Saturday, August 20, 2011

step by step...

Little things are happening here at the Rusco House.  This week, the kids received their passports in the mail.  Jason and Cameron had old passports from our trip to Uganda in 2007, but it was time to renew and get Hayden her first passport.  This process was not simple.  The first major hurdle was getting a picture of our girls.  Both girls have a crippling shyness issue when it comes to strangers taking their picture (I'm actually quite ok with that... there's a lot of creeps in the world!).  Darren found a passport photo app for his phone (insert Apple slogan here) and tried to get a good picture of the kids.  Jason agreed right away, look at the camera, don't smile, etc, but Hayden had a bit of difficulty.

 And then there was Cameron.  For a while now we had been impressed with Cameron's progress from turbulent toddler to fantastic five year old.  Unfortunatley, the girl hit a major setback.  This summer she has been in a phase where she refuses to have her picture taken, you may remember this:

Sweet, isn't it?  So we have a whole summer of shots like this and my stealth attempts to take pictures while the little darling is unaware of me.  And then it was time to take a passport photo.  She had a meltdown the magnitude of which we have not seen in these parts for nearly 2 years.
Because honestly, wouldn't you laugh if your kid refused to have a picture taken?  Finally, in an eleventh hour attempt, Darren snagged THIS photo:

My little Lindsey Lohan.  I am one proud mama.  When she got her passport in the mail, I think Cameron was a little embarrassed at what she had done.  So for the next 5 years Cam will travel the world with this little number, let's all pray that she is in a better phase the next time around!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

first day of school

I think many of you are expecting a glowing report of our first week of school.  Truth be told, it was tough.  We needed to get a jump on our school year because we will be gone for a month this fall and we'll be making a big move this winter.  We also finished our last school year 3 weeks ahead of the local schools so I figured it would be ok to start 3 weeks ahead again.  Our schooling only takes about 3 hours a day, from 9am to noon.  In that time we cover Bible, Math, Grammar, Reading, Science and History.  We do science experiments and also art projects, weekly.  The kids have lunch and then have a huge recess / P.E. time until dinner.  I think that the some of the best learning they can do is through imaginative play with their friends.
So why wasn't our week awesome?  I think that it is quite simply because no one likes to be told what to do.  I remember standing in front of 20 teenagers, trying to figure out why so many of them weren't interested in school.  I think the feeling is universal no matter what age or how you were brought up.  We all have this idea that our time is our own and we should not have to be somewhere we don't want to be.  We have this idea that we know what's best for ourselves and we could probably figure out how the world works if just left to our own devices.  Obviously we all struggle with selfishness, or more bluntly, sin.  And so, it must be acknowledged that my kids are selfish sinners, no different from any other kid.

But wait, there's hope!  I think one of the vital things that I often fail to put into my school year preparations is a lot of prayer.  I love to get the curriculum ready, to get binders and markers and pencils out, but I often forget to ask the Lord for help.  I think it's because I love school so much that I forget that my kids aren't exactly like me.  I forget that learning or rather, the love of learning is a quality gained over time.  And that is exactly why I home school.  I do it because I have the time and the love of learning, and most importantly I do it because I believe I am equipped to minister to their tender hearts.
I didn't mean for this blog post to turn into a confessional.  I guess it just needed to happen so that I could be held accountable for more than just the kids' proficiency in math.  I'm much better at waiting to start housework until after school and I've stopped running for a while until we get a good morning routine established (but I am craving a run right now!).   So here's to a better week, one with less tears and frustrations, and a week bathed in prayer.