Homeschool Social Woes…

As a homeschooling mom (6 children, 4 school age) I get the socialization questions/concerns on a regular basis.

A couple ball seasons ago I was at the baseball field for Boy1’s game. I was there with all kids in tow (I think Greg was out of town.) I forgot to make sure the stroller was in the van and so I had Girl3 in the carrier on the ground and Girl2 was a crazy maniac (sort of :). Either way, it was not ideal. Someone asked that lovely question, “Are ALL these yours?” Ah… “Yes.” Anyone who lives in NOLA knows the next question. “Where do they go to school?” That is a big status symbol here. “They’re homeschooled.” The E N T I R E group on those bleachers looked at me in stunned silence as if I had told them I send them to Jupiter each morning. This one more vocal mom started “the” questions. One of which was socialization.

Let me say that we had been the wierd-ish, Christians all season… and that was fine. I knew I had to give a gracious, God honoring answer.

I tried to tell that lady (and the folks who were tuning in) that there ARE indeed kids who have been  homeschooled and are socially inept. I could name several! I also tell people that I know plenty private/public school kids who are social failures. There are plenty on both sides.

As far as my options here in New Orleans… Just last week we had 8 people shot (several died) within a few miles of our home. I’d be willing to bet that the majority of these shooters were raised by the public schools and were “socialized” there. It’s tragic. I do realize however, that NO is an extreme situation. I don’t think I would turn over my child’s development to the public school here. I’m sure there are great private options if you sell kidneys on the black market… even then, what does that socialization produce? We’re blessed with the options we have.

Public/private schools “teach” our children to “relate” (btw- free sex is a great way to relate) to their peers in a similar age category. I suggest that homeschooled children learn to socialize on many levels. Let me give a couple examples:

My older 4 children (age 8-14) work well with young children… they’ve learned about child development and behavior from their younger sisters. They know how to hold infants, guide toddlers and change diapers. Those are life skills that will benefit them greatly one day… skills that even the best home-ec (do they still teach that?) class can’t teach. I’ve seen adult women that were raised in public schools who can’t function with basic infant care skills- dirty diapers, spit up… (Note: This does not include ALL women) I’m not suggesting this is the FAULT of the school system… just an area where homeschooling could be considered a perk.

Homeschoolers often learn to socialize with sr. adults. Being a musical family often provides great opportunities! My children have been asked to sing for sr. adult luncheons/dinners. They learn how to relate to these precious members of society. Senior adults often need special understanding. These people are often dispised and cast off. There is no class on spending time with seniors in the public/private school system. I’m not suggesting that public/private schools are anti-sr. adult as much as I’m suggesting being homeschooled might create an extra perk in this area.

In our home, our kids must learn to spend 24/7 with their siblings and parents. Their weaknesses are often confronted and they are forced to deal with them. We work through sickness & health. We work as a team; sharing responsibilities to make it all happen. What GREAT socialization! 

Let me just say that this is not true for my kids only! Many homeschooled kids have similar experiences. I’m suggesting that having the opportunity to socialize with different ages is beneficial.

Homeschooling is NOT for everyone. It’s not. But to think that socialization is a legitimate concern is bogus. Let’s just lay this silly concern to rest.

Deal?

See... he looks socialized, right?

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Happy Birthday Boy3!

This weekend we will celebrate Boy3’s birthday. It’s hard to believe but he will be 8 years old. While we have 6 total children, Boy3 is the “baby boy”… (shhhh… don’t tell him). He will always be my baby boy. I plan on writing a blog around (notice the general term there) each of the children’s birthdays… so October is a great place to start!

October 28, 2003 I had my final OB appointment before I was scheduled to be induced in the wee hours of the next day. Seen as though I was over-due, my midwife tried to encourage things along. She gave me all the proper warnings, instructions and sent me on my way. Where does any mother about to give birth to her 4th child go after her final doctor appointment? Walmart. Yep. I did… I don’t remember what I purchased, but I’m sure milk, bread, sandwich meat, toilet paper, diapers (still had Boy2 in diapers) and some pretty smelling something was on the list.

