Tuesday, May 31, 2011

One More Before I Go

  Today felt like getting ready for company or something fun and it's really just getting ready to go unplugged! I worked hard today even cleaning up and then wondered WHY I was doing that? Crazy. 

  The girls are in bed and I forgot to confiscated DS's. I will have to do that in the morning.  Before I go to bed I will be unplugging the Wii, tv, dvd player etc. downstairs.  I have cancelled Netflix, no point in paying for something we won't use for a full month! I put the girls Time4Learning on hold until Aug. We'll come home from my cousins wedding and I will be happy to have something to assign them while I try to sort out the craziness we come home with. 

  I have a small update on the citizenship front.  My girls are natural born citizens because I am an American citizen and because I lived in the US for 5 years, two of them after I was 14.  WHEW! Just made that.  ;)  Nah, I had it by a couple of years.  Now the fun stuff starts though.  I need to document where I lived when and show it to the officials at the Consulate on June 13th.  Please, if you think of us, pray for us for things to go smoothly.  I'm working at it as best I can and I can tell you the perfectionist in me is having a complete and utter hissy fit over the lack of detailed information as well as access to information.  I want to call someone and confirm that what I've got is good enough BEFORE Tim takes a day off work, we drive to Toronto and spend hours doing this. 

  Today I let go a bit. I just did it.  I booked the appointments.  Even that was messy and I'm not sure I did it right.  Please, God, let them be nice.  Tim said, "They are supposed to be there to help you." OH, PLEASE let that be their mentality too when we get there!  The list of what you can't bring in is a lot more clear than the lists of what you must bring in.  I guess that's not totally true, they say you can use W2's, paystubs (which I just threw out last fall!), Medical Records, or school transcripts to prove residency.  That's what I have to have to match up with the dates of when I was where I say I was. 

 Not such a big deal. If you stayed in one city, lived in one house. But from the time I was 12-17 we moved many times. Many, many, many times.  I am hopeful that by producing my Jr. and Sr. high transcript, and possibly a copy of medical records they will say, "Man, you moved a lot, but you did obviously live in the States."  Think they'll mind if I haul in 5 years worth Yearbooks? ;)

  Here's another bump in my road. Canada post may go on strike this week.  That sure will make waiting for the transcripts FUN!  I have a backup plan though! I plan to call the school I graduated from and speak to the wonderful secretary one more time, if the transcript doesn't arrive before the strike happens.  And, I'm hopeful that perhaps the medical transcripts could be sent via Purolator or UPS or something.  We'll deal with that when the time comes.  I have 13 days to get them in hand. 

  There have been no decisions made about Tim going back to school, or moving to the States.  We have continued to think and research.  I've been praying.  But the biggest thing we've been doing is simply getting this step of the girls paperwork completed.  I will renew my US passport at the same time.  Although, Tim did send a text today saying with the 90degree weather here he's not so sure Arizona is a great idea. . . . .what about Alaska!? HA!! No way, dude!!
  Well, it's time for me to go make some corn tortillas so I can get our supper ready tomorrow before we head to the beach.  I hope you have an excellent June!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Unplugged in two days!

  On June 1st our family will be going Unplugged for the month.  The exception will be that I will do bills, work etc. online, and check e-mail at least once a day.  Since that is a main mode of communication and I can access it on my phone quickly without getting pulled in to spending way more time than I meant to while doing so, as I often do on the computer. 

  Unplugged, can you imagine it?  I'm so curious to find out how our month goes.  We have plans!  On Wednesday we are going to the beach, barring any rain.  And if it does rain, we'll go bowling.  Free Bowling For Kids is something I signed up for earlier in May and our first coupons arrived yesterday! Tim is looking forward to it too.

