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Showing posts from July, 2010

Sixth Grade - Awkward, but Stable

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In sixth grade I had those glasses that turned dark outside. I remember getting teased mercilessly for them. I greatly regretted asking for them, but it was too late once we had them. Sixth grade, the year I turned 11, was fairly stable. Sure, I had the normal pre -teen drama of “does she like me this week or not,” and being very non-athletic I struggled to fit into some groups at recess and the like, but for the most part we had found a stable point in our lives. We did actually find “home” in Missouri, and that is where I finished my growing up years, and my parents still live there today. Me, my mom, and my grandmother (dad's mom) - Love the homemade dresses and hats! At the beginning of sixth grade we were ushered into the music room and Miss T, our music teacher, told us we were going to learn about the instruments we could take in band. Mr. B helped her demonstrate the instruments. This was not long after we ahd had an evangelist come though our church who had a trombone

I Want to Do It Myself

At four, Miss N is learning new skills every day. As her mother, I love watching her explore her abilities and learn new ones. I love her new independence. But sometimes it's not convenient . Yet, as parents sometimes it is easier to let them depend on us. Frankly, it's much quicker for me to buckle her into her carseat than to wait while she struggles with the latch. Sometimes I find myself losing patience with her while waiting in the hot sun for her to finish. I have had to hold myself back this week and let her learn. It's not possible to learn without struggle. She is becoming quite masterful at buckling herself into the carseat . But in order for her to learn that, I had to step back and let her struggle. Sometimes I find that she vehemently opposes my help. I am left to wonder if I hover too much, if she is just really independent right now, or if she is actually stalling because she knows we are late. For now, I guess we will just plan some extra time, and also

Fifth Grade Brings a Two Huge Changes

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Fifth grade was definately the beginning of my awkward stage, as this picture shows. My goal was to have hair all the way down to my rear end. It took me several years to figure out long hair and curly hair rarely go hand-in-hand. This is the seventh post in a series called Mommy’s Piggy Tales that chronicles my youth. To read the rest, visit Part 1 , Part 2 , Part 3 , Part 4 , Part 5 , and Part 6 . For the second time in my young life, I packed up every earthly belonging, put my dog in a crate with a tranquilizer pill, and boarded an airplane with my family. My dad’s job required us to move once again. I cried this time, because moving is always hard. I knew nothing about the new place we would be moving to. I knew no one there. Yet, I was ready to leave all of the schools of Massachusetts behind. At the beginning of fifth grade I returned to the first public school I attended when we moved there, making six schools in three years. (My mom made the BEST costumes - this was halloween

On Keeping Little Girls Little

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We live in the era of “tweens,” Hanna Montana, and kid-sitcoms that talk about very adult topics. I was reading an old college chum, Gretchen’s post for Mommy’s Piggy Tales , and she recounted getting her very first American Girl Doll when she was nine and they were brand new. Nine. Do today’s nine year olds still play with dolls? I have two girls. I want to keep them young, to let them enjoy childhood. Adult life is hard, although rewarding, and you only get to be a child for a teeny tiny moment. I don’t want to rush them through this quickly at all. I recently heard a missionary (or maybe my pastor after his missions trip?) recounting how girls in the culture of the country (sadly, I can’t remember which one) played with dolls until well into their teens. They got to be GIRLS. As a child, I played with Barbies and Ponies into my junior high years. It was a secret my two friends and I kept from our classmates, but I really truly enjoyed the make-believe world we created. I want t

My Experience with a Real Live Gypsy

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I'm participating in a project called Mommy's Piggy Tales to record my Youth. I don't have the time or energy to link to the other records on my blog, but each Thursday for the past six weeks I have done this project if you are curious. Here is part six, which is fourth grade. As I walked into the classroom, I felt a sense of relief. There were not Bible verses on the walls, no Christian flag, nothing to indicate that it was a Christian school. Because it, in fact, wasn ’t. But that relief wasn ’t going to last long. Why such relief? I was, after all, a Christian. Shouldn't I have felt at home at a Christian school? Not after fourth grade. After spending third grade in the excellent Christian school, my parents made the decision to switch me to a Christian school that was closer to our home to avoid the 45 minute “commute.” The new school had some beliefs not in line with what we believed. Mostly, they were “speaking in tongues” and “fainting in the spirit” almost d

