Thursday, March 5, 2009

Connecting the dots...

{living outside}
I've always been an outside sort of person. I feel less stressed when I'm outside, so why the heck am I only know starting to realize this about myself? What a crazy life this is...definitely a path of self discovery that's for sure.

But I digress...what I'm trying to say is that this rural lifestyle fits me!! With 70 degree weather I've been trying to spend as much time as possible outside because being outside enjoying the fresh air is my version of HEAVEN! I am so grateful for the blessing we've had to move where I can live like this, and I know only the Lord's hand could have made such a miracle possible.

{hands on!!}

Right now we are all about hands on projects. The last two days the boys have been building little contraptions like crazy. Its been fun to watch them work together and use their hands to learn and figure things out. Jarom knows I'm terrible with this sort of he just figures it out hardly ever asking for help. He's awesome!!

{5 Pillars}
Lately I've found myself playing more with the kids and making more time to read so I can keep up with my crazy 5 Pillars reading regiment. AHHH!! It's so great to be accountable with a group, but going from only one 'mind candy' book a quarter to two 'classic' style books a month has been a HUGE stretch for me. I'm happy to report I've only NOT completed one book which was Les Miserables. I was suppose to read this book over Christmas break which is when we moved, so I only got through the first 300 pages read (only 1000 more to go). Finally I gave up and decided to finish it this summer when class is on a break.

Today I finished 'The Merchant of Venice' and I really really enjoyed it! Much to my surprise I am starting to figure this whole Shakespeare thing out. Last semester I read 'The Taming of the Shrew' and quite enjoyed that one too. Tonight we had our discussion on the play and it was lots of fun. I learned so much about Justice and Mercy by reading 'The Merchant of Venice.' Very cool stuff!

I am also in the middle of The Fourth Turning. I'm on page 180 something and really getting into it. Its so fascinating learning about history and the cycles that keep happening over and over and over and over again. LOVING THIS BOOK!! I can't wait for Dan to come do his seminar on it next Saturday the 14th. WOO-HOO!!

{Laddie on my mind}
I'm not sure why but Laddie is on my mind!! Last fall I read this book which is a fictional novel set in the country maybe a hundred years ago or so. Its is a really amazing book and I learned a lot of truths from its pages. I could go on and on about this book. The two things that are on my mind tonight come from it's pages...

#1 children are natural born GENIUSES. They come to Earth ready to learn!! Sometimes they recognize this much better than we do. For some reason we have a hard time believing that they WANT knowledge. However we can't just sit around doing nothing and think they are spontaneously start to read without any effort on our part. Its our job to foster that desire and inspire them to develop it. How cool is that. Here's a quote from Laddie that I just love that talks about how we may underestimate children.

"I (this is little sister talking who was 6 or 7 at the time) decided it was all a mistake about children not thinking; that they thought much more than grown people. They have time, and there is so much they do not understand. Big folks have to work, plan, and worry, but we can spend days looking nature in the face, and are not afraid to ask questions, because people would be more surprised if we know than if we don't."

#2 we learn better by experiencing it...don't you agree? I know I learn this way best! Here's another great quote from Laddie where the little sister is talking about what she thinks of schools and how they could help her learn better if...

"Schoolhouses are made wrong. If they must be, they should be built in a woods pasture beside a stream, where you could wade, swim, and be comfortable in summer, and slide and skate in winter. The windows should be cut to the floor, and stand wide open, so the birds and butterflies could pass through. You ought to learn your geography by climbing a hill, walking though a valley, wading creeks, making islands in them, and promontories, capes, and peninsulas along the bank. You should do your arithmetic sitting under trees adding hickory nuts, subtracting walnuts, multiplying butternuts, and dividing hazelnuts. You could use apples for fractions, and tin cups for liquid measure. You could spell everything in sight and this would teach you the words that are really used in the world. Every single one of us could spell incompatibility, but I never heard father or the judge, or even the Bishop, put it in a speech."

{Not sure}
I'm not sure why I decided to write about this tonight. It just kind of just came out of me without prior thought when I sat down to journal/blog for the day. Maybe I needed to incorporate what I'm learning into who I am or maybe I needed to be reminded of things?! Not sure, but it was a great exercise to pull out Laddie and The Merchant of Venice and read through their pages again.

They felt like old friends reminding me of who I am and what I believe in. Strange! I remember people calling books friends, and I could never relate. Now I can and these 'classic' books I've been reading over the past six months are truly becoming my friends and I am a changed person because of them.

What an amazing experience. I am so grateful for it even when its hard and seems overwhelming!! I am loving the journey of becoming who I was meant to be one book and one moment of inspiration at a time.

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