Sunday, April 13, 2014

We're Having Ooblek Tonight

It looks like we're in for some interesting weather tonight. I mean, they don't even know what to call it, other than "Unknown Precipitation.

I think the King is tired of all the rain and snow and asked for something different!

Click on the screen shot to enlarge it. (I'm still learning how to do this, thanks for the help, Dandylion.)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

A New Name

I've been trying to come up with a name for PW that suits him when I realized that he had come up with one for me. When he bought his truck he got personalized license plates that reflect his desire to live up to the name of one of his heroes. So from henceforth PW will be known as Lt. Lehi.

Well, Lt. Lehi is currently in San Diego at Marine Corps Recruit Training, also know as Boot Camp. The first few weeks were especially rough for him because he was sick with severe bronchitis and wanting to quit, which I knew was just the sickness talking because Lt. Lehi is not a quitter. Anyway, he's slowly gotten better, is totally motivated again and doing well.

With this week's letter he sent a poem he'd written. He loves writing poetry and has gotten better at it over the years.

The Brothers Gone . . .
Still pictures floating through mist and rain.
Silent figures march 'mid toil and pain.
Click-stomp, click-stomp, glazed boots on sunburned tar.
Click-stomp, click-stomp, training for a war afar.

Still pictures floating through fog and rain.
Silent faces form a solemn, nameless chain.
Left-right, left-right, onward toward the thunder sound.
Left-right, left-right, blinding lightening strikes the ground.

Still pictures floating through smoke and rain.
Silent marble memories on a serene plain.
Click-pow, click-pow, twenty-one for the brothers gone.
Click-pow, click-pow, no longer among us, their memory lives on.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Giveaway Link

Quinn over at Reformation Acres is hosting a giveaway of a Lodge 5 quart Dutch Oven. Mosey on over to take a look, she has wonderful website, and enter for a chance to win this fabulous piece of kitchen equipment.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Ten Things of Thankful - The Chuns

For those who are new to this blog Chuns are what four year old JET called children, as in "Can 'e chuns go out t' play?" I like the word, it's one syllable and easy to say. Today I'm thankful for Chuns. My Chuns especially.

1. Noble was the first, sent to keep me company while TopDad was away for a year's unaccompanied tour to Okinawa. After the first four months she was a delightful baby and a joy to have around. I had so much fun playing house with her.During the first four months my sister told me that if she'd had Noble first she wouldn't have had any more. But that's just her. I loved my beautiful little girl, even if she was a pill. She got over it.

2. PW came next, the happiest of all little boys. He smiled early and often and had an infectious laugh; he still does! He's always been an independent thinker and inventive and hard working. He convinced me that boys have genetic difference not explainable in any other way than "they were born that way."

3. JET was the quiet one. The easy going, falls asleep on his own kind of baby. What a change. And then at five months, he got Spinal Meningitis, and after a miracle healing, was about the same as his older siblings. Darn. Still easy going and calm, he just didn't sleep through the night any more.

4. Dr. Hair got his name from his propensity to twirl my waist length hair around his fingers and almost pull it out. I had to cut my hair off, because he couldn't keep his hands off. Always serious, reticent to smile for the camera, he's an observer and a deep thinker.

5. Dandylion, when given a name and a blessing was promised that he would always be a comfort to his mother. He is. He looks the most like my side of the family. He's a cuddler, always has a hug for me and even at fifteen wants to sit on my lap. Thank goodness he weighs only 116 (he's 5' 10 1/4" tall!), but I think this is the last year he'll be able to do that.

6. From Noble I've learned to love all things Korean, to appreciate high fantasy novels, and have pushed my sewing skills further than I thought possible without classes. I love her optimism, cheerful nature, and adventurous spirit.

7. From PW I learned that stubborn is good, when channeled in the right direction. It's also called stick-to-it-iveness. Before 9/11 I was not afraid to fly on a plane; after, it scared me spitless. PW helped me overcome my fear! He wants to be a pilot more than anything. He can identify military planes at a glance. He's amazing.

