10 September 2014

13 Years a Mama



13 years a mama. To this ^^^ handsome boy.

There are a few beliefs I held 13 years ago that I can officially debunk.

1. 13 years of being a mom is not a long time. There aren't a lot of things that we spend 13 consecutive years doing. The proverbial length of your 13 years are depends on how much you enjoy what you're doing. 13 years of school, for example, was the longest 13 years for some people, and some would say the same thing of parenting (which makes me cringe). 13 years of parenting, for me, has been better than I could ever have imagined, and my imagination is pretty wild!

2. I am still.so.young. I remember looking at my friends who had teen-agers and thinking things like, "They're so much older." Now? I look at those same people and think, they're really not much older than me, and at 38 years old, I still feel young. Lots of adventures are ahead of me. Having a teen in the house doesn't change that.

3. Parenting pre-teens is a blast. Sure, there are moments, but, mostly, as your kids are becoming these great, intellectually capable, grown-up people, it is a joy-filled journey. I knew I would love parenting through the little kid stages, but this? I never saw it coming. Seriously. Don't let our culture fool you. Don't get stuck assuming it's going to stink. It doesn't have to. It pretty much rocks. Maybe it is what you make it, and I choose to make it this amazing experience. I choose the same for the next 10 years of parenting teen-agers too.

I know that some of you might be thinking that I may be naive. He's only 13. You've "been there, done that." I get it. I'm not saying pre-teens are easy, and I'm not expecting the teen years to be easy either. I'm just saying, there is a ton of joy here, and isn't that where we should be focusing our thoughts? Let's face it, Americans have a love affair with the negative, dramatic, difficult, trials of life. I choose to find camaraderie in the joy instead, and I want all of you to know that joy exists right here! So much joy!

So anyway, 13 years a mama. How awesome is that? I love that I am the mom of a teenager! It's something new! Something fun! I'm always up for an adventure.

My boy is incredible. He is one of the smartest people I know. I'm pretty sure the fact that he can create just about anything from Legos is going to lead him to one of the best careers ever. He is genuinely helpful, and he has a heart that naturally wants to take care of the people he loves. He seeks God on his own!!! I am sure I'll be blogging about him again in a few months because he is on target to complete a one year Bible reading plan because he chose to do so without prodding. In fact, it was his idea! He's also studying high school biology this year at his request, and I think I might be a little more intimidated than he is, not because of the material, but of the responsibility of teaching a 13 year old the intricacies of biology. It's going to be a blast, and I am seriously excited about it, but..yeah. Big responsibility. But to Lukas? It's just another learning opportunity.

Lukas is so many things...Joy-filled. Humorous. Creative. Smart. Musical. Loving. Kind. Seeker of knowledge. Seeker of God. He is discovering God in new ways and growing his faith. He is more than I could have imagined. 

But mostly?

He is mine. My son. My boy. The one who made me a mama, who made Eric a daddy.

We are so blessed, so filled by God because of this boy. 

So very, very grateful.

19 August 2014

2014-2015 Curriculum

Here it is for those who are interested, the annual "What the McEvoys will be learning" post. I'd love for my fellow home educating visitors to share your curriculum for this year. I'm always interested in what other families choose to use. Leave a comment or link to your own post, and I'll be sure to check it out!

Lukas, Grade 8

Total Language Plus
Daily Grammar
Teaching Textbooks Pre-Algebra
Homeschool in the Woods Time Travelers History Studies
Apologia Exploring Creation with Biology
Artistic Pursuits Middle School Book 1 (Elements of Art and Composition)
Classical and Contemporary Guitar
Community sports leagues (hopefully flag football and basketball)

Ava, Grade 5

Intermediate Language Lessons
Spelling You See, Level D
Teaching Textbooks 5
Prairie Primer
Piano
Ballet

14 August 2014

Moments Worth Remembering: Robin Williams

I have refused to read other blog posts or commentaries on Robin Williams until I finish this post, which, obviously, I just started writing. Not being the kind of person who generally takes a lot of time to ponder the loss of a celebrity I didn't know in person, this blog post is not my normal. Because I found that I was truly saddened at the loss of this man of great talent, I've decided to write my own brief memorial because Robin Williams is one of a handful of celebrities who used his talent for many good things. I've seen that there are posts out there focused on better understanding mental health as well as articles focusing on the way he died. I won't write about that. I considered taking a few other directions, but here is where I landed.

