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Families Again
Friday, 13 February 2009
Ghosts of Valentine's Day Present

I really blew it this week. Things just seemed to fall apart all week. Nothing seemed to work. I was stressed. I yelled at the kids too much. Homeschooling was very lacking.

It didn't help that Joshua had an abscessed tooth and had to be taken, kicking and screaming (literally), to the doctor last Friday. Once he settled down he was fine. Aspies are funny like that. It seems that they work themselves into a frenzy about something, and then after they finally calm down, and realize that it isn't that bad, they are fine. I guess we are all like that at times, but it seems to be worse for aspies. I know it was for Joshua! Sarah had to call the Dr's office ahead of time so that they could open the back door for us. Thankfully, they know all about Joshua's problems and are very understanding. They put him on antibiotics, and we found a pediatric dentist in Cookeville (twenty minutes away) who - this is a God thing - works primarily with autistic kids. To make a long story short, Joshua went, teeth were fixed, and Joshua was happy (especially after the laughing gas)!

I also had challenges with John Allen this week. At least I thought they were challenges with him. The more I think about it, the more I think that I am the challenging one. I need to remember what I was like in sixth grade. It's not that he is entirely without fault, but I need to pick my battles and not be so hard on him sometimes.

We even had problems with Jacob. We were a little upset with him after he poured a whole bottle of vanilla (The good stuff from Mexico. Pure vanilla!) along with a whole bottle of vegetable oil on the kitchen floor. We are still cleaning it up, but at least the kitchen smells good.

I say all this because the previous post and the Valentine's Day season has me thinking about my family and how much I love them and how I treat them. I am determined to do better.

I was watching TV the other night when a "Vermont Teddy Bear" commercial came on. Sarah collects teddy bears, so I thought this would be perfect for her. I got on the internet and found an inexpensive one for her that was to be delivered today. I managed to keep it a secret all week. All day long the anxiety was high. I kept looking out of the window. Once I saw the UPS truck go by our house and ran out to meet it. It went down our street, turned around, and drove right past our house. After a while, I got on their website only to find out that they had tried to deliver it but supposedly no one was home to sign for it. Needless to say, I was a little upset. I couldn't find a number for UPS so I called the "Vermont Teddy Bear" people. They were great! They tracked down the bear, and it was delivered during Sarah's cooking class right in front of all of the ladies! I'm glad I decided to do it.

I kind of forgot about the kids though. I don't know where my head was. But tomorrow is another day. We are going to grandma's house after shooting to spend the weekend. It'll be a good day. I'll make sure of it.

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Posted by tink38570 at 10:52 PM CST
Updated: Saturday, 14 February 2009 1:09 AM CST
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Practical Ways To Show Love

The following article, from TeachingHome , I am able to reprint in its entirety. I'm glad, because it's a good one. It made me think about how I treat my family and others.

Practical Ways To Show Love

by Cindy Short and Sue Welch

"Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth" (1 John 3:18).

Show love (and teach your children to do so also) in the following ways on Valentine's Day ? and all year long.

1. Words

Words are a very powerful way to express feelings.

The more specific your words, the more meaningful they are. Tell your loved one how much you love him, how important he is to you, and how much you appreciate certain of his attributes or actions.

Look for ways to express what is in your heart in either spoken or written words on a regular basis.

God used words to tell us how much He loves us. We can use words in prayer and songs of praise to tell God that we love Him.


A traditional Valentine (or other occasion) card can be bought or creatively hand made.

Find detailed instructions to make elegant cards using a variety of materials and techniques at Card Making Inspirations or follow links to many card making projects at FindHow.com.

Daily Words of Love

Establish the habit of saying something kind to each member of your family every day. Maybe as you are saying goodnight, you could thank them for specific contributions they made to the family that day, commend their acts of thoughtfulness and kindness, and tell them something you appreciate about them. This can become a special time that your family will look forward to each night and can make a difference in attitudes and actions within the family.

Praise to Others

Let your loved ones hear you praising them to others.


A hand-written letter can be (and usually is) kept and cherished for life. Write to your husband, children, and loved ones to tell them of your love; your hopes, aspirations, and prayers for their future; etc.

Telephone Calls

Phone calls are very inexpensive now. You can call a friend across the country and have a 20-minute visit for under $1. Just a short time to catch up on news and let your friend know that you are praying for her and that you value your friendship can be a tremendous and needed encouragement.

Sharing the Good News of Salvation

If you truly love someone that isn't saved, you will want to give them the Gospel. "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes" (Romans 1:16).

Gospel tracts and Scripture portions make an excellent aid in witnessing.

2. Time

Time spent together focusing on your loved one, his needs, and his interests is a genuine act of love. Just being together is the best gift you can give to those you love.

In your family, this can be made a regular routine, such as:

? Arrange to drop everything and spend the first 10-15 minutes with your husband when he gets home or go on a walk together. Do not monopolize the time with your concerns; listen to the report of his day.

? Schedule time alone, even 5-10 minutes, with each of your children each day. One suggestion is to have a helper with you for each of your tasks such as cooking, laundry, errands, etc. Use the time together to visit, talk about his interests, but especially to listen to your child.

? Invite a friend or family over for a meal or a neighbor in for a cup of tea.

? Visit a shut-in and ask him to share something about his life.

? And don't forget to spend time with the Lord each day!

