A Homeschool Alumni’s Hope

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Every parent wants what’s best for their child(ren). They invest countless aspects of themselves and their freedoms in order to raise their offspring. It is a natural feeling to want to protect them and wish them the best, and have a grand idea of how you hope your precious children will turn out. I get it. I was raised in the homeschool movement were we were taught that we were going to be the movers and shakers once we became adults. Our parents hoped we’d be positive impacts for our future employers, in our community, and in the world. I personally was homeschooled all the way through my senior year. I am proud of being a homeschool alumni.

There comes a time, however, when we come adults. Our parents have little to no say on the person we choose to be, or how we choose to live our lives. They hope we follow the line they’ve drawn in the sand. When we don’t – we hope they understand, many times it’s not because we don’t love them anymore, it’s because we’re all individuals. We’ve found our own path. I was not the most obedient daughter, my infant nick-name “Birdie” proved to be quite apt as I was a bird – and I frequently flew off – not always in the direction my parents wished. My mom wrote this a few years back about me: “We would tell her to stick with us and she would for a while, but then would venture off again.” No, I know I’m not the person they originally hoped I would be. However, they are proud of the person I am. They’ve grown and changed just as I have. They were the ones who helped me be who I am. They had “given me the tools” for life as my parents often remarked.

The reason I’m writing this is homeschool alumni (particularly Homeschoolers Anonymous) have been raising their voice. There have been abuses that have gone on in our lives, and we do have a right to blog or post or tweet about them. I get that it’s easy to try and dismiss us – we moved out of your house a few years ago, we were children then and weren’t allowed to talk-back. It’s not, however, being disrespectful if it’s telling our story. It’s not being rebellious when we find a scandal and try to have it addressed by those who were involved. Sweeping allegations under the rug, avoiding the tough questions, or ignoring us is not how you taught us to be. You are the ones who raised us. We are adults and we have a voice. We ask you listen to us. If we express that you have harmed us in someway – apologize. Take responsibility. We want reconciliation, we want those relationships restored.

Trust me, we want to share the joys, the sunny days, the happinesses in our lives more than the storms. But we all should face those storms irregardless of whether we want to or not. Do you have the courage to help us make this a better world?

Photo credit: me

Weekend Blessings

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Weekend Blessings

I never wanted my own children. Something about being the oldest of seven and seeing 4 births and honestly just wanting to be selfish and loving my freedom. Don’t get me wrong – I love babies and children. Their innocence, inquisitiveness, and tenacity is precious. But life has a way of having its own way. The man I’m dating has children, and his two sons live with us every other weekend. Have to say, I love them. They make me get off my couch every weekend they are with me because every teenage boy needs to have their out-door times or else the adults living with them will go nuts. Would I like my own time? Yes, but if I’m honest with myself, I get more done and experience more fun times and memories every day they are with me. I get hugs and jokes and dorky pictures. The pic in this post was taken this weekend by the oldest… neat perspective, right? I might need an attitude adjustment every so often when I have to figure out what to do with them when it’s rainy and cold outside, but in the end, it’s worth it. They are now my family, and they are important in my life, and I in theirs.

This week….