Some things on our list of what to do while we're not watching movies, playing computer games, playing ds's, playing Wii are: 

*Go to the beach OFTEN
*Read books
*Listen to books read aloud
*Go bowling
*Paint pictures
*Sew American Girl Clothes
* Bake
*Take food to people
*Possibly do another food drive
*Go to the Wye Marsh
*Go Fishing
*Write stories
*Clean (ya, the girls aren't excited about that one!)
*Possibly do a garage sale/lemonade stand
*Go for walks
*Ride bikes
*Play board games
*Go to Blackcreek Pioneer Village
*Possibly camp out in the backyard
*Collect bottles along snowmobile trails
*Bike along the paved biking trails and see how far we go

How many days are in June?  We might need a few more unplugged. We'll see!  The girls and I will also still be doing their school work.  I'd like to work with them on creating a lapbook. Something I've been meaning to do and haven't for a couple of years. 

There is yardwork begging to be completed. Perhaps with the lack of computer time, some of it will be!  The yard is already looking much improved with just a week worth of work going into it!  Then there's the things in the house like too many clothes and *gasp* books.  Books are hard to part with, but I think we have some that can be given to others to love. 

This Unplugged idea isn't just for the girls.  In fact, secretly, it's probably more for me.  I am the one who all too often wastes entire days sitting behind a screen and wondering why nothing is done.   Funny how dishes, laundry, and cleaning don't do themselves!! I can easily replace an internet time filler with other things, often books. So I will also be working to not simply spend my time reading candy books, you know the ones that are a fun fast read but don't really do anything for your mind or spirit?  I have a pile a foot high on my bookshelf of GOOD books waiting to be read and at least a shelf worth of on the shelf waiting too.  Then there is the box of curriculum just purchased on Sat. that could use a good overview by me.  It's hard to discuss a book I haven't read.  Perhaps Dd1 and I will tackle Core 7 together starting in June. Why not?

The opportunities are wide open and I look forward to discovering them.  While I won't be blogging, I am going to go get a new notebook, I love new notebooks!, and journal through the month.  In July I hope to share some of the good days and maybe even some of what I learn.  This may be my last post until then.  So, in case I don't get back here tomorrow, enjoy the month of June!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Simply Amazing

  Today was fabulously wonderful.  I enjoyed it. Every single minute of it. Waking up to hearing happy sounds in the kitchen felt great.  I snitched a piece of bacon before heading out the door to the final convention of the year for me. I know, I was spoiled this year getting to attend three! Today's is the one with the used books sale. 

  USED BOOK SALE of HOMESCHOOL BOOKS!  Oh, the bliss!  The curriculum.  The novels.  The joy of discovering just what you were hoping for and finding it's a price that fits the budget and makes you laugh.  Sheer pleasure!  Last year I was a seller. This year I was a buyer.  I enjoy both, but I think I gained more pleasure buying, it was delightful.  If I could do both I can't imagine. Bliss.

  Moments after stepping into the church where the conference was held I noticed the free tables were especially large this year.  Someone had generously donated, was giving, large amounts of paper.  Teachers, and homeschoolers go giddy over some of the silliest things.  A new box of crayons, notebooks, cracking open a new book, finding an old favorite, and paper all make my list!  I restrained myself and took 5 blank notebooks, the small journal sized for the girls or maybe visitors to use.   Then walked over to the free books table. I happened there just as a woman was unloading a box.  She handed out TWO books I'd been looking over and had resisted purchasing. Then she handed me a couple more she recommended including a critical thinking program and music flash cards. :) I Love Homeschool moms. Shoot, I love any mom who gives me good books!

  I browsed the vendor hall and was so disappointed to see that there was no game sales person there.  I must contact them and tell them I'm sorry they were not. I had fully intended to purchase a game today! 

  It was lovely visiting with friends.  Seeing some I haven't for quite a while.  Others I've just seen recently but it always makes my day to see them.  I'm blessed with excellent women as friends.  In fact I was enjoying my time so much I nearly forgot to line up for the used book sale!! ACK!

  I jumped into line and not a moment too soon.  Within minutes the line had doubled.  The anticipation and laughter went hand in hand as we waited to enter the room.  It made me laugh that a teen was standing in the hall asking us to "SHHH!" because there was still a session in session.  There's a reverse for ya! 

