Thursday, April 9, 2015

I'm not a homeschool mom anymore!

Looking back over recent months, I see that I have posted almost exclusively about the ministry, and practically nothing about our day-to-day lives! Of course, our day-to-day lives are largely made up of doing the work of the ministry, but sometimes it's nice to chat about some other part of our lives, right?

So, here's some non-ministry info for you.

In January, Ben did something unprecedented for our family - he started attending school! He is now a student at a local Christian bilingual school. It has been a huge transition from homeschooling, but he's doing really well with it all.

Of course, now you are thinking, "Trish must have a lot of free time on her hands since she isn't homeschooling anymore." And you would be wrong! LOL It is amazing how much effort the parent must put in, to have someone else educate their child! Here's what my weekdays look like these days:

  • 5:30 - Get up and pack Ben's lunch
  • 5:45 - Get Ben up and make sure he eats, gathers his school materials, and is wearing his school uniform
  • 6:15 - Head out the door to drive Ben to his bus stop in Gracias, which is about a half hour drive from here
  • 7:00 - Pick up Russell and the members of the work crew who live in town, and return home
  • 7:30 - Squeeze in as much housework and office work as possible until 11:00
  • 11:00 - Cook lunch for the family and work crew; the number of eaters varies from 7 - 12
  • 12:30 - After cooking and eating lunch, I continue with the housework and office work until 3:00
  • 3:00 - Head back to Gracias to pick up Ben
  • 4:00 - Arrive home with Ben, give him time to change and grab a snack, and start in on homework with Ben
  • 5:00ish - throw together something for dinner (don't judge - I cooked at noon)
  • 6:00 - return to homework until it is completed, which is usually sometime between 7 and 8
  • The rest of the evening is free time - unless I want to shower, clean up the dinner dishes, spend some time with Allen, etc. We go to bed pretty early, since I have to get up and do it all again the next day! 

This new schedule began in early January, and since that time I've been struggling to fit everything in. During that time, I seem to have posted more short anecdotes on my Facebook page, and less here, so, for those of you who aren't on Facebook, here are a few moments from our recent months, as we adjusted to school life:
January 7th: Ben is enjoying (I hope, LOL) his first day at the Abundant Life School (Christian, bilingual, K - 12). It's a big adjustment, but he's excited about it. 

January 8th: So far this morning . . . got up at 5:45. Got Ben up and going, and made him breakfast. I drove him to his bus stop, and then went the rest of the way into Gracias to get diesel in my empty tank! 
Drove home, changed clothes and got my own breakfast. Loaded the washing machine and the dishwasher, fed the animals. 
Now I need to start writing some emails. 
It's 9 o'clock. 
Honestly, being the parent of a classroom student IS more grueling than homeschooling.

January 9th: Today I packed a child a school lunch for the first time. It included:Leftovers from our lunch yesterday (a pork, vegetables, pasta, and meat sauce mixture), to be reheated in the microwave at the school cafeteria, carrot sticks and green pepper slices, a chocolate pudding cup, and a guava. He also took an apple, for snack time. 
Things I forgot? Well, a fork for one, and a napkin (though I doubt Ben will care about not having a napkin, but MY mom always sent one)! I'm pretty sure the cafeteria will let him use a fork. I also meant to send along a buttered roll (we have some left from yesterday, too), but I forgot that, as well. 
So, how'd I do? LOL

Also January 9th: I learned a new word this week: buso.
It is the name for the long athletic pants used in gym class in the schools in Honduras. At least, that's the meaning of the word in Honduras . . . it's not in my Spanish dictionary, so I don't know how widely this word is used.
I'm having trouble using it in a sentence, though.
Somehow, I think my old brain just can't get past the fact that these are PANTS, and you can't wear just one PANT, so how can I say one BUSO while seeing a picture of a PAIR of something in my mind?
But I did it anyway. I went to the store, I asked for a buso, and I bought Ben a buso. On Monday, Ben will wear a buso to school.
This old dog isn't done learning new tricks yet. 

