Friday, May 29, 2009

Love This Soup!

I got a great recipe for soup from one of the ladies at work. There is something very addictive about this soup; you'll find yourself craving it.

Sausage, Bean and Green Soup

2 Tbsp olive oil
1-1/2lb Italian sausage
1 med. onion, chopped and 2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 carrot and 1 potato, chopped
1 bay leaf
2 cans white beans, drained
4 cups of green leaves (I use spinach, but you can also use broccoli rabe or any greens)
2 quarts chicken stock

In large soup pan over medium heat, cook sausage (take out of skin) in olive oil. Let brown and add vegetables, bay leaf and beans. Season with salt and pepper. Cook 5-10 minutes to soften veggies. Add greens and cook another few minutes. Pour in chicken stock. Stir and cover pan. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 15-30 minutes.

That's it! I serve it with a thick, hearty bread. If you try this recipe, drop a note and let me know what you think! And for those of you in other countries, can you get these ingredients easily? If not, what would you use for a substitute?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Reality of Reality Television

Is there anyone in the United States who hasn't heard of Jon and Kate? They are a couple who had twins, and then (I think) they adopted sextuplets. So now they're Jon and Kate Plus 8 and they have a reality television show. And now, (coincidentally just before their season premiere) Jon was caught in an affair, except he wasn't, and Kate is a monster and her attitude and actions drove him to the affair which he didn't have. This is reality?
There are so many things wrong with this whole situation!
Let's start with the fact that these people have a television show because they have a lot of kids. Apparently enough people are curious as to how a large family lives that it warrants a TV show. Had I only known! I could have had a show titled, "Jill and the Boys" or some such catchy thing as that. I can tell you how a large family operates. Pretty much like a small one, but on a bigger scale.
Second, where's the reality? Is it reality to have television cameras in every corner of your lives? To have cameras in your children's faces twenty-four hours a day? Not to mention, I don't know how long this show has been going on, but I've seen a few pictures recently that show just how much things have changed since it started. Kate had normal blonde hair and looked like an average housewife. Now she has a frosted blonde reverse mullet, with bangs run amuck down the side of her face. Seriously, the first time I saw their picture, it took me a minute to figure out which one is Jon.
And speaking of Jon--why on earth would you invite television cameras into your life, and then be surprised (or outraged) when they catch you doing something you're not supposed to do? Hello! That's why they're there. Contrary to common beliefs, they aren't interested in where you buy your gas or how many cups of coffee you have during the day. They want to catch the bad stuff. They want to see the dirt.
I think reality television is a dangerous trend. We're like a bunch of voyeurs, peeping in on other people's lives. And on the other side of the camera are people who want the world to know every little fault and foible of their personalities. They don't hide the flaws. They flaunt them. They glory in them.
As for me, I don't want to know anyone that well. They can keep their flaws to themselves. And I don't want anyone knowing me that well either. Some of my private life is just that--private.
But there's another, darker shadow lurking just below the surface. It scares me because, if it's true, it shows a much worse side of our lives. This whole affair thing broke in the news right before their season premiere. It makes me wonder if this really happened recently, or if they saved the story until now because it made for publicity. And if your life appears to be imploding, why would you continue to air it on national television? M instinct would be to scale back and try to fix the problems in our life. Not use it to share with millions of viewers. If that's the price of fame, it's much too high. Great ratings are not worth the sacrifice. Fifteen minutes of fame isn't worth the destruction of your family. And regarding that fifteen minutes of fame--do you really want to be known for destroying your family?
The reality is, some prices are much too high.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Male Perspective

Here's a couple of pictures from our jaunt yesterday. These were actually taken when we got home and were cleaning the boat, because I forgot to take my camera with me on the water. I'm still getting used to having one that I don't throw away. : )
Living with six males gives me a unique view of the world and everything in it, including my life.

When you ask a girlfriend or a female in your family a question, whatever answer they give is usually wrapped in cotton and delivered gently. We're very aware of hurting each other's feelings. That doesn't mean we're not honest with each other, but we're careful how we say things. And we want to be encouraging. I think as females we try to sense what's needed and that's what we provide.
Not so with males.
They tend to be brutally honest. And sometimes they give their opinions even when you haven't asked them for it. Or don't even want it.

