The State of Things

14 10 2011

I’m completely out of coffee this morning. My loving hubby has offered to run out and grab me a cup, so I’m waiting for him to finish his workout first. Hahaha. At least I can smile about that, right? I’ve been depressed for some time, as I made the decision not to go for that expensive BS in Alternative Medicine that holds no great promise for a job to pay back 60K in student loans. Smart – I know. So I didn’t register for classes; the summer was simply not enough time to sort it out, since I didn’t take summer off last year and so have not had a break from school through a run of semesters: Spring, Summer, Fall, Spring. Whew! What was I thinking?

I’m breaking now, though, like it or not! And I didn’t like it one bit, at first. After starting on some herbal therapy, though, I’m having a different outlook. I still am not sure of the path I’ll end up taking, but I feel better, and am looking forward to finishing some unfinished projects in the weeks to come.

Those few weeks of public school at the end of the last academic year didn’t scare my daughter into staying home one more year – not that I wanted it to scare her, really – just hoped it’d be less than she’d hoped. So she’s back in this fall, and I am all alone again…without classes for myself! It’s been very hard. I’ve continued with the belly dancing, missing class a few times when I was way in the dumps. I’ve taken a quilt-as-you-go class and finished a small lap quilt with a great deal of satisfaction. I’ve loved quilts for as long as I can remember, putting them together for my babies when they were small, from the directions in books and just my own common sense – no masterpieces in the small collection, but they hold memories for me and for the kids, and they love them, despite the fact that they don’t show great skill. I’ve learned some very useful things now, and have the resources to take classes, and of course there’s the internet with its video tutorials and such to turn to – so this go at learning to quilt should prove to build real skill if I work at it. And I think I will.

We’re watching our children suffer the harms of growing up, offering advice and lots of hugs, wishing we could just make it all go away. Sometimes I really can understand why people join these eccentric communes and alternative societies, because what they are searching for is truth in people and real community. That never turns out well, so I guess I’ll keep treading water in suburbia.

I’ve always been a great patriot, but as much as I try to deny it, there’s less and less to be patriotic about. It makes me sad, what America has sunken to. History in schools is certainly not the same history I taught my kids from home. Now they focus on whether Alexander the Great was homosexual, which presidents had STDs, and label the Sons of Liberty as terrorists. It truly makes me want to vomit. Americans today are always asking what their country can do for them. Parents don’t parent any more – they send the kids to school all day and put them in activities that use up every evening so they don’t have to parent; by the time the day is done, they just plop them in bed. No wonder todays kids are angry, confused and expect everything to revolve around them and life to be easy. To make matters worse, God, who offers refuge, love, and guidance, has been shoved into a nice little box so as to not make us feel guilty for our choices or afraid of the consequences of our actions. No wonder this country is spinning out of control, and on a downward spiral at the same time. Honestly, I do feel like I don’t even belong in this time. I know that technically, I do, because God put me here, but it is impossible even to try to witness to people these days – Christians cannot tell people the truth, not just because they don’t want to hear it, which has always been the case, but because now, they are actually accused of being judgmental and closed-minded. They don’t realize that these are not Christians’ opinions – they’re God’s!

I try not to get all worked up, but when my children are bullied or hurt because they are conscientious and my husband abused because he has a good work ethic and Christians are labeled as fanatics when they speak of Godly values, it just makes me angry. What’s wrong with people?

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Speeding Through Summer

8 07 2009

I can’t fully comprehend how it is that I find myself nearing mid-July, when I have little recollection of the preceeding summer months.  To say that summer is speeding by would be a simple enough statement.  This July 4 was spent relaxing with extended family at Cherokee Lake in Tennessee.  It was very nice.  The weather was warm and sunny, with only a little rain on the last day, so I can’t complain about the weather, for a change 😉  It’s always so great to have all the cousins together, playing and to listen to their conversations.  I find it absolute pleasure that they seem to just pick up the relationship in all it’s ease, even if it’s been months since they’ve seen or spoken to one another.  Wouldn’t it be nice if adults were so free in their meetings?  We always hold back, wary of the possible judgement or hidden agenda held by the other.  That’s what comes from experience with people, I suppose.

