Archive for October, 2005

The Big 3-0!

Sunday, October 30th, 2005

Well, it is official. As of Friday the 28th of October I am now 30 years old. I am perfectly fine with it, too. I wasn’t raised in a home where aging was considered a depressing thing. It was always celebrated no matter what number it was. I like being 30. Not that there was a magical moment when suddenly I received wisdom I had hitherto not had. I do, however, feel like I have reached a good milestone.

I like being able to add another year to my age for when people look at me increduously and ask “You have HOW many kids? And you are HOW old?” These questions are inevitable for me. I am always made to feel so young. Perhaps this is why I am enjoying being 30 so much. I am no longer a “twenty-something” when that comes up. I can say I am a “thirty-something” for the next 10 years.

I married my sweet husband 11 years ago. I was 18 years old, 2 months away from my 19th birthday. For my birthday present he gave me a pregnancy test, which ended up with positive results for our oldest, Julie. We were both thrilled. I am still happy that we didn’t put off having any children. For every year I can claim, though, she gets to claim one, too. I know there won’t be any changing that. I don’t mind that. I just get a little tired of the looks, and comments about how young I look/am to have 5 children…..particularly when I am shooting for 13. heheheh.

Well, here’s to 30! May it be a wonderful growing year for me!

I will survive!

Thursday, October 27th, 2005

I have a definite tendency to overwhelm myself with commitments. I need periodic purges, where I simplify my commitments, my home, basically my life. Right now I am over due for a big purge. I am a very gregarious person normally, but lately I have found myself wishing I could become a hermit. I just want to be home with my family, focusing on those things I know we are missing right now because of how busy we are.

I am cutting out/down our homeschool playgroup we go to once a week. After the Nutcracker is over in December, we are quitting ballet, jazz, pointe. At that time I may decide we can return to playgroup again, but right now I can’t handle the thought of even that. We will still continue with polynesian dance once a week, and I will still advise Liberty Girls every other week, Julie will still go to Young American Stateswomen Association once a month, and I will still fulfill my calling and go to my once a month class and 2 book clubs. I can handle thinking of this schedule.

I know that it is the dance schedule that is just too much for us right now. It seems to dominate our lives, and it is really driving me crazy. I have come to the realization that my children love pretty much anything they try. I love that they have this quality, I think it is a great thing. I also realized, though, that if I want them to try more things we can’t keep up with everything they like. If ballet is part of their mission, then if they start it a little later in life (say maybe 16 when they can drive themselves) then they will still be able to accomplish what they are meant to accomplish with it. Meanwhile, they will take this love of learning to other new experiences that will help to broaden their scope of talents and abilities.

I am looking forward greatly to January. It calls to me every day. A simpler life, a calmer home, less outside world. I will survive until January. Sometimes the next 2 months seem unbelievably daunting, but I keep saying to myself like a mantra “I will survive until January.”

I will!

One of My Favorite Scriptures

Tuesday, October 25th, 2005

“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
“The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
“She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
“She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
“She is like the merchants ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
“She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
“She considereth a field and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
“She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
“She perceiveth that her merchandise is good; her candle goeth not out by night.
“She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
“She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
“She is not afraid of the snow for her household; for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
“She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
“Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
“She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
“Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
“She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
“She looketh well to the ways of her household and eateth not the bread of idleness.
“Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
“Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
“Favour is deceitful, and beauty vain; but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.
“Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.”

~Proverbs 31:10-31~

Of course I have a long way to go to even come close to matching up to this, but it is a good measure of what I am trying to strive for.

The Authority Addicted Society

Saturday, October 22nd, 2005

This is a paper I wrote on The Seven Lesson School Teacher, an exerpt of Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto.

The Authority Addicted Society

We are a society that is addicted to authority over us, not leadership among us. There is either the aspiration to be one of the controllers, or the training to be one of the controlled. Teachers in the Public School System are forced to teach 7 lessons which work toward creating a broad “mental slave” base of people.

Lesson 1: Confusion. By teaching everything in a disjointed way it communicates to the children that the subjects taught at public school are not able to be learned naturally like walking and talking. It teaches that situations are relative, and that consequences are unrelated. Not much is connected in life. That disassociation affects family relationships, societal behavior, and inhibits the natural desire we have to look for order and organization in our world.

Lesson 2: Class Position. Even as we are taught to have contempt for those in lower classes, we are taught to fear those in a higher class, intuitively knowing that they are being taught to have contempt for us. This creates a permanent mental caste; even if we break into a higher class skill wise, the fear is still there, and so the emotional preparation brings you back to the class the experts have originally placed you. This reinforces their expert position; you should have stayed in the class they put you in.

