2016's Word of the Year

2016 word of the year- EXPECT- my happiness and contentment is often controlled by my expectations. I have resolved to expect great things but also to keep my expectations within reason so that I do not live in chronic disappointment.

Thursday, September 29

National Coffee Day

This is usually where I start my day, at my desk, with my coffee and my planner.
I would say this is my favorite coffee cup because it is the only one I will use. Seriously, I could get rid of every other cup in my house. :)

Wednesday, September 28

Teaching My Kids to Listen to Current Events

One of the things that I notice in our younger generation is that they don't seem to have a clue about what is going on in the world around them. I was remembering how we used to read the Weekly Readers in school and wondered if I could find something similar. I found something better! CNN has a daily broadcast of student news. It's about 10 minutes long and they keep it fresh and interesting for middle and high school age children. It is hosted by Carl Azuz, who is witty and interesting. Even my 11 year old son with special needs will watch the whole thing. ( I don't know how much he gets from it, but it is getting him interested in life outside our home.)
Anyway, back to the broadcast. You can find it at  CNN StudentNEWS. And yes, for my conservative friends I know that it is CNN. But the news is interesting and what I have watched is pretty straight forward reporting without bias either way. I wish we could find more of that! The program has given us something to talk about over the supper table and my 12 year old is learning to pay attention more to what is going on in the world. And that was the whole point of the exercise. So far this has been one of the best additions to our school year. I hope you find it helpful too.

Tuesday, September 27

I Thought We Were Better Than This

I try not to talk about political things on my blog. It's not because I don't have strong convictions but rather because someone usually has to point out how uneducated or ignorant I am. So I usually keep my thoughts to myself. Today I am going to make an exception.

Living in a small town in western Nebraska it is easy to become insulated to the outside world. We don't have street gangs or slums. I don't worry about driving through unsafe neighborhoods or feel unsafe going out after dark. And I have never had to worry that I might be treated unjustly because of the color of my skin. I grew up in a white county in a white state and racism never really affected me much until my friend moved to town when I was in 5th or 6th grade. She was native American. In our tiny little community I was stunned to hear the things said about their family. And I was confused. Because she was very nice, very pretty and very smart, how could people dismiss her just because of the color of her skin? That was when I decided that I would value people for who they were not what they looked like. This decision helped me greatly when I married a military man and we traveled to new places with new people in our lives.

In the first few years of our marriage I got to know a lot of people who were of different races than me and I learned so much from them. It wasn't the things we talked about that I learned from but rather just the way they lived and how their childhoods had affected them. For instance, my beautiful Hispanic friend who was a fastidious housekeeper and fanatical about her children being clean. She commented once that all of her life she had heard people talk about " those dirty mexicans" and she would never give them reason to say that about her. This broke my heart and it was an example to me of how words can change ones life.

Fast forward to 2016: This has been a tough year for me because it breaks my heart to see the race war escalate. But it also is disturbing to me because it seems that police officers have been the ones to blamed for most of it. Many of my friends are police officers, retired police officers or wives of police officers and it makes me angry to see the media lump all police officers into one mass of so called corrupt and prejudiced. As far as I can see there are people of all races who are fine upstanding citizens as well as people of all races who are criminals. The same goes for our police officers. There are some who serve their communities every day with compassion and go home with aching hearts for what they have seen. Then there are others who are bullies who hide behind a badge. These are the police officers that have to go.

But there is so much more to this story. There are the athletes who are not standing for the national anthem and people are enraged. And why are they so angry? I had to really think about this because at first it made me angry. I didn't see this so much as a civil protest but as a slap to our service men and women who fought for this country. BUT...our country was founded on this kind of principle of protesting injustice. Theses athletes are not refusing to play, they are not inciting riots, they are simply quietly making a statement to show that they see injustice and a need for a change. I have enclosed a link below to a press conference with a Nebraska football player. I wept when I listened to him. This was not the action of a man looking to get attention but a man with true convictions, a man who loves his country and his God. And to think that people here in my own state actually said that he should be hung made me so incredibly sad.
http://www.1011now.com/content/news/Husker-players-share-why-they-kneeled-during-National-Anthem-394851001.html

So this leads me to my dilemma. How do I as a middle aged homemaker in nowhere Nebraska make a difference? Well, I think the first thing I can do is ask God to help me see opportunities here in my own community. I can teach my children and grandchildren to be color blind. If I see a racial or social injustice I need to stand up and speak against it. I can encourage others to love as our heavenly Father loves. I can pray for the people that have a louder voice than me to walk wisely and humbly as they speak out. I can write to my congressmen and ask them to find better ways to help the downtrodden with real solutions to better generations not just give handouts to make people dependent.

It is just a drop in the bucket but drop by drop the bucket will eventually become full. If every mother in America would teach her child to see the person behind the skin color we could make an amazing impact on the world. If we aren't better than this we certainly can be....and we should be.




Thursday, September 1

Saturday, August 20

Making peach jam

My house smells so good right now!

Thursday, August 4

Starting to prepare for the school year



I had originally planned on doing World History with my son this school year but then I saw this Civics curriculum. What a great opportunity to study this during an election year. I love that it uses original documents and as well as literature to go along with the studies. And there is a section to learn about the different holidays and why we observe them. I think I am going to learn almost as much as my son. They had a great deal on their new World History last Spring so I ordered it also to use next year.
Now if I could just get as excited about teaching Math....

Friday, July 8