Smile for the Joy of Others

Smile for the Joy of Others

Monday, February 13, 2017

Worst Case Valentine Scenario

I heard on the radio that the worst case scenario on Valentine's Day is to be empty handed with no flowers or gifts for your special someone in hopes you will fall for their marketing attempts.

May I just debunk that MYTH.

There are much more worse case scenarios on Valentine's Day:
1. measuring your love based on what gift you get or if you don't get anything.

2. Comparing your gift to someone else's as a measure of someone else's love to yours. A diamond ring vs flowers doesn't measure more love nor less love. It doesn't even necessarily measure financial status.

3. Expecting a gift only to publicly prove to others he/she loves you so not to be left out among those who must be "truly" loved more than you.

4. Expecting a gift as proof of love.

Don't get me wrong, gifts on Valentine's Day are not the problem. It's the dependence of them to express true love... that is the problem.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Recent Reading Adventures

A review for the latest book I've read:

I finished reading the last saga of this book at midnight a few nights ago. May I recommend not doing this. Or maybe it's because I'm such a scaredy cat, that only I hear "sleepers" with every noise a house makes when reading about them in bed, at night.

Strictly based on the genre, this is not a book I would choose to read. I am not a fan of horror, paranormal, even more so with violent killings as in this story. I read this book because i...t was picked for my book club. I didn't know to what degree of thriller, horror to expect. No one in my group had read it. Even still, it's not a genre I will choose on my own accord and the ways I find this book disturbing with parts I wish I can unread, only proves why I don't read them.
However, even though I find it disturbing and it still didn't make me a fan of horror, I admit the story is well written. It's obvious Jennifer is a talented writer with quite the imagination even if I do find it dark and scary.

This story vacillates from the early 1900s to the present. I was a little lost in the first 100 pages but soon after I was able to catch on and found it easy to follow through the rest of the story. Ruthie and Fawn's mother comes up missing. They live in West Hall, VT where legends of a "sleeper" may be the cause of their mother's disappearance along with many others who have gone missing and were never found. In the search for their mother, Ruthie and Fawn discover more about this legend and come to realize some legends are more than tales. But instead of exposing the legend as truth, the world is a safer place when the truth is kept silent. Only now, the truth has been exposed by one other who didn't keep silent...

Since I'm not used to this genre, some of the twists were unpredictable to me, though, if you read a lot of these kinds of stories, you may find them predictable.

There are no sex scenes but for the sensitive reader, there are quite a few uses of strong language.
I'll end with this...before I read this book, I had hopes of one day living in the woods in a small, obscure house, to enjoy the peace and quiet, away from the busy life. Now, that desire is no longer. The woods no longer call my name and if they do, I'll run the other way. I highly recommend you do the same.

I give this book 4 stars because I do think it is well written . I can't in good conscious rate it based on my dislike of the genre.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

The Goals and Dreams of an 11 Year Old Fisherman

I found this list while cleaning our school room that Brother C had's also my hope he gets to put check marks by all of them.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Did You Know?

One our recent lessons in reading were about Native Americans. We learned the following words are derived from their languages:

Moose, opossum, raccoon, skunk, hickory, pecan, squash, moccasin and toboggan.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Refugees and Politics

Unless you've been living under a rock, we have seen the political issues regarding the whole immigration/refugee issue here in America.  I haven't engaged in any discussions or debates about this.  I honestly don't know all the facts about it. If you are on Facebook for any length of time during the day then you've probably seen some of the ugliness that has come from both friends and foes regarding this issue.  All I've seen is that people can find articles to support both points of view.  If you hate Trump for signing it, then there are plenty of articles to fuel your flames.  If you love Trump for doing this, then you can find plenty of articles to fuel your flames. The news media has published their share of the situation with none giving the whole truth and all slanting the story to fit their agenda. 

During this hurricane of fury or excitement, depending one where you stand, it was coincidental that one of our history lessons was about Israel falling to the Assyrians.  In that lesson, the activity was to discuss what a community can do to help refugees.  The correlation is that the Israelites became refugees in a foreign land when they were forced to leave their country to live in Assyria. 

Our boys and I watched a YouTube documentary about a refugee camp in Kenya for Somalians.  It discussed the reasons the refugees were leaving Somalia and how Kenya was taking care of them.  During and after the video we discussed in details what all is involved in taking care of refugees.  I've listed the aspects we discussed below.  Obviously, I added to the discussion but I wanted them to understand what all is involved and that it's not a matter of "political" disagreement or agreement. There certainly are more to be considered but these are the ones we noticed from watching the video. 

Facets of taking care of refugees we have discussed so far:

1. Provide shelter: will it be permanent or temporary and how to transition from one to another. How will it be determined where they will stay (cities, land)? What kind of shelter? (Buildings, trailers, tents)

2. Provide food: figuring out what is the least expensive that goes the farthest. How much does each family get and how often? Food allergies? How to store the food? Where do we get the food that is provided t...o the refugees? How to keep it from spoiling or keep rats/mice/bugs out of it.

