and things I've learned today: Yes, wet dogs really do stink...even especially when being lathered up in foofy dog soap. They also really do shake when their bath is over. After you've let them out of the (curtain enclosed) tub.
One of the greatest things about homeschooling? Our day is so open! Don't take this to mean we don't educate, because that is very important to me. But if something comes up that we can do...we can take that day and do it. Then, we can make that day up-either by not taking spring break (we can take ours as opportunities for fun come up-not try to create fun for one week out of the year because that is when spring break is dictated) or adding a day on at the end of our school year. What does it really matter? If we finish our curriculum in time for next school year, does it really matter what day we finish it on? My kids are at this very moment reading aloud to each other. What a great thing that is. I hear so many (children as well as adults) who stumble over reading aloud...This is great practice. Did I tell them to do this? Nope! I didn't have to! But now, my friends we are leaving to go to the library. There is also a playground across from the park, and if the mood strikes us we shall stop for a play there. (For the record we will be taking a grammar book to the library and working on the section called: "Library"). I am trying to have more of a light hearted opportunity driven attitude toward schooling. I don't ever want to lose sight of having an organized educating experience for my children, but am learning (as time goes by) to let the moment teach us at times. just a little note here: I had two blog posts saved as drafts and had totally forgotten the one about "warm mothering"-which was inspired by another blog I read. I guess, even though I had forgotten it, it had stuck somewhere in the recesses of my mind. Because this is exactly what I was talking about! So, did I, for once, learn my lesson on something? I'm sure it's ongoing and will have to be relearned constantly...but it's a step in the right direction, right?
Have you ever seen something or someone that you'd rather be-besides yourself? (I know, this is contradictory-is that a word?-to my post a few days ago...but bear with me) I think one of the things I get most jealous of is the mothers who can just let things (ie obsessive housecleaning, computering, reading, etc) and just love on and play with their little-and not so little-ones. Every night after the hectic bedtime routine is done and all my children are asleep I wonder if I hugged them enough. If I touched them when they needed the reassurance of Momma's touch. Did I say the right thing? Or was I too harsh in my responses? Too impatient with little questions? Too rushed to stop and smell the flowers? The answers to these questions are unfortunately not in my favor. I'm pretty sure I would fail the test.
The thing is, I wanted my kids soooo bad. I couldn't imagine being anything or anyone else besides a mom in this life. I chose to stay home with my kids-I didn't have to. And yet I wonder if, because I'm with them all day long every day, I take for granted the time I have with them. Whether we're with our children for a few hours a day or all day every day we still only have a finite amount of time that they are ours. They can be "taken from us" in a split second, they will grow up-it's just inevitable. It will happen. And when that time comes will we remember the carpet that was clean? The doctor appointment that we were on time for? Or will it be the disappointment in our child's face when we shushed him or her because of cleaning the carpet, or getting the school work done (sometimes I catch myself stifling my children's natural curiosity to "get school work done". That is so not what homeschooling is supposed to be about-not the vision I had when we started I remember when my big kids were little we lived in a house that had a resident lizard outside of our front window. I used that little lizard as a constant example of the benefits of homeschooling...how I could take the time to stop and watch the lizard with them rather than rushing them off to school...and yet...am I taking time to stop and watch the lizards these days? Mostly no.) I must keep in mind the vision I had for my home school when I first started. Yes, we have to get a formal education also, but there is so much to learn in the little things. The every day things that aren't inside of a book...I must remember those too!
I was just looking back over my recent blog posts and when I came to Haley's birthday post...I realized I do have a regret. Or two. I looked at the pictures of Haley so amazed at the cake of babby (Abby Cadabby) that was for "baby" (her) and realized that she didn't care about the perfection of the cake-or the lack thereof. And yet, I agonized over that stupid cake for more hours than I care to remember. It had to be "perfect". (Of course it wasn't...and yet it tasted good and Haley liked it) Did that really matter?? No. What matters is that my little one was so happy on that day. My regret? That I didn't enjoy her more and worry about the cake (and other stuff) less.
Let's see if I Learned from it...or if I do it again.
So, I'm struggling through my exercises this morning (more mentally than physically struggling-just plain didn't want to do it) and a segment on Good Morning America says that the crunches I'm doing just plain won't flatten my tummy. Really? Why am I doing this then? In fact, says Dr. Tim Johnson, no exercise that targets one particular area will make the fat in that area go away. So, why do I bother doing the crunches, leg lifts, etc!? This creates a whole new excuse for me! Who thinks it's true that this is not necessary? I really do believe that it helps you to trim down-when coupled with aerobic exercise (which I'm also doing-mostly kickboxing). Someone tell me I haven't wasted hours of my mornings (that could've been spent SLEEPing)...
