Monday, September 27, 2010

Free Diamond Earrings!



Okay, yeah, not real diamond earrings, but hey who has to know that??

I'm not a huge jewelry person. Truthfully, I only wear a small gold cross necklace and a wedding band. I don't even wear my diamond engagement ring because it catches on stuff. I'm a pretty simple person.

However I do have a couple of daughters one of which is definitely a jewelry person. So when I heard about FREE diamond earrings I was all in!

All you have to do is go to DiamondEarrings.org, sign up, blog about it, and pay a small ($3.77) shipping fee and there ya go!

Enjoy!

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Change is Coming

Once school starts around here things get a little disjointed. I seem to be constantly flitting from one thing to another and not really landing on any one thing.

Little algebra help here, little science help here, what's an adverb, you ask? video's about the American Revolution, Vikings, co op classes...and the list goes on.

My kids are older now, I don't really sit down with them and 'teach' them much anymore. They read through their required books and I'm around to help. It's nice, but different. I am reading Jane Austen's Emma to the girls. That's fun.

And the schedule of things is different. It used to be that we all got up and we all ate breakfast and we all started school. We did so much of it together that we really all were on the same page all day. Sometimes the older boys would do something and I'd work with the younger girls. That was how we did it for years.

Now? Not so much.

I'm not sure when the change happened. Maybe when Bryce started taking duel credit classes at the community college. That was probably the beginning of the change.

This morning, for instance, I get up with Dave at 7:30. Okay, I should rephrase that. Dave got up WAY before 7:30, but I got up to say goodbye to him when he left at 7:30. I go downstairs to check on the rest of the crew. Bryce is already gone as I expected. He's working this semester and saving up for Fire Academy which starts in the spring. His job starts at 7 am and it's about an hour away, so he's long gone with just the lingering smell of coffee to hint at his earlier presence.

Gunnar's the wild card. He has some Tue/Thurs duel credit classes, and he has a landscaping business, and he has a few co op classes and a few classes for me. Other than Tue/Thursday, I am never really sure where he is or what he is doing. I know he tells me, but honestly, unless I write it down it leaks out of my ears. I have been known to text him several times a day 'Where R U?" I'm sure that's annoying.

Today I got up, said goodbye to Dave and let the dog out only to find Gunnar and his partner already out in the neighborhood working. They have several jobs today so I guess they are getting started early. He also has homework to get done for his various classes. It's not unusual to get up and see he's already gone, hard at work. It's also not unusual for him to come lumbering out of his room at 10 am, and surprise me because I thought he was gone working.

It's a strange thing these teenage years. My boys have a lot of freedom because I trust them. I know they are where they say they are (if I can only remember) and doing what they say they are doing. I know they are staying on top of their school, well the one who is still in school.

So, often it is just me and the girls here at home doing school. And at 13 and 11 with the exception of math, they don't really need that much help from me. I'm just here to supervise, check over, and encourage.

This really is going to come to and end some day, isn't it? Some day I may have to decide what I am going to do when I grow up. Some day, my kids really will be on their own. I see it right over the horizon. I'm not sure I like it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Good Help is Hard to Find

Gunnar got a call a few days ago from a gentleman in our church who owns a parcel of land nearby. He needed some one to come mow it.

Gunnar is the go-to mower guy. He asked the gentleman what equipment he needed to bring to do the job. The gentleman said he had all the equipment on site, he just needed the body to do it.

I got this photo from Gunnar this morning. This is an air conditioned tractor mower. I'm pretty sure Gunnar is never going to want to mow my lawn with the sad ol' push mower again.



Saturday, September 11, 2010

Never Forget

A few months ago Gunnar and I watched a Nova program about 9/11. This was the first time he’s ever really gotten to see the extent of what happened that horrid day so many years ago. He was just a little boy of 7 when it actually happened. He and the other kids were too young to understand so Dave and I tried to shield them from as much of the media coverage as we could.

