Sunday, September 21, 2014

Seasons - they are a changin'

Here comes fall. One of my most favorite times of the year. The colors of fall complement my home colors and I decorate to the hilt in fall. This year, it has been more difficult to find the time to decorate. I have had to steal a few minutes here and there to put up decorations. I work outside of the home part-time and the other days, I have two additional students. I look up and it is 5:00 p.m. and they are about to go home. Where did the day go? It was spent pleasantly reading with students, grading math, laughing at comments made over card games, walking in the garden and making trips to the local rock shop. However, supper wasn't started and now I have to rush around to put it together lickity-split like. Hunger grabs teenage boys hard and they are often stalking me in the kitchen asking "What's for supper? I'm very hungry." I'll miss that when they are gone.

I love this season in my life. It changed without warning. There is no greater blessing than walking in the path He has laid out before us. Exhausting? Yes! Boring? No way! I know that while this season is busy, it won't last forever. It will change just as suddenly as it started. I am determined to enjoy every second of it. To cherish the funny laugh of my 1st grade student as he wins yet another Uno card game.  "That was a good game!" I wonder if he will remember those many years he spent at my kitchen table? I hold them in my heart.

I love watching my reluctant Freshman student grow and realize what he is capable of. He makes insightful comments without even trying. I don't want him to shortchange himself in life just because all the peers around him do so. He has great potential. I only have a short time to convince him of this.

My oldest son is in college, has a car and a job. I only get glimpses of him now. He has set up his laptop computer in the kitchen. We have great conversations between video games and college homework assignments. He recently discovered the electric guitar and we are treated to solo rifts daily. This kid taught himself to play guitar, piano, ocarina, and now electric guitar. Why do they turn into such interesting people and then leave????!!!

My youngest son is a Sophomore in High School. He is my science and computer guy. He recently announced that he is interested in something in the medical field. Well, that sounds great to me! "I'm thinking about being a field medic mom?" Uh, what? "How about a nice quiet doctor's office in town son?" "No, I want to be where the action is Mom." "People will be shooting at you while you are trying to practice medicine son." "Mmmm hmmm" Lord, help me!

Take time and enjoy the season in life where you are no matter how hard it is. Don't wish it away. One day you will miss those days!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Our Continuing Disaster Preparations/I Wanna be a Prepper/Homeschooling High School Credit

The title of this blog entry is long but accurate. My high school students studied disaster preparations this summer. Someone told me about the CERT program. After signing up for it here in Harris County, we discovered that our Texas school system offered a disaster preparation school credit based on the CERT program. Now, I don't really care what the Texas school system does because we homeschool, but colleges put more weight on these sorts of programs. So, off we went. We have been to the first class which our instructor dubbed "death by PowerPoint". She made it pleasant with her witty comments and the time passed quickly. Our class was filled with mostly teenagers with a few adults sprinkled in. Most of us were homeschoolers from our local homeschool group. It's gonna be fun! This week we are learning how to put out small fires. The two weeks following this are medical in nature. My youngest is interested in the medical field, so this will give him a taste of it all. He's pumped!

Now, the disaster preparation book I recently read said something to the effect of don't tell anyone you are doing disaster preparation or everyone and their second cousin will show up at your house at the smallest hint of a disaster. My heart is to help others in their time of need. I am doing my best to accommodate the influx of those who might seek help during times of crisis. I got a taste of this after Hurricane Katrina when our church cared for many displaced families from New Orleans. The Mormons are prepared to help others during times of disaster. Why aren't Christians? Ouch, that stung a bit.

One of the things that our CERT class emphasized was that most people are not prepared to take care of their own family during a disaster. We cannot depend on over-burdened government agencies or churches to help us during these times. That said, would you do me a favor? I promise, it is simple. Every time you go to the grocery store, pick one non-perishable or health item in your grocery cart and stock up a 3 month supply of it. If your budget won't allow this, just grab one extra. That's it.

So your stock doesn't go bad, shop from your stock-up supplies first and replace it on your next shopping trip. I keep a list of the stock-up items it my pantry so I know what I have. My pantry is small, so I'm storing the stock-up items in easily-accessible plastic tubs in our closets. The tubs are numbered and this number is referenced in my stock-up list for quick access.

Be wise and take some simple steps today to protect your family. Preparation is not panic. I want to scream when people insinuate that preparation is akin to not trusting God. Seriously? We trust God to protect us, but he gives us wisdom to make preparation. I think about when God gave Joseph an interpretation to Pharaoh's dream to prepare for the upcoming famine. Pharaoh put Joseph in charge of gathering up food. Joseph's obedience saved all of Egypt and Egypt had enough to share with other countries. I wonder if others looked at this massive preparation and thought it panic and foolishness. Probably. They were the first people in line to buy grain when their pantry was empty.

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