  Walking through the used book sale I immediately began to find items on my list.  Teaching Textbooks Algebra! Write Shop, Streams of Civilization, A Child's History of the World, some Trixie Belden books, some age 6 level mystery stories, and Apologia Botany for a couple of years down the road.  Then, ladies and gentlemen, I found the box that made me stand and nearly chew my nails off.  I thought hard because it wasn't a small amount, but a fabulous price on what was in the box.  Sonlight Core 7 (not sure what they're calling it this year, I forget, they changed the labeling but it's the same stuff!). It is nearly new, complete, and oh people, it made me smile.  :)  I could not have purchased the books individually, even used, at what she sold it to me for.  I didn't even try to negotiate price, it was so good. :)

  At the very last minute as I ran back to purchase one last thing, the women at that table started offering me things free.  Have I mentioned I love good books and people that give them?  They packed a box and I now have in my resources I didn't even know existed about homeschool in high school! 

  Ya know what's super cool about that?  I have been thinking about and wanting to start a homeschool library.  To have resources and samples of curriculum that people can borrow and try.  My local library has very very little by way of homeschool things.  The one in the next city has more.  But still, not quite what I want to do.  The library is part A.  a used curriculum and books store is part B.  But we'll take it as God gives it.  Well, one of those ladies came over to me after and handed me a not inexpensive curriculum on spelling, Phonic Zoo.  She said she thought the library was a great idea and this was my first donation to it. WOW! :)  After she left, I nearly cried and I definitely got goosebumps! 

  Now I have some more thinking and figuring out to do.  Some more gathering of doubles of resources, although I already loan out mine to those I trust.  I'd need doubles of ones I love so I don't feel upset if one is ruined or not returned.   If you've ever done a lending library sort of thing, I'd love to hear how you did it!

  That's all.  Just had to share how cool it was today! :) 

Friday, May 27, 2011

A Gentle Whisper Roars Sometimes

"Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins." James 4:17

  There are things I am grateful for and at the top of the list is God's Mercies which He promises are new every morning.  Since I've used my share up by bedtime each day I am so thankful for that.  My legalistic side hears James 4:17 and threatens to push me over the edge with how utterly I am failing at doing what is good that I know I ought to do.  The more gentle side responds with the reminder of God's mercies, forgiveness and grace.

  At any given moment there are multiple topics I am thinking about in my head.  Lately it's been citizenship/immigration papers, school with the girls, next years school with the girls, what's going on with my body, head coverings, modesty for women and girls in the clothes we wear, finances, homeschool conventions, homeschool used store/library idea, and summer fun.  Not all of them at the same time, they do play nice and take turns rotating through making my head spin. 

  Twice today I've had small whispers, God's voice speaking.  You'll be happy to know it's in my head.  Does that make it better or worse?  I may have to contemplate that, I'll take better because out of my head would terrify me!

  As I was loading dishes into the dishwasher this morning, my friend Jenn came to mind.  There's a discussion on going about modesty on a site I frequent.  Jenn started it. Simply by wanting to be modest in a bathing suit, good luck, eh?  Although a couple of neat options have been shown.  The conversation has since moved to wearing skirts and head coverings.  Jenn is lovely, and normal, and makes it look good.  So I was having a conversation with myself about skirts and head coverings.  I love wearing skirts.  So I decided I would start looking for more for this summer to wear. I have 2 or 3 now.  Goodwill shopping is in my future.

  Then I thought about the head covering and something she said replayed in my head.  When asked about why she does it she responded, "It's something I do to make God smile".  My immediate reaction was, "I want to make him smile TOO!"  And at that moment God whispered to me, "But I haven't asked you to cover your head.  That's not what I want from you."  That's all I had to hear and I knew exactly what He DOES want from me.  That thought makes me cry.  How can I not do it?  Why? Is it so hard? No. It's not even something people would see or know about for the most part.  It's simple, it's good, it's right.  My choice thus far to most of the time not do it is sin.   

