Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Answers part 1

I am going to divide the answers to the questions on the question post into more than one post because I got kind of long winded on the answers and I don't want anyone to fall asleep reading! You can still go back and ask questions.

I am not necessarily answering these in the order asked because the kids are going to answer the ones about them. I will probably video tape their answers for you.

How do you choose what activities your kids take part in and how do you keep up with it all? Jan

That has changed over the years. When we had seven children under 12 (due to foster care), we limited them to two activities at a time. This did not include church activities. We were in a church with Awanas at the time. Most of the time they had one continuing activity such as gymnastics or violin (Jessica for two years) and then they'd play a seasonal sport—T ball, hockey, soccer etc. I encouraged them to try a number of different activities while they were young

Now I have a chart on the wall that lists everyone's school schedule and their activities. I look at how much white space there is! We decided to sit out on dance this year because that was both a big time and money commitment. Now that the kids are older, the sports teams take up more time so they are usually only in one thing at a time. Like, Adam is in track and it practices 5 days a week plus has meets on Saturdays. He also works. So that's all he can handle right now.

The three youngest aren't in any activities right now since basketball has ended. Well, Jasmine's ended a couple of weeks ago, and Kaleb's last game is Saturday. Seriously, they have so much homework it's hard to keep up with it without any outside activities.

How we choose is a combination of what it costs, what the child's interests are and if they can be trusted to follow the rules and structure of the activity. The kids usually let me know what they want to try. Often they bring home papers from school about sports teams and other things.

These are just a few of the sports the kids tried. They've been in other sports as well as music and academic things too, but I only have a few of the old pictures scanned in.

Have you always been a writer? Or did you just stumble across it at some point? One Crowded House

I wish I was one of the writers who started writing in kindergarten and never stopped. I did actually write some pretty wild stories in grade school, but then in jr/sr high, I realized I didn't really know how to put a story together. I wrote for the city paper as a high school representative for two years, but I didn't go into journalism because I don't really like news. I liked writing features about classmates, but I knew as a journalist I'd probably end up covering city council meetings and such.

Doing it over with what I know now, I would have gotten a journalism major. But now there are some cool writing majors like Creative Christian Writing that didn't exist back then.

I actually have a masters in elementary ed, but haven't taught in a school situation since Tyler was born. Obvious we all teach our children in one way or another. Teaching isn't fun anymore. It's all about tests and curriculum goals etc. But that's a different topic!!

When I was in college, I had speech class. I did my first speech about video games, and I sent it to a teen Sunday school take home paper as an article and it sold. Then I wrote a couple of short little articles about a couple of minor Bible characters I learned about in my Old Testament class and sold them.  That's how I started.

I wrote a few travel pieces when we lived in England and a feature about one of the guys Rick was friends with.

Years later, I wrote a book for students about study habits, how to make friends, standing up to peer pressure etc. I sent it to editors, but it kept getting turned down. I sent it to Concordia three times because I thought it was something that would fit with their others books. It never got past the secretary. Then at the first writer's conference I went to—Florida Christian Writer's Conference (I flew in from where we were stationed in England)—I got to sit down with the Concordia editor in person. She loved it and asked, "Why didn't you send this to me?" and I got to say, "I did—three times, and it got rejected all three times!" She took it back with her and it became The Junior High Survival Manual, which was updated to be The Middle School Survival Manual.

My new Tyndale book will be out in July and is called The One Year Book of Bible Trivia for Kids.

My only question is why schools think it is acceptable to make fun of the segment of the school population, who are usually already targeted by bullies... and who will, most likely, move the world forward in a lot greater way than jocks? Hevel

It took me a minute to figure out why you were asking this, and then I realized it was probably because of the nerd day picture. Jasmine's school is a charter school and there is zero tolerance for bullying thank goodness. Most schools say they have that policy, but hers has a much higher standard of conduct than the public schools. And being a charter school, there is much more of an emphasis on academic excellence than sports, although they do have sports teams. The school is smaller so they don’t really play against the big high schools.

There are many scholastic clubs at the school, and one of them decided to have a spirit week to raise funds for a student with cancer. I don't know how they chose the topics: sports teams, red and pink day (Valentine's), jeans day, nerd day and one other I can't think of. The students paid $1-2 to participate. I don't think they meant any offense by choosing nerd day because they would have really been targeting themselves. In this school, being academic is a good thing. Jasmine chose to do that day because she wanted to wear the 3D glasses, although minus the lenses. The kids still had to wear their normal uniform shirts and bottoms.

First, about your family. You have a mom, sister and a brother? He's in some early pictures but not later and no dad? Middle School Mama

I have an older sister, Mary Lou—the kids call her Aunt Lou, and an older brother Ken. My sister is almost nine years older than me and my brother is 3 ½ years older than me. My mom miscarried four children so there's big age gaps. My parents separated when I was 8 or 9. I would see my dad on Saturdays, and once I was in high school, we went on vacation to a state park each summer together. He had a stroke when I was in college and never recovered. I think he had a couple of other strokes after that and went downhill for five years or so. He died seven weeks before my wedding in 1988. My brother isn't in recent pictures because he moved to Las Vegas for a job (computers, not gambling) but we are in touch and he helps finance a bunch of the cool stuff the kids get to do.

My sister is married but doesn't have children, and my brother has never married and doesn't have children.

My brother 1991

My sister 1992

The three of us in the 60's
I don't have any pictures of my dad scanned in so I need to do that. 

I always have a lot of questions but never ask.
How is your mom doing? I think I remember reading that she was in poor health. Is she able to visit?

You can always ask questions in the comment section on any post J

I am thankful that my mom has been able to be a big part of my kid's lives. Unfortunately, for the last few years she has been unable to travel. (She broke a hip and has not been able to totally get rid of Shingles) Before that she'd come down each February for a couple of weeks. She went to Haiti with me when we were adopting Jeff. She came when Tyler and Jessica were born and she met us in Des Moines when we got Adam. She was at their dedications too (except Jeff's which took place in England). She visited us in England, ND, Okinawa, SD, GA and FL. She went to Haiti with me and on a cruise with us.

When I was in school, she was always very stressed from her job and not able to attend my sports events, so it's been nice to have her so involved with the kids. My sister has been really involved too. She hasn't been able to come see us lately though because my mother needs her there.
 We go up to Indiana each summer and plan to go this year at the end of June/beginning of July.

And by the way, my brother is my only family member who regularly reads my blog!

In Indiana

In Haiti

In South Dakota

On a cruise

In Florida

More answers to come.


jahkamakura said...

I love the Middle School Survival Manual. I didn't know that was you...thank you!

Kathy C. said...

I'm glad to know someone read it :)

One Crowded House said...

I think Tyler (now) looks kind of like your brother in that picture you posted!

Kathy C. said...

I think he looks a lot like my brother did too.