Monday, February 28, 2011

Six Years Ago Today.......

Six years ago today with my toes in the sand on a beautiful beach in Ocho Rios, Jamaica I made a covenant of marriage with the man God had chosen just for me. These have been six years truly filled with love and magic. The Principal is a true treasure in my life, a gift and always a blessing. We had no idea what lay ahead of us as we said our vows six years ago. If we could have predicted I know we wouldn't have even been close!! To say it has been quite an adventure is an understatement. To say it has been my joy and privilege to be Mrs. Principal these past six years doesn't even come close to what is in my heart.
Darling, you are my prince, my joy, my heart, my best friend and I thank you from the very depths of my being for being such a wonderful husband and father. You are a man of true honor and grace, rare in this world today and I count myself so incredibly fortunate to know what it is to have a husband who leads with that kind of character.
Every year of our marriage, I have woken up to roses on the pillow beside me - one for each year of marriage, this morning was no exception. The bouquet was stashed away in the garage and checked on periodically over the weekend - seems like they did pretty well considering weekend temperatures hovered around and above 70 degrees. The Principal told me over coffee early this morning that next year our anniversary will be on Tuesday so the roses will be fresher ;-) I can only imagine what lays ahead between today and a full dozen!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Language Arts and Trivia Fun

I came across something fun today that I thought would be a fresh way to hone your childrens skills for trivia by some fun teaching them about the English language all at the same time.

Stewardessess is the longest word in the english language typed scrictly with the left hand.

Lollipop is the longest word in the English language typed solely with the right hand.

No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver or purple.

Dreamt is the only word in the English language that ends in 'mt'.

The sentence "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy brown do." uses every letter in the alphabet.

The words, racecar, level and kayak are the same read left to right or right to left - these kind of words are called palindromes.

There are only four words in the English language that end in 'dous', they are; tremendous, horrendous, stupendous and hazardous.

There are two words in the English language that contain all five vowels in order, they are - abstemoius and facetious.

Typewriter is the only word in the English language that can be made using only letters located one one row of a keyboard.

In the general fun trivia category here are a few offerings...... teach on of these a day or maybe make a game out of it and do "Trivia Tuesday' part of your weekely schedule.....

Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but both our ears and noses never stop growing!!

A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.

A goldfish has the memory span of 3 seconds. I must be part goldfish some days!!

A 'jiffy' is an actual unit of time measure for 1/100th of a second.

A shark is the only fish that can blink with both eyes.

A snail can sleep for 3 years. Ok so apparently I have some snail blood flowing through my veins as well ;-)

Almonds are a member of the peach family.

An ostrich's eye is bigger than it's brain.

Babies are both without kneecaps. They do appear until 2 - 6 years of age. Weird!!

February 1865 is the only month in recorded history not to have a full moon.

In the last 4000 years, no new animals have been domesticated.

If the population of China walked crossed in front of you, 8 abreast, the line would never end because of the rate of reproduction.

Leonardo DaVinci invented the scissors.

Peanuts are one of the ingredients in dynamite!! Who knew??

Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated. Wonder if Helouise knows about this??

Thea average person's left hand does 56% of the typing.

The cruise liner QE2 moves only inches for every gallon of diesel it burns.

The microwave was invented after a reseracher walked by a radr tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket.

The winter of 1932 was so cold that Niagra Falls froze solid. Glad I missed that one!!

Winston Churchill was born in the ladies room of a dance.

Women blink nearly twice as often as men. Ladies go challenge your son of husband to a staring contest and see who wins!!

There are more chickens that people in the world. There are so many things I could say here ......I like chickens ;-)

Ok...well that is all I have for now. Hope you enjoyed these and find some wonderful creative way to use them. Please check back and leave a comment to share with the rest of us if you do. Thanks Tiffiny for sharing!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Instructions Not Included.....

