This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every moring: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion saith my soul: therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. Lamentations 3: 21-26

Saturday, January 6, 2007

It is Spring

It really is Spring! Just ask me how I know.

Go on ask me, ask me…

Well I am gonna tell you anyway. It is spring because Wal-Mart is stocking the garden center and the swimsuits are in.

Maybe someone should tell the weathermen???

It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man. Psalm 188:8

Friday, January 5, 2007

The Big C

Two homeschool moms get together for some “grown-up” conversation over coffee (okay one of them was me). What do they end up talking about? Their method of schooling and the big C. Curriculum.

Why are curriculum choices such a hot topic for HS moms?

Well, of course the only answer is because the future of our children rests on the choices we make. We need to research and find the best curriculum. Really????? Or might it be that…

We see curriculum as a reflection of ourselves.

We see this as how others define us.

Curriculum reflects not only how we are now—but the type of person we want to become. We hope it tells others how smart we are, what wise choices we make for our children. We might feel our children reflect what kind of parents we are, what we say they are learning & how we are teaching reflects our morals & values. Curriculum for some of us is more important than clothes or home furnishings are when we have others sizing us up.

I see so many families out there using very different methods than I do. I see fruit in most of those families. Maybe part of the journey is to see what kind of fruit we are.

When Boo was born I had a five year plan. Changed that plan a year later. I have had a new plan almost every year. Boo is six, Roo is nine. How many plans have I gone through? At least a plan a year. I had a new plan in July. It was so pretty and looked so organized. Ahhh…that word—organized. The antithesis of me & apparently my family.

So maybe we will continue down this road that has evolved to be our form of schooling. There is evidence of learning. Hopefully there is some wisdom growing.

Remembering today:

This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.
It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
They are new every moring: great is thy faithfulness.
The Lord is my portion saith my soul: therefore will I hope in him.
The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh him.
It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.

Lamentations 3: 21-26

Thursday, January 4, 2007

The Oft Asked Question

Why do you homeschool? I am asked this on a regular basis. I have given many answers. Some of them include:

We felt led to homeschool before school was an issue. We knew when they were born that it was an option we craved. We prayed about it and have felt led to do so. As they’ve grown we see we want to be our children’s teacher. It feels like we are separated in so many things, i.e. children here, adults there, men here, women there—we like the fact homeschooling keeps us together as much as possible.

As we’ve grown in our journey we’ve seen we are able to teach to the boys’ strengths, build up confidence in weaker areas, and move at appropriate times for them. It appears both sons may have been poor candidates for sitting quietly at a desk and standing in line a lot. They can focus when something has their attention, but need outlets and release times to have physical play in between.

Socialization is important to us—we want to be in charge of that too. We don’t want a false sense that 30 of their closest age-mates have a better understanding of the world around them than we do. We would like them to be able to talk to people of any age with courtesy, respect and hopefully interest. Exciting it has been to see this work out. My sons have shown enthusiasm meeting a 5 month old baby and seniors of various stages of health. The side affect of this is that they don’t realize some grown-ups are not well socialized and find it very disconcerting to be spoken to by a child who does not see them as automatic authority figures, who is not intimidated by their size, and who truly feels their equal and competent to engage in conversation beyond name, age and favorite movie. My experience with homeschooled children is most often the child is able to look me straight in the eye, speak of their interests with confidence and detail and be interested in what I have to say. I am sure that is not 100% the case, but it has been my fortunate experience.

A side benefit is that we’ve not had piles of homework after activities and been able to adjust our schedule due to the previous day’s demands or health issues. Mean mommy that I am, reading rarely gets left undone even on “sick” days, LOL. If they feel well enough to watch the tube, they certainly won’t be strained reading a book.

Speaking of “sick days”…We are on round three, maybe four of “the creeping crud” aka the respiratory viral junk that has plagued us for a while. Just when we start to improve it mutates. Ugh…well since I have claimed “relaxed and eclectic” status for a long time now it has helped me not feel as stressed if we sleep a bit later and are working up until supper (we break a lot), but part of me would like to rise earlier and finish earlier. Part of me still insists that we should join the more “organized” camp and roll out at 7 and be done be 1 or 2. I am sure that would involve going to bed earlier…me included. Hmmmmmmm……..well maybe something to ponder after we are feeling a bit better.

Yesterday’s joy was listening to Roo’s piano playing. That 9 year old fingers can manipulate the keyboard with such mastery often leaves a tear in my eye and my jaw on the floor. Walking Boo through his lesson time reaffirmed my belief that he will be no less amazing. He will play differently, it is obvious, but he will move me too, in fact he already does.

For today’s journey:

’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus

’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus
And to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
And to know, “Thus says the Lord!”

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust Him more!

O how sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to trust His cleansing blood;
And in simple faith to plunge me
’Neath the healing, cleansing flood!

Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease;
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life and rest, and joy and peace.

I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that Thou art with me,
ilt be with me to the end.

Words by Louisa M.R. Stead & Music by William J. Kirkpatrick

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

My son’s handwriting is not a reflection on either of us…

I wrote this quite a while ago, but am reminding myself that I believe this today.

Growing up in a parochial school meant handwriting was drilled into our heads & hands at an early age. We continued practice for a long time. There is a certain style of handwriting that can mark one as a graduate of Catholic school penmanship. I still can reproduce that style if I want to. But years of working with doctors changed my handwriting to a functional legibility. There also lingers the calligraphy classes’ influence.

