Daybook: Mid March

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Out my window: darkness.  I don’t love the early-morning dark, but I do love the evenings that are bright and warm enough to take a walk after dinner.  There are so many signs of spring around here, most notably that the birds have returned.

In the kitchen: We had lots of guests this weekend, and I did lots of cooking – chili and cornbread, chicken pot pi and peach pi, make your own pizzas- but alas, we have very few leftovers to show for it. The children will be happy, but I do love leftovers for lunch.

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On my book table: The Monument Men (Edsel and Witter). How to Read a Book (Adler and Van Doren). (This one is very dense, and I’m learning so much!)  I’m making a stack to take on vacation, too. Any suggestions?

In the school room: Goodness, it’s been hard plowing here lately.   I’ve planned a lighter week with some breaks and lots of good reading.  We finished with the Armenian Genocide and Great Depression and are now into the cheerful days of WWII. Ahem.  I need to order our standardized tests, but I think we’ll wait until May , when SweetP is out of her cast.  All those little bubbles to fill in would just be too much for her left hand.

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On my mind: I am so grateful that I’ve gotten to shape the conversations we have about hard issues.  There is a lot of political discussion at my kids’ once-a-week school, most of it at the middle school lunch table and much of it not very nuanced (hard to imagine, I know).  Last week I fielded questions from my kids about capitalism and totalitarianism, abortion, gun control, immigration, infant baptism, the shooting in Madison, adultery, and fiscal policy.  I really want my kids to be able to look at a question or issue from many sides, and I want them to listen to the heart of someone else’s experience before they make judgments.  I know that snap judgments and either-or thinking is very developmentally appropriate for children, but I believe that the art of listening (truly listening, not just nodding while I formulate my own opinion) is a skill that has to be taught and practiced.  So we’re practicing.

Grateful for: Spring!  Spontaneous and well-planned get-togethers.  Deep conversations.  Our church. My friend’s new job.

Praying for: Mandy. Judy. Clare. The people of Vanuatu.  The Simons and Neals.  My patients.  Patience.

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