January 11th: I made pumpkin bread for the family. Well, really, I made it to have something for Ben's lunches this week. I also hid the last apple and guava, so I don't have to make a special trip into town to purchase fruit before I have to make Ben's lunch tomorrow morning. 
AND, I made sure all of Ben's uniform pieces are ready for the week. 

Apparently, having a child in school encourages organizational skills and preparedness . . . as well as a certain level of sneakiness, LOL.

January 18th: Fractions. Decimals.Sometimes you just have to sit down and get through it together!

January 26th: This weekend, for a writing assignment, Ben filled a page with how much he loves going to school . . . and the details were mostly about gym class. 
Monday is gym day - instead of his uniform he wears his buso (gym pants) and T-shirt, and sneakers. This morning, however, he put on a pair of sandals (over socks) when he first got dressed, and he forgot to change into his sneakers before leaving the house.
He didn't notice until we were well on our way to Gracias, and we didn't have time to run back home again, or he would miss the bus. But, since the bus stop is near to Russell's house, and because Ben's feet are big enough, he was able to borrow a pair of sneakers from Russell to wear to school today. 
Phew! The school day has been saved! It would have been awful for Ben to miss the VERY BEST PART of school, LOL.

January 31st (a Saturday, by the way): This morning, pretty much simultaneously, we have the following things happening at our home:
- Ben is finishing up his math homework (Allen is helping him with corrections)
- We are making some adjustments and corrections to the final paperwork for the shipment of the Gifts for Gracias container - next week!
- Allen and I are brainstorming ideas for a future blog post/email to send out to update supporters
- Nutmeg the chocolate lab is having puppies in the kitchen (seven so far)
- Boo is charging up the camera to take a video at a feeding center tomorrow
- Boo is also choosing and printing out coloring pages to give to the children at the feeding center
- The washing machine and dishwasher are running (notable because we've not had enough power to run them for most of a week now)
- Russell, the work crew, and visitor Benjamin Dearing (who is staying with us this week) are preparing more land for coffee planting
- We're working out the details for the purchase of a new-to-us, used pickup truck. 

. . . and I think that's all, until I need to change gears and concentrate on cooking lunch for 11 people.

February 18th: Today I put together what Ben declared to be his "dream lunch!" Green pepper slices, an apple, a mandarin orange, a Rice Krispy treat, and a cold cut sub. LOL
Apparently I'm getting good at this.

February 21st: Ben reads well but his spelling is still frequently . . . inventive. Just now I was helping him with a writing assignment. He read a sentence to me, that he had written, then asked me how to correct the spelling of a word. "It's supposed to say 'La Ceiba is a dangerous place, but it still attracts tourists'," he said, "But I think I might have written that it attracts terrorists." LOL

February 26th: What do you think happens when Ben's spelling list for the week includes the words "handsome" and "genius?"  
I'm wondering when we'll get the list with the word "humble." LOL

Also on February 26th: Working on spelling words with Ben went as follows, this evening: 
Me: Spell 'efficiently.'
Ben: Oh, that's a hard one.
Me: You can do it! You spelled it correctly before!
Ben (with a scornful look): Yeah, well I was kidnapped before, too, but it doesn't mean I can do it again on command!

March 2nd: Ben's writing assignment for school this weekend provoked an interesting conversation on a spiritual topic. 
He chose to write about some of our missionary work, and he left a sentence unfinished, so I was asking him what he was trying to communicate, to help him complete the thought. He was basically trying to say that, as missionaries, it is hard to help some people, when they sometimes don't seem to want or deserve any help. 
It was one of those "teachable moments" when I *think* he really was able to grasp the idea, as I explained it to him, that NONE of us deserved what Jesus did for US, and so, as missionaries (and non-missionaries, too, LOL), we can't choose to love and help only those WE judge to be "deserving." 
Then, of course, it was back to spelling and punctuation and grammar. 

March 7th: Ben's school held a "Fiesta Tipica" at the park - here he is in costume with his gringo classmate and friend, Tyler.

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