1. Share a favorite memory of your mother or share a favorite something from your own life as a mother. If you're a mother (or stepmom) tell us how your experience as a mom differs from your own mother's experience.
One of my favorite memories of my Mom was when we worked together on sewing First Communion dresses for Sophia and Olivia in 2009.
My Mom loved sewing and - given that it was difficult to find First Communion dresses in November in Minnesota - suggested sewing them. She said she had some fabric with pretty detailing on it that would be perfect for the dresses.
Found a pattern and we spent time together sewing the dresses. She taught me how to properly put in sleeves and a zipper - two things I didn't know how to do.
She helped with ruffling the dresses so the lower part would fit into the bodice part. In the photo below she is ruffling Olivia's dress.
(Taken on November 18, 2009.)
She kept apologizing that she couldn't do as much as she could have in the past due to arthritis and macular degeneration. I was so happy, though, that she was able to have an important part in making the dresses.
Originally the First Communion service was to be held in November. Sophia got appendicitis and had surgery the weekend of the service. So, the girls had their own ceremony in January 2010.
Olivia and Sophia with my parents.
(Taken on January 9, 2010.)
In terms of the difference between how my Mom and I parent and our experience as mothers, the main difference is that I homeschool the girls. When I was growing up, homeschooling was illegal. It certainly would have been a great fit for me, yet it wasn't an option.
Sophia doing wet-on-wet watercolor painting.
(Taken on November 4, 2007.)
So, just in terms of the time I spend with the girls and the diversity of experiences we have had together, it is significantly greater.
Olivia standing next to the mushrooms she found on a nature hike.
She was very proud for finding them.
(Taken on April 9, 2008.)
We learn together and I spend a lot of one-on-one time teaching the girls in subjects they have challenges - like math and spelling.
Learning about estimating, counting, and graphing using fruit.
(Taken on February 19, 2010.)
This is something that I was on my own with from elementary school through high school. I do remember my Dad sitting down with me to help with math and learning how to measure one evening. Besides that, all the homework we did was our own responsibility. My parents didn't help us with it.
2. In May we celebrate teachers (May 9) and nurses (May 6) both. Most every family has at least one in their midst, so tell us something (or a few things) you appreciate about the teacher or nurse on your family tree.
My sister went to college and received her B.A. in Elementary Education. She had a special interest in the Montessori philosophy and created some of her own learning tools based on the more expensive ones that could be purchased.
My sister, Mary, at the Rose Gardens in Portland
in June 2016.
She worked in a different field for most of her career. However, she has circled back now to working at a charter school in the elementary grades. She enjoys it and it is a good fit for her skills and interests.
Mary is compassionate, generous, and thoughtful. She is very sensitive and has persevered through some challenging situations in her life.
On December 26, 2003, her husband died unexpectedly from a dissecting aortic aneurism. Through a combination of medicine, talking/therapy, and a deepening of her spiritual life/religion, she has become stronger and shown her resiliency through very difficult circumstances.
She has raised two sons on her own - one will be graduating from college in December and the other from high school next month. The older one has an internship lined up for the summer while the younger one will be preparing to go to college.
3. Chicken salad, egg salad, tuna salad...which would you go for if all three were on the menu? On bread or a bed of lettuce? If you answered bread, what kind of bread would make it the perfect sandwich?
Probably chicken salad. Sometimes restaurants put things like pickled relish into egg salad or tuna salad which, to me, contaminates the whole salad. I rather make my own egg salad or tuna salad at home and enjoy it.
Chicken salad I made.
(Taken on March 23, 2013.)
For chicken salad, it would be plain. No need to waste a piece of lettuce. For the egg and tuna salad, it would be on bread. A whole grain/multi-grain bread would be good.
4. Do you have a desk? Is it organized? If so, share your secret to keeping it that way. If you don't have a desk, where in your home do you take care of family paperwork and business? Where do you normally sit to blog?
Yes, I have a desk. Is it organized? In my mind it is. I know where everything is for the most part. Ideally, though, I'd like to work on reducing the piles of things to do that are on it; and remove at least half the items in each of the drawers. If I haven't used items in a year, chances are that I won't be using them anytime soon.
For writing, I don't sit. I lay down and type. Often times, it is with a cat sitting on my back (right now it is Eenie) and dogs sleeping around me (Cooper is looking out the window, Aspen is sleeping under the covers, and Scooby is snoring on the pillows).
Aspen, Eenie, Cooper, and Scooby.
This was when Eenie was wrapped after
his shoulder injury a couple of weeks ago.
5. When I was nine years old....
I was in fourth grade and loved art. I still remember learning how to enlarge an image using a graphing method. The image I used was Winnie-the-Pooh's face. I drew a graph over the image.
Winnie-the-Pooh checking out some honey pots.
The face I drew was more of a side profile of him.
Then, on a larger piece of paper I drew another graph, but the squares were bigger. In each square, I drew a larger version of what was in the corresponding smaller square on Winnie-the-Pooh's face.
When I was done, I erased the graphing lines on my drawing and then finished off the picture. I was really happy with how it turned out.
6. Insert your own random thought here.
Building on the questions and answers about teaching and homeschooling, at the May 4-H club meeting I had the youth do presentations about a country that interested them for a Festival of Nations activity.
This is the second year that we've done the activity, and all the countries chosen this year had to be different from the ones that were picked last year.
Sophia chose Egypt and did a display board, an art project, and made a fruit beverage using fresh raspberries, mint leaves, pineapple juice, and soda water.
Olivia also did a display board, hand-painted a water pitcher using Greek images, and made Olive and Oregano bread (one didn't have olives just in case some children didn't like olives).
Both the girls gave presentations to the club.
This builds their public speaking skills as well as prepares them for showing this project in the county fair. The display boards and art projects can be entered in the 4-H Global Connections project.
The youth all did a great job with their presentation boards, food, and speeches. It's a good way for youth to teach other youth about a subject they are interested in.