I feel sometimes as though I am in a strange movie. Everything is moving in slow motion around me but in my reality all hell is breaking lose.
People are just going about their business as if they have not a care in the world. North Korea fired nuclear weapons. North Korea announced they no longer honor the 1953 Treaty that ended the Korean War. HELLO!!!!!!! Does anyone know what that means? That means they have re-declared War on US! We are once again at WAR with Korea. We have troops a stone's throw away from North Korea.
Where are they getting their materials? Iran. Ahmeddinnerjacket who wants our destruction and the destruction of Israel? The same guy Barack "the Braniac" Obama thinks we can reason with is arming an enemy of the US. Oh of course we don't have the facts straight and there is no Axis of Evil like George Bush said. Idiots! GW called the ball, history will prove it, and the damage and death toll will rest squarely at the feet of B.O.
We need proof right, how can we establish the link? Nancy Pelosi says the CIA lies, so who will believe them? She is 3rd in line to the highest office in our nation and she doesn't trust the CIA, so ho in the hell do we gather intelligence the world will believe? And then there is the pesky problem of not being able to interrogate aggressively to get that info in the first place, that here again, our beloved leader and his cronies saw to recently.
We are neutered and we are still going to get screwed.
So when N. Korea fires upon us it will likely be against Alaska, just as Sarah Palin said, and she will be dealing with the defense of her state.
Why not consider what the Governor of Alaska thinks? Alaska is invaluable to the US. If Governors aren't important why is the Govenator (Arnold) always in D.C? Why is every word that he utters national news? Speaking of him why doesn't he write a check and bail out his state anyway? Or maybe the Kennedy's could? Maria? Check please?
So the Administration calmly described this rejection of the Armistice Agreement as blustering, and told Americans not to be concerned. I don't buy it. I think they are freakin' the hell out. Obama may look like a cool player but there are people who realize what just happened and sooner or later they will get Obama's attention.
Americans said upon hearing his powerful reassurance, "uh, unkay! Make that a large #8 with a diet coke" and they resumed texting while driving.
This is NOT fear mongering. This is reality and it ain't pretty. Reality liberals do not have the stomach or strength to cope with.
I have to wonder if when people wake up they will think it wise to give him 8 yrs?
The other truth too is that our schooling method and schedule is not traditional so I have a hard time justifying the (traditional) months off when in my heart I know we didn't kill ourselves the rest of the year. We take it all pretty easy.
It's like driving a stick shift - we have about 5 gears. We go through all of them and sometimes it's neutral or even reverse. Ah well.
In principle I am opposed to long breaks from learning. It implies we start and stop learning,which ya'll know isn't how I roll. We may stop and start certain textbook subjects but learning, reading, etc. does not stop. I think habits and discipline also don't take looooongg breaks and probably aren't formed well if a 1/3 of the year is taken off from them.
I am very happy to report Taylor is about 3 weeks into her 9th grade work! William is finishing the 2nd grade - mom is not counting the days to quit, mom isn't on verging on a breakdown.
I cleaned, sorted and organized our books today! Love it! Out with old, in with new - made notes for what we need to do next, did some lesson planning for summer. I listed some stuff on half.com that we aren't going to use. I pulled some books we are going to read this summer for the book box. Only William has a book box now really. Taylor tears through them, Corey is done except for exams. I'll talk about that in another post. I have my list of things to get and it's SO short. It's like 3 items LONG!! yeah!!!!
The next project this week, is my assessment of our work for the year. I am making notes as I of work completed, books read, and recording Math and Science grades, on paper which will probably get lost before I do anything concrete with it.
There is a truck load of stuff to do around here. You know a couple weeks ago, I had 5 yds of mulch delivered. It was dumped in my driveway and it smelled a lot like...well, manure. That pretty much describes everything. Laundry, and mopping up muddy paw prints, pantries that need straightening, a garage to clean out. yeah, yeah I'll get there eventually.
I am continuing the quest for Simple. I made serious progress today.
My classroom, bedroom, bathroom and kitchen have to be squared away. When they aren't then I'm uneasy. They aren't always clean - ha! But those are the areas I'm realizing I need to focus on for my own peace of mind.
Back to business!
I bet you'd say, what can make me feel this way...My Girl.
This beautiful little lady has enormous strength and a firey spirit. She tells people what she thinks and they don't always quite know what to do with her degree of honesty.
Her sense of humor is biting, sharp, intelligent.
