Wednesday, March 30, 2011

OVER Protecting and UNDER Socializing

I've been working through two things that have been on my mind and heart for a while.  In fact, this post has been written and sitting in draft mode for two weeks.  At least.  
It's required a bunch of mulling over, and even more prayer.  
It's two things I've heard frequently since we started homeschooling.

"Aren't you over protecting your kids?"


and, the infamous:

"What about socialization?  What do you do to ensure they're not under socialized?"

I forgot to socialize the kids.jpg

I'm getting on my soapbox and I'm not making any excuses or apologies for it.

Long, long, long story short, here is what I have come to believe is the only correct way (for me) to answer those two questions:

"Yes, I am over protecting my kids." 
"Yes, I WANT them to be under socialized."

Because, you see, I feel that both of these questions stem from a world view.  

If protecting my kids to a Biblical standard is OVER protecting them by a worldly standard, I'm okay with that.  In fact, we are called to protect our children.  Not just their physical protection, but their emotional and spiritual protection as well.  I have been given the great task and blessing to raise these children.  To raise them to be godly, moral, Truth seeking individuals who value hard work, honesty, responsibility and accountability.  To be people of God who are more concerned with others than themselves.  I am very, very convicted that in order to do that I must "over" protect them -- or more simply, I must protect them from living as the world would tell them to live.  

"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it."  Proverbs 22:6

And if UNDER socializing my kids means that they are socialized to a Biblical standard and not to a worldly standard, I'm okay with that.  The "what about socialization" is one of the questions that really gets to me.  Do I really even need to answer that one?  I've seen what public school socialization does to kids.  The biggest issues in high school in the 50's were things like tardiness, talking in class, not turning in homework, forgetting a pencil, etc.  The biggest issues in the high schools now?  Gang fights, rape, assault, battery, theft, etc.  And the list goes on and on.  Sickeningly so.  

Even the "smaller" problems exist in abundance:  disrespect, dishonesty, lack of perseverance, selfishness,  irresponsibility, lack of accountability.   Do I want that for my children?  Absolutely not.   What I do want is them to have a safe, healthy social experience.  

When we decided to homeschool we decided to become recluses.  No field trips, no outings to the grocery store.  No park playdates.  No trips to the library or zoo.  No checking out the local history.  It's home, home, home.  And absolutely no talking or playing with other people and children that aren't in our nuclear family.

Do you see/hear/understand how asinine that is?  But, when people ask me how we socialize our children, I want to have some smart aleck comment like the statement above.  "Yeah, we never leave home, so they have a problem with socialization.  I see your point."  The truth is just the contrary.  We are very, very busy homeschoolers.  We interact with individuals not only at our own age levels, but those in differing ages, abilities, and environments.  I believe that it makes all of us better people.

So, do I over protect and under socialize?  Depends on who's asking.  
To the world, my answer would be yes.
To God, my answer would be no.  I'm protecting and socializing as He would have me do.

The world may think I'm over protecting and under socializing, but that doesn't really bother me.  If you know me, you know that I don't generally care what others think of me.  
But I do care what God thinks of me.
I take the gift of raising these children very, very seriously.  I might not have all the right answers, or know the right thing to say when asked a frustrating question by those who'd rather judge than respect, but I do know one thing.
God called me to mothering.  He called me to be the momma and the teacher of these two precious littles.
And God does not call the equipped.
He equips the called.

"These are the commands, decrees and laws the LORD your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the LORD your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the LORD, the God of your ancestors, promised you.
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates."  Deuteronomy 6: 1-9

Friday, March 25, 2011

Manifesto -- Update

I realized this morning when I was looking at the Manifesto post in my email inbox, that the video did not show up.  In my spare time (maniacal laughing), I'll see if there is a way to get that into your email box.  But, for now, you'll need to go to the blog itself to see the video clip I've posted.   (Just click on the blog post title "Manifesto" to take you directly to that post.)

In Him,

Thursday, March 24, 2011


I believe that if we don't stand for something, we will fall for anything.

This -- This is what I stand for...  The One True God...

Manifesto by The City Harmonic

We believe in the one true God
We believe in Father Spirit Son
We believe that good has won

And all of the people of God sing along

We are free He died and lives again
We will be a people free from sin
We'll be free a kingdom with no end

And all of the people of God sing along

Amen (X4)

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come, 
thy will be done, 
on earth as it is in heaven
Give us our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who have trespassed against us.
And lead us not into temptation, 
but deliver us from evil. 
For thine is the kingdom, power and the glory. for ever and ever. 

We're singing

Amen (X4)

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Holy Alphabet

lthough things are not perfect 
ecause of trial or pain 
ontinue in thanksgiving 
o not begin to blame 
ven when the times are hard 
ierce winds are bound to blow 
OD is forever able 
old on to what you know 
magine life without His love 
oy would cease to be 
eep thanking Him for all the things 
ove imparts to thee 
ove out of "Camp Complaining" 
o weapon that is known 
n earth can yield the power 
raise can do alone 
uit looking at the future 
edeem the time at hand 
tart every day with worship 
o "thank" is a command 
ntil we see Him coming 
ictorious in the sky 
e'll run the race with gratitude 
 alting God most high 
 es, there'll be good times and yes some will be bad, but... 
ion waits in glory....where none are ever sad! 

