Have you heard the phrase, “lesser of two evils”? I’m sure that this will completely gross some people out, but it is one of the crazy random things that has crossed my mind today while staying at home with my beautiful children. Even beautiful children can be gross. I’m talking about boogers here. I have been blessed with the opportunity to rear both a boy and a girl and there truly is a difference in genders besides you know what. The booger thing is probably not gender specific, but I have noticed that while my beautiful, yet unmistakably boyish boy likes to eat boogers; my equally beautiful, self-proclaimed “girly girl” tends to be more of a wiper. Which, I am quick to say that I am so glad that she chooses not to digest her boogers; however, I am none too happy to find the little crusty things everywhere from her bed sheets to the trim panel of the door which is located next to her car seat. And, there was the time that I was walking her to her room one evening for bed and she very kindly wiped a long stringy one on the hallway wall. I really hope they both outgrow this picking stage real soon. The End.
As indicated on personality tests and consulting with a licensed counselor, my husband and I are pretty much perfectionists. Where some people might view this as a positive and other perfectionists might even give a fist-pump and a “Aw, yeah!”; I am here to tell you that perfectionism is absolutely NOT perfect. As a matter of fact, perfectionism comes with a cost and this negative side of perfectionism can be destructive to one’s self and others.
My theory on perfectionism is based solely on experience. One can read this and agree or disagree whole heartedly. It doesn’t matter to me. These are just my thoughts. (Whew! For a perfectionist, that is hard to write. Why would anyone not agree with me?) Well, here we go. I am going to start by sharing an example of a perfectionist in the making-my 6 year-old son. I home school my son and it is usually without fail that we have some type of breakdown during the process of our school day. One evening while reflecting on the past few weeks of schooling and the inevitable mid-lesson crisis, it somehow became clear to me that my son is a perfectionist in the making. An unfortunate characteristic trait that has begun to manifest in him is that he feels that if he is not “good” at something, then he is not even going to try. He simply goes into shut-down mode. He begins complaining and whining and making every excuse as to why he should not be doing the lesson. Or, his newest tactic is to try to be silly and make me laugh in hopes that I will become the unfocused teacher and not complete the task at hand.
Now, this is not the only thing that leads me to believe that he is a perfectionist and that this a trait of a perfectionist. What I did though, is I began to do some self reflections and discovered that I have done this same thing in a different way. If there is something that I am interested in doing (i.e. blogging), yet I don’t feel like I am “good” at it or that it is “perfect” so to speak, then I simply avoid ever really getting started. And, maybe this isn’t even a trait of a perfectionist. I guess I would need to take some surveys of some people who are considered perfectionists. My husband does agree and I do consider him an extreme perfectionist. I have commonly called him a procrastinator in some situations, but when taking a closer look it is easy to realize that it has been due more to the fact that he is afraid of failure. Afraid of screwing something up. So based on these simple family character traits, I am led to believe that perfectionism is NOT perfect!
Dreams have been pouring out all around me lately. I have been having them and people around me have been having them. I don’t think these are the “ate Taco Bell at 2a.m” variety of dreams, but rather spiritual dreams that are spoken of in the Bible. Joel 2:28 says, “And it shall come to pass afterward, [that] I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions”. These are the types of dreams of which I am speaking. I do not have a personal account of the dreams of others. However, I can account for mine. I have had two dreams in the last two weeks and I will retell them here:
I was driving my Lincoln Navigator and I had two passengers(two women from my church) with me. We were following a caravan of other vehicles. It was raining very hard and the roads were wet and slippery. We were approaching a sharp curve around the edge of a cliff. I got a little nervous and clinched the wheel tighter. As we approached the curve, an 18-wheeler came past us and showered the windshield with all kinds of water and debris. This obstructed my vision and my worst fears were realized-we missed the curve and we were sailing through the sky to utter destruction. I felt a sense of panic and guilt. Feeling that even though I could not have prevented the obstruction, that I was still responsible for my passengers. I could vividly see the inside of the vehicle as we were free-falling. What lay beneath us was a dry river bed that was full of large craggy rocks and boulders. I was bracing myself for what was imminent. Then we landed. There was no explosion; no crunching of metal upon the desolate ground. I looked out of my window and saw that we had landed on a large succulent pile of green grass. I was so thankful that we were safe. I knew that it was a miracle. The last thing I remember before awaking was thinking that I still needed to check on my friends.
