Good Morning. Very rarely do I do a morning blog. Very rarely am I up before any of my peeps rise and shine. And actually, that's not really the case this morning. Abe is already off to work and Peter got up quite early, and blessedly back to sleep. Clark is downstairs getting for seminary and I seriously considered crawling back into my bed to sleep the morning away. I think that probably would have been the wisest choice in the long run, but quiet blogging time sounded too lovely to resist this morning. This post will be a series of dilemmas I am working through in my mind-- none of which of are earth-shattering or even of particular importance to anyone except me and my people, but to which you may likely relate. Talking/writing through it will help me sort it out... so Happy Mothers Day to me! #timeformom
Dilemma: #Social Media
Do I love it or do I hate it? I've been an active consumer of Facebook for several years. By that, I mean I check it regularly throughout the day on my phone-- far too often, I'm afraid-- but I don't always post very much. For the most part I think I find it beneficial. I enjoy keeping up with what people are up to and celebrating their big life events. I really appreciate the uplifting, interesting articles people post. I like seeing the families of dear high school and college friends grow.
I don't enjoy it being used as a soapbox or a public complaint log.
I've very recently joined Instagram and Twitter. Why did I do this? I don't know. I don't think I need more social media in my life. I'm sure I don't have time, nor do I want to, or should I, take the time to keep up on it. I don't have a good camera on my phone, so I don't think I'll have much worthy of sharing. And yet, I did it. It was free, and I am under no obligation to check it. I know I can just ignore it, but will I? Will I have the self discipline to not get wrapped up in that which cannot satisfy? Which is really my question-- Can social media satisfy? -- Will I appreciate my life and surroundings less by the barrage of smiling faces and happiest moments of other people's lives.
I don't let my kids on social media sites yet. Oh sure, they figured out Google Plus before I could stop them--I think they have about twelve friends. I'm not too worried. I have trouble limiting and controlling my own access to social media -- I think its a bit like a drug that I get mentally addicted to. And while I think my children are brilliant and wonderful, do I think they would have more self control than me? No, I don't.
Social media is here to stay, so I think the answer is to embrace it in a healthy way. For all of you shuddering, thinking of how I am sheltering my children (blah, blah, blah), don't worry, I do want them on these sites eventually. When the benefits outweigh the risks every last one of us will hashtag with the best of them. I'm just not sure when that will be, and to be honest, I'm not sure right now is even the best time for me. This is my dilemma.
Dilemma: #Over Scheduling the Summer
The summer is almost upon us and I suppose this is a good thing. However, I quite enjoy the rhythm of our house during the school year and summer makes me nervous. Summer rather upsets the apple cart. Theoretically, summer is the time to relax, take it easy, slow down, eat popsicles (why can I never spell popsicle without looking it up?) and run through the sprinklers. That is lovely, but for THREE months? That seems like overkill-- and we certainly shouldn't overkill anything in summer. Clark and Bethany are booked with EFY, the Fox Family reunion, Pioneer Trek, and their summer long involvement with Guys and Dolls through Bluffdale Arts. Plus, Clark will do a two week intensive Drivers Ed in August and at some point secure employment. That's just two kids.
Elinor will have grass league volleyball and girls camp. Faith will do gymnastics camp and she wants desperately to try out for All-Stars for softball. Who knows if she would make it (I think there's a good chance), but it is a major time commitment. Ain't nobody got time for that. Cannon, George, and Peter are just along for the ride this summer. Although I would love to find a theater camp for Cannon this summer.
I love seeing our children work hard and develop their talents. I'm proud of them when they are brave and step out of their comfort zone and try out and audition for something new. But too much of a good thing is still too much. Do I go hog wild running around this summer getting children here and there and everywhere? Or do we stay home eating Otter Pops watching Woody Woodpecker? At least when we're out and about the house stays cleaner? No, actually it doesn't, because we're not here to pick up after ourselves when we tear in and out of the house picking up and dropping off and eating on the run. Summer is a very busy season with Abe's work, and Clark doesn't have his license yet, so the transporting of people will fall almost entirely on me. So, do we take it easy (something I've never been particularly good at) or make it a summer to remember?
Woe-is-me. We have too many wonderful things happening to choice between them. I'm afraid this is a common theme for me.
Dilemma: Planning the School Year
As twisted as it sounds, my mind is already very wrapped up in planning next year's school year. My dilemma is always the same. Structure more or less?
I myself lean towards less. The older kids are more structured now than they were when they were younger-- particularly with math, science and English mechanics. We are fairly flexible with history and literature. It's a nice balance that seems to work for our family.
The little kids are structured with their math and some language arts, but that's about it. While we are consistent, when it comes to reading, sometimes I'll make a suggestion but usually I ask, "What do you want to read?" When it comes to science, "Go pick out a science book to read and then tell me about it." They are free to do experiments and make messes. I read them books about history. It's lovely and gentle for little children and I feel they are getting a very content rich education. But it not very comfortable when it comes to planning. Planning feels good when it neat and tidy with no loose strings. As it turns out, I thrive on loose strings, so it is challenging for me to plan in much detail. Is this a gift on my part or further proof of my undisciplined mind?
Dilemma: #Car Troubles
Our beloved 2002 Chrysler mini-van has been sick for quite sometime. Not just sick-- she's been in a coma. A coma we still are not quite sure she will come out of. She's at the doctor in intensive care and we haven't been allowed to go visit her. Her doctor is a friend of my youngest brother, who assured us all is not lost. But at 192,000 miles we know she can't have much more time left with us. We had a dilemma, but we've made the decision to take heroic measures one more time, in the hopes of keeping her a couple more years, but it's risky. And kind of expensive.
In the meantime, I've been without wheels to call my own for three full weeks. Abe has been taking the mega-van to work and helping shuttle kids around as needed. We don't usually have a lot of places to be until late afternoon/evening,so it's not really a problem. Except for the weekend. Abe doesn't have flexibility on the weekends and that is when we have to most places to be.
Fortunately for us, several people have taken pity on us. My parents lent us their car the first weekend. We rented a super cheap car the next weekend. Then last weekend my good friend lent us her missionary son's car that wasn't being used and another friend who is on a long extended family vacation said we could use their car while they were gone. Now. I ask you. Should I be ashamed of myself for bumming cars off of so many people for so long, or should I be so grateful and happy to have so many people willing to help me. Please say it is the latter.
Dilemma: Weight Loss
Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! It's that time again. Time to turn some attention to getting my body put back together after having a baby. Normally, I wait until I'm done nursing, but I've been craving sugar and treats and all manner of naughtiness these days, I decided to begin a little earlier. I am attempting a low-carb approach, which I've never tried before. Do share if you've had success with it, so I may glean wisdom from you. I'm almost a week in, which really isn't even long enough to publicly admit I'm doing anything, but is long enough to see some preliminary results.
However, not eating whatever I want whenever I want makes me feel kind of grouchy sometimes. My dilemma? How to establish better eating habits and not bite the heads off of my children. A dilemma indeed.
Well, now that I've dumped all my problems on you, I feel much better this morning. Thanks.
The natives have woken up and are restless. And some of them are stinky. I'm off!