She is fiercely loyal, and absolutely forgiving. Once she loves you and invests in you, she can forgive any slight. She tries to see the good in people even when the obvious faults distract her. Sometimes she learns too slowly that she should guard her thoughts.
She has her own mind about everything. She is talented, brilliantly talented. She's overcoming her shyness, and we hope this year to begin to showcase her music and look for opportunities to learn more about acting.
I admire her immensely. This past weekend was particularly difficult, but as always she rose above it, held her head high, and marched through it.
I have known since she was 2 years old that nothing, no one would ever hold her back. She is no wishy washy noodley little girl. She never was. She is a tough cookie, with a soft gooey center.
She is beautiful, a strong beautiful young woman. She will be confirmed in a week. She has taken St. Maria Goretti as her patron saint. She has been devoted to St. Maria since she was 4 years old. She was the first Saint she learned about and she immediately loved her.
I wish I could show you the Yoplait yogurt cup hanging in my hall with madi gras beads. William made a long old-fashioned doorbell for his door. Or maybe the crowns for the tea party.
My Geek Book says the best opportunities are when we allow children to be bored. It's only then that they begin to engage their imaginations.
This little guy, like Taylor and Corey loves to make crafts and a mess.
He also built a balloon powered boat that is not pictured.
These are the foster pups we fell in love with. Max, Biscuit and Chewy. We thoroughly enjoyed despite the work and mess that they made occasionally.
If you are not able to take on a dog full time or if you aren't sure how your famil would do. I encourage you to foster for the shelter.
Even the best shelters are still very stressful for the dogs - it's loud, and scary for little ones. Dogs that have been fostered have a lower return rate, and they make better pets.
It's always difficult to let them go. Maggie is proof we aren't always great at it, but there is something so comforting about caring for a little one. They sleep, snuggle, play, discover and love you.
For children it's a tough lesson in sacrifice. Doing what is best for another, even when it hurts. Loving something enough to do the right thing.
Yes, it would be easier if we never did this fostering thing, but I take my job very seriously as M.O.M, and no one said it would be easy.
Fostering puppies is a wonderful opportunity to have your children stretch themselves,sacrifice and give for something that is helpless. It builds their character, it builds relationships between siblings when they have to work together to care for them, and when they share in the joy of them together as well. It's also short lived unlike the responsibility of a full time pet.
It's great preparation, a bit of a reality check to see if they can handle the task.
We've fostered many pups - I miss everyone of them. We like to look at pics and tell stories about them.
From this litter, Max was the Trouble-maker (there's one in every bunch), Chewy, well he chewed on his babies, the bedding, and his brothers. Biscuit was the best. Biscuit was cool to us, he seemed unengaged. Then he began to be a bit food aggressive and come out of his shell, playing, etc. He became the very best one of all. He needed a little submission cuddling now and then, but then he became so sweet. Taylor is on record with the opinion that Max was the best.
I miss the pup-pups but don't worry this is not the time for us to open our home again. I get it.
I have always encouraged them to stick together, even against me.
Cradle to grave you are always a family.
Corey and Taylor spent all day together yesterday, saw a movie, hung out. Taylor and William are riding bikes.
Tea parties, crafts, reading, watching movies and being together. There is absolutely nothing more precious than a happy home and family.
We have a slumber party planned in mom's room tonight gotta scoot :)
What if all the animals of the world had to go to school? Imagine a rabbit failing swimming, or a duck failing running. The squirrel could climb trees but he went along branches instead of up the trunk so he was held back for breaking the rules. The duck couldn't swim so well because his feet were sore.
What if the eagle couldn't master the art of digging and burrowing and eventually felt like a failure because no matter how hard he tried he was just no good at what was required of him? And no matter how much the beaver wanted to fly he couldn't. The school would be filled with failures, or at best average animals doing a little of everything average to poorly.
What if they spent all their time trying to improve at things they would never be great at, just so the school could declare them average and send them into the world? How would they know what to be? Should they swim, climb, fly, hunt or gather?
I could go on and on of course and I'm sure you can come up with even better analogies (please share them in comments). Isn't that precisely what school IS? It's not about finding a child's special gift and talent and then having them master it but rather about making them work at all things to reach an acceptable average. Why?!
A quirrel doesn't need to know how to build a dam. God has given them exactly the tools and talents they need to be what He created them to be and to soar in His purposes, as a squirrel.
