Homeschool Conference!!!

Look at all those beautiful little feet two people can create!

Look at all those beautiful little feet two people can create!

Monday, January 28, 2013

I am not teaching reading, writing and arithmetic...

I came across this story today and had to share it...
mostly for me...
at times, I will go back to the posts I have written and I will find the answers I am searching for.
I have no doubt that the day will come when I will NEED to re-read this story...
when I will need to remember that 
I am not teaching reading, writing and arithmetic...

I am teaching children.




Touching hearts




As she stood in front of her 5th grade class on the very first day of school, she told the children an untruth. Like most teachers, she looked at her students and said that she loved them all the same. However, that was impossible, because there in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard.

Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that he did not play well with the other children, that his clothes were messy and that he constantly needed a bath. In addition, Teddy could be unpleasant.

It got to the point where Mrs. Thompson would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen, making bold X's and then putting a big "F" at the top of his papers.

At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required to review each child's past records and she put Teddy's off until last. However, when she reviewed his file, she was in for a surprise.

Teddy's first grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is a bright child with a ready laugh. He does his work neatly and has good manners... he is a joy to be around.."

His second grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is an excellent student, well liked by his classmates, but he is troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle."

His third grade teacher wrote, "His mother's death has been hard on him. He tries to do his best, but his father doesn't show much interest and his home life will soon affect him if some steps aren't taken."

Teddy's fourth grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is withdrawn and doesn't show much interest in school. He doesn't have many friends and he sometimes sleeps in class."

By now, Mrs. Thompson realized the problem and she was ashamed of herself. She felt even worse when her students brought her Christmas presents, wrapped in beautiful ribbons and bright paper, except for Teddy's. His present was clumsily wrapped in the heavy, brown paper That he got from a grocery bag Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it in the middle of the other presents. Some of the children started to laugh when she found a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing, and a bottle that was one-quarter full of perfume.. But she stifled the children's laughter when she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet was, putting it on, and dabbing some of the perfume on her wrist. Teddy Stoddard stayed after school that day just long enough to say, "Mrs. Thompson, today you smelled just like my Mom used to." After the children left, she cried for at least an hour.

On that very day, she quit teaching reading, writing and arithmetic. Instead, she began to teach children. Mrs. Thompson paid particular attention to Teddy. As she worked with him, his mind seemed to come alive. The more she encouraged him, the faster he responded. By the end of the year, Teddy had become one of the smartest children in the class and, despite her lie that she would love all the children the same, Teddy became one of her "teacher's pets.."

A year later, she found a note under her door, from Teddy, telling* her that she was still the best teacher he ever had in his whole life.

Six years went by before she got another note from Teddy. He then wrote that he had finished high school, third in his class, and she was still the best teacher he ever had in life.

Four years after that, she got another letter, saying that while things had been tough at times, he'd stayed in school, had stuck with it, and would soon graduate from college with the highest of honors. He assured Mrs. Thompson that she was still the best and favorite teacher he had ever had in his whole life.

Then four more years passed and yet another letter came. This time he explained that after he got his bachelor's degree, he decided to go a little further. The letter explained that she was still the best and favorite teacher he ever had. But now his name was a little longer.... The letter was signed, Theodore F. Stoddard, MD.

The story does not end there. You see, there was yet another letter that spring. Teddy said he had met this girl and was going to be married. He explained that his father had died a couple of years ago and he was wondering if Mrs. Thompson might agree to sit at the wedding in the place that was usually reserved for the mother of the groom.

Of course, Mrs. Thompson did. And guess what? She wore that bracelet, the one with several rhinestones missing. Moreover, she made sure she was wearing the perfume that Teddy remembered his mother wearing on their last Christmas together.

They hugged each other, and Dr. Stoddard whispered in Mrs. Thompson's ear, "Thank you Mrs. Thompson for* believing in me. Thank you so much for making me feel important and showing me that I could make a difference."

Mrs. Thompson, with tears in her eyes, whispered back. She said, "Teddy, you have it all wrong. You were the one who taught me that I could make a difference. I didn't know how to teach until I met you."

(For you that don't know, Teddy Stoddard is the Dr. at Iowa Methodist Hospital in Des Moines that has the Stoddard Cancer Wing.)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Doing What I LOVE...

