Thursday, August 16, 2007

C is for Community

I have been thinking a lot lately about how much community means to me. We moved across the world, back again and then to a new city all in the last year. I know many families move a lot but our family had lived in the same house for 12 years in the same town that I grew up. We are really not world adventurers!

What we discovered was that the ex-pat communities in other countries are close knit and they really went way out to help us get settled. I worried about whether or not my kids would have friends. Would I have any one to talk to? Would we feel isolated in a strange country where we did not know the culture and language? Sure it was the chance of a lifetime and something our kids would never forget but would it be good memories? The people we met were wonderful. They shared tips on where to shop, where to eat, how to hire an Ayi and even found us a tutor so we could learn a little of the language. They made sure to invite my kids over for play dates and church youth events. I found that since every one is in the same boat they where all far away from home!

When we moved back I didn’t worry about the kids, their friends were near and it would just take a little time to get hooked back up with them. Then my husband’s job change and we would be in a new city. In our home country would we find people as friendly? Americans are so busy now (too busy! We are certainly too busy!) Would any one have time to get to know a new family? Especially one whose heads are spinning with all the changes, many unexpected, we were going through. I found the home schooling community really stepped up and invited up to Park days. My kids are getting to know new friends and are excited about the new activities for this year.

I miss my old community. I have friendships there that are almost 20 years. I am not a telephone person. I have trouble keeping up with friends long distance. I am trying to be better because other than my husband and family these are the people that mean the most to me. I love the internet and I love that I can go back to see my old friends but I am really thankful that we are here and God is sending us so many new friends.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

B is for Books and Boys

These are some of the constants in my life. Books came long before boys. Growing up I could always be found with a book in my hand. If it was a good book I would read it over and over. Some of my fondest memories are going to the bookstore with my family. We did not have much money but my mom would scrap up enough money and we would head to the mall. We would spend hours looking at all the books and would always have the hardest time narrowing it down to just one book. I still do! I like owning the books better than going to the library. If it is a good book I will reread it until it is falling apart. Some thing my dear husband doesn’t understand. He reads a book once and then is done with it. He is slow and careful and takes forever to read a book. I read it as fast as I can to see if is good, if it is I reread it slowly to take in all the details. I do the same with good movies. He sees a movie once and is done. I watch them until the video tape falls apart. Usually its just bits and pieces here and there as I am cooking or cleaning.

I am surrounded by boys! Growing up I always knew I wanted to be a mom. I always pictured myself with a bunch of little girls in ruffles and lace and playing house. I was blessed with 4 boys and only 1 little girl. Boys are so much fun! They are noisy, messy, loud and rowdy. It doesn’t seem to matter how much or how little sugar you give mine they are always in all out full speed ahead mode! I don’t have any breakables out right now and with many years ahead I probably never will. I will be in my 50’s when my baby is 18! I love every minute though!

All of my boys (my girl too!) love books. They can be found with books in their hands everywhere. My older ones read at all times of day. It just amazes me because they all learn to read on the late side. I worried and worried about the 2 older ones. I talked to other parents and agonized over it. It amazes me now that they are a history major and a English major! I am much more relaxed with my younger ones. They come from a long line of book lovers! Their family gives books at Christmas and Birthdays. One of the most popular gifts is a gift card to a bookstore! When we emptied our house in order to move over seas, books were the hard thing to give away! It was a great comfort that most of the books went to fellow homeschoolers and I know the went to good homes that will treasure them like I did.

Friday, August 3, 2007


A is for accumulate.

I thought this was an interesting idea. Blog the ABC’s of your life. I found this idea at this blog:

I started with accumulate because I come from many generations of Packrats! I am one that is recovering! Hi, my name is K and I am a packrat.

How much stuff does a person really need? Last year we sold our house and moved overseas for a while. When you have to pack everything you want to keep in a bin and pay storage for it you begin to think differently. Do I love this? Why is it special to me? Could some one else get more use from it? I worried for months knowing I would have to get rid of most of my stuff. I knew it would be a hard day; I put it off as long as I could. I DREADED the day! Image my surprise when I found it was the most freeing thing I have ever done! I have not missed anything I gave away! (Well, except for some of my books!) But I know they are blessing some one else and there is always Amazon, Half price books and new library sales I can visit! We are back in the states now and are quickly, way too quickly, refilling it with stuff. I am trying to be picky about what I bring into our house. I try to ask myself, Do I love it? Do I need it? Does it bring me joy?

The hardest part of this is that I am bringing up packrats! They save everything and I have trained them well.

I am going now. I have a sudden urge to go and give things away!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

What I did this summer

I taught myself how to make Granny Squares!
It only took 2 books, a U-tube video and countless restarts!
I confirmed that I am a visual learner. I always thought that I was but I just could not figure this out with out good pictures and the video.

This book was great! It had clear up close pictures and even I could figure out the directions! Why the bright colors? I don’t have any of these colors in my house. They were just the colors that jumped out to me when I bought yarn. One of my daughter’s best friends was over when I was working on these and said that she loved those colors and they were the colors of her room. So if it ever gets big enough to become anything I know where it can get a good home! Don’t look too close at them or as my best friend always says, “I may have to poke you in the eye!”

I also bought this book. I love the projects! This is a great book for beginners with quick easy projects that are not too overwhelming. I have been making the placemats and napkins. We are trying to make less trash around here so I plan to make several sets of the napkins for everyday use. So far I have made some Pirate placemats for the boys entertainment (Well, at least they entertain me!) and some happy summer watermelon ones. I have already bought material with cherries for another set. Again, they are a little crooked but I am going with, “It gives them personality!”

I have not scrapped much this summer. L I tend to be a little obsessive with my projects and right now it’s placemats and Granny Squares. I keep taking classes at I love, love, love these classes! This summer I took 2. I haven’t done much toward them except to save all the lessons. I feel the scrap bug coming though! I know I will be getting back to that soon! Until then here is a gift I made some time ago but just gave to my friend!

What did you do with your summer?