Monday, August 31, 2009


This is the word you hear the most when you say "I am homeschooling my children". This baffles me a bit. I wonder what exactly peoples definition of "socialize" is. God has laid it on my heart to answer the question "will you socialize your children?" When people say this word I assume they are impying that if you send your children to school public or private, then you will be properly socializing your children.

Will I socialize my children? The quick answer is no I do not plan on socializing my children.............(pause for the gasp after reading that statement). The long answer. If socializing my children means, will I allow my children to spend countless amounts of time "hanging" out with other children the same age with no agenda or purpose. NO I do not plan to do that with my children. Why you ask? Good question. As an adult in what situation in life do you get to or should get to do this. I mean, I guess people that have no jobs or neglect their families do this but that is not what I wish for my children. I do plan to teach them to be able to properly communicate and to respect other people. Whether or not they are their age or 50 years older. I plan to teach them that idol time is dangerous and that there is no need to spend indefinite amounts of time with other people accomplishing nothing.

.........I am figuring there is need for another gasp by now. Do you not think that you children need friends? This may be another question you ask after reading that. Well NO! .........ahhhh what is this woman thinking...haha. The long answer, I do not see a need to teach my children that you should have lots of friends and that you should spend lots of time with those friends. I do however want to teach my children to BE a friend. To know how to love people whether or not they are lovable. To be able to recognize a need in someone and how to go about meeting that need. I want them to learn to put others needs above their own and that there is great joy in doing so. I love peole and have dear friends but it took me years to realize what role friends are really supposed to play in my life. I do not plan to criple my children in their young adult years with this same problem.

Most of all I do not plan to teach my children that friends=happiness. You know as well as I do that you can be in a room with 100 other people that are friends and still feel completely empty inside. I want to teach my children their worth in God's eyes. To know who they are, why they are here and that nothing can separte them from the love of God. So that whether they are standing in a room with a hundred people or completely alone (which we all know that is the way life leaves us sometimes!) that they are at peace with God and with themselves! Then will the joy of the Lord be their strength.

There is WAY too much emphasis on socializing in the sense that most people use it. My goal is to train and equip my children to become God loving, people serving and self respecting adults.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Sad good byes and happy endings.

So we had to find a new home for Marley our beloved, mischeivious, unmannered labradoodle. She was a sweet dog in need of lots of love and attention. Things I didn't have extra to give to a smelly hyper puppy. We lived with her constant chewing and destroying everything in sight. Her jumping and muddying up perfectly good clothing. Her digging holes and scratching at the windows. Picking up every bomb she left in the back yard so that we didn't find a suprise on the bottom of the childrens shoes. Then she started escaping her very expensive wireless fence. Mostly when we were out side and pretty much to explore. I was attemting to teach her to stay where she was supposed to but to little success. The minute I turned my back she was off again to terrorize someone or something. Well she has had a facination with chasing my other animals. Baby goats, cats and turkeys. To this point she had not harmed anyone of those animals though. Well on this particular day there was a knock at the door. It was the neighbor informing me that my dog was "trying to kill your turkey". Luckily the neighbor out of her normal routine happened to be outside and saw this happen. I ran out and the dog took off. She knew she was in for it. She refused to let me catch her and when I did she snapped at me. I chained her up(which I think is no life for a dog but did it for everyones saftey involved). Then tended to the turkey.
The tukey was in pretty bad shape. It appeared to be in shock and moved very little. In looking closer at the wounds most of the feathers on its back had been ripped out and there were lots of little cuts and bites but no big open wounds. I had no idea what an attack like that would do to a turkey. Well I bathed it (in the bath tub BTW) and put a ointment on it to keep it moist. None of these things come easy for me. I am quite freaked out by dying animals and even more so life threatening wounds. I called vets and friends for advice and did the best that I could. Upon my husbands suggestion I brought the tukeys (there are 2 of them) inside. I brought both in thinking that if the turkey was in shock I didn't want to further that shock by separating it from its partner from day one.
The children wanted to be involved every step of the way. Wanting to help in any way they could. Macy is the most concerned and we could possibly have a future vet on our hands :). Thoughout the evening Macy would periodically peer out the window to the laundry room and check on the turkey's. Followed by the statement "Nope not dead yet" ahaha. I love my childrens strange acceptance of death and pain. We went to bed with the turkey in pretty much the same condition. Lathargic, and sickly looking.
We wake up the next morning to be pleasantly surprised by a lively little turkey. I continued to watch him throughout the day and he improved. So I decided he needed to get out and stretch. One reason we felt he needed to be inside was be cause imediatly after he was wounded the other turkey began to peck him(very normal for birds to do) and flies were all over him. So letting him out I was concerned about the flies. Well come to find out the oinment I used also deter flies! So he did great! About a week out and he is recovering well. It will take time for feathers to return but he is as lively as ever.
Well come to find out the neighbor informed me that Marley was taking the turkey and throwing it repeatedly into the air..ugh. I that day put an add on craigslist. She had a new home by the weekend. I am happy with the home she was placed in. They seem to have the time and attention that she so desparately needed.
With out the threat of her terrorizing all of the animals I can now let my other animals free range in the back yard. They are all happy and at peace(no fear of Marley jumping around the corner and mauling them). It is such a joy to look out the back window and see baby goats and turkeys happily chasing eachother!