3. Provide clothing: how much clothing does each person get? How do you accommodate for growing children who need newer sizes more often? Clothing for pregnant women?

4. Providing healthcare: who will be the healthcare providers? Who will provide the medicine? Who much medicine does each family or person receives and how is that determined? Prenatal care, postnatal care.

5. Determining healthcare needs: what is the process to screen for communicable diseases among people with no medical records? Who provides this service and then what is to be done when a serious disease is detected? Where do you send them?

6. Providing Education: do these people deserve to be educated? Who will educate them? Who provides the materials needed? How is it determined who among them receive an education?

7. Providing Transportation: who will transport them to where they need to be once established as a refugee? Transporting to hospitals or medical clinics? What vehicles are used to transport and who provides it? Liability?

8. Maintaining Safety: how is order maintained? Who provides the safety? (National military, state policing)??? What is to be done when a refugee commits a crime against another or against a citizen of the country they live in? What kind of punishment is executed? Where do you send criminals and how do you house them?

9. Providing Jobs: will refugees be allowed to work or forced to work? How will they make currency in order to purchase items they want?

10. Providing Currency: will they be allowed to have currency or will they be able to exchange their country's currency for the currency of the country they are living in?

11. Records keeping: what records need to be kept? How do you gather the info? Who gathers the info and what is to be done with it? What measures are to be taken when someone doesn't meet the requirements?

12. Last but not are all the above services financed? Who finances them?

Friday, February 3, 2017

Pouting in the Sun

When Momma will not share her food with me, I pout in the sun....

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Podcasts about Books and Reading

So, I'm a little late to the game.  I've known about podcasts and what they do but I've never really taken advantage of them.  Now that I am trying to exercise everyday at the gym, they have become a great friend to listen to.  One of my favorites is linked below, Read Aloud Revival by Sarah McKenzie.  She's a homeschooling mother after my own heart.  She has taken her voice, wisdom, and experience to start a sort of "read aloud revival", an attempt to bring back the acceptance and importance of reading aloud as a family.  Before electricity, this was the most popular form of entertainment.  If no one in the family could read, then they sat around telling stories that had been passed down from generations gone by; this was just as effective.

I encourage you to become a family who reads aloud.  It's the one organic thing you can do to give your children an advantage in academics and learning.  You can never start too soon or too late. 

Our boys really enjoy the time I read aloud to them.  Not only am I broadening their minds, I'm also broadening mine, too.  And then there are the memories I am making with them; this is possibly the greatest aspect about it. 

There is always the question of what to read.  Some will encourage living books only, some encourage the classics only and some will never encourage "twaddle" books.  "Twaddle" is a term Charlotte Mason (educator) gave to books that have no significant value to the story.  I know that value depends on the reader.  But there is a significant difference in many books we read.  Examples of higher value books would be the Little House books, Tom Sawyer, Wind in the Willows and other such type of books compared the Dork Diaries, Junie B Jones, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and so forth.  Some say that many modern books have be written in a way that dumb us down.  While I agree and notice the difference, I'm not so legalistic that I don't allow our boys to enjoy a book of their choice so long that the content doesn't compromise our convictions.  I, too, enjoy the occasional "twaddle" books for adults but I do recognize the ones with much more significant value in the content. 

As for our choice of read aloud books, I choose non-twaddle books to read aloud. These are books that I really want our boys to comprehend the content.  I use these books to engage in discussions with them.  These books teach lessons, help understand history, or help guide our boys in our walk of convictions and morality.  For the most part, I let them choose the books they read on their own.  Some of these are "twaddle" such as Diary of a Wimpy Kid.  I cringed at first when they asked to read this series but not now I see that these books are what led them to enjoy reading.  In this case, whatever works to help encourage our children to become readers.  I will limit these kinds of books but occasionally let them go back to them for mere entertainment.  Our boys have actually moved on to more significant books on their own accord. 

Right now, if I had to give one of the most successful aspects or our homeschooling is that it has allowed me to create a love for reading in our boys.  Sure, they would rather be playing a video game but it's not an act of war to get them to read.  Most nights, they stay up later reading in their bed.  I can think of much worse to be doing that late so I don't discourage it. 

Below is a link to Amongst Lovely Things. This is Sarah's blog that hosts her Read Aloud Revival podcasts.  I highly encourage you to give them a try and then try for 30 days to read aloud to your children.  What could it hurt, right?  Oh, and her philosophy is to become a read aloud family, including the daddy.  We aren't a read aloud family.  JB just isn't interested but I haven't let that discourage me for participating.

PS: You don't have to be a homeschooling family to be a part of the Read Aloud Revival.

Amongst Lovely Things: Read Aloud Revival