  At this moment my heart is broken.  I know I will fail. It is my way.  But my sin has been forgiven and God's mercies will cover me.  I will start each day fresh and work to obey well, to do what is right well one day at a time.  It's another new beginning and yet not so new as all that.  Thank God for roaring whispers. 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Sunshine Miracle

  Today a glimpse of things to come graced Central Ontario.  Warm breezes, blue skies, and lots and lots of sunshine!  It was supposed to rain.  That little detail was taken care of by the maker of blue skies and sunny days.  All week the forecast called for cool temperatures and rain.  Yesterday it did rain.   Yesterday. Do you know how perfect that is?  Let me tell you. 

  Last week dd2 asked to do a food drive this week.   I sent out the e-mail and mom's replied, YES, this week would work.  So we arranged to take flyers around on Wednesday and then pick up on Friday.  It's Super Simple.  Then Monday came and I looked ahead to the weather. Not good.  Tuesday night I checked the forecast, still not good.  But rain or shine we were going to take around the 300 flyers already printed.

  Wednesday felt cool and a bit windy but the forecast said perhaps rain in the afternoon.  Yet at 1:30 we gathered to start putting flyers in mailboxes and no rain.  Not a drop.  It went overcast and looked like it might but it didn't.  Excellent! In fact it was warm and with the breeze felt just perfect.

  Thursday, the forecast said and Friday and Saturday it would rain.  All day, highly likely is what the spots I checked said.  I can honestly say I didn't worry.  We wouldn't melt.  We could pick up the food donated if it rained on Friday.  Thursday it rained and even the power went off for awhile!  But it soon cleared away.

  Friday dawned cold!  But the promise of sun was in the blue skies.  We dressed in layers and are so thankful we did!  The sun came out, it didn't rain at all and today is one of those pre-true summer summer type days.  On the long weekend no less!! (Here in Canada this weekend is Victoria Day weekend, also known as May 2-4 weekend.)

  As the kids were unloading the food from the backs of the vans today a car pulled into the food bank driveway and the driver asked what was going on, was it a food drive?  Yes, the homeschooled children had collected food donated by people in town and were bringing it in now.  So the driver, who is also a reporter asked if she could take their picture.  How cool!  :)  Maybe they'll be in the paper.  Maybe not.  Either way, it was fun! 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

My Secret (ok, not so secret) Weapon.

   One of the major challenges of homeschooling is balancing who does what when and what the others are doing while someone needs my one on one attention.  I have to admit, one on one attention is not my best subject.  I have a tendency to get drowsy when read to out loud be even the most adorable child.  And I also have a tendency to get cranky when I'm trying to work with one and another is hovering wanting me to check Math, or Handwriting, or just listen to something interesting they read, you know how it goes.  Kinda like going into the bathroom, suddenly everyone needs to talk to you.

  A couple of years ago I saw an advertisement for an online learning site, Time4learning.com  This little mouse popped up and squeaked that he was Ed Mouse and it was time for learning, and FUN!  I checked the site out, and decided to give it a try.  The girls loved it!  But the Canadian dollar crashed and we had to give it up.  Well, this fall I decided that it just might be exactly what I needed to help me out when I needed something productive for the kids to be doing at one time or another through the day. 

  Time4learning is the school my youngest especially looks forward to doing.  If your kids have enjoyed Starfall.com then you may just love Time4learning. You can choose to pay for it monthly or even with a yearly subscription.  We do the monthly fee. I've had to remind my kids that while it's fun it's also part of their school and I do expect them to do it.  My oldest thought perhaps it was optional.  Mmmm, no. 

  I love how easy it is for the kids to use.  They click the next icon and it opens to the spot where they left off.  It's so simple for them to follow.  I love how easy it is for mom to use.  I open my parent's page and click on the child's name I want to see and I can browse their work for the day, week or month, did I mention it grades it!? Yep.  Sweet.  I can also click and print a report if I want.  Nothing like seeing progress, or seeing the need for review, right? 

