Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spelling/Wrestling Same Thing Right?

Well apparently when you homeschool some classes meld together like it or not. And I can either go with it or keep fighting it... So here is the story. I had all the little kidlets at the tables doing their school. It was awesome, but we have been struggling with more demands made by me and more expectations made my dad and there have been moments of chaos.

Yesterday was such a day, first I had fought with the littles, then I got them working and fought with Miss Maggie, but finally got her on board too. All the while Mr. Joe was working and after everyone else was settled he came home. What is it about a new person  coming into the house that sets chaos off again? I was giving Miss Maggie a spelling test, Mr. Joe walked by and started poking at her ... and then this...

   

Yes Miss Emma is "helping" by giving Mr. Joe a little pinch on the neck. nice help. 


And while I don't really appreciate my kids acting like this, I assure you they were having fun. BUT we did have school work to complete so my blood pressure was rising. However, it was one of those moments when I just had to let it go.

Shortly after this dad came out and broke it up and got everyone back on track, in the meantime they had expended some energy, I had found my peace, and guess what? School still got done. So yes Spelling/Wrestling class happens occasionally as well as Writing/Singing when Miss Maggie feels like singing while she writes and then my favorite Math/Drumming class when Jake decides he has to do math to the beat of a pencil on the table.

Those days... those are the ones that drive me the most nuts, yet those are also the days when at the end I can lay down and Thank God that He led me down this path of homeschooling. We lack. We lack organization. We lack a solid schedule. And sometimes we lack skills but all of that can be made up for, what can't be made up for are the memories, the family time, the learning outside of academics. 

Tomorrow is another day, and we will continue...

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Bossy!



Bossy is not leadership, and I will not stop using one word in place of the other because I want my children (girls AND boys) to know the difference.  
Our current "naturally" miss "bossy pants".



Ok I tried to let this go without much remark, but since when did "bossy" become a gender specific word?  I mean I tell my kids in one form or another that they are being little miss or mr bossy pants and they better change an attitude all the time. I seriously doubt that as my children grow any one of them will give any person reason to say "boy they really have self esteem issues".
 
Yeah, no self esteem there...
Odd thing to say maybe, but let me tell you the secret... and NO it isn't that "I know it all and you don't and therefore I raise perfect children".... No, my children, my husband and I are imperfect, stubborn children of God. We make mistakes - I've made loads of them while raising my children. But there are some basic things that children need and my list is probably different then the list a person who would like to ban the word "bossy"... I'd bet my last dollar on that one.

1. Food
2. Shelter
3. Clothing
4. Love
5. Attention
6. Boundaries
7. Discipline (for when they test those boundaries)
8. Basic Care
9. Education

Notice "self esteem" is NOT on my list? That is because regardless of what I say to my children, if I do it with  LOVE and REASON self esteem is a natural consequence. If I make sure they KNOW I love them they will have all they need to succeed in life. 
   
Our UN-naturally NON-bossy pants! Although at some point
I am sure she will earn the title, she has just never gone through
that naturally sassy BOSSY stage. Such a sweetie.

How do I know? Well, those mistakes I said I made up there (before that last pic) ^^  most of them were made because I got it somehow in my head that the kids needed something "more". Somehow I give into the idea that it is my JOB to give them self esteem too. And in this crazy mixed up world that means that I am not to discipline them either by spanking or yelling or telling them they are wrong because all of those things take away their self esteem. And now thanks to powerful women who seem to have the world by storm it seems that if I call my young and naturally sassy daughter "miss bossy pants" I am ruining her self image, making her doubt what she can and can not do. Of course if I don't tell her she is being bossy and show her how to change her attitude then she will no doubt grow into a self absorbed and bossy young woman, I would point out however that once past a certain age the world does not look at a young woman and call them bossy, more likely she would be labeled bitchy. Yes, that is so much better, no?

This one here, if we had not taught her not to be a "bossy pants" she
would not be the same confident, beautiful, young woman. She is still
young enough to miss the "former" title just yet, but she's
getting there.
You see there is a drastic flaw in the "ban bossy" crowd, they would like the word bossy banned only to tell little girls being bossy is leadership. Since when has being bossy EVER been a good leadership quality? You do not LEAD by being bossy,  you lead by example, and by commanding respect. So in my house I will not "ban bossy" I will continue to use it when it is appropriate and lead my children to other forms of behavior that are more effective and acceptable. But unless we call them out on their "bossy pants" attitude they won't know it is any different from leadership. Sad. 

And while I understand they are mostly concerned with the girls over there at camp "ban bossy", I don't want to leave the boys out, because boys can get "bossy" too and YES they also need to be redirected.
 
This is one example of where leadership gets a former "mr bossy pants".
I am so glad we taught him the difference.


Also, not quite a "former" "mr. bossy pants" but so proud |
of the way he is turning out. He sought out the job that other
kids don't like - taking care of animals in the winter. Leadership
shines through him too.

Our youngest MR. "bossy pants" looking so much
like a BOSS. He is learning, just like all the others.
He will be AWESOME as a leader.


As for all the families who buy into this "ban bossy" crap?  Good luck to you. There are ways to teach your children that do not lead them to walk all over you, it's hard enough when you do have a backbone, but without one you will need all the luck I can wish for you and then some.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Five Minute Friday: Willing

Five Minute Friday: Willing

Are you willing?

Willing to do a favor for someone? Even if you may never get repaid?

Willing to love? Even if it means you might not be loved?

Willing to trust? Even if it means you might be betrayed?

