Sunday, July 22, 2007

time marches on

so yeah, it's been a while since i've been here. lots of going ons going on in our world. it's an interesting equation of life progression: baby hall (bigger, older, smarter, busier, and more mature) = mama hall's days (shorter).

a lot has happened in just a few short, rainy, summer months.

gorbella's has taken on a life of it's own thanks to a handful of board members, dozens of sponsors, and hundreds of supporters. our dream is nearer realization. hm. i just noticed that i wrote "our dream" ... which is fascinating, because less than a year ago it was simply my dream, and now it's the dream of an entire community. at least. we hope to have the cafe/community center open within 2 years. mark my word :) but even without a storefront establishment, gorbella's continues to offer Mommy & Me yoga, parenting workshops, cookbooks, the very popular Santa Mail, and much more.

baby hall is potty trained, except for No. 2. she's trying. and she has a fancy new Dora the Explorer book that she can only earn by accomplishing that final potty training goal. is this the "right" method? i don't know. the book has been propped up where she can see it from the potty- but can't reach it - for 2 days, and still no progress. perhaps i should research.

daddy hall is in school getting a Masters degree in Engineering, and will eventually enter the Doctorate program. although he spends most evenings and weekends hunched over books in the University library, he still manages to make time for family picnics, to keep the lawn green and trimmed, and take us to Ikea.

speaking of school, we started homeschooling baby hall. we came to the agreement that she would learn & succeed better in a home learning environment than in the local public school or private schools. since she seems to be a bit advanced for her age, we started a pre-kindergarten program that teaches the stuff kids need to know before starting public school kindergarten. before i got overwhelmed with all the books, worksheets and educational perhiperals, i found a great resource to help keep us organized with charts and calendars and checklists galore. we have "school" every day at her leisure and study what she wants for as long as she wants [aka 'un-schooling']. it works out to be about 30 uninterrupted minutes covering about 3 subject areas, plus 2-3 hours of environmental and situational learning, aka "field trips" each day. at this rate we'll be starting a kindergarten curriculum when she turns 3, and if we work thru the summer, she can start 2nd grade when she turns 4.

baby hall is a great learner and loves school, but teaching is tough. i have a newfound respect for teachers, especially public school teachers who do this 8 hours a day with as many as 30 children at a time. God bless teachers.

speaking of God, i've been spiritually changed, renewed, and developed. this happened after i attended a 3-day women's conference hosted by the Osteen women [watch out, devil!] ..and the family continues to grow, spiritually, as we found our new home church. i have heard criticism against "church grasshoppers" or whatever, but sometimes you have to hop around until you find the church that fits your family's needs. what if we stopped at the first church we ever stepped foot in? could we grow and be filled with the Holy Spirit in a church without childcare, without Bible studies, without small groups, without fellowship? my point is...we only hopped until we found a church where our entire family can worship, serve, and grow forever.
we're looking forward to a mini-holiday next month with some friends of ours. silly as it may sound, i'm actually looking forward to the 6-hour drive as much as i'm looking forward to the surf & sand. car time seems to be the best time for daddy hall and i to have long, deep conversations, and then for me to plug in my Ipod and catch up on my reading.
it's a busy summer. lots going on. and i didn't even mention my new job, new friends, or my new hobby. :)