Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Government do something about it???

Short observation or reaction.   I was just out watering my vegetable patch and was being attacked by mosquitoes.   Being attacked by mosquitoes reminded me of the weird news report this morning where it was reported that there is a boom of mosquitoes this year.....already!!!   Wow!   Then the report went on to say that people are wondering what the government is going to do about this problem as mosquitoes do carry disease you know.   Hmmm.....why does this strike me as a bit weird.   What does the government have to do with our ability to use mosquito repellent, wear long sleeves or pants or just stay inside if afraid of getting a disease via the pesky things.   No.....I will not lose sleep over this but I just don't get it. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


This is the flip side of yelling at kids to *get them* to stop doing whatever they are doing which is frustrating.   My younger kids were getting more and more antsy and screaming and whining more and more in the last few months.   It was admittedly hard to listen to.    What I saw happening was that the younger kids were being left in the dust as schooling with the older children got better and better.   This is a challenge of homeschooling a large age span.   Small children do get more whiny and scream the more there isn't time for them.  

I jokingly asked our doctor if he had a prescription for Antiscreamotics.    Well, my own medicine for the little peeps was to recognize how their buckets were not getting filled.   A concerted effort to spend time with the younger ones even if it is more difficult to get things done has actually helped eliminate the screaming.   Snuggling with their little selves, reading to them, gardening with them,singing hymns with them and even taking one of them with on errands has gone a long way to lower their own frustrations.  

I am a question asker too.   Asking even small questions of the child such as whether they would like to pour their cereal or if they would like me to do it for them.    (Trying to think of an example).   If they are on errands with me, just talking to them about what we see and listening to their jabbering.   These conversations go a long way towards calming their screaming muscle. is another example which just happened.   Three year old, "Mom, I am done with my banana."   Me, "Now what do you with it?"  Ingrid, "Put it in the trash can."    "Yes."

A recent conversation with one of middlin' kids was about hearing that they are doing something right.   Their grumpy seems to go away just like the little ones,  when they hear what they are doing right and how we are proud of them and love them.    Honestly just the simple declaration of loving them helps both you and the kids.   You and anyone for that matter.    As sinful people there is the sad irony that it is a lot easier to let our family know what they are doing wrong rather than telling them how proud we are of them, that we love them, and also what they are doing right.   

These sort of things are my prescription of Antiscreamotics.   Thanks be to God for Christ's love and forgiveness for US even when we are sinful through and through.  

Monday, May 21, 2012

Child discipline

It is becoming more and more clear to me that many parenting books and people seem to employ a strong level of *control* as a first choice of relating to children.   I can not recall reading much about what goes on the other side in the minds of the children.   I have a tendency to stare at my little people and big people's faces more and more and ponder how they too have emotions and feelings which are real and important.   A person I know was talking about how he thought yelling was an effective way to get a child to listen.   I remember being a child.   I had several teachers who yelled at me  hard and long till I shook uncontrollably  and cried most of the rest of those days.   Yelling.   I never received an apology as you know they were adults and I was only a child who frustrated them apparently.   Just as I remember the yelling so do children who are on the receiving end now.    If adults yelled at each other in the same way I was yelled at then in a public sector, I would imagine they might be looked down on or fired or something.   I am not even sure but I do know that it would certainly shock people.   The yelling which goes on behind closed doors is equally painful to a child and of course to adults who experience the same yelling.  Too much yelling.   I only mention all of this as crying and shaking is the reaction to yelling.   Whether it is outward crying and shaking or inward.   THAT is what a child experiences when yelled at.   

I am not sure what I am really driving at as this has become rambling but seriously, endorsing yelling or control means as a  method to *make* children do what they wish them to do is just disturbing.   Endorsing cheerfulness, willing helpers, talking to children as if they are people (cough, cough), modeling this to children through our own behavior, these are all ways to connect with another person known children.  

My favorite times are just working with my kids on some regular task like sweeping a room or hunting dust bunnies on the ceiling, or doing something more interesting like planting the garden (fun) and exchanging chatter with my excited little ones in the process.   Love motivates.   Love and concern for our neighbor is THE answer.   Yelling tears down and destroys relationships. Controlling chilren and not listening to them certainly does not help either.  Yelling kills really.   Children love to be talked WITH and not at.   Listen to those little ones and all the children who are not so little anymore.  

Sadness to me is the days I can't squeeze in some reading time with my kids.   Reading and talking to my kiddos.   Love your children and your family and friends.   It is a very awesome things.  

Garden Planting

I found an awesome site with a garden planning gizmo on it which allowed for charting, dating, color graphics etc and.....I did the unthinkable.   Rather than spend money to use it and it's wonderful features, I took a drawing pad and planned out all of my gardens using pen, colored pencils and I can even just put dates on when things are planted and other such general information.    It works and it is basically free!   I have never actually preplanned my planting areas but rather sort of have run by the seat of my pants and planted as I found opportunity.   It is actually much faster to use this plan as I am not constantly trying to figure out what I am going to do with each variety.  

I have direct seeded all of my tomato and vines and I really think it will work out just fine.   If it doesn't then I will swallow my pride and buy plants.    If it does work I have enough seeds for next year!  Stay tuned!