3. Gifts

It really is the thought that counts ? your gifts do not need to be large or expensive to be valued as a tangible expression of your affection.

Small purchased or handmade gifts that show your thoughtfulness could include flowers, a pen or pencil, a hair clip or piece of jewelry, a pot holder, a tool, a wallet, an item to add to a favorite collection, framed photo, bookmark, handkerchief, favorite food, etc.

Gifts can remind your loved one of your love for him as he sees and uses the gift.

For those in real need, a more practical or substantial gift would be appropriate. "But whoever has the world's goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?" (1 John 3:17).

4. Acts of Service

Serving the needs of a loved one really shows that you care.

Do one of your loved one's regular chores, run an errand, do something he hasn't had time to do, sew on a button or mend a garment, notice something he needs and bring it to him, etc.

Opportunities for service to those outside your family might include providing a meal, running errands, doing yard work, or providing child care for the sick, shut-ins, busy home-school mothers, etc.

5. Physical Touch

? Hugs, kisses, and other shows of affection are appropriate for family members.

? A hand shake or hug for a member of the same gender is appropriate for others.

The Five Love Languages

Read more about the ways that you can show love to others in these three books by Gary Chapman:

? The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate
? The Five Love Languages of Children
? The Five Love Languages of Teenagers.

Copyright 2009 by www.TeachingHome.com. Reprinted by permission.

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Posted by tink38570 at 10:35 PM CST
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"I Love You" Scavenger Hunt

The "I Love You" Scavenger Hunt is from the website ThriftyFun.com. I am unable to reprint the instructions, but it's a fun "hunt" that you could do with your kids for your spouse.

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Posted by tink38570 at 10:07 PM CST
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Valentine's Day Goodies
Topic: FamiliesAgain Freebies

If you haven't figured it out yet, you should now know two things about me. Number one - I am a splurger (is that a real word?). What I mean, is that when it comes to my blog, I go in splurges. I will post a bunch of entries for several days, then it will be a week or two before I post something new. Number two - I am a procrastinator. I wait until the last minute to do things. I have had these Valentine's Day posts planned out for several days, but, notice, I have waited until Valentine's Day Eve to post them. Oh well, maybe some of you procrastinate like me and need some ideas, and if not, you can (and should) show your love all year long, not just on February 14th. The next couple of posts are ideas that I got from some of the homeschool newsletters that we receive. The third is a post about some of my Valentine's Day memories. I hope you can use some of the ideas, and I hope you enjoy the recollections.

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Posted by tink38570 at 7:18 PM CST
Updated: Friday, 13 February 2009 10:07 PM CST
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Wednesday, 28 January 2009
Snow Days in Tennessee
Mood:  chillin'
Topic: General


Recently, due to the wonderful technology of Facebook, I have been getting back in contact with some of my high school friends. This post is dedicated to them, but I think all of you will enjoy it. The above picture was taken from our senior year book. I hope there is no copywrite!

I had to laugh today when President Obama made his comments about his girl's school closing because of snow. I had a similar experience when I first moved to TN. First let me tell you about snow in Pennsylvania. I lived in the small town of Clearfield, PA from 2nd grade until I graduated (really I grew up outside of Clearfield in the "Village of Glen Richey", but I'll save that for another post). Winters in PA began in November and lasted until around Easter and sometimes longer. I can remember when it would snow a foot or so, then have a few clear days but not above freezing, then we'd get another layer of snow, then have a few more clear days etc. etc. The snow drifts would sometimes be over my head! Of course that wasn't necessarily very high when you are nine years old, but you get the point. Do you think they ever canceled school? Never! One day I went out to go to school, stepped off of our front porch, and promptly fell down. There was a layer of ice on the sidewalk and no matter what, I couldn't get up. Mom thought I was joking until Grandpa came around the house. We lived on a small farm, and he had been down feeding the pigs. It seems he had fallen and slid all the way down the hill to the pig pen - slop buckets in hand. He promptly said "Get back in the house Tim. You're not going to school today!" Did they cancel school? Nope! Another time our bus had to go down a steep hill on a back country road. We started slipping down the hill until the bus was actually sliding sideways. Thankfully the road was not as wide as the length of the bus and the two ends of the bus got stuck in the opposite snow banks. The bus driver told us to get out and walk home, there was nothing she could do. We found out later that a local farmer came and pulled the bus out with his tractor. That is no joke! That really happened. It would never happen today!

Fast forward, twenty years, to when we first moved to Tennessee. One night it snowed and I woke up to a dusting of snow on the ground - what we would have called a "skiff" of snow in PA. After a while I heard the neighbor kids out playing so I went out to ask what was going on. They informed me that school had been called off. After I picked my jaw up off of the ground, I asked one of the parents about it. It seems that it doesn't snow enough in TN to warrant counties buying all of the snow plows, salt trucks and coal trucks that cities up north have. But, that's not all! School was called off for the rest of the week, even after it seemed the snow had all melted. I was told that on some of the back roads it was so shady that there may still be "black ice" and so they couldn't take the risk of allowing busses to drive on them. If PA would have had that same rule, we would have had to go to school all year long, and we'd still be in middle school! Ah, the good old days! I'd love to hear about some of your snow experiences when you were a kid. Write and tell me about them.

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Posted by tink38570 at 10:58 PM CST
Updated: Thursday, 29 January 2009 12:18 AM CST
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