Quick to Judge

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Sometimes in this life we have unexpected, unpleasant encounters with strangers who are quick to judge us based only on their first impressions of us. I was 19 when I first became a mother, and I remember walking into Kmart one afternoon with my baby in my arms. All of a sudden the door greeter, who was an older gentleman, loudly exclaimed something like, “There goes another unwed teen with a baby!” As I quickened my pace to move further into the store, my spunky cousin who happened to be with me turned around and said, “I’ll have you know she’s married, not that it’s any of your business!”

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I will never forget a most unpleasant experience with a woman in Costco many years ago. I was shopping with a 7-year old daughter a 2-year old son. My 2-year old was behaving like a typical 2-year old. He was refusing to sit in the cart and he was refusing to hold my hand. He wanted to run around and throw things off the shelves. Since I could not allow him to do that, I got down on my knees so I could be at his level and I placed both of my hands on his little shoulders. I looked him in the eye and was just about to give him the firm choice of sitting in the cart or holding my hand, when this woman came out of nowhere, got in my face (she actually did get right in my face) and loudly accused me of abusing my child! Stunned, I stood up to face her. Where was this coming from? I was simply being a typical mother to my typical toddler. As she continued her rant, and as other shoppers stopped and stared at us, tears filled my eyes. I felt humiliated. All I wanted to do was get out of there. I picked up my son, took hold of my daughter’s hand, and walked out, leaving our half-filled cart behind us. I remember turning back once, tears streaming down my face to look back at a stranger, so quick to judge me. She had a look of satisfaction on her face. I had to sit in our car for several minutes to compose myself before I could drive home and it was several weeks later before I mustered the courage to shop at that Costco again.

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Yesterday, my daughter had an unpleasant encounter with the owner of a little fudge shop in our town. I am sharing her story with her permission, through a letter to the owner which will never be mailed nor delivered.

Dear Fudge Shop Owner,

Yesterday, a sweet and honest 19-year old girl walked into your family business on main street, introduced herself and began to sincerely apologize for missing her job interview with you, only the day before. You immediately cut her off in the middle of her apology and promptly put her in her place. She humbly apologized again and left your shop, holding back tears until she made it to her car.

While I can appreciate that you were unhappy that she failed to show up to her scheduled interview with you, I wish you had given her a chance to explain what had happened. I would like to go back through the events- As soon as this girl learned there was a job opening, she dressed up and personally took a copy of her resume into your shop. I believe you were not there at the time so she left her resume with your associate. You must have looked over her resume and references and decided to give her an interview. You contacted her cell a couple of nights later. It was a Tuesday night, and this girl was in a class so she didn’t pick up. You left her your business number and said you would like to interview her on “Thursday afternoon”. I know because she still has that message on her cell phone.

On Wednesday morning, this girl returned your call and you told her to meet you at your shop on Thursday at 6:30. That was all you said. You did not specify AM or PM and in her innocent mind, she assumed you meant 6:30PM. Now she has learned the valuable lesson of clarifying, so thank you.

However, if you had been at your shop at 6:30PM, you would have seen that this girl was indeed prompt and ready for her interview. Imagine her dismay at discovering your shop locked tight and realizing her mistake. She felt awful about it, but as she only had your business number, she could not reach you that night. And the rest of the story is history. She had hoped that by appealing to you in person, that you would see she was sincere and it was a simple miscommunication. She had hoped for a second chance to interview.

I just want you to know that you are missing out working with an intelligent, honest, hard-working and yes, punctual young lady. The fact that she came to you in person right away, owning her mistake and offering you a heartfelt apology, says a lot about her character.

Sincerely,
And I’m not sure how I’d sign it but it doesn’t matter.

As I comforted my daughter yesterday, I reminded her that sometimes people are quick to judge. I am sure I’ve been guilty of it myself, though certainly not with any mother in a store with a misbehaving child. ;) I’m sure my daughter, should she ever run her own business, would give a young college girl a second chance. Imagine how wonderful this world would be if everyone lived by The Golden Rule?

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It was our Savior, Jesus Christ, who taught us The Golden Rule. Imagine a world where everyone followed His perfect example. The greeter in Kmart would have refrained from his quick judgement and might have complimented me instead on how sweet my baby was. The woman in Costco would have remembered when she was once in my situation and might have offered me a helping hand. The fudge shop owner would have respectfully listened to my daughter and might have given her a second chance to interview. We never know how an encounter with a stranger might affect their life for better or for worse. What if instead of going with our first impressions, we gave everyone the benefit of the doubt? What if we actually tried to make someone’s day better by offering them a smile or lending them a hand, or giving them a second chance?

Reflecting Back (2014-2015 Homeschool Year)

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So far it’s been a busy summer, but I am finally to the point where I can actually sit down and plan Marcus’ next homeschool year. My little boy will be in 7th grade. It seems like only yesterday, he was 6 and our homeschooling journey was just beginning. Where did the time go? Why do our children have to grow up so fast?