I am going to take a rather tentative step onto my soapbox - tentative because I have no idea what kind of response I will receive once I get there and speak my peace, but here goes....first of all, the disclaimers.... I am not a perfect parent raising a perfect child, the truth of the matter is that we are both so far from anything in that realm that it truly is laughable. SO keeping that in mind allow me to proceed. Those of you who know me personally know that I struggle from time to time with behavior issues - not just my own - Wonderboy can be a pill ;-) We have tried many of the 'techniques' commonly prescribed as well as a few of our own creative invention. Some have worked better than others, some for just a season and some were nothing more than a waste of effort and brain cells. Rearing offspring is no easy undertaking and certainly not for the faint of heart - at least not in the this household. There are as many parenting theories and approaches as there are kids to try them out on it seems, kind of like eating trends there seems to always be some new trend that is bigger, better, shinier. I tend to be an old fashioned kind of gal - you know the 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' school of thinking. This has more or less served me quite well overall. I have to confess however that there have been times when the 'shiny new thing' has captured my attention and wooed me away from good old fashioned common sense. Sadly, this has been true in my parenting journey.
Well after many tears, MUCH prayer and countless days of feeling alone, hopeless and quite honestly ready to turn in my Mom card, I finally reached a point where I had had enough and the line was drawn in the sand. Failure was not an option, so I did what any self respecting Mother does in this day and age - I did a web search. It was during that process I came across the book that I am currently 4 chapters into, It Takes a Parent by Betsy Hart. Betsy is my kind of girl - a no nonsense, common sense, straight shooter who says it plain and doesn't sugar coat it - I liked her right away and knew that she had something to offer in the pages of her book. Now keep in mind - I am only 4 chapters in and I have another 9 to go, but I like what I have read so far because it makes sense. She makes no promises, no get rich quick schemes and in doing this puts some power and authority back where it belongs - in the hands of the parents!! Imagine that? The big light went on for me when she shared an incident where she was getting some less than desirable attitude from her one of her daughters and the interaction that followed....this was where my moment of ah ha came in "And one thing I didn't do was to ask her why she was behaving the way she was. Kids almost never know why they do the upsetting things they do. Let's face it, that's true for many adults too. It's often up to us parents to help interpret for our kids what's going on in their hearts." I sat there and saw a slide show of countless conversations that had taken place in the past few years in which the question was asked repeatedly.....why?? Why did you lie? Why did you disobey? Why this, why that....and you want to guess what the number one and still reigning answer is and has been - drum roll please......"I DON'T KNOW" !!!! Much to our continued frustration and angst!! Imagine that - he may have been telling the truth all this time - he really doesn't know!!! I've had a hunch about this once or twice because I know the looks and saw the heart behind those looks - he really doesn't know, this is not just a pat cop out answer to shut us up - well not all the time in any case ;-) I could go on and on and on, for now I have said all this to say this.....we need to know our children, lead their hearts and teach them right from wrong. This is not a popular parenting mantra of late, but look at what is going on in the world around us - I am not raising a child for society, I am raising a child for God and I am the one who will have to answer for what I take the time and effort to teach and what I allow to root and grow in his life. Is it easy? No way, in fact it is without a doubt the hardest thing I have ever done - but he is worth it!!
I am taking my stand here on this soapbox and in my home - I love my son too much to leave him the way he is and allow what society says is ok to be ok. I am raising a boy to become a man, who will be able to lead his family, to love his wife and teach his children in the ways of the Lord. I am raising a man, one who will reflect his Father, my Father, your Father and bring Him honor in all he does and says. I will no longer tolerate the rolling eyes, the irritated grunts and sighs, the lazy behaviors, the sub-standard efforts, the lying, the disrespectful words, action or behaviors because I am weary and have no tidy little solutions. I owe it to my God, my son, my future daughter in law and grandchildren to raise a man who will be a man of character and honor and to myself, because God chose me to do just that!
I am rolling up my sleeves, digging in my heels and persevering to the end, the outcome far out weighs the effort in value. Betsy Hart has given me some hope along the way that I needed pretty desperately when I came across it - accidental? I think not - God is into the details remember ;-) SO.... I wanted to share this today, in case you may have to travel some of the same roads we do on occasion and could use a little encouragement, some refreshing and a much needed dose of perspective and common sense in this crazy world in which we live. Betsy has a blog which I have not yet had much time to poke around, but look forward to seeing what other nuggets are there that I once knew and have foolishly cast away for the bigger, newer, shinier nuggets that the latest snake oil salesmen were selling....

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Practicing Hospitality Gets an Upgrade

Sometimes you come across things that you just have to share - this is one of them. I had a conversation this past Saturday with a mom from Wonderboy's basketball team, during which she mentioned that she was having a hysterectomy later this month. I immediately offered a meal, this has become something that I love to do to bless others - I love to cook and know what a help a meal is when things are out of whack in the daily routine of life. I was very curious when she told me that a woman in her Sunday School Class was organizing meals and she would send me a link. She mentioned something about a website I could sign up on....hmm...wonder what that's all about I thought. The email came yesterday and this is just too cool to keep under my hat!! Take Them A Meal has this whole bringing a meal thing all figured out and and presented in a very user friendly way that simplifies the process and eliminates the need for many phone calls, second guessing your choices and all the concerns that are pretty much normal fare when getting a meal together for anyone in need. You pick a day from the calendar and sign up for what you are bringing. The address, contact info, directions, likes/dislikes, food allergies, restrictions and general preferences are right there for you to help you decide the best meal to share. What I really love about this site is that you can identify what they have been fed before and after your slot so they are not sprouting feathers from chicken dish after chicken dish. There is even an option to send a meal to those who are not local. There are menu suggestions, transportation tips and even recipes. I think this is a truly inspired idea!! I only wish I had known about it sooner - but rest assured if you need meals and you are in my sphere of influence I will hook you up!!!
I have not yet signed up for the basketball mom meal because it is too far out at this point for me to plan now, but I will and I will report back on how the whole thing play out.
I was equally pleased to notice a button on the site for a sister type site called Perfect Potluck - again, another fantastic idea!! Makes me want to plan a gathering just to try it out and see how it functions first hand....any takers?? Shall we plan some food and fellowship?

I have to end this by asking - has anyone used either of these sites? If so please share what your experiences have been....I am certainly not wishing anyone sick, but will be pleased to have this tool in my toolbox when it is needed!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Building Faith

I have not fallen off the face of the earth dear ones ;-) I just wanted to take a minute today to encourage you.....

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