Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Begin Again

Wow. I can't believe it's been so long since I've posted. Time goes way too fast. I really need to blog more!!  So much has changed since I last wrote. We have been blessed with another baby, Molly Marie. She is 17 months old and an absolute light. She is so feisty and strong willed, but loves to cuddle. She is just what our family needed!!
Another huge life changer is that I have decided to homeschool! What a trip. It took me two years to decide to do this. I started thinking about it.....more like this heart wrenching feeling than any thought I'd allow myself to give it....the summer before Emma started Kinder.  I just thought it was the heartbreak of sending her off for 8 hours a day, without any idea what she was doing or thinking or experiencing. But God definitely had a plan, and over the years put people in my life that were able to influence my decision.  Like homeschooling Moms that did not wear jumpers and buns and actually wore make up and drank Starbucks.  And homeschooled graduates that were  "well socialized" and normal and even cool...and had even graduated from colleges, real ones.  He also opened my eyes to less than desirable experiences at my children's school. I do feel sorry for my kids teachers. After being a public school teacher for 13 years I definitely had ideas of what a Kindergarten classroom should look and sound like.  However, public education is changing, and it's not for the better. Administrators, and sadly some teachers, seem to be forgetting what CHILDHOOD is all about.  But that's a whole 'nother topic for a whole 'nother day.
So. Homeschool. This is where I start anew. A fresh start, a new journey of spiritual and academic growth for my precious children and me. I am so blessed.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

okay....just a few more!

 We stopped to see Big Sam on the way down.

 Emma and Nathan LOVED their had a tv, and I allowed them to eat snack in there. good times.
 Nathan loves to dig.
 Emma wore those flippers the entire time. She said they made her a mermaid. 

 Gary and I got up early one morning and went for a walk. Beautiful sunrise, even if it was a bit cloudy.
 We stopped at the Johnson Space station on the way home.
Papa and the kids on the way to the beach that first day.

First Family Vacation

Last week we went on our first family vacation. We went to Galveston Island...Jamaica Beach.  I'll admit, the road trip itself was enought to get me excited. I love road trips...even with a 5 and 3 year old. The kids were awesome, the stay even awesome-er.  I don't have much I'll let the pictures do most of the talking....
We took 254's going to be hard to choose just a few. 

 That's our house in the background.  Awesome.

 It rained Thurs. morning. This is the view from the patio.

 Sweet Bella

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Love and Logic is not Working.....

Dear Body of Mine,

 I realized today you are like a two -year old. Your are selfish and everything has to be all about YOU. You have to have everything YOUR WAY all the time, and you throw a weight-gaining tantrum when you don't. I just don't understand it. I eat healthy (most of the time), I exercise on a regular basis, I don't drink cokes. I drink lots of water. I don't smoke. I live an active lifestyle.  I give you several opporunities each day  to make a good choice, yet you always make the bad choice.
Why won't you compromise. Why must you fight me every single time I take a bite of food. Why do YOU have to do what you want when I do choose to eat a cookie?  Why can't you turn it into energy instead of fat? Why do you have to continue to change and give in to gravity. Why don't you try, just the littlest bit, to look like you did 10 years ago?  Just because you turned 40 doesn't mean you have to have a mid-life crisis.  Forty IS the new 30, you know.
Enough is enough. I am done giving in. Like my mom always told me, we can do this the easy way or the hard way! Do you really want me to have to eat nothing but vegetables and protein?  Do you really like the taste of herbal tea? Wouldn't you rather have chocolate and pasta?  I am pretty flexible.  I am willing to compromise. I give you choices, why can't  you give me a few?   But if celery sticks is what it takes to teach you a lesson, that's what I'll have to do.  But just know it's going to hurt me much more than it hurts you.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Bonus Check

  "Mommy?"    "Yes, Nathan?"
  "You're a good Mommy."

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Jack and the Capitalist Beanstalk

Emma and Nathan love for me to tell stories to them. Usually we tell stories at bedtime, but lately they've started asking for stories at breakfast. In conversation the other morning, FEE,FI,FO,FUM, came up. Somehow.  Please don't ask me how .That's just how it is with a 3 and 5 year old. Anyway, it reminded me of the story, and so I started the story of Jack and the Beanstalk....not really remembering all the parts...kind of making it up as I went along.  You may have heard the version of the wife bringing the giant his 14 lasagnas before he fell asleep....

When I got to the end however, I wasn't sure what to do. I realized in telling this story to them  how awful it is. First of all, Jack is lying to his mother, sneaking out of the house and going into a strangers house.  Then he has the audacity to steal from the giant. At the end of the story he kills the giant for tying to get back his things. What?!
I quickly changed the ending to the giant falling down, not getting hurt, and they never bothered eachother again.

