Smile for the Joy of Others

Smile for the Joy of Others

Thursday, September 29, 2016


Another moment in the life of homeschooling boys....he's not even a catcher.  You chose your battles.  I would rather diligent work in LA than fight about what he is wearing, even it is catcher's gear.  And if wearing catcher's gear helps accomplish diligent work, than who am I to argue such strategy. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Little Neighborhood Libraries

If you recall a few posts back, I was to present a proposal of placing a few Free Little Libraries in our neighborhood. 

Overcoming my phobia of speaking in front of people, I'm excited to say that my proposal passed both the Advisory Committee and the homeowner's board with the help of a fellow Advisory Committee member.

The Board has even agreed to purchase one of them with a resident volunteering to buy a second.  They have also approved for future libraries if there is a desire for other areas of the our neighborhood.  One of the libraries will be designated for children and the other for adults.  They each will be placed in respectful areas. 

My presentation part was to present to the Committee the advantages and positive influences of having a free little library in our neighborhood.  I polled members of a Facebook reading group I am a member of to help with this.  I have no doubt their perspectives helped me in my presentation.

1. Having a little library adds nostalgia to the neighborhood.  It creates a sense of anticipation and excitement especially if there is a little library designated for children. 

2.  Having a little library in your neighborhood allows for those who aren't financially able to buy books to have access to free books.  Our local libraries aren't conveniently close to our neighborhood.

3.  Having a little library in your neighborhood allows access to books for those who are unable to drive due to various reasons.

4.  Having a little library, specifically for children, allows access to free books for children whose parents don't value the importance of reading. 

5.  Having a little library in your neighborhood helps promote reading and literacy and this in turn helps promote lifelong learning.

Since approval, I've been asked to help plan some sort of 'ribbon cutting' to make aware of the little libraries.  I'm excited to see an idea come to fruition and even more excited to see it made into a bigger deal than just purchasing the libraries. 

Below are pictures the 2 libraries that will be purchased. 

The blue one is a Songbird theme.  It will be placed in the neighborhood park near the children's playground area designated for children's books.

The white on is a replica of the original Little Free Library built. It will be placed near one of the club houses and will be designated for adult books. 

I look forward to keep y'all posted on the adventures and successes of the Free Little Libraries in our neighborhood.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Recent Reads

This is a wonderful book of how one girl refuses to be silenced by the Taliban's threats when speaking out against their ideology.

I learned much about a nation whose majority is uneducated and illiterate came to be ruled by tyranny and terrorists. This book proves the importance of being able to read and the importance of an education that is not government agenda driven. It also proves that education needs to be used to allow children to learn h...ow to think instead of being told what to think.

The world needs more Malalas to speak against religious and government oppression.

Though some of her ideals differ than mine, I am inspired by her courage to speak in the face of threats and danger. She defied one of the world's most evil terrorist groups. The Taliban's attempt to silence her backfired. They only fueled a flame into a roaring inferno with the world cheering her on and inspiring others to find their courage to defeat tyranny.

I plan to have our boys read it when they are older.

This book should be required reading in either high school or college and for Colin Kaepernick.
This a book I want to throw at people who whine and complain because their entitlement mentality isn't being enabled.

Just when you think life can't become worse for the young Sierra Leonenian, Ishmael, he survives and overcomes the next hell that comes his way, until he finally doesn't have to fear dying again.
Stories like this burst the bubble I live in with my amenities, so many I can't even list them all.

If and when you think the American flag represents oppression, read this book. If and when you meet someone who thinks the same, give them this book, challenge them to read it and then dare them to complain again. If they continue to complain, they've proven just how spoiled they really are. So much so, they can't see beyond themselves.

I give 5 stars because of the subject matter and his courage to overcome. As for the writing, I can't say it's the best written memoir I've read. He sometimes suddenly reminisces in the next paragraph causing some confusion to the reader. There are also times in the story where the plot will suddenly change making the reader wonder if he/she missed a paragraph that would have transitioned to the new scenario or situation. And the ending was abrupt lacking a closure.

However, in spite of the writing, his story needs to be told and even more, needs to be heard.
This book gives gory details of his life as a soldier. There are 2 strong curse words. I do believe he was just being honest in what the rebel soldier said to him.

