I am still alive and kicking.
And back to writing, at least for now.
Life for us has been a blur as of late. Actually,things have gotten especially busy since last summer. Shortly after my last post, Kevin hurt his back quite seriously at work, and that event created a roller coaster ride of medical drama and forced him to spend many weeks recovering (or at least trying to!) at home. It was a frightening time, not knowing if there would be permanent damage or if he would ever be able to resume his old job. It was hard to have faith and trust that however the situation played out, God would be there for our family. He brought us through that ordeal, and I'm happy to say that Kevin officially returned to work in September. What a blessing! He is so thankful to be released from all the pain he had experienced. Of course, he still has to be careful and is still having to deal with a daunting amount of bothersome paperwork, but so far he has been doing great, health wise. It's amazing how far he has come. Until something like this happens, it's easy to take a properly functioning body for granted, especially the spine which controls so much of daily living. When your back is in pain, it can be debilitating.
So, immediately after he was at last released to go back to work, it was time to dive right into the home school mode. This year I'm teaching two: Isaac is first grade and Emma is kindergarten. Ethan is just 2 1/2, so it can be difficult to keep him occupied while I'm working with the other two. :)
It's demanding, but it's going very well and it's totally worth it. The kids are thriving and it's neat to see them get excited about learning. Some days are stressful, but overall, I'd say it's working great for us.
This year we took the leap and joined a home school support group. It has been a great experience meeting other homeschooling families and giving the kids a chance to interact with others. It's nice to have that outlet of encouragement with the other moms, too, especially since most of them have been home schooling longer than I have. Lots of experience there to draw from! The kids have made more friends and get to do fun projects and classes each time. It's a huge highlight for them! We also enrolled Isaac and Emma into weekly swimming lessons, which they love.
In other news, Kevin and I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary in December and Emma turned 5 in January. Three more birthdays coming up this spring as well. Time keeps marching on!
We also recently changed around almost all of the bedrooms, did some painting and otherwise sprucing up of our home. That was quite a chore and we are just now feeling settled, after weeks of playing musical rooms and a lot of upheaval in general. (Plus, it is crazy trying to paint walls with a two year old running around!) Everything is finally back into place for the most part.
So, that's the recap of life since last June.
As I look back on 2011, it was a year of tremendous growth for me personally. I met alot of goals that I had, some big, some very small, but all of them important in one way or another. I had my faith shaken and strengthened. I realized anew just how much I love being a wife and mother. I had to walk away from emotionally toxic situations. I was compelled to gather my courage and let that inner mama bear out on a few occasions...and then at other times, learn when to hold it in . :) I watched my children grow and change right before my eyes. As a family unit, it seems like we became even closer, especially after the situation with Kevin's back when things were totally out of our control and we had to lean on each other more than ever.
2011 will be memorable, that's for sure!
As I look forward into 2012, I just feel incredibly blessed and happy. Is everything perfect? No. And it never will be here on this earth. But, there is just so much to be grateful for. When you focus on what is right in your life rather what is wrong, it can change your entire outlook!
I did not make a visual resolutions list this year, though of course there are always plenty of areas for improvement. :) Mostly, I just want to find and maintain a place of good balance between work and play and create lots of simple memories with my little family.
You know, the whole "stopping to smell the roses" thing.
I am really hoping that I can get back into a more regular blogging groove again, but we shall see. It is a challenge to find much time for "non essentials" these days so I am afraid that it may still be quite infrequent.
But I will try.
I also wanted to say thank you to those who, in my absence, seemed genuinely concerned and inquired if all was okay. I did not realize that I even had that much of a following. So it was nice to know that there really are people out there who take the time to read my boring ramblings and care about how things are going. :)
In closing, here is our holiday picture for this year. The children are getting bigger! More updates on them to come soon.
It's time for this mama to call it a day.