Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sunday Night Summary, September 20, 2015

Reading: I took a break from book reading this week, and read a few blog posts covering quite a variety of topics.

First up and probably the most controversial, I read this article, and think it would be worth your while to read as well, due to my ever growing interest in understanding our nation's racial tensions.

Maybe it's because I married a man with "minority" status; he's Guatemalan, and a handsome one at that if I do say so myself.  Being Lawrence's wife has forced allowed me the opportunity to have challenging, awkward and sometimes gut wrenching conversations about prejudice, racism, and white privilege. He has been so patient with me as I have said stupid things, mostly out of ignorance vs. hate, drawn false conclusions and just plain out not been able, or maybe willing?, to see the truth.

I appreciate this quote from the above linked article: "Erikka Knuti, a political strategist, said, 'Part of white privilege has been the ability to not know that your privilege exists. If you benefit from racism, do you really want to know that?'"

My big take away from the article is to talk more candidly and often about race, mostly with my children in the safety of our home. But I also want to bravely, yet sensitively, engage in more conversations outside my home as well, with friends around a bonfire, with my family around Thanksgiving dinner (this is your forewarning, by the way.) and with my church and homeschool communities. 

The next article was from a blogger/speaker I recently began to follow, Wendy Speake, and I found it to be personally encouraging given the many constraints on my time in this season of my life. I just don't have the time I want to have to write consistently, privately or publicly.  I loved the concluding quote from Mindy Rogers,

I’m a collector of journals.

I keep them stashed in the console of my car,

tucked into the folds of my purse,

laid on the shelf in my entryway 

stacked by the jewelry box on my dresser,

and sometimes pushed deep into the back pocket of my worn out jeans.

My husband makes jokes but the truth is that they are everywhere.

Every day I spill my heart out in ink on the paper of these journals.”
(Mindy Rogers, 2014)

Because the refugee crisis continues to weigh heavily on my heart and is only growing worse instead of better, I want to provide a link to information on how one can practically help, particularly in the Baltimore area. One size does not fit all of us, but I do believe we can all help in some way. Check it out. 

Here is the article I was in the process of reading when I was pulled over, ironcially enough, for reading on my phone at a stop light among two other offenses---tag light was out (I did not even know what a tag light was let alone that it was out) and not presenting registration at the time of the stop (I was so flustered that I absolutely could not find my registration. And, I still haven't found it. Ugh!
By the way, you cannot be on your "hand held device" while operating a motorized vehicle, not even at a stop light, folks. Learn from me. Just keep your hands off of your phone. And, don't use those hands to wag a finger or two at me. Lesson learned, thankfully with just a warning and not by killing anyone, though I'm not sure how that could have happened while reading at a stop light. But, whatever.

As an aside, I never did finish the above article. Let me know if it's worth my time, and maybe I will get back to it when I can overcome my PTS. 

Last but not least is an article posted on the wall of a FB friend of mine, hopefully to become an "in real life" friend over the next year(s) as my family tarries at our current homeschool co op.  It pairs well with a post my cousin-in-law (is that such a thing?) and friend, Jessica Clemmer, wrote on navigating the ups and downs of social media.

Both articles provide food for thought on how we are pursuing friendship and community in the current digital age. It is something that as a parent, I think a lot about, knowing I am setting the example for my children. As much as I want to get this right, I know I am not doing it perfectly. Nevertheless, I want to strive to try to figure out how to best use social media, avoid its pitfalls and then help my own children as they will inevitably have to figure it out for themselves as well. 

Eating: I'm wondering how many recipes you have pinned to Pinterest that you have never tried. If you're anything like me, it's quite a few. Here is one I have had pinned for years and finally got around to trying it this week, thanks to my neighbor-friend, Amy, who came over, sat around my fire, dunked roasted marshmallows in Bailey's and chatted it up on a Wednesday night. The Bailey's soaked, roasted marshmallow was a treat, but the time to get to know a friend was even better. 

Lawrence and I had the rare pleasure of a night out to ourselves. We checked out a local place that several friends have recommended and were not disappointed. If you are local to us and are looking for good food disguised as a dive of a place, check out The Lodge

I ate the "Treehugger," so fitting for me. It was a wrap filled with mushrooms, caramelized onions, roasted red peppers, provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato and creamy horseradish sauce. I subbed veggie skewers for the fries, and they were equally as delicious. Lawrence and I shared the rockfish bites appetizer which apparently they are known for. Given I obnoxiously peeled as much as the fried breading off as I could, I found the remaining fish to be so-so. But, I'd say that has more to do with how I ate it than how the restaurant prepared it. 

Doing: We trekked up to Lancaster to take a tour of the Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Facility as a part of the boys' preparation for their involvement with First Lego League this year. This year the challenge focus is trash. I found the facility tour to be fascinating, enlightening and educational. Bella just thought it was stinky and wasn't too keen on the gear we had to wear to walk the facility.

Our fabulous library celebrated Constitution Day, September 17th, and hosted a presentation of Betsy Ross by "Betsy Ross." Since we are studying American History this year, we made the time to go. I have long said that we have the best library system ever, and once again, they exceeded my expectations with this program. My kids were unsure for a few seconds if the impersonator was the real Betsy Ross, and then they did the math. 
 During the presentation, Betsy explained many things about how our American flag came to look like it does. In that explanation, Bella was crowned Queen Elizabeth of England.

 And, Judah was crowned King James of England.

I am a very proud mother. I only need a country for Tucker to rule, and then I believe my work as homeschool educator is complete. ;)

The kids had lots of play time with friends this weekend with four girls spending the night here on Friday night and a bonfire and s'mores on Saturday night. Lawrence's parents ate lunch with us today and then Abuela (Lawrence's mom) stayed with the kids for a couple hours so that Lawrence, his dad and I could help his brother and wife prepare their new home for their move this upcoming week. We are very excited about all that God has brought into their lives in the last several years. It is a joy to be a part of it all. 

Looking Ahead: It's a busy week, and I must say the novelty of a new school year has worn off already. Man, I didn't even make it to October. I think our weekend was so full and a bit taxing for me personally that I am really not looking forward to doing it all over again this week.
We also have a 
concluding summer activity overlapping with a fall activity beginning, making it a packed-more-than-usual kind of week.
But, I am scheduled to have my hair cut and colored, so all will be right with the world by Tuesday night.  ;)

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