October 1, 2009

Pondering Pioneer Days - Thinking About How We Have Been Blessed By All of This

I sometimes wonder what it would have been like to live in pioneer days when you couldn't just run to the store down the road and you had to make your own butter if you wanted any.  How did they survive without antibacterial SOAP that comes in a bottle??? (I don't use this anymore.)  How did they find the time to get it all done?

I’m sure pioneer moms had days where there was scarcely enough food to feed everyone. They ate what they had when they had it. They started out knowing a few things about how it was done, because they grew up watching it being done. Home school was basic reading, writing and arithmetic and life skills. The kids went where their parents went and learned to do the things that their parents knew how to do.

We put a lot of pressure on ourselves these days to prepare a variety of foods for our families because in our fast-paced, have-it-now society we can have nearly anything we want whenever we want it. The reality is that homemade takes time. The up-side to this is that we appreciate the goodness of everything we have so much more!

When we went from a gluten-free but still very SAD diet (Standard American Diet) to the Feingold diet I noticed how my kids appreciated their food and the process so much more. Before, I would ask them if they wanted to make some homemade lemonade and they would whine, “Nooo, I want the Bluuuuue juice (that we don’t currently have in the house so you would need to go to the store to satisfy my intense desire for this particular drink)!” When I did give them a juice box or pour them some juice from a bottle, they would often drink only a part of it and whine for something different. After we started the Feingold diet, I would say, “I am thinking about making some homemade lemonade.” The kids would tell everybody, “We are going to make lemonade today!!!” They would want to help and we had to be careful to save some so that we could have some for the next day or two. It was treasured. It was a real treat!

We won’t be making any lemonade anymore. I wonder what will be a real treat for them as we get to full GAPS??? Right now they get excited about every new thing we add to the menu. They just about fainted over the casseroles. Today they get ghee for the first time. They are soooo excited!

Also, they are all in the kitchen helping me to prepare the food or they are entertaining the baby, now almost 6 months old. It is great fun having everybody helping out and working together. I am really treasuring these times. Hope it lasts!  They are building relationships with me and with each other that will last a lifetime.  They are learning how to interact with and appreciate people of all different age groups.

About homeschooling, I think we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to provide a very thorough and well rounded education for our kids because the possibilities are endless and we want them to be prepared to go off in whatever direction they may take a liking to. I still want to do this as much as I am able, but the reality is that if we can help our children to have minds that work and teach them the basics and teach them how to learn, then they will naturally investigate and learn well the things that they will need to know in their areas of interest. I ‘think’ this is true. President Lincoln had only a year of formal schooling and that was broken up. He learned what he needed to know when he needed to know it. This is what we are doing, too, with the GAPS diet. There is more to know about the world than we could ever hope to know in this life, but we stop and take the time to learn what we need to know when we need to know it.

That is one thing that is kind of cool about children with Asperger's Syndrome is that they really get to know lots of detail about the subjects they are interested in. Our oldestl spends hours reading science books and loves to share this or that little unknown fact. Right now his biggest interest is everything Lego and everything science fiction (like his daddy). He has an incredible imagination and if he can ever learn to organize his thoughts, he will be a great writer. There are fantastic and very detailed worlds in his head, but right now he cannot share those ideas and images in an orderly and understandable way. I have to drag it all out of him bit by bit and organize it for him, but it really is amazing.

Anyway, I was just pondering these things. Can’t say if I am right about any of it. I think if I can find the time, it would really be neat to find out what pioneer life was really like. Hmm.

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