I read in my devotional this weekend. She says in so many words, Can I only find true wonder in exotic places. Do I have to travel the world to marvel? Can joy and wonder be found in the mundane? In the laughter of a child. In the twinkle of a star. What if the wonder is captured right here where we live, in these moments we experience. What if I could find that wonder even in a worm?This weekend I caught up on something I have been trying to get to forever. I usually am running around for everyone else. Saturday I finally said that’s it we are changing my worm Bin!!Yep, I am a Worm Farmer:o) I read a book a while back called Organic Farming. In it he described all about vericomposting. Vermicomposting is the process of using red worms to convert organic waste into rich humus(worm poop and just great soil for the garden or plants). I honestly thought they were dead. I have been to workshops on them. I was already supposed to have changed the bin. So here’s what I do. I put strips of Newspaper, hay, organic soil in a bin( the lid should have tiny holes drilled, not big enough for flies), lightly moist.I ordered red wrigglers. Not the same as earthworms. These guys are skinny and long. They eat your garbage. The books and workshops I went to made me feel overwhelmed. This is so easy. Put your worms in. Start adding compost. Leafy greens, egg shells( they say rinsed but I can’t say all mine were), coffee( no problem here), no hot spicy peppers. I added pumpkins but hard-shelled things didn’t do well..No snacks, No junk food. They won’t eat it! No citrus! They breathe through their skin so you really don’t want to imagine that horrific experience. Worms are both male and female. But they still need two to mate. They kind of curl together when mating.The eggs look like little white balls. You’ll probably think they are maggots or something. It’s exciting. Now at the bottom of my worm bin my awesome husband put a funnel with a screen . There is a tube coming off this funnel going into a container. I save this”worm tea”. It is concentrated black gold. A little fact about the castings or worm poop, or humus. The university of Georgia had one study that found plants fertilized with worm castings saw a 126-percent higher growth rate than those treated with chemical fertilizers!!! I did not need proof of a study . I use this on everything. My diluted worm tea goes on my garden. Forget Monsanto’s miracle grow. Sorry folks. Chemicals are not miracles! This was an awesome science project for my whole family. I love my worms. My worms were not dead, in fact there are so many we are doing two more bins!!
The kids got in the poop . Had a blast. So you are probably wondering if it smells? Nope.If you put the food under the top layer of hay or paper they eat it, no smell. You are doing it right! The worms eat half their weight in food. They say two pounds of worms eat one pound of waste. All I know is I put it in and they eat it!! Probably more than you wanted to know but I love it. Just think of all that garbage everywhere and these angels sent by A Creator to get rid of it for us. Amazing creatures . Sit back and wonder.
So yesterday I was able to get a live history lesson. I had some friends over who homeschool in our church. Oh and FYI before you say” Hey come over for lunch” check your daughter’s room. Oh. Man. Talk about freaking out. Oh, wait, we homeschooling/ home educating moms NEVER do that. We are always very calm, speaking in low tones. Anyway after I maintained some order and my friends arrived the beautiful sound of kids filling my small farm-house. Snow is STILL falling here (thank you Lake Erie) so the kids were in and out, mud everywhere , snow everywhere. It was great. I mean that. One mom had to run and get another daughter to soccer. So I chatted with my friend who stayed behind. I was telling her about where I grew up. So I told her I grew up in Sandy Hook , CT. She gasped. Yes I know some of you are now going, Wow. Before the tragedy though you would have said where is that? I grew up in a small house on 41 Farview Dr. It’s still there. My neighbor Janice still lives there. We were not wealthy and most of the people where we lived in Sandy Hook were not wealthy. I will give my thoughts on that whole thing another day, today I want you to focus on History. I told my friend that the kids in Newtown were not nice about the fact that we were poor. They threw coins at my sister and said “alms for the poor”. Yes, in picturesque Newtown. My friend began to tell me what I had been dying to know about this great country we live in. She said this:” Yes we were very poor in Czech republic too. But then so was everyone. That is the way the Communists wanted it. They wanted everyone equal. Oh, but the leaders were not poor. The thing is there was no way to rise above it.” I said” So you had no hope of anything better?” She said “No we could never make it better.” She said it bothered some people that they could not travel where they wanted or go out at night but her parents did not care because they never had the money to so why be mad. I looked this up on MyCzechRepublic.com
The Communist Party seized complete power after the coup d’etat on February 25, 1948. This event marked the start of the Communist totalitarian regime that lasted until the Velvet Revolution of 1989. A second wave of nationalization took place and 95% of all privately owned companies became the property of the state. There were a number of political trials and executions in the following several years. The economy went steadily down under the socialist regime. Basic human rights were suppressed.
