Stuff I said elsewhere, hither and yon, including much evidence of my parentheses addiction

Contrary to what my last post begs you to assume, at least part of the reason I’ve been around my own blog less is that I have a semi-obsessive pseudo-goal to catch up on reading posts in my Google Reader. Yesterday I got it down to about 120 unread posts, which is the lowest it’s been in months, but today it’s back up around 140. I think the time is coming and is not far distant when I will just click “mark all as read” any time my Reader starts to overflow. But it will be a hard thing to learn to do. I bookmark blogs because I want to read them, and worse, I want to respond to them. So I read quite a few blogs and leave quite a lot of comments.

In this vacation photo, Ike was thinking about Nintendo, and I was writing blog comments in my mind.

I’ve done comment culls before and re-posted my comments here, but it becomes a tedious task when I try to summarize the original post and link back to it. This time I’m just going to let you guess. It will be a test to see whether you read all the same blogs I do.

I’ve edited these comments a little as I’ve cut-and-pasted them in, because it’s my blog and I feel like it.

So, here’s a whole bunch of stuff I’ve said lately:

Really believing in and trusting Heavenly Father’s love for me seems to be something I’m going to have to learn over and over and over and over again.

I’m very fortunate in that for the most part, all of my ailments so far have been diagnosable and treatable. Still, it seems every time I think good health is on the near horizon, another health obstacle pops up. I very regularly go through a cycle of berating myself for all that I haven’t accomplished, but then once again reminding myself that for the past ten or more years I’ve been sick or pregnant or nursing or some combination of those things. I go through this same cycle on a smaller scale, too, berating myself for low-achieving days and then remembering I’m anemic or had been up with a sick kid all night the night before.

I also struggle with how much to talk about my various sicknesses with those outside of my immediate family. (My family does hear about them ad nauseum.) It’s such a big part of my life, but I’m either afraid of boring people, or the details are gory, so it’s hard to be vague enough for politeness, and yet not seem evasive.

Anyway, I relate to a lot of what you said, even though I haven’t even tried to write anything for publication. I could be unkind to myself and say the reason I haven’t made any serious attempt at publishable writing is because I’m afraid of failure, or I could be generous and say it’s because I’ve been wise enough not to pile any more challenges or commitments on my overfull plate.

Either way, I do still hope to have good health and maybe even write a book someday. Since so many of my health problems have seemed to come in the wake of pregnancies, I guess I’m hoping that when I’m officially done having babies, I’ll become a new woman with a fresh abundance of health and energy. I’ll probably be very disappointed if and when that doesn’t prove to be the case.

P.S. Speaking of not-quite-polite topics, I can’t remember where I once read a guy saying that women shouldn’t worry so much about having an ideal physique, because most men don’t care and are “just grateful.” 🙂

[Note: I wrote the above comment a few weeks ago, and I’ve already changed my mind about at least one thing. If I ever do write a book, I’ll do it whether my health is good or not. But for now I’m happiest having as few commitments as possible other than child-rearing.]

I thoroughly enjoyed your video log.

The two bettas are in separate bowls, right? Otherwise they will tear each other apart. Bettas are fun pets but extremely aggressive. (A nature show on the world’s most aggressive animals once put bettas in the #2 spot.) (We used to have a betta, and we loved him, and then he died and it was sad.)

It’s true that there are many choices of charter schools. I don’t know if that would solve the curriculum problem, but it might.

I tend to think that by high school things will somewhat even out, so I guess the trick is to find a way that he won’t lose interest in school in the meantime. (I even tend to think that kids can miss the first several grades with no detriment, but I’m also a borderline Unschooler.)

I’ll tell you what I know of the G/T program [for Alpine School District in Utah]. They have a program called “A.L.L.” (advanced learning lab–they called it that instead of gifted and talented to try to avoid elitism, but I think that gets a little silly because everyone figures out it’s the class for smart kids–you can’t fool kids just by renaming things). A.L.L. used to be just for 5th and 6th grade, but recently has been extended to 3rd and 4th. I don’t know if there’s anything else available for the younger grades.