I was an employee at a bank. A person who used to go to my church was my supervisor. It was our department’s responsibility to count the money at the end of the day and deposit it in the bank. Our boss was a woman whom we liked and worked well with, but we did not really trust her 100%. We felt like she was more for the corporation than she was for us, her employees. I remember that my supervisor was putting a large pile of money in the safe and I was standing looking over his shoulder into the safe. But, he wasn’t actually putting it in. He was taking it out. I realized that we were going to take this money. It was at this time that the boss came in and they exchanged cordial words about the money and then she left. Then the supervisor took the money somewhere. In the next scene, there were about four of us sitting around a kitchen table (including myself and my supervisor) and we were discussing the heist and how we got away with it. I remember thinking to God, “I know this is wrong and it is a sin, but I’m going to be o.k., right? I’m just doing what my supervisor said and he said its o.k.” Then I awoke.
In light of my current situation, I have some ideas what these might mean, but if anyone would like to offer an explanation, feel free.
My children have been blessed with the gift of gab. They never stop talking unless they are asleep. Seriously. I’m a stay-at-home mom and sometimes I don’t want to stay at home. I need the voices to stop sometimes! My sister recently wrote a blog entitled “Time Out for your Mouth”. You can read it by clicking here. I definitely am needing one of these time-outs for my children.
My son Sam is 6 now. He started talking at 12 months. My darling daughter Devri is 2 years and 4 months old. I think she came out of the womb talking (or so it seems). She actually started talking a little later than her brother. Around 15 months. I loved it that Sam talked so early because when it was just the two of us, it was fun to see what would come out of his little mouth. He is such a sweet, kind-hearted kid. Devri’s personality is polar opposite of her brother’s. Don’t misunderstand, she can be absolutely precious and I love her dearly. However, Devri has already developed her “alpha woman” gene. “Do this, Mamma.” “Move, Brother.” “Go away, Mamma.” She is quite bossy. Yesterday Sam told her so and her response was, “I’m not bossy. I’m busy.” I actually like this. I think I will use this at some point in my life.
So, today the three of us drive to Odessa to go see our awesome, wonderful dentist, Dr. Joel Edwards. I highly recommend him and you can find his information here. We arrived to his office and they call Devri’s name and all three of us proceed to the back to the exam room area where Devri is weighed and measured. Devri begins to tell the hygenist all about her princess band-aid that is across her nose. (She fell down the cement steps at church last night. Owww!) The hygenist seems smitten with the conversation coming from this little two year-old with lopsided ponytails. She takes us into the exam room and tells us Dr. Edwards will be with us shortly. He arrived after a few minutes and for the next 20 minutes my two children became mute. Not one word. What? It was amazing. And a little strange. He is a wonderful dentist. Very gentle and the kids both responded to his requests while he examined them, but they would not speak. He gave them both stickers. Devri for being a great patient and Sam for wearing a Texas Longhorn football jersey. Another reason that I like him-he’s a Longhorn fan! Then he sent us on our merry way. We stepped out of his office and my serenity came to an end. Devri started singing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” whilst Sam engaged me in deep conversation about sharks all while I am trying to find my way back to Big Spring. Somehow we made it. No one fell asleep on the way home. Darn.
Why, oh, why does teaching reading have to be so difficult? I know this is a rhetorical question, but, honestly, I don’t remember it being this hard when I learned to read! Ha, ha! I have many questions about teaching reading. Such, as:
- Why does my son look at me when he is reading? Are the words written on my forehead?
- Why does the same boy look at the first letter in a word and then proceed to guess what the word is-ex., the word “bad” is read “bbbbb-at”, “bat”. Noooooo, that is not the word.
- Why does he wait for me to sound out the word for him, when I know with certainty that he knows all the sounds of all the letters in the alphabet. (I think.)
