For the first time, in well over a year, I sorta have writer's block. I can't really think what to blog about...so I'll just let 7 things that have been rumbling around in my head, spill out on the computer screen.
I love Easter....probably even more than Christmas. I love how we have the season of joy and celebration after a season of penance and suffering. It's been said that you have to go through pain, to find joy and every year the Lent/Easter season reminds us of that. You have to suffer through Good Friday and the reminder of the Crucifixion to get to Easter Sunday...the joy of the Resurrection.
On a more secular note, I love Easter egg hunts and chocolate candy. The kids have an endless amount of fun hiding Easter eggs and finding them (even if they are empty), again and again and again. Our kids even set up an Easter egg hunt for Ben and me. I have to say, those eggs were well-hidden...harder than we hid them, anyway.
Easter reminds us what our faith is all about. It reminds us why Christianity is so different from every other religion. Jesus wasn't just a great leader, or a prophet or this charismatic guy that everyone followed. He claimed to be the SON OF GOD. That's a pretty major claim. And, then he died in the most humbling, horrifying manner possible. And, then he ROSE FROM THE DEAD. Which is pretty darn amazing when you think about it. Easter is really what our faith is all about..and I love that about it. It's why Jesus Christ is not in the same category as Abraham or Mohammad or Gandhi or anyone else. None of them ROSE FROM THE DEAD.
Let's talk about something else now. Let's talk about child spacing. I love the Catholic blogosphere. I love the Catholic community there. But, one of the curses is that due to my own insecurities, I always feel super inadequate about my family size and child spacing. As though, somehow we are "less Catholic" because we don't have a baby every 18 months-2 years. By the world' standards, we have a large family, but by Catholic standards, it's pretty small for a couple who has been married as long as we have (13 years). I will admit to feeling a teeny, tiny stab of envy whenever anyone writes something like "we had 4 kids in 6 years" or "5 kids, 8 and under" or "God blessed us 5 times in 8 years." or "I've been pregnant 5 times in 6 years" It's a badge of honor I don't get to have. Somehow saying, "we had 4 kids in 11 years" isn't all that impressive. It's just not. I never get any nasty comments about my family size. No one is really that impressed with 4 kids, spread out over a span of 10 years. No one asks me "how I do it". No one talks about us in awed tones "they have 4 kids, 12 and under." I think this has been weighing on my mind more, just because I'm already 36. I don't have tons of years of fertility left, especially since I wasn't all that fertile in my 20's (and breastfeeding really affects my fertility) so I highly doubt it's going to get any better as I get older.
Other thoughts....any other homeschoolers find it INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT to balance time at home doing school with time outside the home, doing fun stuff, like coops, activities, park days, etc. On the one hand, we really need to stay home to get our school work done. The day is just too stressed if we try to do outside activities and school all in the same day. I hate feeling like we need to be done by la certain time. It just makes me and the kids stressed and I yell too much. On the other hand, we really, really NEED to get out of the house and see other people and do fun stuff. It's just SO HARD to balance everything. Sigh Any tips. (and yes, that is a lot of capital letters...I'm feeling a bit dramatic tonight).
I've been trying to eliminate my tired, stressed out voice. You know that voice...the one you use when you are just tired and stressed out. Part of doing that is learning that I really need to just slow down. I think a big part of my problem is that I have way too many expectations of all the things I want/need to get done in a day, so I end up spending the day just running around, being impatient and stressed out with everyone. I've learned that I really need to just limit the amount of stuff I expect myself to do in a day and learn how to slow down, instead of rushing, rushing, rushing all the time. Part of that is realizing that it takes longer to do stuff than I think. You would think after 4 kids I would have figured this out, but it takes longer to get out the door, longer to eat lunch, longer to clean-up, longer to do just about everything...and that's okay. Once, I realize it takes longer, I can work on not being so stressed and planning for it. I must be an awfully slow learner, because it took me A LONG TIME to figure these things.
And, I think I've used up my allotted quota of words in ALL CAPS for one blog post, so go see Jen for more 7 Quick Takes Friday (and congratulate her on her book).