It is so nice not to have to think about school all the time. As I get a little distance from it- and really, just 12 days' distance at this point, I feel pretty good about the whole thing. I mean, it was kind of a disaster. But it was my first year to homeschool (apart from my very low key and eventually abandoned approach to kindergarten with Amabel), our family has been in whacky limbo mode and moving all over the place and without our belongings and only seeing George three times a week- basically doing a situational hokie pokie, and I didn't even start until November. (Point of information: Amabel started school in September, but we didn't have to pull her out and do homeschool until November. Because I didn't know where she was academically, I started at the beginning of the second grade books and sort of skimmed her through until we got to where she seemed to be. So essentially, I crammed a whole year into November, half of December, January, March, April, and May- we took February off for illness!) So, all things considered, I feel pretty happy with the fact that I somehow finished homeschool by the end of May, and that my child seems to be somewhat educated. On top of that, I taught August to read! I am pretty proud of that, actually. So far, I am responsible for teaching two of my children to read. I got to give them one of the most precious gifts they'll ever receive! It's pretty cool.
Alright, so school is over- well done. What next? Well, the bad news is that we took the car in during the last week of school and found out that the transmission needs to be replaced. The car isn't really even worth what a new transmission would cost, so we are back down to one car. This is the car George now uses for his daily 100 mile commute. So, you guessed it, the kids and I are stuck on top of the hill until further notice. I will admit to being really upset when this reality set in. But so far, it has been okay. Well, so far, it has only been two and a half weeks, and we borrowed a car for the first week and my sister was in town last week. Nonetheless, things are not so bad as I thought they would be. And haven't I said that before? When you see trying things coming, so often the fear of how bad they will be is worse than how they are. Once these difficult things happen, you are able to handle them somehow, whether it's the next baby you have no idea how you will manage, the loss of a job or home, or moving to a new place (which is also the loss of a home). I am not saying that these things aren't whoa; they are definitely whoa. I'm just saying, like so many people have told me when I have marveled at their ability to handle much more than I can (I think specifically of some friends of mine whose mother has nine children. I have always been blessed by her gracious and helpful answers to the questions I have asked her), God gives you the grace to handle the things he puts in your life. As I am writing, I am thinking that perhaps it is not right to compare new babies to losses of some other kind. While I definitely think that each new child brings a little loss of control (and sanity?) for me, I think maybe the comparison works better to think in terms of some of these losses ultimately being a gift, just as a new baby is. Maybe? If God is good, which he is, and if he ordains the things that happen in our lives, which I absolutely believe that he does, and he really does have plans to prosper us and not to harm us, then the things he brings into our lives are working together for good. Hey, that should be a verse! Why am I acting like Romans 8:28 is an original thought?
Back to my point though, summer is here. And I have been working on a post about all the fun summer St. Louis things to do. I started it before the car broke down though, and that news took the wind out of my sails. Nonetheless, I am going to post it once I get it finished. I have high hopes that it will lure some of you from out of town to come visit me! It is too early for ennui to have set in yet, so right now we are having lots of low key pajama type days, just glad to not have an agenda for once. But we do have a few ideas for how to entertain ourselves at home once we grow weary of building forts with couch pillows or making playdough feasts. And I do have recipes to post too. Right now we're just catching our breath after this first, rocky homeschool year. I hope you are all getting a nice break from the hectic school year as well.