Saturday, October 31, 2009
Hope you have a wonderful Halloween and be safe.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
We are looking to be intensive foster parents i.e. foster parents for children with special needs/circumstances. Certainly, all children in the foster system have special needs i.e. the need for family and love, but these children exhibit larger issues or for some other reason require more time than children in the regular system.
One of the first questions we got at our first meeting was why were we considering IFC (intensive foster care)? My first thought was of a student that I had when I was student teaching (Let's call him Patrick.). When I started teaching, I expected to really like the goodie two shoes and find the difficult children to be my biggest problem; however, what I found was that the "trouble makers" were the ones that stole my heart. Patrick was always bothering other kids. He was actually known to jump over a table and punch other children. He was outwardly aggressive and extremely confrontational to adults (mind you this was 3rd grade). I cannot tell you the number of times I had to take this child aside to talk to him. One particularly difficult day, when I took him aside, he finally just admitted that he was hungry. His mom was "saving" the food for this weekend when a friend of hers was coming by. He hadn't eaten since yesterday at school. I knew from the background on Patrick that this was most likely a true story. The concept of a parent withholding food from their child was foreign to me (Yes, I was naive, but I wasn't even 20 yet). Henceforth, I kept snacks in my desk and told him to come to me any time he was hungry, but that is when I knew that it was these kids that held my hearts--- Kids with all the promise in the world that just needed someone to believe in them, that just needed some stable ground to begin to grow in, that just needed to worry about being a kid and not all the adult worries. Patrick was also and incredible artist. I can only hope that his home life changed and he was given an opportunity to develop this talent or that he remembers just one of our many talks and had the strength to hold on to his dreams. Patrick has been held in my heart from these almost 20 years, but as a teacher there is only so much you can do for so long. As a mother, maybe I could ensure that the Patricks of this world would one day become world renown artists.
I welcome any thoughts by others that have fostered or been fostered. Please let me know how we can be a good family for the children that will hopefully come through our doorway. We still have a long road to travel, but we are now a little farther today.
Monday, October 26, 2009
If you love any of the news agencies that I mentioned in my Watching the News post or are fascinated by new ideas; If you love learning; If you get Discover, National Geographic, Scientific America; this is a website you have to check out. I can't even imagine how exciting it must be to actually be at one of the seminars. The brain power and creativity must be electric. Even listening to these ideas over the internet is electrifying (ok, that might be because these speeches are my new background "music" while I was dishes). I have listened to stories by authors Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Love, Pray) and Amy Tan. I have learned about how food has developed our cities and should continue to do so. I've contemplated how this recession has actually been helpful and how Wikipedia is like no encyclopedia that anyone has ever known. It is like having the best college seminars ever at my finger tips: short, succinct, but provocative.
Have you ever heard the Eleanor Roosevelt saying that, "Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people"? Well, this could be your first step to being a great mind.
It has left me with trying to find out more about the speaker and a trip to the library to find the book he mentions Epiphany (which I found out was published under the name of The Element).
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Here is one of the stories that I found when perusing the site. I thought it was an irronic story since I found it online, but let's hope that using the computer never gets like this.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Our deepest sorrows
with the whispers of our past
the teachers of true deep laughter
and tears that may never stop
a reason to go on
a wish that time would slow down
reasons to work
desire to be home
...........................but so much more than us.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Apparently, in Kyrgyzstan, a country in Asia, it is still common practice to kidnap your wife especially in the more rural areas. I don't mean like a cute reenactment of an old tradition. I mean a brutal, scary abduction that leads a young woman to the house of someone she may barely know, where she is forced to marry. If she can resist the attacks of the woman of this household and can extricate herself from the situation where even the law turns a blind eye, she may be shunned by her own family for breaking the tradition.
The piece was so compelling that I followed a link to find more on this story which was covered by PBS's Frontline. Please be aware that this is not a story for children and the harsh reality of what is going on can be disturbing, but I believe that you cannot change what you do not acknowledge. Kudos to Modern Bride for bringing up such an important subject.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
1. Candy corn: Your thoughts? I wonder who ever thought of this idea. Corn it is so good and healthy for you. Let’s turn it into a sugary treat.
