Friday, June 29, 2007
Grammy & Grampa's house has a special smell - wood and spice and lavender and cut grass. It has a special place in the hearts of my children, and of course, in mine because it is the place I grew up.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
My kids really do enjoy art museums though, and we spent a little bit of time wandering through some of the other areas of the museum - which are all free! Jason was fascinated by an upside down portrait of the Mona Lisa created from spools of thread! Another favorite is the hanging airplane made of silk flowers and butterflies ~ many of the butterflies move their wings mechanically, and if you look really closely, you can see that a few of the butterfly wings have human faces on them!
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Next year he moves up to machine-pitch, which should should offer a higher level of competition. Even though Jason's skills are better than most of the kids on his team ( result of having 2 big brothers who played years of baseball and have coached him along since he was 2!), he never seemed frustrated, but cheered on his teammates and just enjoyed being out there on the field. There are other town leagues in the area that others prefer because of more "intense competition", but somehow that just doesn't seem necessary at this age!
Monday, June 25, 2007
Went to WalMart and bought some food ( can't seem to keep that in the house!) Then it was home to work on some school preparations, do some laundry and cleaning...
Made Pasta Fagiole and salad for supper.
Afterwards, Mark, Jason and I went for a 3-mile walk.
Not too exciting - just a quiet day.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Friday, June 22, 2007
That's because, beginning in 2009, a new state law will require most children to wait until they are 5 before they start kindergarten in public schools. The proposal won final legislative approval Thursday, and Gov. Mike Easley said he will sign the measure into law."
This was the lead into an article in today's Raleigh News & Observer on a new NC law moving the school cut-off age from Oct. 16 to Aug. 31. Now if I was writing this article, I would have started it like this. "More 4-year-olds in North Carolina will soon spend an extra year safely at home with their mother, playing dress up, building blanket forts, learning to do chores, and singing silly songs..."
The article cited education experts who talked of the disadvantage of mixing 4 year olds with 6 year olds in the same kindergarten classroom, saying that the new law should result in higher test scores and lower teacher frustration. Oh my goodness! No mention of the fact that four year olds need moms, not schools! They need time to play and explore, to rest and take a nap, to snuggle in loving arms for a story, to watch birds and bugs and flowers in the yard. But the article went on to quote a parent bemoaning the fact that the new law will burden families with increased child-care costs.
Patrice Thompson thinks the new law is a bad idea. The Raleigh mother, whose 6-year-old daughter finished kindergarten this year, said the earlier birthday cutoff will cause more families such as hers to spend money on an additional year of child care.
"Paying child care is no joke," Thompson said.
I find it sad that schools are viewed as free day care centers; wouldn't it be just so much more convenient if schools would take kids from birth, so parents wouldn't have to make all these other arrangements for their care? How is it that the very notion of parents as caretakers, nurturers, and teachers of our children seems to be lost on our society? Perhaps there should be more workshops and education programs aimed at helping parents understand their God-given role as moms and dads.
The article ended with another disturbing statement:
Bryant said the law would do the most harm to children from low-income families who have not had proper health care or had limited access to books and other educational tools in their early years. Bryant said school systems need to work with these children as soon as possible. Although more affluent parents will be able to work with their children during the extra year, she said, many other students will be out of luck.
Since when is money required to nurture a child? This is just a bunch of baloney! I realize that there are adults out there who , for whatever reason, do not embrace their role as parents and leave their kids to fend for themselves. However, to suggest that "more affluent parents will be able to work with their children", and therefore that less affluent parents will not, is highly insulting! There are plenty of parents living in very humble circumstances who read to their kids, take them to the park, teach them their ABCs, kneel with them to say their prayers, teach them to be polite and kind to others. Being wealthy doesn't equate to being a good parent!
It is time that society started expecting more of parents! Expecting them to take care of their children, to teach their children, to be there for their children. And then respecting them for doing it! We can start by sending the message that home - a good, loving, nurturing home - is the best place for children to be.
