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September Report on the Lynch Family Plan

Before I get into the subject of this post, I want to tell you all about the two fundraisers we have going on right now!  The Lord has provided all of our placement fees, but we still need between two and three thousand dollars for legal fees.  Lynches Love Coffee is a fundraiser through Just Love Coffee.  The company sells fair trade coffee, hot chocolate, apparel, mugs, espresso makers, and other stuff.  The products are top quality, and we get adoption money from every purchase.  Flower Power Fundraising Inc. sells flower bulbs that are directly shipped to your home.  They have a beautiful selection, and they offer an unconditional, 100% money-back guarantee on every item.  50% of the profits from each purchase go to our adoption fund!  Links to these websites are found to the right.  Thank you helping us bring our baby home.  Now on to the real subject of this post!

I wrote in August about our Lynch Family Plan and told you that I would keep you updated.  Here is how we are doing so far.

Our Rallying Cry (Goal):  By Christmas our family and home will be more organized and efficient.

Defining Objectives (how we will work to meet our rallying cry):

1. Establish a consistent family schedule.  (This has been going really well.  Homeschool has helped us stay a lot more scheduled!)

2. Establish a toy zone. (The toy zone is not yet fully established, but two weeks ago we did a massive toy clean up!  All of the downstairs toys are now in their set places, and the boys have kept them picked up for two whole week.  This is definitely a record for us!)

3. Clean out garage. (We made remarkable strides on this one!  For more than a year, our garage has been completely full of yard sale items for our adoption fundraisers. By full I mean that you could not walk in there, much less park!  Despite our numerous sales and lots of adoption funds raised, the boxes in our garage never seemed to grow less.  Saturday before last we held our last Yard Sale Adoption Fundraiser!  The Lord blessed us with around $250, which was amazing because our biggest ticket item was only for $20.  That is a lot of one dollar and twenty-five cent items!  Almost everything leftover from our sale we donated to Atlanta Union Mission.  Our garage is still housing some bigger items we need to sell online, but the progress is pretty outstanding!)

4. De-clutter house.  (We have been working on this only a little, primarily with our massive toy situation and by being vigilant with the mail.)

5. Limit incoming stuff.  (We are still struggling with this one.  The plan is to make an even exchange.  Nothing new comes in unless something old comes out.  This is simple and yet so hard.)

6. Eliminate time wasters. (This is going pretty well but is definitely a work in progress.  Most time wasters are small things that add up.  My hope is that being efficient in small areas will become a habit and save us (ok, probably me) from doing more work later.  So far these are the ones we are working on (I will warn you that they are pretty obvious):

                -Spray the shower with a daily spray so that cleaning it doesn’t take forever.

                -Put your clothes in the hamper so that Mom doesn’t have to wander all over the house to pick them up.

                -Place your shoes in a specific and neat spot so that they aren’t lost when we are trying to leave.  (This also helps three-year-olds not to accidentally put their shoes on the wrong feet!)

                -Put your clothes hangers back in the closet instead of using them as swords or hiding them for some unknown reason.

                -When you are done with something, put it away.

So there we are!  It’s not rocket science, but these are some of our greatest day-to-day family issues.  We have a long way to go, but I am very hopeful we will meet our goal by Christmas!  Please ask us how we are doing.  We still really need accountability.  Jeremy and I are reviewing our Plan every Sunday when we take out that week’s Legacy Marbles (for Legacy Marble info see the blog post:  J).  I will try to report on our Family Plan progress about once a month.

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So Much Change!

These past six months have been an amazing time of transition for my family.  Most days I have very little idea where this transition will lead!  But I do know that God has a plan, and He is working.

Of course His plans are hardly ever the same as mine.  Most of you probably know that my oldest son started Kindergarten last month.  We had planned for our kids to attend public school, but the Lord had something different in mind.  In May Jeremy and I went to tour our local public school.  I was really surprised when we both left feeling major unrest.  No school is perfect, but this school seemed really good and had a lot of wonderful qualities.  Still we knew in our spirits that this was not the place for J, at least not right now.  I immediately started checking out the other public schools in town.   If you want your kid to go to a school they are not zoned for, you have to get into a lottery.  And all the lotteries closed in February.  Private school costs a fortune and is definitely not an option for us now!  We were stuck and started really praying.  And just like usual, the LORD’s answer was most unexpected.

He led us to a hybrid homeschool.  For those of you (like me a few months ago) who have never heard or understood this term, a hybrid homeschool is an actual school that a child attends on certain days.  The other days your child has school at home.  J’s school is accredited and covers all of the core curriculum.  He goes to school two days a week, and I teach him the other three.  The school even provides all of the lesson plans and assignments, which is amazing because I would be terrible at that part!

This week is our sixth week of homeschooling, and every day so far has had its ups and downs.  Homeschooling is a major challenge, but it has also been awesome.  I am getting to spend tons of time with both my kids and actually see how much and how well my son is learning.  I am also getting to really invest my time and energy into pointing J toward Christ and helping him become the person God wants him to be!

Some of those pros can also be cons though!  Because I am spending tons of time with the boys, I have very little time to myself–oh how I miss alone time!  And investing my time and energy all day is shockingly exhausting, much more than I ever expected since I was already a stay-at-home mom.  Still, homeschooling J has also been a remarkably greater blessing than I ever imagined.  It is a lot of fun!  I don’t know if we will homeschool forever because we are taking it year-by-year.  But so far I am really loving it.

While I teach J, S sits with us at the table.  He doesn’t have to stay the whole time, but he mostly choses to.  S spends most of his time doing art work, which he absolutely loves!  On Saturday he whined because he wanted to “do school.”  This week I started some Pre-K 3 work with him, primarily learning letters, numbers, and shapes.  He got upset that he didn’t have enough assignments for him to do all day!

God is definitely using homeschooling to grow and change me!  He is teaching me to rely on Him more.  I can be incredibly impatient and easily frustrated, especially if I don’t sleep well.  And letting the Lord enable me to be patient, loving, understanding, gentle, and wise can be really hard!  As I struggle to teach my kids, I am also learning more about what it must be like for Him!  I am sure that He sometimes talks to me, and I am too distracted to hear Him.  The Lord knows everything, but I think I know so much.  I don’t listen to Him.  I want to do things my way and in my time.  But His grace is so great!  He is teaching me how to accept His grace and give that grace to my children and others.  Some days I am slow to learn, but I know this lesson is important!

This change has brought a new chaos to our home; but since we are in the process of calming other things down, we seem to be effectively weathering the change.  I will try to keep you all updated on our exciting misadventures!  Truth be told you can probably expect days full of a lot of laughs and tears (from both J, S, and me)!