2. Briefly, what was the first conversation you ever had with your spouse? (or best friend, if you're not married.) (Or someone significant, like your librarian.) Well, it wasn’t our first conversation as we grew up together, but DH actually asked me out on bet. He and his friends debated who was going to have the guts to ask. DH won or lost depending how you look at it.
3. Could you ever become a vegetarian? Yes – as long as I didn’t have to cook for DH and family.
4. Have you ever dressed up your pet in a costume? NO!
5. Name something about childhood that you miss (like Clark Bars, Teaberry Gum, Malibu Barbie, cracking fake eggs on people's heads with your fist and "It's the Great Pumpkin" airing only once a year).
Christmas at my Grandfather’s. It was so traditional we even had mashed turnip. It was like living in an old movie.
6. Have you ever won a trophy? If not, what do you deserve a trophy for?
I think dance when I was like 6.
7. When do you think is the appropriate time to begin playing Christmas music each year?
December 26th – I love Christmas music. It is appropriate all year round and love when it starts playing on Sounds of the Seasons.
8. What's your favorite board game? Hmmmm – Scrabble, Life, PayDay. That is a hard question. Trivia Pursuit, Monopoly, Made for Trade.
9. How do you feel about surprises (receiving, not giving)? Depends on what the surprise is. Surprise, DH is taking me away for the weekend or we won the lotto – yeah! Surprise party which you will have the joy of cleaning – Booo!
10. Is it easy for you to say, "I'm sorry"? I say, “I’m sorry” way too often – even for things that I have no control over. This is a very bad habit.
11. What is your favorite candle scent? Vanilla
12. October is traditionally "open house" time in public schools. If you had a literal open house in your home (like a reception) what light snacks would you serve visitors and what would you show them (as in art projects, graded papers) that would uniquely represent you?
Girl Scout cookies – since that is a huge part of my life (it would fulfill both categories).
I guess I would put out photo albums, play some music, and have books lying around.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE magazines. I LOVE getting them in the mail. I LOVE reading them. If I could afford it, I would order 100 of them. I would probably personally be responsible for the destruction of the entire Brazilian rain forest, but ugggh:
1. How do I narrow it down?
2. How do I afford such an expensive habit?
Some of the magazines that I most enjoy are Home Education Magazine (which is not on this list but should be), Consumer Reports, Taste of Home, Discover, National Geographic. What are your favorite magazines? How about for the kids?
P.S. Don't think my reading is all good. Lately, I have been addicted to People magazine which I've been reading like crazy at all the doctor's offices. Once upon a time I would snub my nose at people who read People, but it has become a bit of an obsession. Shhhhh! Don't tell anyone.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Remember the comment about homeschoolers being nerds? Well, here is the proof. This is my daughter and I with the Old Sturbridge Village Singers. I chose this song because it seemed most appropriate for the Halloween season. Plus, I just think the song is funny.
What things do you do with your family that others may say is weird?
Saturday, October 17, 2009
after giving birth to my beautiful daughter, it was like someone put the reading brakes on. Who had time? and if I had a moment, that was all I had. During that moment, there were so many other things to do like showering, going to the bathroom, brushing my teeth. Thus, my reading material drastically reduced. Actually, it reduced not just in length of time but in form as well. With the lack of sleep that I was getting, I couldn't remember where I put my car keys, let alone keep track of a book plot. My reading materials shrunk down from books to magazines. Soon I was pregnant with number 2 and book reading was put up on the shelf for several more years.
I cannot even tell you how glad I was to read again. When finally the kids were older and more independent, I dared to turn the page again. I even joined a book club, so that I had a responsibility to read - - -no excuses anymore. I was thrilled to read again; Until, recently when I was reading Angels & Demons by Dan Brown. This book pulls you through it. There is no putting it down. There is one climax after the next. Every time you think everything is wrapped up, something else happens. Oh, what I would have done for a private island. It seemed as if my kids suddenly could not do with out me. "Mom", "Mom", "Mom". They had questions, requests, complaints. I couldn't get them to stop. Every time I fulfilled their needs and would get back to the book, another question was forming. AGGGGGGHHHHHHH! All I wanted to do is read in peace. Page by page with a million interruptions, I finally finished it last night. Wow! I'm glad I kept up the battle.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Boggle is always a favorite at our house. I love word games. Phase 10 though is a newer one for us. My father-in-law and his girlfriend enjoy the game but we have always pacified them by playing but never really got into it. This weekend though, the game got very serious. Even though DH kept calling it a stupid game, we all enjoyed it. DS actually stayed up with the adults to play until 1:30 am. Phase 10 is played in multiple rounds (a minimum of 10 rounds, but could be extended to many, many more depending on the luck of the draw). One of our games took over 3 hours, so do make sure that you have time to play. During each hand, you are trying to create a specific type of hand i.e. a run of seven cards. As you meet each set, you are allowed to move onto the next phase. Winning the game is a combination of getting through the last phase and having the lowest score (points are accumulated by adding up the cards in your hand when a player goes out).