This book also gives a testament to what childhood trauma looks like and a hard look at how it's overcome. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Navy Week

Ever since Brother B could express what he wants to be when he grows up, he has always chosen a career that protects people.  For a while it was a policeman, but for the past 2 years it's been to join the armed forces, specifically the Navy.  He loves to watch documentaries about the Navy and their battleships.  He enjoys reading fiction books involving the Navy and their experiences. 

I try to encourage his interests whether it be his current career choice or current hobby.  Last Friday, we traveled to Natchez for him to experience their Navy week exhibits.  He was thrilled to meet Navy men, mostly SeaBees.  I enjoyed learning more about what the Navy does.  I learned of many duties the Navy holds that I was not aware of.  Most of the men we talked to had never been on a ship.  In my ignorance, I assumed all Navy men would at least spend some time on a ship.  Nope, that's not true.

Speaking to those who serve gives creates a better respect for them.  All we talked to had done tours of duty to the Middle East.  I was grateful to them for encouraging Brother B to do well in school.  They informed him that a good education is important even in the armed forces. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Fall Ball, Y'all

Brother C is continuing to play with his All Stars team from the Summer.  They are playing a few tournaments this fall to continue to learn the fundamentals of baseball.  There are plans for the team to continue also for the spring but as always, time will tell. 

We had our first fall tournament this past weekend.  We didn't do as well as we did this past summer, however, we are playing against more competitive teams.  We went 2-2.  Our boys played well but just not quite good enough to win this tournament.  I'm sure we will improve as each player has a heart to play.  Unless people change, our experience with this team including last year and this year, has been the best we have so far in Brother C's baseball experience. 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Modest is Hottest

Since college football has started, I've seen many Facebook posts every weekend about the way girls are dressing for the tailgate parties and games. It's been noted that the newest trend is to have shorts, skirts or dresses so short that butts are literally showing. Some as young as teens with their parents.

Dads, where are you? You know what goes on inside a man's head when such images are in your sight. What a shame that you are okay with your daughter dressed like this. If you are a father who claims to be a Christian, it is your duty to see to that your family glorifies even in their dress code.  It is your duty to teach your daughters what self-respect is and what kind of respect to expect from men and boys.  While teaching sons to respect women and to control their thoughts, it's also just as much of a father's duty to teach their daughters also. 

Wives, where are you?  Mothers, where are you? It is our place to allow our husbands to be this leader of our family.  And furthermore, it is our duty to be an example of a woman who glorifies God with her dress and actions. 

And before anyone wants to blame the male for his thoughts, God made them visual beings. And, yes, they can control their thoughts, but they can't control what your daughter is wearing and there is responsibility from both sexes.

Lastly, come on, Southern Belles. We can do better than this. Belles are classy, not slutty.

Friday, September 2, 2016

A Detour in Lessons

The other day we took a detour for a mini lesson on how our school days could go quicker and how much control the student has implementing the ways. This detour came as result of ongoing moaning and complaining of how long school takes without recognizing how much they control this. The conclusion proved to the complainers that they have the most control of how long their school day takes.

They were required to list the following ways that make for shorter school days. This list was created and comprised through discussion between teacher and students. Upon any more complaining, students will rewrite his list.

1. Do my work correctly the first time. Do, I, as the student control this? YES.

2. Do my work neatly. Do, I, as the student control this? YES

3. Do my work to the best of my ability. Do, I, as the student control this? YES

4. Do not argue with the teacher. Do, I, as the student control this? YES

5. Stay focused on my schoolwork. Do, I, as the student control this? YES

6. Follow instructions both from the lessons and the teacher. Do, I, as a student control this? YES

7. Be organized putting my books and workbooks in the correct place and cleaning my work space. Do, I, as the student control this? YES

8. Be quiet during the lesson when the teacher is talking. Do, I, as the student control this? YES

9. Obey the teacher. Do, I, as the student control this? YES

10. Have a good attitude. Do, I as the student control this? YES

11. Start lessons sooner without waiting on the teacher to tell me to start. Do, I, as the student control this? YES

12. Listen to the teacher. Do, I, as the student control this? YES

13. Check my work when it's completed. Did I follow the instructions? Did I complete all questions or problems? Do, I, as the student control this? YES