Example #1: We had a VBS workers' meeting after church a week or two ago. There were about forty people there, and I had a lot of material to cover. Any of you that have gone through a Madison Baptist VBS know what I'm talking about. I tried to be enthusiastic, keep it funny and light, but also give all the information I needed. When we got home I asked Matt how I did.
"If you had been my girlfriend or wife, I would have wanted you to be a little more reserved."
It's not like I was screaming or doing cartwheels while talking. I did not scratch myself in public or tell rude or inappropriate jokes. I didn't swear. Perhaps I should have been more reserved by sitting down and not speaking at all????

Example #2: The morning of our Mother-Daughter Luncheon I was having breakfast with the boys and chatting with them. And I was nervous about speaking at the luncheon. As I got up to leave the room, Nicky said, "Hey, Mom. You've got two red spots on your face."
"I know. I'm breaking out."
He looked shocked. "Breaking out? You mean, like, zits?"
"Yes, son. They're zits. This is why women wear makeup. So they can cover them up."
He eyed me critically. "Well it's not working. I can still see them."
I didn't ask his opinion after I finally got my makeup on that morning. I didn't want to know.

Example #3: We were driving to church when I heard Joel say, "Love you."
"I love you, too." I smiled at him.
"You said 'I love you', and I said 'I love you, too'."
"No, I said 'Limo'." He pointed to the vehicle passing through the intersection. "Look how long it is!"

They certainly have me grounded in reality. And I don't think I'll ever have too high an opinion of myself or my abilities. But does it really take six males to keep me humble?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Family Day

I hope you all had a great Memorial Day yesterday. In addition to remembering the ones who died preserving our freedoms, we also spent some much needed family time together. We went out on our boat for a couple of hours, which is always a lot of fun. Last year Hurricane Fay raised water levels to the point that no boats were allowed on Lake Monroe or the St. John's River for most of the summer, so we missed being out there. The only drawback is, I'm radioactive red this morning. We weren't out there that long, but it was still enough to make me look like a lobster. I don't think it's bad enough to peel (except possibly my forehead) so maybe this will be the start of my summer tan.
Later on in the afternoon we grilled hamburgers, hotdogs and brats. And we also had the requisite watermelon. It's been a long time since all of us took some time from work, church duties and schooling to just spend time together. All in all it was an awesome day.
How did you spend Memorial Day?
By the way, I'll try to post a picture or two later, after my camera finishes charging.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

So This Is Love

Thursday I was putting the finishing touches on the printed program for our luncheon last Saturday. It was one page, printed front and back, and folded in half. When you opened it up, the inside of the cover was blank, and across the page was the schedule of the program. I showed it to Terry and he commented that I needed a poem to put on the blank page. Well I'd already thought of that, but my mind was also blank, and I could not come up with a poem that fit our theme to save my life. I had also scoured the internet and several resource books I had, and I still couldn't come up with a poem. It was going to have to stay blank, I maintained.
Friday morning Terry called me at work and said, "Hey, check your email. I found a poem for you." It was a great poem that fit the occasion perfectly. Where did he find it? He wrote it. That's right. My wonderful husband thought I needed a poem, so he wrote one for me. And here it is.

Everything is new with no memories to regret.
Time seems to last forever; there's nothing to fret.
The days are long the nights are short.
No responsibilities, no worries. No care of any sort.

School days are filled with laughter.
It's time to play and time to learn.
Kindergarten, elementary, and on to high school,
But life begins to take a turn.

Boyfriend, girlfriend, mom and dad,
Relationships and principles are hard to grasp.
Listen to whom? Following what?
Choosing direction is not an easy task.

I think with graduation that I've finally arrived.
Then comes college days, wild and crazy;
And also filled with decisions
That will affect my future family.

Wedding bells ringing, love is in the air.
Life will now be easy, without a care.
Until children now enter the scene. m
How many should we have? One, two or three?

Another summer, winter, day and night.
My childhood flew; my youth took flight.
Now my little ones are grown.
But what about their future? What seeds have they sown?

The house is now empty; we've plenty of room to spare,
We hope our grandkiddies will want to spend time there.
The days are getting shorter; life is drawing near the end.
Time no longer lasts forever, what with night just around the bend.

Ah, but this is just the beginning! The regrets of this life will soon be past.
In Jesus Christ a new season begins, and only what's done for Him will last!

Terry gets the wonderful guy of the year award for this one! I love you, Honey.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Ups and Downs of the Weekend

We had an absolutely fabulous time at our Mother-Daughter luncheon Saturday! Our theme was Redeeming the Time, and the tables were each decorated for a different time in a woman's life.

This was the "Newborn" table, complete with teddy bears and little knitted baby caps.

This table was decorated with antique to signify the later years of a woman's life.

