Monday, August 18, 2008


I decided, that due to the Olympic Games taking place in Beijing, China, we would skip ahead a bit in our countries and cultures lessons to China. We have been learning little bits, but today we read the best book. It is called "The Great Wall", by Elizabeth Mann. I don't think it was even on our list in the curriculum. It really gave a great overview of the history of China, the emperors, the wars, Ghengis Khan, etc. There is also some great artwork in the book. I noticed on the back of the book there are others: "The Brooklyn Bridge", "The Great Pyramid", "The Panama Canal", "The Roman Colleseum", and "Machu Picchu". I have not yet checked to see if any of these are at the library, but I hope so. There are a few that we can use in our studies of future countries.

In continuing our tradition of eating our way around the world we are having a Chinese dinner tonight. I am sure it is not very authentic, but it is easy and will give them an introduction. I am not a big eater of Chinese food myself, so I had to pick stuff that I knew would get eaten. The menu is: Chicken Fried Rice (Chicken Helper from Betty Crocker), Lo Mein (Asian Sides, Teryiaki Noodles from Knorr), and Chicken Won Ton Soup (Campbell's). We probably should be having some stir fry vegetables or something, but we're not.

Next week we are travelling to India. I am not at all familiar with Indian cuisine. Anyone who has any suggestions, please comment.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

God was with me today, but I need some advice

Today, I had one of the most severe challenges I have had to face as a mom. As many of you know, my son has some sensory sensitivities. He especially struggles when he has to get a haircut. He has never liked it since he got the very first one around 2 years old. But I have never had him react like he did today. He was swinging his arms at me (not actually hitting), pulled the clipper plug out from the wall and screaming at the top of his lungs. Now mind you we live in an apartment building. I'm sure people heard him screaming "you're hurting me" at the top of his lungs and probably thought I was beating him. I managed to get about 3 random strips of hair cut, down to 1/4". Before he went into his violent rage. That is when God intervened in my heart. I gave up. I walked away. I ended up taking him to have the job finished by professionals, where he sat and chatted with the lady like a little gentleman. He told her all about China, because that's what we've been studying this week. I was so proud of the way he acted in there, and told him so. But I don't know how to deal with his earlier reaction. That is not ok. We talked after about how it made me feel and he understood that it made me very sad. The bigger problem is, he is becoming very defiant in general. Every time we tell him to do something he doesn't like, his reply is "you can't make me". The thing is, he is a very good boy. He is always very empathetic to how others are feeling, and very concerned when people are sick. He is very well behaved when we go out and when he is around others. At home is a totally different story. Is it just the age he's at? Is he trying to test my limits and see what he can get away with? I hate having to share this for the world, but I need some wise counsel and quickly.

Saturday, August 9, 2008


From the book of James, Chapter 1. Verse 2-4: Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. Verse 12: Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.

It is always difficult when we face trials. But sometimes, all it takes is a little perspective and we realize our trials are not so bad after all. Take a look back through history. Go to the book of Exodus. Read about what the Israelites had to endure wandering in the desert for 40 years. I read a book this week about a woman travelling the Oregon trail back in the early 1800's. The women and children spent most of the trip walking. Yes, I said walking, from Missouri to Oregon. Finding enough time to work out was not an issue. Putting a load of laundry in the washing machine, then the dryer, then folding it was not on their list of luxuries. Absolutely, we need to consider laundry a luxury. My family has more than 2 outfits each. We have clothes for every day of the week and beyond. I am blessed to have a washing machine and clothes to fill it with. I do not have to go down to the river and scrub my one outfit (other than the one I'm wearing) on a rock. Though there are still people in the world that have to do that. So today, I will consider it pure joy to do a load of wash. Because it means I am blessed.