Robin Williams chose roles with careful scrutiny. He could perform well in nearly every genre of cinema, and he could work a crowd on stage too. He was probably one of the most talented men to ever grace the stage or screen. If you take a few moments to reflect on the roles he played, I would find it hard to believe that anyone could look at the career of this man and not see that he used his celebrity for good, even if your definition of good is narrow. Many of the roles he chose, even some of the most laughable roles, taught us hard life lessons. Some were simple lessons, but there is much to be learned from the films of Robin Williams that so many of us love. Off the top of my head, here are a few things worth remembering and learning from a celebrity who, in spite of being imperfect like the rest of us, did the best he knew how, to leave a legacy of great moments in his wake.

Mork and Mindy: Never take life too seriously. Laugh, and then laugh some more.

Good Morning, Vietnam: Corruption lies in the least obvious places. The good guys are sometimes the bad guys. Even in the darkest corner of the world, people need someone to help them smile.(Actually, all the lessons in this movie could probably be a series of blog posts).

Dead Poet's Society: The best educators teach outside the box and color outside of the lines, and their students become captivated by real, authentic learning.

Hook: Never forget where you came from. Don't work too hard. You're never too old to play. The good guys win in the end.

Aladdin: There are no quick-fixes in life. Freedom is never free.

Mrs. Doubtfire: Do whatever it takes to be an active and always present part of your child's life. No.matter.what.

RV: You can't fake it when it comes to your family, and, seriously, not just anyone should drive an RV.

Night at the Museum: Hard work and initiative always triumph. Study history. Okay, so maybe it was Teddy Roosevelt who taught these lessons, but, still, Robin chose to play the role.

August Rush: People are not always who they seem. Use discernment.

My favorites are his roles as Genie in Aladdin and Adrian Cronaur in Good Morning, Vietnam. There are so many more great roles and great moments in the life of Robin Williams. I choose not to pick him apart or to reflect on the way he died. I loved what he did for me and what his films will continue to do for the world.

Robin made me think.

Robin made me reflect.

And?

Robin made me laugh.



10 August 2014

Hard. Change.

Yesterday I was texting back and forth with a friend. I have been rather emotional lately for what I perceive to be "no apparent reason." She often says profound things to me at just the right moments. This is why I love her. Sensing my complete exasperation with myself, my not-yet-organized house, the impending school year, and on and on I could continue listing all the silly things that were on my roster of inconveniences, she simply said, "It's called change. It's HARD."

Of course, then I decide I should write something today. Why? Well, it's been months since I have written anything. Moving is busy. Moving is hard. It is all consuming, and writing? Writing is merely a hobby for the moment. When I open my rusty little blog, what do my eyes fall upon but the last post I wrote in May. 

Easy. Change.

No kidding, that is my last post. God speaks, friends! You just don't usually expect Him to use your own words to speak to you! 

You can go read that post if you want, but the short version is basically that change is never easy even when it is good. Maybe especially when it is good in some situations. We are in that place now.

When we moved last month, I settled on spending my daily Jesus time on the front porch. Day after day, I sat in awe of God thinking things like, "I live here!" and "Only in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine," as I shook my head slightly from side-to-side exactly as I am doing at this very moment as I type this post. I would look at the little white church across the field from our house and shake my head a little more. God did this! Incredible!

And now, here I sit, a month into this awe-inspiring turn of events realizing that, as Mindy said, "It's called change. It's hard."


Sigh.

I am still in awe of God and how He has moved in our lives. I am still shaking my head from side to side with a small smile on my lips as I remember where we have been and what we have gone through and how much better things are for us, and I wonder what in the world is God going to do next? I have no doubt of the awesomeness of God because of this bumpy journey we have traveled.

God is good. I wish that wasn't so cliche so that it's true meaning could weigh upon you its full effect. God.is.good. Savor that. Rest in it. Hold onto it when life grabs you by the hair and drags you through a desert. I have been there, and I know. Different circumstances, same feelings. Different people, same grief. Different places, same sorrow. Different race, same exhaustion. 

