Homeschooling Update

I figured I would give an update of how our first year of homeschooling is going so far.
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We’ve hit a few bumps here and there with learning what’s working for us, dealing with first trimester pregnancy near the beginning of our school year and remodeling our kitchen.  However, I have to say that I am surprised how much I actually do enjoy homeschooling.  I knew this was something I really wanted to do but I would be lying if I said that I didn’t have a lot of fear starting this.  Would I really be able to do this?  Am I going to screw up Anna’s love for learning?  Will Anna actually like being homeschooled once we start?  Will I teach her in the way that she needs?  Am I going above my head about all of this?
Not that all the questions necessarily went away but I know that Anna does indeed enjoy being homeschooled and I indeed enjoy getting to be her teacher.
Of course there are days that I wish I could go and drop all my kids off somewhere for a few hours so I can get house things done or just be by myself and actually hear my own thoughts without having some little person asking or demanding my full attention.  Just being real there. 😉

Routine and curriculum.

I feel like we are still figuring some of this out honestly.  We’ve dropped some curriculums that just wasn’t working for us.  We also jumped way ahead in math.  Anna was getting really bored and voiced that she now hated math.  That shocked me honestly as she loved it in kindergarten.   I quickly realized that she was just bored.  She was relearning a lot of stuff that she had already learned last year.  I looked into getting the next grade up but decided to instead just jump ahead in the current book.  So far that seems to be working great!
Routines we are still figuring out as well.  So far we are doing school 4 days a week on average.  I am pretty laid back on when we start and such.  I find that it’s necessary to be with having people in and out of our house lately with the home remodeling and repairs.  Anna does enjoy and does well with structure so I try and keep her informed on when we will begin and if we will not be doing school that day.
Roughly we do begin around 930 am.  That gives me enough time to do a few morning chores and get Harper, (and Nolan if he is not at 3-k that day), fed and settled in their own activities.  The amount of time it takes to finish school always depends on Anna’s focus and how often I get interrupted by the younger ones. 😉  However, we are done before it’s time to prepare lunch for the most part.

Homeschooling during first trimester.

During my first trimester of this pregnancy is probably when I questioned myself the most if I made the right decision to homeschool.  I had absolutely no energy to sit and teach.  Let alone do all the other duties moms of littles have to do.  I asked a few other homeschooling moms I know what were things I could do so that it wasn’t like she was doing nothing.   I basically just allowed her to do ABC mouse and the workbooks I purchased last summer at places like targets dollar spot.   I also would have her sit and read to me.  It wasn’t a lot that we did and we didn’t do it every day.  With me being in survival mode those first three months, I just had to have a lot of grace on myself.  Talking with others who have been here helped me to know that I was not alone nor screwing up her education. 😉
We slowly eased back in to our more normal routine around November.  Of course, we then had holidays come right after and so I didn’t go full force.  We didn’t jump back in fully until January, after all the holidays were done.   That’s been great since my energy was back too.  Of course, that is when we started the demolition for the kitchen remodel. We had to be out of the house a bit so we just took school with us wherever we went.  The times we were able to be at the house, we didn’t have our dining table or room where we typically did our school so we did school either outside, (when it wasn’t too cold for us Floridians), or wherever we could that wasn’t being occupied or too loud.
That’s the joy of homeschooling.  You can do it anywhere. 🙂

 

 

That’s our update.  Even through the learning curves and the bad/hard days, I have absolutely zero regrets us making this decision and I am so very blessed to be able to stay home and teach my children.   We have already discussed and made plans to continue homeschooling for next school year as well.  With having a newborn, there will be more trials and errors and lots of figuring out what works for us but I am excited.
On that note- if. you’re a homeschooling mama who’s done this with a newborn, I am all ears for any tips, tricks and advise. 😉

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Growth

There’s a lot of changes going on around here in the Hock house.   We began remodeling our entire kitchen this month, (will share here once it’s all done but you can see some of the progress on my instagram @thelovelylife3).
We are joining a new home church.  I’ve gone to the same church my whole life, 34 years!  My dad pastors there and just celebrated 35 years of doing so.  God has called us to a new church and so we are obeying.
We will become a family of 6 in roughly 4 months.
Those are just the changes that I know of.  I am bracing myself for the possibility of more happening for my family.

