Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Let's Talk- Life Ambitions, Little Ones, and Syria

Good morning!  Great to see you all again!  I don't know what your week has been like weather wise, but after a weird couple of days of heat, we are back to crisp, cool fall weather and I couldn't be happier!!  Fall always lifts my spirits- something about blankets, sweaters, cinnamon candles, and being able to smell the air really make me happy.  Just a regular Tuesday today- gonna answer a few more questions that have come my way this past week.  Enjoy!
1) Why do you need a cane?

Ah yes, the cane.  I did post a picture of myself posing with my new cane on Facebook- I kind of felt like I wanted to have a little fun with it.  My new cane is pretty nice, as far as canes go I guess.  It is a champagne color with a marble ivory handle, and it breaks down so it fits into my purse and is also adjustable for when I wear heels.  And I have a black one on the way as well- goota have color options, lol.  As you are well aware by now, the Stevens-Johnson Syndrome severely damaged my central nervous system, and while it held steady for a few years, it has been progressing rapidly this last year.  Because of this progression, I have some motor issues- sometimes my arms or legs tremble or shake, and I cannot always control them very well.  I am often very, very weak and usually need assistance walking any real length.  Not always, but sometimes.  So instead of using people or furniture to support me, I figured it was time to get something practical.  I'd be lying if I said I wasn't embarrassed, but then again I'm the chick who drives a red 12 passenger van, had 6 kids in 6 years, homeschools and doesn't have cable- I think the cool ship sailed a long time ago, lol.  So here it is- me and my cane.

2) What do you do with your other kids when you homeschool?

I dodged this question a while back because I only had one kid I was homeschooling, and he works a lot independently so I really didn't have to deal with this just yet.  This year however, I have both my older boys homeschooling so now I am spread out a little more.  My oldest is in the middle of 3rd grade curriculum and he uses a computer based program.  After breakfast, he gets out his things and looks over his work for the day.  He knows what things he does on his own and what things he waits for me to do with him.  So while he gets started on his independent work, I do kindergarten with Joey.  Homeschooling literally takes a fraction of the time regular school takes, mainly because you are working one-on-one and therefore you only have to make sure one child understands what you are doing.  So while Anthony does independent work, I teach kindergarten.  After Joey finishes kindergarten, he joins the kids for playtime while Anthony and I do his lessons for the day.  The little kids are aware that this is school time, so they have play time in the living room.  There are 4 of them, so they do have each other to play with which helps.  However, 3 days a week two of the little kids are in preschool all morning, and that's really easy because the babies just play nicely or watch a video.  When all 4 kids are home and playing it does get louder- and you just roll with it.  Sometimes it goes off without a hitch, other times you get interrupted constantly, and other times I put cartoons on because it's what will work that day.  You have to remember that homeschooling is just as much about the home interaction as it is about learning (well maybe not just as much, but close!).  I wanted them all home so they could be with and around one another.  I do not see the distractions as a negative thing.  We are almost always done with school by lunch time but if not, then we just continue after lunch.

3) What kinds of chores do your kids do?  

I have small kids and big kids and the chores are assigned accordingly.  Every Monday the "Life Skills" chart shifts and they get their new assignments for the week.  My 7 and 5 1/2 year old are able to empty the dishwasher (after I take out the knives), clean the bathroom (basic wipe down of surfaces), vacuum, sweep, and serve breakfast.  My 7 year old has just started learning how to make grilled cheese using the panini maker, so some weeks he is in charge of lunch under my supervision.  The littler guys are assigned easier things like put pillows and cushions back, clean toys, and maybe vacuum.  As they grow, so do their chores.  The goal here in my house is to not just have them do chores but to learn SKILLS FOR LIFE.  I want them to know responsibility and how to take care of themselves and a home.  I want hard working, grateful children and I feel this is an important tool.  So by all means use chores but make them age appropriate and remember to choose things that really HELP you.  

4) Any thoughts on Syria?

Nope.  Well, ok I definitely have thoughts but I am not sure they are worth sharing because I am not as well informed as I should be.  I will say this- there is a definite line between taking care of your own country and standing up to tyranny and murder happening in another.  It is finding that line which is the tricky part.  As a governing body, the US has an obligation to its own citizens first and foremost.  However, as a leading nation on this globe, we bear some responsibility for coming to the aid of those who are being tyrannized without the means to fight back.  Like I said- fine line.  I do not believe there is one blanket answer, and this world is getting increasingly more complicated.  I realize this is a very diplomatic answer- I do not shy away from being straightforward, but the truth is I am not well enough informed about the specifics in this scenario.  And even if I were, I do not believe anymore that this is the main avenue for change.  I want to reach the hearts of mankind, not their minds.  I can argue all day and all I will do is irritate the mind but never pierce the heart.  Life is too short and the world to crazy a place.  I will fight these battles on my knees in prayer, and do my best to use my mouth as a tool to reach the heart.

5) Do you ever feel that you are missing out on things you want to do in life because you have kids?

No not really.  That is because I know that this is only a phase of life that doesn't last forever, and also because I never really had any grand ambitions.  Raising kids is a huge deal- you only get one go around at it and then they are off in the world.  It is not a permanent thing (hopefully)- they will get older and you will have time again in your life to do things.  So while I have them I cannot really think of anything else but to pour my heart and soul into these babies and pray that I can help them grow into confident, godly young people.  But even beyond that, for me I do not have anything I feel I am missing out on.  My whole life the only thing I ever, ever wanted to do was make a difference.  Some way, somehow, to some one.  I am trying to do that through my life just as it is.  So I do not have this career or ministry that I feel I am being torn away from by being in the home raising kids.  I would like to sing more at the church, but that more has to do with my health and Jeff schedule as it does with how many kids we have.  I have never been ambitious as far as career or ministry plans.  My only ambitions are matters of the heart and I can do that anywhere doing anything I think.

Thanks for the chat!  Hope you all have a great week. I pray you would find peace and happiness today as you go out and live your lives.  Looking forward to seeing you again on Friday!

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