Pattie and Theresa were doing a last minute run through for their skit, "Time Saving Tips from the Experts". Their tips included everything from dressing your kids for church on Saturday night so they're ready to go Sunday morning, to ripping out your lawn and replacing it with gravel so that you don't have to waste time doing yardwork. They were both hysterically funny!

Petrea and Sharon did a terrific job on all the decorating. Here they were taking care of a few last minute details before we started.

I wish I would have gotten a picture of Lynn and Vicky. They put the menu together and, although they had some help, they cooked most of the food themselves. It was absolutely fantastic food--much better than catering--and we had so much left over that we had a fellowship after church Sunday night to finish everything off.

The down side of the weekend? My trip to the "spa". There are some real spas and some hair and nail salons that slap "spa" into their title in order to charge more money. Guess which one this was? I wasn't really pampered and the quality of the services I got--I won't go into all the details. It wasn't horrible, but it took forever and I didn't get much to show for the time invested. As far as pictures of my haircut, I didn't take any because she cut so little off, I don't look any different than I did before. She wanted me to start growing it out (I did for the past year, but I gave up on it two months ago and cut it again) because my hairstyle is boring. (According to her.) I was tempted to tell her that, as a pastor's wife, I'm supposed to be boring. Hehehe.
But it could have been much worse. She could have ruined my hair or done something really weird to my nails the night before our luncheon. I used the time I was there to go over my notes for speaking at the luncheon, so it wasn't a total waste. Just not the luxury I was expecting.
Tomorrow I'll tell you how my husband really stepped up during this hectic weekend. Just a little example of how he was willing to help do whatever was needed to make our luncheon a success.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Lap of Luxury

One of the items I got for Mother's Day was a gift certificate to a salon/day spa. I've always wanted to go to one, and I can't wait for my appointment this afternoon. I'm not getting the full treatment, but I am getting a haircut, manicure and pedicure. I've gotten all that done before, but never all at the same time. I'll have two hours of "me" time after I get off work tomorrow afternoon. I've already instructed my family not to call unless it's an emergency because I won't be answering the phone. I'm just going to relax and pretend that this is normally the way I live my life. And since I have to speak at our Mother-Daughter Luncheon tomorrow, I'll pray that they know what they're doing with my hair. Have a great weekend. I know I will!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Redeeming The Time

This coming Saturday our church is having our annual Mother-Daughter Luncheon. Our theme is "Redeeming the Time". Each table will represent a different time period in life and different ladies are decorating them. We have a baby table, and an adolescent table. A teen table, wedding table, senior citizen table. You get the idea. I've written two skits that will be done that day. The first one is titled "Blondes". It's two teenage girls who happen to come across each other. They have an entire conversation, including an argument, without ever finishing a sentence. The second skit is two ladies in our church who will be giving time-saving techniques. They end up trying to compete with each other for the best ideas and get carried away, recommending things like dressing your kids on Saturday night before they go to bed so that they're ready for church when they get up in the morning.
Two of our ladies are planning an awesome meal. To their husbands' delight, they've been experimenting with different recipe ideas for the past couple of months.
I'm the speaker at this event. I don't mind because I'm one of those weird people that actually likes public speaking. I'm speaking on the theme, and I'm focusing on the fact that there are different times in your life. For instance, early in "mommyhood", your life may limit your ability in certain areas of service. I ended up stepping out of children's church work when we were in Uganda. There was no nursery, and I was teaching with a four month old strapped to my chest and a two-year-old playing in the dirt at my feet. No one was listening to the lesson.
Now it's nine years later, and I'm teaching in our children's program on Wednesday nights.
I want this to be a time of encouagement to keep on serving, but also a time where we contemplate what we should be spending our time on in whatever part of life we are currently in. (I realize that, grammatically, that sentence stunk. Bear with me.) I want the younger females, particularly teenagers, to realize that their life is not all fun and playing until they suddenly become an adult. The first twenty years of your life is training for being the adult you will be for the next sixty or so years of life. Don't waste the training period.
Anyway, I don't know how clear this post is, but if you have any ideas or tips for redeeming the time in your life--or in someone else's--leave a comment and let me know.
I'll be posting pictures of our luncheon on the blog next week. Thanks for the help!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