  Some people use Time4learning as a full curriculum. I am using it as a filler and a mom's sanity saver.  We read aloud our afternoon school work and enjoy our books together.  In the mornings the girls work on their Math, Handwriting and Time4learning.  Some days the morning work is all we get to, and because of the content in Time4Learning that is just fine!

 My youngest has worked her way through all the science available to her.  She's doing 1st Grade work and begging me to adjust her to 2nd grade so she can work on the 3rd grade science!! It's easy for a parent to adjust up or down a level as needed for the subjects and I have taken advantage of that several times.  While the youngest has flown through Science she's quite a bit more reluctant to finish the Language Arts, so no moving up to 2nd grade until she's done some more work in Language Arts first.  My middle one is a December baby and it's handy to have her working on some 3rd grade work and some 4th grade and neat to see her progress as she makes connections and advances in her skills!

  Maybe you have kids who are going to be home this summer and whining "there's nothing to do!" or maybe you would like to help them bridge from one grade to the next. I know sometimes brains seem to go to jelly through the summer. This is a great site and I'm so thankful we found it.  If you think you'd like to try it, I'd love for you to give my e-mail as a referal, the people at Time4Learning will reward me at the end of your trial period! ($25! Sweet!)  tsadams@sympatico.ca is the e-mail I've linked to our Time4learning experience.  And you know my name. ;) 
Check it out at time4learning.com 

*** Time4Learning has given me the opportunity to review their program and share my experiences. Time4Learning is an online educational program that can be used as a homeschool curriculum or for afterschool enrichment. While I was compensated, the content in this review was not written by Time4Learning. The opinion is entirely my own. ***


Monday, May 16, 2011

What If?

  Have you ever started over?  Sold everything, or at least a lot of things, and moved away, far far away?  Have you ever done a 180 and changed the path of your life?  The path that you were plodding away on and taking one boring step after another but it was routine and somewhat comfortable even in it's boringness?  Was it because you looked up ahead and saw the future and it was not where you wanted to go and the only place that path you are plodding along on lead was there. 

  Have you ever felt in your soul that you wanted something more, something else, something different?  Woke up and realised that time was slipping away and had in fact devoured almost a decade while you did the just getting by thing day by day?  That not only were you getting older but so were your children and soon, very soon they were going to be nearing a point in their life when it would be time for them to decide what to do as an adult, and yet YOU hadn't figured that out for yourself yet?! 

  Have you ever watched the one you love work day after day in a job that they once enjoyed but over time they have lost that joy and instead feel mostly stress and frustration?  Watched their body start to ache because of the labor they have done, watched them try to stand in the morning and it looks painful to straighten?  Have you ever been concerned about what they are breathing while they do the work they need to do in a place that is not correctly equipped to do that work?   Frightened that the work they do may be in fact stealing years of life from them?  Have you ever felt regret that they chose you and by so doing chose not to complete their dream and follow their passion? Not regret that they chose you, but regret that by choosing you they lost their chance at their dream?

  Welcome to my head and heart. 

  If you feel led, please pray for us.  Pray that I don't lead our family but that Tim does, and that God leads him.  Pray for wisdom, and for direction as we think, dream, and pray about what to do next, if anything. 

  We have a home, family, friends here and love the beauty that surrounds us.  There are many, many good things about where we are now. But, and isn't there always a but? something's gotta give.  Fear fills me as I consider what moving would entail.  Fear of instability and potential needs, what if, like our last start over it fails?  What if we tried again and came back worse for wear, again.  Could my heart take it?  Could my faith? I don't know.  So many questions and not a single answer to be found today.  Apparently God is working on my patience again. Oh joy.  ;)  Maybe this time I will learn something and be refined!

  Thanks for reading!



Saturday, May 14, 2011


     My youngest is tired.  I think she has a cold, or maybe allergies.  She hasn't been sleeping well and this morning didn't come out of bed until after nine, her daddy tells me.  Maybe she's growing? I'm not sure what it is, maybe a little bit of all of it.  Whatever it is, she's tired and she's whiny. 