Wisdom is knowledge, understanding, experience, discretion, and intuitive understanding, along with a capacity to apply these qualities well towards finding solutions to problems. It is the judicious and purposeful application of knowledge that is valued in society. To some extent the terms wisdom and intelligence have similar and overlapping meanings. The status of wisdom or prudence as a virtue is recognized in cultural, philosophical and religious sources. (Wikipedia)
So. There are a few things I've learned in this life. I know that the ripe old age of 33 is not typically one thought of as "wise" but Wisdom isn't a destination...it's something you (hopefully) add to daily and apply to your life.
1. Parenting is not "black and white"-and the only perfect parent is the one who doesn't have children. There are so many gray areas in parenting.Things that you don't know how (or even if) to discipline because it's not technically against God's law or man's. Sometimes it's just plain annoying or has a tinge of disrespect. Before you become a parent it all seems so simple-so straight-forward. Then, reality smacks you in the face. Before I had my children...I knew all the answers I'm embarrassed to say. There are so many variables in real life though.
2. Keep your mind (at least partly) closed but your heart open. If your mind is too open you never know what will get in (and while some of that is good...there are some things that shouldn't be allowed into your mind-because you can never get rid of it). Your heart however...should never be closed! When someone hurts you learn from it, and even guard your heart. But never close it. You could miss out on the best God has to offer you if you have closed your heart because one person hurt you.
3. Don't waste time regretting. We all make mistakes, but they become part of who we are. As long as you learn from the mistakes/choices and don't make the same ones over and over again...it's usually worth it. Most times the things worth regretting are the things we didn't do. Stay true to your moral beliefs and live life.
4. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Yeah, that one is not mine-originally. But if we all do this, it's just gonna make a better place to live!
5. Say "I'm sorry", "Bless You" and "Thank You". It's just worth it. It doesn't take much and sometimes it means the world to someone.
I hope I learn a lot more in the years to come. I know some of the lessons will be learned in pain. Some will be learned by watching...Hopefully not too many at the expense of my children ;)
So, what's the hype all about? Hallmark tells us that we have to love people (and show it prolificly) on this one day of the year!? And we all rush around in obedience. I'm thinking not. I have nothing against romantic crap gestures...I'm a little bit of a romantic. But I would have to say that Valentine's Day leaves a lot of people in one of two places: A)heartbroken/disappointed or 2) IN THE DOGHOUSE! Someone (usually the female half of any relationship) has these expectations of what her Valentine should get/do for her...and her valentine thinks how since he loves her daily...what is the big deal? She waits with bated breath...and he can't figure out what she's waiting for...she gets mad, but says nothing (he should already know, and if he doesn't she's "not going to tell him", right?) and he gets more confused...and the cycle just gets deeper and deeper. All of this could've been avoided if we had all just revolted against Hallmark many years ago!
One legend contends that Valentine was a priest ... (need I say more??)as per this website
The boys then sliced the goat's hide into strips, dipped them in the sacrificial blood and took to the streets, gently slapping both women and fields of crops with the goathide strips. (yeah, very romantic, huh?)--from the same website
According to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated one billion valentine cards are sent each year, making Valentine's Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year. (An estimated 2.6 billion cards are sent for Christmas.) (See, Hallmark wins on this one!)
Approximately 85 percent of all valentines are purchased by women--do you realize that this means that about 85 percent of all men are in TROUBLE!?
(And just so you know that I'm not bitter...I did get candy for Valentine's Day this year from my dear husband!)
Well, this year's birthday party (one of the three) is over and done. It actually went very well, although I can't say without a hitch. I wish I had handled it all with grace...but not so. I was muttering less than nice words under my breath as people started arriving (EARLY) and I was 1. un-showered 2. fighting with the cake 3. getting ready to try a new recipe out...yeah. Bless Leah and my mom (thanks guys!) for helping me and trying to calm me down. Everything turned out really good though (food as well as company) and Haley was thrilled when everyone sang to HER! It was so sweet-the look on her face as she looked at all the faces surrounding her and singing JUST FOR HER! She kept pointing to her cake and to herself saying "Baby"-meaning "That cake is for baby". We could hardly hold her off...it was so sweet how excited she was about her birthday. The other thing that was really sweet was her reaction to her presents! She "read" the cards first! Is there any other 2 year old out there that reads the cards first? :) Grandma and Grandpa Robertson gave her cash...she yelled "dollars" at that! Funny baby... Worth all the aggravation of trying to pull it all together? Yep! Now, the question is: Will I keep my vow and "never do it again" or will I remember only the goodness of it and do it all again...ten times over!? :)
So, Haley went from basically NO words to using words such as "battery" (ba-ees) and gymnastics. She says jacket (jackee), Dora Dora (doi doi), Minnie (Mimmie)-as in the mouse. She tries so many words now. We can understand the majority of them-especially when we look at context. It's amazing to me the difference that 1 or 2 weeks can make. I will not have to even talk about this with her doctor at her 2 year check up now! Yay Haley!