Monday, August 31, 2009

Dreams

I stopped dreaming when I was about 26 years old. When I was younger than that, I dreamed about the life I'd have. I dreamed about getting married, having a family, what my wedding would be like, what I'd name my kids. But then... it didn't happen. I didn't get married until I was 34 years old. That wasn't what I had planned. And then, I couldn't get pregnant. So, for a long long time, I didn't dream. I just kind of let life happen to me. I wouldn't say that is a bad way to live. I actually have a good life. I have a wonderful husband, three beautiful children and a nice house. However, some of the choices we are making regarding our life make me think we need to start dreaming a little, planning ahead a little, because if we continue in this "letting life happen to us" mode, we may find ourselves in a place we don't want to be in.

One of the biggest things I'm looking at is our choice of lifestyle. I look at my children and think, "What do I want for my kids? How do I want them to turn out and how is the best way to accomplish that?" First and foremost, I want them to have a vibrant, personal relationship with Christ. We are doing our best to teach them Scripture, get them involved in our church and be good models for them. Secondly, we want them to be hard-working, unselfish people. It's that second one we're getting stuck on. How do you teach children to work hard, when there's very little they can do? I mean, my kids do chores, but there's really only so many chores I can assign them. We homeschool and we are working on being diligent workers and doing our best. But, then, what do we do with the rest of our day? The kids play. This is fine for now, but what happens when they are older? I don't want to just "fill up their time" with sports and music and other activities. While a little of that is fine, I want more for my kids. I want them to feel like they are contributing to the greater good of the family. I want them to be working with the family on something with purpose and meaning. I want them to be occupied in work that can benefit them later on in life. I don't exactly know what that would look like. I keep toying with the idea of a small family farm. Hubby would continue with his job, of course, but I'd love to have a small acreage and teach the boys to farm. They can work and earn their own money as well. I think this would provide what I'm looking for for our kids, and also myself.

So, I've started to dream again!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Homeschool up and running!

Well, we've had school for three weeks now. Originally, I'd planned on starting last week, which is when most of the area schools began, but by the first week of August, we were bored, I was ready to begin, so I just decided, "What the heck! Let's start!" So, we did.

It's been going pretty well, actually. One thing I need to get over is my need to "follow a recipe". I'm just that kind of person. I follow recipes when I cook and I'd done a pretty good job of "following the A Beka Recipe" last year for Kindergarten. I figure, they wrote the curriculum, I should do what they say. But.... this year, I'm doing things a little differently. For one thing, I'm using another publisher for History, and I'm not sticking closely to that at all. For example, in our history text, there was one page on Leif Ericson and the Vikings. I didn't think that was nearly enough, so I embellished. We're on our second week of Viking study. Today, we made a paper model of a Viking longboat. That was pretty fun. We'll be stringing out such subjects as Native Americans, Jamestown, the Explorers and other interesting things as we go.

Another thing, however, that's kind of made me go "off the recipe" is the needs of my kids. Bubba is 6 years old. He's doing solid first grade work. Duh-duh is 5 years old. I've always been schooling him with his brother, and he's kept up, until now. He's struggling doing first grade math. Well, yeah... he's only 5. Technically he should be in kindergarten. So, I'm trying to decide what to do about that. He's just not getting the concepts, so I'm thinking of ordering another kindergarten curriculum and having the boys do different math books. But, on the flip side of that... their reading is just taking off. I started out, of course, following the curriculum's reading program, but after reading with them all summer, the readers we were reading were waaaay too easy. So, I skipped ahead about a dozen lessons and we're also doing two lessons a day, which makes it about 15 minutes of oral reading. That's about where I want them to be. Fortunately, I got a good deal on second grade phonics curriculum from a school that's closing. I think I'll need that stuff before the end of the year.

All in all, homeschooling is going well. Now, having them at home all day long... that's the subject of another post.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Beautiful Sierra Nevadas!







One of the reasons we could never leave California, no matter how badly the politicians screw it up, is our beautiful mountains. A couple Saturdays ago we went hiking with some friends of ours up to Weaver Lake. It's a nice little hike, appropriate for families with young kids. It's not too strenuous and it has a beautiful lake at the end.

Monday, August 17, 2009

It's not about which clothes you wear.... it's how you wear them!

The other night at a gathering of friends some of the ladies and I were talking about another one of the gals. No, not in that catty way women talk about other women, but we were really trying to figure out why this gal, who was dressed simply in shorts and a t-shirt always looks so... good, so put together, glamorous in an understated way, and why we, if we were wearing the same clothes, would look, well, frumpy. In the end we decided that it's not really about the clothes you wear, or your make-up or your hair. It's all about how you wear it, how you carry yourself - in a word, poise!

So, I've been thinking about this idea of poise. I've been really tired of my "look" lately. I have no sense of style, my hair is in desperate need of a cut, and I'm gaining back the weight I lost. And, on top of all that, I have no poise. But, I've been thinking about it and this afternoon I decided to work on it. I was walking down the street with my three munchkins this afternoon and I really tried to straighten up, put my shoulders back slightly, lift my chin and walk confidently. And then, I looked back and my boys were dragging behind looking in store windows, and Missy Lou was trying desperately to catch up with me. How can you have poise when you are slouched down holding hands with a three-year-old and trying to keep pace with two little boys who keep walking in front of you and bumping into you?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Summertime Treat

Today, being the sixth day of August, one would expect a hot, sunny day, typical of most other summer days in our neck of the woods. But... would you believe it? We had a high of 81 degrees. Yes, 81 little degrees. It was wonderful. I kept the windows open all day long and didn't even turn on the ceiling fans until... oh, I don't know, about 5:00 and I was cooking. We took a walk this evening and the weather was just delightful. And as I sit here and type this, there's a nice cool breeze coming in the windows. I have all the windows open in our bedroom in hopes of getting it nice and cool in there and having to pull up the comforter. Yes, this was a summertime treat.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Impersonating my sister-in-law

I'm sure not many people have a sister-in-law who has exactly the same name (well, not middle name) as they do, but I do. In fact, not only do I have a sister-in-law with exactly the same name as I do, but I have another sister-in-law who's name is a variant of my name (these gals all married my husband's brothers) and then the lone sister in that family is also named a variant of the same name. Oddly, our family gatherings aren't as confusing as one might think.

Now, this one sister-in-law, with my exact name, is an Ob/Gyn, and so when I have to do business in the women's health mileu, everyone thinks I'm her. It's not a bad thing. She's a very nice person and is very well respected professionally, but... I'm always having to explain that "No, I'm not the doctor, I'm the teacher...". Well, today I had to have a second mammogram. My first showed some funny things, so I had to go back today for a second one and an ultrasound. So, I'm in there lying on the table and the tech first does the ultrasound and then goes and gets the doctor. He comes in and says, "Oh, yes, we've met." I reply, "No, I don't think we have." "Oh yes, we have. It was a long time ago." Well, I knew we'd never met, but what am I going to do? Have an arguement with this man while I'm lying on the table getting an ultrasound? Then he makes a comment that lead me to believe that he thought I was my sister-in-law, so I said, "I'm not who you think I am!" and then went on to explain why I wasn't her. He, of course, was embarrassed and apologetic. It never bothers me that people get us mixed up, it's easy to do; the name is the same, we're roughly the same age and we both have the same coloring. So, after a little more chit-chat, he said there's nothing wrong with me and "have a good day!" And so I did!