Subscribe in a reader

Oh how the years go by…

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 3.00 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...

“And oh how the years go by
And oh how the love brings tears to my eyes
All through the changes
The soul never dies
We fight, we laugh, we cry
As the years go by”

I heard this song the other day, and I thought it was so fitting. We spent Easter Sunday with my Dad and assorted family and as I stood on the back porch, the sun shining, kids playing in the yard, I just smiled. I saw my Dad, my uncle, aunt and cousins all laughing and happy, and I thought, “This is what it’s all about.” My husband and I lounged in the pool chairs, working on a tan, and joking how the kid decided to break in the pool a little early this year. Even though we ate too much and were exhausted by the time it was all said and done, we had a great day!

More and more I hear so many people struggling and going through difficult times. Every Sunday I hear prayer requests asking for jobs, financial blessings, healing, relief, hope. It’s heartbreaking to know there are so many hurting right now. All I can say is that God DOES answer prayers and it WILL get better. I’ve never been the most positive, optimistic person in the world, but God is great and he loves us all, so I have hope. I’m reminded every day that I am SO blessed and so fortunate. I get so frustrated when things don’t go my way, but then, God shows me that His way is far better.

I’m most thankful right now for my precious hubby; he’s my backbone and my nerve sometimes, then my best friend and shoulder to cry on other days. 13 years together and somehow we love each other more every day. I hope everyone can experience a relationship like that. I can’t say it’s been perfect or that we don’t fight and have our bad days. I’ll be honest: I’m the most EVIL morning person in the world. Thankfully, he figured that out and starts the coffee before my feet hit the floor. I’m just thankful that we both grew up and figured out how to love and appreciate each other. It may have taken a while, but we came around.

I guess my point is: have hope, pray, love, and hang on to the things that are really important and precious in life. It’s kind of like a ride: sometimes it’s scary, but in the end it’s fun and so worth it, throw up your hands, go with it and enjoy it while it lasts!

Popularity: 6%

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • De.lirio.us
  • Ma.gnolia
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Add to favorites
  • Facebook
  • Netvibes
  • RSS
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • Socialogs
  • Twitter

Peace on Earth, or at least in the family

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 3.00 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...

Have you ever had a friend or family member that you just have to bite your tongue around? How about the ones that are always “fishing” for information or trying to catch you in a mistake? I have one. As much as I love her, sometimes I just have to shut my mouth and walk away and this past week she has really been pushing my buttons.

I am a charmingly deadly combination of an old-fashioned Southern sweetheart and a good Christian girl. Some of you ladies know exactly what I mean. Us Southern girls can charm the pants off just about anyone when it suits us, but we can also turn on you like a pit viper and really put you in your place. The Christian in me is trying really hard to hold my tongue and control my anger, but sometimes, it’s just tough. My mother and grandmamas taught me well: if you want anything, talk real slow and sweet and bat your eyes and ALWAYS say please, thank you, yes mam, or yes sir. Understand: that’s not meant to be manipulative, just sweet and well mannered, and shoot, it doesn’t hurt! Most times, I am totally that way.

Well, last week, my handsome hubby and I had a date. Not a real date sadly, a work/business type thing, but we made the best of it. I love hanging out with him and with 4 kids, we don’t have much couple time. I arranged for the kids to stay with Papa and Nana for the evening. We went downtown, did the business thing and then stopped for a quick dinner and had fun. After 13 years together, it’s great to know you married your best friend and that you have someone that could probably read your mind, and sometimes does. Anyways, we had a great time, and the kids seemed to have a nice evening with Papa, so all was well. Or so I thought.

The next morning, I was making breakfast and talking to Matthew and Sarah about their evening. They inform me that Nana started asking how school was going. Innocent enough, right? Wrong. You see, we home school, and Nana is a huge fan of public schools. Most of her friends are teachers, and in her younger years, Nana was Miss Popular Homecoming Queen, so to her, we are obviously total nutjob freaks.  She took this opportunity to start grilling my 10 and 8 year old about their curriculum and reading habits, and inform them that they were not doing enough work.

My children, being the well mannered, respectful kids they are, did not talk back or disagree and tried to change the subject, but she didn’t let it go. I was so angry when I heard all this I just started crying. I have worked so hard with my kids and make sure they are well educated. We pinch pennies to get them the absolute best materials, and I go above and beyond basic curriculum requirements.  Matthew is a huge reader and has finished so many classic novels, poems, and short stories that I lost count. He is also a fantastic artist that sketches constantly. I could not ask for a better student.