Greg’s parents and my sweet mom were on their way from Mississippi since we knew that baby boy had no choice but to come the next day. I was trying to clean those messes that guests always find but you were somehow oblivious to when you see them everyday. I had been having some contractions all afternoon… really starting at Walmart but nothing super consistent. At that time Greg was teaching at Truett McConnell college and we had the annual swing dance that night. Greg and I love to dance (yes, we’re Baptist…!) We always have… Show-choir in high-school… school dances (where he won my heart) and whenever a good opportunity arose. That to say, we were NOT going to miss the opportunity for a good, clean dance! So we did. Greg’s parents and Mom graciously kept the kids and we were on our “final date” before the excitement of a new baby.

We’re there and enjoying some instruction on swing dancing and getting a good laugh at a few folks although  most people that attended the swing dances could hold their weight. I have always gained 40 plus pounds with each child and since I’m a whopping 5’2″ that should tell you what I looked like at this stage of the game… E-nor-mous. Now I should go ahead and tell you that I had not told Greg at this point that I had been having contractions virtually all day… I didn’t want to create a stir with parents and such needlessly.  During the dance fun, I was at the point that I was looking down at my watch and needing to stand still for a sec during these contractions. I decided the dance was over for me. I became a wall-flower and sat with some other instructors, staff and friends in the far corner. Greg is still in party mode. “Yes, honey, I’m fine… I just need a rest.” Song after song passes and all the while he is coming over to me… “Come dance!…. WHAT is wrong?…. Are you mad?….. Come dance with me!” I’ve put him off until finally he’s convinced that I’m being snotty and I whispered in his ear, “I’ve been having contractions every 6/7 minutes for the last hour and a half/2 hours. I CAN’T dance.” At that minute it seemed all music and talking stopped; so my whole table heard me… including a nurse. Well, the “panic” set it. “Really, I’m fine! I have realllllly long labors…” I sent Greg off to one last dance… an elderly lady needed a partner 🙂 and then we were on our way home. Straight to my bed to hunker down for an hour or so. I remembered how HUNGRY I get during those 20 plus hours of labor and my sweet father-in-law went out for a Subway sandwich (not many options in the big city of Cleveland, GA). I grabbed a few things after monitoring and we were off to Habersham Medical Center… strangely calm.

I walked in the ER and the triage folks sent me to the maternity ward. The triage nurse there asked me a bizzare question, “Why are you here?” Seriously? She hooked me up to a machine to make sure I wasn’t nuts. After nearly 3 hours of consistent contractions 5-7 minutes a part I had ONE stinkin’ contraction on that table. An hour on the table and ONE contraction- nothing to make your head spin either. My doctor was in and it was a CRAZY night… too many laboring women for that small hospital. He told her to give me some medicine to “help me rest” (make me shut-up) and put me in a room since I was scheduled to arrive only 6 hours later for an induction. This medicine made made me a little crazy. I remember begging my husband for green tea with lemons… “Is that too much to ask!?”… well at 12 midnight in Habersham county… Yes, it is! He did the right thing, tuck himself in for a few hours sleep before the party really began (and tried to ignore his drugged up wife) 🙂

After the medicine wore off, I woke up around 7 with one intense contraction literally on top of another. I realized that the nurse 🙂 had taken me off the monitor during the night. I immediately woke Greg, told him about the state of my contractions and told him the lady turned off the monitor. Greg’s a pretty nice guy… but he was ANGRY. You see, I had a section with our first so I HAD to stay on the monitor at all times to be sure the baby was ok and that my uterus had not ruptured. He goes yelling 😉 down the hallway… the new  nurse on call (Thank you, Lord Jesus! She was GREAT) came in, did an exam and decided to call  my doctor NOW. He is still in the midst of several labors/deliveries… a couple which were more intense- twins and one with great complications. This sweet nurse and my precious husband basically delivered the baby. The doctor walked in to basically tell me to push 3/4 more times and party was over. Since this was my first delivery with no pain medication, I remember saying to Greg, “I’m going to die.” At which point the doctor very unaffected said, “No, you’re not… push.” He was a great Christian doctor who was always friendly and kind… I suppose the the night was wearing on his nerves 🙂 haha! It makes for a great story.

That was it, October 29th… a BEAUTIFUL North Georgia fall day. My sweet baby boy was born. Brothers and sister came to visit later that day… grandparents… friends… all celebrating the birth of our son. He is a joy to my heart and to my life. I am so excited to see what the Lord does through his life. I pray that he will walk in truth and be a warrior-man for the Kingdom!

