Ethan helped me move a twin-sized bed (a mattress, box spring, and frame) down two flights of stairs this morning.

“What a man!” I exclaimed, then added, “And I mean that in the best of ways.”

Said Ethan, “Thanks, Mom. Sometimes I feel like I’m not so manly. But I also mean that in the best of ways.”

Global Citizen Award!

My kid came home with this. And a t-shirt. And a blanket, and a framed certificate. Wow, they made a big deal out of it. Says Ethan, “They finished naming off the nominees and I figured ‘Ah well.’ But then they said I won!”

Like I needed another excuse to feel ridiculously lucky to be their mom. πŸ™‚

My favorite part of the day, though, was the conversation I just overheard:

β€Ž”You’re being so nice to me today.”
“Did you get bonked on the head or something? You won the Global Citizen of the Year award, Ethan!”
“Okay, but you could just be this nice to me every day.”
“Sure I could, but today I have to thank you for giving ME an award: Girl with the Coolest Brother.”

Mother’s Day Awesomeness

I think my kids love me πŸ™‚

A story behind the flower pen: I’d posted this on Facebook on April 30th —

Kids: (bickering for five minutes straight)
Me: *simply looks at kids with wide eyes*
Ethan: “Mom’s right. This is a dumb argument.”
Mary : “Yeah, it is. Sorry about that.”

Me: πŸ˜€

I love being a mom. πŸ™‚

I found out moments afterward what they were arguing about: a gluestick. To make mother’s day presents for me. What a couple of cuties!

I used to feel guilty on Mother’s day, thinking I wasn’t doing enough somehow. Well, these days I _know_ I can’t do enough, but thankfully, the Lord makes up the rest. I did have a lump in my throat when we sang, “Families can Be Together Forever” — but other than that, today I was just happy to know I’ve got two sweet kids who love me.

Happy Mother’s Day, all. πŸ™‚

Renaissance Academy’s World Language Fair

We had such a great time at Renaissance Academy’s World Language Fair tonight. A teen from Malaysia taught us how to do Dikir Barak. My video got a little goofed up, but it went something like this:

Another student from Bethlehem played an awesome piano piece. My kids’ Arabic teacher from Jordan gave us some super yummy spice (Sumac) after we tasted the awesomeness of it on some hummus, we met a girl from Morocco who had the most gorgeous outfit ever, and saw some way cool items from Egypt.

There were people from Brazil, Hungary, Spain, Japan, China, Germany, … the list goes on… all with food or music or cool art pieces to look at, and all with great stories and ideas to share.

There are things we love about Renaissance Academy. There are things we don’t love so much, like the political stuff that tends to go hand in hand with charter schools. I have considered homeschooling my kids so they can learn at their own pace. But the one thing keeping us tied to this school it their World Language program. Seriously, if you’re in Utah and can come next year (near the end of March or early April) — do. You won’t regret it.

Education: Birth Control & Self Control

Note: I’m just cross posting my facebook status and a few of my comments so my thoughts are easy to find later on. If you’d like to share or comment, please do.

You might have heard Utah passed an abstinence-only education bill. Regardless of what you believe schools should be required to teach, I thought this might help:

My kids, who are 9 and 10 years old, asked me what condoms are. Lest you think my kids are simply promiscuous little latchkeys, I’ve complicated single motherhood significantly by making sure I’m home whenever they are.

So I told them. And even though I had to admit to them it embarrassed me terribly, I got one to show them. I taught them about birth control, disease control, and most importantly, self control. Because I believe the safest sex must protect our spirits, and our relationships, too, especially our relationship with God.

Many parents don’t teach their kids at home, for fear of embarrassment or of opening a can of curious worms that the child wouldn’t have found out about otherwise. Maybe even never, until the nurse comes into the hospital room after you have a baby and explains birth control options. I dunno.

But if my kids (cute little nerdy types, and very spiritual to boot) have heard about condoms at nine and ten years old, I can guarantee yours will hear about them, too. And I really think that avoiding the topic with your kids is only going to make them think you don’t know about it, or don’t understand what they’re going through.

I can also tell you why I really WISH my mom would have told me what condoms were when I was young: it took me over a decade to figure why she freaked out over that one really cool balloon I found on the bathroom floor at the laundromat. :-p

But that brings up a point: I would have known had I attended the class at school. My parents had the option to keep me home from school that day, in fact, it almost seems we had a science fair going on at a local college that day anyway. Still, I checked with my friends and confirmed that, at least in Utah, children ONLY attend the sex ed class if the parents sign a waiver allowing it.

Which means, if you don’t want your kids to learn about this stuff at school, it’s easy to prevent it. That kind of rids me of any ambivalence I might have had: if the parents can still insist their kids aren’t taught sex ed at school, I guess this bill is just to be sure no one else’s kids can be taught at school either?

I don’t get it. But I’m really glad my kids felt safe asking me.

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