Back to “Normal”

DSCN0048We were blessed with a “normal” week. After so many weeks of abnormal, you start to wonder just what normal is. The oldest three members of the family are still expressing draggy-ness from the changes in our lives. That sounds like “dragonness” which might be what “tired” actually looks like at times.

This week my feelings have been marked with unfaithfulness to spiritual truths I need to remember. As “normal” returns, I believe culture re-shock is practically over; but I’m not sure I have handled it well. Discouragement, frustration, lack of faith and love–these have humbled me, reminding me that I am nothing. All good gifts come from Christ, from the Father of lights, in whom is no change, no shadow of turning. With Him, I can believe in the value of the work He’s given us, and I can accomplish that work with love.

I report facts each week on what we did and what we learned, but that doesn’t always give a true picture of the battle in our spirits. Did I show love and affirmation to my children and husband this week, or was I occupied with myself? Did I give or wait to be given to?

Family game night: Go Fish, and junk cards for the little ones. :)

Family game night: Go Fish, and junk cards for the little ones. 🙂

Caleb just began reading from a Bible reader assigned for an activity time with ABeka, and it is special to hear him actually read straight from the Bible! Yesterday I enjoyed the chance to explain the prophecy of Genesis 3:15.

Regarding his reading, I wonder if he’s picked up some bad habits during his four months off. He reads slowly and tends to skip words, guessing rather than reading accurately–which he can do. I am not sure whether it is mainly laziness (and thus I should push him harder) or if it is simply going to take time to improve his reading after a long break.

We started school late Tuesday so the kids could help with yard work.

We started school late Tuesday so the kids could help with yard work.

His penmanship and math facts improved greatly this week. He got his addition facts back to under three minutes today (vs. 4 1/2 minutes last week)! An iPad app, Hungry Fish, helped with that!

We took advantage of a sprinkle-y morning to spread fertilizer on our grass.

We took advantage of a sprinkle-y morning to spread fertilizer on our grass.

We have allowed art, music, and some of our extra memory work to drift for a bit, in favor of some K4 work with Colin and some toilet training for Callie! I am not sure how much I will push on those three items, as we have done good work this year on them, and school takes longer for Caleb than I would like.

Nature study this week focused on mammals (since we are now studying the 6th day of creation for science). It was somewhat of a letdown since there were no mammals outside for Caleb to draw for his nature journal, so he had to settle for drawing his younger brother. 🙂

At Albasini Dam

At Albasini Dam

On Friday, we only studied the three R’s, in order to attend a picnic with our coworkers! They flatteringly desired time to catch up with us since our return and invited us to an outing at a nearby dam. We played frisbee and bocce ball, and the kids rode their bikes.

Caleb got a new bike!

Caleb got a new bike!

Our coworkers named their new baby's middle name after Seth. Isn't he a cutie?

Our coworkers named their new baby’s middle name after Seth. Isn’t he a cutie?

We read of The Adventures of Buster Bear for science and of Roman building for history. I’m hoping my husband can be recruited to attempt building a Roman road and aqueduct with the boys, but perhaps he’s too busy building in real life.

Seth helped “build” a grave this week for the father of Saddam Hussein (the latter was buried a few years ago in the cemetery across the path in front of our house). The father’s name was “Sainty.” Ah, another name for our collection. Sainty, the father of Saddam Hussein. (The nephew, who spoke at the funeral, is “Froggy.”)

Seth attended the funeral and was asked to speak impromptu at the graveside service. He read straight from our church’s catechism which he happened to have with him. “What is my purpose in life?” The answer: “To glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.” He went on, using another question and answer, to explain that if we do not know Christ and glorify Him, we have missed the entire point of our lives.

Work on our church building project resumed today. I will attempt to tell the narrative of our plot of land some other day. Bottom line: some land was taken from us; but we are resigned to it, and moving forward with the land left to us.

Thank you for your prayers for us. How was your week?

About Amy

I'm Amy, a missionary wife and mother of four children, blogging about our lives and perspectives on culture in South Africa.
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9 Responses to Back to “Normal”

  1. Tammy Doiel says:

    Too bad about the land! Carson already looks bigger! Good reminders of keeping my focus right.

  2. Tammy Doiel says:

    Some thoughts!
    Good truth about making sure I’m focused on my spiritual walk.
    Carson looks bigger already!
    It’s too bad about the church land.
    I’m glad you were able to spend time with Paul and Melinda.

  3. Ann Bedford says:

    Happy to hear that things are getting back to normal. Cannot even imagine how difficult it is changing back and forth between cultures.

  4. One thought about the reading and skipping words – my daughter’s reading improved with time and lots of books that were a bit on the easy side for her.

    • Amy says:

      Thank you for the thought. I try to have him read 20 minutes a day outside of reading time in school, but right now most material is not easy for him. He doesn’t care too much for Bob books. I think I will try to find easier material for those 20 minutes if I can.

  5. dacia says:

    You have a beautiful family and reading takes time I have to tell mine all the time to slow down a bit!

  6. I stumbled onto your blog today, but led by The Lord I believe! I was researching MFW vs. TOG. Thank you for your input. Well written and very informative. We are missionaries too. My Husband and I (and our 4 kiddos) have been church planting in Costa Rica for the last 8 years. Our 3 youngest were born here. Our 2 oldest are heading into 3rd and 5th grade in our coming school year and like you I weighed all of the options, pros and cons. I was leaning toward MFW but still felt stuck.
    I appreciate hearing from another missionary and homeschooling mom. What a rare find. Your transparency and humility will bless countless readers! Stay dependent on Jesus alone. When we are willing to be fools for Him, nothing is impossible.
    Many Blessings, Revae Lawrence

    • Amy says:

      I’m so glad you left a comment. It was great to “meet” you via your blog. I hope you find the curriculum that is a help to your family and helps you serve Jesus more effectively! I am very grateful if anything I said helps with that!

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