It’s all about L O V E

I had the privileged of going to see my friend today… Dr. Wirfs. I love Dr. Wirfs but I went because I could tell the fall (albeit questionable here in New Orleans) was taking a toll on my sinuses. I had to break down and make an appointment. Thanks to modern medicine, I am the owner of a celestone shot which gives me an extra energy boost… so I’ll be up for a while! 🙂 I decided to use my time wisely and post a blog. I decided to share some of the thoughts the Lord is impressing on me.

my baby girls

Strength for the day… If I’m honest, when “those” people (we homeschoolers all know “those” people, ha!) who make comments about how patient I must be… how full my hands are… and how they couldn’t (wouldn’t) want my job… some days I just want to say, “YEP… you are SO right! I”m out of  my impatient mind! I would rather be workin’ a 9 to 5.” Then the Lord allows me a moment like He did just a couple days ago. Girl3 (age 2- in the foreground of this picture) was on her way upstairs to join her siblings in some sort of fun fest. She rounded the corner of the stairwell just out of my sight and her sweet voice said, “I yu you, Mommie.” Ahhhh. The Lord allowed her words to give me the courage to press on one more day! Praise the Lord! He is so faithful to me! He is teaching me to rely on Him for each word, each breath, every action… am I at 100%? Ha! Not even sniffin’ it… I’m a slow learner so I’m thankful I serve a patient God! Having the opportunity to teach my children at home is an incredible responsibility-  not just academics (which are very important, no doubt). It’s the daily goings-on… the little things, if you will, that provide the most opportunities to teach them. I pray the Lord finds me faithful in this great task.

I was so blessed by Boy1 the other day. 3 of the children and I set off to share some Light with a dark area of town. We baked some cookies (well, broke them apart, put them on a greased cookie sheet and put them in a hot oven…. that’s “baking” right?) and had the intention of sharing them with 3 contacts we’ve made in this neighborhood. Stop 1… fail. He wasn’t home. Stop 2… semi-fail. She wasn’t home but I was able to wedge a plate of cookies in her barred door with a note. Stop 3… success. We gave a goodie to a lady having a birthday. GREAT!  Although we have 1 plate of cookies left I start herding my crew toward the van thinking about who to give the last plate to. Before I could think, Girl1 suggested we give the plate to a rather disgruntled looking young man who had been staring at us the whole time. I spoke to him once asking if his neighbor was home… let’s just say he wasn’t “chatty.” He was pretty intimidating from my perspective. Boy 1 responds, “Yeah! Give it to me… I’ll take it.” So he popped out of the van and proceeded up the steps and asked if he would like some cookies (he was a teenager… easy sell). As Boy1 was walking down he waved back at that young man and made some type of statement like, “God bless you, man.” (in a very cool, teenage sort-of way) Wow. THAT is what this is ALL about. Teaching my children to LOVE the unlovely… the “scary”… the hungry… the outcast… the business man/woman in need of a Savior… If I don’t succeed here, I’m a failure. I’ll still be in heaven because I’ve given my life to Christ… but from an earthly sense, I’ve failed with the greatest gifts the Lord has given me… my children. Are they perfect? MERCY NO! haha… we gotta’ long way to go! But the Lord, in His time, is teaching me and He is teaching them. Sure, we gotta get reading, riting and rithmatic… but the Lord is showing me my job here as “teacher” is so much bigger!

It’s ALL about love… not just any love, the love of the one and only God… the King of Kings, Lord of all Lords, Jesus the Christ. The love that would cause a perfect God to choose to come to a fallen world and give His perfect life for me… and you. THAT, my friend, is a powerful love. It’s that love that motivates me to love others… my husband, children, family, friends, church body, stranger down the street and even my enemy. I was so excited to know the Lord may be calling us to New Orleans. I have always loved this city (yes, it has downsides… but there are wonderful aspects as well) Once we were in motion… packing and saying our good-byes I must confess I began to become fearful. I was fearful of moving my family to a city that is marked by evil and crime. Yikes… no thanks, right? We got here, plugged into an amazing church, and started working. I am so thankful that the Lord heard my prayers and has given me a heart for the people of this city. I can remember driving through the city at night, looking over the physical darkness and being aware of the spiritual darkness. I would sing, “You’re the God of this city.” Whether or not the city as a whole realizes that is irrelevant.

What IS love, you may ask?

