I wanted to be sure to take a minute and thank Keri Mae at AHappyHome for the Reflective Blogger Award, and also Bobbie and Lorri for the “You Rock” Awards. I will get around to nominating some others, but truthfully, I don’t get out much on the blogosphere—there is so much richness amongst my friends and frequent responders until I don’t have to go far to get a good word. How blessed am I, huh? I know that the Internet has a wealth of choices to read, even among blogs, so I don’t take lightly the people that share with me that my words are a balm to them. God bless you.
We’re on the road again—a wet road. We passed so much flooding on the way down last night until I began to have flashbacks of our hurricane evacuation experience. Our extended, adventure-filled weekend included Corpus Christi, San Antonio, and Austin—all in three days. I told my husband that if we could somehow get to Dallas, we will have hit almost every major city in Texas this weekend! The way back promises to bring more rain, as will the rest of this week. As a Christian I try not to consume myself with man’s perspective, but the local news is sure playing up this hurricane season and any hint of a natural disaster.
Our kids are avid readers and so I try to take advantage of every opportunity to reward them for it. They participated in Six Flags’ Read to Succeed program, receiving a free ticket for each of them to any Six Flags Theme Park, as well as one free adult ticket for a teacher/chaperone. We were all set to attend Fiesta Texas this weekend. As we turned the corner to enter the theme park with three excited kids, I opened my purse only to realize that I left the free tickets back at home. My husband began to discuss alternate dates to enjoy the amusement park, which made logical sense, but logic pales in the eyes of disappointed, puppy dog eyes. So we plopped down almost $200—yes, you read it correctly, two hundred dollars–in ticket money and headed toward the park. I’d love to ask the park owner what’s so amusing about a family paying that kind of money to enjoy a few roller coasters (?!!?) I felt like a heel and was grateful that my husband didn’t cash in on the opportunity to blow a gasket, and we were able to swallow hard and get the most out of what turned unexpectedly into a very expensive day. Did I mention that bottles of soda were $3.00? We got 1 and split it five ways (HA HA). Thank God we had sense enough to eat a big lunch outside the park so that no one was hungry, not even for dinner after we closed the park.
I began ordering curriculum/planning tools for next year, and I’m starting to get really excited about all the possibilities. I did go ahead and invest in Opal Wheeler’s series on the great composers, published by Zeezok. Each set includes a biography and an accompanying CD of classical music. The Book Peddler has a great special on these sets (www.bookpeddler.com). Eclecticeducation led me to Hands of A Child (www.handsofachild.com) so I ordered one of their preschool e-books, primarily to experiment with this technique and see if and how we might incorporate it into what we’re doing. It looked like a very creative way to compile a notebook, and I love the idea of storing work in something other than a collection of 3-ring binders.
What I’m most excited about is the planning. This year I went back to Tanglewood Education’s Corebook (www.tanglewoodeducation.com), now downloadable for just $5.25. Incidentally, Angi at PeakmoreAcademy has some great CM-friendly, downloadable planning pages por gratis (that means for free!) I bought the kids little planners to begin teaching them to manage themselves and to manage their time. I can immediately see that writing down assignments in each child’s notebook is cumbersome for me, but their excitement about planning their lives is worth it. They took immediate responsibility for their planners, filling in their daily schedules, inclusive of chores, church ministry, and extracurricular activities. I actually got a little aggravated as they kept asking, “What are we doing this month?” and, “Do we have any plans for 2008?” Then I realized that my aggravation had more to do with my own “no” and “I don’t know” answers than it had to do with them asking the questions.
Part of my “I Am” Bible Study included thinking about how I respond to life not working as I planned. Saturday’s amusement park experience was one of the many times that life didn’t work as I planned. But watching the kids fill in those planners, it occurred to me that every now and then life works out just like you planned it, and man, is it a beautiful thing. God bless you today.