Getting Closer

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We love our church. Today, we had a lovely afternoon dinner at a local restaurant with church friends. Miss N and her little friend were treating us to a "ballroom style" dance party after the meal, while Miss M and I ran back and forth to the potty as she kept saying she wanted to go (she was not successful). We got home late and were unsure about how long the children would sleep. I was really wanting to go back to church for the evening service because we had done junior church in the morning. When the girls woke by five, I was thrilled. We shoveled some food at them and I was getting them dressed. Miss N was acting kind of strange, and she came up and said, "Mommy, can I tell you something?" My response, as usual, was "Of course, you can tell me anything." She whispered in my ear, "Mommy, I want to be a Christian." I asked her, "Why do you think you are not a Christian?" and she responded, "Because I do bad things."

Life in a "Foreign" Land

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I am working on a post to record my youth in 15 blog posts. To find the beginning of my story, click here . Then part 2 , part 3 , and part 4 are also available. To participate in Mommy's Piggie Tales, click the button at the bottom of this post. Last week I mentioned how I went to public school then homeschooled for the remainder of second grade when we first moved to Massachusetts. Pepper said she was curious if we continued to homeschool after that. It was an excellent question. Massachusetts was a time of schooling upheaval for me, and no, we did not continue to homeschool. Third grade was the only year from second until fifth grade that I went to one school for the entire year. My parents found a Christian school called Christian Day School. It was a good school, but if I recall correctly was about 40 minutes from our house. We carpooled with another family. We would meet in a mall parking lot to swap kids – one week my parents would drive, and the next the other family wo

Potty Training - Update

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So this sweet face: I'm pretty sure I traumatized her with our little potty training attempt. All weekend any time we went into a bathroom for a diaper change, she started sobbing, pointing to the potty, and saying "no no no." I have decided we will wait until September to try again. I bought the "Potty Training in Three Days" book and I like the positive approach it takes. I will attempt that in September when N is in school. She'll only be just past two, so I am hoping that it will still be early enough that she's not set in her ways of pottying in her diaper. I really thought she was ready. I wonder, she can tell me when she goes, but she didn't seem to be able to hold it. Even when I would whisk her to the potty when she started to go, she would just let it all out on the way. Is it possible she can't yet utilize the "hold it" muscles? Regardless, we have a busy, busy summer, and I think the fall will be perfect. I'm just

Potty Training - FAIL

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Well I did a three-day attempt at potty training Megan. By the end of the third day she was definitely frustrated. I said I would only continue if she wasn't so we are stopping. Taking a break. Picking back up in a while. Really, this isn't a big deal. Plenty of parents start then stop. While I think she could be ready since she tells me whenever she goes in her diaper, it just wasn't working for the two of us. It was a relief to put that diaper back on after three days. So, why do I fell like a complete and utter failure tonight? It might be because I have a friend in the process of training her under-two-year-old daughter and having plenty of success. We were encouraging each other via FaceBook , but I have failed. Maybe it's because I'm a huge perfectionist. I honestly thought if I let her run around naked and notice when she went, she would gain a measure of control over the process. I was wrong, or I was not attentive enough, I can't tell which. I know

Yet Another Life Change

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(Second grade school picture. Immediately after this picture I requested bangs. I was mortified by how big my forehead was. I had bangs from this point until I was in college. That's how traumatized I was!) So far in this project I have had monumental events in every post. In the first one I was born, then I was born again, then my brother was born. Well, in second grade no one was born, but it was yet another life changing year for our family. In the middle of second grade, we faced one of the biggest life changes in our family. We left California. Not only did we leave California, but we moved to the complete other end of the world. We moved to the town of New Bedford, Massachusetts. This was because of a job transfer for my dad. For us, this was huge, as all of our immediate family lived in CA. Also, we lived directly next door to my dad’s parents and within an hour or two of my mom’s parents and step parents. I remember my going away party from Manteca Christian School. I f