A life of love

A life of love
Everyone should have a Great Pyrenees

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Check this out!

Hi all,
I have a few blogs that I follow quite a bit, and one of them is by Tom Davis, the author of "Red Letters: Living a Faith that Bleeds" (by the way, an absolutely phenomenal book if you have not read it. It will challenge you and remind you of what God called us for. I cannot begin to praise it enough. I will be reading it over and over, and over again.). Anyway, on Tom's blog he discussed adoption, in a most interesting way. He really brought up a lot that we struggled with as we adopted our sons, and as I tried to deal with everything I saw over there, the overwhelming need, and all those left behind that I just didn't know how to help. Anyway, I highly recommend you read this post, and he has a follow up one. Of course I couldn't resist commenting on both of them, you will recognize me! But also, read through all the comments, because there are so many good ones, and I found many people struggling with the same things I have struggled with. Is adoption the best answer?
And the second blog post is: Part 2.
For all of us who have adopted, who are in process, or who have ever considered it, we have not only opened our homes and hearts, but have forever linked ourselves with something that is beyond us - another country, culture, people, social issues, need, and the overwhelming love our Lord has for everyone, but most especially for the "least of these".
Love to you all!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Rooster, get out of my van!!!

Chock that up for another thing I never in a million years expected to say!! LOL!

Only in my world would I be chasing a chicken out of my van! Unreal. You have to understand, out here in the boonies, it is very expensive to have garbage pickup, so we don't do it. But as we all know, garbage does occur. So, we load up the van, and do a "dump run". Well, today was the day. It usually ends up being once a month, but in this case, we had lots from construction projects, cleaning out the garage (we are still cleaning out from what was here when we moved in nearly two years ago), and general stuff. So, it was time for a mongo run!

The kids helped pull out the last two rows of seats in our van ("the monster" as the kids have dubbed my fifteen passenger van - hey, it seats lots of kids, and can pull a horse trailer!!!), and we loaded it full of gross stinky stuff, old decrepit and moldy suitcases, construction debris, general garbage, and what not. We had one old garbage can that has been here since before we moved here, and has always been full (the contents are probably about three and a half years old - I simply don't want to know what is in it, not a chance, no way). It took courage to haul that huge thing out and get it in the van, it has never before fit in one of our dump runs!!! But, now all the clutter from in front of my garage/rabbitry is gone!!!

Amazingly, I only had one child volunteer to come with me for this nasty - I mean, good - trip. We rode with all the windows wide open, and still didn't want to breathe. Why garbage can accumulate such a stink, I only somewhat understand, but it was truly awful. By the time it was all out and weighed, it came to about 500 pounds!!! Glad to have it gone. Ugh.

Would you believe that in the great "clean out" from the front of the garage, we discovered another spot where another hen has been hiding her eggs? Sure enough, a big red hen is sitting on 12 eggs! The little stinker! But after our summer with the fox, it is lovely to think that these sneaky hens are replenishing our flock! And for free, with the exception that we don't have the lovely eggs to eat.

Anyway, the rooster. Well, after we got back from the dump run, the van still smelled bad. Thank goodness for vinyl floors. I took bleach and water to all the garbage cans, left all the windows and doors open on the van, and then wiped down the cargo area with bleach and water! Of course, while I am on my hands and knees in the back, what do I hear but some clucking. From near my head. I look up and am nearly eye to eye with our big black striped rooster. Thank goodness he is pleasant, and just surprising to find yourself eye to eye with. The kids thought it was quite hilarious to hear mom scolding a rooster from inside the van!!! They helped me get the rooster out, then chase down the barn cats that also crawled inside!

And after all the cleaning, all is sterile and smells so much better now! Whew. Amazing what you can get done if you have to! And to evict the rooster to! Who would have ever thought that I would be doing some of this? Not that I am complaining, it is just amazing to me sometimes.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Homeschooling requests

As we prepare to start our homeschooling year, this came in!

From Secular Homeschooling Magazine, Issue #1

1 Please stop asking us if it's legal. If it is — and it is — it's
Insulting to imply that we're criminals. And if we were criminals,
Would We admit it?

