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I’ve Moved!

August 17, 2010

Won’t you join me at my new place?

Time management is a real….

August 16, 2010

bugaboo, most of the time.

Hi, my name is Elle and I have a son who is struggling with time management.

Today was all about time management. Taking too much time to do an assignment. Not completing an assignment because of wasting time with doodling on the paper. Using time poorly and then losing time to do the things he wanted to do. It was worse for him today than Captain Hook hearing the tick tock in a crocodile’s belly.

The clock became tyranny personified and I became the poster child of Mother Time as gloomily evidenced by the increasing droop to my own countenance. Seeing the frittering and the doodling and the stargazing makes my hair stand on end. In real time.

The day’s time issues culminated in missing supper because Dad was in the car ready to go to Scouts. Good for him bananas are readily available. And portable.

I am a recovering procrastinator and Lucy come lately to the party. It took me years of self created stress before I was finally confronted with the truth that my time issues were sheer lack of self-discipline, or more bluntly put, selfishness. I saw my time as more important than others’ time so I worked at my own pace. With all rationalization and justification for such a schedule.

That friend’s straightforward but loving confrontation of my selfishness was a necessary announcement. But it couldn’t stop at only an announcement. Personal repentance and actual changing of behavior were next steps. For a bit there I swung to the other extreme becoming compulsive about time. Clocks and watches set ahead of real time. Which only works until you are good enough at the math to factor how many extra minutes you still have. Timers and multiple alarms set for alerts. Again, only beneficial if you do not hit snooze a dozen times.

What it came down to ultimately was the effort to plan ahead, to lay out clothes and pack the bag the night before, to cut out time wasters, and most of all to appreciate the other person’s time as more important than my own.

And with this son, who is tripping about in his own rabbit hole of time management woes, I need to see the importance of time it will take to train him lovingly, and straightforwardly, about how to make time a tool and not a tyrant. We are both getting up 30 minutes early tomorrow morning to begin work on things. Together. On time.

Socialization is not a problem…

August 16, 2010

for homeschoolers. Although it is probably my favorite crutch question to answer. With a new school year starting up and people asking if I am still homeschooling and how could I do that and what about socialization. I decided I would have some answers ready.

“So, how are they going to learn to get along with other children?”

1. Well, I’m not trying to raise children to get along with other children. I am trying to raise sons to get along as men in this world too full of men that still act like children.

2. They are learning to get along with other children by having the influence of adult maturity. They have plenty enough of childish immaturity to overcome.

3. When did learning to get along with other children become the end all goal of parenthood?

4. Having friends their age and being friends with others their ages is a goal that can be pursued within homeschool’s boundaries. It does not have to be tested in playground bullying or classroom foolishness to be real. Sin and selfishness occur in homeschools too. Learning to respond biblically is not a mutually exclusive enterprise of the world’s systems.

5. Testing grounds regarding a homeschooler’s response to difficult peer situations occur regularly at church, at sports events, at Boy Scouts, at museums, at homeschool co-ops, on field trips and even in grocery stores. People are everywhere. Trust me, socialization is happening. Our guard is over what type of socialization is happening.

6. Thank you for your concern. You are welcome to come to my house and discuss current events or science or history or Bible with my sons as you test their social abilities. Please stay away from potty talk, booger jokes and bodily function noises. It is part of what we are avoiding.

If you have other suggestions, please weigh in, whether you homeschool or not.

Of integrity…

August 15, 2010

When I was in high school, there was a teacher who spoke of the integrity of the founding fathers for their steadfast adherence to moral standards in the framing of the nation. He taught about the integrity of the democratic system when an ethical citizenship is willing to participate fully and completely. He inspired students to pursue participation in an election process of campaigning and lobbying and educating themselves about the topics of the day. He motivated students to read tomes of political thought and philosophy and challenged students to be grounded in their beliefs, to be firm in their foundations and to fight for what was right and just. His students, including myself, described him as a man of integrity.

This same teacher also molested his female students. And when caught and confronted, his defense was that he had grown up in an abusive, alcoholic home, ruled by a tyrannical father. He wept buckets of tears, remorseful, so sorry he was caught buckets of tears. Not one sentence spoken ever contained a true confession or admission or of  personal responsibility. His greatest fear was exposure. He said he had personal integrity and a good name to protect.

Integrity is defined as a wholeness of consistent values and beliefs or as the quality of sound moral principles. Apparently this definition was open to interpretation at the self-serving table he set and from which he dined. Integrity was his cliche, but perversity was his practice.

The only steadfast adherence to a moral or ethical code that he followed was the one that served his purposes and desires. Integrity did not define him. Idolatry of self did.

I once heard integrity defined as who you are and what you do when no one is looking. Who you are in the closet and not just who you claim to be in public.

As such, life experience has taught me to investigate more thoroughly those who simply proclaim personal integrity. Particularly when the proclamation is loud and flowery and accompanied by chest beating, desk banging, book thumping declarations that descend into a great list of pietistic actions.

To which I say, show me your closet. And even if you do not, the inevitability remains that what is in there will come out for all to see. It is the inevitability of truth.

Integrity, true integrity, that rules one’s thoughts, heart and behavior will not require loud proclamation and will certainly not require legalistic defense. True integrity is lived out in the kitchen, in the grocery store, in the boardroom, in the class room, in fellowship with others, and in the closet.

My dad tells a story about a newcomer to the United States who was hungry for fried chicken. Thinking that he could get some fried chicken at the grocery store, he went into one and bought a container with a picture of crispy fried chicken on the front. When he got home and opened it, the container was full of lard.

True character when opened and tested will reveal integrity. Proclamations alone will never make what is a container of lard a bucket of fried chicken.

Over the moon…

August 13, 2010

excited for a dear friend of mine who has perservered in a long trial for the right to adopt a little guy who needs an intact, loving, Christian family.

Today, after much trouble and character assaults and deceptive tactics by involved agencies, God intervened to bring mercy and justice to bear on the case. He awarded this family the right to adopt, to give this sweet child a forever on earth home.

This summer has been incredibly hard for this friend and her loved ones. Several of us have prayed unceasingly regarding the situation. We have asked God to stop up the paths of injustice and oppression. We have asked God to display His glory in the birth of a new family. We have asked God to cause us to surrender to His will with peace and assurance.

And when it looked so terribly awful today at court, we again asked God to make His power known.

He did.

The judge said he saw changed lives that could provide for this son with all their hearts and minds and strength.

A child, once orphaned, now gifted by God to belong in this family.

Victory in the Lord and from the Lord–blessings untold.

You know you’re back….

August 12, 2010

from vacation when:

1) The laundry in the suitcase all smells like it needs washing because something in that little bag of toiletries broke open.

2) The boys’ laundry all smells like it needs washing because it always needs washing.

3) The refrigerator contains green yogurt, 2 corndogs, and an indistinguishable.

4) The freezer is not empty but contains all of the bread you didn’t eat before you left so you threw it into the freezer.

5) The pantry is also not quite empty but contains things that make you think cheesy shells with ranch dressing on saltines and a side of diced tomatoes just might work if you can’t get to the grocery store.

6) The cats snub you.

7) You wake up in the middle of the night grateful for your Sealy Posturepedic and Tempurpedic pillow but wish these items were on vacation with you.

8) The photo digital card is full but the pictures are not yet on your computer (hence the empty visual effects).

9) The temptation to push “Mark all as read” to wipe out the 300+ posts in your reader is growing with each hour.

10) The time to keep blogging a post like this is over because the reality of home’s drum beat grows louder. Or maybe that’s simply the washing machine. Again.