This Doesn't Make Sense

I was at Target the other day when I came across this picture for sale. It caught my eye at first because we have an outer space theme for our upcoming VBS this year, so I'm kind of tuned in for anything I come across that's "space-y". This was in their art aisle, and it was forty dollars. If you look closely at it, it looks like a kid's painting of the solar system. It actually looks like something a kid would have to do for a science project.
Behind it was another picture of the same type, but that one was covered in flowers. Again, forty dollars. Again, kids' art project.
Why would someone buy something like this? If you wanted to decorate, say a kid's room or a play room, and you wanted to use art that looks like a kid did it, why wouldn't you use your own kid's art? I have yet to ever see a child that didn't draw tons of pictures. And surely paint and canvas are cheaper than forty dollars for one kid-quality painting.
Plus, what message does that send to your child? "We want to decorate it with children's art projects, but yours is so bad we had to spend forty dollars on a painting that looked like a kid did it instead. Enjoy."
I just don't get it. I guess what I'm saying is, why would someone buy this unless they were going to use it in an area for children? And if they have an area for children, why wouldn't they use a child's own pictures? I mean, if this was the decorating route they were taking.
Someone help me out here. 'Splain it to me.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Happy Mother's Day to Me

I thought you all might want to see what kind of camera I got for my Mother's Day present. Terry and I went out looking last night and this is the one we brought home. (Of course we paid for it!) I wasn't necessarily in the market for a pink camera because I'm not a pink type of person (I'm more of a burgundy, actually). The silver version of this camera was one price, but because of a Mother's Day deal, Sony had packaged the pink version in a kit with a case, a memory stick and a few other goodies. The price was $10 more for all the extras, so that's the one we got. I don't mind the pink, and in my testosterone-filled household, the color guarantees that no one will mess with my camera.
As you can see from the other picture, it does complement my phone, which is burgundy even though it looks red in the picture. I've downloaded more than one picture to a blog before, but this particular effort took me several tries. Obviously there are still areas of technology I have not conquered.
So anyway, happy Mother's Day! Whether you get a present, or dinner out or a card or flowers, I hope that your children and your husband recognize your unique place in their family. And you have my admiration. You've got one of the toughest and greatest jobs in the world.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

HOA Boundaries

I never heard of an HOA until we moved to Florida. Then suddenly, while we were looking at houses, we were told we had to consider the HOA fees when making our decision. What's an HOA? That's a homeowners' association. The homeowners in a subdivision hire a board to oversee the common areas of a subdivision. The idea is to make sure that the entrance and/or playground or pool (whatever the subdivision has) is well-maintained and attractive. It's a nice idea, but unfortunately it can get out of hand.
Some people seem to let the power of the board go to their heads. Or maybe our subdivision just doesn't have enough to keep the board busy. After all, we have no pool. Anyway, it's not uncommon to get a letter from the "Yard Nazis". These letters are generally faux polite. They inform you of a breach you've made in the HOA rules and give you a deadline to fix it. The letter also politely states that if it's not fixed within that time period, they will be forced to take further action.
Technically, it's in the contract when you buy a house. If there's an HOA, you agree to pay the fees to maintain the HOA and abide by the rules. Basically, we pay people to tell us when it's time to cut the lawn. That's right. We've gotten letters that tell us our yard needs mowing. Or edging. Or our plant beds need to be weeded. Or our bushes cut back. Or we left our garbage cans in plain view. Typically, between the time they've spotted something and the time we get the letter, the problem is usually taken care of. But still ...
And then there are the crazy rules. We can't paint our house without HOA approval. They get final say on what colors we can use. Don't want our house clashing with the others in the neighborhood. Even if we want to repaint the outside of the house the same color, we're supposed to get permission. We also need permission before doing any extensive landscaping, such as planting trees or adding a garden. There are rules for fences. And screened in rooms with pools. The list goes on and on, and the board adheres to the nonsense as if the fate of the world hangs in the balance.
Just yesterday we got a letter from the Yard Nazis. But this letter was to everyone in the subdivision. In an extremely sarcastic manner (and believe me, I know sarcasm when I see it) the letter pointed out that some spring cleaning needed to be done in the yards. Dead grass and dead plants, trees, or leaves, damaged from the "severe" frost we had this winter need to be cared for, removed or replaced. Grass needed to be mowed and lawns edged. Flower beds weeded. The list went on and on. It finished by saying that they would be going through the neighborhood the middle of this month to check up on compliance.
Our response? One of the things the letter complained about was mildew on the outside of houses and on driveways and sidewalks. We have a pressure washer. So my son is making up fliers to pass out throughout the subdivision, offering to pressure wash driveways and houses--for a fee, of course. We could actually make some pretty good money out of this if others are afraid of the Yard Nazis.
Most subdivisions in this area have HOA's. And most HOA's are this fanatical about their duties. I've considered running for president of the HOA. It is an elected position. But their monthly meetings are on Wednesday night and we have prayer meeting. Besides, as bad as my yard looks, I doubt I'd have much chance of winning. Maybe if I ran on a campaign of "To Each His Own". Or "You ignore my bushes, I'll ignore your garbage cans".
Sounds like a campaign slogan to me.
By the way, I got this picture off the internet. It's not my house. Although I think it's a good bet that the HOA president lives there.

