Of course, I have a million things to do in the next thirty minutes, but I’ll think I’ll do some rambling blogging instead.

Went to the teacher supply store today to make the most of our 4% tax break today. (I saved three bucks, which just made me mad. They’re throwing beans at us, people! Dried, pitiful beans. Anyway.)

As a homeschooling mom, the educational store speaks to me on a cellular level. I have to literally restrain myself from skipping down the aisles in childish glee. I spent two hours just walking around, putting things in my buggy, then convincing myself to take them right back out because, I can make that and save myself eleventy billion dollars! I love that store, but dadgum, it’s expensive. It’s great for ideas, though. So, I came home with the few things I didn’t want to (or couldn’t) make myself – a teacher plan book, some bulletin board paper, a workbook on Louisiana history, and a fractions self-check worksheet. This weekend, I will be getting the curriculum and student books for Czarina’s 3rd grade, and HeroBoy’s kindergarten. After I look through all that, then I will order the workbooks and tests and whatever else I’ll need from the A Beka website. I like A Beka okay. It can be a little over the top occasionally, but it’s very reliable. Besides the A Beka stuff, I need to get a thing or two for the Duke– he won’t want to be left out, so we’ll do some very simple pre-k stuff. Anyway, I should be all setup within the next two weeks, and we can start whenever I’m ready.

I think some people would expect some dread on my part or something, but the truth is, I’m excited. This year, we are joining the Christian Homeschool Association of Louisiana, and I plan to be involved in all the fieldtrips, etc. It’s so important for the kids, more so than it has been in the past. They are getting to an age where they need relationships and contact with other children, and I need some mom friends, too. We’re in a lonely place right now, and I am optimistic that this will change us for the better. It’s no picnic handling an outing with four small kids, but well– some of them aren’t so small anymore and it seems to be getting easier. And regardless, we’ve just got to bite the bullet and start socializing more, no matter how many strollers or missed naps it involves. We need friends!!

Back to the point, while I have been pondering the upcoming year with eagerness, I am realizing that some things are going to have to change in my life to give schooling the proper attention. I want to do it all, ya know? But, I can’t. I’ve got too many balls in the air, and I’m wondering what’s gonna have to drop when I reprioritize life. I am hoping that a very regimented schedule, a daily and HOURLY budget of my time will allow me to maintain my sewing and my blogging. But, to be honest, those two things are luxuries. If they gotta go, they gotta go. Right now, it’s more important that I be teaching my little ones, enriching their lives educationally and spiritually– nurturing them, providing a warm, happy place for them to grow. The rest is just icing on the cake. If I don’t take care of that, then all the bags and slings in the world won’t matter a whit, ya know?

It’s hard.

I hope I can figure out a way to do a bit of the things that bring me personal gratification and pleasure, but I don’t need them. It’s just fun. Extra. It certainly doesn’t compare to the joy that comes from knowing that you are being obedient as a parent– there’s just no question to it. It’s my most important job, and it comes first.

Pray for me, though, that however things come about in this next year, that I will be satisfied and content. Pray that I don’t burn out, that my enthusiasm is steady, and the kids are on board, too. Pray that I figure out what to do with Chipmunk and the Duke while teaching the other two, and basically, that everybody gets what they need (me included.)

Well, that’s all on the matter for the moment. I’m sure I’ll be writing more about this in the next few weeks… but for now I have to go pack up a few more things for a weekend trip to Monroe.

See y’all Monday!!