My summer of building a sense of community.

God has spent the last 6 months changing me. He has made me question my values, thought process and priorities. I guess I probably asked for it. I pray with my children every night and ask God to help me and my husband to be the best parents for our individual children that we can be. I can see He is doing just that.

Values: Why do I have the values I do? Where do they stem from? Are they from God, peers, books, parents? You can get values from all sorts of different places but are they all lined up with God and the Bible? After evaluating my values I asked myself :what I am doing to make sure those values are passed on to my children? If these things are improtant enough for me as an adult to live by then surely my children will benefit from them. How much better for them to learn these things young then to, as I did, have to spend the first decade of adulthood questioning, confused and searching. What an advantage at life will they possess. They will be leaps and bounds ahead of their peers. Yes they will still need to search out their own path and life but it is like giving them a gps to help them figure it out. Are GPS's wrong sometimes? Yes, sometimes they will lead you to dead ends or get you completely lost but they do have a veiw of the world that we do not and cannot get.

Thought Process: Why do I do what I do? Where did I get this idea that providing my children with all the toys that they wanted was the best way to parent them? That making sure they do not go without was so very important? Why do I feel so pressured to put my children in soccer, gymnastics, swimming lessons and even school for that matter? Am I the one really making the choices or is it this idea that my children should have the equal opportunities. Like the union for children...ha. I came to the conclusion that NO it was not me making these decision it was this "idea" or "picture" that was in my mind of what "all" parents do. My desire to be the best parent that I could was getting mixed up with thinking that meant giving my children the best. If John(generalizing here) was in soccer at the age of 4 then my children should be too. I mean I wouldn't want them to not be able to play soccer right? If Suzy was in preschool at 3 then I should have my children in school by 3 right? Oh the power of peer pressure does not end with high school. Oh and the dreaded one; well every one sends their children to kindergarten. We actually condition us and our children from before they are even born that when they are 5 they go to school. That is just what people do so no reason to question that right? Well I found out this summer that I disagree. Not with the idea of sending your children off to kindergarten. That is a personal and family decision that only you can make. I disagree that we should not question the "norm". Why are we so afraid to do some thing out of the ordinary. I mean why does it hurt to question the "norm"? I think I would be a healthy practice of people to look at why they do what they do with their family, work, money, spouse, children. What is the basis of the decisions we make. You may come out to the same conclusion in the end but at least then you know why! How many of us have had the wonderful priveledge of parenting an inquisitive 2-3 year old child that asked 50476 times a day "but Mommy why"? It can be monotonous even annoying to the point of questioning ones sanity. Maybe the little creative untrained minds are onto something. Maybe we should be a bit more patient in answering them and even answering with the question "well why do you think that is?". I mean don't get me wrong I am not a supporter of the free thinking crowd that what ever you think goes. On the contrary I want to make sure that why I do things is because it is what God wants for me!

Priorities: boy oh boy this is a big one. I get sick of hearing the phrase "I am so busy" or even worse "I am TOO busy". We all have the same amount of time given to us. We all have alot to accomplish in that time provided. We all make the time for the things that are important to us. So next time you find yourself thinking or about to say "I am too busy" try replacing that with "that is just not as important to me as ____(fill in what is taking that slot of time up)" Then I think you will really start to see what are your priorities and whether or not they are in the correct order. I know I did. I realized I spent so much of my time getting things done being involved or having my children involved in things that people, relationships were pretty low on the list. Don't see what I mean??? Let me ask you, have you ever found yourself thinking I am around people all day long why do I still feel lonely??? That is exactly what I mean. I felt that way for a long time. I can tell you with changes I have made that past few months I no longer feel that anymore. I started changing, slowing down my life, making hard choices of cutting things out, and saying NO. I made sure I wasn't too busy for people. That was a big one for me. I never wanted to fill my life and scheduele so much that I didn't have enough time in my week to teach my children or be available for friends. I have alot more work to do on that front. I am not a naturally thoughtful person and with this busy busy mentality there was no time to bake cookies for an elderly neighbor or write a note to a hurting friend or even when a friends says they are stressed or sad to find a way that I can help. So I am trying to train myself that those things are a PRIORITY.

I feel as americans we have lost a sense of community. We are surrounded by people but we are still lonely. I have found that those things have not been lost they just have not been important enough to us to develop. So that is how I have spent my summer building my community and being at peace with where my life is.