Medicinal Sauces

If our ancestors could see the way people are panicking over swine flu, what would they say? My guess?
This is flu, people. Just like lots of other types of flu. Remember bird flu? And SARS? and monkey flu? Okay, I made that last one up, but this is just silly. This all out hysteria would be funny if it weren't scary. Where is this chaos coming from?
I have a theory, and it goes like this:
The hand-sanitizer people were at their weekly poker game with the history textbook writer people. Everyone was complaining about the economy and how hard it was on business. Then someone pointed out that the way business works, you have to create a product to fill a need. Or you have to create a need for your project. So the hand-sanitizer people decided that, if they could create some kind of a new strain of virus, sales of their product would skyrocket, even with a bad economy.
But their friends, the history textbook writer people weren't happy. That need didn't do anything for their product. As a matter of fact, worry about flu and germs could even cause people to go out less, do less shopping and browsing and could actually hurt sales of their textbooks.
Then someone mentioned that, if the flu strain spread fast enough and far enough, it could get as bad as the influenza epidemic of 1918. Or the bubonic plague of the 1500's. Then the history textbook people would need to produce new textbooks to cover this historic period in our lives.
And that's how we got the swine flu.
A friend of mine told me that, in Texas, the entire state's school system shut down to deal with the flu. There it was swine flu. When it got to Alabama, the virus had mutated. It was now the hog flu, and county and city schools were shut down. But the time it got to Florida, the virus had mutated again. Now it's pork flu. The cure? A tablespoon of BBQ sauce, morning and evening. If you have a particularly virulent strain, you might try a side of either pork n' beans or macaroni n' cheese. Cole slaw works too, but only in the South.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

What Makes Me Feel Old

I have been contemplating my age recently. I know that's not normally a really uplifting experience, but the thing is, I don't mind my age. I am forty-two. (Okay, I admit it. It hurt a little bit to actually put it in print.) I will be ... a little older than that by the end of the year. All right, I guess maybe I do have a little problem with the numbers. But we covered last week the fact that I'm not a numbers person.
See, I don't think I look that old. (If you don't agree, please don't enlighten me. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.) My husband, who is not given to insincere flattery, said he thought I looked like I was in my thirties. Again, it's just numbers. Who cares?
Looking my age is another matter. Although I'm not necessarily fond of what I see when I look in the mirror, that has to do with general appearance rather than age. I don't have much in the way of wrinkles. I take care of my skin. I don't look like a dewy twenty-year-old, but I don't want to. (And what's with that word "dewy" anyway? It makes me think of something dripping wet.) I think I have a little more character and wisdom in my face than I did when I was twenty. I should have a little more wisdom than I did at twenty.
So my actual age doesn't make me feel old. Looking in the mirror doesn't make me feel old. But there are some things that do bother me about my age.
The first thing that bothers me is other people's ages. One of my sisters turned forty-seven this year. That's almost at the end of the forties! That's almost fifty. I'm way too young to have a sister that old! It makes me feel old. It probably doesn't do much for her either, but hey, this blog is about me.
My son turned twenty this year. He's taller than his dad. He's had some college and is saving money to finish. He works a full time job. He can vote. He almost qualifies for cheaper rates on his auto insurance. He really doesn't have to obey his parents anymore. Although, if he wants to continue living in our house he has to adhere to certain standards of conduct. (Which he does without a problem.) But see, I'm not old enough to have a twenty-year old son. That's a long time to be a mother. How did that many years pass?
I have a friend who is in her late twenties. I just recently discovered she was born in the eighties. That makes me feel old. I remember the eighties. See, in my mind they just weren't that long ago. I remember them well. Big hair, shoulder pads, Atari 5200. The A-Team and Remington Steele. And yet, the eighties began almost thirty years ago. My kids play their most current form of video games (games I wouldn't even begin to know how to play) and they ask me if I had anything like that when I was growing up. The graphics from Atari are laughable compared to the virtual realities that exist in today's video games.
The advances in technology also make me feel old. I did not take any computer classes in high school. They weren't required and most schools didn't have anything like a computer lab. There were not computers in people's homes either. Now almost every college student has a laptop. Some people have a computer on their cell phone. I think technology is great, but I don't even attempt to stay on top of the latest gadgets and techniques. Someone recently told me I was old-fashioned because I prefer to communicate by email as opposed to texting or "tweeting" or facebook. That makes me feel old.
But life has a way of straightening things out. Just about the time I feel totally down--when I'm planning the rocking chair I will occupy for the rest of my days, something happens that makes me feel young again. Something that could (or should) only happen to a young person.
I get a zit.
Hey, I didn't say it made me happy. I just said it made me young!

