Thursday, January 20, 2011

Happy New Year!

Okay, I'm only 20 days late, but it is still a new year :)! We have been getting lots and lots of snow here, which has been really pretty. I am sitting here right now watching about 10 cardinals in the trees around our bird feeders. With the snow behind them, it sure is pretty.

I know it is only January, but I have been having fun trying to plan our garden. Last year was such a wild year for our garden. First, we dug up the garden in the spring, when Jeff was still unemployed. Then Jeff got a job 2 hours away from home, and we thought we were moving. We put the house up for sale, and we grass-seeded over the garden. Then Jeff found a job close to home, so we tore up the garden again. We didn't end up actually planting the garden until the end of June! It was amazing how God still blessed us with a good garden, even with us planting so late. This year it is fun to actually be able to plan more what I want. I got my latest heirloom seed catalog, along with some new books about gardening. One is about companion gardening, or what plants work best beside each other. The other is a seed saving book. I would like to be able to learn how to save seeds from my plants, so I don't have to keep buying tons of seeds each year. I also bought a book on herb gardens, but I haven't gotten that one in the mail yet. I really want to have a nice sized herb garden this year. I would love to grow things that I make tea out of, like chamomile. Our yard isn't very huge, so I am going to have to get creative! I would love to plant some fruit trees on our property too. We planted 4 blueberry bushes this past year in the side yard, and I want to get a few more. I can't wait until they start growing big enough to produce berries!!

I'm almost halfway done with homeschooling. We have done about 80 days so far. The breaks we have been taking every 5-6 weeks have been nice. Around Christmas, I started having doubts about the year-round schooling. I was wondering if I would really miss having a full 3 months off in summer instead of 6 weeks. After our 2 week Christmas break, I was shocked at how much Evie forgot. We had to go over a lot of stuff again. So it looks like year-round schooling is the way to go for us. I may take those 6 weeks in summer and spread them out, taking a week break after a week or 2. That way stuff will stay in Evie's memory more.

Evie started back to horseback riding again this week. She is on a much less ornery horse, which she is thrilled about. She is getting so comfortable with riding that they are tying up the lead ropes, and she has been riding without anyone holding the lead ropes. It has been really cool to see her grow so much with horseback riding. It is so refreshing to go to her therapeutic riding center. I love that the people there treat her like a person. They don't treat her like she is strange or different. They don't tell me I am doing a terrible job as a parent, or tell me that I need to control her hyperness by spanking her more (I can't tell you HOW many times I have heard that one--as if spanking magically solves hyperness). At her riding center, they treat Evie like the amazing human being that she is. It is so refreshing to go there, and it lifts me up. I am amazed at the lack of understanding most people have when it comes to sensory processing disorder. How people have treated us has been one of the hardest things for me to deal with as a parent. Anytime a kid is perceived as anything but "normal", it seems like either the parents or the kids get blamed. People say horrible, cruel things about us as parents, and about Evie. I haven't blogged much lately, partially because I have been going through some difficult times with all this. I have been quite outgoing and social for most of life, until recently. I have really started to become introverted and quiet because of the huge lack of understand people have had. Wow...didn't mean to go off on that. I honestly would love to write a blog post on how I am feeling, but it would probably not be the happiest blog post in the world! I am learning that God is the only one who can be trusted completely with things. I know that I can share how I am feeling with Him, and He won't judge me. If I feel all alone, without a friend, I know that He will be my friend. I don't know what I would do if I didn't have Him in my life.


Daisy said...

Hi Jen! Thanks for stopping by my blog. It's so nice to talk with you again.:)
Truthfully there are just some things better left unsaid and left with God alone. So you really hit the head right on the nail there. Our inner-most thoughts and feelings are safe in His hands. And nobody understands and cares like He does. I agree whole-heartedly with that!

Unfortunately, people seem to love to judge each other and compare themselves with others. It's sure hard to deal with when they aren't walking in the same shoes. Sometimes people think they know the answer, but really they don't. Sometimes things aren't always the way they appear to be.