God  was with me in my desert. And the blessings He has for me now? Abundant. Increasingly so.

I began this post wondering where I was going, and I am not sure where this writing journey has brought me except to remind me that, when I have an emotional moment, when I miss those friends and places and events that are so near to my heart and a tear runs down my cheek, it is with joy in my heart that I find myself so blessed to miss them. To leave a place and not miss it is true sadness, to leave behind no one that you love, to not want to return...that would be a true sorrow, would it not?

Today I see blessing. Yes, there are hard things about this great change in our lives, but it is the most humbling blessing to be where we are, to find ourselves wondering, "Why us? God? Why would you choose us for THIS?" for we could not be more honored to be chosen.

God is good, and blessings are abundant, and even then, change...is hard.


Good change. Sitting on the edge of your seat anticipating greatness kind of change.

It's still hard.

And God is there. In the hard change, you will find God if you look closely.

Go ahead.

I dare you.

Look!

23 May 2014

Easy. Change.

Change.

Some change is good, some is bad. Sometimes it is just what we need, and sometimes it is beyond our reach. Sometimes change happens without our consent, and sometimes we are the instigators. 

If a particular change is good, just what we need, within our reach, and we are the instigators of it, it should be easy, right? If a particular change provides for our needs better, puts us in the center of God's will, grows us, stretches us, brings us blessing beyond measure, peace that surpasses human understanding, and joy, then shouldn't it be easy?

I wish it were so.

Easy. Change. 

Opposites.

Pray for our family. God is doing amazing things here at the McEvoys, with the McEvoys, for the McEvoys. He is good, and we see His hand carving the beautiful moments of our life's journey with pristine detail. He knows us, and He loves us, and He has stirred our hearts with excitement.

He is God. And any change He wants for me is a change I want.

But easy?

Nope. Change isn't easy.

07 May 2014

The Simple Woman's Daybook May 2014


Outside my window... warmth. Heat. Sun!!!

Praising God... for connection.


In prayer for...discernment that we might know beyond a shadow of a doubt God's perfect plan for us.

I am thinking... about the circle of friends in my life, near and far. Blessings.

I am thankful... for impromptu park days in the sun (did I mention the sun was shining?).

In the kitchen... ham, eggs, and toast. Simplicity.

I am wearing... plum purple pajamas.


I am creating...pages filled with words in my own hand. Journals.



I am going... to find a day on my calendar that actually allows me to stay home.

I am wondering... what great things God has in store for us.
 

I am reading... The Story of the Von Trapp Family Singers, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (with Ava), The Hobbit (with Lukas), The Circle Maker (with Eric), the New Testament.
 

I am hoping... for sooner than later, but not too soon. God's timing, not mine.

I am looking forward to...learning and discovering new things in me. God is growing me!

I am learning... to leave space in my life. To plan for the unplanned moments and revel in them.
 

Around the house... Oy. Oy. Oy.
 

I am pondering... Prayer. Baptism. Raising pre-teens.
One of my favorite things... those gigantic, moss-covered boulders left on our Appalachian hillsides supposedly by glaciers. They're beautiful. And fun. And make for great games of tag and hide-and-go-seek.

A few plans: grocery getting and a 4H meeting.

Join the Simple Woman and write your own post. Link up HERE

11 April 2014

Double Blog Hop: 10 on 10 and Four Seasons

I always enjoy doing a 10 on 10 post each month. Some of you know I miss a month here and there, but I was able to get some fun photos this month! I've been trying to keep up with a Four Seasons: 30 Days photo each day as well, so this post will count for both blog hops. I hope you enjoy this post!

 This helicopter flies over our house all the time! This was taken in Columbus on Ohio State's campus.



 Urban photos are a nice change. We don't miss living in the city, but it is fun to visit!


 Ava making photo taking interesting, as usual.

 That's better. 


 First time to wear flips this season!!!

Love these little tufts of green getting greener and greener each day.

Check out other 10 on 10 Photo posts HERE,
and check out other Four Seasons posts HERE.