I’ve neglected my site here to lavish time and effort on the postcard trading hobby – it is very enjoyable, and affords me the chance to meet peoples from all over the globe, who have similar interests and agendas for our dealings.  It does take quite a bit of time of organizing, having to keep my online trade album updated with what I have in stock, keep up with addresses, preferences, and such, but it is fun.  I’m indulging myself with more time to spend with the hobby right now, because I know that when school begins, I will have to seriously cut back.

Speaking of school, I am elated that our school district has decided that middle and high schools should begin school an entire hour later than in previous years, but still release at the same time!  I can’t exaggerate the good things that means for our household.  This past school year being the first that we’ve had to deal with considering “out of home” school schedules in 9 years, was quite an adjustment for all of us.  Since I will not send my son, who never seems to be full of belly, out of the house on a meager, cold breakfast, I raised myself from the bed every morning (there were about a dozen exceptions – most exusable because of surgery), to cook his meal at 6am.  Now, you may consult any home educator about this – 6am is early!  Three to four mornings a week, I went back to bed after my son and husband left, which meant that I slept later than I would’ve if I had  not gotten up to cook and laid back down, which meant that home school for my daughter started and finished later than we’d like.  For my husband, this change of schooling type meant that he got a hot breakfast every morning, which he loved, but it also meant that he had to take our son to school and deal with traffic he could otherwise avoid if our son missed the bus.  Even though our son managed the earlier beginning and later ending to his day quite well, he will savor every minute of that extra hour he gets to sleep!

I am also researching Kentucky and its history, which has taken me away from regular hobbies and things.  Right now I’m particularly looking for quirky facts and quotes by Kentuckians.  It is particularly difficult to find quotes from KY women in history, so if you are interested and would like to help me out, it would be greatly appreciated!





Gettin’ on the Soapbox

12 03 2009

For a quick update on the last post, the stamp illustrating my opinion of what makes Kentucky beautiful is coming along.  My son did know someone who is an excellent artist, but I wavered and then changed my mind about getting help.  I determined to do it myself for two reasons, the first one being purely sensible:  my son pointed out that I couldn’t very well ask this person to design a stamp for free.  I hadn’t thought about that – my only thought had been getting help 😉  Then after I had agreed to compensate the artist and tried to convey to my son what I wanted, I struggled to believe that I had a great chance of being 100% happy with the work, and could end up paying and still not having a stamp image, not to mention that I’d be pushed for time with the days spent depending on someone else (and I am not good at that).  So I commited myself once again to the task and am on the verge of having on paper what I had in mind.  Most importantly, the work will be entirely mine, which was the other reason I changed my mind about getting an artist – I really want it to be mine, even if the artwork may not be noteworthy.

I have lots of little errands to do today which will do much to clear my to-do list of  nagging interruptions in regular duties.  Though I typically put such things off till the last minute, it is always completing them that makes me feel most satisfied with the day’s accomplishments.  So why don’t I just do them as soon as they go on the list?  Pshaw, if I knew that, I could council others on their procrastination!

I got an email this morning directing me to a news article about a North Carolina judge forcing a homeschooling mother to enroll her children in public school this fall.  Without recapping the story or expounding on the apalling comments he made (because you can google it yourself if you’re interested) I must say that I am utterly disappointed in the increasing incidence of loss of rights in this so-called free country.

Now before you go making assumptions about my views on every aspect of freedom, let me say that this is just one more area, like gun-control and socialistic tax reform that some people’s views on are seriously off – and it ain’t mine!  This is America – a country that was founded on rebuking unreasonable control by government, and we are inching closer and closer to becoming exactly what our founding fathers were rebelling against!  It will be a dark, dark day in the Land of the Free when law-abiding citizens can’t buy guns, while the criminals would continue to get them the same way they always have, when wealth earned by hard-working, motivated tax-payers is “spread” to those who refuse to get off their butts and realize that the world doesn’t owe them jack, or when families who spend their own money on their own curriculum, often sacrifice a second income so one parent can teach, strive to offer their children an educational advantage in a competitive world, and commit themselves to being solely responsible for their children’s morals are told that they cannot choose this path.

Parents can beat, molest, neglect, and/or mentally and emotionally abuse their children and the government carefully tiptoes around their “rights”, often to the detriment of the child; but parents who choose to homeschool, which is in no way easier than plopping them in a government school where books, food and transportation are all free and if the kid doesn’t fare well in life, responsibility can be blamed on someone else to boot, are being targeted.

