Tag Archives: Life

Danger Girl Gets a New Sidekick- HMJ 3-22-13

22 Mar

It is officially spring now, and we are still trudging along in our homeschool efforts. We are down a student as Chatterbox is no longer coming over, but we have a new student now.

Meet Curious. Our new addition to the family.
Meet Curious. Our new addition to the family.

 

Curious is our new Heinz dog. Her current studies are in potty training and remembering where her food bowl is. She does like books though, and if you are not careful she will try to devour a book as you read it.

 

What we are doing in school:

Danger Girl is still moving along pretty well in her subjects. I think she is tired of math, but she’ll just have to get over that one.

We have begun a flower garden in our front yard with all the things that butterflies and hummingbirds like. Danger Girl keeps the garden watered as well as her strawberry plants she just had to have. She is very excited to watch as the plants emerge. I get a report each day as to what the garden looks like. Hopefully everything will grow well. We also planted a peach tree, but I think we will have to wait a while before we see anything there.

We took a field trip to a plant nursery the other day, and Danger Girl got to ask several questions about her plants so I think that made her happy. We are planning another field trip soon to a local flower garden. I plan to have Danger Girl bring her art supplies and try her hand at drawing some of the things we see.

Everything else is moving along as normal. Danger Girl enjoys history, particularly determining which of the kings of Isreal and Judah were good or bad kings. We have a chart going right now.

We have begun reading “The Island of the Blue Dolphins” and she seems to enjoy the story. I think she likes any story where a girl is taking care of things. Danger Girl has also begun writing her own stories, and they are pretty ammusing. I will have to share some of them soon as she completes them.

 

In Our Life:

We are making preparations for Danger Girl to participate in the National American Miss Pageant in the summer. She is very excited, and I think it’s a great way to get her over some of her shyness. She did very well at the photo shoot they had at the open session. I will have to share the pictures when we get them. Until then here’s one I took:

NAM Session

We have found a pageant dress for her, but we still need to get her interview outfit. I think I will have to break down and go to a mall as much as I don’t want to. Right now we are practicing for her to speak to people to be sponsors. We made a list of possible people and she will start going around to speak to all of them soon.

The dress we are getting.

The dress we are getting.

It’s kind of hard to see in this picture, but this is the dress she is getting for the pageant. This was our compromise between the one I liked for her and the one she liked.

 

Other than the pageant, things are going fairly smoothly right now. We are finally starting to clear away some of the old trees in our back yard. I say finally because we have lived here for about two years now and I feel like we haven’t done much work yet to fix up the house. I have a long list of things going, but they all need money. The good news is after we get the puppy potty trained I have a good excuse for why we should go ahead and replace the carpet 🙂

 

So, that’s what’s been going on with us. What are things looking like for you?

 

playing with dog

 

Rebuttal: Parents Can Teach Their Children

14 Mar

I read an article today claiming that parents who homeschool their children are not qualified to teach them.

 

Read article

 

The man who wrote this article, based on what he saw his wife go through to become a teacher, believes that homeschool parents can’t possibly be able to teach their children because they do not go through the same rigorous training and licensing that public school teachers endure. I agree that a lot goes into becoming a public school teacher. I do not think that means those who don’t go through the same process are uneducated themselves though.

Mr. Kardon seems to be under the assumption that homeschooling parents just wake up and randomly begin teaching. This is not the case. Most moms I have had the chance to interact with spend months deciding what type of curriculum to use. After this decision most parents will then go through the entire chosen curriculum to get acquainted with the material. No parent that I know goes into a teaching situation cold.

Parents who teach their children will make sure to stay ahead of their children in whatever materials are used. If they don’t know much about a particular subject, they will either make sure they learn it or find someone who does to help teach whatever the subject is to their children. For instance, I am not that great at art. I wish I was, but I have very little skill in this particular area. Since I know I am not good at this, I have a friend who is very talented in drawing, painting, etc. who will work with my daughter once a week.

Even if a parent has very little knowledge, there are so many resources out there to help guide them. You can buy curriculum that tells you exactly what to say if you feel you need that. I do not personally use this type of curriculum, but some probably do.

As to the idea that parents are unqualified, who is better at understanding the way their children learn than a parent? Who is more likely to go the extra effort to make sure their children succeed? If public schools are so great, as he proposes, then any person who has graduated from a public school should have all the knowledge needed to train their own children.

