Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Part of the "new normal"

I remember the day I left Jay to go back to work for the first time. I cried if you looked at me wrong, heck I cried if you didn't. I just cried and he went to my mama's. I have been very blessed to have my mom fill in for me, while I spent my days at work, with all of my children. Then I remember the day I left my Cooper and went back to work.  Yet again, I was a basket case. I worked in Montgomery at that time and was driving an hour both ways. The hardest thing to do is leave a child to go to work. In many ways, I felt like I was neglecting them or being a bad mother somehow. I am not saying I was just that I felt that way. I longed for my summers home with them and then pined for them when summer was over. When Lucie Rose came, I took the standard six weeks off from work and returned to a classroom where a long term substitute had begun the year. So it literally was the first day of school that year for me. Now, I must say the substitute was the same one I had when I was out after having Eli and she is GREAT! It was just a new year for me and of course if someone looked at me wrong, I cried. Heck, I cried even if they didn't look at me wrong. And I cried, and cried, and cried, and even cried some more. I was depressed because I had to leave my baby girl (Mind you she was with my mother.) to go back to work. I told Jamie after I left her that if we were ever going to have more children, I would not leave them and go back to work. If we wanted more we had to make a way for me to quit and be a stay at home mom.
Then we got pregnant with Eli. As soon as we found out we were pregnant we started preparing financially for me to stay at home. My Jamie was making it work. We put the wheels in motion and I was looking forward to staying home with my new baby and I would even get to home school my other children. Life was good. I had a bun in the oven and three steaks on the grill. What more could a girl want?
Tossed salad...Yeah, my salad got tossed in a big way. Once we found out that my sweet little Eli would not live long after he was born, we started reevaluating our plans. Would I quit work? Would I still stay home and home school our other children? We were just unsure about everything. If Eli was to make his less than 10 % chance of survival, he would be in the hospital for up to eight or nine months we were told. We learned very quick like that no matter how much you plan, you cannot plan for everything.
Well Eli was born and did not beat the odds. So yet again we were faced with decisions to be made about future plans. Ultimately, we decided to stay the original course and home school.
Well, yesterday was the first day of home school around our house. Wow, is all I can say. It is wonderful to be able to teach my own children. I just love it! We do have a set schedule. School begins at 8:00 am. So far so good on tardies. I was able to hand pick our curriculum and could not be more pleased. I am able to sit down and provide the one on one instruction that teachers long to be able to do with all of their students. The boys seem to be really enjoying everything. This is my dream come true.  Well, except  for the fact that a part of the puzzle is missing.
Here are a few pictures of our first day of home school.
This is a before picture of our classroom aka my dining room.
Doing Singapore Math and really loving it!
This is Cooper looking quite dazed and confused. I promise we combed our hair before school. It is just really long and needs to be cut!
Jay is looking through his Apologia science book. Love it!
Cooper doing Wordly Wise using dictionary.com!
Word power!!!
This is Abigail Angel. She was given to me by Mrs. Rice, the school Librarian where I worked the the last four years. She gave me Abigail when we found out about Eli.
Abigail in now a part of our new classroom.

This is all part of our "new normal". Learning to adjust one day at a time to the plans that God has made for us.

Much Love,


  1. Good for you Jennifer. You will never regret this decision. As a home school graduate, we too are planning to home school our kids. And I will never forget the way my Mom got us to pay attention, "Remember, the bus still goes by here every morning.". That's all she had to say. Thanks for pointing out Abigail. What a special addition to your classroom. Have a great school year! Prayers continue as you adjust to this part of your new normal.

  2. Yay! I'm so happy it is going well, you are awesome!!

    It is soooo hard to leave babies/kids to go to work, even when they are family. I'm so glad you get to stay home with the kiddos!

  3. Great job Mom! I love the classroom!
    Praying for you as you start the school year and continue to survive in the "new normal."


  4. I loved your husband's FB comment about you starting HS the other day!!!

    I wrote about something similar to this myself this morning.

    Praying for a wonderful, wonderful school year!!!

  5. I think it's great that you are homeschooling!

  6. I have thought about homeschooling, so glad that you are doing it. I have definitely struggled with leaving the kids when I go to work. I switched to part time after losing Lilly and its helped a little, but its still hard leaving them.

  7. I found you through another mamma blog, and I'm so glad that I did. I met my son, and said goodbye to him on Monday. The pain so tough, but like you, I knew he probably would not live after birth. The road is so long and I'm just at the beginning. I am thankful for others who share their journey, it gives me hope that I can make it. I am super weepy lately, so I totally relate to the fact that people can look at me wrong and I burst into tears. I am also a teacher, and I began the year with my students. I am not sure how long I am going to need to recover, but I might take my full 12 weeks off. I want to wait until I am no longer at the point where I will burst into tears at any moment when I go back.
    I would love to homeschool someday....especially if I have more boys. I always look at the boys in my second grade room and think how much better some of them would do in a smaller setting.
    Anyway, Just wanted to say hi, tell you that your son Eli is precious, and that I know he welcomed my sweet little Briar into the kingdom of the Lord this week. I feel so blessed to know all of us are "made whole" in heaven...
    Praying that you would continue to heal and feel encouraged by your children.