My Sarah Belle is a little different. She is extremely intelligent and witty, but she’s on the lazy side. You really have to challenge and push her to see results. She wasn’t fond of reading until recently when she started “Aesop’s Fables”. She took to that book like a fish to water and has been reading everything she can get her hands on ever since. She also loves Math and numbers. I’ve never seen anything like it.

That being said, I always try to encourage my kids and let them know how well they are doing and how very proud I am of them. For my step-mother to sew seeds of doubt in their minds infuriated me! How dare she? She has never once asked me about our curriculum, school work or progress. She just automatically thinks I’m not qualified to teach my children! I just wanted to yell and scream and give her a piece of my mind.

I sat down and typed a lengthy email, complete with links on homeschooling, articles about exceptional students, and news stories about how truly dangerous public schools can be. I poured my heart out, telling her how much I loved her and respected her opinion, but how upset and disappointed I was that she chose to take this up with children who can not defend our educational choices and not me. I was just about to hit send, when my husband stopped me. He told me to wait an hour, think about it and then decide whether or not to send it. That was probably the best advice I’ve had in a long time.

I thought about the problem and tried to step outside of the situation for  a while. Would she understand my point of view or see my email as an attack? I realize her children are grown, and she doesn’t have to make the choices I do. She was in school over 30 years ago, and had a wonderful experience. Things are very different now. She is also in a very tough place right now emotionally. My Dad, the usual bread winner, has been out of work for over a 18 months, and my step-mother has been covering all the bills and working hard. She’s stressed out and on edge. I decided not to send my email.

I thought, while I might see this as trying to defend my kids, I guess it would just come off as biting her head off. I love my step-mom, she’s been great to me since I was 11. We had a great family, and I have her to thank for that. I don’t agree with some of her choices, but they are hers to make. Maybe she doesn’t agree with me, and maybe her comments were out of honest concern. It wasn’t worth starting a fight that would only strain our relationship. The Christian in me decided to turn the other cheek., and I’m glad I did. I know I’m making the right decision for my family, and that’s all that really matters.

In the end, Southern manners and my husband’s good advice won. Sometimes you have to fight tooth and nail and be a real pain, other times it’s good to just keep the peace and not stir up trouble. I just hope she comes around one day :)

Popularity: 6%

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • De.lirio.us
  • Ma.gnolia
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Add to favorites
  • Facebook
  • Netvibes
  • RSS
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • Socialogs
  • Twitter

Part III: Sonlight – Once More Unto the Breach

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (3 votes, average: 2.00 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...

Sonlight drama #3 - John HolzmannFolks, you are not going to believe this. I posted about my experience with Sonlight (The Sonlight Isn’t Shining) -  my honest opinion -  here on my personal blog. As most of you know, this is my avenue to vent frustrations and discuss family issues. As a result, I am now being insulted by one of the owners of Sonlight Curriculum.

Yesterday, I posted, Part II: Son of Sonlight, a reply to Luke Holzmann, whose comment was spin control, yet still professional. Luke is entitled to his opinion, and he wished me well with whatever materials I chose.  Today, I received another comment this time from his father, John Holzmann, which practically brought me to tears. He was malicious and shamelessly cruel. At this point, I am so glad we will not be purchasing from them. I cannot imagine learning Christian principals from persons that behave this way.

While I will not post all of his comment because it contains personal credit information, I will quote portions:

Are you saying you would think your son or daughter is doing well in school if he or she came home with a report card showing a low D grade? And you’d be pleased if he or she ranked second from the bottom in a class of 28 students?

Our report was full of items that are incorrect because Transunion has not updated our report in almost four years. As a result, our Transunion score is lower than the scores listed with Experian and Equifax. We are currently working to correct these inaccuracies.  That being said, I never claimed to have perfect credit or the highest score, but we do have revolving credit with great payment history, several loans with good interest rates and have had no trouble receiving financing from anyone else. That is the honest to God truth.

Read the rest of this entry »

Popularity: 9%

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • De.lirio.us
  • Ma.gnolia
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Add to favorites
  • Facebook
  • Netvibes
  • RSS
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • Socialogs
  • Twitter

Christmas Memories

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 3.50 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...

1960 Christmas tree with presents - vintagepixels.com

It’s almost Christmas and Sunday night at church several members shared their favorite holiday memories. We had a great dinner, wonderful fellowship and, as always, terrific music. All the Christmas stories were touching and I started thinking back on my own memorable holidays. It’s hard for me not to get teary eyed when I look back over the years, especially when you realize how much has changed.