Which is why I am not stressing about Boo’s handwriting so much. Roo I may have pushed too hard I think. But he has beautiful handwriting for an 2nd grade boy. He has better handwriting than a lot of young ladies I know. (Why do people judge handwriting based on gender?) But he is like me too and those things are important to him. He likes lines and rules and boundaries. We have a deal that if his writing reflects time and effort we will do a calligraphy book this summer. I better start looking for one. He is very excited.

Boo on the other hand is just trying to communicate. He wants to learn to read because he wants to know things and doesn’t like to ask for help. He wants to write things and wants to be understood. He doesn’t care if the small “b” is floating above or below the line. He doesn’t care that his capital “B” is emaciated and looks a little disoriented. The look on his face when corrected says, “Well I did it well enough so you knew what it was. What’s the problem?”

I am finding that over-correcting Boo will only make him become discouraged and disappointed. He would rather walk away than struggle with something. He will go away and seem to go off a different direction. That’s what I thought. Apparently he goes off, ponders it and comes back when he can do it better.

But I like to have him write at least a few times a week. So I’ve lightened up the corrections. Lightened up my attitude and enjoyed the process a little more. So has he. Other people are surprised, “But my four y/o can do that.” “We practice until we get it right.” “We do at least four pages a day and little Johnny is younger than Boo. Don’t you think…” Well no I don’t and I am glad that it works for them. I am assuming they are taking their children’s personalities and needs in consideration. But I know now that Boo’s handwriting doesn’t reflect on his intelligence or my teaching unless it says that we have found more useful things to do with our time right now than argue.

For today's path...
Psalm 30

1 I will exalt you, O LORD,
for you lifted me out of the depths
and did not let my enemies gloat over me.

2 O LORD my God, I called to you for help
and you healed me.

3 O LORD, you brought me up from the grave;
you spared me from going down into the pit.

4 Sing to the LORD, you saints of his;
praise his holy name.

5 For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may remain for a night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning.

6 When I felt secure, I said,
"I will never be shaken."

7 O LORD, when you favored me,
you made my mountain stand firm;
but when you hid your face,
I was dismayed.

8 To you, O LORD, I called;
to the Lord I cried for mercy:

9 "What gain is there in my destruction,
in my going down into the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it proclaim your faithfulness?

10 Hear, O LORD, and be merciful to me;
O LORD, be my help."

11 You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,

12 that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Starting with School Already

We started back with school yesterday. The boys had just really disintegrated into chaos and a bit of aggressive behavior. Can we say too much video game input?? So I informed them Sunday night we would start school Monday—holiday or not. I didn’t roll them out early or anything. In fact we eased quietly into the day. School began after lunch and included easy piano time. Amazingly the boys offered no arguments and in fact seemed a little relieved at the semblance of structure. It was nice.

: Sometimes moving efficiently is a joyful thing. I find that a job done efficiently and effectively is a wonderful thing. I feel competent and it frees me up to do the things I love.

But sometimes there is joy in the puttering and meandering, the savoring of every step as I saw yesterday while Boo did his work. He wanted to do extra steps and I had to stop myself from trying to make him go faster, to finish before he was done. He was relishing the mastery of his work and embellishment of something a bit ordinary and mundane. I need to learn to do this more often.

Today’s promise:

Psalm 16
1Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust.
2O my soul, thou hast said unto the LORD, Thou art my Lord: my goodness extendeth not to thee;
3But to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight.
4Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god: their drink offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips.
5The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot.
6The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.
7I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons.
8I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
9Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.
10For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
11Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Monday, January 1, 2007

Restarting Already

Well I had planned to start 2007 with my Bible, but parked it at the computer instead—out of habit and because I am paying for last night. Not that my discomfort is alcohol related, I did have some lovely “Mer-LOTT” as my darling and my friend jokingly called it, but that is not the problem. No, the problem would be all the snackies that somehow made it past my lips. An odd combination of grown-up junk food, pickled and salty, mostly. With cheese. And hummus. And guacamole.

So several forums and blogs later…I am already feeling defeated on my goals. Just what the enemy would like. So I am going to hit send in a moment and re-focus.

Blessings to everyone for this year already in progress.

My goals for 2007

Start with God
Learn to live joyfully
Play piano
Craft more
Read more
Listen to more music
Be someone I would like to be around
Exercise again
Find the perfect purse

His Eye Is on the Sparrow

Why should I feel discouraged,
why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely,
and long for heaven and home
When Jesus is my portion?
My constant friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow,
and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow,
and I know He watches me.

I sing because I'm happy,
I sing because I'm free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

"Let not your heart be troubled,"
His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness,
I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth,
but one step I may see;
His eye is on the sparrow,
and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow,
and I know He watches me.

I sing because I'm happy,
I sing because I'm free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

Whenever I am tempted,
whenever clouds arise,
When songs give place to sighing,
when hope within me dies,
I draw the closer to Him,
from care He sets me free;
His eye is on the sparrow,
and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow,
and I know He watches me.

I sing because I'm happy,
I sing because I'm free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

- Words by Civilla D. Martin, 1905- Music Charles H. Gabriel, 1905

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Birthday today...almost forgot...

For the record, it is Poochie's birthday. Since Poochie already treated herself I was not much in to mood to pile on the puppy treats and goodies. Now my boys kinda think I am mean. Poochie thinks I am mean. (Actually I don't think she "gets" the birthday thing. She just knows she's in trouble. I never got the whole pets are like people thing. ) So we will just say "Yay! Poochie's five!!" and leave it at that. Exciting, I know.

Although I will say PetSmart sent her a birthday card with a nice coupon for a toy though, so we will add that to the next outing list. She still has her toy from last year. Gotta say she takes care of toys!

Happy Birthday Poochie-Poo!!

Stay out of the snackies I have to put on the table for the company tonight!!!