Wednesday, August 30, 2006

As I write, Cody creates a game map for Photodude-asis, the brave character who must do his duty within the dangerous terrain of a leaf. I mean carbon dioxide clusters galore. Sticky icky glucose needing distribution. Water and oxygen currents aswirl. Go Photodude!

Of course, the hero only came about out of intense need due to lack of brain regurgitation. Last week, we read about the photosynthesis process in the science text, we collected leaves to examine their structures, we reviewed our notes; however, twice when Cody took a little comprehension grasp quiz, he would not remember a single thing about photosynthesis!

I bought this terrific little book which I had stashed away and forgotten about from Prufrock Press called "Talent Scout: Units for Developing Multiple Talents" based on the Multiple Intelligences concept. In it, the educator provides various methods to arrive at understanding by using: kinisthetic; empathetic; personal connection; musical; and spatial approaches. I'm hooked! I think this will work with Cody. Now to go look through all my lessons to create some of these components...

Perhaps I can only do this because of being off sugar for three weeks and two days....? :) Just had to subtly brag there. And, of course, with an outright brag comes an issue of accountability for oneself in order to avoid being the prideful fool. Anyway, obviously, I'm still looking for reasons to not cave to my cravings! No one say the word "Butterfinger" to me, pa-leaze. :)

Take care!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Afternoons beg for ice cream. A quick hop in the car and I'm sidling up to the window where the cheery redclad teen hands me that whipped tousled pile of cream with glistening specks of Butterfinger, all for me to redspoon hunker into and perhaps finish before the two mile trip home. I'm totally tasting it now, imaginatively that is since ...

I'm deep into the second week of living sugar free. My symptoms were: depression, headaches, puffy eyes, mood swings, mental confusion (finally, something to blame this on!:). We have diabetes on both sides of my family which tells me that to live a more quality life, I must look honestly at my sugar intake.

handfuls of chocolate chips from the Sam's bigbag
brownies for my "kids"
kettle corn for supper
lemon ice in the afternoon

are several examples of my problem. Besides diabetes, I'm also worried about Alzheimers as new research is showing a connection between high sugar diet and increased possibility of this or dementia. In my 40's, I'm already showing signs of dementia! (Or, the "Big Change" perhaps)

Therefore, no sugar for me. No quick rushes to the head anymore. No crashes for the full blown out effect of over-the-top insulin production. I decided to just stop the cycle. During the first week, I felt the withdrawal symptoms, but this week, I have felt awesome. My moods are not sabatoging me. The healthy food I've been replacing the sugar with is doing its work too.

The tough part, though, is that apple pie season is just around the corner. Oh my. Sugary apple pies are the best. This blog has fully described that season a couple of times at least. And, guess what?.... A bag of apples from mom-in-law awaits in the basement....

I hate it when two good things must be weighed in each hand. Mental confusion returns even when sugar is thought about, which ought to give me a clear cut direction: bake the pie with Splenda instead. We'll see ....... !

Thursday, August 17, 2006

We've been having still before storm. Next week, school breaks out into all of its chaos, and I will be required to be more than I'm capable of: organized, even-keeled, prepared, a rock of Gibraltar. I'm envisioning it now, and the vision strikes that pose and then ends up collapsing laughing, or crying, or jumping, or cowering, or sledding. Yes, sledding ~~ frankly, this is one of the reason I homeschool. The global warming slopes are quite transient, and one must get their kid on the .5 inch before the sun grabs it.

Actually, Cody will be going to middle school band and encore classes, which are revolving practical arts classes, each morning. We will be rearing each morning to stand in front of the mirror where he, suddenly, enjoys positioning himself. "I look like a monster," he said this morning. Argh ... the stage stage appears. Next week, we'll be combatting hair monsters and falling-down-stair fears and hall fights, which the middle school girl tells him are frequent. When he asked me how to avoid those, I told him just not to steal anyone's girlfriend. "Mom," he said, "Do you think I could steal anyone's girlfriend?" We both started laughing loudly. I was quite pleased at his self-deprecating humor in a healthy, funny way. His autism is mild. He's breaking through!