The program is done at magnet schools and you have to provide your own transportation. Isaac (my now-13-year-old) did A.L.L. for 5th and 6th grade and arranging carpools was always a pain (the school doesn’t help you arrange them, and can’t even legally give you the contact information for the other families. So you’re asking around in your ward and stake and trying to figure out who to carpool with, and if everyone’s already gotten into a carpool you can get left high and dry). My one other complaint about the program is that it asks for heavy parental involvement, sometimes in ways that seemed to be busywork that didn’t have much academic value. (Keep in mind that I’m a borderline Unschooler, AND that I have five young kids.) One week they need a bunch of grilled cheese sandwiches for the Medieval Fair, the next your kid needs a Pythagoras costume (these are both true examples) and it feels there’s some big thing every week. Frankly I feel like the kids can get as much educational value without the costumes. and I’d rather the school not ask things of the kids that the kids can’t do on their own without parental help.

But anyway, Isaac did love A.L.L. They do very interesting projects (mummifying chickens when they study ancient Egypt–another real example) and he was rarely bored (although he WAS sometimes frustrated with the workload). They memorize poetry and famous speeches, learn how to solve logic puzzles, etc. Last year, although Mabel qualified for the new 4th grade A.L.L. class, we opted to keep her at our neighborhood school because there was a fabulous 4th grade teacher there. But this year she’s in A.L.L., and although finding a carpool was a HUGE frustration, I do finally have a decent one in place, and she likes her teacher and is starting to settle in. I think she’s going to be happier than she would have at our neighborhood school. (I’m very sad, though, that she can’t walk home with my 1st-grader. My 1st-grader’s still at the neighborhood school because I don’t want to send such a young child across town when we have a great 1st grade teacher here.)

Anyway, I’m not sure which parts of the school district have access to an A.L.L. magnet program, but it might be worth looking into as he gets a little older.

A few years ago I started counting the elementary schools the kids in my ward attended. At the time our Primary only had about 45 kids. Our ward straddled a school boundary, so there were two public schools, about three different charter schools, two private schools, and a couple of families in homeschool. So our 40-some kids were in eight different schooling situations. I guess it’s good that people have a lot of options, but a little sad that the kids in one neighborhood weren’t going to school together.

Um, I just took an hour to write a blog comment. A five-minute video log would have been a GREAT idea. Although I haven’t showered . . . and I have my pride.

Wasn’t that a beautiful regional conference? My stake also had an evening session that was wonderful. My stake president (who has nine kids, now grown) talked about how he had always wanted to have a family, but how providing for and nurturing his family had taken everything he had, and consumed his whole life. And how it was worth it. He encouraged everyone in that stage of life to seriously consider having a family, and for those not in that stage of life to promote and support families. Then when we sang the song “More Holiness Give Me,” the line “More used would I be” really touched my heart. I’d just spent two weeks stuck home sick myself and with sick kids, with no opportunities to pursue my own interests, but his talk and that line of the song both reminded me that my current sacrifices–the losing of my life–will become the saving of my life.

I did have a similar reaction as [another commenter] did to Sister Beck’s wording, because while I definitely would not want to give up my dishwasher or other tools of a homemaker’s trade, the internet is more than just a tool to me, since it has often provided me friendship and even inspiration when I otherwise might have felt very isolated. But even so, it’s definitely true that the internet is addictive and frequently threatens to take over my life. I do intend to try to take Sister Beck’s counsel, and not miss out on these precious-if-challenging years by constantly seeking an (always available) escape from my kids.

Okay, this is the end of the comment cull for today. (There’s more still that I might track down another time.  Or maybe not.)

This entry was posted in Health or lack thereof, Me thinking about stuff, Parenting. Bookmark the permalink.

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