The article goes on to bring up the subject of socialization. What would an argument against homeschooling be without socialization, right? Apparently Mr. Kardon is forgetting the abundance of activities out there. Children have the opportunity to socialize at church, in sports, in music classes, or any one of the other activities available to children outside of a school setting. My daughter just recently got the opportunity to make friends in a pageant opportunity that presented itself.

I am a homeschool mom with an Associate’s degree. Despite my lack of training, my daughter is able to read and write. She does well in math. She loves science and history. She enjoys finding new places on a globe. She could give you a wealth of knowledge on Greek culture, as well as the customs of Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. She can recite the Pledge of Allegiance by heart as well as large portions of the Bible. She can explain Latin grammar to you. She has a wealth of knowledge at 8 years old that I did not learn until middle school and high school. Maybe I am not qualified to teach my daughter in theyes of Mr. Kardon, but I will let the results speak for themselves as she continues in her education.

 

(Also, if homeschooling parents are so unqualified to teach their children, why are colleges actively seeking homeschooled children, and why are homeschooled children excelling in so many areas?)

Self-Doubt: A Choice Battle Ground for Satan

16 Feb

So often, we all fall into the trap of doubting our abilities and our influence. If we wallow in these doubts long enough, we may even begin to doubt our motivations. Nowhere does this self-doubt play out more than in our Christian walks. We become scared to talk to people about Jesus or to correct a brother or sister in their sin. We become scared to speak out against evil or to become too involved in things.

Satan loves it when we buy into these doubts. As long as we are scared, we are more likely to stand still and do nothing. This state of non-action gives Satan more and more freedom to exhert his will on the world and eventually in our own hearts. So how does this self-doubt look in our lives?

 

#1- No one will listen to me

First of all, you are going to encounter people who will not listen; that is just a fact. If you speak out though, you have a better chance of getting someone’s attention. Not speaking up because you might not be heard is like a baby who will not try to walk because they might fall down; neither one will get very far. You may be rejected a dozen times, but you may also be planting the seed for the next person who comes along, or even for the next time you speak to that person.

When we refuse to tell others about Jesus we are still expressing something. Staying quiet expresses our shame of the gospel, and Paul tells us not to be ashamed (Romans 1: 16-17). When we don’t speak out against sin, we are expressing our acceptance of those sins, which is just as bad as participating in them ourselves (Romans 1:32).

As Christians we cannot keep silent about things such as fornication or the murder of countless innocent lives. We cannot keep silent about unrighteousness or God will turn us and those who practice such things over to our unrighteousness. * Read Romans 1

 

#2- I am only one person, what can I do?

You can do plenty. If you refuse to fight past your doubt, you can become one that denies Christ and forfeit your soul. If you allow those you love to continue in sin and wickedness, you can forfeit their souls. If you do nothing, you can continue to call God a liar since God tells us we can do all things through Christ (Philippians 4:13).

Or, you can stand up and speak out. You can teach others and fulfill your role of spreading the gospel to all nations (Luke 24:47; Mark 16:15-16; Matthew 28:19-20). You can be a voice of reason, bringing the wisdom of God, into a world full of wickedness and foolishness (Romans 1: 20-25).

 

#3- I can’t really do much, how can God use me?

It is amazing to me how many people forget what gifts they have when it comes to living the Christian life. We seem to want to separate our Christianity from everything else. That is how you get people who know they have a gift for something like organization, saying they have nothing to bring to the table for God.

Where do you think you got that gift in the first place? And, what purpose do you think He meant that gift for?

1 Corinthians 12 tells us that God gave us each different gifts to be used to help the body of Christ. We each have our own unique way that we can help spread the gospel, and most of us know what we are good at. If you know this, then you know what you can bring to the table. You cannot separate your life into compartments.

You are either a Christian, or you are not. If you are a Christian, use the gifts you use every day for the work of God. All aspects of your life are His. And remember that God gives us His Holy Spirit who will give us the words to say when needed. We don’t have to rely on ourselves, but on God (Romans 5:1-5).

 

#4- Isn’t it the preacher’s job to teach others about God anyway?

Yes. It is also your job. Romans 8:30 tells us that He has called us. He desires us to take action. What action? to declare Jesus who was crucified, buried and rose from the dead. To declare Jesus whom we were buried with in our baptism so we could die to sin and receive eternal life in heaven (Romans 6:1-6). Knowing how great this is, why should we be quiet?