This is what I wanted to know . To teach my kids living history. When they take away our freedoms and stomp on my Jesus it means more than left verse right. This is living history. Our founders knew what they were doing. The Czech Republic is not under communism any longer. She said it changed so much. I did some studying on it and found the History fascinating. They gave communism the boot. Yet here in America we want everyone to be equal. We think no one should be rich. I don’t know about you but I look at the bleak picture my friend painted for me and shutter. Do we so soon forget?
So I watch the snow fall. I talked with God this morning. I know he is the Only King whose Anthem shall never fade but this living history spoke to me. Our founders knew what worked. The Constitution is an Awesome document written by intelligent men. They saw tyranny. They knew the power of unlimited Government. They knew what happens to people when they can’t rise above their circumstance. They start a Revolution, and end up with a Republic.( If we can keep it.) Thank you Ben Franklin for the reminder.
Okay I wasn’t sure if this quite home educating but it is for me. I am reading a devotional by Ann Voskamp, called One thousand gifts. I started off reading on her site online. Probably a couple of months ago. My sister showed me. Then I forgot about it and My daughters piano teacher posted and I was like, “oh yeah.” So I bought her devotional, So it would be in my hands. Tuesday I read something so profound . I shared it Grandma Barker. I have been thinking on this one paragraph all week. It resonates with me because of Joel(with his dyslexia) and something in my past I have struggled with. I Listen to others home educating stories and think, I want that to be MY story. Here’s what she writes;
No, God? No, God, we won’t take what You give. No, God Your plans are a gutted, bleeding mess, and I didn’t sign up for this and You really thought I’d go for this? No,God, this is ugly and this is a mess and can’t You get anything right and just haul all this pain out of here and I’ll take it from here,thanks. And God? Thanks for Nothing.
Isn’t this how we feel. Can you not hear yourself in this anguish of spirit? No thanks God. I’ll take plan B. I mean I don’t think it gets more raw than that .If I stopped there it would be blasphemy . So the part I want to continue with is here:
I open a Bible, and His plans, startling,lie there barefaced. It’s hard to believe it, when I read it, and I have to come back to it many times, feel long across those words, make sure they are real. His love letter forever silences any doubts. He means to rename us-to return us to our true names, our true selves. He means to heal our soul holes.
Can you just picture it? The Creator reaching in and like a careful surgeon, repairing those soul holes. Oh ,how I know I need that. I picture a Father comforting His child. I see my husband holding my tired children.
So that’s a glimpse of why I get up early. To know this God who wants to heal our soul holes. Grandma Barker and I both agreed what a startling revelation that was. As you home educate today I hope it is for you too.
Happy Birthday Albert Einstein!!! I was talking to someone last night also struggling with Dyslexia. So what does the famous genius have to do with it? He was Dyslexic!!! We privately talked about our struggles. I want to go back to Wed. I want to give you a glimpse of my day with my kids. Here I was sitting on our couch reading Joel’s Geography with him. If you let him read it alone by the time he’s done he will have no idea what he just read. Cheyenne my youngest asked me what this word was. she spells it. q.u.i.e.t. I say quiet and move on. Daniel comes over and says mom I need help with this math problem. Joel and I stop.( now understand stopping with Joel means two things : one he’s going to lose his place and two he’s going to escape!) I sit back down Cheyenne now frustrated says “Mom I asked you for help and all you told me was QUIET!” HAHA. Now I’m laughing. I say ” Cheyenne QUIET IS the word.” She giggles. Everyone is now laughing. I get back to Joel. We took about an hour or more just to do Social Studies. I am on my third cup of coffee. Later in the day I had to pick up a friend for teen group. I come back and Joel has rearranged my living room. Daniel looks at me and says” hey I told him not to.” I smile. You know one of those smiles. I’m actually thinking,”God please let spring come early.”
Dyslexia for us is more than just a language processing disorder. Dyslexia is a way of life. Dyslexia is actually hereditary. I have a family member who has it. Looking back I can see it so clearly. When Joel loses his pencil (every five minutes) when I have searched our sixty acres for his shoes(and bought three pairs), when we have done the same multiplication problem three days in a row and he still can’t remember the sequence , I know it is all part of this monster called Dyslexia. I read a book a few years back called The Gift of Dyslexia. Try asking Joel if he thinks it’s a gift. He came to me on Wed. and said “Mom, I hate Dyslexia.”