Lesson 3: Indifference. By keeping us from completing the work we set out to do in a class, we do not get attached to experiencing the satisfaction of accomplishing tasks. We learn to seperate ourselves from the work, and yet expect it. We are trained as good little worker ants who will do the jobs assigned us without thinking too deeply about it.

Lesson 4: Emotional Dependency. The accepted and continuous practice of relying on teacher acceptance trains us to seek for that approval. We want the permission to go to the bathroom when we need to, we want the good grades that mean we are worth something and that we have a future in this world. It is something similar to *Stockhom Syndrome.

Lesson 5: Intellectual Dependency. We are told we cannot know what is best to study when. We may have an interest in something, but that is unimportant, and if we are to be “good,” we should ignore what we think or want, and show enthusiasm and desire to learn what the “experts” tell us it is time to learn. We need these experts with their superior knowledge to teach us and to tell us what comes next. Without their assignments we do not know the direction to take with our education.

Lesson 6: Provisional Self-Esteem. Constant evaluation and judging by others, designed to counter unconditional love, which parents give, enforces the belief that expert’s opinions are more important, and more correct. Convincing the children and their parents that there is always room for improvement leaves a constant feeling of self-dissatisfaction. Students and parents look to the experts to tell them what more they should do so they no longer fall short.

Lesson 7: One Can’t Hide. We are forced to accept constant supervision in a Big Brother-like manner. We are monitored everywhere, and the expert’s authority even reaches into our homes in the form of homework and grades, which parents put more and more value on as the student gets older. Also, as the students are encouraged to “snitch” on other students to gain more favor with those in authority, it separates them even more from those around them. It helps convince us that we really cannot be trusted to know what is right and best for ourselves.

Conclusion: The result of these 7 lessons given repetitively from such a young age forward has effectively indoctrinated our society into being addicted to authority. Not all authority is bad; on the contrary, there is a place and a purpose to many different types of authority. This controlling and detrimental type of authority is something we must break away from. It is vital to do so if we are going to recognize the leadership among us, and the leadership within us. Without this vital step, we are bound to slide along on the conveyor belt of Authority Addiction.

*Stockholm Syndrome: The name given to the psychological response of a person in a hostage or dependent situation, in which the person in control has power over the life or future life of the hostage/dependent. At times the controller exerts that power to reinforce the compliance of the captive to their wishes. The term is used to signify the seeming loyalty of the hostage/dependent to their captor.

Our Decision

Friday, October 21st, 2005

We are keeping the American Girl books as approved reading material for our groups. We did a lot of researching, and we feel this is the best decision for us to make. We are also adding other approved reading for Liberty Girls, the first of which is the Little House on the Prairie series. There is now a submission process in place for advisors to recommend books/series for the list, so that we can add to it. We are doing our next semester on the 1860’s: Slavery and the Civil War. I think it will be a wonderful semester. I am looking forward to reading more books with my children about that period in history. I want to read a biography of Abraham Lincoln. I will have to look into what is available along that line. I am sure there are plenty.

Be Strong, Forgive

Thursday, October 20th, 2005

Here is a poem I wrote January 19, 1994.

Be Strong… Forgive

Anger fills my soul today
So now I must kneel down to pray.
In good conscience I can’t ask
For help with just this one hard task.
To the Lord I am in debt
I must Forgive; I must Forget.
Though the Nat’ral Man says “NO!”
All vengeful thoughts I do let go.
Now I’m left bare down to my heart
My pain bursts forth: a fiery dart.
The cowards way now far behind
I do receive some piece of mind.
Anger is the cowards way
Behind Revenge they hide away.
Now Be Strong! Stand Up! And yet…
Do not fight: Forgive; Forget!

American Girls Company

Wednesday, October 19th, 2005

I am an advisor for a homeschool civic group which is centered around inspiring girls ages 6-9 to learn about American History through reading books, and doing activities centered on the events which take place in those books. We have used the American Girls Book Series in the past. I am now in the process of researching exactly what their connection is with Girls Inc., and what alternatives we might use if we decide that their connection is not something we wish to support. I am involved with American Youth Leadership Institute, and it will be a joint decision of the Liberty Girls advisors. The meeting for this will be taking place this Thursday night, and I want to be well prepared for it. I feel like this is an important decision, and I want to be sure that we are making the right choice.