Educating our children tops this list!!!

I LOVE the blessing of homeschooling all these wonderful children of mine!

I LOVE having my kiddos home with me!

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE seeing their eyes light up when that "ah-ha" moment hits...
I love sharing my favorite stories with them from when I was a little child, and I love that they bring those books back to me time and again to hear more.

I recently pulled out the one book that I remember owning as a little girl...
It is my favorite, quite possibly because I spent so many hours turning its pages.
This little gem of a book that I am referring to was written by Richard Scarry and published in 1973...yep, vintage!!!  And it's still a keeper, even in its sad state of repair!
It has officially been LOVED TO DEATH!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I love this little tidbit that I found about him:
Mr. Scarry, who was born in Boston and moved to Switzerland in 1968, once wrote: 
"It's a precious thing to be communicating to children, 
helping them discover the gift of language and thought. 
I'm happy to be doing it."

He also shared these words...and this sooooo perfectly fits my experience!
"I'm not interested in creating a book that is read once and then placed on the shelf and forgotten.  I am very happy when people write that they have worn out my books, or that they are held together by Scotch tape. I consider that the ultimate compliment." 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
From the cheery sunshine on the first page, 
to the sleepy moon on the last
I am captivated.

The stories are simple,
the poems sweet,
the messages pure,
the illustrations colorful and fully engaging.
The stories speak to your heart,
they resonate goodness
and hope...
They make you feel as though it is perfectly wonderful and normal to lay upon the grass just watching all the creepy crawlies and magnificent buzzing insects...
as you turn the pages, fabulous things happen inside of you, smiles and laughter freely come from within and explode exuberantly...

















When I hold this wonderfully worn out book in my hands,
I am just like a little child again,
it is Magical and transforming,
I feel refreshed, alive, safe and happy.
I marvel and can't help but smile as the pages turn...
my heart is filled with joy as the words from those pages spring from my mouth to the ears of my sweet children.

When I share those words,
I feel as though
I am sharing part of me...
such a BIG part of me,
the part of me that never really grew up,
the part of me that still loves to dream and imagine...
the part of me that longs for moments spent laying beneath the stars or the clouds...
the part of me that loves exploring all this life holds...
the part of me that is ready at a moments notice to go rolling down the hillside, chase the butterflies, or catch the tadpoles...

When I am with my kids, the REAL me is NEVER afraid to come out...
I am as goofy, as silly, as wacko as I could ever desire to be...
I am filled with excitement and joy...
I am filled to overflowing when their joy and excitement meet up with mine ~
it's like the little person in me is playing with the little people I've created...
and we are kindred spirits
doing what WE love...




Sunday, January 20, 2013

Two Wolves...which will win?

I had a whoppin' large group of teens for a home school teen party at our home just Friday night...
with a big group of teens, also comes a big group of moms...
LOVE it when that happens!!!

There were so many amazing conversations taking place, 
but one that will stick with me is the following story that my friend, Jessica, shared that evening.  I love it!!!  
I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do...
and even more I hope it will cause you to stop and think about some of the "wolves" in your life!

From a Cherokee legend:

There is a story about an old Cherokee teaching his grandson about life.
"A fight is going on inside of me,"
he said to the boy.
"It is a terrible fight,
and it is between two wolves."











One is evil:
He is anger, self-pity, guilt,
resentment, inferiority, lies,
false pride, superiority, and ego."

He continued,
"The other is good:
He is joy, peace, love, hope,
serenity, humility, kindness,
benevolence, empathy, 
generosity, truth,
compassion and faith.

The same fight is going on inside you ~ 
and inside every other person, too."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, 
"Which wolf will win?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, 
"The one you feed."



Saturday, January 19, 2013

Time to SHINE!

I attended a business meeting earlier this week...
I've attended many in the past,
but 
this one
touched me in a way that was 
different...

I have had some "Dreams", if you will,
that I keep putting on the back burner
waiting for the "right" time...

That night,
something was said that may just have changed
my thought process...
Just two little words...
"BE DELIBERATE"

BUT
when you think about what those two words mean to you...
they become a whole lot more!!!

When I heard them
something inside of me
starting jumping up and down
needing to get out
needing to make things happen
the need I felt was FABULOUS
and Surprising
and Invigorating
and a little Scary...
But not too scary to stop me!!!

