Thursday, February 19, 2015

Essay: Sneezing, Coughing, Wiggling

Brainstorm things that make you cough or sneeze. It is polite to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
Dust makes you sneeze. Cold makes you cough. Feet make you sneeze because they have lots of dust.



Today I am talking about things that wiggle. Here is a list of things that wiggle: Worms. Centipedes. Babies. Beatles. Butterflies. Ants. (And bugs.) Worms: I do not like worms. Because they can frighten me very very very very very very very much. Ants: I do not like ants. Because they get in my food.

Notice; not for children under 5.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Lent 2015

Any calendar would work. But this is the one we
use each year during Lent.
There are two general approaches to Lent from people who earnestly want to celebrate the season well: To give up very little in order to focus more intently on prayer and avoid overwhelmingly strong temptations to sin because of trying to do it all, and To give up a great deal in order to rely more completely on God and discover a level of sweetness in the Easter celebration which is only found following a period of intense fasting. I have certainly done the former and made vague swipes at the latter (too weak to carry it through) and I have also done the bare minimum, hardly taking notice of Lent at all. This year as I see the various "how to celebrate Lent" articles, I feel the guilt of imagining that I should give up thisthatandtheother but having absolutely no desire to do so. I know that the feast is sweeter following a true fast, but I wonder how sweet my attitude would be midway through a difficult day without the items that I would have given up or with the knowledge that I ought to complete whatever extra devotion I've committed to before I relax that day.
Lent is really an opportunity to examine our lives, to pray and consider what invitations the Lord has offered to us which we have not been accepting. Has He been asking you to depend upon Him rather than chocolate? Give up the chocolate cold turkey for 40 days. Has He been inviting you to spend time with Him every day? Make a commitment to do exactly that for __ minutes every day. Has He been encouraging you to speak more lovingly? Lent is a great time to choose to speak 3 words of affirmation for every 1 critical word. There are innumerable suggestions online for ways we can use the season to become more faithful servants of the Most High according to whatever our particular spiritual needs are. It only becomes counterproductive when we choose the means of celebration based on someone else's spiritual needs or we know and commit to a particular path but give up when that path becomes difficult rather than turning to the Lord for the strength to carry on.
Our Lenten felt calendar is up and paper hearts are cut out. Each of the 40 days we will each write down something we plan to do that day to love Jesus. For my toddler this will be her first introduction to the idea of celebrating Lent, as she scribbles on her heart each day and tucks the paper in that day's pocket. The heart itself will be her "sacrifice", her gift to Jesus. Her 8yr old and 6yr old sisters will probably repeat a lot of the same sacrifices, but won't be bound to a full 40 day commitment. I find that the visual calendar decorating our family room, the accountability from my family expecting me to tuck a heart in each pocket, and the actual routine reminding me to consider each and every day how I can demonstrate my love for the Lord are incredibly helpful in setting apart the season as a time to grow closer to the Lord.
So easy to love and so difficult to love
at the same time.
My actual sacrifices this year won't be spectacular. I won't be giving up everything imaginable. I won't be adding in a new level of intensity in my daily devotions. In fact, it will mean less Bible study than I planned on at the beginning of the year, since I found it too complicated trying to figure out which readings I was supposed to do each day (not always using the same Bible) and changed my daily readings to just the next chapter of the Bible. Mostly, I'll be staying the course, working on the same things spiritually and personally that I was working on last week. There won't be any big changes in my day that outsiders could point to and identify as Lent. I might throw in a few activities with my kids and I will keep the Catholic rules of abstinence and fasting, but nothing drastic. (Well, the temptation cookies might be considered drastic...) But as I've been examining my life, praying and considering what the Lord asks of me, mostly He has been answering "Take just one step." Not, "Add a great deal of stress to your life". Not, "Give it all up". Rather, His answer is more along the lives of staying the course, moving forward, doing the best I can today in loving Him and loving my family. Like my Bible readings, I am just trying to read the next chapter after the one I read yesterday, or adding a little more love into my children's banks to what I contributed there yesterday.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Essay: I want

One day I found an ad in a newspaper for a doll. This is it.


And I went to the store and bought about 2 or 3 hundred dolls!

(this is not true)(do not believe it)
(do not make it popular)
(do not read it more than once)
(believe me this is not true)

You saw an ad in the paper for a china doll. You want to add it to your collection, but you can not find the doll! Boo hoo.


Wasted Time

I recently wasted an entire week of my life. For a whole seven days I didn't clean or cook or supervise my daughters' schoolwork. Laundry was washed but the clean clothing was dumped in a mountain on my bedroom floor. Not a single box was unpacked. We fell behind on the dishes (even dishwashers need someone to load and unload them). The kids and I stayed home. In fact, I spent most of the week sitting on our couch watching tv or amusing myself online.
I wasted an entire week of my life because my children got the flu one after another and then gave it to me. I wasn't really lazing about; I was too busy emptying basins, changing sheets, catching vomit, cuddling feverish babies, replenishing water bottles, etc., etc., etc. It was a week in which I accomplished absolutely nothing...and that was the most important accomplishment I could have spent my time on. Sometimes life is not about doing but simply about loving. It was far more important for me to spend my week cuddling and caring for my children than any other activity I could have filled my time with.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Essay: How to slide down a hill

My favorite way to go down a snowy hill is to sled. My favorite way to go down a grassy hill is to roll. Well why write about it? you may ask. Because this is why. Because  if you wanted to play  and you had to work which would you do work or play?(I would rather work how about you?).

Good Bye.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Essay: Do not want to do it

I do not like to try something new especially if I do not want to do it. Well, this is an example: one day I, did not want to try taking out the trash. Then that evening I threw a fit because I did not think I,could PUT AWAY THE TRASH CAN.I had the fit three minutes.


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Essay: How to Wash Dishes

My daughters were ecstatic when I told them they could publish their writing essays on my blog. Maybe many more of their essays will appear in the future, if they continue to find the exercise interesting.
Maria is in 2nd grade and Reese is in 1st. We edited their essays for spelling errors and as a tool to teach them mechanics of good writing (i.e. capitalize the first word of each sentence).

 I LOVE to wash Dishes. (Really i do not ). I could wash them all day. (not really) . But one day  I remembered a technique.This is the technique. First  you take water and let the dishes soak for 10 minutes. Than you take soap and scrub for 50 minutes. Last you take water and soak for 1 hour than you turn off the faucet and dry for 100 minutes.(I have never tried it).


How to wash dishes
First you bring the soap then you bring the water then you wash the dishes in the sink.