Quiet and common notions...shared here...with you! Of life ~ our hearts and our home.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Mugs & Muffins :: (Back to School) Expectations! :: GIVEAWAY (now CLOSED) !

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Good Monday Morning - Ladies, Mom's!

It's that time again.. so here's a big, hearty welcome to Mugs & Muffins.  I'm glad you stopped by.  And hopefully you'll take a few minutes to sit a spell.
Don't you agree?  It's good to be feeling - or am I being hopeful? - that feeling of FALL that is in the air!
With that, is the start of school... everywhere! Some of you are already in the thick of it.  But.  Today my son has started his first full day of school -  First Grade.  And I, I tear up.. sniff, sniff.

While I go get myself a Kleenex... you go ahead and pass around this plate of Applesauce Corn Muffins (link for recipe) and be sure to fill up that coffee mug of yours, okay?


**  These muffins aren't much to look at, but they sure are tasty.  And.  It's a great recipe to use up "older" applesauce - should you have some left over from the previous season.  I know many of you, myself included, are about to start canning or freezing up *new* batches of Applesauce for the winter.
Can't wait!!
***
Here we are!  It's Back to School time!!  

As a mom, what are your thoughts? Your expectations?  How are you feeling?
If you're at all like me, you find yourself... Nervous, Excited, Uncertain, Unsettled, Ready, Confident...overwhelmed.  Yes!   I feel all of that and then some.
What did you think of that little quip I found, ironically enough, in one of my cookbooks?  It was the one I  shared on Friday.  Let's read it again.
Boy at the chalkboard to his teacher:  "I'm not an underachiever.  You're an over-expecter."
Like I said before, this little quip; it made me want to both smile and squirm simultaneously.   I can be this... guilty as charged!  The over-expecter.  While expectations are not always good, neither are they all that bad.  I can easily place a lot of expectations on folks that can quickly make those people seem "a true disappointment".

The same against situations.  Ideas.  Plans. etc.  However, I also want things to work out - for the best. As expected.  Meaning.  Things coming out of the kitchen or my sewing room and especially within the functionality of my vehicle...they better impress... you know what I mean?

Over the summer - we've been working with our kids - preparing them to get back into School!  Writing, reviewing Math and even reading, for my son.  Yes!  My kindergartener son can read.  He says he doesn't enjoy it - AT ALL!  But, I am praying that this will be a great year for my son to grasp how - what he thinks is SO boring - to be instead, enjoyable and fun!   I'm ubber excited for my daughter to get out and go "to Pre-school"... I know she's going to love it! and yet, I'm sad.  This is going to make her grow her up so fast.

 My two year old is going to feel "so lost" without her big sister around - all of the time!!  I'm expecting to have a little bit more of a shadow, at my heels, than I already do. ;)  And, that is quite alright..

At the same time, it's been rough - this preparation bit.  I wonder if all of this "bucking" and "fighting", from my son, to get to it, grasp it, enjoy it... is truly because we might expect too much of him.  My daughter was/is showing some of those same signs...I'm not sure if it's because she sees it come out of her brother, or what?  I don't know.  Then again.  I KNOW they are fully capable... and so let the encouragement and insisting/pressure begin. (said, tongue in cheek)
Expectations are good for us.  They are our boundaries in a sense. (Micah 6:8)  
But - at the same time... when I, as a mom, over expect... over demand...over insist... I will ultimately face overt disappointment.  I will have a bunch of, what will appear to be, little underachievers on my hands.  Yikes!

I highly admire many of you who homeschool your children.  I know a lot of you who read here are in "that community".  And, maybe one day I will join you. Who knows for sure.
Currently our decision - as a family - is to send our children to both a private Christian preschool and to the local Public school.   Some days I really wish we were a homeschooling family and then on other days I can't even imagine that possibility, at all... and it's then that I'm so glad I don't.  All that to say is this, you ... you (you know who you are!) inspire me!

However, these thoughts of schooling at home are in the deep places of my heart, places that result in prayers being prayed continuously.  I'm confident that if it (homeschooling) is meant to happen, at all, for our family then - it will.  And God will make that clear!  Very clear.
It just makes me wonder how you honestly do it?  I know it is not apart from the Grace of God...I'm sure of that.