8. JET (those are his initials) is an artist. Once when I complained that I wanted a banana split but feared it would undo all the weight I'd lost, he offered to make me one that wouldn't. He returned with an absolutely perfect miniature banana split in an old-fashioned sherbet glass. (He used my cookie dough scoops to get the tiny perfect balls of ice cream.) He's cheerful and makes friends wherever he goes, still!

9. Dr. Hair towers over me, but still reaches for my hair and is glad I'm growing it out. Waist length would suit him great. He shows me how being single-minded about goals can accomplish so much more than being interested in every thing that comes along. He is a film-maker. Period. Yes, he's in lots of activities at school, but he's always watching, studying, pondering and pursuing his dream and goal to make movies. He doesn't turn down an opportunity to film is at all possible. I like his focus.

10. Dandy is a brain. We just got test results back that put him in the 100th percentile in the nation in math. (He didn't get it from me, that's for sure.) He is in the 98th percentile in science. I've asked him to be my tutor when I take math in the fall. Dandy has a great sense of humor and has understood jokes since he was a baby, even explaining them to JET (who didn't always get the joke). He generous and creative.

Can you tell I love my chuns? I'm so grateful God entrusted them to me. I've done the best I could to rear them and if I may say so myself, I think they've turned out pretty great!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wordy Wednesday - Parenting

I was the last of my parent's children to marry and have children, by a long time. When we all got together my parents thought my children were brats compared to the older grandchildren, so they sent me a book to help. It hurt my feelings at the time, but I got over it and am grateful for them pointing me in the right direction. The book is John Rosemond's Six-Point Plan for Raising Happy, Healthy Children (also available here and here) Our children were normal, immature children; their grandparents were old, tired and accustomed to quieter, older, mature grandchildren. Also comparing our children to their own was unfair because there are long spaces between my brothers and I and our youngest sister, while my children came at fairly regular intervals and were all young together. That makes for more noise and excitement.

So what's the six point plan? Here's my brief synopsis:

Point One - The Parent Centered Family
When you think about it, the purpose of family life is to raise independent children who will leave home to form their own families and leave the parents on their own again. If we neglect our spouse we will end up strangers when our children are grown and then what's left? Children orbit around the parents, not the other way around. When children are the center, they can grow up selfish and unable to meet the needs of others.
For single parents he says ". . .you can't successfully supply someone else's 'warehouse' unless your own is fully stocked."

Point Two - The Voice of Authority
Expect your children to obey. My parents told me "Make them mind," and it took me a long time to figure out how. Parenting is tiring, but when done right, in spite of exhaustion, produces wonderful adults. We are not meant to be friends with our children until they become adults. We are meant to teach and train them to become successful in life and lead them, literally by the hand when necessary, to that end.

Point Three - The Roots of Responsibility
Expecting children to work is so vital to their maturity. Responsibility comes before rights, a lesson that too many aren't learning, as evidenced in the infantile obsession with rights in our country today. "Give them opportunities to learn the hard way, which is often the only way possible."

Point Four - The Fruits of Frustration
Part of maturity is being able to deal with whatever life throws at you without having a meltdown. Consistent doses of Vitamin N (the NO word) produces children with strengths such as self-discipline and self-control.

Point Five - Toys and Play: The Right Stuff
"So, how are parents to know whether the toys they are buying their children are good investments? In addition to being safe, a good toy embodies four qualities:
-First, it presents a wide range of creative possibilities.
-Second, it encourages manipulation.
-Third, it's age appropriate
-Fourth, it's durable."
He gives a "10" to Legos, with building sets like Lincoln Logs, Tinker Toys, and Erector Sets coming in a close second. He advocates art materials, dolls (cuddly ones that don't do everything), stuffed animals and such. He also gives his advice on involving children in organized sports (or not involving as he advises).

Point Six - Television and Children: More than Meets the Eye
He advocates severely limiting screen time (of any kind) for children during the most important developmental time of their lives, up to six years of age. "They are called "formative" because they comprise that period during which the young child is discovering, developing, and strengthening the skills he/she will need to become a creative, competent person.

 His final point is to love them enough to do the other six.

These points work! I've seen it in our children and many others who were raised in a similar way. And when adult children express gratitude for being raised in this way, well, that's what we call Parental Paydays. Hope you have many!