Friday, April 18, 2014


I've had some thoughts worth sharing lately.  Truly, I have.  Somehow they just never manage to get placed onto a page these days.  Maybe I will eventually succeed in writing something here again!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Something to think about

A link worth reading.  What would you do?

The Cost of Speaking Out

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

For the love of learning

"Mom, can I have another math page to do please?"  This is what I heard from my 5 year old son this evening. 

I am always hoping and praying that I do not get in the way of my children's natural love of learning.  Learning is fun.  We are born full of curiosity and a desire to explore and understand the world around us.  As a parent, it is my job to allow that exploration to happen, to encourage learning adventures spurred on by curiosity.

Sometimes education and learning are treated more as something that needs to be spoon-fed to kids, or crammed into their unwilling minds.  This is a very sad way to view learning.  Gaining knowledge and understanding, developing new skills, these things are a process, a journey.  The journey should be more enjoyable than painful.  As a parent, I love observing as my kids learn new things.  They always learn best when it is something they have a desire to know or a skill they want to develop.

I try to let them direct as much of the learning adventure as possible.  Sometimes I act as a guide.  Occasionally I have noticed myself trying to force feed them knowledge.  They resist!  That is always a reminder to me that I need to step back and allow learning to happen naturally.  They might need a break from the subject for a few minutes, days, or even months.  Eventually they will be ready to learn the things they need to know.

Babies are born ready to learn, grow, and develop.  There is no reason for that curiosity and love of learning to disappear.  If you teach your children, do whatever it takes to hold onto their desire to learn.  If you entrust the education of your children to others, stand up for your children and do whatever it takes to help them maintain their desire to learn.

Not everyone is meant to excel in typical "school subjects" like reading, writing, and math.  But everyone does have an area or two in which they shine.  Let's help our children search for and develop the things they are great at!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Lunch time!

A typical lunch at our house involves a source of protein left over from the previous night's dinner, veggies, and some fruit.  I strive to feed our family lots of fresh and healthy food.  This lunch included lemon-basil chicken, baked butternut squash (grown in our garden), steamed broccoli and cauliflower, and fresh red peppers and cucumbers.  And yes, my kids eat all these things!

We've certainly had experience with the kids being picky eaters at times.  I have found that starting healthy eating habits young really pays off.  I don't make special meals for anyone who doesn't like what is offered at a particular time.  Everyone is required to take at least one bite of each item on their plate every time it is served.  I follow this rule as well.  When I cook shrimp for my family I tell the kids, "Shrimp has never been one of my favorite foods, but I'm going to try it again to see if I like it yet."  I show them how I can try a bite and then take a bite of something else if I don't like the flavor.  "No, I still don't like it, but I'm glad I tried it."

Modeling healthy eating habits makes a big difference!  I don't expect my kids to eat differently than I do.  I often fix myself a healthy snack and my kids almost always want some when they see me eating it.  I try to give them healthy choices such as fruits, vegetables, and nuts for snacks.  If they are hungry enough, most kids will eat what is offered.

Sometimes we have conversations that go like this:
"Mom, I am so hungry.  Can I have something to eat?"
"Sure.  Would you like apple slices, almonds, or carrots?"
"No, I want something different."
"Those are your options."
"But mom, I'm starving and that is not what I want!"
"People who are starving are happy to eat whatever is available.  Let me know if you change your mind."

As parents, it is our job to help our kids develop good habits.  How and what they learn to eat will make a big impact on their health and well-being throughout their entire lives.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Art lessons

We had some fun and relaxing art lessons today at the "Petracci Academy."  I was the art instructor... with some help from Marjorie Flack, Kurt Wiese, and their delightful book "The Story About Ping."

My daughter Anna and I chose a drawing to work from and we set to work making our own versions of Ping diving into the Yangtze River.  I provided minimal discussion about techniques the artists may have used in creating the original.  I then set to work on my drawing using colored pencils.  My kids watched me for a while and emulated some of my technique as they began to work on their own masterpieces.

Here is Anna (age 7) and her beautiful artwork.

My son Arik (age 5) was a little nervous to begin his drawing.  He was worried that he would mess it up.  With a bit of gentle persuasion, he returned to the table and set to work.  He got distracted part way through so I don't have a picture of his artwork.  But he did a good job!

And here is mine.  (Please imagine this picture rotated, I'd do it if I knew how!  Ping is actually diving down rather than up.)  Spending time enjoying art with my kids is extremely relaxing for all of us.

This was our second time to practice our artistic skills using "The Story of Ping."  You can view our first attempt from one year ago in this post.  It is so much fun for me to see the artistic progress Anna and Arik have made in the past year.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

It has been a long time

It has been such a long time since I posted anything here.  I keep thinking of things I could write, and then I either forget them or never get around to typing them.  Maybe soon?

In the meantime, big news in our household.  We are expecting a baby in March!  We are all so excited by this huge blessing from God.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Great news

Some thoughts from Holly and some wonderful updates from Save the Children Orphanage in DR Congo...
You can read about it here.