When I was preparing to write this article, I googled images using the keywords hectic homeschool morning…what I saw appear before me on my laptop made me chuckle out loud!
Hectic Homeschool morning?
There was image after image of beautiful, harmonious scenes like the ones you see above.
Currently, our mornings do not start off quite this peacefully. HA!!! They are not even close and I know I cannot be alone here! Please tell me that I am not alone here.
To help set the stage let’s look back for a moment…
Over the past six+ months our lives have been totally turned upside down. Any assemblance of our previous routines fell away after we finally made it home after our long weeks of life revolving around recovering in rehab hospitals. New, individual, medication schedules for all three of us. When we first got home, we had bathing aides coming to our house three days a week to help the boys with bathing, since they were both using walkers to get around and I was still very weak and couldn’t lift them in and out of the tub and shower. We worked around when they could come to our house…which totally threw things off for us. A home health nurse came once a week to check on their progress. And by week three a homemaking aide was added to the picture three days a week.
Of course you need to add to that two days a week when I had to arrange rides for us to get both boys and me, and their bulky walkers to and from physical therapy along with me with my neck brace getting them in and out was an engineering feat.
And then getting everyone safely out of the hospital, back in the car…with all of us trying to deal with anxiety from the PTSD of the accident.
And then there were follow-up doctor, specialist appointments…you get the idea.
In the midst of all of this we continued homeschooling in whatever form we could each day.
This was a very, new tornado of activity…for a homeschooling family that was used to a relaxed daily routine, taking their days at a slower pace.
On top of this, we were each attempting to deal with the shock, trauma, and grief of living through a tragic car accident that sent our beloved father, and my husband to his heavenly home.
And learning to deal with this new life without Daddy in the middle of our days…helping…leading…walking right by my side…always there when we needed him. He was now gone…and our lives will never be the same.
Unfortunately, I spent a lot of time kicking myself for not always handling it as well as I thought I should. Sigh.
After the first month or so, I got a little more used to things as did the boys…but it was still an upside down and broken version of the life we were so comfortable and happy living with Daddy.
Every day of the week had a different schedule…every single week. There was no such thing as a “regular day” anymore and I was fighting my way through a dense fog of grief while still finding glimpses of the amazing gifts of joy and the amazing blessing of finally being home with my kids…
finally sleeping in the same house as my kids.
And I was, and am, so very, very grateful for that.
And I was, and am, so very, very grateful for all of the aides, volunteers, friends and family who walked with us during those first traumatic months of healing our bodies, minds and spirits…but that is another story.
The reason I walk down this road of remembering is to share with all of you…and remind me…of how we got to where we are now.
Our old familiar “morning routine” no longer exists.
We lived through and survived six months of weeks filled with appointments that slowly dwindled down to just a few and now to only once every couple of months. We have all been discharged from physical therapy! Woo Hoo!
Many people have told me that we would find a “new sense of normal” after a while.
I am here to tell you that “normal is only a setting on a washing machine” at our house.
But that’s OK.
As God has led me through this time of remembering and accepting the fact that we did the best we could under the circumstances…please don’t miss this one fact…no matter how rough it has been…I am filled with gratitude that both boys and I miraculously survived this tragic accident and are alive and able to get around and do so much more than any of the medical team thought we would and I see each one of our lives as a priceless gift rescued by God.
But these beautiful gifts struggle with mornings. This is real life. We went from the familiar and the security of dealing with life with Daddy with us. To having to throw any assemblance of the routine or rhythm we had out the window and are now starting from scratch…with a lot of bad habits formed in the process because of what we have all been through.
Change isn’t impossible, after all we are working through this with God in our midst.
I just have to hold onto that fact when my nine-year old decides to down six bananas while my four-year old curls up next to me upstairs in the quiet space of my room and keeps me there with the heart melting words, “I love snuggling with you in the morning, Mommy. And then Josh, my nine-year old spends the rest of the day “tooting” (as we delicately put it in our house) up a stinky storm and running back and forth to the bathroom in the midst of meals, lessons, chores and fun.
