Jacob and I just finished our first year of home schooling. Been there, done that, forgot to buy a t-shirt.....we did it!!! The year went by fast. Sort of crazy fast actually. Some days went by v e r y slow. Home schooling moms, you've all been there. Some days I wanted to crawl in a hole, stand on my roof screaming, or burn my hair off. Maybe all three at once. Some days were heavenly and I felt proud of myself and Jacob for what we were doing. But in the end, we finished every last page of our textbooks, did the written plan we set out to do last September, followed our schedule, and really, truly learned. I feel confident that Jacob learned in 6th grade what a kid should learn in 6th grade. That's an accomplishment for this step mom who is at times still trying to figure out how to mother a 12 year old boy that is only 16 years her junior. The other day Jake said, "hmmm, when I'm 40 you'll only be 56. Creepy." HA! And yes, it is a little creepy, but God knew Jake would be my son and I believe he's made our relationship special. Please don't take this the wrong way. I'm not saying if you had a kid at 16, you are creepy as a mother. It's just the word that Jake and I used to sort of describe the oddity of me being not much older than him. Here's perspective- I'm 10 years older than my sister. That means my sister and son are 6 years a part.
Anywho, now that we're done with school, I can breathe again! I'm trying to get caught up on paperwork and budgeting, making tu tu's, and all the stuff for my mother-in-law. Jake still has a couple weeks of baseball left so we can't totally breathe yet, but we're getting there. He's really enjoying baseball and if I think about it hard enough it makes me cry like a baby. Here this child came to us 4'11, 125lbs, swollen and puffy from soda and junk food, didn't even know who the first president was or why anyone really celebrates Christmas. He'd never carved a pumpkin, played on a sandy beach all day, had a sleepover, or a birthday party with buddies. His life had been lived from the confines of an apartment, video games til 2am every night, sleeping on couches, and moving homes (and schools) 2-3 times a year. He had no idea what a normal life could look like. I can see him glow from the inside when he sees Craig and I hug, or snuggle, or say I love you. To him, mom and dad loving each other is the best kind of security he could ask for. Jacob is thriving and that is all Craig and I ever wanted for him. It's been a little over a year since he got here and he's now 5'3" and 103lbs and growing and eating like a weed. He loves ice cream nearly every night and I'm under strict orders from his awesome Dr to let him have it since he's gonna be tall and he's thin enough. Trust me, this boy isn't on a diet, he's just active and healthy. He now has confidence and that's something you can't put a price tag on. I remember shortly after he got here and I asked why he never smiled showing his teeth. He quietly confided that he wasn't confident about his teeth and wished he could go to the dentist. *Heartbreak*. The second we got him coverage we were headed to the dentist! He has no problem smiling big now.
I'm grateful for all God has brought us through and the ways He's provided that I never would've imagined. I feel at home in our church and blessed to be a part of the music ministry. I'm building friendships that are real and genuine and my children are learning and thriving as well. My husband is stinking awesome and here we are at almost our 7th year...going into our 8th. I think we both feel like in a lot of ways we married up :) Life is certainly not perfect and I'd be lying if I said some days I don't wake up thinking, "oh no, not another day!" But I do believe contentment is the preserver of joy and I want to live in that as best I can.
We are just a few weeks away from summer and I can't wait for sun, my friend's wedding, days at the beach, dinner on the porch, camping as a family, and watching my kids run around the yard soaking wet :)