So tell me!  

Do you meet your own expectations as a teacher-mom?  What are some of your (own, personal) expectations when it comes to your kids in school?  What are some of your favorite memories and stories of being in school, for yourself?  Lunch ideas?  (I'll need some..) and what aspirations or tidbits of encouragement can you share?

 I would love to hear your thoughts.  Hurry... before the bell rings!!  ;)  

 My mom used to use that expression all of the time...and many others.  She was full of these sort of one-liners.  Anyway. Speaking of my mom!  I was thinking about this the other day.  My mom packed a lunch for my dad every single work-day of their 24 years of marriage, until he passed away.  She had nine kids, of which, I'm the oldest.  And so, she packed school lunches every. single. day. for all nine of us kids as we each went through 12 years of school..  It blows my mind!  Some days.. when I think about.. we helped but still...

Talk about commitment and steadfastness... to her family.  I really appreciate my mom!!

In preparing for this Mugs & Muffins post today - I had high hopes that a certain friend of mine would be able to guest post today.  That expectation fell flat when she had to decline -and I completely respect her for her reasons.   On the flip side... the GIVEAWAY that I had in mind for today - came through.  I can tell you - I have never been more excited than I am to be able to get this book into your heart and hands.

If I ever were to fully feel motivated and called to homeschool - it would be because of this lady right here.  Talk about living it out and living through it -in the thick and thin - enough to talk about it.  WOW!  And... there are plenty of photos sprinkled through out to prove it.  I love this book.

:: GIVEAWAY ::
Homeschool Supermom . . . Not! When Grace Meets  Homeschooling
My dear (IRL) friend Susan Kemmerer has challenged my feelings in more ways than one and encouraged me a lot as I think, consider, ponder the possibilities of (a future in) homeschooling.  Susan is a wife, a mom to nine children (7 of which are boys)  and a grandmother to six - with more on the way. I think. ;)  She has written many a book, and curriculum to boot, and is the author of this blog...Homeschool Supermom ... NOT! - When Grace Meets Homeschooling.

Follow her blog for another chance at winning!  Just let me know in a comment..


Susan has agreed to donate a copy of her book - by the same title - as part of my GIVEAWAY today.  Let me tell you!  I have read and reread this book - always feeling encouraged and (yet!!) overwhelmed..

Because, when it is all said and done... I know it is all and only by God's Grace that anything can be done... and that is our only hope and where our expectation(s) should lie.  I can't do this or anything by myself.  ONLY Jesus!  It is only by Jesus' help..that I can.



Susan and her husband, Dale, also run a home business:  School House Publishing.  You are invited to explore their web-site at your leisure.

**Each comment counts as one entry towards our GIVEAWAY today!  Share as many thoughts as you would like. I'm serious..
(This GIVEAWAY is now CLOSED.)
***
In closing, I came across a selected piece, from an old book; Ideals and Moral Lessons, that I thought I would also share with you, today.  This may read a bit outdated... but go ahead.  Read anyway.  What do you think??
 The Test of Education
A professor in the University of Chicago told his pupils that he should consider them educated in the best sense of the word, when they could say yes to every one of the fourteen questions he should put to them.  Here are the questions:

Has your education given you sympathy with all good causes and made you espouse them?
Has it made you public-spirited?
Has it made you brother to the weak?
Have you learned how to make friends and keep them?
Do you know what it is to be a friend yourself?
Can you look an honest man and a pure woman straight in the eye?
Will a lonely dog follow you in the street?
Can you be  high-minded and happy in the meaner drudgeries of life?
Do you think washing dishes and hoeing corn just as compatible with high thinking as piano-playing or golf?
Are you good for anything to yourself?  Can you be happy, alone?
Can you look out on the world and see anything except dollars and cents?
Can you look into a mud puddle by the wayside and see anything in the puddle but mud?
Can you look into the sky at night and see beyond the stars?  Can your soul claim relationship with the Creator?

Do YOU feel educated - against this list?  I cringe.  
A few of them.. make me wonder if I shouldn't go Back to School.  (smile!)

