2012 was a pretty crazy year. There were more than a few trials. And then again we had some victories too.
I'm always a little hesitant to post about things that might seem offensive or cause people to be critical of choices I've made. I'm not good at conflict...I tend to weep rather hysterically when faced with it. I also never want to appear smug or superior...I certainly don't have all the answers. I have opinions...same as most people.
One of my favorite things about homeschooling is the family centered life. I'm not saying those who don't homeschool are not family centered. To be completely emmersed in each other's lives (including schooling) is a completely different animal. I love being with these people. I need a break now and again (or a solo trip to Hobby Lobby or the Library), but for the most part I can't get enough of them. Another big reason is that I love to learn. I believe in schooling for life. Homeschooling is a lifestyle. I believe in taking every opportunity and making it a learning experience. Within reason, of course. But I think one of the reasons I have been able weather a few storms of my own has been because I was taught from a young age to embrace whatever life was around me. To enjoy new experiences..even if they were confined my backyard. And to (frankly) make lemonade out of lemons.
We spent most 2012 mostly broke (as many of you). We didn't take any memorable trips to exotic places. We barely even left our own state. We didn't met any famous people or do important things. But we learned. And we laughed. And most likely 2013 will be pretty much the same. Which sounds good to me. Though I won't be sad if we win a trip to Disneyworld or something....or maybe Paris.
Here's my advice to living and learning every day...along with some memories from 2012.
1. Don't be afraid to slice an onion or two. Translation: We all know that life can be kind of messy sometimes. And it can even make you cry. Don't be afraid to learn something new...even if you are afraid it might cause you a little grief along the way.
(Josiah learns to make his Dad's favorite tuna casserole. And learns to cut up an onion. There were a few tears involved.)
2. Give yourself away. Translation: Don't be afraid to give something of yourself. It might cost you a little sweat, but that's okay. When it's all said and done that's what life is all about.
(Josiah participated in the Susan B. Komen Race For The Cure in St. Louis.
He wore a bunny hat most of the way...Don't ask. )
3. Sometimes the best things in life require patience. And a little practice. Don't be afraid to give it your best shot.
(Josiah made the swim team this year. He works hard and now has the goggles to prove it.)
4. Don't be afraid to seek help or advice from someone who might know more than you. We all can learn from others.
(Josiah took a Master Arts class from our own professional artist, his Ama. I love homeschooling. I will say that the artist gene didn't get passed along to me...I'm more a stick figure kinda girl)
5. Don't be afraid to add a little spice or flavor to your life. Salt and pepper are fine, but basil can add a whole new thing. Translation: Make every minute a little special.
(Josiah harvests herbs from the Herb Garden during our Cousin Camp Cooking School.)
6. Don't become so wrapped up in your day to day life that you miss the extra special stuff. Take some time to gaze at the stars...Or sun in this case.
(Josiah got to see Venus pass in front of the sun...pretty great stuff. He also spent the day in his swim trunks and goggles. I'm don't know. There isn't a pool on the farm...unless you count the little blow up kind)
7. You don't need to travel to an exotic new place to have an adventure. Sometimes the adventure is waiting out your own back door.
(Josiah and his cousins went on a nature hike. And no one was voted off the island.)
8. Use what you have to make your own fun. You might have to get kind of creative, but that's really the best kind of adventure.
(Josiah used an old wheel chair to create his own amusement park ride. You have scroll down a few pictures to get the full affect. I'm so proud.)
9. Just get up and dance! Shaking your groove thang is good for the soul!
(Josiah and his cousins had numerous Just Dance battles. He got two more Just Dance games for Christmas. I sense a Just Dance throw down in the near future.)
10. Make new friends, but keep the old. Stay in touch with friends, but don't be afraid to let new friends into your life. You will be better for it.
(Josiah always has room in his crew for more. I will admit to you (dear readers) that some of these folks are now finding adventure in a new locale...via the dumpster...how many plastic army men can one boy have?)
11. Every minute spent with a loved one doesn't have to be significant. You don't have to spend a lot of money to make it memorable. Memories aren't made of money, they are made of people.
(Josiah enjoyed a fishing trip with is Dad, cousin and Uncle Ryan. No fish were harmed during this particular outing...ding dong it!)