DS was so enthralled with this game that he had to get it the next time we went to the store. It wasn't very expensive. I think less than $6.0o and makes a great stocking stuffer for those of you thinking of Christmas. Best of all, it is one of those games that require family time - something you can never have enough of.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
The book is fairly short, only 224 pages, and is written in easy to read language. It contains many personalized stories to drive points home and illustrate her ideas. Although this book is probably not headed for the New York Times Best Seller List and will not be listed on the Syllabus for Contemporary Psychology, it is a book that raises some important questions about where our society is today and gives us some insight on how to change its trajectory. It is an interesting read that will spark much more conversation on the subject.
Note: This book was sent to me by Thomas Nelson for review. I am not paid for this review and the review reflects my own personal opinion of this book.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
The other day though, it was DS that lost his mind. We were making Honey Clove Turkey and combining all the ingredients. Just as I was getting ready to stir everything together, he stopped me and had to get the picture.
He thought it was very cool how all the ingredients remained separated. It reminded him of a project that we had done on density where we had purposely added liquids of different densities to see how they separate from each other and rise or fall depending on their density in comparison with the other liquids in the container.
NERDS - I know - - - -but at least we get a lot of extra laughs.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
I do not tell you this for pity or understanding of my loss, but to inspire you. In the loss of my mother and others who I have loved dearly, I have seen grief impact people both positively and negatively. It seems strange to say that grief can impact you positively, but I firmly believe that if the person had a positive impact in your life then you have the obligation to let their death also positively impact you. Your loved one misses you as much as you do they. They do not wish their death to hurt you, although they know it will.
In the eight years since my mother passed, I have really thought about this issue. I have thought about what she would want me to take from her life. I know she would never have left if she could have helped it and I have found in the years since, that she really hasn’t left me. I find her in the ring I wear, the fabrics I use, my kitchen utensils. More importantly, I have made an effort to keep her with us. I donate flowers in her name at church. I use the items she left behind to impact others in a positive way. I speak of her often to my children.
Death pains us. But what do we say of the one we lost, if we let it consume us as well. Does this behavior honor their memory or tarnish it? Think of those that you have lost. How can you remember them well?
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Foster Care have always been on our mind, but this is the first time that life has been in a position that we could move on it. It has been so much on our mind that our children have always been told that when they were in high school we probably would foster or adopt children. It is somewhat ironic that we are exactly at that point.
So many times I have questioned if we would be good foster parents. There are times when I wonder if we are good parents (period) There are days when I'm frustrated or they are driving me insane, but it was this commercial series that haunted me and made me look at everything in perspective.
My husband and I may not be perfect parents, but we love our children and would do anything for them. There are far more days of laughter than frustration in our house. And if our kids are any indication, I think so far, we are doing ok. I am so proud of them. So if you could all pray that we continue forward in our path, I would appreciate it. Pray that God gives us continued guidance and support and that every child waiting for a family knows that they are loved and that the world grieves for the troubles they face. If any of you have experience with foster care, please send along your hints.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
1. He has questioned God existence for so long and only within the last few years has been taking steps toward uniting with God. His feeling of being close to God in the dream haunted him when he awoke. It was very touching. He was not sure what to do with the feeling.
2. God came in the form of Sean Connery in the dream, which of course made me think of The Shack. I told him that according to The Shack, God comes in the form that He feels you would accept. I personally thought Sean Connery was a much better choice for my husband than the big African woman named Poppa that is found in The Shack. Especially, when DH knows how much I looooovvvveeee Sean Connery.
3. When I asked what he felt the message was, he hesitated and was / is unsure but came away feeling that he was being told to do God’s work, but didn’t feel clear exactly what said work was.
