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    April 24, 2020 by Brandy Vencel

    :: 1 ::

    My youngest invented something. He needs new shoes, you see, but he’s hard to fit and I can’t find a place open here in town that sells shoes he can actually wear. Until this week, it’s been mostly cold (for us) and rainy and there’s been a lot of dew on the ground in the mornings. He got tired of his socks being so wet when he came inside from tending his garden before breakfast — they were wet because there are so many holes in his shoes!

    Anyhow, he took a couple ziplock baggies and created a pair of plastic socks for himself. He even cut them down so no one can see them when he’s wearing them. He was quite self-satisfied with the whole thing.

    This got me to thinking about how the presence of so many luxuries (are shoes luxuries?) means there are a number of challenges we don’t have to face. It can make us weak or soft. The absence of things we are accustomed to (like shoes without holes in them) is painful, but when children solve problems creatively, that ingenuity muscle is strengthened, and I think that means a lot for their futures.

    I guess what I’m saying is that when he showed me his ugly plastic socks, my first thought was that he will probably always be fine, no matter what happens.

    :: 2 ::

    Spring Training registration is still going on!

    On of the things I’m most excited about with this is to not think about lockdowns and viruses. I’m in the mood to train in a broader sense rather than focusing on crisis management (even though good principles are also serviceable in a crisis.

    Are you coming?

    Pro tip: if you sign up to be a Sistership Sophie member instead of registering for this outright, you can go into the membership and watch last year’s Spring Training and then do this one as well, with all of that and more included in your membership! To clarify: if you’re a Sophie, Spring Training is included in your membership with everything else. ♥

    :: 3 ::

    We got a badminton set. We pulled out the hand-me-down ping pong table (and killed more black widows than I’d like to think about). O-Age-11 is getting desperate. Also, I’m trying to encourage everyone to be outside as much as possible while the weather is still mild. The heat hits beginning next week!

    :: 4 ::

    This month in 2017:

    The habit of thinking is under our care, according to Charlotte Mason. In my experience, some children resist forming this habit. Here’s a synopsis of what Miss Mason had to say about it.

    :: 5 ::

    Podcast episode of the week:

    • Chasing Excellence: 10 Habits to Avoid During Quarantine
      • I thought this was generally helpful, probably especially so for families facing lots of change and once. It might feel more discouraging if you’re at home without a job (compared to working from home) but there is a sense in which the advice (like “don’t hit snooze”) is good if you want use some structure to edge out the chaos.

    :: 6 ::

    This week’s links collection:

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  • Reply JoyH April 28, 2020 at 11:52 pm

    This seems to be in your backyard. Some doctors speaking about ending the shutdown.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel April 29, 2020 at 8:37 am

      Yes! They own our neighborhood urgent care. I really like the doctor we’ve seen there in the past — he’s a black belt and when my daughter hurt her wrist at karate, he x-rayed her and then fixed her technique. 😉

      The local pastors are urging our county to set us up as a sanctuary city for church services because the governor has made it clear that it could be over a YEAR before he allows the church to meet again. We’ll see what happens.

  • Reply Rebecca April 27, 2020 at 7:19 am

    We have a shoe conundrum this week, too. C told me yesterday he thinks he is outgrowing his shoes (which usually translates to them already being two sizes too small), so I am glad for the warmer weather so he can wear his slides. They don’t fit either, but at least his toes aren’t cramped ?. J and C received a set of “goodminton” for their birthday two weeks ago and it has been pretty fun for everyone.

  • Reply Lucy barr-hamilton April 26, 2020 at 9:04 am

    Difference between UK and California: we’re desperate for June so we can go outside lots. You’re wanting to hold off June so you can go outside lots!

    • Reply Brandy Vencel April 26, 2020 at 9:21 am

      Ha! Soooooo true.

      I always wanted to school during July and August because it’s so hot we’re inside more anyway, but too many around us schedule the traditional way with summers off and I didn’t want to be so out of sync with community and family. I guess I should just come visit YOU!

  • Reply Leah April 24, 2020 at 12:55 pm

    We bought a badminton set this week as well! – or rather, a “Goodminton” set so we can play indoors too…I got the idea from this week’s reading in Home Education. My son and husband will also be using paracord to make jump ropes for our daughters. I love it when reading is so timely!

    • Reply Brandy Vencel April 24, 2020 at 3:47 pm

      Goodminton! That’s funny.

      The jump rope making sounds fun, too! ♥

  • Reply Lena April 24, 2020 at 8:48 am

    The plastic socks reminds me of the story of my grandfather, father of 5, going to seminary. My mother tells of being a small girl and peeking into his room, watching him cut cardboard inserts for his shoe to cover the holes. This so impressed on my mother. She says of him, “He never complained.” He is with our Lord now, and he is most definitely OK.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel April 24, 2020 at 11:26 am

      What a precious story and memory!

      We often marvel at the generation that survived the Great Depression and WWII but I think we forget that their toughness came from facing their trials and learning to survive with grace and creativity. ♥

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