Our afternoons will be full (hopefully! discipline needed!) of classwork. These are things that can't happen this year in order to facilitate learning:

1) A cat is not necessary to reading. Many, many minutes of literature were avoided by finding one cat in the house to plunk down on the bed to "read with". If two cats were found, they would inevitably start fighting and screeching before the first paragraph was read.

2) A science project shouldn't be on the counter longer than a week. Forget those clay brick structures demonstrating Mesapotamia. They'll never be finished as they are not our habitats.

3) Drum practice will not be avoided due to any headaches.

4) Grapes and math do not go along well together.

5) Those Spanish c.ds can't be trusted.

6) Reading "A Story of the World" on the trampoline tests the appeal of the period studied and the elbows of the reader and the desire of the feet. Not a good idea.

Therefore, with these issues addressed, I'm envisioning a fully-formed and followed afternoon of academic success.

Aiiiii .......... we'll try .......


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Life of Love

A couple of friends and I cried and laughed during our farewell lunch yesterday as we reminisced about how life and faith have intersected for us. It was a welcome girl's club with our tensions placed upon table, weight of family responsibilities abated for a while, an acceptance of each other's light and grace (qualities we primarily see in each other not ourselves). It's quite easy to love those who are like us.

Today, I looked up love, knowing I need more for those who grate against what I like: my neighbor who storms about her yard space and gossips and critiques and boasts; my daughter who again lashes out with surly moods; an old friend who speaks her mind on her defined righteousness and proclaims sin easily upon others; a personality that's brash .... "We love because he first loved us" says 1 John 4:19. How do we do it? How do we not become twisted up in futility with our own weaknesses in this area? Some people just really bother me at times!

And, thus past child of a more legalistic religion, I can become quite depressed at my lack to do what I'm supposed to do and be about. Paul knew about that. I always remember something Brennan Manning wrote in a book called "Abba's Child" where he says that the negative, dissenting, small-minded, sinful self in each of us needs to be accepted for what it is: a dissenter who struggles and doesn't get it right. He advises us to mercifully bring this part of ourselves into the light of God's care. We have a tendency to dichotomize and war within; but, God wants the unruly submitted to Him also so that we can "Cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly/sisterly love. Honor one another above yourselves." Romans 12:9-10

It's an act that takes full submission to fully submit. "You are all sons and daughters of God through faith in Christ Jesus," says Galations 3:26 To be able to step out of my own shame and guilt and enjoy being enveloped as a daughter, as I am, just as the people are who bother me, that would be freedom for sure. Fortunately, the following life of faith anticipates positive inner change. Grateful.

Monday, August 07, 2006

My daughter and I learned to knit last night, and it ain't the purl stitch, just the knit stitch so far which we dutifully plod, row by row. We're determined to be crafty, symbolic as we click our needles together, mother and daughter, and attempt to weave together something that lasts in the coming weeks. I've got the blue, she the green, and we compare our stitches and rows on our fledgling new venture. We know perseverance awaits us; we know each row represents another day together; And so we click. She's a sweet girl when she reminds me of our earlier dear times together when she was a girl and we frequently painted or baked or beaded. Dear Lord, I pray, "Let us knit in peace through the fall, and may there be submission to your process always and may you encourage love, embody love for us."

On another note, Cody was baptized this evening, plunged under the chlorinated water, after agreeing to Christ' spiritual leadership. He told me beforehand that he was half-minded about it, fearing the embarrassment with everyone staring at him, not fully knowing if he wanted Jesus to be his forever friend. Yet, he chose to agree, and submitted, and dipped, and rose in retrospect of the rising. Ah, embodiment of love towards us.

Finally, one of my best friends is moving to North Carolina this week. I am quite grateful for her wonderful grace in my life. Where others may discern and condemn, she always offers grace, encouragement , water for my soul during our weekly runs or frequent emails or various calls. She's fun too and giggly and tall and pretty and a musician on my ipod, and I've been blessed by her gifted presence as pal. I will miss her very much. Tomorrow is our last Monday run together, and then some of her other friends and I are taking her to lunch for a last farewell. Thank you, Lord, for friends who embody your love to help us know that we're worthy of it. Bless her new adventure.

God is good even during transitions. May we cling ever so tighter to his unending love.