Monday, February 22, 2010

A classic rainy day!!!

When you've been born and raised in Arizona...over cast rainy days are rare and treasured. So when I woke up this morning to the sound of rain I was excited and started picturing what the day would be like.

Mondays are a 'stay at home day' for in my head I started planning out our perfect rainy day schedule. It was going to be a slow, relaxed, and cozy day...spent mostly in front of the fire. I had spent the evening before creating our Monday schedule, but I was eager to scratch that and change it to a DEAR (drop everything and read) day. When Jarom and Megan woke up not feeling great I felt my impressions to change gears and make it a DEAR day were confirmed. WOO-HOO!! What a day. I've tried this before...I mean tried to actually spend a whole day reading, and I've never made it more than an hour before I have little ones needing this or that. But, today was going to be different.

After making a warm pot of Hot Cereal for the kiddos, doing our devotional with dad, and cleaning up the kitchen I pulled the comfy arm chair over to the fire. The kids had admired the new red leather covered Journeys Through Bookland series that rested in the family room, and actually started asking if I'd read to them out of it. I couldn't believe it. Soon I had all 6 kiddos around me listening to old poems, fables, and stories that seemed to come to life as I read them aloud. Whenever the sun would peek out of the clouds the kids would take a little break and run outside for a bit, and I would start reading something else. We ate a simple lunch that we didn't really pick up very well, because I was to focused on getting back to my reading. Eventually I found myself on the floor with my two babies on my lap, other kids scattered around playing with legos, a totally messy house. I was still reading, and they were still listening. Finally at 5 I finished up 'Silver Locks and the Three Bears' and 'The Boy and the Wolves.'

With my two little ones acting hungry I figured I should start making something for dinner. Usually I feel discouraged and overwhelmed if I haven't started dinner by 5, but not today. No today I was feeling peaceful, happy, and balanced as I approached the task of making dinner and cleaning up the house. I had put my priorities where they needed to be. I had successfully read most of the day...and I was stinking happy inside. To some, my day may have looked like a total disaster with no tangible accomplishments to mark my success, but to me it was one of the best days in February!!

TJed Trenches

I just posted this on a blog called: In The TJed Trenches and I thought I'd share it here too!! My post is about one of the 7 Key of Education...You NOT Them. I have to say that I feel like these are NOT only keys to education, but also keys for living a fulfilled life. Enjoy!!

Someone once described this key to me as YOU and THEM!! I liked the little twist they put on the principle of not getting so focused on what your kids are doing (or what you think they should be doing) that you forget that it all really starts with YOU!! Its reminds me that this journey of learning, studying, and growing is something that everyone (including mom and dad) need to be a part of!!!

A few years ago I was able to listen to a wonderful lecture Dr. DeMille was giving at George Wythe University. At the very end of his speech he said something that rocked my world. He challenged us to do something about our personal education. Then he made a statement. He said...the education you have in ten years from now will be the education your children will have ten years from now. SHOOT!!! I loved this, and hated this all at once. For me it meant I really needed to step up my game!!

Now don't get me wrong, I don't think he meant that my kids education would mirror my education, but I do think he meant that the level at which I was growing spiritually, educationally, and personally WOULD mirror the level and intensity of growth my children would be experiencing. He ended the speech with a simple statement something like...the choice is yours what will you do!

Its been at least 3 or 4 years since I heard him say this...but the message has been burned into my mind. I wasn't homeschooling my kids at the time, but was seriously considering it. I had read The Thomas Jefferson Education book, and had become infected with a disease I like to call the Leadership Education Epidemic. I was beginning to see for the first time what my life really looked like...mediocre, unintentional, distracted, BLAH?!...and I wanted to change!! But, I was freaking out at the overwhelming thought of leading this ultra Intentional Leadership Education kind of it wasn't until a year or so later that I finally took the plunge.

The first HUGE change I made was pulling the kids out of school. But I knew there was so much more to this new life I wanted to live. I hadn't read in so long that didn't even know where to I simply started by reading books to the kids. I got a few books like Little House in the Big Woods, Little Britches, Laddie, and others and began reading them aloud. It was a start. I was at least reading again. Next we turned off our cable, and limited movie and gaming we had less distractions and I found it easier to focus and find time to play and read with the kids. About 6 months later not knowing what the heck I was doing (other than I was reading to start studying more) I joined a 5 Pillar class...(2 years later I'm almost done with it...WOO-HOO!!).

Over the last few years I've noticed a HUGE increase in my kids desire to learn and read when I am pushing myself in my own studies. When I relax in my studying, and start focusing more on what I think the kids should be doing our momentum dies. I am not saying that I ignore my kids, and focus only on my studying. HECK NO!! I am constantly perfecting my custom made Martineau Family Inspiration Plan. It gets tweaked all the time, because my motto is if at first you don't inspire try try again!! But I'll have to wait and do another post about that.

Everyone needs an example to follow...especially our kids. My prayer is that my example shows my kids that I believe that living an intentional life of learning is the way to go!! Like Dr. DeMille told me years ago, the choice is yours what will you do! I choose to live an intentional life filled with learning, because I know I have a mission and I want to be prepared. You NOT them works!!!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Journeys Through Bookland

About a year ago a wonderful friend of mine recommended this amazing series. I was intrigued by her description, of a ten volume set of books filled with the best children's literature of all time. I mean who wouldn't want that...right?!

So, I started doing my research to find out even more. I was also curious how hard it was going to be to purchase a set of books published in 1939. I kept freaking out a bit because, it just seemed to good to be true. Could there really be a set of books with some of the best literature in it? Its been almost a year now, and after a lot of searching I FINALLY received my own complete 10 volume Journeys Through Bookland set...and I think I'm in LOVE!! Not only are they BEAUTIFUL, but the stories, poems, and illustrations within the books are fantastic.

As I unpacked each book tonight I began to have an inkling of the deep connection and love Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and other great men must have felt about their precious libraries. I gently rubbed my hand across the red leather covers as I took each volume out of their packaging. I was in awe at the intricate designs, and craftsmanship that went into each book.

The house was quiet as I unpacked my box. All the kids were in bed and asleep. For some reason I stopped and looked at my little stack of books. I reflected on the intentional life I am choosing to live. I thought about all the things I am now so willing to give up. Things that are distractions, and will get in the way of my spiritual growth, educational goals, and family vision are easy to recognize and say no to now. I realized how important this shift has been to my happiness, my success as a mother, and my marriage.

I looked back to my stack of red leather books, and smiled. The thought of reading volume one in bed made me smile. I had thought I knew what made me happy a few years ago, and could never understand why it didn't last. I picked up my books and headed off to my room...thankful for the path I am on and the journey that lies a head.