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1Cor. 13

I love the Lincoln Brewster song… “The Power of Your Name.”  That will be my prayer in closing.

Surely children weren’t made for the streets
And fathers were not made to leave
Surely this isn’t how it should be
Let Your Kingdom come

Surely nations were not made for war
Or the broken meant to be ignored
Surely this just can’t be what You saw
Let Your Kingdom come
Here in my heart

And I will live
To carry *Your* compassion
To love a world that’s broken
To be Your hands and feet
And I will give
With the life that I’ve been given
And go beyond religion
To see the world be changed
By the power of Your name
The power of Your name

Surely life wasn’t made to regret
And the lost were not made to forget
Surely faith without action is dead
Let Your Kingdom come
Lord break this heart

And I will live
To carry *Your* compassion
To love a world that’s broken
To be Your hands and feet
And I will give
With the life that I’ve been given
And go beyond religion
To see the world be changed
By the power of Your name

Jesus Your name
Is a shelter for the hurting
and Your name
Is a refuge for the weak
Only Your name
Can redeem the undeserving
Jesus Your name
Holds everything I need

And I will live
To carry Your compassion
To love a world that’s broken
To be Your hands and feet
And I will give
With the life that I’ve been given
And go beyond religion
To see this world be changed
By the power of Your name

And I will live
To carry Your compassion
To love a world that’s broken
To be Your hands and feet
And I will give
With the life that I’ve been given
And go beyond religion
To see the world be changed
By the power of Your name

The power of Your name

May you be glorified, Christ Jesus, in my life…

Toilet Troubles.

I just read a FB post by my friend, Robert. He and his precious wife, Juliet have 3 amazing boys. Robert posted a picture of one of those great “boy” toys… see through tubes, tunnels that are intended for one thing: balls. We have all had this “picture” happen to us. There was the see-through tube filled with miscellaneous items- none of which belong in the toy. His post read:

The good news is I found the remote. The bad news is Boy2 may have won this puzzle challenge. Any ideas {on getting the remote out} besides destroying the toy?

I couldn’t help but laugh. We’ve all been there… especially with our boys! It reminded me of one of my favorite stories… so I thought I’d share it with you all.

One spring day in the NE Georgia foothills: The toilet… it wouldn’t flush… well not correctly. A little would go down but not the whole bowl’s worth. I feared something was wrong… boy was I on to something!

Let me just pause and fill you in. I’m the handy one at my house. My husband is super-duper intelligent. He has a PhD from Florida State (GO NOLES!)… graduated with a 4.0 in fact… Greg can answer virtually any book, philosophy, Bible, political question… but if you need something untwisted, unclogged, a plumbing mystery solved, I’m your girl.  It’s just how I’m wired. Many who know me would find this odd. My father (retired Army soldier through and through) was never as proud of me as when I figured out how to unclog our toilet one morning. I was in high school. I had been out late with Greg… came in, sleepily brushed my teeth and heard something fall around the sink. I looked but didn’t see anything. The next morning I awoke to Dad and Mom having a panic attack because the toilet was clogged… TOTALLY. I glanced up and saw the aerosol deodorant can sitting there… top-less. I knew instantly what had happened. I knocked the lid into the toilet… and of course, I didn’t check the toilet for loose items the previous night. I assessed the situation and knew what must be done. I got all the water out of the bowl, heated the tip of a crochet hook with a lighter and quickly put the heated end to the cap in the bend of the toilet. You see the problem was that it had created a vacuum in the tubular part right past the bowl (I don’t do technical language… just stay with me). I had to break the vacuum… hence the hole. Sure enough, after 15 minutes or so of this melting process (and skint knuckles due to the porous surface of the bowl tube thing) I removed the DO lid and life was ago again. My dad talked for weeks… months… about his plumber daughter and the amount of money I saved him that day! haha! I must give Greg much deserved credit. After several ordeals with our main line in GA, he was able to rent a roto-rooter and unclog our main line… on more than one occasion. I’m so thankful… do you know how much $$$ that saved!? My Dad would be so proud of him!