The next morning, the kids asked me to tell them the story again.  I knew I had to change the ending...but wasn't sure what to do.  When I came to the end, I changed it to ...
"Jack cut down the beanstalk, the giant fell. Jack went to apologize for taking his things. You see, Jack was very poor. He was very hungry. He didn't have food or any money to buy food. The giant said it was okay, and went home."   So I guess being poor gives you the right to lie and steal? I'm not judging...I've never been hungry, but I do believe that what comes around goes around. God will bless you if you are honest. 

Now as Christians, we are called to share with others in need. So in that case the Giant should have shared. But his wife did feed Jack, and he showed his gratefulness by stealing. Just because the Giant had more, doesn't mean he was required to share it all. Right?

So...the next time they asked for the story, I changed the ending to......
"Jack felt horrible about what he'd done. He said to the Giant, "Giant, I am sorry. I was hungry and scared and I didn't know what to do. Please forgive me. Can I please repay you by coming up and painting your castle and washing your windows and fixing your golden harp?"  My kids thought this was HILARIOUS.  I hope it is because of the thought of Jack trying to reach those giant windows to wash them, and not because having to pay for what you want is a silly idea!

So all this got me thinking about what is going on with our government, our president, and his socialist agenda....

and how each of my endings sort of symbolized a type of economy.

The capitalist version, would be my own version of a happy ending...the one that I will teach my children.

I guess a communist/socialist version would be where the Giant had to give all his money to the government, and the government dished it out to who they felt worthy...(themselves). Or maybe the Giant is supposed to respresent the government..... Either way, the Giant is WRONG for having more, and Jack, being less fortunate, is ENTITLED to what the Giant has.

You know, I have heard this story all my life. As a child, I never gave much thought to it. I knew what Jack did was wrong.  I don't think telling our children the original version of this story is going to one day be the determining factor of their economic philosophy. It's just a story. But  I do think it is something to think about.

 This story is a folktale that supposedly came to London from the Vikings in the 1700's....a time when there was definate class warfare. Definate poor and rich.  In the original, adult only version,  Jack brutally killed the giant (he didn't kill him by cutting down the beanstalk), and was forever cursed with blood stains on his hands. Years later, a "moral" version of the story was told.  A fairy came and told Jack that is was the Giant who had killed his father, so Jack justified in what he did. So the lesson is "two wrongs DO make a right?"

When I hear this story, and the philosophy of "take from the rich and give to the poor" it makes me wonder is this is not where we are headed? Are we moving backwards to the times of peasants and royalty?  Is this what we want? It seems that our society only rewards those that can cheat the system..."stick it to the man." (I Hate that phrase!)  Hard work and perserverence are no longer rewarded.  WE are the man. The government is not the man. Try to cheat the government, we're only cheating eacother. What happened to the American dream?Our Declaration of Independence states that we are "endowed by our Creator certain unalieinable rights, that among these are  life, liberty and the PURSUIT of happiness. It is not the governments job to guarantee our happiness and success!!    Had Jack grown up in early America, he would not have had to rely on magic beans, nor would he have chosen to do so. He would have been ashamed to take the easy way. He would have worked hard. Or when life had handed him a handful of beans, he would have made bean soup, or sold them, or grown them and started his own Castle in the Sky Construction Company.

I really hope that one day my children will tell my version of the story to my grandchildren, and they will laugh for all the right reasons. 

The Greatest Show on Earth

Emma loves the circus.  We took her when she was two years old, and she still talks about it. The other day she said, "Remember when we went to the circus and that guy was trying to throw popcorn in his mouth and it kept hitting him in the head?" 
"Really, you remember that? Wow." 
"That was so funny, Mommy.  But I'm not sure if it really happened or I dreamed it."  Thats my girl!

Nathan thinks he loves the circus. He's never been. But ever time we drive by the AA center he wants to go inside. They both think the circus lives there permanently. I love it.  Well on Friday morning we suprised them with a trip to the circus.  I hid clues around the house to help them guess where we were going. They were so excited...I've never seen them get dressed and out the door so fast.

We made it out in time to catch the 8:35 DART train. I highly recommend doing that.  It was so fun, the kids loved it....and it was less expensive than AA parking.  It dropped us right off at the center with a short walk.

 Waiting for the train!
 We all got to see parts of Dallas we'd never seen before. The ride was fun....bridges, tunnels, interesting people.... everything a train ride should be.

Before the show they have a pre-show (i know...but that is what it is called... creatively named, i know). We could have gone home after that. They were able to try on costumes, have pictures taken with clowns, participate in some of the skits, and see an elephant paint a picture!

 Neither one is shy when it comes to particpating....they both got right up there~