Aushwitz 70th Anniversary of Liberation

Please honor the memories of those who suffered and those who gave to free the suffering. Yesterday marked the 70th anniversary of the largest concentration camp being liberated. Here are some articles that are a good way to contemplate this day in history:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30996555

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/auschwitz-survivor-gena-turgel-walked-out-gas-chamber-alive-n293496

http://www.ushmm.org/information/exhibitions/online-features/special-focus/liberation-of-auschwitz

http://time.com/3683841/auschwitz-anniversary-seventy/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/worldnews/11371755/Auschwitz-70th-anniversary-of-concentration-camps-liberation-in-pictures.html?frame=3177689

Another great book, short and fun

So just before Christmas, a friend loaned me the book, “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.” I didn’t get to it until after Christmas while my husband was away for a few weeks. So it made a perfect companion a few of those quiet late evenings. Unfortunately, such a good book doesn’t last long, so it couldn’t keep me company the entire time, just the first 5 days.

I rarely ever read a fiction story twice – unless it fits certain criteria 1) it’s a classic with so many life-truths in it I need to read it a second time to soak in all the ones I missed while being so focused on the story line or 2) I learn something about the author that puts all of what they wrote into a new dimension.

I’ll be reading this book again for the second reason. And I recommend if you only want to read it once that you read the author’s notes at the end of the book first – because it brings a completely new depth to the ‘fun’ and entertaining way it’s written. But although not necessarily a ‘classic’ in the strict sense, there are some truths weaved into the story that are worth pouring over. Here are a couple of quotes to whet your appetite:

“All my life I thought that the story was over when the hero and heroine were safely engaged — after all, what’s good enough for Jane Austen ought to be good enough for anyone. But it’s a lie. The story is about to begin, and every day will be a new piece of the plot. ” Continue reading

Homeschool idea for spelling!

So I noticed that we are behind in spelling – for both kids. So I am going to deduce that the problem is with the teacher. And after much thought, the teacher (okay, yes, that’s me) has decided spelling needs to be more fun. I google searched ‘homeschooling – how to make spelling fun’ and as I’m reading suggestions, a light-bulb! moment came to me as my own idea popped in my head:

Using scrabble game pieces and board, we are going to play ‘spelling’ instead of scrabble. And we’ll do this a few different ways.

1) while learning the words – let children take turns putting a word on the board, and the next child can connect their word wherever they want to the first word. When no more words can be made, you can add up the points and give a little prize to the person with the most. Wipe the board clean and keep playing until the list is practiced!

2) when time for testing – have the child pick the letters to correctly put the words on the board as you read them. Give extra points for correctly spelled the first time, but each word gets 2 tries before the next person gets to go.

So we’re going to start playing this with our spelling words 🙂 I think it’s going to be fun. Here are some other resources I found when looking for more ideas:

http://www.spellingcity.com

http://teachnet.com/lessonplans/language-arts/spice-up-your-spelling-words-language-arts-lesson-plan/

http://www.paterson.k12.nj.us/11_departments/language-arts-docs/SRA/Sample%20Spelling%20Activities.pdf

A brief and humorous event in the life of a military wife living overseas

conversation between my mother and I on Facebook
oh bother….I’m on the stupid Skype phone trying to
get thru to the nm dmv so I can renew my driver’s license.
Just got an email saying the pelisse will no longer be lenient
with expired licenses and will be hauling people off to jail
and impounding their car. no exagerating. mine expired nov ’14
 at least I have my arizona license still that’s good until 2048 –
 but it’s got my maiden name so I think I’ll bring that
around with me including my marriage certificate

oh no but that would be difficult for them to do long distance!!
I guess I can do it online, but I went to fill in the info and it tells
me I have some outstanding citation in another state so I have to call.
not happy

outstanding citation!! wow.. you are in trouble with the LAW!!
going on 9 minutes on hold –
wasting Skype money and listening to the same
irritating line of music and being told that mvd online
has no wait time….well I’d use it if i could!!!
I know!!! I’m either wanted in the states or
chancing going to a german prison!!!! ah!!!!!!!

oh no… you have not been praying for a new ministry have you… like a woman’s prison ministry…

LOL
man, no, but I think I’ll stop digging into
info on persecution. this is tough enough
now I’m stressing that I will be on hold so long
it’ll use up my minutes before someone even
answers the dang line!!!!!