But you know what Jen, you just continue to be yourself, and don't let anyone rob you of any joy in your life. When others judge you wrongfully, all that really matters is what God thinks of you and whether you please Him or not. What people think, doesn't really matter outside of that.

I hope you are blessed with another good garden this year! I can't wait to see what you are going to plant.

Jen said...

Thank you so much Daisy for all that you wrote. It has been a big learning time for me. I still have a lot to learn. I am so thankful for my wonderful online friends! You all are the best :).

Kelly said...

I can understand why the year round home schooling would work, for most kids quite honestly. Char goes to a Christian school but in the summer I home school her to maintain her skills. We just do "pretend school" two or three times each week all summer just to keep her skills going. Kids do loose what they learn fast. So I can see how that would work. And in summer you can make it more about doing fun stuff and less about book learning too!
I can't speak to kids with sensory disorders but I have noticed that in public schools there is a growing problem that any kid who by age 6 can't sit still all day needs medicated. It's awful and why I'm hoping to keep Char out of public school as long as I can.
My nephew, who is nearly 18 now, was labeled ADD at age 6 cause he couldn't sit still and wanted to run around all the time! What kid doesn't. Seems like they don't want to let kids be kids anymore, now I've gone off on a tangent. I think my point is that even parents of "normal" kids need to watch or soon even their child could be labeled a "problem" child. All of us need to be aware how the "experts" handle children these days.

SchnauzerMom said...

There are times when I want to "sound off" in my blog but I don't. Like Daisy said some things are better left with God alone. I'm sorry that people can be so difficult when it comes to other people's children. It's all to easy to judge. I hope you have a great, big, beautiful garden.

April said...

Hi Jen :) It's good to see you back to blogging, but I can certainly understand taking time off - especially when you've got your mind elsewhere. I agree with what Daisy said; she said it very well.

People can be cruel and judgmental. I don't understand the lack of sensitivity in them, but I guess we're supposed to deal with it somehow. When childen are involved, it's particularly hurtful. Be happy that you aren't like that yourself and know how lucky your are that Evie is your daughter; you are a wonderful mother.

I'm with you about wanting to sometimes blog unhappy or more serious issues. For me, I just balance out if I want to share with the world those thoughts in my mind. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't. Everyone's life is a mixture of "good" and "bad", up and down, etc. so I don't mind sharing some of the bad stuff occasionally. Sometimes it's good to get input from others. But sometimes it's just better to keep certain things to ourselves. Sometimes for me it's just good to write it out like I'm going to blog it, but then not post it. Writing it theraputic for me though.

I can't wait to see your garden this year. I responded to your comment on my blog about the heirloom catalog that I never got! Humph! I have a lot of work to do to get my garden ready for planting since we never "put it to bed" the way I wanted before winter hit. But Mike has been so busy with his business that we just ran out of time. I need his strength for some of it; I'm just not brawny enough for part of what we need to do there!

Jen said...

Kelly - As much as I would LOVE to take 3 months off in the summer, they really do forget so much! It is nice having all the extra breaks. We get another one next week! From what I have read, recess is almost becoming obsolete in schools, as they try and cram in all they can to meet the "no child left behind" standards. That seems crazy to me. How are the kids supposed to get all their energy out? I guess that is why all these kids are on meds :(. Very sad.

SM - I am glad I didn't post anything more. I almost want to take off what I did write. I do like my posts to be positive :). God truly is our best sounding board, isn't He? I am so thankful for Him!

April - Thank you for your encouraging words, and for what you wrote about me as a mother. I can't tell you how much I appreciate that! I really like your idea of writing out a blog but not posting it. I have done that a few times because I was upset about something, and ended up deleting it because it was too negative. I never have deliberately wrote something knowing I would delete it though. It's kinda like venting, without anyone knowing :).

I can't believe you still haven't gotten your Baker Creek catalog! My sister hasn't either, and neither has my mother-in-law. I'm not sure why they sent me mine (and I didn't even request it!), but didn't send one to anyone else I know that wants one :(. I look forward to seeing your garden pics this year! It is so fun to plan!!