These are just a few questions that I am trying to answer for myself. Really, I do NOT want you all to answer them for me. I know that teaching someone to read is not easy. I did it in a public school classroom for 7 years. But, thank God, the kindergarten teachers in public schools have self-inflicted goals to teach kindergarteners to read. This always made my job as a 1st grade teacher quite simple. Yet, now I have the burden of figuring out how they did it! Pray for me.
On a side note, he loves making words with his magnetic letters. He used three of his sight words and his name to make this sentence. I don’t think he knows that he made a sentence, but maybe he knows more than he wants me to know!
Sam has had a productive day today. We have completed Math, Phonics, Spelling, Handwriting and Reading. We are going to be doing our History lesson during Devri’s nap. Sam is excited and ready to learn, so I am anticipating a wonderful school year. The only area we seem to struggle with is handwriting. He doesn’t seem to notice the lines in which he is supposed to position his letters and this drives me crazy. I am hoping that as the days and weeks go by that this becomes a non-issue. It is the first day back!
I am excited about all of our new curriculum this year. We are attempting to provide Sam with a classical education at home. I am using the book, The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise as a road map. They recommended several different Phonics curriculum. We chose to use Modern Curriculum Press Plaid Phonics and Explode the Code. For Spelling we are using A Spelling Workout. We are using Abeka Math and for History we will be using a book called History for Little Pilgrims from Christian Liberty Press.
We managed to complete Math and all of our Language Arts lessons between 9-12, with one 15 minute break. Now, all we left to do in the afternoon is our History lesson and we are going to be listening to some classical literature on the iPod. We shall see how it all goes!
So far on this first day of homeschool, this is what I have learned-
- Devri can paint her own fingernails.
- Devri can unscrew the cap to the nail polish remover.
- Devri can get up on the potty all by herself.
I have not written in quite a while-with fairly good reason, I must say. We bought a new home. This new home is requiring much of my attention. It is a sprawling 4700 square foot home that has not been updated in at least 30 years, some of the rooms even longer. I am going to begin posting pictures of our progress on the house. For now, I am going to post some before pictures so you can get an idea of what it looks like now and how busy we are going to be over the next few months. These pictures were taken with the previous owner’s belongings still intact. We are working on this house in increments. The first room we worked on was the master. We changed the wall color, ceiling color and the trim color. We also hung chair rail and crown molding-over 100 linear feet. We are currently working on the utility room. John is building a mudroom type of furniture piece that will be on the wall opposite of the washer and dryer. We painted a chalk board wall and he hung crown molding. We are about to lay tile in there as well. I will be posting updates to this project periodically. And to answer the question, “No, we have not moved in and no, we do not know when we will be moving in.” 🙂
Today marks our 15th wedding anniversary. What does this mean to me? It means that for 15 years I have been blessed with a man who
- opens every door for me (and I do mean EVERY DOOR!!!)
- brings me a cup of coffee in bed every morning
- cleans the kitchen for me most nights
- puts fuel in my vehicle
- will come home from work to start the lawn mower because I want to mow the lawn for him
- takes the baby to the sitter for me
- loves to watch HGTV with me
- loves my family as much as his own
- diligent in his work and is blessed for that
- loves the Lord with all of his heart, mind, soul, and strength
- is not lazy
- has not lost interest in his passion (Motorcycles, in case you were wondering)
- is a handyman extraordinaire
- has good taste in furniture (because he listens to me) 😉
- went through ALOT in order for us to have our own children
- does not compromise his faith
- and is willing to make sacrifices for those whom he loves
Thank you, John, for a wonderful first 15! I look forward to every day with you!
I have not felt much like blogging lately. I am beginning to wonder if it is even something that I want to maintain. It is as if it is just another thing on my list of things to do instead of bringing me pleasure. Plus, it is somewhat defeating to know that I have been blogging for three months and I only have about seven people who subscribe to my blog. This includes my mom and dad and two sisters and my husband’s daughter. I am pretty sure that I know who the other two are, as well. So thank you, my loyal followers. I will blog again soon. I promise.
I learned recently at a leadership conference that I attended that I am an entrepreneurial leader. This means I am good at starting things up, but sometimes I need help with follow through! Hmmmm.