Summer break is so close I can taste it. It can't come too soon either. We have been in survival mode for a few weeks now, so it will feel so nice to finally just take a break for a little bit. This has been a stressful semester to say the least. We barely got settled into our home when we dove into school head first. We didnt really get much of a chance to settle in and enjoy our new home before we jumped headfirst into school. We spent a lot of time changing curriculum, starting new things, finishing old things and just trying to pick up where they left off at their private school- and its been hard to say the least. We are settling in emotionally and physically.. and its just been a hard semester. All of us can attest to that. And the break is much needed for all of us.. mentally, emotionally. We are ready to wind down a bit, breathe a little- and enjoy some down time.
I haven't been able to do a great deal of reading anything other than math book and lesson plans, so I'm also looking SO forward to spending a good part of the summer with my nose in a book. Several books. So, without further ado...
My little headboard bookshelf. I love our headboard. It has two bookshelves, one on each side of the bed. They used to hold tons of books, but when i rearranged our bedroom to create a better and more comfortable space, I moved probably a hundred or more books into the living room bookshelf. Now, the bookshelves hold only the books we are currently reading. Being a seminary student, my husbands side is a bit more cluttered than mine... but here is mine! Far less overwhelming than it was at one time!
First, my one and only electronic book I plan to read this summer.. as much as I LOVE my kindle and usually do devotions on it, I really prefer the feel of a good book, but this book I purchased on kindle, and I can't wait to jump into it!
The Life Giving Home: By Sally Clarkson
I'm a big fan of Sally Clarkson, and this book in particular calls out to me. I love how she writes of her home, of how she creates a peaceful atmosphere for her family, and I long to be that sort of home maker. I can't wait to jump into this one!I actually bought it the day it came out, lol, but haven't even started it yet! This is Sally's newest book.. and I can't wait to read it!!!
The rest of my Sally Clarkson library, lol! I really love the way that she has such a deep heart for motherhood, and speaks to my heart so much! I am almost finished with Mission of Motherhood, and about halfway through the Mom walk. I absolutely love her encouragement of mothering... its truly my greatest calling, and I appreciate the fact that she shows it to be such a true and noble calling! I love her books, and can't wait to soak up all of that wisdom! She may have never met me before, but she's one of my Titus 2 women that I've came across in life.
Made to Crave: Lysa Terkeurst
I have just barely started this book, but its helped me SO much! You see, I'm also working on a weight loss journey... well I have been for years, but this is the first time I'm actually seeing results! And this book has been a helpful companion. Although I haven't gotten deep into this yet, I'm exited to finish it. Just from the beginning, I can see that it addresses a lot of the issues I deal with as far as weight loss and eating disorders. I'm looking forward to learning from Lysa!
One Thousand Gifts- by Ann Voskamp
This is also a finisher. I've read most of this book, and it touched me deeply in places that I have not been touched in my heart in a long time. I have literally wept over this book- and at the same time I've been so awakened by it. I started this last fall and didn't finish before all of my health issues got the best of me, so I'm picking it up again from the beginning, and plan to start all over. I also plan to make my own list, of a thousand gifts, over the summer, and encourage my kids to do the same. I believe this will be very life-giving!
Lord, I want to be Whole- Stormie Omartain
Very early in my Christian walk, I read the Power of a Praying wife. I remember the moment I picked it up, and went through the words. I can remember down to the day, that book had such a monumental impact on my life. I actually picked this book up from the college. There is a whole bookshelf in the lecture rooms with free books, and whenever my Mom came to visit, we went and gazed gloriously of all the books. I picked this one up. I don't know a lot about it, other than its about emotional healing, and I know that I need that. I also know that this is a time set apart to do a lot of that healing in my life. I've realized some places that I'm broken.. insecure, hurt.. and I'm looking forward to this read. I love Stormie, and I can't wait to walk another journey with her!
Better Late than Early
Okay so I need to read at least one school book during the summer.. so I chose this one.
It's really been hard for me this year- trying to go from the mindset of private school to home school. Just working through the test prep books makes me feel so inadequate, like I have so much to teach that I don't know. Forgetting that God called me to home school, and that he will equip me to do so. I remember when my middle child was younger- a lot of her friend seemed leaps and bounds ahead of her as far as school was concerned. They were faster readers, better at math. I honestly felt like I had failed her. I'll never forget when she went to sign up for private school the first time (we've tried this and failed a couple of times.. what can I say, I don't always follow Gods lead) She sat it the room and immediately as the door shut she began to cry, running out and into her Daddy's arms, because she could not read the test. We placed my seven year old daughter in kindergarten, because there was only three months of school left and I wasn't sure she could keep up with the first graders.
A lot has changed since that time :)
She has attended private school a total of thee months in her life. The rest of her years have been home schooling. My third grader now reads entire books in a days time, well she reads magic treehouse books in a single bathtime lol! Yesterday she was seamlessly working through area and perimeter. She loves books, loves drawing, loves school... I think its safe to say I didn't exactly drop the ball on her. When she was seven, it certainly seemed that way! The few months before this home school year she did spend in school, she was my straight A student across the boards. Almost perfect in most of her grades. So honestly, it was later than most, but so so so much more thorough in my opinion.
I need this reminder, and I'm looking forward to this book to do just that for me.
And, since everyone needs a little adventure in their life from time to time, these two books need no introduction...
I'm halfway through Gone with the Wind... OHHH my its wonderful! I'm also looking forward to following Tolkein through the Rings journey.. I hope to read this again with my kids when they are a little older, and hope that Bella will read it during her High School adventure!
We are also reading the Little House books as a family. I'm not sure how many we will get through, but I'm excited! We finished up this year just barely into the first Kirsten book, so I'm hoping this will bridge the time frame over the summer, and finally help me decide whether or not to spend a year on Prairie Primer or move forward to the civil war. :) I can't decide....
Somewhere I've REALLY struggled in for awhile now is Bible study. It seems like every Bible study that I come across here is on a night that Stephen has class, and although I don't mind to let my older girls occasionally watch the boys, I don't want them to have to do it on a regular basis. I'm praying hard that next semester will put us in a place where maybe I can take some time to do some bible studies. We are currently working at one church and attending occasionally at another- so hopefully between two churches someone will do a women's bible study soon enough!
Until then, I was reading a home school blog the other day and the blogger wrote that she does most of her devotions with her kids, because that is her season of life. So that encouraged me a lot! I decided this summer I should start a bible study with my girls that I've had on hand for awhile now, and still haven't gotten into...
So along with my daily devotions, I want to do this each morning with my girls. :) After my workout, and before our walk, which is something i'm really looking forward to this summer! It will get us all up and out early on in the day, and give them something to look forward too, so we don't sleep in all summer long!
Testing is hard, so all you home schooling Mom's out there, you have my prayers! As a home schooler we feel like we are being tested on our ability to teach our children. Just remember, as mundane as state testing feels sometimes, but just breathe. Get through it, file it away.. show it to your kids or completely leave them out of the loop if you want! Just know your child grew, and value that growth, and make it through. I'm praying for all of you! And looking forward to Saturday, when we can put it behind us!!!