Friday, June 22, 2007

Revisiting Laura

I have been reading the "Little House" books to my daughter each evening. We read one or two chapters and a lot of discussion goes on. I have been a loyal Laura Ingalls Wilder fan since I was 9 years old and have read all her books (at least all that I'm aware of) many times. But now, reading these books with my 6 yo daughter, I am seeing them through her eyes. She asks questions and makes comments about things I didn't notice. Lots and lots of questions and comments. If my boys are listening, they add their two cents. Sometimes it takes a long time to get through a chapter! But it's worth it, as my kids are learning a lot during this time. I'm learning, too. Reading these books to my kids allows me to enjoy Laura's life all over again and gaining new insights is an added bonus. I wrote a post about Laura many months ago on my other blog at HSB, and even in writing that post, I started to cry. I feel such a connection with her, I can't really explain it. It makes me sad that she died 6 years before I was born. It would have been such a joy to meet with her and chat awhile. She's been such an inspiration to me, in so many ways. My sense of adventure, my love of writing, my fascination with pioneer women and the westward movement. All these things, I learned from her. I'll always be thankful that my mom bought me "On The Banks Of Plum Creek" when I was in 4th grade. What a gap there would be in my life if I had never been introduced to Laura!

Which makes me wonder - will I be able to introduce something to my kids that will change their lives in a positive, wonderful way? I certainly hope so.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

My Son and Cars

My son and I went to a car show yesterday, down near the beach. It was, of course, a cold and windy day with enough heavy drizzle to really make you appreciate living in the NW. There are a lot of car shows like this throughout the year but usually, when I go, there are a lot of kit cars or cars that are pre-1960. We only had time to walk up and down part of the show which turned out just fine because these cars were from my era. What I mean is, the cars we saw were the same kinds of cars my friends bought and fixed up when I was a teen. Back in the 1980's, everyone (at least where I lived) was buying cars from the late 1960's and early 1970's. It was a like a time warp for me. The only difference was that the cars I saw yesterday were complete, shiny paint jobs, the whole nine yard. My friends' cars were in various stages of primer with engines needing various parts. It took a long time and a lot of money, neither of which my friends had much of. But they enjoyed the process and spent a lot of time talking cars, browsing auto parts stores and catalogs, raiding the auto dump. And I got dragged along for the ride. My son and I had fun looking at the cars and I told him about some of my friends' cars. But, seriously, I really do not wish to encourage my son in this hobby. Now that I am a parent, I feel that my teen years could have been better spent. I want something better for my son. I can't control his desires but I can guide him. I can avoid encouraging him by not putting too much emphasis on how cool the cars are. We talked about how much time and money these hobbies take. This is an issue that will take a lot of prayer - guidance and wisdom. And I need to pray for my son to spend his time and money wisely. When he is an adult, of course, he can do whatever he chooses. But for now, it's up to me and my dh to be his guide.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Now What Do I Do?

After finishing the book I mentioned in my last post, "Three Cups of Tea", I found myself getting depressed. After reading about how Greg is working to change a part of the world by making education available for the children of poor villages, it made me realize how much one person could do to make a difference. I started thinking how small my world is, my little circle, and asking myself "What am I doing to make a difference?" Oh, sure, I homeschool my three kids. Some would say that this alone is making a difference. But right now, it doesn't seem like enough. Especially when my kids have lousy attitudes, that really makes me feel like a failure. Like, what good am I doing here. Isn't there something more important I could be doing?

No, there isn't. In my heart, I know that I'm where I need to be, doing the work that God has chosen for me. I don't always like it, which makes me feel guilty. I don't feel like I'm very good at it, though others have stated the opposite, by observing the way my children are. I mean, let's face it, I was much better at my business than I am a wife/mom/housewife/homeschool teacher. When I had my business, I knew what to do. I had training and experience before I started my business and I felt confident enough to go it alone. I had absolutely NO training for what I've been doing the last 12 years of my life as a mom. Even less training as how to be a homemaker/wife. So, of course, any occupation that I had training for would seem easier than the my current occupation.

But did it make a difference in this world when I was working in my own shop? A little. Teaching my kids, raising them, being here for them, praying for them and with them, loving them - now, that makes a difference. A lot of difference. A favorite saying around here is "Mom, you're not giving me enough attention." Little do they know! They get more attention than most kids, they just don't realize it!

So, I must be content, at least for now, to make as big a difference I can in the lives of my kids. Someday, they'll (hopefully) make a difference in their world.

Monday, June 11, 2007

What I've Been Reading

My husband and I have been reading the most incredible book. "Three Cups of Tea" by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin (published by Viking). Greg Mortenson was a mountain climber and trauma nurse. After a failed expedition on K2, he ended up in a village in Pakistan where the kind people living there nursed him back to health. He promised to return and build a school there. And he did! But that was only the beginning! There is so much in this book. You have to read it. We are almost to the end of the book but we know that's not the end of his story. It will inspire you to do great things.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Day Is Done

This has been a long, long day! Just one of those days that the mind of a homeschool mom wonders how much more she can take. Then I happened to pick up a homeschool magazine dated 2004 and started flipping through the pages. My gaze is drawn to an article on burn-out. Bingo! This article, written by the father of a homeschool family, describes why burn-out happens to homeschool moms. It's nice to be reminded that I'm not going crazy. There's a reason why I look forward to taking the trash out after dinner, just for those quiet moments without hearing "Mom!"

But tomorrow is another day. A new day. Who knows - I may feel refreshed and full of energy! One can have hope, regardless of how the previous day was. At least, that's how it is for me. I was thinking about the word "hope" last night. The Bible is full of examples of people who had hope. Lessons to learn from. There is always hope, no matter what.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Something Different

Today I did something I never thought I'd do: I found myself trudging up the hill I live on, carrying a snowman. A nearly four-foot high, complete with light bulb, snowman. Let's rewind here ... I went to a garage sale down the street from me this morning. This house loves to decorate for Christmas and every year, it's a joy to round the bend on the way home and see all the happy decorations, illuminating the yard. Well, now this elderly couple has decided it was time to cut back on decorations, as they do take a lot of work and storage. There was one snowman in particularly that I always looked for in their yard at Christmas and when I saw it for sale today, I knew I had to have it. I have always wanted a snowman for our yard (don't ask me why!) but I thought they weren't worth the money. It was a WANT, not a NEED, know what I mean? But today the price was right! Now, getting the little man home ... it would have fit in the back of the Camry but since we just bought the car, I was afraid of scratching the car AND damaging the snowman. So, dh took the car home and I took my snowman home.

I had to chuckle at myself, as I never pictured myself doing this today, or ever for that matter. So, did YOU do anything today that you've never done before? There's your challenge. Let me know!