He thought the dream was especially interesting since he didn’t just remember it when he woke up, but instead dreamt throughout the night waking up several times and then receding back into the same dream. While certainly, he does not believe this dream is Moses’ burning bush; we both believe that God talks to us if only we will listen (certainly we never expected in such a direct way, but God does what needs to be done). I will be interested to see how this dream impacts him long term and what DH will do with this message.
11 The LORD said, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by." Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"
1 Kings 19:11-13 (New International Version)
Monday, October 5, 2009
I learned that they are not lady bugs at all but Asian Lady Beetles who were inspired by fall to find a place to hibernate for the winter. I learned that they are attracted by light colors (i.e. our house). I also learned not to squish them as they leave a slimy residue and stink. I furthermore learned that the best way to stop them from getting into your house is to have a sealed tight house. I took a breath - oh, no upstairs- air conditioners - vents in the attic. I ran upstairs and opened my bedroom door, there was probably 25-30 in my room. I screamed for DD to grab the screwdriver so we could get the a/c out of my window - a clear entry for the little critters. DD and I got it out and thanked goodness that I took the kids a/c's out last week, but DH likes to have his in year round (apparently that will not happen here). But as we took the a/c out, I could see there were not a few of these beetles but 100's maybe 1,000 swarming outside the house. That was another thing that I learned - Asian Lady Beetles swarm.
DD found two homeopathic recipes, one that is supposed to attract and kill the beetles and one that is supposed to repel the buggers. The attractor is a combination of a bright colored container, water, sugar, dish soap. the repeller is bay leaves. We'll have to let you know what happens from here. The tide was stemmed yesterday, but who knows what today will bring. DD informs me that her research online states that there will be two difficult times - fall and spring. Fall when they are looking for a place to hibernate. Spring when they have found a place to hibernate in your house despite your best efforst and are now looking to get out.
I did get a chance later in the day to talk to some locals to find out how they deal with the issue. Apparently, they just leave them alone and when they go into hibernation mode is when they finally vacuum them up (I'm not sure that that will work for me). I hear they also don't like shade. I think it is time to plant some trees. Otherwise, I'm sure when we repaint the house, I'll be edging toward the darker colors.
I know, I know . . ." All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small,All things wise and wonderful, The Lord God made them all." Except Ants and Lady Beetles. I'll even acknowledge that there wonderful too, just not IN my house.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
As I plan to the bring this project to our new church and got the ok to do so today, I will keep you informed of our plans. Let me know if you do anything unique or interesting with you own OCC collection.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
- I have been known to pull up on concrete walk and replace it with a stone walk
- Repaint my living room, bathroom, bedroom and other various places
- Pull down chair rail
My poor husband would wonder if he would recognize his house when he came home sometimes. In our new home, there is not so much a need to paint. Today, I opted to clean out the garage and ready it for winter. It is not so dramatic as repainting a room, but it surely will be more useful.
I had gone out to the garage to exercise on the bike, but as I rode and read (The Guernsey Literary and Potato Pie Society), I looked around and like lightening hitting a rod. I knew exactly what I needed to do. I still want to find an old set of cabinets to put against the back wall, but for now I put up the 8' table and two saw horses with a piece of plywood. I rearranged the exercise equipment (this way I could be sure that it would be accessible). I put things away that were not in correct home. Finally, I swept it all out and stood back to admire my work. I better be careful though, perhaps DH will start planning trips to see what I can accomplish.
Friday, October 2, 2009
And her are my co-conspirators:
They claim taking this picture made them blind, so they backed up a bit for a better shot:
Can you tell my poor diabetic husband hasn't eaten yet. I did take him home to a delicious dinner of corned beef and roasted potatoes, carrots, and onions. I encourage you to go find caches in your area to leave your mark.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Now you may think that that is my tale today and appreciate that we all find our inspiration in different ways, but this is actually a humerous tale and one with a cautionary message. At a little after noon, the UPS truck pulled up to our house with her new Science books.
Moral: Do count your chickens before they hatch OR don't count on being free from Science before the UPS truck comes.
How after spending between $15-$960 for a grocery bag can we still wonder why we have no money? My new idea will be to design a really cute reuseable grocery bag and sell it for $1.99+the cost of a year of groceries for a family in need. Then at least the obscene excess will go toward something good.