• TRANSFORMER INVITATION2 copy

    Awesome Transformer Birthday Party under $80!

    I soooo did not want to do a birthday party this year!  I just didn’t want to take the time to research, plan, search for deals and put it together in addition to my jobs – COO of Casa de … Continue reading

  • The Arrow

    Brave Writer’s The Arrow

      Last month we added Brave Writer’s The Arrow to our Language Arts studies and I’ve noticed the difference in our homeschool already. We’re having so much fun with “The Brave Writer lifestyle”. Our own language as well as our … Continue reading

  • Life of Fred Collage

    Life of Fred – Homeschool Happens Everywhere

    This is what homeschool looks like. I’m grateful for all the wonderful ideas my friend Julie @ Creekside Learning has given me to homeschool B.  When she told me about the Life of Fred Math curriculum, it sounded like something that was right … Continue reading

  • 5a4d5-cheesymushroomchili

    Cheesy Mushroom Chili from The Mushroom Lady

    We were on vacation last week on the Delmarva Peninsula.  It lies between the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays and consists of land belonging to Delaware, Maraland and Virginia.  On Tuesday afternoon, we visited the Rehoboth Beach, Delaware Farmers Market in Grove … Continue reading

  • 7d87b-img_2786

    President in a Bag – George Washington

    After reading about our first president, B chose 5 things to represent his life. I receive The Idea Book for Educators, a free publication from A&E, History Channel, H2 and Biography.  Inside you’ll find study guides to assist us teachers with … Continue reading

  • e6003-img_0990_2

    Science Class – Weather Experiments

    Great hands-on Science experiments – a homemade barometer and a thermometer and the pushing air trick. We have been learning about weather in Science class for the last month, and this week we did some experiments.  We learned that air … Continue reading

Sometimes you just need an affirmation from the horse’s mouth that you’re doing OK by your child.

We know a family with two children: one in middle school and one in elementary school. The elementary-aged child is babied. When he’s winning and when he gets what he wants, his happy, smiling face looks like an angel. When he’s not the best at something/not winner, he storms off or fakes an injury complete with fake tears. When he doesn’t get what he wants, he whines, yells and cries. He’s old enough to know better.

The mom does not discipline his behavior. Sometimes she tries to explain to him, rationally, why he can’t do/have exactly what he wants at that moment, hoping I guess, that he’ll see her side of it and agree. Nope. He just gets louder, turns on the tears and she gives in.

Her middleschooler has always been mature in front of me. That is, until earlier this month. I saw her interrupt her mother’s conversation to start whining about something she wanted. Something that she was old enough to do for herself, but wanted her mom to do for her instead. Her mom reminded her she was in the middle of a conversation, there were many options in the house from which she could choose, go get yourself what you want. The middleschooler stomped her foot, raised her voice and told her mom she didn’t like any of those options and wanted her mom to go get another option for her. The mother excused herself to the person she was talking to and walked off with her daughter, her head down.

At first, I was shocked to see the older child act that way, but then it dawned on me: why should she be mature, patient and not get what she wants all the time? She had watched her brother whine, raise his voice and/or evoke tears for years and get everything he wanted, so she was finally employing the tactics herself. Right or wrong, she’s a smart cookie!

It’s not how we raise our child, but she’s free to raise hers however she wants.

It’s tough raising a man in America. Instant gratification, technology, entitlement, lack of work ethic/conscience/moral compass are just a few of the things we have to deal with, work around or develop in our son. B does not receive everything he wants. Sometimes it’s because we can’t give them to him, but mostly it’s because we choose not to. And he’s expressed his unhappiness about it several times. It would be so much easier to give in, to spoil him with things and do everything for him. However, what kind of man would we be releasing on the world one day? Would he even be a man or just a large, entitled child? We gladly fight the battles as the come because our eyes are on the end result. He will be an amazing man, employee, employer, spouse, whatever he wants to be. He already is an amazing teenager, even though we still butt heads over things.

That being said, we do doubt ourselves as parents at times. Deep down we know we’re doing the right thing, but we still worry. Sometimes, we just get tired of fighting the battles and are tempted to give in.

Yesterday we witnessed the boy I spoke about at the beginning of this post throw a fit in the middle of the street. I said to B, “I know your dad & I raise you harder than others. We’re more strict and we hold you to a higher standard than some other parents. Would you rather we raised you like that boy is being raised?”

He replied, “No way! I mean, sure, it’d be nice to have whatever I want, whenever I want. But, Mom, if you raised me like that, I’d never get anywhere in life.”

Sometimes you just need an affirmation from the horse’s mouth that you’re doing right by your child.

Do unto library books as you’d have done for you.