     My middle one is sore all over and has bug bites already that are swollen and hot.  Poor fairhaired girlie.  She's gone to bed with some medicine to help the aches, and a hug. Oh, and a Nancy Drew book.

     My oldest celebrated her bff's birthday yesterday and today and between the late night giggles, early morning wake up, and swimming, she's beat.  Her eyes could barely stay open at supper and her speech disentigrated from fast loud words to a low murmer that even I couldn't understand.  She's been sent to bed, and I do believe she'll be asleep shortly.

     Then there's me.  I made it through my 9 hours shift (less an hour for lunch) while babying my left foot.  While climbing over the dog gate on Thursday I kicked the back of the toilet lid in my living room. Yes, my living room.  You see, I'd moved it off the dogs blanket where Tim had left it after installing our new pretty white toilet and taking out the old ugly gray one.  I moved the lid so no one would get hurt and Callie, our puppy, would have more room on her blanket.  I have no idea why it was still in the living room.  But I moved it on top of the library book box.  Which is exactly where it was when I climbed over the dog gate and kicked it.  If my toe isn't broken then it's very prettily sprained.  I do like purple.  Just preferably on my toenails, not my toe itself! 

     My Saturdays at work are normally exhausting.  Saturdays at work once the cottagers come (duh duh dummmmmmm) are brutal.  The stress level is higher all around.  Oh joy. Oh bliss. Oh okay, so truly I have to work to have a good attitude at times.  And a few times today I did.  Within  minutes of arriving in fact and then several times through the day.  Which means by the time my shift is over I'm almost out of nice. 

     So I'm sitting here tonight wanting very much to have a conversation with my husband and he's off helping someone.  I love that about him, love that he is willing and able to help! LOVE that.  I just wish he'd hurry home.  He took our youngest with him and I hope she enjoys the privelege.  The other two are in bed! 

     I am not looking forward to this summer.  I know I can only control my attitude and I am working on it. You should HEAR what I haven't said!! Summer and I have a love/hate relationship. I adore the warmth, the growing of fruits and vegetables and flowers, but I loathe the exhaustion my husband experiences.  Hate the weeks of not seeing each other except to say goodnight, and sometimes even then it's iffy if he's awake.

     He's not home yet, but if I keep talking on here I'm afraid I'll be completely out of nice by the time he gets home. So I'm going to stop now.  It's enough to just say, "I'm tired." and know that so many of you know, on all levels, exactly what I mean.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I Had A Dream Last Night

  It was a mixture of old and new, of my past and of my future hopes and dreams.  We were moving into a new house, except it wasn't a new house to me.  It was a house I lived in as a little girl.  I walked through the rooms with my mom exclaiming about how much had stayed the same and marvelling at the differences. 

  Awake I can think of the dream and see where my imagination changed the rooms to what I'd like them to be, not what they really were or are.  In my dream the crawlspace that went beside the two upstairs rooms was large enough to stand up in and make a play area for the girls.  The closet was a walk in and yet, I know for truth it is not.  I suspect if I were to go inside the house today I would really be surprised by how small it is. 

  It didn't feel small then.  The upstairs room with windows overlooking the front porch, the one where I saw an owl one Christmas Eve sitting looking back at me from its perch on the electrical wire, is likely not as spacious and big as I remember.  The bathroom may still be pink downstairs, I'd be more surprised if it wasn't!  The room at the front with the door from the porch where Dr. Sarah Miller used to see patients while her husband was pastor of the church next door isn't really large enough for bunk beds and a desk, despite my dream.  Although my concern about my youngest going out that door would be a real concern.

  It was a pleasant dream and I woke up with a hopeful feeling despite it not being true.  We're not moving.  I don't get to stop working because we moved somewhere that costs lots less to live.  But I'm hanging onto the positive feelings because they are there and I need them. I need the hope.