But how do you discover a child's gift? A bit tougher hmm? You must be with that child. You must be with them their entire childhood. You must watch and listen. You must turn their hearts and minds to God at all times. You must inspire in them the desire to know God's will for them, or they may never care to seek it. You must inspire, you must remove obstacles to their self discovery - people, noise, criticism. You will need to recognize their weakness and your own prejudices, and see them objectively and then work tirelessly to overcome them.
If you opt out of spending your life in devotion to their childhood do not be surprised later when your little sparrow spends an unhappy life feeling like a failure at swimming.
How many of us grown ups still don't know what our gifts are? Feel purposeless? Lost? Unsatisfied? Or live knowing we never reached our potential?
I don't want that for my children. We homeschool and my goals are very simple:
- To raise children who love and know God
- Grow young people with a strong moral foundation
- Develop a good work ethic
- Inspire empathy & compassion
- Help them discover their passion & purpose
- Preserve their childhood
- Love them
These goals have absolutely nothing to do with grammar, or math. Lessons, "book-working" is a cake walk really. If those values are in place then children enjoy learning. They want to hear what you have to share, and are willing to work hard. They understand how to be successful. Then, it isn't imposed upon them but inspired from within them. If that foundation isn't set chuck every bit of curriculum and start on those basics. Spend as long as it takes to get those fundamentals in place. The school work, can be caught up in a matter of months but the opportunity to develop who they are - well that time is fleeting.
John Holt said something to the effect of, "How is it that people say they are learning to play an instrument? Does that mean at some point the learning stops and the playing begins? No, the playing is always present and the learning never stops."
Too many experts think they are teaching and the seem frustrated when the student wants it to be over. If you are focused on teaching then don't be surprised when the student is looking for the finish line so they can stop learning. Be it a lesson of grammar or a lesson of life. Kids know the difference. They know when you are with them and sharing something with them from a place of love, or from a place of obligation and something you don't really value. How can they value it?
Spend your time instead discovering whether or not you have an otter, turtle or rabbit and then help them to be the very best they can be. Spend your time, your precious time growing them, raising them up.
I know bucking the system is scary. What will people think? I don't know. I don't care. Maybe that's the monkey in me?
It was as if you all peeked into my brain and brought my favorite meals.
Susan's Mexican Corn Chowder and Chicken Salad - so delicious. Susan's cooking is like eating at one of those "ladies who lunch" cafe/brunch places. It's absolutely lovely. I called my mom and told her I was tipping the bowl like cereal milk, my stepdad wants me to make it for him.
Fajitas are something I could eat, each and every week. And okay I actually ate the rice too which is rare for me. But it was really good, so I have to know now how to make Mexican rice?I LOVE peppers,love them, could eat them everyday - mmm comfort food.
Jen - Cheesy meaty pasta (or Lasagna) is a favorite of the kids so long as I don't call it Lasagna which is entirely too exotic sounding I guess. Jen, I think half the casserole was gone before you made it home. You probably could have circled the block and taken your dish.
Christina - BBQ chicken, bread, broccoli and corn on the cob - it was like mom was visiting! It was so good. Do you eat broccoli now? hmmm??? Corey would eat a rock if you put bbq sauce on it so he devoured the chicken. William wasn't sure he recognized a green vegetable until this week.
Anna - Oh my gosh. Okay you guys are going to think I am insane - I am so picky about new foods. I have never had a snickerdoodle. They never looked very good to me. But William had one, shouted how good it was and after smelling it, I tried one. wow. Anna you can make some cookies they were soft and perfect. Perfectly shaped, perfectly baked.
I am heading back up the stairs one last time today to go to bed and I want you to know I will be praying for each and everyone of you and your needs. You really are amazing women. I can't express how blessed I am to be graced with your concern and love.
If my husband were on here he would tell you thank you because he is so worried and so far away. If my mom were on here she would tell you how much comfort she draws knowing that I have such wonderful friends. If I let my kids blog, they would tell you thank you for not having to eat toaster waffles all week while mom rested.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I couldn't have conjured up in mind a more beautiful day if I thought about it for a hundred years. The gentlest of breezes rocked me. I felt like I was floating. As I drifted in and out on the edges of sleep the bright blue sky peeked through the new leaves. Birds sang all around me in songs that made my soul relax.
I wondered, "Is this what it feels like when you die?"