When you receive good news in your life, don’t you want to share it with everyone you can? Likewise, when you know someone may harm themselves, don’t you want to warn them? What greater news can you share with someone than the gospel of Christ, and what greater harm can people do to themselves than deny the full truth of salvation?

 

When we don’t share the truth we are denying it to others. Is our fear really worth our eternal souls and those of our loved ones? We use our mouths for so many things in our daily lives. Why not push our self-doubt aside and use our mouths to glorify God, to condemn wickedness in ourselves and others, and to bring others to salvation?

HMJ- Limping Across the Finish Line

8 Feb

HSMJ-wideIHN

  • In my life this week…

This week I started working out again. I have a friend that is acting as my accountability partner, and we went to the gym three nights this week. I hope to eventually get it up to 4 nights a week, but for now that is the time I can allocate for it. I decided I needed to get back to working out when I realized how close I was to the magic number I promised myself I would never allow to show on the scale.

As to the rest of my week, I actually got a lot accomplished. Danger Girl and I are going to start working on our garden this weekend, so I got all the items purchased to get that done. I also got some basic school supplies we were running low on.

Today I had a workshop to help with the math and science portions of the TEAS test. I did okay through math, but during the science portion I started getting a migraine, so I can’t guarantee I will retain any of that. I guess I will see as I start doing the practice tests.

  • In our homeschool this week…

This was not our best week for homeschool. Chatterbox did well Monday and Tuesday, then she had a complete meltdown on Wednesday, which Danger Girl decided to join in on. I had two children unwilling to work, and this lead to one very frustrated teacher.

Thursday I ended up spending a good portion of our school time on hold trying to get a company who had double charged me to give me my money back, but luckily Danger Girl willingly worked on her own through a lot of her work, and Chatterbox entertained herself by practicing drawing numbers and letters. I guess they had the meltdown out of their system.

Friday we had no school since I spent the whole day in the workshops, but Danger Girl got to go over and see some of her friends, so I think she had a good day.

  • Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…

My best advice this week is to avoid meltdowns at all cost. They make for a very long day.

  • Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…

This weekend my husband and I are having our date-iversary supper. Each year we go out to celebrate our first date. It started out as a joke, but it has now become a tradition. Danger Girl will go stay with my friend and her husband. They always have a good time.

  • My favorite thing this week was…

I would have to say my favorite thing is this moment when I am getting to sit relatively still and quiet for a while.

  • My kiddos favorite thing this week was…

Danger Girl’s favorite part of the week was probably spending the day with her friends.

  • Things I’m working on…

I need to start making sure I am caught up with my science from 8th grade up so I can do well on my test.

I am also working on making a meal plan and workout schedule so I can lose the weight I need to lose.

  • I’m cooking…

I don’t know yet. I have to come up with some meals that are healthier, but that my husband will still eat. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to do this for a man who likes fried foods and won’t eat vegetables?

  • I’m grateful for…

I am really grateful for my friend who is encouraging me right now with school and with getting healthy. She is a great encourager.

  • I’m praying for…

I am realizing that there are places where I still need to forgive people. I am praying that I will get there soon.

  • I rewarded my kids this week by…

I took Danger Girl out to Chili’s on Thursday for doing so well on her own while I fought to maintain my patience on the phone. That reminds me, I am also grateful for the people who were praying for me to be able to maintain that composure. Yes, I did ask for prayers after spending an hour and a half on hold before speaking to the rudest person ever.

  • Something I am ogling or have my eye on…

I am still looking at getting a new vacuum. Any suggestions?

  • A photo, video, link, or quote to share (silly, serious or both!)…
Here is Danger Girl helping Chatterbox with her alphabet.

Here is Danger Girl helping Chatterbox with her alphabet.

Broken Glasses and Funny Days- HMJ Week in Review

1 Feb

HSMJ-wideIHN

 

  • In my life this week…

This week had us going all over the place. We went to see my step-daughter in the play “Little Shop of Horrors”, and took some friends with us. I had never seen the movie before, but my husband had already told me what would happen, so I wasn’t surprised. My friend had seen another version, so she was surprised by the ending.