  It also reminded me that my children don't see our home with the same eyes I do, or the yard either.  It doesn't look as small as it is to them the way it does to me.  They likely don't feel crowded or even deprived of what I'd like to give them.  They know the difference between our house and Grandmas in Illinois, the meadow in between must feel like an entire mile of space! They may wish for a swingset, room to put a swimming pool and other typical kid wish things but I hope that when they are grown up they will remember happy times and think with joy back to our days in this home.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Cookies, Homeschooling And Doing The Right Thing.

     My goal for this year is to quit quitting, and it's also to say "Yes" more when my girls ask to do something.  It's much easier to say, "No, not right now." and then never say yes to whatever they asked.  This is our second school day post my second homeschool convention of the year.  I came home looking forward to finding a way to implement what I'd learned and what had been reaffirmed for me as true.  And as much as those two things seem like separate things, they aren't.  Because most of what is in my life is connected.  Homeschooling is not a separate part of our family life but our family life is an integral part of homeschooling.  I guess you could say our life is our education. 

     So what did I learn?  Well, I learned, again (I'm slow to learn sometimes!) that music is an important part of brain development and that reading aloud, both listening and doing, help to improve language skills long after the story is over.  That reading above ability level is a GOOD thing. Also, that reading aloud, being read to I mean, is the favorite part of  many peoples memories of school. 

   So at the moment my middle child is working chocolate chip cookies.  The second sheet is in the oven right now. She asked me nicely and I didn't really want to help, but I said yes anyway and helped her do it.  My youngest is playing at the table, but she's listening to an audio book, thanks to Audibles.com.  LOVE that site! It's not a highly intellectual book, it's a Boxcar Children story.  But it is higher than her reading level and both girls enjoy it.  Yesterday they worked on crafts while listening to Classical Music and I plan to do it again this afternoon.  I'm still thinking about what book I want us to read outloud as a family.  The last one we read was The Swiss Family Robinson.

   The girls have been asking about doing a food drive again too.  And today the middle one asked again and today I said yes.  So I sent an e-mail out to our non-group group of local homeschooling friends who like to do the food drive together and hopefully next week we will be doing this again.  We go on Wednesday afternoon or so and tuck flyers into mailboxes and door handles letting people know that we have a Super Simple way for them to give to the foodbank.  We know people often mean to give and just forget or don't because they don't have time.  So we offer to pick up a bag of food from them and take it for them.  We come back on Friday morning and if there's a bag on the porch, step, etc we'll deliver it to the food bank.  It's a lot of fun to do, and feels good to be helping! 

   It's not always easy to do the right thing, to say yes when I'd rather just sit.  To say no, when it'd be easier to say yes for things like going to play instead of doing work.  The best things in life aren't free is the way I've heard that saying but it's my opinion that the best things in life aren't easy.  They take work.  Children who are polite, fun to be around, and considerate of others don't just happen.  Learning to speak a new language.  Homemade breads.  Those things are all wonderful and all take work! Mistakes happen but what makes the difference between failure and success is simple, it's not quitting.  It's being consistent, even if that means starting again a hundred times.  It's trying again.  It's daily persevering because what you want to do is a good thing and well worth the effort.

   Where's this going you ask?  Here.  My daughter won't learn to make cookies on her own without a recipe until she's made them using the recipe so many times she has it memorized and that won't happen unless I say yes and help her for as long as she needs and wants help.  The girls will learn what they need to learn academically as we continue to read good books, work on their math etc. but that is just a noisy gong or a pretty apple with worms if they don't have character that honors and glorifies God as adults. The world needs more truly good people who exhibit integrity, honor, strength and intelligence paired with the ability to think, not simply follow the crowd. 
   This afternoon I made a batch of homemade rolls.  My girls made cookies.  We're going to listen to some classical music while we read about God and think about and then discuss what we've read.  I'd like to play on the computer all afternoon and just let the day slip away, but that's not the right thing and in the end doing the right thing one small thing at a time will add up to a life well lived.