My greatest joy is watching my kids run in to see all their Santa gifts. Two years ago, my son wanted a go cart. I was so hesitant to buy one, fearing a horrible wreck or something. My husband finally convinced me, considering I have the most mature and responsible son around.(wink, wink) We obviously couldn’t fit this thing in the house, so we set up everyone’s gifts near the tree and back door/porch. We put the go cart on the back porch, but closed the curtains so he didn’t see it. Instead he finds a few smaller toys, books and a helmet. The poor kid, he’s such a good sport! Sarah and Olivia had these huge toys and Deacon is riding all over the living room in his new fire truck and Matthew just smiles and looks through his small presents, trying to act excited.

We let this go on for a few minutes, then my husband says, “Hey Matthew, what is that on the porch?” He seems confused, but opens the curtain to see the go cart he wanted waiting outside for him. He was so shocked and excited he didn’t even bother grabbing shoes or a coat before he ran outside to try it! I still remember that smile on his face that stretched from ear to ear. He spent the rest of the day giving rides to his siblings and cousin, and being chased by the dog! Read the rest of this entry »

Popularity: 15%

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • De.lirio.us
  • Ma.gnolia
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Add to favorites
  • Facebook
  • Netvibes
  • RSS
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • Socialogs
  • Twitter

Part II: Son of Sonlight

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 2.60 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...

Sonlight drama #2Today, I received a comment from Luke Holzmann, head of Sonlight Curriculum’s ‘Media Relations’ and son of founder, Sarita Holzmann. It was a lengthy, damage control response basically repeating the same excuses I was told before. They stand by their poor decision, but I still know their judgement is dead wrong. Additionally, I find it humorous that they located my first Sonlight post so quickly and tried to minimize any damage my post might cause. I have decided not to approve Luke’s “comment” and I’ll tell you why:

Sonlight Curriculum has their own forums: These forums are private, limited only to customers who have purchased materials directly from the company (not from another individual, 2nd hand). They can make themselves look good all they want there and make me out to be some sort of nut job. Luke can attempt to spin this situation all he wants:

I’m sorry that Sonlight did not meet your needs and even more sorry that we have angered you. I am a huge fan of Sonlight–since I grew up on it [smile]–but realize we failed to serve you.

and hope to come out looking like one of the “good guys.” Sorry Luke, but I’m not retracting a single word. I still stand by the facts and I will not post your spin control here so that you feel like this matter is resolved.

As a result of this predicament, I will not purchase anything from Sonlight Curriculum in the future because they do not value me as a customer. They can tell me how wonderful their employees are and how very much they cared about my order. I don’t believe it for a second.

Oh, Luke & Sonlight: Glad you enjoyed my blog (21 visits so far)! Come back and visit anytime. [sarcasm]

Popularity: 9%

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • De.lirio.us
  • Ma.gnolia
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Add to favorites
  • Facebook
  • Netvibes
  • RSS
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • Socialogs
  • Twitter

The “Sonlight” Isn’t Shining – How One Company Mistreated and Outright Lied to Me

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (4 votes, average: 2.75 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...

Sonlight drama #1I adopted a saying a while back as my motto: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” While I still think this applies, I now believe something is missing from that statement: What they didn’t tell you is, it might not kill you, but it will most likely push you around, kick you while your down until you’re spitting up blood, possibly crap on you, then kick some dirt on you as it walks away, leaving you sobbing and in pain. Harsh? Probably, but it seems life is that way.

Ok, so I’m not in the Christmas spirit today, and yes, I’m probably in a REALLY bad mood. For that, I apologize. I’m just sick and tired of fighting with idiots that for whatever reason think they are better than you. Let me fill you in on my latest drama.

I had planned to order a set of books for my son from a company called Sonlight Curriculum, a supposedly Christian company that sells homeschooling materials. I’ve heard excellent things about their curriculum and was excited to try it out. They are somewhat pricey, but my kids are worth it. My husband didn’t receive a Christmas bonus this year, which makes gifts a little lean. Fortunately Sonlight Curriculum had a “time payments” option. My order was almost $1,100 and time payments required a down payment of around $300, followed by monthly payments for anywhere from 3-6 months. Sounded like a great idea, and I could pay it off early with our tax return. Read the rest of this entry »

Popularity: 34%

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • De.lirio.us
  • Ma.gnolia
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Add to favorites
  • Facebook
  • Netvibes
  • RSS
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • Socialogs
  • Twitter