Sunday, March 27, 2011


I have been mulling over this concept since it dawned on me that one of my dear children has, from little, been severely effected by feeling like performing well=being valued and loved. Now, I know all parents make mistakes and all that, but I just realized,( again and on a deeper level) that a child sometimes perceives things we do as messages about our feelings toward them. So, I began to think of all the instances where either through word or deed, my children have been made to think that they need to perform. What is the difference between performing to be loved and accepted, and performing to complete a task, or performing as a means of forming a habit etc. This is a biiig idea to pick apart. But, I think I might have gotten to the bottom of it, at least in some way. We tend to be self-centered creatures, so, performing to achieve a goal of accolades, or acceptance is the wrong kind of performance, or maybe just the wrong motivation. Performing to achieve an end goal that will help us to be the best we can within God's plan for our lives is the right kind of performance. For example, learning to have good manners is a type of performing but with the focus on others. Performing skills can be a part of your every day responsibilities,( i.e., you have a job that requires you to design a building, or explain a new math concept to a class of students, or even dance in a ballet production). We perform much more than we realize. However, sometimes we expect a certain type of performance by others to please ourselves or exert control over them. I think that's where I come back to the musing over all the wrong I committed in the growing up years of unnamed child. Children are needy. They need our care and our love. They need our teaching and our unconditional acceptance. But, sometimes we get caught up in their performance. We can put unfair expectations on them or they may simply perceive a whole value system of themselves off of a handful of sinful parenting moments. After that, they may even perceive other people's expectations of them as performance=value. Tender hearted kids take this to an unhealthy level I think. And we as parents don't realize the affects that can have. So, I guess I'll keep pondering this subject and see what else God may show me. Any insight from you all is welcome. :)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

looking forward

I am happy to announce that we are almost 2 and half weeks out from the end of this school yr. Yay!! I already have almost everything I need to get us started with next yr.'s work in our 4 week summer school session. Wow. I am a little excited and a bit sad too though, because my daughter will prob. be spending most of her summer in Puerto Rico with her b/f. I'm so excited for her to go on a trip like this and make lots of awesome memories, but I am going to be sad not to have her here. :( I guess this will be a small taste of what it's like when she leaves home.

Anyway, back to school stuff. We went to our very first, ( and prob. last) homeschool convention. It was pretty good but there were only a couple sessions that I really, really, liked. However, I went to the Creation Ministries booth and found that instead of Francis going right into Biology this yr., ( which I'm not sure he was ready for), that he will instead do some lighter and more interesting reading on several Science/Math topics,( general study of earth, the history of Math and Medicine, and books on Biology, Chem. and Physics). The books are a set and are much more practical, and interesting than going straight for the heavy stuff,( memorizing scientific laws, learning equations, etc.). It will give him an intro. and a way to lay some ground work for the rest of the course. I hope this will help him to learn in such a way as to not be overly stressed and overwhelmed by too much info. and tests that he's not able to retain for. That's not what I want for him. I want to set him up for success and real learning.

As for other school related things...I always find areas that we aren't doing our best in. Writing is always one. I think I will get Victoria the course from IEW on how to write essays. I think both kids will benefit from this. Vocabulary and Spelling are always areas that need beefing up and we have laid off of math fact practice too, which is prob. not the best. So, I will hopefully find ways to keep trying to strengthen these truly important skills.

Now, changing gears and out to the garden. I did seedlings for the first time this yr. I haven't put any of them outside yet but I am getting antsy. Today I will transfer some of them to pots where they will stay. Others just need more room for roots so that they don't die in waiting. I will hopefully accomplish a whole list of things today, including planting some squash, cucs, and beans. I hope I plant everything in the right place and care for them in the right way. There's soooo much to learn about how each thing is supposed to be grown. It's still very overwhelming, but as long as this yr.'s crop is better than last yr.'s, then I guess I will feel relieved.

I am looking to be more of a good steward too and this is something that has been taking place for awhile. I haven't done much and not as consistent as I should but it's getting there. I've tried to always keep lights off, but now I even unplug things that aren't in use. I've tried to fill buckets with the drips from leaks and not waste the water. I've been thinking about how to take the liquids from pots and pans that have been soaking to loosen stuck food, and not have to pour that water down the drain. I would like to fill a bucket with that murky, mucky water and use it in the garden. I also set out some tupperware containers to catch the rain and now I will use that too in the garden. I'm even hanging my clothes on an indoor laundry line in the garage. I have to set a floor fan out to keep the clothes from drying with wrinkles, but surely it saves electricity not using the dryer. I am looking for ingredients to make my own detergent/cleaning supplies to save money and not use as many chem. products. Vinegar is just as good for windows as Windex.

