Monday, October 28, 2013

It Has Nothing to do With You

Wow. It's been a long time since I have been on here! Hope this thing still works...

When I first began homeschooling, I was prepared for the public scrutiny. To say I was loaded for bear would be about right...I was prepared to defend any and everything we did, from curriculum choices to socialization.

I made sure that we had one social activity a day to 'check that box' so no one could point a finger and say I was not properly socializing my kids.

That was 5 years ago.  Now, when people question our decisions, I answer them briefly and really don't worry too much about their perception of our family. 

But there is one thing that bugs me to this day: When people make *our* decision to homeschool about *them*.

So let me just clear a few things up about that.

1.  I did not choose to homeschool because my kids had terrible teachers. On the contrary, my kids had exceptional teachers in their public school educations. Well, there was one nightmare of a teacher, but I wont go into the details.

I chose to homeschool my kids because I know my children far better than ANY of their teachers did. I know what makes them tick and what they need....and what they DON'T need.

2. I did not choose to homeschool because I think public schools are evil.  I think there is a need for public education and I also firmly believe not every parent should homeschool their children. 

I can see the decline of the public education system, however.  I can see government wanting to have schools step in and take over parenting children. And I have a problem with that.  I also want my children to learn in a safe, violence and drug free environment.  Just watch the news on any given day and you have to agree...schools are not the safe havens they once were thought to be.

3.  I did not choose to homeschool because I think my kids are better than yours.

I just happen to love mine more than I love yours. Is that a bad thing? I have MY kids best interests at heart.

4.  I did not choose to homeschool because I am a religious nut.

But I will admit that homeschooling allows us religious freedoms that could never be replicated in a public school. We also have much more time to spend on service projects. 

So, to sum it all up, our decision to homeschool has everything to do with my children and their success...

and it has nothing to do with you.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Don't Be a Raccoon!

I love Duck Dynasty for a myriad of reasons.

In one episode ( I can't remember which one) one of the characters referred to another character as being like a raccoon..."If he can't tear it up, he'll crap on it!"

Don't we all know people who are like raccoons?  Who, when you tell them of something wonderful that is going on in your life, they never want to congratulate you or tell you 'Great job!'...instead they want to be a raccoon...verbally tearing it up and crapping on it. 

They want to tell you how they did it better. 

Or how it isn't as good as 'this'. 

Or they just want to be negative and tell you about all the reasons why it won't work.

Jesus told us to encourage each other and to celebrate each other's victories. ( 1 Thessalonians 5:11   "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as you are doing" )

 If someone is celebrating...celebrate with them. Even if you are envious.  Even if it seems like you always get the 'short end of the stick'.  Be happy for other people.  Be encouraging.

And don't be a 'raccoon'!


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Hope Has Wings

So, I have been feeling a little out of sorts lately. 

I miss my old house. I miss my old community.

I really miss gardening at my old house.  When ever I had a spare minute I would pull weeds or transplant something.  There was always something going on in that garden...blooms, baby rabbits, birds...

I miss digging in the dirt. I guess I am the kind of person that thrives on the scent of newly turned earth and rain. 

I even woke myself up out of a dream I had yesterday; a dream where I was digging out weeds at my old house and I was marveling at the yellow irises and purple oxalis.  I woke up just crying.

That time out in the garden was my communion with God.

So here I am in my rental home where they mow all the grass and trim all the shrubbery.   So nice and neat and sanitary.


A friend suggested container gardening.  So I planted some bright colored vinca in my flower pots on the front porch.

My husband gave me a beautiful petunia plant that is right by the front door.

Even so, I can only water them once a week and then I am done.


I'm not sure what depression looks or feels like.  I always thought of it as feeling sad all the time.  I don't feel sad...I just feel...nothing.  Just blah.

I've been praying for intervention.  For just a little 'sunshine'.

Yesterday evening I kept the doors open (we have screen doors) to let the cool breeze blow through the house.

I could see the petunia outside the screen door.  I could smell its sweet fragrance blowing in through the door.

Everyone else was watching the television. I was fixated on the potted plant.

