Sunday, October 18, 2009

A beautiful morning...

Today started off nicely. Pancakes for breakfast. Yum! Then I got dressed and made it to church in time for Mass. Not a problem, it was just me today. It was a wonderful homily, on the characteristics of a good leader, and how important it is for we parents to really carefully raise our children. That contrary to what "they" would have us think, we parents have the power in shaping tomorrow's world, by the way we parent our children. Compare the lives and "fruits" of people like Stalin and Hitler, to those of Pope John Paul II, Mother Theresa, or (for my protestant friends) Billy Graham. How powerful is the upbringing, the "training up in the way they should go"! How powerful can one person's life be? Look at the past, and you will see. It is hard to imagine a little boy Adolph, or Josef, or Karol (Pope JP IIs baptismal name), Agnese(Mother Theresa's baptismal name), or Billy. But they were once young, too, like the little ones (or not so little ones!) entrusted to our care . And one day, it will be *our* children, who are shaping the world. The big question we need to ask ourselves, is "What are they going to model that world upon?" Where are they going to look, to see what the world should become?

So many of us (myself included, believe me!) let the days roll by, without giving much thought to the way we are bringing up our children. Oh, we think of it in the generalities..."I want them to grow up to be strong Christians", or "I want them to value a good education", etc, etc. The big question is, how do we do that on a daily basis? How does that "end result" shape *our* day-to-day parenting choices?

One thing that Father mentioned today, was the question, "How is this going to make you the best 'you', you can be?" (he prefaced this by stating that by being the best "you", it was in learning to know, love, and serve God, to the very best of our abilities). In parenting, we need to be (effectively) drilling this into our children with greater emphasis than the times tables, the alphabet, the periodic table of elements. Our greatest responsibility is to make sure our children know how to be the best Emily/Jonah/Jennifer/Matthew that they can be--in the godly sense...not the worldly. We were given the example, in the homily, of that teenaged child, looking to go to a party...knowing that they are likely going to be immersed in a sea of alcohol, drugs, potentially s*xual encounters...ask them, "Is going to this party, going to help you be the best 'you' you can be?" It cannot be done, easily, unless there has been years of preparation (this is when that drilling into their heads part comes back to help you). Paddling upstream is not easily done, and sometimes, is totally impossible.

It was certainly a very convicting homily, let me tell you. For all the emphasis El Husbando and I have put on making sure our children know the tenants of their faith, as well as they know their math, phonics, and history...we need to be certain to place their character education at the top of our 'curriculum vitae'. It cannot be an on again, off again pursuit. It must be every single day....

A Biblical chapter that many religious homeschoolers cite for being a main reason behind their homeschooling, is Deuteronomy, chapter 6, most notably, verses 6-9.

"6 Take to heart these words which I enjoin on you today.
Drill them into your children. Speak of them at home and abroad, whether you are busy or at rest.
2 Bind them at your wrist as a sign and let them be as a pendant on your forehead.
Write them on the doorposts of your houses and on your gates. "

(Scripture copied from )

Indeed, the biblical injunction is already is just too easy for us to let the days roll past, doing some things...but it isn't just a matter of rote memorization of scripture and verse. It is a marrow-deep inculcation of everything that that scripture embodies. The sacrifice of Christ is for nothing, if it is not inculcated in our daily lives. If our children do not understand the why, and the how, behind the instructions that they are given, then how can we expect them to hold strong to the truths when temptation comes knocking?

Ah, sorry for the ramble. :-) Even though it was a good homily, and such strong injunctions to parents are sorely needed in this day and age--I don't think you all are coming around here for a redux of my pastor's Sunday homily! :-)

So, to move on with my day thus far...