So, I guess a lot of things have been going on. It might not seem like a lot of very significant stuff, but don't all the little things have big impact after awhile? :)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Homeschool catalogs

It's that time for me again. We'll be done with this school yr. in 4 weeks. Wow!!! Then we may have a week off and go straight into our 4 weeks of summer school. Our summer school is always the beginning of the next yr. and therefore I need the next yr.'s curriculum and supplements very soon. I have begun dreaming through my catalogs again, and as always, finding more than I expected to find that I want to have. It's mostly books these days. I've been very poor about having my kids do extra curricular reading all these yrs. and I am trying to make up for it now. I buy a bunch of books,( mostly fictional history) to go along with what they're going to be studying in their history books. But, somehow, I always forget which one's I have on the shelf and miss pulling them in at the right times. Still, the more books I have, the more my kids will read, regardless. And, yes, we have a couple of libraries within 10 min.s, but, I always forget to turn in the books on time and end up owing money. It's better to own the books and not worry. So, I'll be going to Amazon today to start a wish list. Then, whatever I don't find, I will look for at the homeschool book fair, which I always look forward to like a child waiting for presents on Christmas morning. I used to buy tons of edu-games, both comp. software and board games, but my kids are growing out of some of that. I need more little kids, so I can keep on playing. haha Anyway, so, let's see what kinds of goodies I can lay my hands on this yr. I seriously can't wait.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

to all my adopted teenagers...

I have had the immense privilege of getting to know quite a few of the youth in our church over the last couple of years. I am constantly amazed at how blessed I feel to be a part of their lives. I have gone through so many different stages with them. I have laughed, cried, rebuked, teased, punched,( playing around of course), trash talked, rocked out with and gotten messy with these guys and girls over this last while. Sometimes a few of them have gotten me pretty upset, and I have wanted to slap them over the head, but then I've also seen growth and maturity from the same kids. I've learned about how some of them struggle to fit in, get picked on and feel depressed. I've watched a couple of them find someone who they feel might be in their permanent future as a soul mate. I see others getting close to college age, and getting ready to make some big choices. I've given some crazy 'talks' to a few, have encouraged some to con't to step up and be the example, and have enjoyed seeing how some have already found their God-given talents and am so excited to see how they will use them for Jesus' glory. Some of these guys/girls simply make me look bad....they are so involved in service and leadership, volunteering and have strong work ethics. I admire them, and they are examples for me. Others already know that they want to live out a life of Christ-likeness and are doing just that. They have their spiritual heads on straight, and it makes me wish that I had been so committed when I was at their age. So, just to say, to all of you teens/young adults, I love every last one of you, will con't to hang out with, be a pest to, listen to, advise, stick my tongue out at, irritate, get in your faces, party with, have your back, call you out, and generally be a second mom to all of you,( or at least those who are willing to put up with me). God put each of you in my life and I am sooooo blessed. Thanks for allowing me to be a part of who you are.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Being outspoken

I never was you know...outspoken that is. When I was younger I was bossy to my lil brother, but at school, I was sooooo insecure. I don't think I spoke much, or looked many ppl in the eye. I remember most the negatives of school life and being picked on. I wasn't taught much, or trained in how to think for myself, or think logically. I was taught how to be confident in who I was in Christ and shown my good traits. So, I wandered aimlessly through life, until my confidence was found. At that point, it was all just a desperate attempt to soak in all the fun, friends and acceptance that I could. I stood by certain values/morals that had been ingrained in me, but mostly to point at others and show them their 'sin'. Much, much later, I met someone who challenged me to think. Wow, of all things. :) Now, as I study the Word, and read info.,( scientific, historical, or whatever) I don't just accept what's being presented and many times I have a bone to pick with something that's said or presented because I see a fault in it. Now, here's where the problem has been lately. I stand up now for what I believe and try to back every opinion up with either Scripture or logical reasoning, and believe me, it hasn't made me too many friends. I know this desire for truth in me has challenged some ppl in a good way, but, I think it's also driven many ppl away. So, now I am coming into a realization that I need to be careful not to have a need to put my view into every conversation. I need to pick only the important and relevant issues to enter into if I have an opposing position. It's interesting though, that even if I become more choosy, I'll still be alienating ppl from myself by being so outspoken. I wonder if this is part of 'the cross' that I carry. It isn't popular many times to challenge ppl to act more as I believe Jesus would want us to act, and many times, actually most times, the things that I am the most passionate about in the moment, are the things that God is putting in my own heart. So, what to do, what to do. Should I slow down and take it easy? Keep my mouth shut, follow the crowd and not rock the boat? I don't know, but I do know that I'm more aware now that I have this issue to mull over and I hope that helps me to only speak out when needed.