So February tends to be a pretty dark month here in Ohio, what with cloudy skies, and periodic snowfalls that really mess up traffic and schedules. But, on this last day of the month, I would just say, this has been a great month. I got back on track with homeschooling, which feels really good. I read a book about organizing that has given me some incredibly helpful information (I will try to post about that book later), and I have joined a small group at church that is allowing me some great spiritual growth. All of those things deserve their own posts, but I haven't been posting as regularly and wanted to just let someone (maybe just myself) know that although February tends to be a down time for me, it has actually been a very, very good month and looks more like the photo above, at least in my mind.
Third Day's song Tunnel has a very repetitive chorus, which seems to linger after I've heard the song. I really have only heard it maybe once before I looked for it on YouTube today. Pretty good song, actually.
I've been in a tunnel. A long, dark, smelly, narrow tunnel. And that tunnel's name is "trying to homeschool."
I agree with the scores of people who have said to me, "I could never homeschool five kids." Sometimes I have thought the same thing! And this has been a tricky year. With all the extra things I do outside the house, it has taken me a long time to cotton on to the idea that maybe I need to stay home more, if I am going to actually homeschool and not just "try to homeschool" the kids.
With Valerie getting her driver's license, I have a little breathing room, and can now stay home more than I was doing before. Truth be told, I could probably have stayed home more before, but didn't think I could. Certainly, didn't WANT to stay home every day all day long.
I just didn't realize how much the high-protein diet I was on was sapping my energy. Yes, it was draining away the pounds, but at an awfully high cost. My perspective had shrunk to a very small one -- the tyranny of the urgent. I tried something new. New food. New schedule. New choices. And for today, I am out of the tunnel. We shall see how tomorrow goes.
This is a not a picture of me doing my laundry, but it is definitely someone doing laundry the hard way. Which brings me to my point.
Everyone should have a resident laundry helper man, like I do. Not only does he help with laundry, he actually irons. So, I get major big brownie points when I manage to iron a few things. Really, I do most of the laundry in this place, but this past weekend, he took it upon himself to attack the mountain in the basement. He even took the empty detergent bottle to the grocery store so he would be sure to get the right kind. I know, I know. I am blessed.
Before I get to my main point, did you know there is a line of shoes called Chinese Laundry? I found that out when I googled that phrase. There are some beautiful shoes, but you're not going to catch me in shoes that are that tall.
So, as happens occasionally around here, one of our kids who will remain unnamed, but whose initials are E.R.T., was "cleaning" up his bedroom floor and came across some clothes. Without doing a lot of thinking, or perhaps any at all, he swooped them up and put them in the laundry chute. I figure his basic intuition said it would be best for someone else to have to deal with the clothes. Problem was, the clothes were freshly washed, and still folded. My laundry man noticed that there seemed to be some apparently clean, and folded clothes. He set them aside.
Tonight at dinner, he surprised us all with a demonstration of how he discovered the clean laundry, and wondered if maybe we just have a particularly conscientious kid who takes such good care of his clothes that even after he wears them, he folds them carefully before putting them into the laundry. His recommendation was that "whoever" these clothes belonged to should wear them before having them rewashed.
I loved his approach. My approach when that happens is to mutter bad words under my breath and add up all the ways I have been put upon today. It never even occurred to me to bring the pile of non-dirty clothes upstairs and have a little demonstration about them. I daresay his approach is probably more effective in the long run.