This year, 
I will shine!
I will live my life without fear,
without doubt,
without question,
I am just going to jump in with both feet 
and make AMAZING THINGS happen!!!

On my mirror, 
I will read these statements each & every morning ~



And this one...
A message I NEEDED desperately to see!
MY LIFE
really is my message...
and by darn it,
I'm gonna make it GOOD!


Watch out 2013...
I AM GOING TO ROCK YOU!!!!!!!!!!

Another Happy Moment in time...

And YES, I must share it with YOU!!!

For all who know me well, you know that this has not been the easiest year of my life...
FULL
of many hard days...
Might be the hardest year I can ever remember.

BUT it has also been
filled with many amazing days of growth
and understanding of me
and who I'm becoming...
and
of who I was and
who I AM...
A Year of learning a whole lot of stuff
about me...
and about looking on the bright side of things.
A year of learning to accept that I am not really in control of everything, in fact, I'm not really in control of ANYTHING...I'm just along for the ride ~ and quite a ride it has been!!!

It has been 7 months,
yep, let's count 'em
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Dang...that is a lot of months...
anyway,
it has been 7 VERY LONNNNNNGGGGGG months
since I've been behind the wheel of a car...

Not because I didn't long to be there,
not because I was a bad girl and lost my privileges
not because I didn't have a car to drive about...
but because
my body decided to take a little break from
Life...
It decided I needed to STOP
just about EVERYTHING.
immediately.
without question.
without argument.
just STOP!

Well,
my HAPPY MOMENT
that I must share
cause I just can't keep such amazing things to myself
is that I am FINALLY behind the wheel again!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am okay...
I avoid certain areas,
BUT
I am out there again...

AND
one day
hopefully sooner than later
I
WILL
DRIVE
MY
YELLOW
SLUG BUG!!!

(First, I need to buy it...minor detail)
But that is my silly dream ~ to drive about in an adorable little yellow slug bug...gerber daisy riding along happily beside me ~ sunroof open allowing all that sunshine to warm my shoulders, wind ruffling my hair and all my favorite music just playin' away!!!

But what you must know is that
just a month ago
I had resigned myself to never leaving my home again
alone...
I was okay with it...
(most of the time)
there were days I had a little fit,
it was not what I wanted...

but my health was returning,
my brain was functioning again,
I was able to finally walk around by myself
without the aid of my husband or my children,
I could open a book and enjoy reading once again,
life wasn't fully "normal" or as I had known previously,
but I could pretty much do as I wished (within reason)...
so I was pleased.

AND NOW...
Just a short time later,
I am feeling ALMOST completely back to ME!!!!

So there is my Happy Moment that needed to go out to all of the people that I love so much!!!
Thanks for sharing in my little happy party!!!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Don't worry about tomorrow...

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When I saw this little gem, I have to say my heart cried out just a bit.

I have been so guilty of this.
And I am so grateful for the awareness that this brought to me.

Do you find yourself rushing life along as you try to "form" that little child of yours into what you believe they should become one day?

I wish with every ounce of my being to focus on who they are TODAY.
I want to see them for the wonderful person they are right here and now.
I want to enjoy the wonder of my little children,
I want to see through their eyes
and their hearts.
I wish to feel the magic that is so alive within them.
I wish to relish in the moment with them
and to look back on our days together
with the biggest smile my face can muster.

IF I am doing this...
they will become exactly who they are to become,
and I needn't worry myself about it one teeny tiny little bit.

All will be well.
No
All will be WONDERFUL!!!!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Bears, Mermaids and Whales...Oh My!!!!


So it seems to me that most, if not all, women are somewhat obsessed by who they are, what they look like, what others think of them…
We forever compare ourselves to others...

Instead of fearing the Lions, Tigers and Bears in our lives...
our fears are based out of not being good enough, 
or looking fine enough, 
or fitting in just so...
we desire to become 
or to look like 
or to be as popular as
this person 
or that person...

 
I just have to share a couple short stories with you...
they'll give you something to think about and hopefully add a little laughter to your day!  ;)

 
A while back, at the entrance of a gym, there was a picture of a very thin and beautiful woman. The caption read: 
"This summer, do you want to be a mermaid or a whale?" 