Suddenly a little flash caught my eye.  Emerald and ruby.

It was a hummingbird, dipping his beak into the petunia blooms.

And when he was done, he hovered right over that petunia plant and looked right into the screen door...right at me.

And then he was gone as quickly as he came.

My heart felt lighter. 

You don't have to tell me that 'hope has wings'...

I already know.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Menu Plan

Here's what we'll be eatin' the next several days.

Beef satay with broccoli slaw stir fry

Chili-lime chicken with quesadilla cheese and quinoa-black bean salad.

Spinach and bacon quiche with salad

Grilled chicken and salad

 Broiled salmon with baked 'fried' zucchini and quinoa

Loaded up on lots of fresh produce this week at Aldis, so I am sure for a side we will have fresh fruit.  I love Summer and all the fresh produce!

What's on your menus for this week?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Just How It Should Be.

Yesterday I was a little jealous about my mom's generation raising my generation during a simpler time.

Today I am so grateful that my generation is able to homeschool the next generation of kids.

This particular topic has been bouncing around in my head for a few days now, and I just read an online article covering the same I took that as a sign to blog about it. ;)

The topic is dating. 

Now, my experience in the topic when I was in school...I never had a boyfriend.  So I may or may not have a 'leg to stand on' dealing with this topic...but work with me here.

In elementary school I was very, very painfully shy.  I am not sure I even spoke to a boy.  Well, there was a little boy named Daniel who got picked on because his momma made him wear a tie to school.  I spoke to him on the playground.  He once gave me tadpoles. (The boy knew my heart.) But 'dating'? NEVER.  But yes...there were little boys and girls in the 6th grade who were 'dating'. I always they actually go on 'dates'? Or does that mean that they are just special friends during school hours?  Why not just call that your 'friend'?  Any way, 6th grade is the grade that I began wondering about myself...why don't any boys want to be *my* boyfriend?  I must be too skinny.  Or not pretty enough.

Then came middle school.  There were 'dating relationships' everywhere.  Except...I never had a boyfriend then either.  But I watched the girls who did.  They were always worried about stuff:  who is he talking to?  Why didn't he hold my hand today?  I think I am going to kiss him after he taking me to the dance? 

At least they did get asked to dances.  But even then it seemed like boyfriends were a lot of trouble.  Still...the pressure was on.  Who is your boyfriend?  Are you going to the dance? And again...I was left wondering...what's wrong with me?  I think I need a boyfriend. Everyone else has one. So I started wearing makeup.  I joined cheerleading.

No luck.

So I just worried about my grades.  Middle school...there is always something to worry about.

Then high school really holds your feet to the flame.  Finding a boyfriend makes you 'complete', they said.  Still,  I saw the arguments and stress of those relationships. But yet...I wanted one so I would 'fit in'.  And I was still fraught with insecurity.  Am I too fat? Too weird? Is my nose to weird? My hair?

Keep in mind...this was during a time when kids were still, for the most part, innocent. forward to today...

I have a friend who is a school teacher. Elementary school.  She has told me of notes that she has collected in class.  Notes with promises of sexual favors to a boy if that boy meets the little girl who wrote this note at the skating rink. 

I have heard of a young lady in high school literally beaten up and tormented in school because she refused to have sex with a boy. This young lady is homeschooled now.

I have heard some say it is a 'badge of honor' for a girl to have been sexually active. 

And yet...there is dating.  With all that entails.  Dating between children who barely even know how to relate to the opposite sex, yet they are expected to have a 'relationship'.  Dating in a society that pushes sexuality on children at a young age, through pop music and fashions and images. In a society that pushes personal responsibility to the wayside.  

And of course, social media doesn't help.  If you have a Facebook account, everyone knows about every little detail of your 'relationship'.  They witness your fights, your insecurities.  The immaturity.

I look at my son and daughter.  I want them to have a relationship when they know enough about THEMSELVES to know what they need in a mate. 

I want them to have a relationship for the right reasons...not to earn a 'badge of honor' or because everyone else one. 

