Sunday, December 11, 2011

Mother's day message

In a relay race, runners take positions on a track or a course and each gets to run part of a race. The captain chooses one of the runners to start the race. This runner sprints toward the next colleague with a small aluminum tube called a baton. The baton is then passed from runner to runner until the last of the group crosses the finish line with it. It may be that these races originate from a type of ancient currier system where instead of a baton, a message scroll may have been passed from town to town changing runners in between so that no one messenger would have to run an impossible distance.

When the first runner in a relay is nearing the second runner with the baton, the receiving runner looks behind them and sees the first runner nearing. This is a sign for the second runner to begin their run. The baton is passed mid-run from one runner to the next, without the receiving runner looking back. How does the receiver know when to put out their hand and grasp the baton? The first runner calls out the word “REACH!” and the receiver puts back their hand accordingly and feels the metal cylinder thrust into their waiting fingers. A race can be lost by dropping the baton or failing to pass it properly.

All my life, I have waited for my turn to carry the baton of motherhood. I have watched my forerunners carefully and learned many things. I wanted to prove that I was a good runner and that I would not drop the baton. In my mind, I could here my mother coming near, preparing me to run, and calling out “REACH!”

“REACH, for every good thing in life!”

“REACH, out to others in need!”

“REACH, for your goals and dreams!”

“REACH, into the past and learn from generations before you!”

“REACH, for understanding and knowledge!”

“REACH, for strength and courage!”

“REACH, toward your Father in Heaven and His son Jesus Christ!”

I have heard in my heart the call to REACH mature motherhood and carry this baton that bears with it a message:

“You are a winner as long as you are running the race!”

I am thankful for a loving mother who blessed me with my body that may run,

and taught my spirit to REACH!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Give the gift of family history for Christmas

A very inexpensive idea for teens and adults in your family: Search out the family tree and make a lovely print out of their pedigree going back five generations. You can laminate or frame it. It makes a thoughtful gift and helps pass on a sense of belonging. It's super great if you have photos for some or all of those on the family tree, but it's not necessary.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Book/toy combos for gifts

Toy/book combos as gift ideas: Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks, with a plastic Indian, The Castle in the Attic by Elizabeth Winthrop with the klutz castle building cards which comes with a tiny knight, Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder with a rag doll, The Littlest Matryoshka by Corinne Demas Bliss with a set of matryoshka dolls, Butterflies for Kiri by Cathryne Falwell with a package of origami paper, Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig with a red marble, Boxes for Katje by Candace Fleming with some real tulip bulbs, Gingerbread Friends by Jan Brett with a set of mixing bowls and a wooden spoon or apron and potholders and a gingerbread man cookie cutter, Stranger in the Woods by Carl Sams and Jean Stoick with snowman accoutrements, Fancy Nancy by Jane O'Connor with dress up clothes, Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh with primary color finger paints.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Can you home school and still let your kids attend public school?

Yes you can! This year I'm giving myself a bit of a break by putting my twins in half day kindergarten and my big girl in third grade. I think at the ages they are now, it would be beyond me to sit with them each day and try to do school work. I also have my little one to think about. She has always had older siblings around and this will give me some one on one time with her. School starts in two days. So why did I spend half an hour experimenting with surface tension with my kids? Why did I have them draw observations of the experiments? Why did I correct their spelling in their science notebooks? Because I love to teach, and I am still a home schooling mom and we are still a home schooling family. The kids enjoyed the hands on learning. I learned that my son was much better at drawing than I thought he was. I saw my big girl take extra time on her handwriting and was able to give her praise for improving her skills. I will continue to lead my children in math, science, reading, and history. Teach them geography and math skills. We still go to the library often and currently I'm reading the Guardians of Ga'hoole series with my oldest. I showed my kids where Hurricane Irene was on a map. These kids need more than public school to truly thrive. I love being a part of their education too much to stop. I don't know if next year will be public school or home school, or both. But I'm looking forward to quieter afternoons with my pre-schooler and much learning with all my children. It's going to be a good year!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Friday, July 15, 2011

My first no sew rag rug!

You can find a great tutorial at