I’ve found a disturbing trend in library books over the last couple of years: more and more crusty stuff inside. Boogers, spilled drinks & food, unidentified raised, crusty gunk. 😖 And I’m not talking about the children’s book. Finding bodily fluids & ripped pages in children’s books are a given. Although parents should at least tape pages back together, for goodness sake.

I’m talking about adult books. Came across this stain in Playing for Pizza by John Grisham, one of my favorite authors. Yes, it’s dry, but it’s also raised! Can you see that?! Someone spilled a liquid thick enough to dry in 3-D and didn’t even bother to wipe off the excess. In fact, this goop bled through 8 pages before it and 4 pages after it.
When engrossed in a good book, I’ve been know to walk around, go to the bathroom and, yes, even eat while reading. And I’ve spilled my share of food and drink on library books, as well.

However, I mop them up immediately. I even get a fresh, wet towel to remove any residue. After removing as much goop as I can without removing the page itself, I prop the book up, open, and use other things to isolate the now wet page so it dries and does not affect any other pages.

And I bet most people would do the same thing if they had borrowed that book from a friend. But they don’t when they borrow it from the library. They don’t show the same respect and courtesy to a stranger who lives in the same vicinity as them and shares the same passions of reading and that particular author or genre.

They’re probably the same people who return scratched and inoperable DVDs and video game to the library without saying a word to the librarian. We don’t invest money in video games often so B loves to check out the games, all the other kids own, from the library. Imagine his disappointment when half of them don’t even work.

I’m not accusing anyone of damaging a DVD nor game disk. However, I am expecting you to have some courtesy, and instead of dropping that case with a broken disk in to the return slot inside the library, walk an additional 5-15 feet to a librarian and let them know it’s broken. They are so grateful to us when we do that! They don’t want broken items circulating and disappointing those they serve. They want to remove broken items and replace them with working ones.

You know, I used to pick off and clean up goop left on books by other borrowers, but not anymore. All 3 of us have food allergies and I don’t know what’s in that food. What if the person whose nose dripped on the page was sick when it happened? Uh-uh, we all need to clean up our own messes. Just think how disgusted you’d be if you turned the page and saw THIS.

“Do unto others as you’d have done to you.” Please.

It’s just bacon, y’all.

File Apr 28, 11 08 33 AM

 

Y’all, I have a Culinary Arts degree from (what was at the time I graduated) the second-best culinary institute in America. And yet, this morning, I burned turkey bacon in the microwave. I hadn’t made it in a while and cooked it for 1 minute a slice when it should have been 30 seconds a slice.

This doesn’t make me a rotten person, a bad mom or incompetent. I made an error in judgement and learned a lesson. I made a mistake that didn’t harm anyone and didn’t set off the smoke alarm.

I didn’t beat myself up, I merely dumped the paper towels and bacon in a plastic bag and threw it out the back door so the smell did not permeate the house (when the hubs comes home he’ll put it in the outside trash can). And B & I had a good laugh about it. I use to be THAT person who literally cried over spilled milk. But I decided to stop that shit in 2015. It’s been hard, but worth it: to not get upset with myself nor my child when accidents happen. I’m happier. He’s happier. Our home is calmer. Eliminating these particular emotional roller coasters from my life have been good for me and those around me.

It’s OK if you burn bacon, too. You’re human and accidents happen. Take a deep breath, throw it out the back door and start again.

Now excuse me, I need to make B some more bacon.

“Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

I’m not always my son’s favorite person (and, believe me, he’s not always mine!). However, no matter what kind of day we’ve had – lovefest or batting heads – he still comes and finds me before going to bed at night. Sometimes it’s a strong hug accompanied by, “Good night, Mama, I love you!” Sometimes it’s a silent, very loose, arms encircling without bodies touching, one pat on the back, you’re not my favorite person right now, kinda goodnight. And I’m OK with that.

As family, as friends, as countrymen, as earthlings, we’re NOT going to like everyone, all of the time! We’re going to stumble, make mistakes, hurt feelings and put our feet in our mouths – intentionally or unintentionally. However, when we get angry at, or are hurt/disappointed/let down by someone, we need to remember some things. WE are just as human/fallible/disappointing, at times, as the other person. 
I have learned from experience that Karma is real! For every time, word, circumstance I’ve judged another, I’ve later found myself in a similar circumstance. 
It’s a wonderful gift Jesus gives us: to walk in another’s shoes. So *really* pay attention when you’re there. Emerge yourself in those shoes! Absorb all the feelings you’ll receive and reflect on all the feelings you’ve inflicted on others. 
Then forgive, be forgiven, move on, and do better. 

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