Me too, Joel.
I watched this video though and I wanted you to see it. It gives all of us hope no matter what our kids struggle with. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_qGJ9svUbM It’s called the Power of Dyslexia. I think what happens is while in the struggle a dyslexic child learns to overcome. These kids certainly did. I am writing this post today because Albert Einstein was a genius. I’m not. My friend was struggling. I don’t have all the answers but I know what it’s like to struggle. I know God knows our struggle. Don’t lose hope. We do have a great God who endured the struggle for us. Become a mom who knows this God well. He will hold your hand in the struggle. I have gone to him many nights. I get up early and ask him to help me be patient . Joel has the ability to drive me crazy. Yes, I have four kids, but if you know someone with Dyslexia you know what I mean. One minute you feel bad the next you are ready for that fourth cup of coffee and a very exotic chocolate bar( actually scratch that, just give me the Costa Rica vacation:O) As I type …Got up late today, Joel is driving someone crazy about a pencil. You know what though, He has the biggest heart of anyone in this house. If you tell anyone a crazy story about him they all smile and laugh and just the mention of his name can make Grandma and Papa grin from ear to ear. So hopefully he can manage not to kill himself before he reaches adulthood.
I’ll keep lots of coffee and chocolate bars on hand( especially in Feb.). To my Friend I say. God is there. Smile today. Shake your head a little. Sigh. Grab Gods hand and give it your best. That’s all we can do. So Thank You Albert Einstein for showing us that “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.” Our kids certainly have enough of that!
It’s one of those days. I don’t like complaining. You wont find me updating my Facebook status. I don’t tell my husband. I wont even call my family. The pain of my back and my nerve have taken over. I don’t feel like home educating. My kids don’t know. I just wake up. The pains there. I say “not today.” This started for me when my youngest was five months. Now here I am with two back surgeries. In a world where surgery is sociably unacceptable, where the chiropractor seems to be “god”. What do I do? I have no substitute teacher. I could be the super mom and push through the pain. My kids know this mom. She’s not fun. Isn’t that what we Christians do though. God gave me these kids to raise. This is my job. I need to raise them. I mean if I don’t do algebra today my children will be ruined for life. I have been through every scenario where I guilted myself into pushing past the pain. I have become the super “godly” mom to keep educating. God has reminded me lately though that even our Lord got tired. That it really is okay to take a day off. I admit it is hard for me. I have to just let it all go. For people like moms that’s nearly impossible. We are the givers. We do the doing. To let others help. That is where the struggle comes. You may not have a back problem. What if your brain is just fried. Oh man, I have been there. I have been where I can’t think. You know like Winnie the Pooh, think, think, think. I’m just done. I want out. Other moms tend to “help” here too. They will say things like “oh I just love home schooling” You know and your thinking, really because right now I’d like to be in Costa Rica! Don’t worry Homeschooling moms can lie too! Don’t compare yourselves to their lie. Everyone has their days. I don’t NEED to home educate. God has chosen to have me home educate. I can’t tell you the days I have pleaded for my nerve pain to go away. I have a pain management regime I follow, but some days there isn’t enough I can do. I just don’t feel like doing my job. Do you know what God does for me? It comes in the form of a phone call. One of my best friends in the whole world. My husbands grandma. She’ll call. I say “Hi Grandma.”
Thinking I am giving nothing away she’s “Barb what’s wrong.?”UGH, I am trying to make her life easier and she picks up on it every time. We share back pain so she knows. We pray for each other. God knows your needs. Sometimes He is like the calm before the springtime. Yesterday the birds were singing. Joel said” Mom I can’t believe those birds are singing.” I stopped and listened. He would notice.It started snowing yesterday. It was just like God saying,” Don’t get discouraged spring really is going to come.” Spring will come for you. Just take a day off. Listen for God . Do something fun with your kids. Maybe read to them, bake cookie.Most of all, LAUGH. Be the mom, not the teacher. I know it gets hard. I don’t always feel like home educating. I don’t today. Don’t waste the time you have with regret. God gave this time you have to use wisely. Life will not fall apart in one day. When you don’t feel like home educating. Take a day off. Be just a mom, a happy, carefree SMILING mom.
11 For,lo,the winter is past,the rain is over and gone;
12 The flowers appear on the earth ;the time of the singing of the birds is come….. Song of Solomon 2:11,12
Spring is Coming. You will begin again. God gives new beginnings. If I can begin anew even in my pain, so can you!