This was/is kinda a crazy week. Last weekend I wasn’t feeling the greatest physically or emotionally, work seemed drag. I’m part of a group at work that is going through a year-long leadership training class. It’s extremely hard to get into, but I finally racked up enough kudo points with the bosses to be accepted. There were days that being a part of that group is the only reason I showed up at work. Close to the ending of the program, the group gets to try to orchestrate a fundraiser. Let me tell you – trying to figure out a fundraiser, get it through the myriad of approvals for the twenty things you thought wouldn’t need to be thought of twice, much less a written proposal that has to be approved by someone 4 ranks up, is not an easy task. Add in then around the 7-8 other people that you have to get agree on the ideas and how to get it going… well, let’s just say that I adopted the position of event coordinator. I have enjoyed it, but it hasn’t been easy. The reason? An 8-day vacation I’ll be taking in Hawaii next week. 🙂 The anticipation has been building for the last 3 months – and for the last half the work day, I wasn’t as nearly productive as I normally was. But at least I feel really good about where I left my team with me being gone all next week. Then my mom decided to spring an impromptu trip into my town to do some shopping – and decided to bring 3 of my brothers. The two nights before we leave for Hawaii I’ll have company… Cluttered house and all, with no food because I haven’t bought any because it will spoil by the time we get back. So of course I told her it was fine for her and everyone else to stay with me. I’m going to be going to get my hair colored tomorrow (have to look good when I meet my boyfriend’s mom for the first time) and the little errands that seem to creep up right before a big trip… and I have my family in town, and my house is barely presentable, but you know what? Who cares! My brothers won’t notice the mess – they are too busy taunting my boyfriend as they race him playing a racing game at their first attempt on an XBox 360. My mom is appreciative because she won’t be paying mega-money booking a hotel, I get family time with my siblings that I see far too infrequently. Plus, since they are in, they attract the attention of my beloved grandparents who also want to see family, so I get to see even more precious family! So they will have to lock up my house when they leave because I’ll be halfway to Hawaii by the time they get up, these memories are priceless. The more I “grow up” the more I realize family is priceless, my work will “work” itself out. Life is meant to be lived, one day at a time, looking ahead, and trying to move ahead, while treasuring your family.

“A grandfather …

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“A grandfather is someone with silver in his hair and gold in his heart.” – Unknown

I’d like to take this time to write a shout-out to my Grandpa Frost. It’s his birthday today, and I think it’s high-time I tell the world how freaking amazing he is. 🙂 He married into our family when I was a child, but I can’t dream that any other man, blood-relative or not would have taken us all into his heart the way he did and does. The first time I ever met him, my family lived on the opposite side of the country, and he and my Grandma flew to visit us for a week or so. I remember I was so impressed when he recited my full name in the airport when we came to pick them up – nicknames and all (no, I’m not typing it out, ask me in person, and I might tell you it). He immediately endeared himself into my heart (I AM the oldest of the grandchildren, so I think I deserve a bit more of their attention – just sayin’). He’s always had a full beard – perfect for babies to play with. He has strong hands to give wonderful neck massages, he’s a walking encyclopedia – always giving out fascinating little-known trivia facts about practically anything and everything under the sun. Once we moved back into their neck of the woods, I try to take every opportunity I can to spend time with him. We’ve gone on hikes, I’ve gone with them RV-ing, of course done sleepovers, road-trips, and trying out new restaurants. My grandpa has watched me grow, and as I’ve become an adult, I’ve been able to see a different side of him now that we can share more adult activities (nothing like a cold beer together on a hot day) and adult conversations. He was the first person in my family to tell me that he approves of my boyfriend – which means alot to me, and to my boyfriend, who has never really had grandparents or even a decent father-figure in his life. Last month, I had one of the funnest times with my grandpa – We went to an Oktoberfest – just him and I. Both of our partners had to work that day, but going to the Oktoberfest is something that we’ve done as much as we can… and I normally go with my grandparents at least, but that day was the only day I could go, so the night before, I called him up and he was up for the spontaneous trip, so we went! The first time I had ever had one-on-one time with just him. It was such a special, neat, bonding time, just him and I. We ate sausages, drank beer, and people-watched. Didn’t talk about much important, but what was important was spending time together. I will always treasure that memory. Happy Birthday Grandpa! I hope you have many more, and know that you are very, very loved by your oldest granddaughter. 🙂

2-year Anniversary Flowers

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2-year Anniversary Flowers

It was the 2-year anniversary of our first date last Friday. My man surprised me at work by having these flowers sent to my work (not easy to do, as there are guards to get through). I was the envy of quite a few woman who told me “my man never does that” or “my husband used to do that, not anymore”. To me that’s sad. Romance is good to have in a relationship. Later that night, after we were both off from work (and I took my flowers home to take this picture of with my new camera I bought to take to Hawaii with us) – he treated me to the place we had our first date – Andina, in the Pearl. It was a nice way to end the day. Men – send your woman flowers – surprise her, allow her to be envied by her coworkers, demonstrate that you LOVE YOUR Woman! Women – treasure your man, give him neck-rubs, watch football with him (even if you really don’t like it), ask him questions about the game or the silly rules it has… I do… lol.