Friday, November 9, 2018

Week 12 ~ Field Trips and the Path to Rejuvenation

No one was ready to start school when Monday rolled around this week. We were tired and cranky. That vacation at the beginning of October had served as our semester break, but it really hadn't provided the rejuvenation we all needed. I started school, nonetheless. That was a stupid mistake. Tears flowed and brains misfired. No one seemed to remember anything about ratios, grammar, or even what was going on in our family read-aloud book that we had put down for a few days. We won't even talk about the disaster of physics! By noon, the mother in me had a parent teacher conference with the teacher in me, and school was promptly called off for the day. We took a deep breath as a family and headed out on a family hike. It was lovely and peaceful and just what we all needed.

We are a family that has experienced extreme levels of chronic stress over many years; and even though that stress has been much less in the last year, we are still tired as a whole and need breaks and grace at times. Emotional healing is a long process and sometimes I forget to be mindful of the need to stop and change gears. I refer to our family's mental health as our emotional temperature. We had flared into an unhealthy range by Monday. I decided that the emotional temperature of the family had come down to more normal limits by the end of the day, but we were by no means rejuvenated. So, I decided to do some basic school for the rest of the week and be mindful of getting our family healthier to face the long haul of November.

Tuesday ~ We did math, grammar, family reading and a little bit of physics. Then we went out to the movies for discount movie day. Tim and Dean went to Goosebumps 2 and Anne and I went to see The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. Then if was off to classes and rehearsals for our own Nutcracker.

Wednesday ~  As I stated last week, Wednesday is our new crazy day. I did not attempt to cancel any part of our day. However, I reduced how much school work each child was supposed to do in waiting rooms. One of the reasons that I was feeling so stressed was the never ending To Do list and some items having been on it for weeks at a time. So as we went through the day, I got things accomplished at the stores that were near us. They may not have been the cheapest stores, but time is money, too, and getting things off my To Do list was the priority. The biggest relief was getting my jacket zipper fixed so I am ready for the cold blast that is on its way. The seamstress was so nice and fixed it right on the spot for just $12.

The end of the day brought a meltdown for Dean. He was very distraught over the third project in a row of his that had failed. He has such a creative mind and fantastic ideas. However, he sometimes fails to research his projects and simply forges on ahead without a solid plan. He is also really struggling with the realities of growing up right now, and his generalized anxiety that permeates most of his day. He finds it very hard to wait for things and complains a great deal about boredom. I want him to leave the house more to do other things, but he argues with me about doing more out-of-the-home activities. However, he is screaming for more structure and guidance even if he denies it. Changes are coming in the new year for my guy. He will need to do more structured activities, even if I have to explore prescription anxiety medications to help him along. The day did come to a close with peace and well needed sleep.

Thursday ~ We hunkered down and tried to bring more order to our home in a few areas that felt out of control. I have a never ending struggle with stuff. There is just too much of it! We loaded several items on eBay and have decided to start sorting, washing and selling the HUGE lot of Legos that are in a big drawer. We accomplished all out-of-the-home classes, math, reading and grammar. Happily, I am also staying on top of my exercise and healthy eating plan. I have lost almost three pounds.
Dinner with chicken leftovers for lunch the next day. 

Friday ~ Today we decided to do school in the morning and then head out for a girls' day at Biltmore Estate, taking Grandma along. We invited the guys, but they preferred to stay home and play board games. Our annual pass is about to expire and we are not going to be able to afford the cost of renewing it this year. We had a blast seeing Biltmore for all but one month this year and enjoyed all of the different seasons. We wanted to see the estate decorated for Christmas. It was beautiful.

Image may contain: christmas tree and indoor

Image may contain: one or more people, people sitting, bicycle and outdoor

Blessings, Dawn


  1. The Biltmore is lovely! My best friend was there last week as well!

  2. You speak words of wisdom right into my ears right when I need them.

    Thank you.

    I'm wishing your boy success and peace as he faces growing up.

    And your girl's dancin is beautiful to watch.

  3. Oh so true that sometimes the mom side of us needs to take over for the teacher side of us and declare a break. I rarely see the need for one until we too have just an awful day of meltdowns. Good for you for taking the rest of the day to explore nature and scale back the week. I bet the Biltmore looks amazing decorated for the holidays. I am hoping to get to the Newport Mansions this Nov. and see at least of them all decked out.

  4. I, too, understand about having to read the temperatures of my students.