“Tales of Faith” Book Tour

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Shalom, Patient Readers!

Today, I am posting an excerpt from a newly published book by a homeschooled young lady who is a close relative. 😉

The book is a collection of writing assignments she did over the course of a year, for the faithwriters.com website, and the stories cover a vast range of topics and genres – all delightful. Rosemary has a keen sense of humor and profound insights. She inspires my faith and tickles my funny bone regularly. She has lots of practice at storytelling, and not just for faithwriters – her younger siblings often ask her for a story, and won’t let her stop the tale until it reaches a satisfying conclusion. 🙂 In addition, she is a far more prolific blogger than yours truly, and you can find more of her writing here: Writefury

It was hard to choose which story to excerpt, since they are all so different, but I’m going with a funny one first, and may post another later in the week. Buy the book – you won’t be sorry!

I Am Ginger

Topic: Gluttony (overindulgence and overconsumption) (1/15/15)

Level 3, Advanced

Level Placement: 5th  

Overall Placement: 19th

I am Ginger.

I am a Cockapoo.

I am invincible.

There was a time when I was a small dog in every sense of the word, but that time is long gone.

As I still am today, I was only about a foot tall, not standing on my hind legs. But back then I was a trim little thing from constantly chasing rats, moles, chickens and rabbits with my brother, Fred.

Then the coyotes came and Fred was no more. I was sad for a while, but I consoled myself with the extra food he no longer needed to eat. I got a little chubbier, but not very noticeably. One day, I found where the extra bulk could come in handy.

The family was coming back down the path in their box with wheels and I ran out to greet them. I was a little too eager and found myself nearer to the wheel than I wanted to be. The next thing I knew, it had gone right over me.

It hurt and I yelped. The humans made frightened sounds and came out to see if I was all right. Surprisingly, I was. But the people needed more proof. I was rushed to the man in the white coat, who poked at me until the people were okay.

That was the day I lost my fear of the boxes with wheels.

Not long after that, two other big dogs joined us: Gilligan and Mary-Anne. The people got a different kind of food for them that tasted WAY better than mine. Seriously. I’d been missing out.

The first day, one of the people called us, scooped out the food, then ran back into their house. I beat Gilligan and Mary-Anne to it and started eating as much as I could, but the two big dogs were right behind me and started sticking their big, wet noses into the bowl, nudging me out.

I hadn’t had my fill yet and I had been here first. I gave them a little growl to let them know what I thought, and to my surprise, they backed away and let me eat first. They were totally submitting to me!

That was the day I realized my power over larger dogs, and I’ve kept a tight hold of it ever since.

Mary-Anne didn’t last long, though, and soon it was just Gilligan and me. But the days of luxury were gone. We only got fed once a day and it was the normal food that I had. I was wasting away. Gilligan was still submitting to me, so I got more food than that big oaf, but still…

Then, the year that I turned nine, about four years later, Gilligan died. The people were devastated. So was I. I only got half as much food as I had before.

About a month later, two puppies came and joined my family: Bullwinkle and Sassafras. For the first few months of their lives, they lived inside and I only saw them a few times. I was still only getting a small amount of food.

But then the puppies moved outside. And that meant that they were fed outside. They ate puppy food, which had even more vitamins and protein packed in than my and Gilligan’s food put together, and it tasted like heaven.

It was clear from the very first time I met the puppies that they would submit to me, even though I had a little trouble breaking Bullwinkle. So once they were outside, I had no trouble chasing them away from the food bowl.

It was one of the happiest times of my life. The puppies became sleek and athletic, while I became bigger and bigger. But the people didn’t know it because my fur had grown so long it hid me like a blanket.

At around the one year mark, Sassafras was sent back because she kept going past the fence and killing other animals, so Bullwinkle was left, but he still got the same amount of food. Even more for me.

Bullwinkle was noticing my growing middle and was obviously getting concerned. He bounced around, trying to play with me constantly. I prefer gluttony to activity, so I just growled at him and went back to the food bowl.

But the people had to find out sooner or later. I was given a haircut and the people were all shocked. They made sounds like: “Fat” “Too much food” and “Diet.”

I wonder what they mean?

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Titus 2 School?

capdiploma

Honestly, there are very few things I learned at college that have proven useful for my everyday life as a mother of 7. I know G-d has had His hand and His plan leading me every step of the way, but sometimes I wonder about all the facts I crammed in at the university that are sitting somewhere in my brain, currently gathering dust. However, I’ve had some funny thoughts rattling around this week, about what I DO use, and thought I’d share them.

Here are the courses I actually get some use out of, on a semi-regular basis (all were, of course, elective classes – not requirements, in college):
Children’s Literature – I took this course as a total “filler,” during my last summer quarter at the university, but it did introduce me to some great books and authors that I have since acquired for our family library. (Here’s a gratuitous plug for my favorite children’s book that I found through this course, “How Tom Beat Captain Najork and his Hired Sportsmen” by Russel Hoban.)
Acting Voice – useful for interpreting the different characters in the books mentioned above
Fencing – I am the mother of 5 boys – yes, this has been an occasionally useful skill to break out when I need to impress them!
ESL (English as a Second Language) Tutoring – translates well to EFL (English as a First Language)

And there, we stop. However . . .