Back to the previous toilet story. In GA… and I am pregnant.. it had to be either Boy3 or Girl2… not sure… but that won’t create difficulties in the story. Greg is at work. Very much like my Daddy, I can just see dollar signs flashing around… No need to pay a plumber. I can do this thing… “Plumber-Girl Activate!” I do all the normal stuff… plunger & small snake. Nothing. Next step: Ace hardware for a BIG snake. Nothing. After hours of this mess (no pun intended) I have determined I must pull up the toilet. Maybe there is something in the line. So here I go, unbolt that sucker and flip it over. I’m looking all down in the line with a light… I can see NOTHING. I try to run the snake down… nothing. About that time I glance over at the upside down toilet and the mystery was solved. I wish I had the thought to photograph my findings… but I didn’t. Coming out of the bottom of the toilet was nothing less than a toy Ninja Turtle (funny if you know the origins of the Ninja Turtle)… head first with his little arms as if he was trying to push his way out. Hysterical. So I removed him, put down a new seal, resat the toilet and life was ago again. I decided that moving the tub toy bin would be most advantageous.

So that’s my story of Toilet Troubles for the day… I hope I don’t have another one to share for a very long time. I sure do love my boys… all three of them. They hold this mother’s heart.

My 3 Sons

When To Say, “When”… Defining Boundaries For Our Kids

Some of my Facebook friends (and friends of friends) and I had/are having a great discussion on TV/movies and where to draw lines for our children/families. It has provoked me to think about how we make decisions for our family.

As far as movies go, we tend to take it on a movie/by/movie basis. I’d rather our oldest watch some R rated movies about WW2 than a “sexy” PG movie. I’d rather them watch some PG-13 movie than a Shrek-type movie because they pick up all that potty mouth humor that I hate… and boy does it stick. We watched “The Conspirator” the other day as a family (it is historical movie about the assassination of Lincoln) It had a hangin’ and some violence and “mild” cursing. We watched “King’s Speech” as a family (we FFed through the scenes with the “f” word). GREAT movie. I’d rather that than a tacky, potty mouth filled “cartoon.” I also have what I call “one time watches”… movies/shows i don’t mind them watching once but not over and over and over.

Here is another thought of mine. Do I trust the WORLD to determine (the rating system) what my kids will watch? Similar thought to my above thought. As I see Disney TV… there are some boyfriend/girlfriend type stuff that is just inappropriate to me. The “I Love You Like A Love Song” video (that plays virtually non-stop) by Selena Gomez is very sensual. I actually think it’s more dangerous because it’s so “innocent” and such. Another thought- what about Hercules… it’s G (I believe) but all that Hades/demon type stuff is questionable at best… it’s in the guise of “cute & funny” and there is NOTHING cute/funny about Satan or his demons. We do let ours watch “Lord of the Rings” and “Star Wars.” For us, the distinguishing factor is that evil is clearly evil… good is clearly good. So for us, Harry Potter (evil and good blurred with the “good” guys being into witchcraft -IMO) is not a good option. Greg and I have determined (not officially – but practically) that rating systems aren’t our decision making tools… although they DO help. So, while we’re very conservative… I try to look at what makes a movie receive a certain rating. Sex  and “sexy” stuff- is out whether it’s pg, or pg 13. If there is some cursing or some violence that is “required” to be historically accurate, I’m more flexible. Even then, we have to be careful.

What about causing our children to rebel. It’s a REAL thing. There are often those who think their children are picture perfect because they “obey” in front of parents/adults… it’s not always the same away from parents. We all knew these kids growing up. I certainly had that tendency! I knew one kid whose parents allowed NO candy/sweets. Well, when that kid got “out”… he/she ate enough sweets to choke a horse. Those parents (well intended) “caused” (yes, i know he makes the choices) the child to rebel in this area because he/she was treated unrealistically (my opinion). This is one reason I have chosen not to be “Dugger-ish” about swimsuits for my girls… modest and cautions but not freaky. I don’t want her to feel so “out of the loop” that she feels she needs to prove something to me/the world and wear floss. We have let our boys play organized sports. I felt the need to let Boy1 know about a really bad word the other day… I said something like, “I just want you to know this is a terrible, bad, horrible word.” He let me know that he knew it was terrible because he had heard playing soccer. Ugh. I feel that they need to know how to participate in team sports but this is definitely a  downside. It’s a delicate balance. We are to be set apart… but we have to function in this world the Lord gave us. Otherwise, we will be a group of people who exclude and shun others to a fault… then who will love the unsaved, wild ones?

