a crazy view, I finally did it, and life is messy

You know what's crazy about this time of year? 

I get to see this view every morning from my bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room windows: 

It's beautiful, and the best part is that I only have to get up by 7 to see it! ;) I'm loving that. And another bonus of rising with the sun? ;) Having to start school early every morning has forced me to be creative with my frequently unwashed hair. :P 

Did I ever tell you I can't french braid? I've never done it on myself with any success, and I won't call this a success but my hair did stay in place:

I was excited. :) 

We start school at 8 this year, and the kids have been doing really well with getting up and starting on time:

I had high hopes of having an easier year during our first week {cough *naive*}, but after the first few days we went back to having to read every single problem with one of these little people. I'm not sure if it's a really a reading problem, or a personality/character issue {I'm sure it's sometimes both} but it's pretty much a patience killer and I'm feeling over this stage that has continued for.... um... all of our homeschooling years. {ha!} I thought we were this.close to getting past it, but so far this particular child takes up most of every subject period needing "help" and I'm still the helper most of the time. 

We even did eye checks a couple of weeks ago just to make sure there weren't underlying problems and one we didn't expect needed glasses {!!}, but this particular child could see quite well. Sigh. 

From my few years of experience, you just have to wait for the magical day that it all clicks and suddenly they can read super well and never ask you anything. :) I'm just feeling a little impatient after 6 hrs/day of one-on-one tutoring for a few years. ;) I would have laughed if you told me this a decade ago, but reading with a learning reader is without a doubt one of the biggest challenges I've ever experienced in parenting! ahhh. :) What's really amazing is that when I have a good attitude and praise them for their good reading, they always do so much better. I just have to remember that on a daily basis! :) 

crazy town central from 8-3
Life has been pretty different this year in other ways though! I've never been one to have a lot of structure in the day, but since we have been sticking to the school schedule we've done a lot more with our time. It's so good, but I've just been busy trying to keep up with the house and exercising after school is over.  Even with all the challenges, I'd say we all really, really like the schedule so far. It's like working out- it's never easy but it's worth the effort. 

Last time I shared about finding time to get this kind of organizing done:

I did get most of that list crossed off but it took over a week. :) I'm slowly seeing progress! We hung our kitchen shelves too {and have added even more details since then!}:

One thing Rob and I were talking about late last night was that we have so much left to do, but we'll really never be done. I forget that constantly- do you? My dad was reminding me of that the other day- he told me a story of how my wise uncle reminded him that all of life is work, and it's messy, but it's just life. :)

I was reading in Ecclesiastes for the past week and Solomon said it too- all we have is to eat, drink, and enjoy our labor as we fear the Lord and keep His commandments. And joy in our work comes from the Lord. It's hard, for sure, but there is enjoyment to be found in accomplishing our tasks! What a gift this life is, and what I miss out on when I think the joy is to be found after the end of what I have to do, because I'll never be done!!

There is joy in it now- seeing a toilet cleaned, cooking another meal, washing another load of clothes.  Smelling the cookies being baked, getting my hands in soapy hot water, sweeping off the porch- it's all a gift if the Lord lets us enjoy our work. It's just I have to remember that instead of rushing to be done with the next thing. Life on this earth is just doing the next thing, and there will always be more to do.

Every morning I get to see the sun is a gift, and thanks to my sinful nature, a fight to see things with joy instead of wishing them over. But the Lord is good, and He thankfully overcame my sinful nature through His Son.

And each morning I'm allowed to rise, the Son gives me all the new mercy to do what I need to do... 

and enjoy it.