Joy of Mentoring

Spoiler alert for Cars 3.

We went to the zoo this morning for a belated birthday celebration, and since it was going to be hitting close to triple digits, we decided to go and watch Cars 3 in the afternoon.  It was a good choice.  I enjoyed the movie.  Especially the part about Doc Hudson no longer being bitter about being forced to stop racing and having the joy of mentoring Lightning McQueen before he passed away.  It is so true that we do go through different stages of life, and sometimes we need to acknowledge that we are getting old and that there are things that we can no longer do, but that does not make us obsolete, nor does it only leave us with memories and nothing to look forward to.

It has been a real joy and delight to bring up my children and imparting knowledge and wisdom to the next generation and praying that they would take wings and fly.  I am not read;y to wind down in any way shape or form, but I’m getting to the point of realizing more that the way things are will not last forever.  There are things that I will no longer be able to do.  But mentoring the next generation?  There is real delight in it and watch them blossom.  So if you ever get a chance to know a young person and establish a mentoring relationship, take advantage of it, it may end up being your great joy and the legacy that you leave behind.

Behavior differences

We got a really nice comment the other day about our kids, that their behavior is the same whether we are around or not.  I’m glad to have the confirmation of pretty much what I already suspected.  Of course you can argue if their behavior is always acceptable, but I’m glad that at least they are not hypocrites and we have the chance to address unacceptable behaviors and try to guide them accordingly.  Mark and I both work with kids in different capacities and I enjoy just playing and hanging around with the kids.  Unfortunately we often do see kids’ behaviors change in the presence of their parents and other adults (hum, guess I don’t quite count as an adult?).  And I know that some of the “good” kids don’t like me because they know that I don’t buy into their “good” behavior stuff and will call them out if necessary.

I think as a homeschool mom, because my kids are around me almost 24/7, it’s so important for them to be themselves and know that no topic is off limits so they can gain wisdom in trying to process everything under the sun.  Over time, I’ve learned to listen more before reacting and learning to tamper my reaction so as to not cut off the communication path.  I hope as my kids grow that they would remain “simple” and gain the freedom to just be themselves.

Are my kids perfect.  No way!  I’m not.  Do they still try to hide things from me?  You bet?  I still can be quite juvenile and try to hide somethings in my life too.  But we are working on this together and encouraging each other to greater maturity.

plugin options

I’m in the process of putting together a website for the local homeschool band.  The latest task is trying to put together online registration.  Being new to WordPress I’m trying to look through the plugins to see if any of them will work.  I’m used to being very primitive and just writing everything from scratch so while I was looking through all the options I felt like Robin Williams in Moscow on the Hudson looking at all the coffee choices instead of waiting in a long line for the choice of just coffee.

I think I’ll just go and faint for a while.  I’m thankful for the choices that I have today and thankful for a free market where people are free to be innovative so we can have these choices.  Things sure have come a long ways.

For those interested, I finally chose Caldera Forms plugin for band registration.  Of course like everything else, I may go a bit ways down this road and then change again.  Choices are good, but they can be such time sinks….

Martial Arts Tournament Practice

Some of us in the family go to a number of martial arts tournaments throughout the year.  We have never gone without at least some practice.  Even though we know the forms and attend classes regularly, the mindset is very different and it’s interesting seeing the kids dusting off their tournament forms.  It’s not that they’ve forgotten them, but just from not doing things with full power and concentration, the forms just don’t look as smooth.  It’s almost as it takes some time to get back into the groove for tournaments.

I think it’s true for life too.  There are times when we are concentrating on the pursuit of something but then our enthusiasm wanes.  It’s not that we are no longer interested, but somehow we lose the edge until we turn our total focus back on the thing of pursuit.  I think sometimes marriage can be like that.  It’s not that we are no longer interested in our spouse and family nor is it that we no longer invest time and energy, but I think sometimes it’s so easy to just coast.

I’m glad that we do do tournaments regularly throughout the year so we can resharpen and refocus.  I am now reminded that I should schedule some time to refocus and resharpen my marriage and my other relationships.  Otherwise they may begin to look as unnatural as trying to revive tournament forms.

Summer Kids Scramble

I am so glad that years ago I decided that it was too painful to try to start school back up again from taking the summer off, so my kids go year round with school.  They do not have some of their regular activities during summer so it is somewhat of a break for all of us.  Other kids think that we are cruel to our kids.  But really we try to stay pretty relaxed year round so nothing cruel there.  Also, I’m now holding fast to the idea that since for the rest of their adult life before retirement, they will not get such a long break (unless they become teachers), they shouldn’t get used to expecting freedom that they will eventually lose.  Now that would be cruel.

Talking to other parents, it’s crazy seeing the scramble to find activities to keep the kids occupied during summer especially considering some of the costs involved.  Wow!  No wonder people want to push for year round school.

