Friday, March 15, 2013

To The New Owner of This House I haven't really sold my house yet. But we have an interested party and the wheeling and dealing are happening as we speak.

But I fully intend on leaving a letter to the new owner of this house when it finally DOES sell.  And it will read something like this.

Dear New Owner,

I hope you love this house as much as I did. Let me tell you a little bit about it, in case you wondered...

This is the only home my babies have ever lived in.  My son first called me 'Mama' in the blue bedroom to the right one sunny morning when he was 6 months old.  I tracked his growth on the back of his bedroom door.  The last line I marked was as tall as I am now.

The white bedroom to the left is where I spent countless hours rocking my daughter to sleep.  She never could stand to be alone, even as a baby.  It's also where I first told her about the big Warrior Angels that God sends to protect her each night. (She's afraid of the dark)

In the flower bed to the left of the back patio is where some of our pets were laid to rest.  There's a bunny, a guinea pig and two parakeets there.  Our own little hallowed ground.  We cried several times over there. And we also laid flowers.

The kitchen is where my littles first dragged a chair across the floor to the counters to help make cookies. Then they got too tall to stand on chairs.  And too old to help bake cookies.

The Bradford Pear in the front was planted by me when I was 7 months pregnant.  I wanted to watch it grow with my son.  And just like him, it is beautiful in each season of life.

The dining room...that's the place where we all said grace.  And had 14 Thanksgiving dinners together with our families.  And birthday parties.  And Christmas caroling parties with loving family and friends.

This house sheltered us through storms.  It was a safe haven after long workdays or tough life days.  It provided comfort and peace.

I hope you can feel the love in our house.  I'm fairly certain the laughter and love lingers even when we are gone.

Now it is time to fill it with your own.



Wednesday, March 13, 2013

And That's Why I Never Watch TV

Yesterday was a follow up visit at the allergists office for my son who is allergic to the state of Georgia.  (Fun times!)

We were the only ones in the waiting room (it was 1:45 pm) so it was nice and quiet...except the TV was on.

Have any of you seen "The Talk"? Kind of like "The View" wannabes?  Yeah...that was on.

First story they Brandy from the Real Housewives claimed she slept with some actor and rated him on a scale of 1 to 10 as an 11 'in bed'.  Then they showed a clip of said actor on the Howard Stern show airing his side of the story.

 Really? This is news?  Where I come from it's called a 'one night stand' and you usually don't discuss it with a MILLION people....and their CHILDREN.

Then they got on to the subject of porn.  Not just for a few seconds. For at least 5 minutes they went on and on about porn.

This is when I start loudly suggesting to the kids..."ANYONE WANT A MAGAZINE?"

Even I was uncomfortable hearing the word 'porn' being thrown around left and right...I'm even uncomfortable typing it in this post.

AND of course Sharon Osbourne is telling us all about how she rallied in her little village, when her kids were young, to have pornography taken out of book stores so her kids don't have to see it.

(Never mind that my kids have to hear her TALKING about it...)

And of course she begins telling all these stories of sitting next to someone in an airport while they are reading a certain kind of magazine and is telling us all what she is SEEING...

My son looks over at me with a pleading look in his eye that says "Make it stop Mom!"
My daughter has her head bowed and is trying to tune it all out.

And I am sitting there mortified.  It's one o'clock on a weekday afternoon, people!  Should this really be a topic of conversation? Is there nothing else on God's green Earth to report on than THAT??

I felt like I needed a shower when we left the waiting area.

Am I that much of a prude?  Really?  Or has modern culture become so desensitized to this type of junk that we all just accept it as the norm?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

5 "Lies" Homeschool Moms Tell Others (and Themselves)

Okay, so maybe this is mostly just ME, but I think homeschool moms truly help each other and the face of homeschooling when we tear down the facades and get REAL.  Get real with each other and the rest of the world.

Here is a compilation of the top 'lies' that homeschoolers tell, whether to others or themselves...and why.

1.  "I just LOVE being with my children all day! EVERY day!" <clutches pearls>:  

No, we don't. Somedays we just want to get in the car and drive far, far away from these little people. Not that we ever would. Okay, maybe not FAR away...but at least far enough to meet another mom for a cup of coffee or shoe shopping.  Sometimes it's hard to even form a coherent thought when you have been with an unruly bunch of kids all day.

But to admit that you want to 'run away' means you are indeed NOT Supermom.  And in some homeschool circles, Supermom is what is expected of us.

(I will admit, the older the kids get, the less I feel like this.)

2.  "I am totally LOVING my curriculum!  I love everything about it!"

