Monday, August 24, 2009

Simple Woman #26

FOR TODAY August 24, 2009

Outside My Window... sunshine, breeze, clothes blowing on the line, my boys and the neighbor kids in the yard, and a stellar jay on the roof.

We love to watch the stellar jays. Our neighbor feeds the squirrels. They run around our yards all day long getting peanuts from Ralph's feeders, and nuts from another neighbor's trees, and bury them for winter. Squirrels being squirrels they probably bury enough nuts to sustain a colony of thousands, which is ironic, since Ralph feeds them all winter.

And the stellar jays, who can't get into the feeders, just sit in the trees and on the roof watching the squirrels. And digging up their nuts and eating them.

I am thinking... of fall and new beginnings.

January still doesn't feel like the start to a new year. (Okay, for those of you in the southern hemisphere, I envy you the way the school year lines up with the calendar year!) But for me, September is a fresh start, a blank page, a new chance to get it right.

And, though it's still August, we're getting a head start. So I'm back to "Simple Woman" and we're easing back into a bit of school work... more below.

I am thankful for... a healthy family, food in the fridge, and the internet.

I am praying for… work for Kerry (this should probably be a post of its own...) and our friends in Africa. Their home in Africa was broken into (I think they were all away at a conference) and their guard was severely beaten. I don't think any of their belongings were taken, except for another missionary's computer, but I would imagine they are feeling threatened.

From the learning rooms... we've kept a couple of irons in the fire with our school work this summer. I know, some may think me a cruel mom, but I've noticed that if I let the boys run free all summer long it doesn't go well. They bicker. I wouldn't say that they're bored, but they will get up to mischief. And though they would never admit it, they really do better with more structure to their days. All that to say that I've been forcing them to do some math and some science experiments and sketches this summer.

Okay, actually they really like the science experiments :0) But the math... not so much. But I've told them my rationale - if we do math just a couple of days a week through the summer, then we can pretty much plan a four-day school week all the rest of the year. And I really like that.

I also like to ease into things. We start slow and add new subjects each week until we're up to our full schedule. Which means that we alternate days of math and science with days of history and language for the next couple of weeks. :0)

Oh, they moan and complain and act horrified. But today we started at 8:45 and were done shortly after 10. Which works out great, since most of their friends aren't quite as early to rise as my boys.

From the kitchen... an abundance of leftovers from Kerry's b'day dinner on Friday, two crockpot soups I made last week, and yesterday's BBQ. Whew.

I am wearing... blue flowered shorts, blue t-shirt, flip-flops. A stunning ensemble. *eyes roll*

I am creating... assembling Lego kits with the boys. After the Great Lego Fast (prompted by my inability to tolerate the mess in the play room for even One. More. Day.) we are having the Great Lego Rebuilding Fest. That is, we are attempting to reassemble every Lego kit the the boys own.

Which should probably also be a post of its own...

I am going... crazy? Probably. But as far as locations... nothing on my radar this week. Hallelujah.

I am reading... just finished "Parenting by the Book" by John Rosemond (insert impressive letters/credentials here.) This was a Christmas gift. I just thought I'd mention that for any of you still laboring under the delusion that I'm some kind of genius super-mom.

Actually, I was a bit reluctant to read it, given that it is a parenting book which was given to us by a non-parent, AND that the author is a psychologist, and my impression of psychologists and parenting advice is - shall we say - low. Abysmally low.

I was pleasantly surprised. The subtitle is "Biblical Wisdom for Raising Your Child" and the author basically refutes all the loony parenting schemes endorsed by his profession and advocates a return to Biblical parenting. Not what I expected :0)

Maybe Kerry will read it next...

I am hoping... for inspiration.

I am hearing... silence. Hmmmm , with five kids around right now silence makes me suspicious.

Around the house... do you move your furniture around? I do. And it's about time for a change... furniture, seasonal decor, candles (thinking of fall). My friend Hosanna laughed at/with me when I said something like, "It's time to fluff my junk," meaning that I should rearrange my decorations. (You know, put the blue mitten candles away and display something seasonally appropriate.)

I got an unusual burst of creativity and asked for shower curtains for my birthday. The cloth kind, not the plastic liners. I may have mentioned that since we remodeled (four years ago) we've had no closet doors upstairs. But a couple of tensions rods and shower curtains later, and at least the closets in the hallway are covered!

I actually kind of like not having closet doors in the bedrooms, because the doors take up so much space, but I may get shower curtains to use in there too. And the hallways? Well, that's a different kind of junk. The kind I don't want to look at every time I walk by.

One of my favorite things... cookie dough. Oh yeah, absolute bliss in a bowl.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: I've invited my Moms In Touch moms over on Thursday to try to plan for the year. In spite of being homeschool moms, coordinating our schedules can be tricky. We want to settle on a regular time to meet for prayer, through the next school year.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Baby Sea Stars


leah said...

Great. Now I need to go make cookies- not so much for the cookies, but for the dough. Yeah, yeah, I know: salmonella blah blah blah... It's worth the risk.

I'm not a fan of psychologists and advice, or advice from childless people, either. But I do like the books/video series by Kevin Leman. But he's both a Christian and a parent, so I suppose he doesn't fit into my typical psychologist profile, lol.

Cutzi said...

We got the same Christmas gift. I started reading it but then I think Xochi came...

What did you like about it? Is it worth picking back up?

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Leah, I'm not a big fan of parenting books in general, but this was a good one.

Cutzi, I think Tricia gave it to a bunch of us from church (not necessarily to a select group of, "Oh, I think you could really use this!")

I think it's worth a read-through. It should go without saying (but I'm saying it) that no imperfect person can write a perfect parenting book. I think what appealed to me was that it was NOT some new scheme to parenting but more of a reminder to go get back to basics.

He often refers to a hypothetical "grandma" and how she would've handled different situations... and she sounds a lot like my parents.

Parenting is really, really hard work, but it's not necessarily as complicated as we've been led to believe.

A couple of nuggets that I remember... he made the point that we parents don't need to analyze why our kids did whatever they did, but just deal with what they DID. (Yes, exceptions, I know...)

He also recognizes that you deal with kids differently at different ages - particularly the folly of reasoning with toddlers. He basically said that you can't teach toddlers to behave without forcing them to stop the bad behavior.

And I appreciate his treatment of the whole "self-esteem" movement.

Gramma Grasshopper said...

I'm glad you're back to your "Simple Woman" entries. AND, I want to see if I can FINALLY get a comment to you 'correctly' from GG......Gramma Grasshopper

tammy said...

Love your simple woman entries! I need to start a blog outside of Aiden's for things like this ... and to write about my other kids and their craziness. Hope your week is a good one.