***
On the side:  Here is a link to a simple habit that will make your kids smarter.  In case you're looking for ways to make that happen. ;)

Take it for what it's worth.
What I find interesting about this article is that my husband and I have already been implementing this habit - wholeheartedly.  No wonder we always hear Grandma say - "You (grand)kids are so smart!"  lol.  Who knew?

***

Anyway.  Thank you for coming by today.  For hanging out!  For reading.  For sharing your thoughts and comments.  I greatly appreciate it.  Let me know what you think of those muffins - if you get a chance.

The Giveaway will wrap up on Tuesday Night at 10:00pm, EST.  I will announce the winner sometime on Wednesday.

Have a great day!

18 comments:

  1. Good Morning Bevy, Hope you are feeling better...I can so relate to Caleb not liking reading.. My son was like that too and still is.. but I found out why.. when my daughter came along 7 years later and started school, her teacher taught Phonics..my son at that age went to a different school and his teacher tried a new way for learning to read, and he did not grasp it.. I worked and worked with him and to no avail, it just made it boring for him.. He is 21 now and can read well, but does not like it still. My daughter grasped reading so much easier because of Phonics I feel. My son even expressed later in school he wished he had been taught by Kylie's teacher.. this made me sad in one aspect but when it was only Colton and me being a new mom I had no clue.. So please check to see how and what he is being taught with reading, it may be why he finds it boring..I explained it to my daughter like this.. Reading is like an adventure you will never know what each page holds until you read and turn the page... and it can take you places you have never been..
    I cant wait to try the muffins... Yummy I am sure... Have a great day...

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    1. Connie - it's so good to have you back (reading and commenting). I've missed you! Thank you for your constant encouragement.

      I know my son - he seems to be able to hold his own but is very vocal in the interim. I am praying for a much better year!! I think I've said that a many of time (what you told your daughter) and that sure does help. But still...

      I'm sure you're going to enjoy the muffins.

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  2. I already follow her blog. Does that count for an entry? I don't it all. I find it challenging to find the best fit for my dyslexs -he easily getsrated and I have to keep my cool. One of our children is going to schoo

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    1. I can give you two entries for this one... although, I wonder if the dog got to half of your post.. as in the excuse for "uhmm, the dog ate my homework, sir". You know that expressions. LOL!!

      I think maybe this got published before you were finished typing?... who knows. Still good to hear from you!!

      How are you doing in your moving?? Thinking of you..

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  3. Well that was quite a nice read - no muffin though but did enjoy a cup of coffee...of course! ;)

    Hmmm, what to comment on first. Well, I followed the link to making my kids smarter and good to know - we do the same - sleep is VERY important in our house - it's something we work on early on. It's a sacrifice in those first few months with our babies in that we really don't go many places and certainly do not stay out past bed time - but it's worth it in the end - we have great sleepers and it makes a world of difference!!

    That test of education - nice! I like that! (not that I could say yes to all of it - but it's a good measurement!) May have to print that one out!

    ;)

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    1. You would not believe how beneficial it is - to our family, for our family - to stay on a consistent nighttime routine. I was impressed to read that article.

      thanks for sitting a spell..

      Delete
  4. Dear Bevy,
    The muffins look delish!

    And you already know which school camp I attend...

    But for the record...it's all about relationships for this family.
    Then of course because of that...or maybe it's the other way around. It's all about Him.

    Then academics.

    Having had two older children and now two younger children. And seeing the difference that all of this time together, learning and living, thriving and failing, loving and affirming, grace poured out...I would love to have the time you have before you. I'm slightly envious. ;o)

    But...alas...I do not.

    I would of course very much encourage you if homeschooling were to become a clear choice for your family.

    Happy back to school for you and and yours.

    Praying the Lord provides you with a great year.

    xoxo

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    1. I know. You would be one of the biggest cheerleaders out there... because you have been on both sides of the fence.

      I get you!! I thank God for you, in my life. You are a real blessing.

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    2. Bevy, I have to agree with you about sweet Kristin... I thank God for her too and she is a blessing... so are you...