No, we don't. least I have yet to find a curriculum that I loved EVERYTHING about. 

To admit that we don't love it means that we just spend oodles of money on a curriculum that we feel we still need to 'tweak' in order for it to work for us.

3.  "ALL kids should be homeschooled."

This is one I have never said, but is the sentiment of many homeschool moms.

No, ALL kids should not be homeschooled.  I personally know of children who were neglected in their homeschool experience...who were denied speech therapy and special education needs.  Who probably weren't fed a decent breakfast or lunch.  Let's face it...there are children that, for them, public school is a safe haven, a place to escape their crazy parents or get a decent meal at the very least.  And to not admit that...well, you have your head in the sand.

But to admit that is to admit that yes...there ARE crazy parents who are homeschooling their kids...which certainly casts suspicion on the rest of us.  And even though it is their 'right' to homeschool...that doesn't mean it is the best thing for their kids.

4.  "All homeschooled children are PERFECTLY socialized!"

Where do I begin? :)  Children are CHILDREN, i.e., 'unfinished adults'.  Meaning, they still mess up.  They are still learning how to interact with each other and the world. 

I will say they have more opportuninties to learn that interaction with multiple ages. 

But I have seen the kids that don't know how to sit still and listen, talk back to adults, etc.  So, no, not all homeschooled kids are better socialized, rather the opportunity is there for them to learn how to interact with others...whether or not their parents take that opportunity to guide them is another story altogether.

But to admit that is to admit there are indeed 'weird homeschoolers'.  It's true. There are.

5.  "I would NEVER _________"

Fill in the blank with your choice...never send them back to school? Never use a certain curriculum or method?  As my momma used to say..never say never!

Children change.  Their needs change.  Family dynamics change.  As homeschool moms, our focus should be on what is best NOW. What was best when the kids were in early elementary may not be what is best in middle or high school.

To admit that would mean to admit that what we once proclaimed to be perfect for our kids and us may now NOT be perfect. 

Be open to change. Nothing is worse than wallowing around in stagnation because you are too resistant to take new and exciting opportunities that will benefit your children.

How about you? What are some homeschool 'lies' that need to be exposed, in your experience?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Field Trip: Port Columbus

Since we are studying the Civil War, I found a wonderful field trip opportunity that was relatively close by...Port Columbus, Columbus, Georgia!

First of gotta love an interpreter in costume.

We learned the differences in weapons used by the Confederacy and the Union.  And the origins of many sayings that we use today such as "lock, stock and barrell"..."Pop a cap"....and "boot camp".

We also learned that you had to be at least 13 years old to join the Civil War navy...13! I have a hard time making my 13 year old make his bed everyday!

Another least 4 teeth.  So that you can tear open the little paper tubes of gunpowder with your teeth in order to use it in your gun.  I am assuming that means 2 upper and 2 lower, and that they all meet up with each other.

We learned the story of the Water Witch.  It almost sounded like a Three Stooges episode at some points...very interesting!  Also, the men who refused to fight in the skirmish were sent to Andersonville Prison...which will be our next field trip, I'm sure.

One of the tour guides demonstrated a Civil War rifle.... note the earplugging. 

 My favorite display...the actual remains of a Civil War ironclad ship.  This particular ship was captured by the Union and set ablaze and left to drift up the burned for 3 weeks.  Can you imagine?

 Us listening to the tale of the Water Witch...

A model of the upper decks of the Virginia (Merrimac).  The floor that we were standing on was where water level would have been.  It was a very low profile ship, hence a smaller target.  Also, this protected the vulnerable underbelly of the ship, which was made of wood, by 'hiding' it underwater.

And since it was a beautiful day, we enjoyed a picnic lunch by the Chattahoochee River. 

One thing to love about living in Georgia...when one studies the Civil War, there is no shortage of field trip opportunities to bring it to life!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

My Latest Craze: Fruity Lemonade

Lately we have been on a mission in my home to eliminate processed foods and drinks from our diets.  Along with that we have been incorporating more fresh produce.

As we all know, fresh berries are wonderful! Except...they spoil quickly.

And truth be known, my kids don't really care for smoothies.  One doesn't like berries unless they are baked in a cobbler.

BUT they love lemonade.

So I have been tinkering around with making homemade lemonade because I had a whole bag of lemons that needed a purpose in life before they rotted.

And I happened to have strawberries that were on the same doomed path.

And blueberries.

Voila!  Fresh lemonade with a handful of strawberries and blueberries blended right in!

Way better than Kool Aid. 

I can't wait til Summer when the peaches and blackberries are in season...and the peppermint! And pineapple sage!