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It always helps me to start my planning by first reflecting on the most recent homeschool year. That way I can see all that we accomplished and what we didn’t get around to doing that we’d still like/need to do.

This past homeschool year was our craziest one yet! We started out in Utah which is our home-base. (We choose not to live in our house here year-round because my husband’s job is not here and we miss him too much when we live apart). The kids and I spent last September through November in Utah so Marissa could take driver’s ed. Then we moved back to Lima, Peru just before Thanksgiving, but we only ended up living there another three months before the project wrapped up and the company moved us out of Peru. (After July sometime we’ll be moving to Arizona to join my husband there. The kids are in summer camps here and the last one is the last week of July).

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Despite those two major moves, I feel we accomplished a lot. As far as books go, Marcus read through the entire Percy Jackson series on his own. Together, he and I read the classics, Old Yeller, Oliver Twist and The Hobbit. As part of his distance reading class, he experienced some amazing stories I would’ve never thought to introduce him to. My favorite was, Unbroken, (the young adult adaptation). His distance teacher, Sister Rowley, read these stories aloud to his class, and usually we would purchase each book on my Nook or Marcus’ Kindle to read along.

The other stories were- Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio, by Peg Kehret; Touching Spirit Bear, by Ben Mikaelsen; The Bronze Bow, by Elizabeth George; Breaking Stalin’s Nose, by Eugene Yelchin; Twenty and Ten, by Claire Huchet Bishop; and Hitler’s Canary, by Sandi Toksvig.

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For Science, Marcus explored physics. He did a lot of fun science experiments like this one and this one.

Marcus wrote a LOT of 5-paragraph essays this past year! His writing improved by leaps and bounds. :)

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His distance history class covered world history, starting with the Sumerians (5000BC-2000BC), and including the Egyptians, ancient Greece, early China, the rise of Rome, continuing all the way through both World Wars. With each period of history, Marcus made a craft or artwork. My favorites were these-

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For math, Marcus learned fractions, decimals, percentages, etc. through The Learn Math Fast System, which we really like.

Marcus also mapped the oceans, continents and several countries of the world. One thing I kept meaning to do, but never made the time for, was an Around the World in 80 Days geography unit. I actually packed the Jules Verne novel and the miniseries on DVD with Pierce Bronsan in my suitcase to Peru, and then repacked it three months later, both times with the plan to actually get to it. So, on Monday, we are finally starting that unit. I’d start it tomorrow, but Marcus is at scout camp this week. :)

Stay tuned for my planning post where I’ll share my dreams for a new homeschool year, here at Happy Hearts. ♥

Our New York City-Broadway Vacation

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Last week, we (Darcie, Marissa, Marcus and I) were in New York City. Here are the highlights from our first visit to NYC and Broadway.

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We loved Central Park!

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A favorite spot in Central Park was Shakespeare Garden, which features flowers spoken of in Shakespeare plays and poems.

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Another favorite was the bronze Alice in Wonderland statue. If you’re visiting Central Park, I recommend using the Official Central Park app, which includes celebrity commentary for some of Central Park’s features.

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We visited Time Square, took a bus tour around The Empire State Building, enjoyed a cruise around The Statue of Liberty, and the kids learned part of a Cinderella number from an actual Broadway actor. We also visited The Museum of Natural History and Marissa visited The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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But the best part of our trip was seeing five Broadway Shows. We saw Matilda, Finding Neverland (with Kelsey Grammer), Aladdin, Phantom of the Opera, and On the Twentieth Century (starring Kristin Chenoweth and Peter Gallagher). Our top two favorites were Matilda and Finding Neverland.

All in all, it was a very memorable trip.

Weekly Nutshell

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In a nutshell…
On Monday, I made this flag for our front porch.
Honestly, I am such a dork when it comes to crafting, but it was fun to paint. Just don’t look too closely at it! (The stars, ha ha!)

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On Tuesday, I spent most of the day compiling recipes  submitted by several “sisters” (women) in my “ward” (church congregation). I found the cutest free printable recipe cards on Tip Junkie. The idea was to submit recipes that make quick easy dinners, such as this one-

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On Wednesday, carpet cleaners came to clean our basement carpeting, because our dog has been naughty. Also, the girls and Marcus and I got hair cuts in preparation for our fabulous trip next week to New York City where we are going to see five Broadway shows, including this one and this one.

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(The Manhattan New York Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will be one of our visits next week).

On Thursday, my husband came home and we did some clothes shopping, mainly for Marcus, for our trip next week, as his attire will need to be a little nicer than usual. We will be there in a group, representing Liahona Academy.

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Today, Marissa had a friend over to make these adorable bird nests. We love crafting at our house!

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I’m so excited for next week! Thanks for reading this, and have a fantastic weekend.