I read, My favorite quotes, songs and stories

Chicken Soup for the Day

It was the kind of splendid September day when sending kids to school just feels wrong. Fortunately, that year I was home schooling and calling the shots. Plus we were living in California, an hour from the Pacific Ocean. For all I knew, it could have been the last day of summer, and we wouldn’t want to miss that. So it was off to the ocean with five children under eight―Josh, Matt, Ben, Zach, and Sophia.

Together, we cleaned up from breakfast, prepped the car, and then gathered beach blankets, umbrella, towels, swimsuits, diapers, sunglasses, sand toys, first aid kit, sunscreen, a cooler full of snacks and drinks―ay yi yi yi yi! Hello, motherhood; goodbye spontaneity. I loaded the assorted car seats and strapped, snapped, and buckled five wiggling bodies into Big Blue―the 1989 Suburban we outgrew only a few years later. We were on our way.

With everyone else in school, the whole beach was ours. I staked out our territory close to the water, hauled everything down from the car, and set up camp. For five hours I served as personal valet, sunscreen slatherer, weather advisor, recreation director, swim instructor, lifeguard, EMT, food concessionaire, manners consultant, bus boy, interpreter, peace negotiator, psychologist… not to mention keeper of the lost-and-found.

Finally, I hauled everything back to the car, strapped, snapped, and buckled five sunscreen-and-sand-coated-but-no-longer-wiggly warm, limp bodies back into Big Blue and headed for home. The sun through the window was soothing, and the car was full of contentment. It had been a wonderful day and I was pleased with myself as a mother. Then, from the back seat, I heard Zachary clear his throat, and in his deadpan four-year-old Eeyore voice ask, “Mom, when are you going to get a job?”

“This is my job,” I said, somewhat amused and just a little edgy.

Homeward bound with the kids falling asleep one by one, I was left alone with my thoughts. I began to see the beauty of Zach’s question. Somehow―even though it could be hard work and even though I had my testy moments―my kids didn’t think of motherhood as a job.
And I decided that was a good thing because it’s not really a job at all, but a calling. And callings just don’t look like jobs, because they require more of a person than a job requires. This is particularly true of stay-at-home mothers whose days are spent conquering mountains of laundry, creating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and kissing owies.

We live in a world where success is measured by progress, as recorded on report cards, sales reports, performance reviews, pay raises and symbolized by ribbons, trophies, and merit badges. In our lifetimes, our husbands and children will bring scores of these items home and make us proud. We’ll put them in scrapbooks, sew them on uniforms, frame and hang them up for all to see.

But I don’t know of any special awards for teaching a child to tie her shoe or come to dinner when called. No raises or praises when a mother drops everything to drive someone out for poster board―”your project’s due tomorrow? But it’s almost eight o’clock!”

Every day this goes on with everyday moms doing everyday things―sometimes struggling with feelings of inferiority or even worthlessness―just being obedient to their calling.

But while motherhood can look easy (after all, it certainly is not rocket science), the irony is this: while lots of important people in important places conduct lots of important business every day, the truly most important work in the whole world is really going on at home, where the CEO is mommy.

I guess if we got disgruntled enough from lack of appreciation, we could start a Mommy Power movement with bumper stickers that say, “If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”

We could sue people who put us down at parties and maybe even become a protected minority.

But that wouldn’t be very mommy-like, would it? Because there’s something about mommies that should be soft where others are hard, kind where others are cruel, patient where others can’t wait. We may not start out that way at all, but there’s absolutely nothing like motherhood to change anything about us that needs to be changed.

At least, that’s how it’s been on my motherhood journey. I set out to make a home, to grow a family, and to help my children reach their potential.

The most amazing thing is that while I was helping them reach theirs, they were helping me reach mine.

I read

Stress Busting Ideas

I found this article  helpful in several ways.

By Tom Hopkins, June 17, 2009

Let’s face it, on a list of high-stress careers, selling has to be up there with tightrope walking. Haven’t you had days when you felt that you actually were on a tightrope? I know I did.

To survive, and, more importantly, to maintain a healthy balance in life, we need to be proactive about releasing our daily stress in creative ways.

For some people, exercise is the best way to relieve stress. Physical activity is a civil way to release pent-up frustration without risk of causing harm to yourself or others.

Another idea is to schedule a brief decompression session each day. Go somewhere calm and peaceful where you can simply relax with no further demands on yourself. Once you’ve taken a few deep breaths and calmed yourself, this is when you’ll renew your dedication to your goals, your purpose, and your faith. This could take as little as five minutes of your time to have a positive effect.

A third idea is to take up a hobby–something that uses different parts of your body or your brain. If you’re a parent of young children, I suggest a hobby that you might be able to share with your children. Or even better, make your children your hobby. Find out about something they’d like to learn, and learn it together. This method serves two purposes: you learn something new, and you create wonderful memories with your child. (I have to insert though, that while I do have hobbies with my children, as a full-time teacher and childcare worker, I do feel that having a hobby without them from time to time contributes to de-stressing; maybe I’m just the kind of person who needs to be alone pretty often in order to stay sane, heh)

Insulate yourself from the killing pace of change. Granted, we have to keep up when it comes to business, but do we really need to strive to have the latest and greatest in all aspects of our lives? My answer is no. We don’t have to be trendy in every aspect of our lives to keep up. On the contrary, you’ll find it easier to run at the front of the pack if you keep your life simple, and if you keep in touch with who you are and where you’ve come, rather than what you own.