Well, I got married fresh out of college, and having babies wasn't a problem for us. We struggled a bit ( mostly he ) with how big our family should be, but ended up with 5 precious children, spread over 13 years. They are a joy and a pleasure and a gift - and costly and frustrating and time consuming. But I can't think of a better way to spend my life than in pouring myself into raising and teaching and loving these unique gifts from God. I hadn't given adoption much thought until this past year, when I started to spend a lot of time with friends who have felt God's call to enlarge their family through adoption. www.jobsdaughters.blogspot.com. Suddenly it seems that God is doing some serious shaking up of the Christian community in regards to the plight of orphans. Family Life and Focus on the Family have recently joined together with Shaohannah's Hope ( started by Christian recording star Steven Curtis Chapman ) to form Voice of the Orphan, to raise awareness of the orphan crisis worldwide and to spur Christians to action. Family Life also has their own Hope for the Orphans, to provide information and assistance for individuals and churches interested in adoption and adoption ministry. Oprah Winfrey has featured orphans and adoption stories on her TV show. Of course, celebrities Madonna and Angelina Jolie have also gotten lots of media attention for their international adoptions.
Most amazing to me is the subtle work going on the hearts of everyday people like you and me ~ people with busy families and full lives, who are feeling their hearts being pulled toward the orphan. Several people in my own circle of friends have been surprised to learn that each was feeling similar stirrings in their hearts. The need is huge, gigantic, overwhelming. But one family can totally transform the life of one child ~ giving them hope and a future that they otherwise would not have. Many families can rescue many children. Hundreds of families, hundreds of kids....
God doesn't ask us to save the world. But he might be calling us to stretch out of our comfort zone and share our abundance with one desperately needy child, and give them a FAMILY. Or to come alongside and help others in that task.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Monday, June 18, 2007
Do read their blog and then add them to your prayer list.
Ten Things I Am Thankful for Today
1. My Dad - since today is Fathers Day ( well, officially yesterday since it is now past midnight ); I am thankful for a Dad who loves his family and placed a high priority on family time, gave me a secure and happy childhood, and has encouraged and supported me on into adulthood
2. My husband - an awesome Daddy to our 5 children; he has a job which requires long hours and occasional travel, but still manages to place a high priority on family time, and the people he works with know it; he also loves me and lets me know it! There's a saying : "The most important thing a man can do for his children is to love their mother". Well, I'm sure there's no doubt in our kids' minds that Daddy loves Mama!
3. Air conditioning - it was in the mid-90's today, and I don't do well in the heat and humidity
4. Young Adult Sons - sometimes the cause of gray hair, but yesterday I was proud of my 2 boys who came to the rescue of Sarah's friend, Bekah, whose car was sitting in our driveway with a dead battery
5. Flowers - I'm not a great gardener, but I planted some colorful impatience, verbena, and petunias by my front door this week, and they look so pretty ~ I like to just walk out the door and look at them; they make me smile...
6. Telephones - I live 700 miles away from my parents, but can pick up the phone and talk to them just about any time I want; pretty neat
7. My Washer & Dryer - as I sit and fold yet another load of clean laundry, I'm thankful for the convenience of an electric washer and dryer; my mother remembers Wash Day and the old wringer washer when she was young
8. Summer Vacation - I just love having my college age kids home for the summer, and the break in our busy schedule that summer brings
9. Fat Free Fudgsicles - I'm trying to lose weight, and chocolate is one of my weaknesses; fudgsicles satisfy that craving and the fat free ones are only 70 calories or 1 Point on Weight Watchers
10. Sunday naps - it was a busy week, and the whole family zonked out for a while this afternoon; I don't feel guilty about a nap on Sunday afternoon like I do on other days
Have a blessed week.
Friday, June 15, 2007
J wasn't sure he would like Runners Camp; he thought running was boring unless there was a ball involved. But after the first day he said that it was a lot more fun than he expected, and by tonight he was telling me how much he loved it and hated that the week was over! The week culminated with a Track Meet, which started at 4:00 this afternoon and didn't end until after 10:00 tonight. J did very well, placing either 2nd or 3rd in almost every event he entered.