Monday, May 14, 2012

A different kind of shut up

I have been observing the dynamics of both parental units of mine and my in-laws and I notice it is sort of a generation of women being men's mommies or at least buying into thinking they need  to remind the men to eat, go to the bathroom, or use their canes.   It just makes me wonder what would happen if the women stopped doing that?   I am certain the Grandpa's are aware of what they need in these departments. 

Then I take a looksie at my own young men and think about how I don't want to train them to need mommies but rather to know how to make decisions of their own, show respect, and not wait to be reminded to do things like make their beds, help clean up a table after a meal, get other people water or offer tea or.....whatever other polite nice things they can do for their neighbors.   Sons show some intuition in living and then the daughters to not treat men like the men are children.    They aren't.   There is of course nothing wrong either in a young lady (or old) to offer a man something to drink, to take their coat, ask if they want to see the newspaper etc.   

How to do this?   Well, at least for my part, I need to show them how by doing it myself.   I also watch and wait to give my kids a chance to figure out what needs to be done without micromanaging them.   The example that came to mind today was when I was at the grocery store with one of my teenage boys and I waited to see if he would help to unload the groceries and to help put them in the cart to be able to go to the car.   He almost passed the test, but what if I had stood there and said, "Please help unload the cart".   "Please take the groceries and put them in the van".    Instead I just took a few bags and put them in the van when we were done, got in the van and let  him figure out what next to do without a bunch of instructions.   Without any instructions really and......lo and behold the young man knew to put them in the van and put the cart away.   Amazing. 

Here ends my thoughts on when to shut up for this day.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Direct Sow

My mother-in-law and I are going to go to town with gardening this summer me thinks.   I really do not want to spend a scandalous amount of money on flowers so am studying up on doing more direct sowing.   To do THAT we need to be on it NOW!!!!    Menards seems to be the cheapest place to buy seeds of the unusual variety.   The feed store has seeds by the ounce so I will have to check that out later today.   The bulbs I planted last fall have been a complete success and I am excited about plotting and planning additions to the bulb world this fall.   Keeping a record of what in the world I planted this year will help.   My biggest goal is to improve the path through our woods.   My father-in-law loves to take walks through the woods and the improvements I have made in just a few flowers along the edges have made it that much more enjoyable.   We have two small ponds so plants which like moist partly shaded areas are in my plan.   That plan will be more slow and steady and perhaps seeds will be in order to make that more affordable as well.   The more time we all spend outdoors the better.   Practical planting of vegetables is of course on the priority list as well.   I think I am prepared for that so far. just occurred to me the concept of direct sowing patches to be transplanted to other areas which would not require pots and lights.   A friend did this with broccoli starts and the idea was revolutionary to me..   I better stop typing and go work on that........

Thursday, May 3, 2012


"I would like to buy a contradiction please".....oh wait.   I get those for free.   Negative me but seriously!   How to get the kids to stop contradicting each other and me at every given opportunity.   The conversation barely begins and then.....contradiction.  Ack.   How to teach them to say nice things to each other or to me.   Whining is a form of talking back to zee parents.   Stop whining.   Pondering how to call them on the carpet for this.   Fortunately they seem to pull themselves together for the most part in public.    We had a nice time at the zoo.   We sort of ended up at the zoo by accident since I misunderstood when a concert we wanted to go was.   I was two days early and decided that since we were out and presentable, we may as well take the plunge and visit the zoo.  

So my littlest roarer was caught by surprise when the lions started roaring and roaring....and roaring.   He appeared pretty unsure of himself but decided to roar back at them.   He roared and roared and roared.    I am pondering how I can 'roar' back at the kids in a sense by calling them on the carpet for their choices of avoidance, whining, sloth etc.   I am not as cute or remotely so as my little roarer.  I am the ringmaster of sorts but methods are different.   Everyone to your corners cubs!   Focus.   Jump through whatever hoops you need to get er' done!  

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Outside the box

I am now into the stage of spring where I am doing my best to hang onto some school work happening around here.   Thinking outside the box means keeping the younger ones happy and interested while the older ones plug along with their grammar and math etc.   The final sprint to the end is in sight and perhaps it would be better to value what has gotten accomplished this year rather than despair of all the interruptions.   I am pulled in way too many directions right now and keeping my sanity is a challenge.   Please remember to have the 9 year old to read more on his own and not just with the mom so he makes progress.    Please remember to keep kids plowing ahead in their history reading.   Please......plant the garden right after you have the boys prepare the area for plowing.   Weed and plant the flower seeds to save money on annuals before it is too late.   Weed.   Did I mention weeding? 

My eyes drifted up and saw the piano and remembered I need to remember to get it tuned.   The tuned piano will make it live longer.   It means I have to remember the tuner is coming.   I might want someone to make sure no little critters found their way in it since the last time the tuner comes.   I hate that when that happens.   Critters love pianos and I live in a 150 year old house so critters are a part of life. 

Biking - I will be He Woman soon as I have decided to begin pulling the bike trailer so I actually get to go biking.   The kids get up too early so one or two of the youngest will be coming with me.   It will make the ride a bit more challenging and hopefully the kids will enjoy the ride. 

Computer is being yanked away so rambling is done for today.