After a year of blogging silence (and even taking our blog offline), I am resurrecting our blog with the intention of updating it on a regular basis. I have debated over the year whether it is wise or sustainable to keep the blog alive. Despite our inactivity on the blogosphere, our “real” lives are more than busy and often overwhelmed with homeschooling and activities related to family life. When family life takes the main stage, maintaining a blog takes the backstage. My other reason for not blogging was my increased distaste for our culture’s dependence on all things social-media such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. The older I get, the more I want to disconnect from social media in order to live a quiet life and to work with my hands per 1 Thessalonians 4:11.
Why then am I resurrecting the blog? I’ve come to realize that writing helps me to process all the swirling, unrefined thoughts in my head. Blogging is a form of journaling so that I can document my thoughts and musings. If I regularly update the blog, I am forced to slow down in a fast paced culture. It is also my desire to become a better writer, and hopefully that ambition can gradually be realized through consistent writing. I have been going through Circe Institute’s The Lost Tools of Writing curriculum with my 13-year-old, and as my son struggles and learns through it, I am inspired by the lessons to improve my own writing as well.
As the blog slowly wakes from a year of slumber, my hopes and goals are that I might develop some friendships with the readers of this blog and that this blog might provide the platform to share ideas and thoughtful discussions. Hopefully this tiny slice of blogosphere might even inspire and provoke thoughts.
So what have we been up to over the past year of relative silence? This year marks our 11th year of homeschooling and our six children are now in 8th, 6th, 5th, 4th, and 1st grades and Preschool.
Our oldest, Matthew, is 13 and he’s becoming a fine young man with emerging tastes, thoughts, and humor. He is enrolled for the second year at Veritas Press Scholars Academy, an online school, taking Omnibus II and Logic I. He’s also getting taller, having caught up with me, and stronger, able now to replace me when it comes to helping my husband move furniture (yay!).
Our second son, Andrew, is 11. He is our quiet introvert who prefers to work quietly. His artistic bent often inspires me and his thought life surprises me with interesting observations and analysis that I don’t normally think of. It was this boy who several years ago quietly mused, sheepishly smiled, and slowly informed me the last three children of the Ding clan were all born on the leap year: 2004, 2008, and 2012. As 2016, the next leap year, dawns, he informs me that a baby should be due as it is only logical. Please note that this sentiment is not shared by his aging parents. To be clear: there will not be another leap year baby in this family.
Both Matthew and Andrew took up basketball earlier this summer and joined a local YMCA youth basketball program, which they’ve loved. Their enthusiasm was quickly matched by my husband, Evers, who started coaching Matthew’s team in August. All three of them enjoy getting some exercise, learning life and sports lessons on the court, and making friends along the way!
Our 10-year-old Emmaline is our no-nonsense girl who loves to keep an organized and orderly room. Her diligence in cleanliness and chores resounds with my love language. She has also shown over the years herself to have excellent visual memory. In past years, this has translated to great “finding of lost things” ability (a.k.a., remembering where she’s seen stuff lying around). In coming years, we hope to leverage her visual memory to help her to excel in all her areas of study.
While our 9-year-old Calissa is a quiet introvert, it hides a spontaneous goofy side that often entertains those who are closest to her. We are blessed to have such a fun-loving, goofy, book-loving, and sharp witted child. Recently this child walked past by me and nonchalantly declared, “Mom, I am your greatest accomplishment in life.” She left me speechless. It was only later that I learned that this declaration was inspired by a classic Calvin & Hobbes comic strip.
6-year-old Bethany is our friendliest child who easily makes friends with just about anyone. At this age, she has already garnered two marriage proposals — one of which was quickly rejected by her older brother for her. She, like her older siblings, is a very capable reader; and her voracity and enthusiasm in reading books is only surpassed by Calissa.
Our youngest child is 3-year-old Nathaniel whose greatest accomplishment this year is being potty-trained. We are in awe. Do I dare to believe that after 13.5 years of diapering that we’re finally done with diapers? We are still ooh’ing and aah’ing over this. While there may come a day when we’ll celebrate his graduating from university or the like; for now we’re quite content with this milestone in his life (and ours!).