It’s just plain difficult. So many point out that we must let our kids out into the real world… “experience” real life… especially our homeschooled. So, what areas do we let them “out” into the “real” world… where to we “shelter” them? WHEN does all this happen? That is why we as parents have to know our children (and all are different) and pray for wisdom. Each set of parents tend to have different convictions based on our past and the experiences thereof. At the end of the day, we have to make the best decisions we know to make based on God’s word and the insight He gives us as parents. Greg and I have chosen to keep our TV (albeit antique, hah) and seek to be cautious. Do we make mistakes? YES. And if I know me… I’ll make a few more before it’s said and done. We try to point out the wrong and encourage the good. We try to admit to our children and one another when we’re wrong. We try to shape their decisions as they walk this journey. Rules for legalism sake will benefit no one. All our rules and regulations must be based in truth and must come from a heart of love. It is a daily battle! It changes and morphs as they grow and change… the world becomes more evil… but Jesus is the same… so that has to be our steady. Pray and ask the Lord to show you where to draw the likes for your children… He is faithful and will give us insight.

Random Thoughts From A Crazy, Homeschool Mom

I’m often asked about the Duggers and what I/we think about them. So after a friend’s Facebook post today, I decided that I’d rambled on enough to post it in my blog with a few edits, haha! (Sorry, Faye)

For those of you who don’t know my family, I’ll just catch you up a bit. We certainly have a large family by today’s standards… 3 boys, 3 girls. I believe that outside of sharing out faith in Jesus Christ and giving our children committed,married parents the greatest gift we give them is their siblings. We all (self listed as #1!) have to learn to be less selfish and more loving to function in our home. Do we do that perfectly? No way. We have to work together to do simple daily tasks. Here are a few examples: Our older children DO help with the smaller children and I fully believe they will be better moms, dads, aunts, uncles, nursery workers, adults one day because of it. The oldest son & daughter can change the poopiest of diapers (although they don’t get too excited). They (oldest 2) are responsible enough to baby sit for us some. They read school instructions (oldest 3) to the younger ones and can do some of the basic instruction. I don’t require them to do so because they have  such a heavy work load… but they often volunteer… and I let them! It’s beneficial for all parties involved! We do share the house work (or at least that’s the goal 🙂 because we all make the messes and therefore need to be a part. I tell them that I can’t run this ship on my own… we’re a team.

I am pretty old fashioned by today’s standards regarding men’s roles, women’s roles and dating/courting. I believe the Bible is the perfect example for Godliness- for boys, girls, women and men. I seek to teach my girls to be Godly, honorable,strong, pure women who find their strength and power in the Lord. I want them to be able to be intelligent, independent women who do not feel like they HAVE to marry… who can carry on a successful career of any type. Greg says (and I don’t think he’s kidding, hah) that if any boy/man wants to marry our daughters that they must know more about the Bible than our girls do. It is our goal to set that bar really high! If they do decide to marry, I pray they are Biblically submissive wives who honor the Lord through their service to their husbands and family if children is what He (Christ) wills. I pray my boys are warrior-men who seek to honor all women and treat their wives as Christ loves the church. By warrior-men I mean that they are strong, menly-men who have not caved to the “pansy” men of today (no, not all men are pansy-men today 🙂 who are sure of who they are in Christ and have a great knowledge of His word.I pray they seek to honor Christ through their vocations whether that be trash-man or pastor or president. I believe we have cow-towed to the world’s definition of what a man should be and what a woman should be. We need to return to the Word.

I was just asked a few weeks ago “Why are you so big on courting?” Well, first of all I did not “court” growing up. No one did. I never even saw it as a “real” option. I tell people that although Greg and I began “dating” when I was 14 and he was 15 the Lord worked despite us. I am a blessed woman to have married my sweet-heart and a God-fearing man. For our children, I do and will continue to encourage “courting” because I believe (based on my experiences and those of others) that “dating” as done today is a catastrophe waiting to happen. Kids having mini-marriages ending in mini-divorces is the norm and is devastating. If you don’t believe me, just look around… I mean really look around. Girls “selling” themselves as eye candy to the greatest bidder. Boys looking for the next trick. It is NOT working… end of experiment. It’s a failure. We have too many casualties for me to suggest it is a valid option to my kids. Why? Until marriage I believe that we should give our hearts only to our Lord. The mini-marriages we see all around us does not encourage pure hearts or minds. I believe the best option for my children to do so is through what is called “courting” today. It encourages open, HONEST conversation between parents and their children. It is not denying their God-given sexual desires, it is teaching them to protect and treasure those desires. By the way, we’ve failed here as well in our society. I refuse to allow my daughters are treated like Dairy Queen “samples.” I refuse to stand by while my sons fill their bellies. I want them to go into marriage to their earthly spouse or their heavenly Groom whole and in tact. I don’t believe that I can “make” them go through with this option… it will have to be their own decision. A decision their father and I can guide them through. Is courting full-proof? No… but I believe it is a better option.