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  5. Hello dear Bevy!

    Yummy applesauce corn muffins! I am definitely going to give them a try!

    Homeschooling wins out for us :o) - but I get that it is not for all. For us we really felt called by the LORD to teach our girls ourselves, the goal being that they love Him, know Him, seek Him and are conformed to His likeness and not the worlds.

    There is no doubt that there are some rough days, and I don't believe there is a homeschool mama out there that thinks, 'Oh yes! I have it all together and I have it all worked out!' - LOL. Most of the time we know that we need ALLOTA Grace and spend quite a bit of time on our knees - LOL.

    But the rewards! Oh the rewards Bevy! Precious times that I have with my girls, times that won't last forever, for one day they will fledge the nest and be living their lives. I am so SO grateful for these times - I wouldn't trade them for all the riches on earth! We are in our teen years now, and if I could turn back the clock and start it all again - I would! Just to have that extra time with them again.

    Is it the easy choice? No - not at all. But things of high value often cost the dearest. I think if you are hearing God's call to keep your children at home - you should just jump straight in and trust Him to undertake for you.
    He is a faithful God!

    I second Kristins comment, @I would very much encourage you if homeschooling were to become a clear choice for your family'!

    Hugs,
    Shirley

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    1. Hey Shirley -

      I think you are a gem! A real encourager. I know you would be a big cheerleader as well. I love that you are doing A.C.E. and that is what I would want to do as well - should be choose to do this.

      All the way from England. Thanks for coming by today.

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    2. Shirley Ann,
      Your comment gave me goosebumps.
      You said it soooo beautifully!!!

      Bevy, don't ignore the nudge and the whisper...said ever so gently. Shirley Ann is so spot on. Jump, sister. :-)

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  6. You DID say we could comment more then once to gain more entries...right?? That's why I saved some chatter for today! ;)

    Expectations...well when I started homeschooling I figured it would work just like 'regular' school and set out to run it just so. We even turned a spare bedroom in the house we were in, into a class room - it was lovely. But then I discovered (and still am) that my eldest...is a different sort of character - and well to make a long (and still on going) story short - I am learning that our 'school' is the every day! That we learn in all sorts of ways and to expound upon those moments. We school as we live and so far it's working well. I still have the expectation that book work NEEDS to be done or certain criteria NEED to be met...but I don't think that is what I am suppose to get out of all of this and I'm seeing more and more that, that is not what THEY are to get out of all of this. Yes, I have to follow (or use as a guideline) those standards of the Province I live in BUT God's standards are our ultimate guideline and the ultimate goal of our homeschooling. Learning to live and love like Jesus is our goal and so we take it all as it comes and they are learning...and so am I! ;) :) ♥

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  7. I would also agree with Shirley Ann! She painted it beautifully. And no - I don't meet my own expectations as a teacher/mom. As Shirley and you said - it is ALL of grace. We started this week. Yesterday, if I am honest, was a train wreck. But - you know what? It was a train wreck to ME. Today was better, but not where I wanted it. But the kids are loving it, we are back in our routine of being together at the table each day, and enjoying ourselves AROUND my expectations!! I think my biggest challenge is getting out of my own way... Or maybe, more appropriately taking me out of the way of what the Lord might have for our day. We only have 3 years left before it is all over for Michael. Feeling that like crazy, and determined to enjoy every last minute of it.

    For us - Mike wanted me to homeschool. It became a no brainer then - he's the boss! Haven't regretted a minute. Had some tough spells, but no regrets. The Lord will make it clear to you guys as well if it is something you need to pursue. I had never even considered it. We had even enrolled Michael in a Christian school. He never went. We pray through it year by year, and year by year we listen for that whisper. We have been abundantly blessed.!

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    1. Kristy Said, "I think my biggest challenge is getting out of my own way... Or maybe, more appropriately taking me out of the way of what the Lord might have for our day"

      LOVE IT!!!! I so agree! Took the words right out of my mouth. We also only have 3 years left until our eldest 'graduates' - it feels like trying to hold water in the cup of my hand.

