Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Aren't We Lucky!

I am sitting here wearing pants and I am not breaking the law. Do you know why? Because on this day (May 29th) in 1923, some government official declared it wasn't against the law for a female in the U.S. to wear trousers! Are we thankful or what? I love to wear skirts and dresses but pants and capris are what I wear the most. I am forever grateful for that U.S. DA (I think that was his title and, of course, we know it was a man) for having the foresight to allow us females to be free to choose what clothes we wore. Imagine if there was a law forbidding men to wear anything but boxers shorts - oh, the wails across America!

Can anyone help me here? I can't figure out how to get that astrological sign off my profile. It's annoying me. I'm still learning my way around this blog. Sigh!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Thought For The Day

I've had a lot on my mind this week (my husband is recovering from pneumonia) but this thought kept re-occurring today: If Einstein had been an average-looking person, would we find him so interesting?

Even more strange, after dinner I opened up a science-oriented book my son was reading and, low and behold, there he was - the man himself. I can't explain it.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

How Do We Love Them?

Think back ... do you recall the things your mother did for you that made you feel especially loved? I was thinking the other day how my kids might interpret my love for them. I mean, they know I love them in the usual way mom's do but there are certain things I do for them individually that I know they appreciate. When I do these things, I know they feel especially loved and when I don't do them, they notice!

My oldest, who's 11-1/2, feels loved when I listen to him. He's a story teller and knows how to catch me when I have ears available to listen (like when I'm doing the dishes). And before he goes to bed, I usually hear a quick story - helps him go to sleep if he can get that story out of his head! He also appreciates it when I prepare a green apple for him - even better if I offer it before he asks!

My middle son, who is 9, feels loved when I help him with a project. He is project-oriented, big projects, that require lots of thinking and materials. He doesn't get this kind of help often because he usually wants something we can't afford or it doesn't exist yet. (His request to build a full-size model of The Concord a few years back was not fulfilled, for example.) But I try hard to meet him halfway and do what projects I can manage. It's hard when he has an image in his head that I can't help him produce. But when it works, it's a beautiful thing! A simpler thing he loves is when I sit on his bed at night and let him talk about whatever is on his mind. He usually shows me things in his room that are important to him at the moment.

My 6 yo daughter feels loved when we go for a walk up the hill we live on, just the two of us. I used to be the one to point out things to her but now she does all the talking. She holds my hand tightly and balances on the curb. I love this time, too, as our house is full of boy-noise. We both appreciate the peace of God's creation. She also loves it when I warm her towel for her after a bath. If I don't, she gets very miffed!

I try not to spoil my kids. But I think there is a difference in spoiling and doing something they especially like me to do. Every kid needs to know their mother is their biggest fan and that they are special in her eyes, and the more kids in the family, the more important this is. So, what special things do you do for your kids? Is it time to start? It's worth it!

When I was little, I always looked forward to my morning hug from my mom. And she always let go before I did. Now, amazingly, my oldest comes right to me in the morning, looking for his hug and, you know, I'm the one who lets go first now! This fact just dawned on me today and I told my son that he was just like me when I was young. Tomorrow, I'll try not to be the first one to let go!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

It Was A Good Day

If you read my HSB blog, then you've already read this post - sorry! I just wanted this on here, to encourage me and anyone else that might read it. Here goes ..