But this day, a few months ago, he saw it all. He was very quiet as he watched. At one point during the program they show a single firefighter standing on a giant pile of rubble. The sky was grey from all the dust and this firefighter stood on what was once a building, but was now just a pile of cement and debris. It was as if he was standing on the moon. There was no background noise, which is strange for New York. No cabs driving, no people talking, no horns honking, there was only one sound. An erie, high pitched sound that I didn’t recognize.



Gunnar looked up at me and said “That sound is the alarms on the SCBA tanks the Fireman wear.” That firefighter was standing on who knows how many bodies of his fallen brothers. Their alarms still ringing, and there was nothing he could do but stand and listen.

It made me cry. It still makes me cry just to think of it. It was the most haunting thing I’ve seen in my lifetime.

President Obama, and all other presidents who follow, please, we can NEVER forget. We can never forget, in the name of tolerance, that there is an entire group of zealots out there that wish us all dead. They’d happily give up their own lives to see America destroyed.

Let’s not put politics over America’s safety. Over my children’s safety. I don’t ever want it to be my sons who are standing on a pile of rubble listening to the sounds of their fallen brothers.





“Time is passing. Yet, for the United States of America, there will be no forgetting September the 11th. We will remember every rescuer who died in honor. We will remember every family that lives in grief. We will remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls, the funerals of the children. “
- President George W. Bush, November 11, 2001


Friday, September 3, 2010

Educating Children is the Parent’s Responsibility



Did that title catch your attention? I thought it might. I believe it with all my heart. God gave you your children, you alone will have to answer for how they are educated and trained. It’s YOUR responsibility, from teaching them to say ‘mama’ to teaching them quantum mechanics. (Does that even exist? I don’t know.)

But here’s the kicker. While it is the parent’s responsibility, nowhere in the Bible does it say. “Thou Parents ONLY shall teach their children’. We all need help. We all rely on others around us to help. We all part out some part of our children’s education. Either in the form of Sunday School, or Grandma teaching little Suzy how to sew, or math classes at a co op, all the way to sending out kids to school for all their academics. There is no one right way for everyone.



I have many friends who have their children in public or private schools. They feel strongly this is what the Lord would have them do. I homeschool my children. I feel strongly that this is what the Lord would have me do. The two do not have to be mutually exclusive! The Holy Spirit guided my family to this way of life for a reason, as did he lead my friends to theirs for a reason.



Why must we argue about that? Why must we think our way superior; the only right way? How arrogant! How unhelpful to the body of Christ! How disappointing to God. I know people who send their kids to Public School and think that is the only right way. They believe that by homeschooling or private schooling, we are not taking God’s Word to be salt and light seriously. I know homeschoolers that think it’s nothing short of a sin to send one’s offspring off to the evil government schools.

I’m going to be honest with you. Homeschooling has some downfalls. It’s not perfect. My kids are missing things. It’s hard. Someday I want to give up. I also know that public schools have their downfalls. It is not a perfect option. It is hard. I know many parents who wish they could change something about their public school. Private schools have their issues too. I know parents who wish they could change things about their children’s private school. This side of eternity, no option is perfect.

Here’s the thing…can’t we have a little grace for each other? You send your kid to public school and I’m going to support you and applaud you for all you do in the school and for the teachers. You send your kid to private school and I’m going to support you and listen to you and be proud of you for all you do for the students and teachers. And I’m going to homeschool my kids and you can support me.

Arrogance never builds up. It only tears down. The Holy Spirit can lead my family one way and your family the other, and both can be right. That’s how God works.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

'Fall'

I know I should really finish my Colorado Vacation stories. That was not hte end. There were several other blog worthy events that happened. The thing is, it makes me a little melancholy to think about it all. That was vacation, and it was cool and pretty. Now, it's school and hot and ugly.

Texas in September. Its a hard time. We're so stinkin' sick of the heat and humidity. School has started, people are calling it 'Fall' but really, there's no change. It's still hot and humid, the only difference is that you can't spend all day at the pool anymore.

And speaking of school. Annika is taking a quilting class at our homeschool co op this year. These are the fabrics she picked. Her theme is apples and polka dots. I can't wait to see the finished product!




The yellow fabric is the main fabric.






I better wrap this up now, I have these kids, and they need to be 'educated' and since it's 'Fall' I guess I should get to it.