Train yourself to look at time as a precious resource rather than a merciless taskmaster. I am a firm believer in time management–managing to enjoy my life while conducting business, rather than filling in every gap with a meeting or project that will get me further ahead.

Hang out with people with whom you have fun. Seek out and make friends with people who accept and affirm your worth as a person.

Accept your human nature. You’ll never have the perfect answer to every question. Don’t lead yourself or others to believe you do. Make a habit of searching for challenging new concepts and opinions contrary to your own to help you develop a better understanding of your world and how to live well in it.

Develop your own list of things that make you feel good. Keep that list handy and apply at least one item to your life on a daily basis in order to keep the negative effects of stress at bay.

my writings and thots

Happy Father’s Day

In honor of my dad:

papadrumming

As the car made its final turns towards the house where our meeting would be, my hands were tightly wound together in an effort to contain the nervous excitement I felt welling up with each turn. I knew he’d be waiting at the house when I got there, already having had an extra day to bond with my children as I had been out of town when he arrived. It had been some time since I had seen him last and my mind wondered, “why am I nervous about meeting this man: my dad?” The simple answer was because deep down inside, I was still the little girl craving his attention, love, and approval.

As I stepped out of the car, I felt myself wrapped up in a big, strong hug, the kind of hug my siblings and I used beg for as we jumped up and down on our beds before going to sleep at night. He would scoop us up in his arms and we would hold our breath for the ‘big bear hug’ that left us feeling squished and cozy. “You kept me waiting.” He said after the preliminary hellos. “I’m sorry, it couldn’t be helped.” I mumbled, wishing there had been a way to get there a day earlier. “It’s ok; I would have just liked to have had more time to spend with you.” My dad and I lived on other ends of the world so meetings were few and far between and every hour of our time together counted. I smiled as I realized that he had been looking forward to this time together as well.

The memories of my childhood with my dad came back to me as we spent the next couple of days together with my kids. I had a healthy respect of him when growing up, knowing that when he said something, he meant it and obedience wasn’t meant to be a choice, but rather a normal course of events. However, in looking back, now that I have my own children, I can see that all he wanted for us was to grow up into responsible adults with the integrity to make it in today’s world. Although he was more on the strict side, there were times we all let our hair down and created memories I cherish to this day. Like the tradition he created to take us out on our birthdays. It was the highlight of my birthday to go out, just with him, to the ice cream parlor to chose my favorite flavors and sit together discussing this and that. There was also the time he stayed up until 1AM the night before my birthday in order to beat the eggs needed for my cake and then waiting for the cakes to be done before going to bed. “Beating the eggs was part of your gift.” He said with a smile when my face showed shock when I heard of it the next day. We also used to sing together, a lot. He patiently taught me how to play the guitar and put up with my clanging as I practiced.

In raising my own children, I hoped to impart to them the same values I was taught by my dad and I watched as they interacted with their grandfather, hoping he’d approve of my efforts. As a teenager, I noticed his determination and will to keep going despite difficulties in his life. It was a trait I wanted to emulate and as I went through my own difficulties in life, I would often tell myself, “Well, if dad could do it, I can too.” When he came to visit, I was going through one of those periods in my life and sought out his counsel and advice. On our last evening together, as we sat together over the drink that replaced the ice-cream tradition, we talked about life, the turns my life had taken and I sat drinking in the things he told me that he had learned in a similar situation. At the end of the conversation, he said the words that I had craved to hear, the words that made my efforts worthwhile and just made my heart soar: “Don’t worry though, regardless of all this, I know you’ll do fine. I’m proud of you and I love you.”

Our visit together did come to an end, but regardless of the distance between us physically, I know my dad still prays for me and I often find myself asking myself what he would do in my situation. More than craving his approval and acceptance, I now want him to know the impact he had on my life. His life, his example to me as I was growing up and even now as I raise my own children, is what had an influence in who I am. In the little decisions he made each day to teach me the right things, to be a role model in living life after the Master Role Model, and guide me in the path of life I’m now on.

electronic-drums

Uncategorized

one and only pic

well…there were a few more, but just boring posed pics…I forgot to take Jo’s camera, so I’m kind of disapointed that I didn’t get hardly any pix. There was a camp photographer, so I got plenty of pix of everyone else 😀 This one I found was taken when I didn’t realize…

edseminar

about the kids

Average Grades

The ED seminar is over; I’ve realized how much I need to work on, things I want to change, etc. So many thanks go to the organizers, those who put the material together as well as my home for making it possible for me to attend!

As last month was the end of the quarter, this is an appropriate time to update the average grades for the quarter March-May:

Jordan:
Reading-3 books: 92%
Math-1 book: 97%

Cherise: (started 3rd grade)
Bible-2 books: 96%
LA-2 books: 97%
Spelling: 93%
Reading-2 books: 91%
Math-1 book: 96%
Science-2 books: 84%
Social Studies-1 books: 82%

Charlotte:
Bible-4 books: 95%
LA-3 books: 95%
Spelling: 89%
Math-3 books: 93%
Reading-2 books: 93%
Science-3 books: 91%
Social Studies-3 books: 89%

Uncategorized

ED seminar

I’ll be offline till the 12th at least, as I’m going to the ED seminar tomorrow. So I might not respond to emails, though I’ll work on them when I get back. Have a great week and weekend, everyone!