I loved to climb trees when I was a little girl. I grew up in the South and I was such a tomboy, much to my mother’s horror. She had envisioned a proper little princess belle and I fell dreadfully short of that vision, I’m sure.
I now have four perfect little darlings. Three princesses and one prince. They’re all so different from me and from each other. It’s absolute blessed chaos.
As much as I would love to say I teach and work around the house all day in peep-toe pumps and crinolined skirts with pearls…not so much.
So…I’ll step out on a limb and write a little bit about me…
Seems like I’ve been reading a lot lately about struggles. In fiction, self-help books, both Christian and secular, blogs, magazines…lots o’ reading.
I feel strangely and awkwardly blessed to not have it so bad, ya know?
I don’t think I struggle all that much. No addictions. No illnesses. No major issues. Such blessings!
I’m pretty sure I’m a social retard, but I hide it rather well, I hope. All those hours of sitting around reading Emily Post and Miss Manners paid off in that at least I know enough to inwardly cringe when people commit a social faux pas. My husband and I do not go out. We don’t socialize. At all. I read about other couples and families on Facebook and whatnot and I wonder, how do they find the time and money? I guess their priorities are different. Or maybe we just haven’t found our social niche. We have no friends. We haven’t found others like-minded enough among fellow homeschoolers or Christians or with Air Force families where we’re stationed. I do worry about our kids. But, our parents weren’t social either. And they weren’t homeschoolers or Christian. Aaron’s parents were school teachers. My dad was Army. It takes a whole lot of effort to be friends with people, especially since we move around a lot. I have very few people I would consider friends. This only occasionally bugs me.
I think I’ve come a long way in seven years. We don’t really discuss that submission subject. I know I’m bossy and always right. Aaron knows that I’m almost always right. Some days (and weeks, even months) I wonder why my husband married me. Other times, I realize how good he has it and what a blessing I am to that man! Honestly, without me, those poor girls would have crew cuts and the house would be an utter disaster! They’d all live on bacon and carbohydrates. And they would attend a school – shudder!
Of course, I’m not all that perfect.
I yell. A lot. We call it hollering in the South. Sounds a bit sweeter, ya know? I’m just loud. Sometimes, I’m not even mad. I just need to be heard over all the ambient noise.
Some weeks, the laundry remains in those handy baskets (not even folded – gasp!) and doesn’t make it those extra few feet into closets and drawers.
Most nights, dinner is mostly prepped and ready to go, and I mean real food, nothing out of a box or can. We like to eat good ‘round here. Some nights, usually after a particularly good school day (what a downer!), dinner isn’t thawed out or something went terribly wrong in the prep process! It helps now that the weather’s warm and pretty to send those younguns outside to play in the afternoons. I threaten with unpleasant chores and undesirable school work if they whine to come in. Rascals! Get some fresh air and exercise! I’ve been with you since 0648, making breakfast, listening to your surreal nocturnal dream world, providing a morning snack, doing laundry and dishes, attempting to teach you about God and the world we live in, making lunch, snack, and the never-ending cleaning up. Mama needs a cocktail, some peace and quiet, and time to prep dinner and play on the computer. Not necessarily in that order.
I’ve been downsizing and organizing for a while now.
I recently rearranged our little living room and it really opened up that area and is quite lovely. All school takes place in the basement now. Got a new desk and now Tori and Katie can work side by side at matching desks and Liz and I work at the table. Alex alternates between the floor, the little hand-me-down pink desk, or my old table and chairs. More likely, he runs around, wreaking havoc and interrupting and causing insane messes. School time is usually mostly successful for 1/2 to 3/4 of the children. If Alex naps, I rush Liz through the rest of her assignments. I use weekly work folders with daily and weekly checklists.
I have nothing nice to say about money.
I have no idea how to live within our means. Yes, we have a lovely and quite detailed budget that shows how I fail miserably twice a month. We usually get close to debt-free about the time we have to move again. Every time we move, we get into debt with unexpected expenses. Vicious cycle. I don’t even consider us to be very materialistic. I know we do have too much stuff though. Books don’t count. We rent a house. We just re-fi’ed Aaron’s Jeep. The van will be paid off this fall. I shop mostly at thrift stores and consignment shops for clothes. We have great furniture that I supplement with amazing finds from estate and yard sales or thrift stores. We do have lots of investments: savings, CDs, IRAs, retirement funds, 529s. At least we’re not total financial losers. I am quite jealous of bloggers who make money just for blogging. I know I have little to offer in that world. Did I mention we like to eat good food? We don’t serve our kids something different at meals. If I make lamb or seafood or some amazing and complex pasta dish, that’s what we all have. The kids don’t even like hot dogs and pizza that much. And no boy will ever be able to afford to date our daughters.
Liz and Tori are running track. Katie loves soccer. Alex plays hard. Aaron has to keep in shape for the Air Force. I try to run with the girls and teach them to have a healthy lifestyle. I don’t think I am really overweight so much as a bit flabby in places. I used to be totally skinny until I had Tori and Katie 14 months apart. I wouldn’t say that I struggle in this area so much…,more that I’m just lazy and I like to eat and don’t really like to work out. I don’t make time for it.