- lost school books (note plural, and one is still missing!) and one that I even forgot to order in the first place
- a fussy, mischievous first grader and an angry older sister who was trying to do homework in the midst of the interruptions
- computer parts spread all over the carpet during a very educational dissection of a defunct machine
- a broken washing machine when my son was trying to wash his shirt to wear to co-op -- that morning!
- a child who is shocked by the number of math problems assigned
- loud (nay, very loud!) kids having frequent fits of the hyper sillies
- people who try to talk to me with toothpaste in their mouths (pet peeve!)
- arguments over who gets to use my laptop (after which I changed the password to the kids' account on it -- so there!)
- the Internet going off when I was in the middle of something (loose cord!)
- a headache from staying up too late trying to plan out how in the world I can get my kids to be more consistent with chores and cleaning up after themselves...
- getting back in to the classroom at co-op (my happy spot!) and chatting with the other moms in the teacher's lounge
- an afternoon of caring for my one year old grandson Jacob on Wednesday
- a birthday dinner for my husband last night with all 10 kids home (very rare!) -- that's him with Jacob
- a quick date to Starbucks with him earlier that day to share a vente hot chocolate and a cranberry scone (thanks to a gift card from his sister)
- a really good long back rub from my husband when I had a bad kink in my shoulder
- helping my second daughter pick out a pretty font for her wedding invitations (less than two months to the big day!)
- reading about missionary Mary Slessor with my 10 year old daughter, who wants to be a missionary when she grows up
- sharing Philippians and Aesop's Fables with my five younger kids at the start of school each day (it may not be assigned but the Scriptures and good literature are vital!)
- encouraging notes from family and friends
- a teenage son who offered to bring me some ice water
- an elderly neighbor who brought us most of a chocolate cake (since she baked one and couldn't eat it all by herself, and wanted to thank us for inviting her to church last week, which she loved, loved, loved).
I also wanted to let you know that I have created a new blog, www.WatchTheShepherd.blogspot.com with a tagline of "
1) If I only put the effort into correcting the errors in my kids' schoolwork, then that is all I will get to do. That is because if I don't spend the time to teach them well in the first place, I will by necessity have to spend all of my time pointing out where they messed up. It would be better to be proactive and teach it right from the start than have to go and react to the mistakes. I need to enthusiastically equip and nurture them for success, not set them up for the disabling, de-motivating discouragement of always being told how wrong they are.
2) A gardener has to spend time weeding a plot of ground, but the point is so that she can plant a lovely and fruitful garden, not so that she can have barren land. (See Mother's Seeds.) Yes, we have to correct one another at times, but if we aren't doing something beautiful, too, it's just plain empty.
"But we'll be careful to be peacemakers and not peacekeepers.
Peacekeepers are likely to overlook the causes of pain and suffering,
to avoid dealing with it in order to maintain some kind of equilibrium
regardless of what it may be based on.
Peacekeepers prefer the status quo
and are apt to tell the hungry to quiet down
lest they disturb the sleep of the overfed."
Bishop William Frey in The Dance of Hope
“To be Queen Elizabeth within a definite area, deciding sales, banquets, labours and holidays; to be Whiteley within a certain area, providing toys, boots, sheets, cakes and books; to be Aristotle within a certain area, teaching morals, manners, theology, and hygiene; I can understand how this might exhaust the mind, but I cannot imagine how it could narrow it. How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No; a woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness.”