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Image created for me by @Mcmandymom

At the end of last year I was praying and seeking God on what He had in store for me and my family for 2018.  What goals/challenges I should focus on and what words He had set for me and so on.   A few nights before the new year, He woke me up at around 4 am whispering the word “growth” to me.
We are only one month into 2018 but wow!  I did not expect for the process of the growth so soon.  I also wasn’t expecting it in some areas.
I heard growth and I actually laughed at first because I thought, “duh!  Our family is obviously growing this year when the baby comes”.   Yes, that is true but oh, it’s so much more and deeper than that.  What I do expect now, if I haven’t already experienced it a tiny bit, is growing pains.   Actually, I am experiencing them, now that I am really thinking about it.

2017 was a year of God revealing to me things about me that were not of Him.  I held a lot of pride.  I victimized myself a lot which lead me to justify some of my thoughts and actions that weren’t very kind to others.  I depended more on other people’s thoughts and opinions than I did to my Lord and Savior.  I had a lot of insecurity.  I cared and worried way too much about what other people thought about me.  I worried more about disappointing certain people than I did about disappointing God.  Going back to victimizing; it was my excuse.  “Lord, they made me do it.  They make me feel this way”.
Our Father is very gentle and loving but don’t mistake that as He is some push over.  He wasn’t listening to any of those excuses.  He would quickly correct me.  Nope.  I had to be responsible for my own actions; my own reactions.  How I chose to respond.
Praise God for His love and forgiveness.  For being made new and washing me clean.  Such real freedom comes from that.  I can say that as I am a walking testimony of it.  He’s cut off some of those dead branches in my life that were producing no fruit, (I encourage you to read John 15).

I am still a work in progress.  I’m currently convinced I will always be as long as I’m living on this earth. 🙂  And I am ok with that as long as I am growing and not going backwards.
I hold a lot more hope this year.  I am excited again.  Joy has been restored in me.
Even as I walk this path that in some areas feels like a trial, and even through these “growing pains”, I can genuinely rejoice and be thankful.  Not because I am told that is what I am suppose to do but truly because I want to!  That’s freedom.

Pregnancy Update

I am already 22 weeks into this pregnancy!  Just pure craziness to me.
This might be a different type of pregnancy update than what is commonly posted since I do not have prenatal care.   I honestly wasn’t even really sure if I should do a pregnancy update since I wasn’t sure what I would share.  I can’t say that I forget that I am pregnant as I feel baby move and there’s a big belly to show for it but I haven’t really had the time to sit and really focus on this pregnancy.   Why it somewhat shocks me that I am already half way through with it.

At week 14, I began to feel very tiny flutters.  It was nothing consistent or even that strong but with it being my fourth, I knew that it was baby. 😉IMG_9690

 

With this being my fourth, I also popped a lot sooner this time around.  As well as having Braxton hicks sooner.  I’ve had to pull the pregnancy pillow out quicker this time and sleep started getting interrupted already with having to use the bathroom once or twice during the night.

 

The real kicks and movements have started and around week 19, Kyle was able to feel baby kick.  There’s something special about the daddy being able to feel the baby too.  I love the bond that blossoms from it.

 

My own prenatal care

This is my first full unassisted pregnancy.   With Harper I did go see a midwife twice.  She would listen to the heart beat and check my blood pressure.  She would inform me while doing so.  She also taught me some about belly mapping.  After much prayer, Kyle and I felt it was fine to not continue to see her through the rest of my pregnancy.
This pregnancy, with much prayer again, we didn’t feel pulled to do any prenatal care.  I’ve taken what I learned from the midwife with Harper towards this pregnancy.
I keep up with a nutritious diet, exercise  and take supplements that I feel my body is giving signs to take.  Iron, magnesium, vitamin C and B are ones that I feel I need to stay on top of.  I also take red raspberry tea tincture and probiotics.

I am mentally preparing for the birth with making lists for what we will need.
There’s not much we need for the baby but a few things like a carseat.
I am just so very thankful that our Lord has assigned us to be parents of this child.  It’s such a gift to have this opportunity to carry and raise another.  I can’t believe at times that we will have four kids!  That’s never sounded like a lot to me since I was one of 9.  However, it’s so different when you’re on the other side.  Being parents and raising four little humans!   The number four doesn’t seem so small anymore.  However, there’s no regret or fear.  Pure excitement and joy!