Monday, May 4, 2009

May I Have Some Camera advice?

I usually don't have much in the way of requests for Mother's Day. I get taken out to dinner (I remind everyone a couple of days before hand that I am not cooking!), and I get some nice cards. One year Terry bought me a pearl necklace. It's a pretty good day, but I keep my expectations reined in--it's much nicer to get something you're not expecting than than it is to NOT get something you ARE expecting!
But this year I am asking for something. I've decided I want a digital camera. Not sure if we have the money, but it doesn't hurt to ask, does it? The problem is, I'm not very camera savvy. I don't have much savvy (re: talent) in the photography department, either. Up until this point, if I wanted to take pictures I used one of those disposal cameras. But I do have a few problems with that technology. (Or is that too dignified a term?) First off, and I know how shallow this makes me, it is completely and totally uncool to use a disposable. I look like a kid going to summer camp. Except those kids all have their own digital cameras now, too.
Second, since they are technologically inferior, I can't exactly download photos, can I? Or send them to Walmart over the internet. Or post more pictures on my blog.
So, since most of you readers who also do blogs have tons of pictures, I thought I'd turn to you for advice. But make sure it's basic information in layman's terms. For instance, what is a pixel? Is it better to have more or less?
Actually, I'm gathering that it's better to have more because the cameras with more pixels cost more. But still, why is pixel amount important?
I want a camera that makes pictures clear enough to enjoy, otherwise what's the point? And I like cool features, but remember I'm a camera novice. I don't need all the bells and whistles. Chances are, I wouldn't be able to figure out how to make them work anyway.
Also, what brand are you partial to and why? Give me a good reason.
Help me out before Sunday, will ya?

Friday, May 1, 2009

I Are Smart

Most people that know me know that math is not my thing. I can add, subtract, and balance a checkbook (sometimes), but helping my children with their math problems is something I usually try to avoid. Truthfully, I still don't know how I managed to pass algebra. I always thought that "x" stood for a certain specific number and that, if I could just figure out what that number is, I'd have to key to figuring out algebra. Serves me right for treating it like some sort of mystery story. My kids found this hilarious. And then we started joking about the fact that x = 5. That's been my math answer ever since.
When a math problem would come up, I always pointed out that there was a reason I taught English!
How life changes. I still struggle with math. But I work in an auditing office. Go figure. I have helped my children with their algebra, but only under duress. I was homeschooling when Matt hit algebra. He only needed my help occasionally. I would haul out the score key and see how "they" did it. Then I would attempt to explain it to Matt. Turns out he not only understood the procedure, but he also understood the why of the procedure. He drove me nuts.
Stephanie was in Christian school when she went through algebra. I was relieved that she had an actual teacher to help her. Like Matt, she made mostly A's. I don't know where they're getting this from!
Now Luke is taking algebra. He asked for my help the other day. I took his worksheet. There were a bunch of problems with plenty of white space between each of them. My mind blanked to match the page. Finally I hauled out the score key to see what on earth they wanted him to do. Then I got a piece of paper and he and I worked through the problems together. When we finished, I was still confused, but he had a better grasp. Thank goodness.
I've helped Luke twice since then. Each time I feel like I'm getting a little better grasp of things myself, although I'm resisting it. After all, why do I need to understand algebra now, after all this time?
The worst has actually come true. Yesterday he brought me a problem that wasn't coming out right. He didn't know what he was doing wrong. I studied the problem while he went to get the score key for me. But by the time he got back to the table, I had spotted the problem. Without help. I then worked a few other problems with him. Without help.
I am not confident enough in myself to trust this newfound ability. If I suddenly understand numbers, someone will expect me to actually put it to use. And the whole "we take algebra in order to teach our brains to think through things logically"? Well, seriously, who wants that ability!?
I want to go back to a world where I can conjugate verbs. A simpler world. An easier world.
A world where x still equals 5.
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