Thursday of this week was an especially good day on the homeschool front so I thought I'd write about it. And if I need encouragement in the future, I can refer back to this post to remind myself what a good day looks like in our home. My dh taught at the college today and I was up early enough to see him off, his lunch in hand. Carmen, my 6 yo, got up at the right time to prepare for swimming lessons. We were ON TIME! I didn't drop anything on the shower floor and she had a great lesson. Unassisted back float - a big step for her. Only took six, 6-week sessions to get this far (sigh - that translates into $210 but I know it's worth it - please, please let it be worth it!) Anyway, it was a great lesson and we came home for our usual after-swim snack of hot chocolate made with real milk and toaster pastries from the natural food section (a bit better for you than Pop-tarts!) The boys were up, had eaten breakfast and Alec was ready for the day, Chad not far behind. Everyone did their math and the boys copied from the book of Luke. We don't do spelling on Thurs. Carmen did several pages of math from her current fav math book and then read the entire story out of her reading lesson book (Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons). The stories are getting longer and sometimes it's difficult for me to be patient (shame on me!) but she did a great job, only needing help sporadically. I was supremely proud of all she had done that morning! I gave the boys a few chores to help me with, I did the dishes, then we had lunch. After lunch, Chad loaded up the bicycles into the van and we went out to the river walk along the Columbia. It was a warm afternoon but, as usual, the wind was really cold. I walked while the kids rode their bikes. We love doing this and this was the first time it's been warm enough to ride this year. We came home to rest and then my husband came home from work. He decided he wanted to finish watching a movie he'd started the night before and we decided to let the boys watch with him (a rare thing here but it was about WWII and they are currently interested in this part of history). Meanwhile, my daughter asked me to tea so she set a lovely table and I sat down with her and her stuffed deer (I think it's a deer, we made it out of a big woolly sock, a quiet fellow!) We had fun and I realized how important this kind of play is. She doesn't play with her plastic dishes very often and I need to teach her how to be a good hostess and manners and all. It was all so pleasant that I ended up falling asleep when we were done! A quick nap and then I was ready to make dinner. After dinner, I read two more chapters from "On The Banks Of Plum Creek" to Carmen, with the boys listening as they were doing whatever they were doing. Now, I'll back up here for a sec. During dinner, there was negative talk about each other so I told everyone to say something nice about the person to their right. And then say something nice about the person to their left. We all got to laughing and it did the trick. And, shock of all shocks, when it was my dh's turn, he said this, "Mommy is a talented writer". Whoa! My dh does not compliment freely and I was speechless when I heard this but recovered quickly enough to thank him sweetly! During all this, someone said the word "mummy" for some reason and that got Carmen to thinking. Suddenly, she wanted to know all about mummies (meaning dead people). My son pulled out a book I got last year about mummies and she was fascinated. So, of course, on Friday, she spent a lot of time drawing mummies and asking (and asking!) all kinds of questions about mummies. That led to discussions about death, the soul, etc. It was really disturbing to me but I know she is just curious so I answered all I could and looked up what I didn't know. I personally can't stand to look at mummies so it was difficult, to say the least. Then I started comparing the beliefs of the Egyptians (many gods) to our belief (monotheism) in one God. The true God. I usually try to turn talk toward the Lord whenever I can. I don't want to miss an opportunity and God can use anything to teach our kids (and us) more about Him. Anyway, I've digressed again, but at the end of the day on Thursday, I realized how well the day had gone. And after reading others blogs about their homeschool day, I thought I'd better write it down so I'd remember! Other things thrown into the mix of our day usually consist of Carmen drawing and creating and Alec trying another project that will either be impossible, really messy or will need a trip to the store for some obscure item (tonight he wanted me to go get wire - sorry kiddo, stores are closed!) Chad practiced his euphonium and spent his free time reading about airplanes, a new hobby of his. He's also reading a James Harriott book about dogs. Alec is really into the Pathway Readers series and I let him stay up a bit later on Thursday because he wanted to finish a chapter. In our house, I am realizing, learning never stops, it just pauses for meals and bedtime. And speaking of bedtime ...

Friday, May 11, 2007

Tomorrow is another day

There is something so relaxing, de-stressing, de-compressing about blogging. Whether I'm writing a new post or visiting/commenting on other blogs, I find I can lose myself into the process. My mind is temporarily suspended from reality for awhile, even if I'm writing about something that really happened, which is all I write about. Not much of a fiction writer. Though maybe when I'm writing about an incident/event/situation, it starts to feel like I'm writing about someone else, I mentally remove myself from the picture. Anyway, when I am done, I feel like the stress of the day has lifted off my shoulders and my usual evening headache is gone. I'm not sure if this is a good thing or not. O.k., it's a good thing. A brain-stretching exercise that helps me unwind. That's a good thing! I prefer to be positive and somewhat of a cheerleader when I comment on other posts. My own blog goes from being positive to heavy sighs of whatever the day brought my way. This day has brought many heavy sighs, lots of crankiness from myself and others in the house. Hate days like this! But tomorrow is another day.

My birthday was a few days ago. It was a good day (I posted about it on my other blog, hesitate to repeat posts here). However, I had high hopes of starting fresh with this birthday. It wasn't a milestone birthday, just another year. But I am reassessing my life and the way I do things. I see lots of areas I'd like to improve in my life. Housekeeping, for one. This area affects my whole family so improving here would be a really wonderful thing. I have started the kids on various daily chores that is helping me with this goal. I've also started being more ruthless with what I keep and what goes. I really hate clutter but it's so hard to keep at bay. Add to that three children who love to create with all kinds of materials and the mess builds. I am working on teaching them to put things away more consistently. Homeschooling is not the neatest way to live, learning is messy - that is a fact I've heard from nearly every homeschooling family I know! But I am also responsible for teaching my kids to clean up and take care of their living environment. I'm not blaming my mom by any means but she was a perfect housekeeper who never showed her daughters how to keep house or clean anything. And I always had roommates who like to clean. Then I got married - what a shock! Fortunately, my husband's mom taught him how to clean or we'd really be in trouble. He's been a big help in showing me what needs to be done. He sees dirt in places I'd never notice. This can be annoying at times, as you can imagine. I think I'll stop here as I feel like I'm rambling and this is boring, even to me! But now that I've written down my goal of being a better housekeeper, it will serve as a reminder to keep up with that goal. Let's see how things are in 6 months!