He should sleep well tonight!
Thursday, June 14, 2007
I happen to have the best dad in the world. Now I'm sure you all had really nice dads. But mine is the best, well, because he's my Dad! Daddy was a high school physical education teacher and football coach. He loved his school and his students, but his family was his number one priority. Daddy was stern and tough at times, but we always knew he loved us and wanted only the best for his family. My dad is the most loyal man I know. He is a man of integrity and compassion, loved by everyone who knows him. After retiring from teaching, he still remained very involved in the athletic program at his high school, and they even named the high school football field after him for his dedication. He served the community through leadership in the local Lions Club. He is a part-time bakery chef at Victoria Station Cafe ( owned by my sister and brother-in-law). And he is an awesome Grampa!
Some campers come back as teens to serve as CITS, some can't stay away even as they head into adulthood and join the summer staff as counselors. NLC seems to get into your blood.
The camp may seem old and run down at first glance, with little to offer in the way of amenities... but the fierce devotion of NLCampers tells something of the heart of the people who minister there. To many people, young and old, no place on earth is as beautiful as New Life Camp.
Friday, June 8, 2007
Check it out at www.groups.yahoo.com/group/schedulizerssupport We'll be working on accountability and actually implementing some of our great ideas!!!
I considered joining them on the ice, but talked myself out of it and ended up visiting with friends out in the snack bar area instead. All good. :-)
Thursday, June 7, 2007
~ Agatha Christie
Architect Frank Lloyd Wright told how a lecture he received at the age of nine helped set his philosophy of life: an uncle, a stolid, no-nonsense type, had taken him for a long walk across a snow-covered field. at the far side, his uncle told him to look back at their two sets of tracks. "See, my boy," he said, "how your foot prints go aimlessly back and forth from those trees, to the cattle, back to the fence, and then over there where you were throwing sticks? But notice how MY path come straight across, directly to my goal. You should never forget this lesson!"
"And I never did," Wright said, grinning. "I determined right then not to miss most things in life, as my uncle did."
"Parents give up their rights when they drop the children off at public school."
~ Melinda Harmon, Federal Judge, 1996
"Education is not the filling of a bucket, it is the lighting of a fire."
~ William Butler Yeats
"It is nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom; without this it goes to wreak and ruin. It is a very grace mistake to think that the enjoyment of seeing and searching can be promoted by means of coercion and a sense of duty."
~ Albert Einstein
"I have never let schooling interfere with my education."
~ Mark Twain
"The truth is that schools don't really teach anything except how to obey orders."
~ John Taylor Gatto, NY City and State Teacher of the Year
"What is most important and valuable about the home as a base for children's growth into the world is not that is a better school than the schools, but that it isn't a school at all."
~ John Holt
"We're not trying to do "School at Home". We're trying to do homeschool. These are two entirely different propositions. We're not trying to replicate the time, style, or content of the classroom. Rather we're trying to cultivate a lifestyle of learning in which learning takes place from morning until bedtime 7 days a week. The "formal" portion of each teaching day is just the tip of the iceburg."
~ Steve and Jane Lambert, authors of Five in a Row
- half were very organized and managed their time very well; the other half was more laid back and procrastinated until the last minute- but still got work in on time - seems to be a personality thing!
- non-homeschooled friends were sometimes surprised to learn they had been homeschooled, because they were so "normal"
- when asked if there was anything they would change about their high school years at home, one said she would study more things that really interested her, another said that he would have pushed and taken calculus in high school ( because he was in engineering ), another said he wouldn't give his mother such a hard time about homeschooling!
- none had a hard time transitioning from homeschool to college - although they have met homeschoolers who have struggled; being active in things outside the home and taking classes at community college or in groups helped
At the end of the meeting, one mom asked the panel if they would homeschool their own children. Except for the one who is married with children, the other young singles all shrugged and said, "maybe, it depends, I don't know". I had to smile - parenthood probably seems pretty far off for them at this point in their lives. And it is amazing how your perspective on things changes when you have children! I'd like to see them all in 10 years, and ask that question again.