Daybook: At the Sea before my World Rocks Again

Outside My Window

Is the beach. We’re in Bethany Beach, Delaware for a few days. I’m writing, even though I have no internet access, because, well, I need to do a brain dump. I’ll post when I get home (or to a Starbucks;-).


I am Listening to

Six of my children singing Do-Re-Mi. They’re working on harmonies.


I am so Grateful for

All the things that conspired on July 30th, to find Mike, Paddy, and me alone in the car, late in the afternoon. Patrick’s cell phone rang.  It was a number he didn’t recognize, something he usually ignores. He called out the first few digits. “Say, hello,” I said, “I think I know.”  We had heard this might be coming.

Then Mike and were privileged to listen in on Paddy’s end of “the call of his life.”

“Yes, this is Patrick.”

“Yes, Patrick Foss.”


“Yes, I would like that. I’d like that very much!”

There was not a dry eye in the car at that point. Paddy had just been offered the opportunity to travel to Florida to train with the U17 National Team. If he plays well and decides to he wants to stay, they will invite him stay on for the year and train to play in the U17 World Cup next fall.

And so I’m grateful.

I’m grateful I got to share that moment with Mike and Paddy. I’m grateful to all the people who have worked so hard on Paddy’s behalf. I’m grateful to our Lord for the blessing of talent.


I’m trying desperately to focus on grateful.



I'm Pondering

Education is an Atmosphere, a Discipline, and a Life. ~Charlotte Mason


I am Reading

Charlotte Mason in the original. She’s my no-nonsense mentor telling me to stay the course, though this is not exactly the way I saw it playing out when Charlotte and I were introduced 13 years ago.


I am Thinking

About how quickly time passes and how precious moments are. They say that when you are the mother of little ones, the hours are long and the years are short.

They just get shorter. And all those endless hours of driving to practice and sitting on sidelines? Paddy’s not likely to need me to do that any more. Just like that. I went from being overwhelmed by what was required of me by him to being bereft at the thought of not having those things to do. He’s off on the adventure of a lifetime.

I’m home.



I am Creating

This year, I am committing my lesson plans to the CM Organizer. I spent hours the past two weeks working on plans for everyone. The Cm Organizer and the Real Learning booklist are a match made in heaven. It was such a pleasure to introduce the two and see living plans spring to life. What this means is that, unlike in years past, when my plans were Word documents, I have no real plans to share plans this year. It’s nice to focus only on my own children and their needs and not wonder how something will be received. Serendipity will remain as a resource, but there won’t be any new content in the near future. Of course, there will always be the spilling over of our life onto these virtual pages, just not tidy forethought in PDF plans.


On my iPod

Sonya Shafer Laying Down the Rails (and every other audio/video production she offers, now playing in my computer). Sonya Shafer amazes me! She really, really knows her stuff and even now—sixteen years into this homeschooling venture—she inspires and encourages me. Sonya is bright and articulate, warm and compassionate. I've heard zillions of homeschooling speakers over the last 20 years and it takes someone special for me to sit up, take notes, and (frankly) order more. There's really nothing new for me here, but there is calm, friendly assurance that this method is best above all others. Sonya acknowledges that mothers can bring their own book selections and should tailor to suit each child individually (but she also offers a full curriculum if you'd rather have someone else plan it for you--Catholics will have to add a bit). She doesn't make it complicated, doesn't act like you have to be a Charlotte Mason expert to do it well. Instead, she makes it incredibly accessible and utterly



Towards a Real Education

I’m nearly finished with our plans. I had planned to put the final touches on things this week, while I am away at the beach. But I’ve got no online access, so those last few things will have to wait.


Towards Rhythm and Beauty

It’s the rhythm of the ocean, right now. And we are surrounded by utter beauty in my friend Jen’s house. The last few days have brought such crashing waves of emotion for us. We are thrilled for Patrick of course, but we shore ourselves up, knowing that some big decisions and life changes lay ahead. Even the littlest among us is affected by this change in family dynamic. Paddy is a born leader, even (especially) amongst his siblings. It’s hard to imagine that in only a week he could be gone for a year, or more. You think you have forever, autumn after autumn, one new school year after another, to start fresh and promise God and everybody you will get it right this time. And then, all of a sudden, it comes to pass that time just might be up. It’s a big world out there. We need every single minute to get them ready to go.

Who am I kidding? We need every single minute to get us ready for them to go.


To Live the Liturgy

Don’t tell anyone, but Fr. T. actually did a little jump for joy upon hearing Paddy’s news. Paddy’s got his number programmed into his cell phone. He knows, really knows, he can call any time.

Grateful, grateful, grateful for God’s  timely providence.

I’m grateful.


I am Hoping and Praying

That we know His will and do it with great joy.

In the Garden

No clue what’s happening in my garden but Bethany’s in full bloom.

Around the House

I left my house clean. And I’m keeping Jen’s house clean. It’s easier here somehow. Not as much stuff, I guess?


From the Kitchen

Simple, simple meals. And way too much snacking.


One of My Favorite Things


Teenagers with toddlers on their hips. This is one of those moments I want to hold forever in my heart. (Of course, shortly after this a wave knocked Mary Beth over and she and Karoline tumbled. Karoline is convinced she drowned and refuses to speak to Mary Beth, even now. The moment was nice, though).


Sarah Annie this week

She sings Do-Re-Mi. Cutest thing I ever heard. Ever.


A Few Plans for the Rest of the Week

We’re here until late Wednesday, then back home. Paddy has an intense sports physical scheduled and we have some unexpected dorm shopping to do.


Picture thoughts:


Lots to think about as he scans the sea.