Thursday, August 18, 2016

Living and Learning Mom Style

Creating a lifestyle of learning requires everyone in the family to participate.  It is not something that is just for the kids; it is the way that family life is constructed.  It is imperative that parents stay intentionally engaged in the process of learning.  They need to be attune to the world around them and they need to be curious.  They need to ask questions and actively seek to make connections.  They need to identify subject matter that really get them excited and pursue them.  Doing so obviously models for their children what the process of learning is and that it is an ongoing process, one that doesn't exist merely within a single setting and persists past graduation.  It also nurtures the spirit of the parent and energizes them allowing them to better able create a stimulating environment.
So, in that vain, I had some opportunities over the last month to further my education.

While in Kansas visiting the hubby we stopped at a cemetery.  I am not certain why but I do find cemeteries fascinating.  This particular cemetery proved to be fascinating, in part, due to significant number of headstones for young children who died in about a one year period.  Some were newborns who lived for three days or less.  Others were older infants or toddlers.  This provoked my curiosity - why had so many children died during this time period?  Was there an epidemic of some sorts or maybe some negative environmental factors that jeopardized the health of these kids?  I did some internet searches and didn't find any clues but I am keeping my eyes and ears open; I hope to make a connection one day in the future.

I scoped out the old railway depot on post and noted that on the current railroad tracks there is a train loaded down with gear ready to head out for training exercises.  I was struck by just how much is needed to prepare for deployment.

Herb and I went on a hike at a nearby natural site.  I love to hike; to walk through a space allows me to really take note of the sights and the sounds.  And it gives me the opportunity to piddle around with my camera - a favorite past time of mine.

There is an inchworm on this flower!!!
Landscapes such as this fuel my imagination.  I wonder what it was like for the earliest residents of this land.

 And I was able to add the dickcissel to my bird list!

I also had the chance to take in some historical sites and information.  I saw the first territorial capital of Kansas...

and went to the Brown v Board of Education National Historic Site.  I went to this site on my drive back home.  I almost talked myself out of going, telling myself that I should wait until I have the boys with me.  Then I gave myself a good talking to, issuing myself a reminder that my education is valuable.  I stopped and was so glad that I did.  I will take the boys there soon.

While in this hall I was surrounded by footage of folks making hateful exclamations.  It was tough to hear.

I was deeply moved by this particular exhibit.  While taking my sociology and psychology classes I had read of this study.  To actually see one of the dolls stirred something deep within.  And I had the opportunity to make a new connection.  I had learned of this study and, of course, I had studied Brown v Board of Education but I had not fully connected the two.  I had not realized that this study was crucial in convincing the courts that "separate but equal"  was not really equal.  I may have been told that before, I may have read that before but I didn't remember it.  I get it know.  I really truly get it and now I will not forget it.

I loved the kindergarten classroom!

I went to a textile exhibit at a local museum.  It was a special event.  They had spinning and weaving demonstrations and even crafts for the kids.  It was cool.

This exhibit entitled "Tilted Sky" was so cool.  My pictures don't do it justice but, trust me, it was super cool.  It is string running from one side of the hall to the other for the entire length of the hallway.

Kids doing textile-related crafts.

I was fortunate enough to run into these cute kiddos and the adults that they were attached to.  I even got to have lunch with this grand-niece and grand-nephew.
Outside the museum is this fun installation.  I love seeing how it morphs.

In further hopes of rejuvenation I had lunch with some pals.  I went to a new tea shop.  The company was fantastic, the food was fun, and the decor was absolute eye candy.  Inspirational!

And, finally, look at these wonderful little treats from my very own backyard!

We are in the midst of so many transitions and I feel a bit anxious and tired but these experiences ground me, inspire me, help me feel fulfilled and give me something just a little more to offer up to my family.

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