Willing to speak? Even if your words might fall on deaf ears?

Willing to share your most precious personal thoughts? Even if you might receive criticism in return?

Willing to live the right way? Even though you may be condemned by others for it?

Willing to share yourself, fully, as you are? Even though you may be hurt?

Willing to open your eyes to the whole world? Even though you may see something you don't like?

Willing? To? Live?

Do for others, love unconditionally, trust completely, speak openly, share willingly, live right, share fully, keep your eyes wide open... experience life. LIVE!
Be willing to believe in SOMETHING greater than yourself!






Five Minute Friday

It's that time again.
1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you and encourage them in their comments.
Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Lenten Recipes #1 Veggie Soup

I LOTHE fish. I force myself to eat it every lent, but NOT this year! :) I am Catholic and I hate fish, hear me roar.... sounds like a good battle cry doesn't it? 

Last night I made a soup, I had hoped there would be leftovers to have for lunch on Ash Wednesday, but it didn't make as much as I thought and so alas, we will have to eat something else on Wednesday. BUT it was good and I could eat it everyday if I had to so I thought I would share, just in case there are other Catholics out there with an aversion to fish as well.

It was inspired by the Weight Loss Magic Soup

The problem is that we don't always do so well with cabbage, so I switched it up a little. I will not claim that it is weight loss magic... just inspired by it. :)

My Veggie Soup
 

  • 6 cups V-8 juice 
  • 10 cups veggie broth 
  • 2 cans Italian diced tomatoes
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 lg package sliced mushrooms
  • 6 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 zucchini, diced
  • 2 yellow squash, diced
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
In a large frying pan sprayed with cooking spray, sauté garlic, onions, carrots, and celery about 5 minutes.
 

Place a large stockkpot.
In same pan
sauté zucchini, squash and mushrooms. 
  

In stock pot combine sautéed garlic and vegetables with the remaining ingredients.



    
    

Cook stirring occasionally until vegetables are cooked.

This makes a large batch of soup. If you would like to freeze portions of it to use later, under cook the vegetables just a little. Pour the soup into freezer Ziplock bags and let as much air out as you can. Lay the bags flat on a cookie sheet and freeze. Once the soup is frozen flat, it is easy to layer in your freezer and won't take up much room. To un-thaw, place the bag in the fridge for 24 hours and then reheat.

I also added some home made rolls to the mix which does not help with the "diet" part of it, but does help with the "feeding an army". 

   

*note a few of the kids do not like the soup, because it has mushrooms. They picked the mushrooms out, but I thought they added a super flavor to the soup itself so I think it's more the texture they don't like, next time I will cut them smaller. :)

  Keep Love in Lent 2014

Gearing up for Lent

Yes, I said it, "gearing up", because I have to think about these things ahead of time or they get past me and I've done nothing. This Lenten season I am not even going to try the "giving up" of a favorite treat or facebook etc. instead I have decided make sure that the Kidlets understand Lent more fully and to "give up" one of my worst attitudes.

Let's start with Lent as a whole. I am overwhelmed already, there are days when I get the kids to bed early so that I can go to bed early. As a stay at home mom, I LOVE being at home with my Kidlets, but let's face it this is a full time job from which there is no "going home". We are always at work. When it comes to facing a big season like Lent or Advent I rely on other creative people for ideas, why reinvent the wheel when they are so generous as to share their hard work with us?

From Loyola Press I found these two:
I thought this a great overview for us. We will take it in bites with the littles:
Making Lent Simple But Not Easy

They also have a fantastic resource called 40 Ideas for 40 Days at Loyola Press. I love some of the suggestions and can easily bring this to life and I can make it as easy or difficult as I wish. I have in mind to use it as a guideline.



What I really want to focus on for this Lent is The Stations of the Cross. Domestic-Church.com has a wonderful printable booklet for children to color. The page is complete with prayers and explanation.


And as if that is not full enough I also found this idea on getting the clutter out. 40 Bags in 40 Days I am in serious need of getting rid of clutter and finding spots for the things we keep. One bag a day and with a plan I choose, not a plan set by someone else for a household that is nothing like my own.

Now as far as the attitude that I'd like to rid myself of during this season:
It may surprise some of you to learn that I hate, yes HATE, doing dishes. We have a lot of people in this family and we have a lot of dishes, and while I ask the Kidlets to help me with them often it is still a job I despise. Well, if I am to believe that being a mom and wife is my vocation then one of two things has to happen. I have to decide to be happy about the job God has made me for and find joy or at least peace about doing those jobs OR I can go about my days with a reluctant and begrudging spirit. By the title of my blog you might guess that the second of the two choices is NOT what I would consider my first choice.

While I believe that the prayers we have learned and entrusted with are to be said in a thoughtful manner, I also realize that my days are full and hectic, so while I don't recommend this as the ONLY form of prayer today I did find a way to get my job done and also add to my prayer life. I have downloaded an app for my iphone called the Family Rosary.  I started the rosary and set out doing the dishes. Oddly enough I found that at the end of my stack of dishes I was not through with the rosary so I cleaned of the counters and wiped down the stove too just so I could finish the 5 decades.  What a blessing. Now if I could take the feeling I got from accomplishing that through the rest of the day. I will add that to my intention before saying the rosary next time...

This is my plan, I will update and share pictures as we go about it.

    Keep Love in Lent 2014

And for the record I have listed 5 links to which I am thankful for finding today. Still counting my gifts. :)  #196 - #201