The night was an interesting one. We went to our favorite Chinese place before the play, then afterwards, since my step-daughter had not eaten yet, we took her to Denny’s where my friend’s husband began singing about blueberry pancakes. This of course caught the attention of the manager who came over and began talking to us about the play. My step-daughter gave her autograph afterwards on the play schedule, which will end up on their wall. That was a fun, but long night, since my step-daughters live about 2 hours away.

Later in the week my husband managed to break his glasses and called to have me bring his spares. He works in the next town over, so I got to make a half-hour trip to take him the spare glasses, then drive home to start school an hour late that day. Afterwards we took his glasses and got them repaired. I went ahead and got him a new pair as well, since his spares were pretty scratched and fogged.

I ended the week with a request from Chatterbox’s mom to come over. They have been having some problems, and she wanted me to come clear up a few things. Chatterbox has a tendency to tell stories to other people about her family, and the last one she told me I did not feel I could, in good conscience, keep from her mom. I hated to say anything, but if they plan on putting her in public school next year they will need to make sure she doesn’t go tell some of these stories to her teachers.

  • In our homeschool this week…

Our homeschool week was a fun one. We just finished learning about Turkey, so we got to do some fun activities this week. We had Turkish tea, and colored Turkish tiles. We also listened to some traditional music from the country, which Danger Girl liked. Then we listened to some Turkish dance music, and when I asked Danger Girl her opinion she responded, “Was someone stepping on a dog’s tail?”

We ended with a video of the Whirling Dervishes which interested my daughter greatly. She is amazed that they can do all that spinning without getting dizzy.

Danger Girl is supposed to wear glasses during school, but I have not forced her recently. This week I told her I will insist on it from now on after it took her three tries to read the word “bank” because she kept adding letters to it. Other than this, her reading is improving as is her writing which makes me very happy. She still has a couple of letters that she constantly writes backwards, so I am including some copywork which will have her writing those letters more often. I hope this will help.

  • Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…

If you are interested in seeing how we came to do the Charlotte Mason method (very eclecticly), check out my Journey to the Charlotte Mason series. You can find parts 1 & 2 under the Clark Cottage School page.

It’s not necessarily advice, but I do give links to more information about different methods of homeschooling.

  • Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…

This weekend, we plan on having my niece over for a sleepover. You never know how things will go with her, but I’m sure she will bring some amusement for me to share.

  • My favorite thing this week was…

I think my favorite thing this week would have to be all the free Kindle and Ibooks I found to download. I found a bunch of great stories to read during nature study, as well as some “living” books for geography, history and math. I will have to put these to use very soon.

  • My kiddos favorite thing this week was…

I think Danger Girl’s favorite thing was getting to go to singing this week. She loves singing, and therefore loves to go to 5th Wednesday singing with Daddy.

  • Things I’m working on…

I am a planner. I love to organize and make plans for everything. With this in mind, I have begun working on our school plans for next year. ( I say begun, I’ve been working on it for a while). This week I have set up my plan for paying for the things we cannot find for free.

  • I’m cooking…

I think as one last Turkey activity, Danger Girl and I are going to make Turkish Delight this weekend.

I also made spaghetti and meatballs earlier in the week and plan to make salt & pepper wings tonight.

  • I’m grateful for…

My mother-in-law has been sick for some time, but she is starting to get better, and I am grateful for that.

I am also grateful that I have friends that enjoy Danger Girl’s company and are willing to take her when I have to do something where she can’t come with me.

  • I’m praying for…

My husband has had some issues at work, and I am praying about these things. I am also praying for my mother-in-law because while she is getting better, she is having some issues after a fall she had and is having to get an MRI done.

  • I rewarded my kids this week by…

Because Danger Girl did so well this week, I plan to take her to the book store to get some new books this weekend.

  • Something I am ogling or have my eye on…

This is not really homeschool related, but I want to get a new vacuum cleaner. There is not really anything wrong with the one I have, but it is an older model and it is hard to find bags for it. I want to get one I can more easily keep maintainance on.

  • A photo, video, link, or quote to share (silly, serious or both!)…

http://youtu.be/JsE05nXQPwo

This is a link to the Turkish music that Danger Girl really enjoyed.

HMJ- Getting Organized Again

25 Jan

HSMJ-wideIHN

 

  • In my life this week…

After a little unplanned break from planned blogging, I am getting back to organizing my blogging efforts. I have several book reviews planned for the near future, and I am also sharing my story of how my family came to use the Charlotte Mason method. The first part of this story can be found here.

