first time, I met someone who knows what Austen and I are going through. She is a homeschooler for the same reason I am. She pulled her daughter out of public school because they just couldn’t help her and her daughter became more and more frustrated with school. Even with the one on one that homeschooling provides, she couldn’t get through to her daughter until she found this method. Her daughter is now a college graduate and is self-employed. I am hoping this method will also help Austen. He knows his phonics, but needs some help putting them together and I think we have found a way. Wish us luck!
Right after the workshop I worked an 8 hour shift at my part-time job at Starbucks, went home, slept and worked another 8 hour shift on Sunday. I hadn’t been home more than 45 minutes when the phone rang. My father was in an ambulance on his way to the emergency room at his local hospital! I couldn’t make this stuff up! The poor guy was putting out his garbage when his knee gave way and he landed head-first on the concrete driveway. He ended up in the operating room where they cleaned up and repaired his wound. I think I spent about 5 hours with him and my mom at the hospital. He is recuperating at home now, but he has a couple of serious black eyes and a large scar.
This week we have been putting the finishing touches on Austen’s room, such as painting his closet doors with dry-erase paint as shown here(Who knew there was such a thing!):
And a new bookshelf needed filling:
Well, things will be slowing down here in the next few weeks as we close our Starbucks coffee shop and I no longer work outside the home. It will feel good to concentrate on my family and home once again.
All I can say about life is, Oh God, enjoy it!
Ashley graduated from college earlier this year. She has her own apartment in the city along with a new car and a new job. I’m finally coming to grips with the fact that she is on her own and most likely won’t be living with us anytime soon. I’ve managed to avoid thinking about this until recently. Austen is moving into her old room. As long as her room was set up the way she left it, I guess a part of her was still here. There was possibility. Don’t get me wrong, I know my job as a parent is to prepare my children for life on their own. But change is hard. Our family dynamics have changed. This change is hard on all of us, but, especially so for Austen, our youngest. When we have dinner together (which, unfortunately, isn’t every day because of work schedules and football schedules) I have commented how nice it is to sit down with the whole family for dinner. Austen corrected me and told me the whole family was NOT together. Ashley wasn’t here.
All this introspection really has to do with the fact that we are painting Austen’s new room. He picked out the colors, the design, and helped me to figure out how much paint we needed for the room. (hands on math!!!) I thought I would share some pictures. Our goal is to be finished painting by Friday afternoon (before the varsity football game!) Hopefully we can start moving furniture into the room this weekend. Austen’s old room will become a learning/project room. I’m looking forward to a place we can leave projects while we are working on them (we need that dining room table for dinners!!!). Also a place for all the books and supplies will be nice! Here is a picture of the room today (we’ve got quite a lot of work to do before tomorrow evening!) Wish us luck!