I could understand in cases where both parents need to go to work that their kids do need some supervision, but for those kids whose parent(s) are home it’s great to just let them be bored for a time.  Remove all electronics, let them get into some trouble (okay it’s more painful for the parents), but like my mom, the child development psychologist always says, let the kids be bored because that’s when they learn to use their creative juices.  Stop doing all the scrambling and structuring their lives for them.  Instead, let them truly explore.  And summer is such a good time for the kiddos to get into extended fun on their own.

Earning true love?

I know often times I fall into the trap that I need to earn love. It’s really hard for me just to sit back and simply enjoy being loved. I think often we want to feel like though we have earned the things in our lives. But if we had earned love, would it still be true love or would it be conditional love that we can lose once we stop trying to earn it.  Then of what worth are those love?

It’s funny that we really do seek true love, but then think that we need to earn it.  Recently I wanted to make a difference for our family and especially for Mark, instead I made a huge mess of things and set things back.  I felt so bad but it was really wonderful to be reminded by Mark that he loves me no matter what.  It’s not what I do but who I am that matters to him.  It’s really comforting to know that I can make a whole bunch of dumb decisions but still be loved.  I’m so glad that is the case.  But oh how often and how quickly I forget it.

It was also a very good reminder that God is even more so with us.  So often we think we can earn God’s love, in reality we really make a muck of things more often than we “help” God, but he still loves us no matter what.  It’s not an excuse to continue to sin, but it’s also really reassuring that once adopted, I will always be a beloved child of God.

I don’t think I’ll ever truly learn this lesson this side of heaven, but in the mean time, I will ask God to enable me to sit back and enjoy the love that is in my life, from Mark, from my kids, from my friends, and especially from God without trying to “earn” them.  And instead of focus on what is lacking since all human interactions are imperfect, that God would cause me to be thankful for all the wonderful people that He has surrounded me with.

Happy Father’s Day

Don’t forget to call your dad and wish him a happy Father’s day. Dads are special and are so important to the development of their kids. Also, encourage a father to do his best. They need lots of encouragement to carry on.

Paper shadow box

What do you get when you cross Pinterest diy paper crafts with an ex-computer geek.  You get variable 3D shadow box templates.  It’s great being able to explore different areas of interest.  Now I’m looking for  a way to make my solution available to others in an user friendly way.  That’s always the trick right?

Always stay engaged.  Life is never boring and even the oddest combinations could result in something wonderful.  What are the things you are or have been interested in?  Take a step today and to become more engaged in the pursuit you never know what awaits you around the corner.  Yes, I never thought that my love of craft and computer programming would come together.

May I Come In?

We always laugh that our dog shows differing levels of desire to come in and they are indicated by her body position.  There’s sitting by the door, sitting by the door looking in, lying down and the different levels of one paw on the step, one paw and a snout and most seriously, both paws, the snout, plus the wag which increases in speed as we approach the door.  And when she finally comes in, she just wants lots of love from us.

I just finished the Cat and Dog Theology DVD series with our youth Sunday school and it’s just such a reminder that instead of striving to be good enough or to do enough or whatever else  to gain God’s pleasure.  I just need to be like my dog to be happy and excited to be with my Master and be happy to let God work through me and rejoice in His success and see His glory being revealed through me.  And to remember sometimes I’m an even bigger klutz than my dog.  When she comes in and knocks over everything in sight, I still love her in spite of all the stupid things she does.  And certainly God loves me in spite of all the childish antics that I may be up to at the moment.  I’m happy today.  I am in His good hands.

Broken board print

I remember reading up on transferring photos to wood in posts such as this.

Wouldn’t it be cool to have this done with the broken boards from testing?  Transfer the photo of the break onto the broken board.  Once done, then secure the gap in the break and hang the board.  Hum.  I think I will give it a try.  We certainly have enough broken boards lying around the house.  Unfortunately, I don’t think any of us knows which board belongs to whom.

After thinking about it yesterday, I stopped by Hobby Lobby and bought some Mod Podge Photo Transfer Medium and tried it.  Put down an even layer of the medium and carefully laid a reverse print from the laser printer right on top of the image.  Unfortunately, I’m still trying to get into the habit of taking pictures of the things that I do, so there’s no photo of the process.  After waiting overnight (I was being good), I was able to get much of the paper off by rubbing with wet fingers and yes, had to practice patience between rubbings which was not always successful.

I have not secured the gap  but I figure couple metal strips and liquid nail should work.  Nor have I put a hanger in the back.  But looking at this sample, I think next time I’ll leave the bottom blank and probably add some words on the bottom or maybe an engraved metal tag commemorating the event.

I think this will work fine.  Will definitely explore more in the future.

Crafting makes me happy…