I was neither hot nor cold. I felt no pain, no shaking or numbness. No weakness, but no energy either. Just quiet. For that tiny space in time I had forgotten all about my troubles. I forgot bills, and stairs, landscaping, projects, schoolwork, moving and my long, long list of failures. For the briefest moment I forgot myself and there was nothing but beauty all around me.
My thoughts floated up into the air like the whispers of a dandelion when you blow on it and make a wish.
Then, just as all things that go up, they came down and my thoughts settled on my precious babies inside the house. I knew in that moment, "I could never leave them." God would never ask me to. Love, true love, is eternal. I envisioned myself hovering in this way, always with my family, forever. Which William will tell you is a very long time.
If I were dwelling with them in this heavenly state would they know I was there? Could they feel me? Could I comfort them, love them, guide them?
It was then I knew, it is the same with God. He is with me. I don't mean in the trees and the breeze, I mean He is here, present. He longs to comfort me. He sees me where I am. He really sees me. I felt so sad. I know this. I know it as sure as I know I have skin on my bones and yet, right now...right now I can't feel Him. I know He isright here trying to reach me, and I can't feel it. How sad that must make Our Lord.
It feels like utter desolation. I cannot imagine having lived a life without knowing the love and grace of my beloved Jesus. I feel as connected to Him as I do my own children. I can't feel Him and yet he reaches me, through the children, Steve, through kind friends bringing warm meals, and leaving encouragement after the beep on the machine. I know they are his hands and feet, and I am comforted by them. But I need my Jesus. I need the strength that I only draw from the living water. What is separating us now?
My relationship to Christ is intimate. It is knowing what He expects, it's a constant conversation. There is confidence and strength in understanding. I miss it. I don't understand. But He is still here and He will get me through this, all my hope in You, Jesus.
I've returned from a long week to Indiana and back, and back again, and finally home.
Where to begin...my cousin Albert, 42 passed away week before last. My uncle Earl, 58 (mom's older brother) had a massive heart attack on Monday. He was rescuscitated but on a ventilator. I went in to be with my family Tuesday. On Wednesday I sat alone with my heartbroken grandmother in her home while at the hospital my mom, aunt, uncle, and cousins turned off the life support on her second child, Earl. She was utterly devastated. It was one of the most painful things I've ever witnessed.
I returned home Wednesday night very late, and headed back to my Hoosier home again on Friday morning for the viewing. A couple hours into the funeral visitation my grandmother had taken all she could. I took her home, settled her in and after she was soundly asleep I returned to the funeral home. A short while later she fell in the bathroom and broke her hip. I should not have left her. It was against my better judgment.
Saturday morning after a hip replacement surgery, I was once again sitting alone with grandma but this time while my mom and the family laid my uncle to rest.
Grandma is in the hospital now and is facing weeks of rehab. She is 77 years old. This type of injury is very difficult to recover from at any time but my heart aches wondering if she has the will to recover given her terrible loss? Can she battle through the grief? Does she want to?
My mother is exhausted. I don't mean, tired. I mean she and my aunt are gonna be in the hospital next at the rate they are going. One funeral, days without sleep while my uncle lingered, constant worry over grandma, another funeral, another sleepless night with her in the ER, a surgery, cleaning out my uncles home and now rehab and recovery for their mother who is still fighting to stay in her home, but who also seems to have lost the spark in her eyes. They are sick with worry.
Steve couldn't be with me at all, as his long trip is still going. I miss him so much.
The kids made my heart swell with pride. They were beautiful, perfectly behaved, composed. They tenderly cared for and tended my mom and grandma. Corey was a pall bearer, and he carried it off well.
It was a military funeral. He was a Vietnam Veteran. He was buried in his uniform, and his coffin was draped with the American flag. Next to having his son, Josh, his service was his life's greatest achievement.
I have so much to do, so very much on my heart I don't even know where to begin to sort it all out. I want to move. Like yesterday. I want to be close to my family. I can't be this far away with my mom, dad and grandmother needing me. I am battered with guilt.
I want to press on through school and yet I feel like calling it a year. I have two kids to see through Confirmation, responsibilities to the candidate I am sponsoring, the Confirmation class I am leading, a graduation to plan, transcripts to finish, college entrance and registration to finish with Corey, dental appointments, new medications to research before started this MS regiment, and of course - laundry, dinner, housekeeping, yard work, my business, my health, dogs, dogs, dogs, and more laundry.
