...because I've been more than a little stressed and haven't really been feeling the 'Christmas Spirit'.
I posted a while back about my father-in-laws battle with leukemia...he's going downhill fast, my brother is shipping out soon for the middle east, I'm going to be starting to homeschool my younger sister. She's 17, a straight 'A' student, and ready to drop out in her junior year because she can't get past the gun scare at her school from last week. We've decided that homeschooling would be a way for her to complete her education while allowing her time to get the help she needs (therapy, etc.) to deal with her overwhelming fears associated with this event. It's a good decision for her future, but adds fuel to my stress fire, kwim?
THEN, my DH hurt himself at work a few weeks ago, refused to go to the doctor (despite me begging him to), continued working on it for another week until the pain got so bad that he was "forced" to go seek medical attention. To make a long story short there, he ended up having surgery on his knee last Friday and will have another (hopefully the final one) on Monday. Today is our anniversary, we were supposed to be leaving for our much needed week long vacation to Gettysburg tomorrow and, instead, we're stuck at home, dressing an open surgical wound and preparing for additional surgery.
Anyway, I've been so depressed/stressed lately that even the idea of Christmas couldn't cheer me up. BUT, today I decided that I had to try to recapture some of the things that I love so much and Christmas is the perfect place to start, right?
I'm going to be trying to catch up on my posting and will hopefully find a good dose of Christmas spirit in the process.
Oh Sunshine, my heart goes out to you. You've got a lot on your shoulders right now. I hope things turn for the better with your FIL, but if not, it's God's will, and maybe an end to his suffering will be the real blessing. I don't know if you are religious or not, but my mom always used to say she couldn't wait for her first Christmas in Heaven, to be able to sing with a choir of Angels. She's 77, diabetic, had triple by-pass surgery last year, so we don't know how much longer the good Lord will let her be with us. But I know when the time comes, the thought of her singing Christmas carols with the angels will be a great comfort to me. Hopefully you and your family can find comfort in something also.
I'll add your brother to my prayers that I pray for all of our brave soldiers.
And what a blessing your are to your sister. I can't imagine having to deal with something like that as a teenager, those years are difficult enough. I hope she is able to cope, with help, and be able to throw herself into life again.
And I hope your husband is feeling better. Bummer about not being able to go to Gettysburg. My husband and I are planning a trip there in July, for the 145th anniversary of the Civil War battle, with our Civil War re-enactment group. They're expecting 16,000 reenactors to participate, wow, what an event.
Anyway, chin up, sing a few Christmas carols, start dreaming of the lights, decorations and food, and hopefully things will look brighter. God Bless.
I haven't been around much lately either because of my surgery and recovery from surgery. I'm so sorry for all that you are going through. I pray that you find God's peace and strength through all of this.
My wife and I have been homeschooling some of our kids for many years. It is stressful, but also so rewarding knowing that you are in charge of what they are learning instead of the government, or some of the idealistic teachers who are more concerned with social issues than your sister's future. There are so many good teachers, but sometimes it only takes one bad one or one bad situation at a school to ruin a child's future. I know she will be in great hands with you teaching her. I know it's hard, but try to focus on how much you will be giving your sister and you'll do great! After all, Christmas is about giving.
__________________ "Unless we make Christmas an occasion to share our blessings, all the snow in Alaska won't make it 'white'." -- Bing Crosby
First of all, homeschooling at the level you're talking about should be pretty easy considering she's already a good student. There are LOTS of online resources for you to turn to that will keep her engaged. And if she doesn't already have a well developed love of Christmas you could start there. Over the years MMC has utilized the talents of homeschoolers of many ages to showcase writing, research, programming and graphic art talents. So let me know if you need help with "assignments". We have homeschooled our children for many years.
As for spending your vacation time at home...again, I know that "trapped" feeling...my wife has a way of making me feel better by bringing the vacation to me. Most of the time the issue with us is money -- we can plan the time off but we frequently can't afford to make the getaways happen. So, she'll make "tropical" foods for me or we'll watch themed movies and do what little kids do -- we pretend. During those years when we could make no plans because she was either pregnant or we just had a baby that was too small to take away from home we did the "pretend" thing a lot. It was a great way to get closer, which, of course, is part of the point of it all any way.
sgrover: Thanks so much for your kind thoughts. I'm sorry to hear that your mother is having such a rough time with her health, but it sounds like she's got a great attitude. I will try to remember her wish to spend Christmas in Heaven (wouldn't that be a celebration to attend?) , singing with a choir of Angels...what a wonderful image that is and what a thought of comfort when you're facing a Christmas season without a loved one.
I hope you have a great time in Gettysburg in July. I love re-enactments (attending, I've never participated) and I can't imagine participating in such a huge event. I'd love to be there for something like that! Maybe DH and I will make it to Gettysburg next summer...our luck can't be all bad forever, right?
Storeytime: Hope your recovery is going well! I'm glad to hear from someone who is successfully homeschooling. It makes me feel more like "I can do it", kwim? I know that this is the best option for her future. She's way too smart (which should make my "teaching" job much easier) to be dropping out of school at this point in the game but there was that huge gun scare at her school last week, a bomb threat at a nearby school (next town over) on last Thursday, she's just not comfortable going back to school and I honestly can't say that I blame her.
Besides, you're right, Christmas is about giving and I feel like homeschooling is a gift that will allow her to keep the bright future that she has before her.
Jeff Westover Another homeschooler...wow! I just had no idea that there were so many homeschoolers around here! I have discovered a wealth of information on-line which has made some of my lesson planning a bit easier (haven't actually gotten them completely done yet....we're planning on starting on Monday the 17th). I definitely appreciate the offer of help with "assignments". I don't think she's quite the Christmas nut that I am but I think I could give her a nudge in the right direction and get her on the board....goodness knows, like most teens, she spends enough time on the computer.
I do like the idea of doing something "fun" at home (although that's hard to do with DH laid up like he is), but your stories have got me thinking. Maybe some takeaway from our favorite restaraunt and watching the videos from our honeymoon cruise or something similar might be fun one night, and planning a vacation for next summer might be a fun way to while away an evening as well. It would certainly put us back in that "together" frame of mind, which, as you pointed out, is the really the point of a getaway anyhow. Unfortunately, it's something we've been kind of lacking over the past few weeks...stress has really taken it's toll on both of us. . .THANK YOU!
Merry Sage & Chillywilly Thanks so much for your kind thoughts. I'm trying to keep a positive "Christmas" frame of mind but there are times that it's a challenge. I'm definitely glad that I've got a place like this to come!
I've had a little fun myself -- two run-ins with cancer in the last year... I've lost 100 pounds and I look MAHVELOUS... I lost a sister and brother in law. My mother went in for surgery for cancer this morning... but I keep telling myself "God never gives you a cross you can't find the strength to carry." I'll keep you in my prayers and maybe put a little extra something in your stockings this year