“Dugger” swimming… a little extreme for me, personally. We do encourage modesty… many would say “extreme” modesty… Girl1 wore swim shorts (“stylish” and cute) every day this summer to the pool (I think). Our 3 boys usually choose to wear swim shirts to swim… 1- because they don’t have to wear as much sun block 🙂 and 2- to be more covered. We don’t look weird at the seminary pool, but usually stand out a little in other situations… and I’m ok with that. We are to be set a part- sometimes this needs to happen even within the church. I do not however want them to feel “freaky” or “Dugger-fied.”

For those who wonder how the Duggers/Bates or other “whacko’s” will survive in the “real” world- my thoughts are that the real world is wretched… so I hope and pray mine DON”T fit in :)… I pray that my children are spared much of the wickedness of media (yes, we do own a TV) and grow in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

To wrap up… I’ll hit some other questions we get on a regular basis along with the Dugger questions:

  • Yes, they are ALL mine & birthed all 6 of them
  • No there are no twins
  • Not Catholic or Mormon- We’re Southern Baptist
  • Yes, we know what causes it
  • Yes, they have the same dad (…even the blonde)
  • No, we’re not having anymore unless the Lord drops one in our laps
  • No, I am NOT patient
  • Yes, my hands are full & I love it
  • Yes we homeschool
  • And no, I’m not worried about socialization

I do believe that the “Dugger-type” families have so much that today’s child longs for… a deep sense of family, togetherness and a more simple life. Above all, I see a deep desire by these families to teach their children the Word of our God and to sing His praises. That should be the goal of ALL Christian parents whether you homeschool, have chosen public/private school… have 1 or 20 kids. Are these large, extremest families perfect? No. Am I? Certainly not. Are they “extremest” on some topics. Yep. Am I… many would say, “yes.” Am I ok with that? You bet. It is NOT my goal to be extremest or crazy. It IS my goal to be Godly, to be more Christ-like. Will that look crazy and extremest in today’s society… Absolutely!

Just some random thoughts from a freaky, homeschool, mom, haha!

The Lord’s Lesson To Me Today…

I was rushing about today cleaning up as the children were going about their schooling… as the girls were vying for my attention… beginning to stress out about the clutter and grungy carpet. That was when the Lord gave me a glance into His goodness.

Just a few days ago I received a call from a friend. She is a member of a church were Greg served as an interim music guy a few months ago. She wanted to let us know that a 4 year old little boy (we’ll call him Jon) had died tragically the day before. Just months before he had been running around the church yard getting grass stains on his knees with my boys. Needless to say, this was devastating for the family and for the church as a whole. I can not begin to grasp the depth of the pain that family is feeling. I can not imagine the depth of the journey they will be facing over the next few weeks, months and years. Only the Lord can meet them where they are.

Back to today. I’ve mentioned it before (on my tour of messy homes) that I really like order, and cleanliness and no clutter. I HATE (not being too strong there) my house to be messy, but it seems like no matter how hard I work and fuss and complain it’s still messy. There may be moments that are tolerable, but overall, I’m pretty much always displeased. This is when Jon’s face popped in my mind. His family and friends would have never anticipated a “tomorrow” without him. It would be inconceivable. What if they could have known though… would they have worried about the dirty carpet… the smudges on the mirrors… what about the laundry that needed to be washed… the dishes lingering in the sink… of course not. Their time with their Jon would have been infinately more important. The Lord doesn’t promise us a tomorrow, a five years from now… or another breath. I want to live in the here and now… loving my children and not worrying about the floors.

I’ll never forget the last few visits I had with my mom. She was surrounded by her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. She would have had it no other way. She was oblivious to the kitchen sink, the bathroom mirror and the dust bunnies under the sofa. She was soaking in each minute… holding hands, sharing sweet memories, touching faces and preparing to meet her Savior.