Coffee vs Apples

Just read about the idea that apples are great morning awakener like coffee. Apples also have lots of great benefits like vitamins and antioxidants plus it provides a slower release of energy.

I like apples and don’t mind trying something nw as an experiment. Maybe I’ll also cut up some apples regularly in the morning for the kiddos. They’ll eat it if it’s there and I sure won’t mind if they had a bit more energy to get them started in the morning minus the caffeine.

Nature or Nurture?

Just read an interesting article about abduction at birth and miss identified person.

But what I thought was interesting was towards the end of the story when Paul Fronczak found his blood relatives that he realized that he was more similar in temperament to them than his “parents.” Perhaps the similarity is also a way that God had intended to help each family gel better.

But of course it brings up the old question of what is stronger, nature or nurture?  Unfortunately, I think we mistakenly smear the effects of the two and want to associate the sum of the individual to just one or the other.  It’s interesting that Paul does acknowledge the Fronczak’s as being loving parents who probably saved him though he also recognizes the ties to his blood relatives.

As a parent, I find this very interesting and it’s a good reminder that even though I could say that our kids do have a lot of our traits, but they are each individuals and have their own bents.  So as parents it’s not our job to change their nature, but to nurture our children to use their nature for good.  Too often we are so myopic that we want to twist our kids to what we think they should be or what we imagine to be the successful careers for them.  I’m still trying really hard to try to weed out what are my wishes versus actual Biblical principals that my children need to operate under.  Yes, let their nature flourish, but develop them with proper nurture so they can live their lives to the fullest to the glory of God.

Be Silent and Listen

Just realized that silent and listen are anagrams of each other. How apt is that. In order for us to listen, we must first rearrange ourselves sufficiently to be silent and I don’t mean just about not speaking but be silent in the heart and mind as well.

Too often when others are speaking my mind is else where thinking of other things. So even though on the outside it may seem like I was listening, but in reality nothing said was truly processed.

I suppose this is a good step for me. One can’t deal with any problem unless there’s first the realization that it is an issue. Of course like all problems, a single step does not a solution make but it’s a start.

Now comes the hard part. The plan of attack and more importantly, sticking to it. Be willing to put aside my own agenda and put others first. That’s funny, how many of our issues really do come down to self centeredness. Guess at least I have managed to flush out one of the root causes. Others before self… see what they have to say as more important than my own thoughts.

Keep Writing

We just took a family road trip to the One Year Adventure Novel Summer Workshop. It was a great workshop and very encouraging for me as well. I loved the variety of speakers who not only gave sound advice for writing but they were also very passionate for the craft.

Personally for me, I was encouraged to keep writing and on the trip I was listening to Oathbringer and it was a great reminder that the story is in the journey and if I stop the journey then that would be the end of the story. So here I am. I just pulled out my little forgotten bluetooth keyboard and paired it with my phone. Will I forget to write? Probably by tomorrow I’ll put it off again, but I will start today and even if I choose to put it off for another year, I will pick it up again until my journey ultimately ends.

News Reports

We’ve been following the news regarding the impact of Hurricane Harvey.  It’s always sad seeing homes destroyed and people stranded.  But then I started wondering how wide spread is the devastation?

I remember years ago there was flooding along the Willamette River and people began calling my parents to make sure that we were not sitting under water.  Well, the flooding literally was just along the river but the reporting made it sound like the whole of Portland was being threatened.

Then I started thinking about when I was in Kindergarten, one time probably after a Typhoon, part of the school field was flooded.  The water was probably chest deep (okay I wasn’t a big kindergartner) and the bus driver had to pick us up one by one and carry us to the bus just outside of the gate.  I can imagine if the camera was only zoomed in on the effort, it would probably appear as some heroic rescue of little children from a major flood.  Hum…

So anyway, I started wondering about the degree of flooding.  Of course I’m not dismissing that there is bad flooding in certain areas around Texas, nor am I down playing the suffering of the people impacted by the hurricane, but I am wondering about the degree of the impact especially when I have friends living near Huston complaining about being stuck with the kids at home for a whole week.  That doesn’t sound like major storm impact.

I remember after Katrina, there were aerial view and maps of the parts of New Orleans under water which is rather lacking here.  Also, knowing that yes flooding will be a problem for some  in the low lying areas, but given that the whole area is pretty flat so the water would probably be more spread out and there won’t be significant run off into just one small region.  Thankfully unlike New Orleans, the area is not below sea level so the water does have a chance to drain into the ocean.  So my hope is that the flooding and destruction is not as bad as what the media is making it out to be.

Again, I’m not dismissing the problem being faced by those whose homes and businesses have been destroyed or even those who had suffered minor flooding in their home since even an inch of water in the house can cause significant head aches and repair costs to the owners.  But it is worthwhile whenever we watch or read some news report to think through it critically and not to make broad general assumptions.  No, the whole of Houston is not under water :).

Homeschool planner

I was looking for a planner that my kids and I can share. Since my boys don’t have phones or tablets so apps wouldn’t do them much good. I came across it was fairly easy to set up and I think I’m going to like it. Since it’s online, we won’t be having the issue of lost checklists and it’s not dependent on access to a particular computer. If the kids don’t finish their work I don’t need to worry about rescheduling on the spreadsheet. Of course only time could tell and it’s only effective if the kids do get their work done. But isn’t that true with any planner? We can have the best planning resource, but unless we are consistent and follow through, they are no better than the chicken scratches written on the back of an old receipt.

A Heart to Serve Others

I hear much about volunteering and many of the kids’ activities such as scouting also ask their members to put in a minimum number of volunteer hours. But the ironic things is that while often kids are fulfilling their volunteer hours often their attitudes remain selfish. I’ve had times where the volunteers did more harm than good to the projects. Some of the volunteers were only interested in wearing the feather and telling others what to do.

The sad thing is that those who were there for themselves often walk away less happy than those who were there to serve. In fact there are studies that show people who are more altruistic are happier.

I don’t know how best to teach such a heart to serve. But for my kids, the thing I’ve done is modeling it in my life and taking my kids along side when serving including many behind the scene things that others don’t notice. If anything, it has helped develop some level of work ethic and a sense of others, and a deeper relationship with my kids.

Too Busy to Get Anything Done

I often find myself being caught up with doing this that the other that at the end of the day I realize that I have not really gotten anything done. It’s not that our lives are defined by what we manage to accomplish, because over time I’ve come to realize that the process is as important as the results and especially as a mom, much is accomplished through interactions that has no immediate measurable results. But especially now in the electronic age we can be so easily distracted. And there’s always a few more interesting thing to look up.
Okay, time to stop this post and get back to actually accomplishing something worthwhile for today.

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….

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.