After hearing about Jamie's good news of his congressional "nomination" for the Air Force Academy (not an appointment yet) and all of the rigors that it has entailed, she sat in Emily's play space and held all of her care bears and had a tea party. And she asked,
"How do you, as a Mom, go from the Air Force Academy to Care Bear tea parties?"
I told her, "I tend to attend more Care Bear parties than Air Force Events, unless I 'm posing as a hedgehog and trying to embarrass someone.."
As far as dealing with the changes that our kids are going through, I am treating each child as an individual and the young, responsible adult that they are becoming. I am expecting them to take responsibility where they need to. As the child gets older, my parenting method is a very hands--off approach. We are guiding, and encouraging--not directing or orchestrating.
If Jamie does get an appointment for the Air Force Academy, it will be because 1) he worked hard for it and 2) God wants him there. It will not be because we have pushed him one way or the other.
And for Joanna, Hudson,Nathanael and Emily, we are attempting to help them find their little path in the world also. First and foremost, we want them to love the Lord Jesus and work hard and excel in all that is in their realm of responsibility: school work, instruments, chores, etc. We don't expect perfection--just honest to goodness hard work. We don't expect all A's--just do it well and on time. We are NOT too hard on our kids. I wouldn't be willing to expect anything unless we are willing to model the same--in our respective spheres of responsibility.
And yes, it is a little odd to be a drill sergeant one minute and Care Bear Queen the next. But God gives help. And every day he confirms to me that it really is a good decision to be at home and not chasing the dollar, even if it means a little more planning and restraint. which.. never killed anyone.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the application process to a military academy, the nomination is the first step. It is ideal to get a nomination at the congressional level, so we are really happy it turned out that way. He still has many obstacles to actually getting an "appointment". That is his goal. I will keep you updated either way.