Monday, May 18, 2009

It's a Wrap! (Well almost....)

Except for 3 more exams for #2, the school year is pretty much done.  We have almost made it.  Let's not celebrate yet, but the kids are pretty much in a celebratory mood.

 #1 and #3 did amazingly well!  It was truly a great year for #3!  She worked hard, came into her own academically, for sure.  #4 did pretty good with his academics, but there is always a longing in my heart for him to really show us what he can do.  I feel that he is always dallying around (so-to-speak) and not really putting forth much effort.  

For #2, though, we are celebrating that he doesn't have to enter a painful place called "middle school" ever again.  He has been in pain much of the year and struggled not to let it ruin his grades as well.  He made a really good friend this year, but other than that, we were just glad that the year is almost over.  Since this is the kid who can normally listen in class, not study much at all, and make a B on a test, I look for him to not have too much trouble with the last 3 exams.  However, his heart is not in it.  He is already "checked out" of school.  I am hoping for a "healing" summer.  I am hoping for him to find again what brings him joy.  I am hoping that he will enjoy new pursuits like theatre and engineering through the camps he is enrolled in.  I am also hoping for a love of band to be kindled through building relationships with those in the group.  I am hoping for a banner year.  I am hoping most of all for him to feel free of the bonds of middle school.  I know that if he can get over this year and have a good year next year, he can do most anything!  He is very bright, sweet, kind, and sincere.  I don't think those at his school have seen the child I know or appreciated the gifts he has.  My heart is grieved about this, but there is hope.  God has given me hope for a better future - a future with #2 fulfilling his potential.  

"In everything give thanks for this is the will of God, in Christ Jesus, concerning you."  So God, I thank you for the trials we went through knowing (or at least hoping) that you will work them out for our good.  I love that you have the power to do that in our lives.  I rest in that assurance. My hope is in you, dear, loving, Father.  My hope is in you!  

Thursday, May 7, 2009

My Favorite Three Places to Work

My life, at least right now, is made up of a lot of volunteer opportunities and parenting my kids.  It seems that this is a lot lately, though and has me busy every day.  I have many things that I will volunteer for, but the 3 favorites are:  1) Teaching young girls at church 2) Working with the people at ESL classes and 3) Working in the middle school library.  

I have to say, in all three of these, of course, the "draw" is the people.  I could care less about teaching a curriculum, even one based on the Bible without those little connections with my students.  

In the library, getting to talk to the librarian and librarian assistant is often a high point in my week.  Not only do I get to talk to them, but my #2s friends all work in there, so every time I volunteer, I get to see his friends.  Strangely, my two middle-schoolers don't use the school library, so I never get to see them (maybe it is because I buy them too many of the books they want - yes, it is a almost a disease how many we buy).  Anyway, I have gotten to know these friends better and have been encouraged by this interaction.  

The librarian herself is funny, sweet, intelligent and loves books.  What better friend for me than that!  It also helps me to feel that on this somewhat difficult and hostile campus (especially for #2), I have allies.  I have people there that know me and through me, know my kids.  These two ladies have listened to me about a lot of stuff that has happened with my children.  They have encouraged me and helped me in so many ways.  The work itself, well, it is hard sometimes, taxing, tedious, but I feel like I have made progress when I leave.  The shelves are straighter and more in order.  And, I joke that I am "making friends" with the nonfiction - the most difficult area in the library.  Not only that, but this little window is almost a workout in and of itself.  I feel completely worn out when I leave.  Just think, I am lifting weights, pulling and pushing weights, kneeling and standing over and get the idea.  

Of course, the reason I volunteer is to make the world a better place, hopefully, but I get so much out of it myself.  I get uplifted, encouraged, and learn so much.  I feel that one benefit of putting the children in school is that we are so much more integrated into the community and have met so many interesting people.  I wouldn't take anything for the friends (and acquaintances) I have made through the school and community connections we have made. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Winding Down

The ending of school is different for my four kids.  The oldest and youngest have parties, fun stuff and interesting things to do.  For the middle two, it is a little more complicated.  #2 has final exams up through the very last day of school, and major projects that are coming due.  #3 still has classes as normal and normal homework.  We are making it, though.  I am sure going to be glad when it is all done.  #2s project for his L.A. class is an illustrated children's book complete with original illustrations.  He did a very good job on the drawings.   I would have been FREAKING over this project as I can't draw.  

Funny that my kids are so much more artsy than I was.  Maybe it was because they had all those homeschooling years to practice their creativity.  Three of my kids draw very well and two of them are pretty much "global" learners.  By that I mean that they are good at auditory skills and visual skills.  Both of these kids are also science-y and math-y and great artists!  I find this an amazing combination.  Maybe that is the engineering gene that Kevin has, or is that an architectural gene....not sure.  

Anyway, I will post more art-work later.  #2 is usually pretty mechanical in his drawing, #3 is more soft curves and animal or fantasy drawings, #4 is very much into the cartoon thing with "CRASH" and "BOOM" peppering his drawings.  

Back to the school thing, we will make it and each day we get closer to the end.  It will end none too soon for #2.  This is quite probably the hardest school year he will have, at least from the social standpoint.  I keep hearing this from everyone and I pray it is true.  He is pretty negative about himself right now.  I have to keep working on his self-esteem....and it is hard work.  

Along with the frustration of how #2s peers see and treat him is the affirmation that he gets from adults.  The adults around us, find him charming, handsome and interesting.  I have to believe that it will all come out in the wash.  He is all those things and more.  I have to hope for the gifts he has to help him find his way.  God has blessed him and has His hand on him.  I know that, without a doubt!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Special Olympics

These are random pictures that I wanted to share:  #1 all dressed up for the Special Needs Prom, younger three and Kevin at the Maronite church - site of the Lebanese festival.  The third one, #2 took because he thought it was so neat to see Kevin and I with our matching laptops....