Titus-24

I have come up with some ideas for classes that actually would have come in VERY handy. I would love to propose that something along these lines be taught in some kind of “Titus 2 School” for young mothers. Here are my humble suggestions, in the form of a course catalog, of sorts. Feel free to offer some of your own in the comments. This list is by no means exhaustive:

One-Handed Typing – Useful for maximizing computer time while nursing a baby.

Records Management – Includes building your photo gallery of children’s art projects (before their disposal), and filing options for unexplainably sticky but necessary records.

Businesslike Home Management – Chore charts and their implementation, perpetuation, and rotation.

Toy Obsession Workshop – Coaching against covetousness.

Strategic Bandaid Placement – Level 1: On the body of a child (wounds optional). Level 2: The stockpile – where to keep it so it doesn’t dwindle unnecessarily and contribute to litter.

Prioritizing – Practice addressing questions such as “Which cry do I answer first – that of the hungry infant or the toddler on the potty?”

Delegation – Emphasis on capability evaluation, training, and assigning the youngest capable child for each task.

Crisis Management (prerequisites: Prioritizing and Delegation) – Determining your course of action in multiple-implication emergency situations that can have no possible advance plan, i. e., one of your children breaks a bone when you have a houseful of company to feed and your toddler needs a diaper change. (This course was formerly known as “Counter-Ambush Training”)

Battlefield Triage (highly recommended for mothers of boys) – Covers first-aid and CPR, as well as wilderness treatment options. Includes ingraining of the mantra “head wounds aren’t usually as bad as they first appear.”

Dressing (and Redressing) a 3 Year Old – Learn to guide appropriate choices according to weather, time of day, etc.. Also covers “overriding skills” in the event of guidance failure on important occasions such as weddings and funerals, as well as photography skills in the event of children freelancing in their closets and drawers.

Finances of Childhood Pet Ownership – Covers making arrangements (before the pet’s purchase) for who will be paying for food, litter, vet bills and toys, as well as remedies for when the agreed payor runs out of money, but the animal is still hungry or sick or bored (aka “alive”).

Leadership of Group Study Time When your “Group” Includes Toddlers – Handling interruptions with grace, dogged determination, and an abundance of review questions!

Answering Ridiculous Questions with a Straight Face – Test questions include: Why does stickiness turn into hair? Mom, is this my east hand? and Can you milk a gecko?

Rapid-Fire Decision-Making 101 (a skill building workshop) – Strengthen your responsibility muscles! Will help with split second risk-assessment, short-range cause and effect projection, long range projection for bystander (younger sibling) witnesses of prospective permitted activity, the irrevocable veto and qualified permission using a signed waiver when faced with the question “Can I? Huh? Can I?”

Rapid-Fire Decision-Making 102 – Will include a field trip, grocery shopping with four or more rapping advertising agents at your side.

Micro-biology of Food Off the Floor – Will discuss the so called “3-second rule,” as well as the variations between floors of kitchens, bathrooms, cars, and outdoor surfaces. (Please include a pocket stopwatch with your purchase of the text for this class.)

Small Construction Projects – Building a sound-proof phone booth out of extra closet space, building prize-winning floats for entry in your local parade, and assembling toys late at night before the birthday party. If time allows, there will be discussion of whether any useful written instructions are ever exported from China.

Political Science of Sibling Relationships (prerequisite: Middle East Politics) – Covers advocacy, dispute resolution, hostage situations, and discusses the varying interpretations of the verse “. . . a brother was born for adversity” (Proverbs 17:17).
What have I missed?

Sibling Challenge

Shabbat Shalom!

It’s before 7 am on Shabbat morning, and I just changed a diaper. All is peaceful and quiet at my house – like it was for most of yesterday, amazingly!

Usually, since there is so much to do to prep for Shabbat, Fridays are generally our least “peaceful” day of the week. I think that to a certain extent, G-d wants it that way, since it sets up the contrast with Shabbat! However, my Friday yesterday was an unusually peaceful one, due to the fact that my older four children decided at 9:30 in the morning that they would use the day to try their friend Kolby’s “sibling challenge.”

Kolby is a 14 year old friend of ours who is writing a blog you can find here: The Sibling Challenge. It is a challenge for siblings, based on The Love Dare from the movie Fireproof. Check it out!!

I’d like to publicly thank my children (and Kolby) for my relatively peaceful Friday. I suspect that my children had a bit easier time of it because they were all doing it together, but I know they did have some tough moments (especially because the two year old doesn’t get it). Good job, kids!!

And thank you, Kolby, for stepping up and making kindness and self-control
cool!!

PS – In reference to my previous post, maybe we should try to start a “Body of Believers Challenge” next?