Our lives are messy right now. Up to now I have been pulling my hair out trying to figure how to manage everything by myself and getting myself pretty darn overwhelmed with everything.
After a month of dealing with life with children tearing across the house to the bathroom with the stomach flu…and occasionally actually making it…followed by two more weeks of upper respiratory flu…the later of which finally hit me last week…I think we are finally on the mend.
That means it is time to start wading through the messiness of our current, real life and start getting organized and discovering what will work for us now that we are a family of three (or four once a month) instead of what we were before the accident.
My first step was to wrack my brain for whatever it was that I used to do to fill my guys up in the morning so that they wouldn’t completely raid the fruit basket! And over the weekend, while I was resting in bed recovering from the flu while a dear friend took my boys to church, IT HIT ME!
We used to eat granola or oatmeal along with whatever else was on the menu, every morning!
So bright and early Monday morning when I was finally starting to feel better (and had no fever Woo Hoo!) I made a batch of my simple, yet yummy, homemade granola and it was an instant hit!
Little boys were scrambling around to do their morning chores so that they could have a bowl of their favorite granola! I returned to the good old rule of no morning chores done? No granola for you. And you know what? It is starting to work!
Has the crazy, messiness of our lives been completely solved with a bowl of granola in the morning? No. Seriously, who’s would be?
But it is a start and I have to admit it sure feels good to start the day with something yummy, good for us, and oh so familiar.
The rest of the mess…I am working on. In fact tomorrow morning the boys know we are having a family meeting to get started! Funny how remembering this one thing has triggered a whole list of things Will and I used to do with them that helped manage their behavior in a positive way and make all of our lives a little easier in the process…not an easy feat with two hyperactive boys trying out all of the new boundaries.
I’ll share how our family meeting and our new systems go in another article next week, but in the meantime a whole list of ladies over on our Unwrapping His Grace Facebook Page have been asking me for my homemade granola recipe and I promised to share it here today…so here it is!
Mary Joy’s Simply, Basic “Granola”
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Coat two cookie sheets with your favorite cooking spray or oil.
Melt a cup of butter or margarine in a large pot on the stove.
Add 3/4 or a cup of brown sugar your choice, I go with a little less since sugar seems to make my guys a little crazy.
Stir until melted and then turn off the burner.
Add two teaspoons of ground cinnamon.
Add a tablespoon of brown flax seeds. (No my boys don’t know about this. What they don’t know is oh so good for them!)
Add two tablespoons of wheat germ. ( No they don’t know about this either! Shhhh…it’s our little secret, right?)
Add eight cups of rolled oats.
Stir until oats are well coated.
Use a rubber spatula or large wooden spoon to spread mixture into an even thin layer on the two cookie sheets (with edges so it doesn’t make a mess in your oven!)
Bake for just 8-10 minutes depending on your oven and altitude.
Cool fully before breaking it up to eat.
I offer or enjoy the following toppings in my own granola in the morning…sliver almonds, raisins, miniature chocolate chips. You do what sounds good to you!
Pour milk over it and enjoy!
It is very filling, has LOTS of needed fiber…and will keep a nine-year old boy from feeling the need to seriously raid your stock of bananas or apples…at least at my house!
So there you have it. Our lives may be messy and we may be living in the midst of a year of recovery, healing, grieving, and the craziness that happens in the middle of all of it. But with God’s help…this too we shall survive.
Well, I hope I haven’t scared you off and that you will come back on Friday to join me in the Blessing Journal Fridays Challenge that helps me to keep my eyes on the amazing Blessings God gives us in the midst of the messiness of our lives. This Friday’s focus is on God’s Faithfulness…be sure to check out last week’s challenge if you missed it or just start new this week. No guilt allowed!
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