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Archive for March, 2010

Monkey See Monkey Do

I’ve been thinking about a quote I read in the book, Dumbing Us Down, that says “Children of today are indifferent to the adult world.  This defies the experience of thousands of years.  A close study of what big people were up to was always the most exciting occupation of youth, but nobody wants children to grow up today, least of all the children; and who can blame them?  Toys are us.”

Judah (and young kids in general) love to be involved in what you’re doing.  For me this means: If I’m cooking, he’s at my feet or offering to help stir or throw something away.  If I’m vacuuming, he’s following me around mesmerized by the loud machine and most recently using the swiffer to sweep behind me.  If I’m cleaning the bathroom, he wants to scrub with the sponge and spray all the spray bottles.  He loves to be in the midst of all that I am doing.  And many many many times I don’t keep the perspective that this is how it should be.  Instead, I find myself trying to keep Judah occupied (with methods I wouldn’t normally use) long enough so that I can get things done without him trying to help.  Well, once I read the quote above I was so convicted!  It used to be normal for kids to want to be about their parents business.  Not only did they want to help but they also wanted to learn. (Learn from parents, now that’s a shocking idea!!!) Nowadays, kids get in the way of our to do list and we would rather occupy their attention instead of showing them the ways of life.  This ultimately back fires on us by creating kids and teenagers who are indifferent to the lives of adults and who must be begged, reminded, and rewarded to help out around the home.

I have never thought about this in this way before.  I am going to be conscious and aware to involve Judah in the things I do throughout my day.  How amazing would it be for him to grow up not only having learned how to cook, clean, do laundry, work in the yard or on the car but to actually enjoy it enough to want to do it on his own accord.  That is nearly unheard of, but maybe, just maybe  it is possible!

Here’s some shots of Judah learning…

BBQing with daddy

Washing dishes while camping

He loves to transfer clothes from washer to dryer. And get a ride in the clean clothes.

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There is a couple in our church that have a small ranch where they keep goats and bunnies.  Grandpa had been helping out at the ranch and that meant Judah got to go along.  This quickly became Judah’s favorite place to be.  He was so in his element out on the ranch and he and the goats became quick friends.  After spending time on the ranch, I now want to own some acres where I can have a garden and where Judah (and any other future kids) can just roam and be.

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I’m reading the book, Dumbing Us Down, and let me just say that it is phenomenal.  There is so much in this book that makes you think really really hard about our current educational system.  I want to raise Judah to see life as an adventure and that every day activities are a learning experience.  I want to trust in myself that I have much to share and teach him and that I don’t need an “expert” to educate him.  In this book there is an hourly breakdown of the life of a child and how there is little time left in their days to “fashion a self.”  I’ve quoted it below for you.

Out of the 168 hours in each week my children sleep 56.  That leaves them 112 hours a week out of which to fashion as self.  According to recent reports children watch 55 hours of television a week.  That then leaves them 57 hours a week in which to grow up.  My children attend school 30 hours a week, use about 8 hours getting ready for and traveling to and from school, and spend and average of 7 hours a week in homework – a total of 45 hours.  During that time they are under constant surveillance.  They have no private time or private space and are disciplined if they try to assert individuality in the use of time or space.  That leaves them 12 hours a week out of which to create a unique consciousness.  Of course my kids eat, too, and that takes some time – not much because they’ve lost the tradition of family dining – but if we allot 3 hours a week to evening meals we arrive at a net amount of private time for each child of 9 hours per week.

He goes on to share that keeping tons of activities scheduled in a child’s life creates dependent human beings that are unable to fill their own hours, unable to initiate lines of meaning to give substance and pleasure to their existence.  I want to learn how to parent in such a way that gives Judah the freedom to explore, learn and grow and that the desire to do all these things stays alive in him so that he will forever want to live life that way.


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A few posts back, which was actually many many months ago, I posted that I was on a search for a natural deodorant.  At the time I had found one that I was pleased with and seemed to be doing the job (Toms of Maine).  That was then…  I found that the deodorant seemed to actually cause an unpleasant aroma (a nice way of saying something that may be too much information :))  I was doing a little research and came across something that Sara Snow mentioned on her Facebook about The Crystal.  I had heard of it and had seen it at the health food store next to all the other natural deodorants I have tried, but never considered giving it a try.  I just couldn’t buy into the idea of some crystal thing working as a deodorant.  But, despite my doubts I decided to give it a chance.  I also decided to do a cleanse to get any built up toxins released from that area since deodorants, even natural ones, keep toxins inside the body by preventing sweating and odor.  So for about 5-7 days I didn’t wear any deodorant.  This worked out really well for me since it was winter so I wasn’t hot but because I run I was still working up a sweat which helped cleanse.  After that week, I started to use the crystal and was amazed at how I didn’t emit an odor when I would sweat, compared to other natural deodorants.  I would still sweat and would still feel the area getting hot but it was nothing that I was uncomfortable with or felt would be obvious to others.  I’ve been using the crystal for 3 months now and I have no plans on going back to a regular deodorant.  Our hottest months (and I mean hot) are on the horizon and look forward to seeing how the crystal works over the summer, so I will keep you further posted.

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I….

It makes me cleaner.  Clear headed.  Energetic.  Patient.  Confident.

What do you love to do for YOU?

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New Books Have Arrived

Yeah!!!  My two new books just arrived and I have already started reading.  I am now in the thick of toddlerhood and felt I needed to add to my my book collection and my arsenal of parenting wisdom.  This is what I am currently devouring…and I will be sure to share my thoughts when I’m through.


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I’m Back!

Hi everybody.  Wow, it’s been a long time.  I’ve been on a blog break for the last 6 months, not really intentionally, it just sort of happened.  I started running and training for a marathon, started my own business from home, and really felt like I wasn’t sure where I was going with the blog, so I gave it a break.  I feel horribly sorry to my readers and to whomever has checked my blog only to find no new posts.  Over the last 6 months, Judah has grown to be 18 months and I am now in the thick of toddlerhood and really feeling that I want a way to once again express what I am thinking, learning and experiencing.  I feel like I am now understanding the direction I want to take as a mom and how I can use this blog as the outlet for that.  So to whomever reads along with me, welcome back, I’m glad to have you.

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