I want them to know that being independent is a marvelous thing. Learn how to be their own person with out relying on someone else to 'complete' them.

I want them to realize that a real relationship is about love and respect.  And personal responsibility.

I want them to enjoy childhood.  They have the rest of their lives to worry about sexual things. You can be an adult the rest of your life...but you can only be a kid once!

So I look at my kids and am so grateful that the whole boyfriend/girlfriend thing is not even a concern of theirs.  They don't worry if they are too fat or too skinny or too weird.  They don't worry if all their friends will think they are a loser because they don't have a 'relationship'.  They don't have all of their heart and soul poured out on social media for the world to witness.

They are too busy pursuing their own passions and developing their own characters and figuring out themselves right now. 

And that's just how it should be.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

"You've Come a Long Way, Baby!"

Who remembers this ad?  (Yes, I am that old.)

Since moving into this rental home I realized how much I took our security for granted in our old neighborhood.

I've had to learn to lock the doors everytime I leave the house.

I've had to make myself remember to bring my purse out of the van and make sure IT is locked at all times.

I have barbed wire strung across the fence that surrounds the backyard.

I can't let my kids just ride their bikes or run down the street to play.

All this worrying about kids and safety made me think about my own childhood.  And my Momma.

Dang she was lucky to be able to raise kids in the early 1970's.

She could let her 3 year old play out in the yard with out the fear of either someone snatching up her child or the neighbors reporting her to DFACS for negligence.

She could let her kids walk or ride their bikes to school with out the worry that they wouldn't make it because of some weirdo.

She didn't have to explain to her kids about internet safety and why they won't be getting a social media account anytime soon.

She didn't have to meet all of the parents of the kids we played with.

She could leave us at home alone for hours at a time.  When she got a job we made our own dinner and did our homework.

She simply had to tell us "Be home for dinner!" and didn't have to be concerned if we were miles deep in the woods (we were) or playing with power tools (we were) or riding our bikes miles from home (we were).  If we got into mischief, WE would be the ones punished...not her.

Basically...she could let us out of her sight and not worry that we would be kidnapped, murdered or that she would be thrown into jail for negligence.

Yes, I am a little jealous.  I would love to just ENJOY my child raising years without the constant 'fear' in the background...the ever present nagging 'worry' that every step my kids take away from me is a potential disaster.

Maybe we *have* come a long way, Baby.  A long way in the wrong direction.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

F.A.T. Tuesdays

We just moved in to a rental home.  It's a temporary thing until we actually build our new home...


I can't wait.

Did I tell you I can't wait?

Anyway, speaking of not being capable of waiting, I recently read a blog article about the value of NOT entertaining your kids 24/7.

I loved the points she brought out concerning patience. If our kids don't learn how to handle being bored and being patient, how will that effect their adult lives? 

Now, back to the I-just-moved thing....I have let the kids have WAY too much time with their technology.  Mainly because I just didn't want to be 'bothered' and also, well, there is a lot of their stuff that is still boxed up.

BUT, for the sake of being a good momma and assuaging my guilt, I have come up with

F.A.T. Tuesdays...or  Freedom from All Technology Tuesdays.  (Yes...I know that would be F.F.A.T. with me here.)

Actually I have a friend (shout out to Tammy N.!) who told me a few years ago that she has Tech Free Tuesdays for her kids.  So, yes, Tammy...I am totally stealing your idea.

On F.A.T. Tuesdays...NONE of us will be allowed technology. We will have to find something entertaining to do ALONE.  Well, at least for one hour a day we have our alone time to do what ever it is that will be creative and fun, and we have to do it by ourselves.  Then the other 23 hours of the day we will find a new board games...go for ever our little hearts take a notion to doing.

Did I mention that includes me as well? Nothing like a little alone time for mommy, right? EXCEPT....I can't use my hour for housework, or homeschooling stuff, or anything like that. It has to be an hour of creative fun. Yay! Now, that is sad when I have to schedule in alone fun time for myself...but I do.

So, from now on, on Tuesdays we will be off the grid.  I'm sure I will be dealing with withdrawals like everyone else in this house so...pray for us!