In the Good Ole Summertime Hodgepodge

It’s Wednesday so time to answer the Hodgepodge questions of the week. Thank you to Jo From This Side of the Pond for the questions and the link!

1. Something you learned from your father? 

That following Jesus is worth the cost. When my Father was called by God and he repented of his sins and started following Jesus and obeying what the Bible teaches he realized what was missing in his religious life. When he was saved he was immediately aware of the presence of the Holy Spirit within him. All his religious efforts never gave him this presence and peace within. When he made the decision to be baptized in obedience his parents would not speak to him, his friends didn’t want to associate with him. He was treated like pariah. We were ostracized from the church we grew up in. This was a blessing in disguise. We ended up in the same church as my maternal grandmother. Over time my parents re-established the relationships that were severed because of his decision without compromising their Faith in Jesus.

2. Do you like onions? Raw or cooked? How about onion rings? What’s something you love to eat that calls for onions? 
Yes, yes, and yes. I really enjoy onions and the flavor they add to many dishes. Give me a nice huge slice on my burger, please. I like caramelized onions on steak or a burger, also. Salsa and pica de gallo are a couple favorites that call for onions. I could go on and on. In my teen years I would order the Stinko-burger at Twoheys in South Pasadena.

3. It’s officially summer (in the Northern hemisphere)…your favorite and least favorite things about the season?

Favorite: A freed up schedule

Least Favorite: Heat above 82 degrees with any humidity added to it.

4. When you think about the summers of your childhood what are two or three things that come to mind? 

Getting sunburned at Newport Beach, California. Collecting soda bottles while there and turning them into the store to get the deposit on them so we could buy a candy or a popsicle. When the sunburns were really bad our mom would soak old rags with vinegar and lay the rags on our sunburned bodies to ease the pain/heat.

Camping in a tent at Big Bear, California with cousins.

5.  A hot mess, the heat of the moment, beat the heat, if you can’t stand the heat, catch heat, in a dead heat…choose a ‘hot ‘phrase and tell us how it applies to your life right now.

At this stage of life you’ll find me beating the heat in any way I can. I look for shade. Stay in the shade. I prefer to eat inside at restaurants not out in the sun. Walk early before it gets too hot. Work in the yard early in the day. You get the picture…

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Celebrating the fact that school’s out for the summer. They had a very successful first year of homeschooling!! Our daughter-in-law is an amazing mom and teacher to our grands. Happy summertime to you!

Big Steps

This little guy made a big step in the month of March. He joined his big sister at the weekly trusted homeschool co-op that Addy has been part of since last year.

Getting dropped off together they go boldly ahead with no looking back, no hesitation.

JJ has entered a new phase both for Co-op and for Sunday School. “No cry” he told me. He goes in willingly and enjoys himself.

We are so thankful for this step and the growth that each one of them is experiencing. Thankful we can trust the content of what they are learning, too.

She Was A Happy Girl

When our daughter Katie was in fourth grade she was put into a Gifted program which was housed in a different school from our neighborhood school. After a few months in this program we started noticing some troubling patterns and angry outbursts from her. She did not want to go to school and wasn’t interested in doing any homework. She finally opened up to us and told us about her experiences on the playground from the other “gifted” kids. We decided the best thing to do was to pull her out of the program and try to repair the damage by homeschooling her. This was one of our best parenting decisions and moves. When we told her teacher and the administration we were pulling her out they were shocked and told us we were making a mistake. They felt this program was giving Katie some options she wouldn’t get in a regular classroom or at home. We just smiled and walked away. We home schooled for 4th, 5th and 6th grade and then Katie decided she’d like to try public school again entering junior high/7th grade. This is something I wrote in 1996 after hearing how Katie was treated and after watching how she was shunned at the school bus stop.

She Was a Happy Girl

She was gentle and kind
She liked to pretend and giggle and dream
Her dreams became playground games
She pranced and danced and was a tree fairy
Her imagination smiled inside her head
She was a happy girl

Other children on the playground couldn’t figure her out
She wasn’t like them
She was different in their eyes
Because of her uncommon ways they began to taunt her

She became the playground plague
She was called the germ
No one should touch the germ
or play with the germ
because they would become a germ, too.

She was a happy girl
but their thoughts and their actions
turned her into a sad and angry girl
She couldn’t understand and couldn’t change
what the playground had made her

She was a happy girl

I’m happy and thankful to God that Katie thrived being home schooled and when she re-entered the public school system she continued to do well. She enjoyed drama and art and had some great teachers who recognized her talents and abilities. She made some good friendships along the way at school and at church. She had very impressive SAT scores. She also was a National Merit Scholar. She completed college and now is standing by her husband as he completes his college degree in Aeronautical Engineering. He had a late start because of serving as a U.S. Marine. She still doesn’t fit in anyone’s mold. She is uniquely Katie. That’s one of the trees on one of her elementary playgrounds that she pretended she was a fairy in.

The Lord bless you and keep you;
 the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Numbers 6:24-26

I found this as we sorted through lots and lots of paperwork and decided to put it on my blog as a reminder of how far we have come and how we were carried through by God’s love and grace in difficult times. There are some other things I might share from time to time. Peace be with you and yours.

A New Blog Recommendation

Do you home-school or know anyone who does?

These are my 4 home-schooled nephews. My SIL Kelly and my brother Steve have home-schooled them from K to College. One of my nephews has graduated from Westmont College, one will be a Junior there this year, and one will be starting there in August. My youngest nephew is 16 now and still being home-schooled. These young men have gotten the best kind of education. They have learned to love learning. They have all represented the State of California at National History Day in D.C. several years in a row. Timothy and Levi have spent a summer or two in Africa serving at orphanages there. Levi leads college worship at Westmont. Caleb is serving at Forest Home Christian Camps this summer with young boys. All this to say that this family has done Homeschooling well and there is wisdom you can glean here.

Kelly’s new blog is called Substantive Education. Here’s how that is described.

“A Substantive Education provides more than a solid academic foundation. It is a life-long passion to know more of the world, it’s people, and it’s Creator. Substantive Education doesn’t just prepare one to make a living, but to live a full and significant life.”

Kelly is one great learner and teacher. She is also the Director of Grace Prep School which provides support services to other homeschoolers in her area. Besides all that she’s a Pastor’s wife. I rest my case…

You can get a lot of good tips for homeschooling or learning in general at this new blog. I highly recommend Substantive Education to you.