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  8. Dear Bevy,

    I had to go back to school when I began home schooling. I'm in third grade now.:0) And it's very exciting too. I'm learning right alongside them. The first year I began homeschooling I remember one of my favorite things was having a home cooked meal for breakfast and lunch with my children. No packed lunches! I'm going to be a little selfish here and not share with you recipes for packed lunches because I pray. I pray that what I'm about to share will as you ask, "encourage" you.
    .........................................................

    I'll just get right to the point here because these ladies have said so much so well already and the Holy Spirit I can see is moving in wonderful ways here....He who has an ear, let him hear.

    The Lord HAS made this issue clear to any parent.

    We are commanded.

    COMMANDED by God to teach our children his commandments at all times. Deuteronomy 6:6-7

    At.
    All.
    Times.

    Are religion and education inseparable?

    If you think they are, then public school is certainly the answer. We don't think they are.

    God has called US to be the primary teachers of our children. It would be disobedience to ask anyone else to do this.

    God is good. Man is free. We made the CHOICE. The free choice to make babies {the fruit of the womb, the blessing from God}. They ARE a gift, but we made the choice to bring forth the gift from God's gift to make them. And God will hold US AS PARENTS ACCOUNTABLE FOR WHAT OUR CHILDREN ARE TAUGHT. The Bible, God's Holy, Living word COMMANDS us to take responsibility for our children's training and education ourselves {Proverbs 22:6}







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    1. Thank you for your thoughts, here Amanda. I really do hear you and appreciate all that you've shared.

      Here is where I get hung up. Not just your response (personally!) but as a whole. I firmly believe that we are responsible to teach and train our children...yes! I also know that he has given us a responsibility to "go out and share the good news!"... "be a light - in this dark world". So - while those things are also called of us (to do and be) He also allows the things of this world (and people in it) to sharpen and refine us. To challenge us. To hold us accountable - towards the things we have been taught.
      I grew up a very sheltered (conservative Mennonite) life. My husband did not. I "hate" all that he went through and that he was exposed to - growing up. On the flip side - I don't appreciate that I grew up with the constant "sin" of comparison and of being judgmental all of the time. Anyway... all of that to say. There is a call (from Romans) to be in the world but not of it. THIS IS NOT OUR HOME! and to have the privilege to teach my children the core values of our FAITH (that one day, Lord Willing, we'll be able to lead them to Faith for their own "walk") - along with having "our church family", by our side, to walk with us in teaching our training our family, our kids has been a real blessing. (( I could add here... it is likened to having the medical profession available. God has them here in our lives to help in time of need - we are not interdependent without them. Do we agree with everything - no! - but we sure do need them! and they help us.))

      Do I pray a lot? ABSOLUTELY. I pray that Caleb especially will be a little light of Jesus in his class, to his classmates, to his teacher! Maybe, perhaps that will be the only Jesus that they'll see.

      ((I also happen to know that there a lot, A LOT of Christian teachers and other Christian families (along with after school Bible clubs and Moms in Prayer groups)in our particular school district that does give some peace of mind.))

      Now. Is that a lot to put on a kid? To expect that he can do and be that? I know it is...

      Which is why... I want to cave and keep him home and shelter (because it's safer that way, etc.) and - but IT'S ALL a matter of PRAYER and DISCERNMENT as to what the Lord's will is for each individual family.

      I'm going to be really honest here.
      I go - way too often - down the road of "I mustn't love my kids enough" like so and so does if I can't "handle" them being at home all day. Then I stop myself and realize that IF they were home all day and it truly was my full responsibility to teach my kids at home than I would (eventually) over time LOVE it too!

      The fact that I am even contemplating the path of homeschooling, today, speaks volumes to the "softening of my heart"...most likely my angst against it for so long was due to my upbringing. Which is why I say - it is I who eats humble pie.

      Like I've said (in my actual post) I greatly admire ALL of you all who do home school. I think it is a HUGE undertaking and it must be a tremendous blessing that you feel.

      Above all - let's pray for one another and encourage one another as we are all (currently) in seasons and various places and stages in our lives. Amen?

      Delete
  9. This was a smokin' hot conversation of truth and goodness.
    Loved it all...

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