This week I also got my transcripts sent to three colleges I am applying to. I also looked into the community college I just got my Associate’s degree from about getting my ADN. I am now taking time once again to pray about this decision and decide which choice will be the best one for me and my family. If you are willing, I ask for prayers to help me make these decisions.

  • In our homeschool this week…

art

I have started adding more notebooking to our school day this week. I had been eyeing the Notebooking Success book from Jimmie at the Notebooking Fairy for some time, and I finally broke down and bought it. I was not disappointed.

There is a lot of great information in this book, and I was encouraged by her suggestions. I am even toying with the idea of making my own notebooking pages to use so I can specify them for our needs. Until then, I am making use of the notebooking resources that can be found online (there is tons of stuff out there).

artist writing

We are continuing along steadily right now in the rest of our endeavors. Danger Girl has been more pleasant, and actually seems to be enjoying school more than she had been. This has made my job much easier.

  • Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…

I have been taking advantage of Pinterest more lately in collecting information for our homeschool use. I am learning that this is a great tool for collecting printables and curriculum ideas, and I hope to use this as another organization tool in our homeschool.

  • Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…

Friday we are travelling to go see my step-daughter in a play. Some friends are going with us as they have wanted to see one of her plays for a while.

I am also toying with the idea of taking Danger Girl on a field trip to a Jewish synagogue to learn more about Jewish culture since we are studying Israel right now. I have found a couple of synagogues near us, so I will be making calls next week to see where we might get a better reception for this trip. Has anyone else done something like that before?

  • My favorite thing this week was…

My favorite thing was a display of Danger Girl’s humor. During math I asked “what do you take 7 away from to equal 7?”

Her response: “Nothing, it already equals 7.”

She knew the answer, but I love her sense of humor sometime.

  • My kiddos favorite thing this week was…

We have been talking about Solomon in our history lessons this week. Danger Girl is very interested in the things that Solomon has done, so I think history has been her favorite thing this week. She was particularly interested in the story of Solomon and the two mothers fighting over the child. Danger Girl has decided the mother that rolled over on her child must have been drunk. I don’t know where this idea came from but she’s sticking to it.

  • Things I’m working on…

I have downloaded several free books on web publishing and on using WordPress more effectively, so I hope to start making my blog more useful in the coming weeks. I have decided I want to make more resources available, and in order to do that I thought it would be worthwhile to get a better understanding of what I am doing.

  • A photo, video, link, or quote to share (silly, serious or both!)…

from mom

I found this on Facebook, and thought others might get a good laugh out of it.

HMJ- Finding Dishes and Renewed Motivation

18 Jan

HSMJ-wideIHN

In My Life This Week:

This week I have been working on getting back into school myself. I was going to start back in the fall, but life happened and I wasn’t able to. My degree plan has been in psychology, but my husband is not as excited about this as I am which had some to do with the break.

Last week my friend came to me with the idea of us going back together and getting nursing degrees. She thought this would help both of us because she would be able to use the certifications she already has to go along with this degree and I could do something I am interested in that my husband would not scoff at. (When I first went back to school it was going to be in nursing, but then I switched to psychology soon after).

So now we are applying to schools together and plan to motivate each other through this. I got my applications in this week to the 3 schools we chose. Now I have to get my transcripts sent and wait to get accepted so I can apply to the nursing programs. Be praying for me during this please.

In Our Homeschool This Week:

This week we finished up with our reading in Flying Creatures. I decided we would go through and do the reading, then go back and work on the experiments, giving us the opportunity to review information this way. Next week we will begin doing the experiments and journaling. Danger Girl is very excited about getting started on the experiments.

We have also been working on handwriting, and Danger Girl is getting so much better with her writing. It helps that she has been more cooperative the past few weeks than she had been before we took our break.

I am trying to plan our next field trip right now. I am not sure what we will do, but it has been a while since we did a field trip, and I think it’s time to do something out of the house.

Something I Need Advice On:

Chatterbox has started back to school with us, but she comes very irregularly. Her parents send her over to do school with us hoping it will prepare her for starting school next year. Right now she will not be quiet during school, especially during reading, and they hope she will get better about this. My problem is that she doesn’t come regularly. Some weeks she will come every day, others she comes 2-3 days.