What is this country coming to?

I’m gettin’ down from the box now 🙂  I feel better!





Inconsistent

29 06 2008

Yeah, I’m inconsistent.  I’ve said that before, but it is quite true.  I’m not aplogizing for it….I don’t mind it most of the time 🙂

I’ve just been so busy with life that I haven’t had the time or mental energy to keep this up.  It’s fun.  It’s therapeutic, but it requires consistency, which I only seem to have when someone is counting on me for something 🙂

Well, I’ve been on a beach vacation, been doing some letterboxing, have been trying to get some “extras” done as far as housecleaning is concerned, trying to reconcile/rearrange my duties with my daughter’s Girl Scout Troop, and trying to prepare to send my oldest to public high school.  Now don’t make assumptions…you know what that does!  I have been willing to educate him all along for as long as God directed, and although high school at home requires more of me, I was prepared to do it.  Each year, I pray for direction, and ask my children and hubby to pray about it as well.  I believe that God not only directs us by telling us what to do in our spirit, but also makes His desires our own. 

My son has expressed a desire to go to school twice before, but each time, returned to tell me that after prayer, he felt like God was telling him to stay home.  This time, however, he feels that it is time to go, and after my own prayers about it, I agree.  I will miss him, every single day, but we are both excited (and yes, a bit nervous, too) about the upcoming year.  We are getting the paperwork in order, and I have been surprised and a bit curious about his insistence on taking honors classes.  Not that I don’t think he can handle it, but I have not yet seen this desire to challenge himself academically.  I guess it’s just that up to this point, I have chosen curriculum for him, which has always been academically rigourous, and I have done my best to convey to my kids (and other kids in the family, and those of friends whenever the opportunity arises) that working hard in school is not something you should do for someone else….that what you put into your studies is just that – what you put into it – no one can do it for you, but that it benefits mostly you, as well.  (Well, ok, parents get some benefit in the form of pride, and their spouses and children will benefit someday, as well, in various ways, but I’m not getting into that much detail.)  I suppose that my surprise in his selection of diploma goals and courses for the year comes from the fact that for the first time, I’m seeing evidence that he gets it.  He isn’t taking these classes for anyone else.  That’s cool.  That’s nice.  Whew!  He gets it!

Of course, it was also nice to have him ace the placement test given by government education, too (94 on LA, 96 on Math).  Not that I ever doubted the quality of the education I’ve been giving my children, but we don’t test a lot, so it was nice to see that choosing not to use testing/grades was not a detriment according to government standards.  Again, not that I think those standards are important, except for the fact that whether we like it or not, our kids do have to be measured against them at some point.  We home educators may all agree that public education standards are seriously lacking, but I think we all have this deep-seated worry that our kids’ abilities won’t be recognized for what they are, because we don’t use their standards to shape what we teach. 

So J will enter the throng of public educated kids with less of a stigma on him because of his test scores, I think.  Some teachers hail home education, others abhore it, so his performance on this test will only serve to help him.

Don’t know what we’ll do next year – that’s up to God 🙂

For this year in our home school, though, I’m looking forward to being able to give my daughter some serious one-on-one, for which the timing is great, because she’s blossoming into a young lady, has entered puberty full force, and seriously needs to learn to make choices as an individual, because she is always following her brother’s lead rather than thinking for herself 🙂  He’s certainly a good example to follow, but I want her to learn to make decisions without the influence of others.  She wants to learn to cook; I want to learn to slow down, and we are both looking forward to the special year together.  Her studies this year will center around the Eastern Hemisphere, and we both really love learning about other cultures, and maps are a passion we have shared since she was two:  “Mommy, let me see.” from the back seat always expected whenever I pulled out the road map 🙂  She has expressed the desire to double up and take two Science courses this year, which surprised me a little, but at 10, she hasn’t yet hit the part of puberty that moves social life to the forefront, and she’s been listening to her big bubby’s plans to push himself academically this year, too, which I’m sure has some to do with it.  We’ll push to begin with, and if she decides during the year that she’d like to back off, we can do that.  I love the freedom we have in education.  I love this country.  And, oh, that makes me think of Obama, and his lack of true love and unbridled patriotism for it!  I won’t get political – it’ll ruin my mood.  I’m going to go distract myself. 

ta ta!