2 Learn what the words "socialize" and "socialization" mean, and use the one you really mean instead of mixing them up the way you do now. Socializing means hanging out with other people for fun. Socialization Means having acquired the skills necessary to do so successfully and pleasantly. If you're talking to me and my kids, that means that we do In fact go outside now and then to visit the other human beings on the Planet, and you can safely assume that we've got a decent grasp of both concepts.

3 Quit interrupting my kid at her dance lesson, scout meeting, choir practice, baseball game, art class, field trip, park day, music class, 4H club, or soccer lesson to ask her if as a homeschooler she ever gets To socialize.

4 Don't assume that every homeschooler you meet is homeschooling for the same reasons and in the same way as that one homeschooler you know.

5 If that homeschooler you know is actually someone you saw on TV, either on the news or on a "reality" show, the above goes double.

6 Please stop telling us horror stories about the homeschoolers you know, know of, or think you might know who ruined their lives by homeschooling. You're probably the same little bluebird of happiness whose hobby is running up to pregnant women and inducing premature labor by telling them every ghastly birth story you've ever heard. We all hate you, so please go away.

7 We don't look horrified and start quizzing your kids when we hear they're in public school. Please stop drilling our children like potential oil fields to see if we're doing what you consider an adequate job of homeschooling.

8 We didn't go through all the reading, learning, thinking, weighing of Options, experimenting, and worrying that goes into homeschooling just To annoy you. Really. This was a deeply personal decision, tailored to the specifics of our family. Stop taking the bare fact of our being homeschoolers as either an affront or a judgment about your own educational decisions.

9 Please stop questioning my competency and demanding to see my credentials. I didn't have to complete a course in catering to successfully cook dinner for my family; I don't need a degree in teaching to educate my children. If spending at least twelve years in the kind of chew-it-up-and- spit-it-out educational facility we call public school left me with so little information in my memory banks that I can't teach the basics of an elementary education to my nearest and dearest, maybe there's a reason I'm so reluctant to send my child to school.

10 If my kid's only six and you ask me with a straight face how I can possibly teach him what he'd learn in school, please understand that you're calling me an idiot. Don't act shocked if I decide to respond in kind.

11 Stop assuming that because the word "home" is right there in "homeschool," we never leave the house. We're the ones who go to the amusement parks, museums, and zoos in the middle of the week and in the off-season and laugh at you because you have to go on weekends and holidays when it's crowded and icky.

12 Stop assuming that because the word "school" is right there in homeschool, we must sit around at a desk for six or eight hours every day, just like your kid does. Even if we're into the "school" side of education — and many of us prefer a more organic approach — we can burn through a lot of material a lot more efficiently, because we don't have to gear our lessons to the lowest common denominator.

13 Stop asking, "But what about the Prom?" Even if the idea that my kid might not be able to indulge in a night of over-hyped, over-priced revelry was enough to break my heart, plenty of kids who do go to school don't get to go to the Prom. For all you know, I'm one of them. I might still be bitter about it. So go be shallow somewhere else.

14 Don't ask my kid if she wouldn't rather go to school unless you don't mind if I ask your kid if he wouldn't rather stay home and get some sleep now and then.

15 Stop saying, "Oh, I could never homeschool!" Even if you think it's Some kind of compliment, it sounds more like you're horrified. One of these days, I won't bother disagreeing with you any more.

16 If you can remember anything from chemistry or calculus class, you're allowed to ask how we'll teach these subjects to our kids. If you can't, thank you for the reassurance that we couldn't possibly do a worse job than your teachers did, and might even do a better one.

17 Stop asking about how hard it must be to be my child's teacher as well as her parent. I don't see much difference between bossing my kid around academically and bossing him around the way I do about everything else.

18 Stop saying that my kid is shy, outgoing, aggressive, anxious, quiet, boisterous, argumentative, pouty, fidgety, chatty, whiny, or loud because he's homeschooled. It's not fair that all the kids who go to school can be as annoying as they want to without being branded as representative of anything but childhood.

19 Quit assuming that my kid must be some kind of prodigy because she's homeschooled.

20 Quit assuming that I must be some kind of prodigy because I homeschool my kids.

21 Quit assuming that I must be some kind of saint because I homeschool my kids.

22 Stop talking about all the great childhood memories my kids won't get because they don't go to school, unless you want me to start asking about all the not-so-great childhood memories you have because you went to school.

23 Here's a thought: If you can't say something nice about homeschooling, be quiet!

Now, can I find a list like this for large families????