The story goes, a woman (of clothing size unknown) answered the following way: 

"Dear people, whales are always surrounded by friends
(dolphins, seals, curious humans),
they are sexually active
and raise their children with great tenderness. 
They entertain like crazy with dolphins
and eat lots of prawns.
They swim all day
and travel to fantastic places like Patagonia, the Barents Sea or the coral reefs of Polynesia.
They sing incredibly well and sometimes even are on Cd's.
They are impressive and dearly loved animals, which everyone defend and admires. 

Mermaids do not exist. 
But if they existed, they would line up to see a psychologist because of a problem of split personality:
woman or fish?
They would have no sex life
and could not bear children.
Yes, they would be lovely,
but lonely and sad.
And, who wants a girl that smells like fish by his side? 

Without a doubt, I'd rather be a whale. 

At a time when the media tells us that only thin is beautiful, I prefer to eat ice cream with my kids, to have dinner with my husband, to eat and drink and have fun with my friends. We women, we gain weight because we accumulate so much wisdom and knowledge that there isn't enough space in our heads, and it spreads all over our bodies.
We are not fat, we are greatly cultivated.
Every time I see my curves in the mirror, I tell myself:
"How amazing am I ?! 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE her response!

And the next story....well, it just makes me giggle!!

In My Next Life I Want To Be A Bear

In my next life I want to be a bear.
If you're a bear, you get to hibernate. 
You do nothing but sleep for six months.
I could deal with that.
Before you hibernate, you're supposed to eat yourself stupid.
I could deal with that, too.
If you're a bear, you birth your children (who are the size of walnuts) while you're sleeping and wake to partially grown, cute cuddly cubs.
I could definitely deal with that.
If you're a mama bear, everyone knows you mean business. You swat anyone who bothers your cubs. If your cubs get out of line, you swat them too.
I could deal with that.
If you're a bear, your mate EXPECTS you to wake up growling. 
He EXPECTS that you will have hairy legs and excess body fat. 
He KNOWS not to get between you and the food.

Yup..... Gonna be a bear.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Although these both make me laugh just a little, 
I have to admit I truly have no real desire to be a bear or a mermaid or a whale…

They all have their benefits ~ 
there are times that I think I could deal with having an extended nap, especially when it’s cold outside!  
I love the beautiful life of the whale 
and let’s face it, who wouldn't enjoy having the body of a mermaid (with the addition of a couple of legs)?

But since I’m never going to be 
a bear 
or a whale 
or a mermaid, 
I will focus on what I can become… 
I can become the very best ME there is!

There is no reason I can't have the body I dream of...
if I am willing to work hard enough for it...
why bother dreaming of looking like a mermaid???  
I can make anything I wish happen if it is important enough to me.
And I'm already living a life better than that of the bear or the whale...

If I REALLY wish to have that extended nap,
well, I'll just go climb under the covers and get up when I feel like it and that will be okay...and my little "cubs" can join me if they wish to.  
Not too often do I feel the need to swat anyone around me, but if so...well, I guess I could do that, too..so you might wanna watch out!.  ;)
Someday I just might be lucky enough to see all the wonder and beauty that the whale enjoys, but if not...that is okay...I see so much that they are never blessed to witness.
So, yea...
I think being ME is pretty alright
and I'm pretty alright...
so no real need to be a bear or a mermaid or even a whale.


I believe our true happiness comes when we finally really like the person we are ~
when we can look in the mirror and say to our reflection…
"You are one amazing person…"


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Happy New Year

I came across this today and just wished to share it with you...
may you be blessed with all that is good, enriching and joyful this new year!!!

"What shall I wish thee?
Treasures of earth? 
Songs in the springtime,
Pleasure and mirth?
Flowers on thy pathway,
Skies ever clear?
Would this ensure thee
A Happy New Year?

What shall I wish thee?
What can be found
Bringing thee sunshine
All the year round?
Lasting and dear,
That shall ensure thee
A Happy New Year.

Faith that increaseth,
Walking in light;
Hope that aboundeth,
Happy and bright;
Love that is perfect,
Casting out fear;
These shall insure thee
A Happy New Year." 
-  Frances Ridley Havergal, A Happy New Year