Moving Through the Gray

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It’s Monday morning and I’m in the gray place of transition – from Whidbey Island to home, vacation to reality, and summer to school. My mind is full of lists: chore charts, lesson plans, schedules, goals for each child, dinner menus, house plans, and any number of other things.

Are you with me? Are you transitioning out of summer and back into school? I feel some panic rising, and I’m doing my best to hold on to peace. We have three more days here and it would be easy to completely waste them. I need to stay in the moment and enjoy the relaxed pace we’re living.

School for Annarose, Beza, and Dimples begins on the 26th. I’ll use that week to transition the rest of the crew into their homeschool schedule, get going on math, and do some reading. We’ll hit our full schedule after Labor Day weekend.

What burdens me most is the frenzy of appointments, meetings, and lessons. I dread days when I’m not home long enough to get in a a few good hours of school or make a reasonable dinner. My plan is to keep September as free from appointments as possible – doctors, therapists, dentists – they can wait. It’s more important to find our new normal, especially as Dimples settles back into family life.

This morning Russ and I are sneaking away for a little coffee date and time to wander around Langley or explore the island. We’ll likely pop into my favorite thrift store to see if there are any treasures to be found; an earlier search produced the perfect crock pot. We’ve had day after day of family time, which has been great – and intense –  and we’re ready for a few hours of just us.

I would love to hear from you. When does your school year start? What do you plan to do this year that will make life better for your family?

Lastly, I’ll mention this again, but since it’s on  my mind this morning,  I’m speaking at an adoptive/foster moms retreat November 14 – 16, Called to Love, and it would be fantastic if some of you could join me. Take a look at the website and see if you can squeeze it in – it’s going to be a wonderful time.

Have a fabulous Monday, friends.

Lisa

 

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

0 Comments

  1. Blessed
    August 11, 2014

    I'm sitting here right this moment trying to figure out some of the things I want to see happen this school year. This is the first year I have to really give serious attention to 4 kids at once–my youngest was kinder last year, and it was all too easy to let his work slide when the 3 older needed attention. And this with my eldest starting 9th grade–and therefore greater rigor. Oh, and my wonderful 9th grader has been acting like a 2-year old too much of the summer. Ah, puberty! I'm also supposed to be teaching some literature workshops for high school homeschool kids this fall–and am not finding the brain power or time to work on developing the classes in the past couple of weeks because my kids (esp. that 9th grader) have been so high maintenance. We are in the middle of 2 weeks of "summer school"–which are SO HELPFUL because they help us get a jump-start on the fall, and help me realize all the school supplies I still need to get, the classes we need to sign up for, etc. It's like a trial run, which helps us work out the kinks and re-adjust to the regular rhythm of the school year before it actually happens–so we get set up well for all feeling good about the start of the official school year. But these past two weeks I'm using all I got just to be present with my parenting and help the kids with basic homeschool needs–and I'm feeling wrung dry! It's discouraging–but I'm not going to allow myself to be discouraged. I just need to be patient with them and myself, take deep breaths, eat good chocolate and drink good tea, and remember why its all good. : ) Much love to you today!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      August 11, 2014

      I like the idea of a "summer school" trail run – that's sort of what I do for the week before Labor Day and it definitely helps me figure out what I'm missing. I'm sorry it's been a tough summer with your teen – it is definitely fatiguing.

      Reply
  2. Blessed
    August 12, 2014

    I didn't mean to dump on you there, Lisa–your post just hit a familiar chord and when you said you'd love to hear from readers, I felt like sharing a girlfriend moment. Even if while complaining. ; )

    I actually did two weeks of summer school in June too, and that was also invaluable, esp. going into high school, as I was going to try using textbooks for the first time ever in our homeschooling (we do unit studies, so have never needed them) and found out that is just not going to work for us. At least not for the main learning tools! I have always done school in the summer with the kids (we prefer to take breaks year-round, when we need them, rather than take the whole summer off) but this was the first year I used summer school to test-run the fall, and it has been so helpful I'm definitely going to do it again next year. : )

    I hope your family's transition to school this year is smooth. I'll be praying for you!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      August 12, 2014

      You didn't dump on me at all! I love hearing from you. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

      Reply
  3. Sarah
    August 12, 2014

    Praying for "Dimples" and your whole family every day!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      August 12, 2014

      Thank you, Sarah! We are thankful for all prayer.

      Reply
  4. Angela
    August 12, 2014

    I don't have near as many kids as you and I feel the panic rising!! I am transitioning three of my kids to home schooling (online schooling) and it will be a new experience for us. Too many things are still going on and I am not yet ready to let go of summer, but I know esp one of my children really will benefit from more structure!! Hang in there and try to enjoy the rest of your summer!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      August 12, 2014

      Thanks, Angela. I think structure is going to help all of us – the kids and me. But I'm still sad to see summer go!

      Reply
  5. Heidi
    August 17, 2014

    My summer flew by. We didn't do all the things I hoped we would; maybe I should have lower expectations next year! I rebooted our chore system last week, and I think it was good to start that before school. I also cleaned out the school shelves and have most of next years books ready. This next week is full of dentist appointments, my eye exam, our anniversary, and hosting a couple of church events at our home. I still haven't decided if we'll start school the following week or wait for after Labor Day.

    Reply

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