Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Daily Meditation

This is the thought I am cultivating in my heart today.

"Where there is no joy, what is the point? A soldier can endure the mud, blood and pain of war by visualizing past or future joys, but a child without joy is a lost soul. Likewise, one can endure a dull or painful occupation, knowing that there is a sanctuary of joy waiting after hours, but when the sanctuary is joyless, what hope can sustain him? A mature wife may cope with a joyless marriage by consoling herself in the hope of afterlife, but a child can't so resign himself. A husband may deal with a joyless marriage by losing himself in the rewards of occupation or hobby, but a child has no outlet that can compensate for loss of relationships. Relationships are part of the adult world, but relationships are all the world to a child. An adult without refreshing relationships may still be successful in his career. He can read, engage in hobbies, or just endure loneliness, but a child without relationships is emotionally ill." --No Greater Joy, volume three (emphasis mine)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Eden and The Dinner Table

Quote of the Day:

"Getting sent out of that garden is like having to get down from the dinner table for not using manners. I don't like that" --Reese, age 4

Monday, March 10, 2008

Budget Class

This morning during our school time I asked Cole to help me prepare the budget (our
"month" starts on the tenth). Those of you who read this blog regularly know how behind I am on our finances. I decided that today was the day to begin ironing out the wrinkles. I seem to never get it done because of the kids interrupting my concentration, so I decided to throw them purposefully into the mix and see what happened.

The first thing I did was get out the Monopoly set and pay Cole one month's salary, in mixed bills. He was amazed and kept exclaiming about how MUCH he had in his hot little paws. I was thinking, Just you wait and see....

The next things we set out were the ten-key, a piece of paper, and a pen. I asked him to tell me as many things he could think of that we would need to pay for over the course of the month. He surprised me with some (he remembered insurance on his own) and I surprised him with the vast NUMBER of the others. Soon we had a good long list, and his face was starting to fall when he looked at the money in his hands.

I wrote our salary number on the piece of paper, and away we went. One by one we went through our list, subtracting out all the necessary expenditures. After each one was recorded on the paper, Cole subtracted it on the ten-key, read me the new number, and then "paid me" for the bill. The closer we got to the end of our list, the more melancholy he became, finally saying, "Mom, I don't think we're going to have enough for gymnastics or the quilts (a future project)." I encouraged him to not give up too soon, and when all was said and done, we did have just enough for both the gymnastics class AND the quilts!

I was surprised at how many tangents a simple budget discussion created. Cole learned how to calculate ten percent, how to perform simple functions on the ten-key, and how to read numbers in the thousands. We discussed where and how a tithe might be given, why it is important to save a portion of every check, and what the difference is between health insurance and disability. We also worked hard to prioritize our expenses, making sure that the basic needs were satisfied before moving on to any luxuries.

I'm thinking now that this jointly affair should become a monthly occurrence. Having a helper certainly got me out of my finance rut, and I loved being able to see Cole's whole world expand with every new topic. He definitely has a new perspective on the daily workings of the checkbook!

On an unrelated note: A few days ago, the boys asked for some sliced cheese with their breakfast. They hadn't been eating more than a minute when Reese suddenly arranged his slices in his hand and said, "Got any 3's?" Cole immediately followed suit and they spent the next 20 minutes or so playing Go Fish with their cheese. I think it is hilarious how intently they are studying their "cards"!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Now That I Am 30...

....Must I give up my torn jeans and scuffed brown clogs?

Sunday, March 2, 2008


So March is already here, which means that I have sufficiently used up the "I have a newborn" excuse for wearing yoga pants every day. Strangers are starting to look at me, well, strangely, when I explain to them that my baby was JUST born, since he is huge and smiles and laughs at them in the grocery store. Time to shake a stick at those lingering pregnancy pounds that are still following me around like a naughty shadow!

I am an emotional eater, anyway, so pregnancy for me is pretty much a free-for-all. It's always a touch disappointing to go through labor and delivery and then discover there are STILL 30 pounds to run off.....

This week I took the bull by the horns and waved goodbye to my All Nutella, All The Time diet. I have moved on to eating meals packed full of goodness and nutrition--breakfasts of roasted yams (drizzled with a little maple syrup of course) and hardboiled eggs, lunches of asian ginger broth with tofu, peas, and brown rice, and dinners of chicken and barley with broccoli, or Brittany's black bean and salsa soup. Yum! I hardly feel like I'm getting cheated, and the scale is down three pounds in three days. Only 27 to go...