Why baby #4 was a surprise

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We have told people how surprised we were about this pregnancy which has then lead to questions or assumptions, (rightfully so), if we were preventing and why we were so surprised.  The answer is though, no.  We weren’t preventing.
So, why was this pregnancy such a surprise??
To answer, there might be some “TMI” for some readers, with postpartum cycles and ovulation and such.  So, if that’s not you’re thing then, here’s your warning and your “exit now” sign.  😉
If you’re still here reading, hey!  Oh, and to answer…
So, my cycles returned 12 months after having Harper.  Breastfeeding has always been a good “birth control” for me until my babies start sleeping through the night.   Or at least for the most part, sleeping through the night.
Kyle and I had the talk about more kids or being done.  Now, it always gets brought up after each child and it’s always Kyle saying “done” and me saying “give me all the babies!”.    Ok, not all the babies but knowing that I wasn’t really feeling like our family was complete after each kid.   With Harper, though I didn’t feel like our family was complete, I also started questioning if I would ever feel the “done” like Kyle did.
This time, after Harper, did seem a little different.  Kyle’s “done” felt a lot more serious and I had to do a lot of heart searching of how I would feel if that was indeed God’s will too.  Let me explain; Kyle saying “done” after each child, I knew he even didn’t truly feel that way.  I was right as after some time, he felt ready and that our family wasn’t indeed complete.  Which lead to, when we felt the time was right, would have to try and get pregnant.  Let me throw in a disclaimer here and say that we never dealt with fertility issues.  Nor do I claim that I have any understanding of what that feels like, to have fertility issues.
I come from a very fertile family. My mom had 9 kids and was pregnant after a year of each baby, if not sooner.  Followed by multiple sisters who pretty much did the same.  So, naturally, I was thrown in that, because I was a “Sansom”, I would fall pregnant if I blinked at my husband.  Ok, I might be exaggerating a little of what people think of our family but you get the idea. 😉  The truth is, my body gives me no signs of ovulation.  I have had to use the ovulation tests for all four first pregnancies, (counting my pregnancy that ended in a miscarriage).  Also, when you research the way ovulation works and just how very small that window is, they ain’t lying.   I felt my window was the size of a window in a bird house.  We had to be just right in our timing.  (I warned you of the TMI).
So, with not being sure if we would have anymore after Harper but not feeling at peace to do anything permanent, I decided I would track my cycles for the first time.   The natural family planning method is what I was going for.  I started on my second cycle and boy, was I confused!  Clearly, I didn’t know what I was doing because well, here we are.  My cycles were not very consistent and my temp was up and down the whole cycle. The month that I actually became pregnant, I thought I perhaps wasn’t ovulating at all because of how up and down my temps were.  (If you’re unfamiliar of how temping works, this won’t make sense to you.  Sorry.  Basically, it’s not suppose to do that.)
So, when my period became late, for the first two days, I just thought that it was going to be a longer cycle since it wasn’t all consistent.  But when it became longer than any other time since starting, I decided to test just to rule it out.  I really did not think it would be positive.  Kyle was out of town, in fact.  That’s how confident I was that I wasn’t pregnant.    I was wrong.  It was very much positive.
I had to hold the secret in until Kyle returned the next night.
My older two drew pictures for him while he was gone because they missed him.  I then had Harper draw one too and I wrote a letter from “surprise baby #4”25353241_10160008746855508_566031041_o
If you’re wondering how Kyle took it, he confessed that he was secretly praying for this the last few weeks. 😉

So, that’s our story of “surprise baby #4”.   We weren’t preventing, (because we didn’t know when to) and we weren’t trying.  I truly had to surrender it all to my Lord and just trust in His ways.  Thinking at the time, that He was calling us to close this chapter and stay as a family of 5.  That’s a whole other story that would require a whole other post.
I’m thankful for His perfect plans and what a true gift.  Not only that we have this other precious life joining our family and that Kyle and I are entrusted to be parents to 4 children but that He also allowed it to happen the way it did; as a surprise.  Which was a true prayer of mine.  Again, that’s a whole other story and post.

 

Why I’ve been absent

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That’s right!  We are expecting baby #4 late Spring of 2018.

We are so over the moon excited and feel so blessed that God has called us to be parents of another beautiful soul.

I am officially out of the first trimester and into the second.  Meaning, the fog, nausea and fatigue has lifted and I feel alive and motivated again. 😉
Going through the first trimester with three little ones, homeschooling and other things in life going on is no joke!   However, I made it out alive.  As well as keeping the other three alive!  I call it a win.
I’m happy to be back to normal again in time for the holidays.  It’s a good thing too as this month is always so busy with lots of fun festivities.
I’m also happy to be blogging again.  Excited to share all the happenings of next year with the family and our home.
I hope you’ve all been doing well!

**Let me know in the comments below if you would like to see pregnancy updates, birth plans or anything else pregnancy/birth related.  Would love to share.