If she is not going to be here regularly, it makes it hard for me to plan and it makes it hard to work with her on this. My question is, should I insist on her coming more regularly so I can actually work with her like they want, or should I just leave it alone? Any advice here would be greatly appreciated.

My Favorite Thing This Week:

A couple of years ago, we went to Moody Gardens for vacation, and while there my souvenier was a coffee mug. A couple of months ago my mug dissapeared, but yesterday my husband found it in his car (he accumulates clutter very easily). I know it may sound silly, but I was very excited to find my personal coffee mug.

Danger Girl’s Favorite Thing This Week:

Danger Girl has not been able to go over to see Ma-Ma and Grandaddy recently because they have both been sick. This week they were finally both better, so she got to go over and have luch with Grandaddy. She was very excited about this because that has been their tradition for a while now.

I am Praying For:

Right now I am praying for God’s guidance as I look into going back to school. I want to make sure I do what He wants me to do.

I am Grateful For:

It looks like I am going to be able to get a couple of scholarships for school, which will help tremendously. I am grateful that we will get some financial help for this endeavor.

Something Funny to Share:

I saw an article on the internet about the zombie appocalypse. Apparently it is inevitable. I was telling my husband about this article, and I didn’t realize that Danger Girl heard anything about it.

Later as we were getting ready to go out, Danger Girl turned to me and asked “What’s going to happen in the zombie potluck?”

I hope that cracks you up as much as it did me!

HMJ- Back to School Again

11 Jan

HSMJ-wideIHN

 

  • In my life this week…

My friend contacted me at the last minute to see if danger Girl wanted to enter something in the county fair. When she called we had just run out of milk, so we had to come up with something that did not need milk and could be done in little more than an hour.

Danger Girl ended up entering bark candy, and she won first place in the candy division and reserve champion in the food division; very cool for her first time. She is already planning what she will enter next year.

  • In our homeschool this week…

Our first week back went very well. We managed to get through the week with no complaints. Hopefully this momentum will keep up.

I added more copy work and handwriting practice to the lesson plans. I also added more reading to the day so Danger Girl is getting more practice.

Our first week back was full of rain, so no nature walk this week, but we did observe our fish and discuss the different body parts of each.

We also got our other student back towards the end of this week. I have found plenty of busy work to keep her occupied while I do things with Danger Girl, and I think I am getting to a point where I can set Danger Girl up with something so I can work with Chatter Box.

  • Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…

This week we are going to see the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit. We are going with a group from our congregation, and I am very excited. I’m not sure Danger Girl is as excited, but I hope she will enjoy our time anyway.

  • My favorite thing this week was…

I loved seeing Danger Girl get excited about getting to make something on her own. I also loved her face when she found out she won something.

  • My kiddos favorite thing this week was…

I think it would have to be the county fair. Kids always like winning right?

  • Things I’m working on…

Right now I am working on getting more nature walks in our day. I have not done as well as I had planned, and I really want to get better at this.

  • I’m cooking…

This week I made a chicken and rice stir-fry with a honey ginger sauce. It was very yummy. I also plan on making Shephard’s pie, which is one of my husband’s favorites.

  • I’m grateful for…

I am grateful for my husband’s knowledge. I can go to him with many questions I have concerning the Bible, and he answers me without making me feel as if I am stupid for having to ask. I’m grateful for that as well.

  • I’m praying for…

My mother-in-law and father-in-law are both sick right now. I am praying that they get better soon.

  • I rewarded my kids this week by…

Danger Girl’s reward for a good week was getting to go out to eat. She loves to and I don’t like to spend the money as often as she wants to go. It was a nice treat for her.

  • Something I am ogling or have my eye on…

I mostly have my eye on books. There are several living math books I am interested in for our home right now.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share (silly, serious or both!)…

G- Bark Candy

Danger Girl’s prize winnning bark candy

Coming Back from the Break

7 Jan

Danger Girl and I are coming back from our Christmas break today. We took a couple of weeks to do no school, and I am always nervous after coming back from a full break like that. Sometimes she does well because she has had a chance to relax, but sometimes she is not ready to be done relaxing. We shall see how this time goes very soon.