I came home and made some Tex-Mex. Yes, again. We like it. :-D

El Husbando is mowing the yard, #1 child is in the shop working on a project, #2 finished sweeping the carport, and #3 is taking a nap. #4 & 5 are running around the house, watching Daddy out the doors and windows, as El Husbando tools around the yard on the tractor, pulling the bush-hog. I may manage to get some time to work on my much-too-long project list (not including the shawl). I want/need to make some window quilts, especially for the childrens' bedroom windows (one in each room). The windows are on the north side of the house, and we need to replace the windows completely with some double paned ones...but for now, we have to make-do. So window quilts it is. Especially the boys' room, since I would really really like to have them sleep in on occasion...whew. Who would have thought that sunlight from the north east would wake someone so easily.

I've got some needlwork projects I want to work on, as well as some larger sewing projects...I finally got some 3/4 inch no-roll elastic, so I can make a few slips and flannel skirts for the girls. It is not really cold--yet. But the nip is definitely in the air. And I am holding out on turning the heat on as long as I possibly can. I'd rather have them put on another layer, than to turn the heat on/up. They are capable of doing that. :-) And it keeps the propane bill down somewhat.

In less exciting news, I've got another headache coming on, I think. I've pre-emptively attempted to treat it with a double of Tylenol, more water (after having had caffeine for lunch), but there is this nagging twinge up there. Right side. Upper quadrant of my face. Please pray--I've got the older three's semi-annual dental cleaning tomorrow, then on Tuesday, an appointment for 4 & 5 at the doctor's office. I do have some Tylenol 3 I can take, if this regular Tylenol doesn't work...but I am saving that for if I need to pull out the big guns. I know El Husbando doesn't want to have to take over completely, for the rest of the day (even though it is going on 5 pm here now)...

So prayers would be appreciated. Even if you read this later, I know God doesn't work on our time, so a prayer tomorrow, or even later, would still be helpful. I do *not* need a headache again this week. I actually felt really great Friday and was able to get a good deal done. I would like to continue that process, if you know what I mean. Not to mention what I won't be able to do with the children that needs to be done. And yes, if this does turn into another headache, I will be talking with the doctor about it on Tuesday, since she is our family doctor, and I will be in there anyway. Never fear on that one.

Okay...enough about me! :-)

Today's Diva is a wonderful woman. Really. Talented, witty, and I really need to have her come do my windows. LOL Her name? Well, you may know her as The Nester , of The Nesting Place ...dang it if I don't feel like I ought to be able to do some of the projects she is doing, in my own home...I could...but I'm not quite as driven as she is, I think...

I soooo need her to come here and mistreat my windows. Well, really, I could do it myself, but I need curtain rods. The sales here, the stores, thrift or otherwise, either don't have what I need, or they are too darned expensive. I mean, really. I can go get a dowel, and add some finials on the ends (although some large sized drawer knobs might work, too), and hook it up. But I need to actually DO it...and we all know what a bear procrastination can be (especially as I don't have neighbors who can see into my windows, there is no external force making me do it--just my own "Well, we *ought* to have something up there" feelings). I've got the fabric. I'm making valances. That's it. Since I have a herd of small children, I don't want to put panels in yet. Not in most of the rooms, and the rooms I *would* put panels in, are the rooms I most specifically will *not* be putting panels in, for a long long time (they are public areas of the house, where the children spend most of their time). The way the bedrooms are, panels would be a wrong fit, design wise. So for now, it will be valances and finials and the room darkening, insulating, window quilts...

What do *you* do to save energy in the winter time? Just keep the heat down? Wear more sweaters? Use supplemental heat? Eat a lot of soup, drink a lot of tea? Or just turn the heater up, and deal with the bill later? I am sure that there are lots of folks out there looking for ways to save on the power bills this winter, so every tip, is a possibility! Please, share! I know we have a big fireplace with a blower, but we need more firewood (we've got about a cord), and the propane heater is our main heat source....But I don't want to be draining the tank any more than I have to, if you know what I mean! So, fork over the ideas, the tips, the btdt experiences of what you have done that actually WORKS! Especially if you have children (keeping one person warm, is a bit easier than keeping 7 or 10 person can sit in the chair, with a heating pad on their back, and an afghan over their lap, with an extra sweater on....7-10 or more, requires a bit more creativity...).

So please share! All of us want to get some new ideas, fresh eyes on an age old 'problem'....

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