Before finishing the lawn I have to tell you one or two more things. It wouldn't be my wonderful family without a little more drama. Oh no, grandma breaking her hip wasn't the only highlight. There was an accident in the funeral procession when someone yielding to the hearse was struck in the rear. And then, my cousin invited both his ex-wives to the wake. The soon-to-be-ex was livid that the first ex (who is now seeing him again) was there first and even more ticked when everyone sort of took her side. She tried calling her out of the house, cars were kicked, scenes were made and the police had to come escort her off. Cleaning out my uncles house, she did it again. It actually just made me smile. Uncle Earl would have gotten the biggest kick out of the scuffle.
For now I suppose I will continue to wander aimlessly around my house and yard accomplishing little but feeling like I should be doing something, anything and definitely more. Dinner, that's what I need to be doing. We are all hungry. Must focus - dinner - shower - laundry. Park the lawn mower before dark. make coffee. shut the gate. pay for my kids yearbooks before my credit suffers and get milk. Got it.
You would think after sleeping in mom's Scarlett room all week the idea that "After all, tomorrow is another day" would have been absorbed.
Forgive me if I'm not calling or answering. I really feel overloaded. I promise as soon as I get a grip or a gripe for that matter I'll be in touch.
Thanks for the prayers,
I am realizing that living a frenzied life serves many, many purposes - avoidance for one, distraction for another, escape, excuses. Exactly what are we all running from? (of course I'm sure it was just me and no one relates to this) Why is it necessary to fill our lives with constant noise? constant stimulation? constant activity?
Is it any wonder really that 10% (source: Scientific American) of Americans are on anti-depressants? and how many more are on mood altering prescriptions? I know entire families on anti-depressants and they are still annoying, miserable people.
How much time do you have to sit quietly or read a good book? To walk casually? How much time is there for watching birds, bees, looking at flowers? Is there time for a nap? Time to talk with the children about nothing?
I used to "make time" for these things. I would find time in my very important schedule to build in these times. But then, I had a very difficult time relaxing my mind, my spirit. It seemed that I couldn't escape the knowledge that the quiet times were nothing more than a pit stop to give me just enough of a boost to get back up to full speed hop on the track again.
Sitting in the yard in the gentle beauty of spring, hearing nothing at all but a buzzing bee and allowing time to completely escape me, is a miracle. Matthew Kelly speaks about the gift of "carefree timelessness" with those you love. He says that relationships cannot flourish without it. I believe it. I also believe our relationship with God and with ourselves needs this carefree timelessness. As I mentioned before there are enough hours in the day. God created the day with the correct amount of time. Perhaps not for our agendas but His.
In the last few weeks a world of possibilities has opened up to me. What I want has changed. I want my husband home, I want him with me more. I want my husband to quit his job in the next two years. I want our household expenses cut in half. Yes, you heard me right - half.
I want him to teach Creative Writing, Composition, etc at the collegiate level, I want him to follow his dreams, finally. I want him to finish his Master's in Writing (he's almost there!) I want him home with our family and NOT traveling for weeks at a time, at a job that brings him so much stress. I want less of everything - less house, less work, less stuff. I want to travel, a lot. I don't know what my body will be able to do in 10 or 15 years. But I know what I can do now. I want my business to continue to grow at the amazing pace it has for the last three months, and I am going to walk in all the truths I know.
God wants my family to be successful.
God wants my family to have all we need.
God wants me to use my gifts to His glory.
God wants my husband and children to use their gifts to His glory.
God wants me to shelter my children from all enemies, foreign and domestic ;)
God wants our dreams, the mission and purpose He has called us to, to be THE priority -not an interesting footnote in the story of our lives.
God wants us to work like it's all on us but pray like it's all on Him.
God wants us to be happy living the good life.
This year we will take, what will be the first family vacation that includes an adult child. We discussed this week our family goal of coming together EVERY year for a family vacation. In the future it will include spouses and grandchildren, grandparents, and so on but we will forever keep this family as closely knit as we are now.
When I realized in prayer yesterday that we needed to stop being afraid and focus instead on my husband changing careers. It was as if the world was lifted off my shoulders! He will likely take a 30% pay cut, but God has it all in hand. a) He wants us to live on waaaaay less than we make anyway. b) I believe in fact following His plan for us will bless us financially, more abundantly than ever.
So you heard it here first. In a few years I will look back upon this epiphany and know that this was God's call to us. I can't wait to see what He will be doing in our life then.
I love my house. I will enjoy it for awhile longer, but I can't wait to move on. I look forward to moving to new areas. I think I'm ready.
Resting in Grace,