We spent our break not fully unocupied. We did plenty of Bible study during this time. Danger Girl is a Christian, and I have noticed we are very lacking in Bible study outside our school reading. I decided this break I would make a conscious effort to do study with her, and I am proud of how well my daughter is able to grasp concepts that some adults don’t easily grasp.

That being said, she does not initiate Bible study, and I hope to instill that desire in her. Each evening before bed we went through scripture, and had her tell us what she picked up from the reading before my husband or I said anything about the scripture ourselves. Sometimes she was spot on, picking up things we hadn’t noticed. Sometimes it was obvious she didn’t have a clue what it was about.

Anytime she didn’t know, she would automatically say it was about Jesus. I guess it is good that she knows most of the Bible is about Jesus, right? We actually had an amusing argument with my oldest step-daughter one time because, in her exasperation, she asked “Why does everything always have to go back to Jesus?” That is another story all together though.

We also took time during the break to let Danger Girl ride on her new bike. We have worked with her on a bike before, but she debunks the theory that once you learn how to ride you always remember. We could not get her to peddle on her own. If she even thought we were going to let go of the bike she would quit peddling, which caused my husband plenty of frustration.

G bike

During the break we finished reading “Five Little Peppers” as well as “Pride and Prejudice”. Danger Girl liked the first book best. My husband started reading “Swiss Family Robinson”, and on the nights he’s not here to read Danger Girl and I are re-visiting “The Hobbit”. I think this is one of her all-time favorites. Afterwards she wants to read “The Lord of the Rings”. My husband thinks this may be too scary for her, but I think she will be okay.

We did not end up going to the Chinese Lantern Festival, which I’m bummed about, but all in all I think we had a good break. We spent time with family, spent time in the Word, and Danger Girl did plenty of crafts all on her own since she spent a good portion of her time making ornaments for the tree. We also spent some time during our break working on Danger Girl’s book she is “writing”. It is supposed to be a collaboration, but since she doesn’t like my ideas it has become her own book. It will definitely be interesting. Once we finish it I will have to look into getting it published for her. But that was our break, and I think it was a good one.

What did you do for your Christmas holiday? I hope everyone had a great break!

Explaining Pain & Sorrow to my Child

15 Dec

Yesterday my daughter spent the day with her grandparents. While she doesn’t watch TV at home during the weekdays, she does watch it when she is at her grandparents, so she saw the news of what happened in CT. She saw the scenes displayed by the news, she saw the pain and sorrow that so many people went through.

When she came home later that evening she had many questions. I prepared myself for speaking of things I wish I didn’t have to, and told her to let me know what she wa thinking about.

Her first question:

Why did all those kids coming out of the school have blood on them?

Hearing this question made me tear up. I explained to my little 8 year old daughter that these children, many of whom are even younger than her, had been in the same rooms as the children who were shot. I had to explain to her that these children had to watch these horrible scenes play out in front of them. Then I cried thinking of the images that would be forever stuck in their minds.

My husband assures me that it was not bad to cry in front of her about this, but doing so meant I had to explain my thoughts to her. I told her we needed to pray for these children and for the families that lost people. I told her that was the best thing we could do.

Her second question:

Why were people covering the kid’s eyes when they were coming out of the building?

I explained to her that people were trying to keep these little children from having to see more of the scene than they already had. I hate that she saw any parts of this scene. I wish I could have kept her from the need of these questions.

She has a heart that yearns to help others. Her questions come from this desire, and she told me how much she cried while watching all of this on the television screen.

Her last question:

What happened to the guy that did this?

Somehow she missed this part of the news. I hated having to answer this question. What should I tell her? Should I tell her he killed himself? I decided to just tell her that he ended up dying as well. I really don’t want to open up a conversation about suicide with someone who should get to stay innocent as long as possible.

I just have to say though, I am angry. I am angry that this guy’s actions managed to put a black spot in my daughter’s life. I am angry that the news channels do not think about who might be watching as they display graphic scenes. I am also a little angry that the television wasn’t turned off when these things started being displayed. I am angry that there is now so many children who have to deal with something they should never have to deal with. I am angry that there are parents out there now who have to grieve for the loss of their children.

Saying this, I know it does no good to be angry. I just have to continue to pray, and hope that those who are grieving today will allow God to show them comfort. I have to let my child know she is able to come to me with her questions, and I have to pray that she will not be too affected by what she saw.

Did any other parents out there end up having a conversation like this? Let me know how you handled it.