im sorry
yay!!!
I’m able to get an email and fill it out she
shows nothing that says I have a citation

there you go!!
did you see my status? hee hee
(we take a short break from this conversation to allow the reader to see 'my status'):
  • “did you know that many mvd transactions are now available online? just go to http://www.mvd.newmexico.gov…that is IF you don’t have some bogus citation in some un-named state stopping you from getting your license renewed…and are now sitting on a stupid iPad via Skype listening to the same line of awful music and the same ‘helpful’ information for the past 10 minutes. this is fun. this is me hoping to get my license renewed via phone??? I hope. since the alternative is apparently chancing getting hauled to German prison by some police who decides to stop me for not wearing my seatbelt only to find out my license expired and makes my overseas license invalid…I mean, I always wear my seatbelt…er”

    Kathryn Jaramillo  yuck! Hope you get it straightened out!
    29 mins · Unlike · 1
  • Melissa Solecki Yes! I was able to renew mine over the phone and they emailed me a temporay license. WAY better than taking 5 kids to the MVD. Here’s hoping you don’t get hauled off to prison!!!!
    27 mins · Edited · Unlike · 1
  • Melissa Roland yeah, a trip 14 or so hours on a plane with 2 kids would be no fun either. but after being on hold 18 minutes the nice lady has a special military spouse form she’s emailing me. sigh of relief right here
    26 mins · Like · 4
  • Melissa Roland oh geez….with 6 attachments. well, I was going to go to bed; guess not for a while
    24 mins · Like · 1
  • Melanie Lynn Kertley and she wants it in triplicate!
    22 mins · Unlike · 1
  • Melissa Roland oh I am SOOO happy right now. after looking at the different attachments: they want my name signed in blood with two witnesses taking a video, a complete physical done by a real doctor with notes and notarizations, an autograph from all of my husband’s commanding officers….well that might be a little exaggerated, but nonetheless, I was discouraged. THEN I tried the website again: badaboom! online app done and license in the mail! phew!
    and now, back to our previous snooping of conversation....

Continue reading

Back to life as….normal?

Christmas is over. New year’s is over. Family visiting is over. School break is over. So what’s new? Back to the usual routine, I guess. But what should ‘usual’ look like? I honestly hate routines. I am not the kind of person who derives energy and comfort from same ol’ – same ol’. Unless it’s my coffee every morning, but I’m pretty sure that’s the only exception.

So how do I keep from routine becoming mundane?

          What’s the secret to life staying jazzed in the midst of housework, mom-duties, and homeschooling?

                        What can keep me involved and putting effort into parenting, cleaning,

and life in general??

I think the key will be a word that keeps re-occuring in my thoughts this week: DILIGENCE. Sorry, I know that doesn’t sound as exciting as you were hoping. I probably should have kept the secret a little longer and built up to a better climax before unveiling my idea. You might not finish reading just because nobody likes the sound of diligence – that sounds like work, not innovative and new. But what does diligence mean?

“persevering application.” “persistent personal attention.” “Assiduity (constant or close attention to what one is doing).” “attentive care.”

Imagine with me for a second – what would doing the dishes look like if you were taking personal interest in what you are doing? What would happen if making dinner was done every time with attentive care (I wouldn’t burn the broccoli as often, that’s for sure)? How would your kids feel if while helping them with homework you did it with assiduity? Does this sound too exhausting? I’ll give you two little pointers on how it could actually be rejuvenating instead of tiresome:

1. Use diligence unto the Lord: If you are diligent for anyone else, you are going to get frustrated because it won’t be appreciated like it should. If you are diligent just for yourself you will eventually wear down and get selfish and tired. But when we are diligent in what we do unto the Lord (I don’t care if this is even walking your dog) something magical happens. He rewards it. (see 2 Peter 1:5-11, also Proverbs 10:4 – “He who has a slack hand becomes poor, but the hand of the diligent makes rich”, and Romans 14:8)

2. See each task as a new opportunity to practice diligence: Yes, I know. You are putting laundry in the dryer for the eighty-ninth time this month. not fun. not exciting. You are telling your daughter – again – to eat over her plate so her taco fillings don’t all end up on the floor. annoying. And tomorrow won’t be much different. But what if we turn our focus off of the menial task and onto how we perform this task this time? This is a new chance: you’ve never done laundry on this day at this time – and with the possibilities of smiling and singing, right? You have a new chance to not sigh and huff in giving instruction to your kids, and to take persistent personal attention to how you address the situation this one time.

I’m going to try this, I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