As a teacher and a Christian, I felt this was so appropriate.  May you find the blessing in it as well!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Blessing of a Bowser

What is a Bowser?

A Bowser is a blessing sent from above.

At just the right time, one day after the incident. 

To take our minds off of "what could have been."

A Bowser is a soft, furry, cuddly bundle of energy.

A Bowser is a playmate.

A Bowser is a friend.

A Bowser is a personal trainer.

But best of all, a Bowser is love. 

Heaven-sent love.


(The long and short of it is that we'd been searching for a dog for almost 6 weeks without any luck.  I'd found a few leads, which were quickly put aside when I heard, "I had to eject" from the other side of the phone.  But, Bowser, bless him, showed up in our backyard the very next day.  And though we returned him to the neighbors, he popped back over the next day.  We talked to the neighbors who didn't really want a dog, but had rescued him from family who were not taking good care of him.  That night, the neighbors showed up with Bowser on a leash, a 20 lb. bag of dog food, bowls, toys and hearts happy that the dog had found a good home.  We feel that God brought us this dog.  He is an answered prayer.  And we LOVE him!!!)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Plus, Plus, Plus, Plus, Plus

Is there such a thing as a personality type A-Plus? 
Cuz I think I've got it.
Either that or I'm obsessed with organization.
A-Plus sounds much better.
More positive.

Because I am still honing my coupon skills, I have tried several different methods for organizing my coupons and flyers.  I'd been using a small expandable file, but that was getting really full.

I'd read about the "Coupon Binder" but honestly, didn't see the need.
"Really?  How many coupons does one Greyhaired Momma need?"

"How much stocking up will I really be doing?"

And I quickly came to realize that there are a lot of coupons out there in this big coupony world.  And I'm not talking, "I buy 756 copies of my Sunday paper so that I have lots of the same coupons."  I'm talking one Sunday paper, printing coupons off Facebook, store websites, and the Internet.  Oh, and maybe a few coupons that friends and family have sent me (there's that hint again!). 

And my little expandable folder runneth over.  And my files were bulging.  And I felt really unorganized. And I don't like that feeling.  Not a bit.

And so, I caved. 
I created a Coupon Binder.

Oh, and she is a lovely, lovely lady.  I haven't named her yet, but I'm sure that's to come.  She and I will be spending much time together.  Not only at home, but out in the world -- shopping!  (oooh, maybe her name should be Violet.  "Violet, you're turning Violet, Violet!")

She has 3 rings, some built in expandable folders, many little pockets and hidey holes, and -- here's the Coup de grĂ¢ce -- a zipper.  Keeping all her valuables inside.
Be still my heart.

I added a bunch of baseball card display pages and dividers, and filled the pages up.

Now all I need is a T shirt that I can wear each time I go to the store.
A sort of warning, I guess.
To those behind me in line.

The back would read:
"I might take longer at the checkout,
But I leave with more money in my pockets."

Or possibly,  "I have coupons and I'm not afraid to use them."

Or the sassy, "Pick another checkout lane, honey.  I'm gonna be a while."

I'm still working on the shirt.  I'll be thinking it over as I stuff coupons in my new binder!

PS -- FREEBIES -- GIVEAWAY --  I'll send some sort of coupony prize to the first reader who can correctly tell me, in the comments section, which movie the title of this post comes from.   And another prize to another reader who can tell me which movie the "Violet" line comes from.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Do You See What I See?

 As the Lord's abundance

bursts forth from the earth,

in overwhelming, utter awe,

I breathe it in.

Absorb it into my marrows.

Bask in the radiant glory.

Silently whispering,

"More!  More!"

 "So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, 
but only God, who makes things grow.  
The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, 
and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. 
For we are co-workers in God’s service; 
you are God’s field, 
God’s building. "
1 Corinthians 3: 7-9 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

MY Little, HER Little, and Me

Each time I look at CraftyGirl, I am shocked at how quickly she is growing up.  And so, from time to time, I might be guilty of indulging her flights of whimsy.

CraftyGirl received a Journey Girl for Christmas, and "Alana" has become her fast friend.  

Last month, CraftyGirl declared that the 2nd was to be Alana's birthday and that we'd be having her party on Saturday.  Since Saturday was a designated "Girls' Day," CraftyGirl felt that it was perfect because "we can go shopping for Alana's birthday present."
Bandana was not a fashion statement, but "to keep her hair out of the food."
The day began with pancakes and then, in full indulgence mode, we got ready, and hit the stores. 
And after finding just the right gift for Alana, we just might have come home, sang, 

opened presents,

and had a bite of birthday cake.

As I said, from time to time I might be guilty of indulging my Little's flights of whimsy!

Yes, the same Little who just confessed her reasoning behind wanting Alana to have a birthday party:  "We NEEDED cake!"

Uh, yeah.  
"Now boarding all pushovers for the flight of whimsy."
Excuse me while I find my seat.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Creative Contemplation

Hello, friend!
It's been a while since we've been together, you and I.
I missed you.

I've not been far.  At least not physically far away.
But mentally, I've been light years away.

I've been contemplating a few things.
Sorting, rearranging, measuring up against what I know to be true.

And as soon as I have it sorted,
And into words,

You can bet I'll let you in on it.