Friday, August 17, 2007

I'm Still Alive

I haven't dropped off the face of the earth yet! I've been online, reading blogs and such as that, but I just haven't had much to blog about this week. We are getting ready for our trip next week, and I guess I'm just a bit more introspective right now. I've been thinking a lot about my children, especially Samuel, whom we'll be leaving at college. I've also been thinking a lot about priorities (and wishing I'd had them straighter all these years!). I've been making a tentative schedule for myself, using my copy of Managers of Their Homes that I bought years ago, to try out when school starts - not that I've ever been all that good at keeping one - to see if I can manage to keep all the various hats I wear on my head at the same time, figuratively speaking, of course. Incidentally, if you have the nudge to have a schedule, you'll find no better resource than MOTH, in my opinion. Teri Maxwell stresses biblical priorities throughout her books, and you won't be lead astray into doing your own thing using her schedule-planning principles. I've also been getting school organized and ready to start, because we'll get back less than a week before school starts. I don't want to have to rush to get that ready, like I did last year, and end up not getting the most important things done in that area. It's been a fairly leisurely week in spite of all that. Wes didn't have to get up as early this week, as the man he prays with each morning is on holiday this week. We've slept in almost every morning!

One thing I'm excited about is that I realized that I can learn on my own! LOL That may seem funny to you, but I never went to college, and I've thought all these years that I had to go to college in order to learn. Well, there are lots of things I've learned over the years without college, plus, with the internet, there are tons of things I can learn without paying a dime. I originally discovered this here, and found that there are quite a few online college courses for free, offered by schools like MIT and Berkeley. These are the actual courses offered at these schools, made available by the professors themselves. You don't earn credits, of course, but you still learn. I've been looking over some of the courses, and eventually I'd like to give a few of them a stab. One I'd like to do is on diet and nutrition, offered by the University of Washington, and another is an introductory course on linguistics, offered by MIT. I've always loved words and how they evolve, and I thought it might be interesting to study the similarities in languages around the world.

I also want to do the course that Andrew is doing for Bible this year, but I'll have to do that a semester behind him. It's a college-level Bible Doctrines course in four manuals. That will keep Andrew and me busy for a while!

Another area I want to work on is music. Beth has been taking piano lessons for 3 years, and she is at about the stage where her knowledge of music theory is surpassing mine. I want her to teach me what she learns, but I also found some free music theory workbooks that can be downloaded and printed. I have a gap in my knowledge of basic theory when it comes to minor scales and how they're built, so that's where I'll start - and my daughter can help me! ;)

One more supposedly unreachable dream I've had is to learn to draw, just for fun. I found a site for that, too - Drawspace. This lady is a self-taught artist, and teaches from very basic to advanced lessons. One of the first lessons is discussing talent, something I feel that I lack. But the artist says there's no such thing as a lack of talent. So one of these days I'll give that a try too! ;)

Now, I know I can't do all of this at once, but it's fun to have some things tucked away to try out - if I ever get the time - which brings me back around to my planning a schedule, so that I can give some "optional" learning a try while keeping up with my real-life responsibilities. There's so much to do and learn that I don't think I'll ever get bored! I'll let you know if I actually do any of these courses! LOL

So that's what I've been doing in my spare time. This weekend will be busy getting ready to hit the road, but I'll pop back in before we leave. Please keep us in your prayers as we travel, and also as we see our first-born strike out on the plan that God has for his life. It's not a sad time, but it's not without emotion!

11 comments:

  1. Susan ~ I will certainly be praying!! Be safe, and we'll look forward to hearing all about it.

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  2. Your first paragraph brought an interesting picture to mind of you having several hats stacked up on your head all at once and trying to move with them on. :-)

    You're right that it is comparatively easy these days to learn so many things. I like the idea of mapping out courses you want to take and things you want to learn.

    Hope your trip goes well! I know it's a time of mixed emotions to take a child to college.

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  3. The things you wish to learn sound very interesting!

    I know that the Internet has lots of bad things on it but it also has lots of good and useful things as well. I feel like I have an encyclopedia right at my finger tips.

    I've been wanting to learn Spanish.--I just need to take the time to do it.

    Blessings,
    ~Mrs.B

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  4. I enjoyed your post. I never went to college, and sometimes I feel slightly inferior when I'm around so many others that have gone. You're right that we can keep learning all the time, and if I think back on all I've been able to experience, it is worth a few college degrees I think. :) Thanks for the links on the classes. The music theory one is appealing.

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  5. Funny. I am organizing my school year as well. All those sites got me excited!!! I have to go check them out!

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  6. Thanks for the link to the free music theory workbooks.. my husband is a self taught musician... and he is always looking for more ways to learn his beloved music... he will enjoy the info..

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  7. Susan ~ I heartily second your suggestion of MOTH for help with scheduling. I really was never able to make one successfully until I read her book and broke it down into the steps they suggested.

    Thank you for all your wonderful links. I can't wait to poke around and check them out! :o)

    Praying for your family as you take Samuel to school. I'm sure that indeed it is an emotional time for all of you!

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  8. Susan,
    I *will* be praying! I know very well that feeling of seeing your firstborn leave home and start on the journey the Lord has for that child. The emotions are bittersweet, aren't they?

    And I admire all that learning you want to do! Good for you! I hope you are able to accomplish some of your goals. :)

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  9. Susan,

    Will pray for your trip and for the emotions so involved in such a big step. I have been there several times. There is so much peace in remembering that God knows this child much better than you do -- that the child, in fact, belongs to God and is only loaned to you -- and that God will absolutely do what is best for the child and will take far better care of him than you ever could.

    Thanks so much for sharing those "learning links". What a blessing that so much is out there to learn from. I never finished college either and, like you, have the itch to learn more and more, especially about the Bible. I also have a desire to learn to draw and paint and was so excited to see you've found a site for drawing!

    Thanks for sharing! Will look forward to hearing all about your vacation!

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  10. I'll be praying for you guys and your upcoming trip!

    Thanks for you encouraging words about my little guy, that was such a blessing.

    God Bless
    Jess~

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  11. Wow Susan. You have given some GREAT websites. I can not WAIT to check them out.

    I know it will be difficult to leave your boy. I can imagine that is a difficult thing to do. I'll be praying for you as your mother's heart aches the trip back home and for your safe travels.

    ~Kristi

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Thanks for taking a minute to read my ramblings and leave a comment! I appreciate it!

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