Posted in Enjoying the Simple Things, On Life, On Parenthood, Thinking Out Loud

Learning in the Silence



I actually wanted to post my images from the gardens, but somehow all these words came out instead.  I’ve decided I will make that a separate post.  Since I have been a way for a bit, I wanted to explain what we’ve been up to and where I have been… both mentally and physically.  The older you get, it seems, the more you truly start to understand things that SERIOUSLY would have been so useful when you were younger!  This year and especially this summer has been a great time of reflection and growth, I believe.  Even though I wish I could always be writing or conversing, I cannot complain about the silences as they have been essential for me to truly reflect on what matters most.


First of all, today we are hoping to go out to a different garden location.  Today is the only day with cooler temperatures as the rest of the week will be in the mid to high 90s F.  I’m not afraid of warmer weather, but the warmer it is, the brighter it is which means it is more difficult to take photographs.  As I’m still learning about my camera I’m always messing up and somehow taking photos that are too bright or those that are too dark.  Here, you can be pounded down by the heat of the sun one moment and the next second a cloud will come in and you are drenched in darkness.  I’m am always trying to fix the settings on the camera and still get them wrong.  I am a work in progress 🙂  Beyond that, I also have noticed that a lot of times the extreme heat causes me to rush my photos, which makes it harder to actually get a good one.  I’m always in a hurry to click and then run for a shady spot 🙂  So, today it is!


As you may have noticed, I have not been on much since the end of school.  We started the summer off taking time away from the computers.  It was actually something nice to do because since our schooling is all online, we are almost always attached at the hip to our computers.  I seriously get to the point where I don’t want to see one!  After taking some time off, I am now enjoying time online as well as a lot of time offline.


We have not yet gone hiking although we did get a shorter walk in the woods last week.  We were going hiking but the weather did not cooperate.  Last night we finally hooked up my son’s new trailer bike to take it for a spin.  We started late, so we didn’t go far but it was a nice trial run.  My son is attached to my husband’s bike on his own bike and let’s just say that kiddo is still used to using training wheels.  He kept leaning from side to side, especially if he was pedaling.  Fortunately 🙂 the bike trailer would not fit on my bike because initially my husband installed it incorrectly, otherwise he might have caught me off-balance.  The trial went well, so I am hoping that we start biking as a family more.  Even on the hotter days, it usually does cool down in the evenings.


Aside from enjoying my time off, I am also rather happy to be back.  I have missed not writing or posting and when I mean not writing, I mean at all.   It’s not a bad thing as I know that if I get a thought in my head that needs expression, it will force its way out anyway.  However, I miss these conversations as it is as much of a conversation with myself as it is with you.  I tend to think out loud when writing… there is a little voice in my head that recites every little word I write.  And I don’t know about you, but I truly find that I learn a lot about myself when I take the time the listen to my own thoughts.


Anyway, I know it has been quite a long time and I apologize, but I know the importance of what I do in life is way beyond what I can ever write.  As much as I love writing, I know that the most important job I have been given is being a mother and I have the added blessing that I have been able to homeschool them… so teaching them is equally as important.  It is not enough to just teach the the basics (although they are also incredibly important) but I also know my job is to prepare them for college and then for later life.  We spend time learning how to best take notes, but we also talk about how we should treat others (often using current world events as examples).  We discuss, communicate, and reflect with one another and allow each other to see the world through our unique eyes.  I find that not only the children are growing and learning… but so am I.


I have found that the most impact I can make in this world is through teaching, supporting, loving, and being there for my children and I guess at this point in life, I have found that this is more than enough for me.  Anything else is just icing on the cake.  And as the years have passed, I am also finding that I only have a few years left with the kiddos (at least at this stage in life), so these very moments are incredibly important to them as well as to me.  I want to live without any regrets.


My oldest is graduating high school next year and now my two youngest (who need most of my help) are going into higher grades which means more assistance will be required than the last year.  My next youngest is moving into tenth grade, so in two years she will also be graduating.  She is still working on her writing, by the way and has been published… twice this year!  You cannot imagine how excited I am for her.  She is really talented and writes from a rather mature perspective despite being younger.  I have always wished that I had been more supported in my youth with my writing, but now I have the chance to make a difference for someone else and I could not be happier that she is finding the value in her own voice.


My youngest daughter has been having eye issues… they are not focusing properly… so she doesn’t see well most of the time and that makes it hard because I was hoping to tutor her over the summer.  We’re still trying some things with her doctor to see if we can come up with a solution, but right now she is using a different prescription and her eyes are slowly adjusting.  That might fix all of the problems or only part of the problem and unfortunately, we need her to wear the glasses for three months before we will know.  That means she could still be struggling when school starts… but some things just take time.  My youngest guy still wants to grow up to be a superhero.  You could not imagine my thrill when we went to the store the other day and found t-shirts that said on them “superhero in training.”  I could not help myself and bought him one.  He was over the moon and wore it proudly.


Oh, that reminds me of something that happened recently that was rather adorable.  We went to visit a friend recently who has a younger son, Adam.  I believe he is 4 or 5 now.  My son played with him while the girls talked.  When we drove home, he told me in amazement, “You would never believe what I found out mom!  Adam is also a superhero!  He told me!  His name is Superhero Adam!”  He was so thrilled to have actually met another superhero in flesh and blood.  Even thinking of it now makes me smile.


Other than that, I am slowly working on learning how to just ‘be.’  I think, with the way the world is… and the fast rate at which the world moves requires us to relearn that sometimes.  I’ve been learning a lot about myself in the process and perhaps I am looking at myself a little more kindly and that, in turn, also requires me to do the same for others.  It’s hard to explain, really… but we think we know what motivates others or perhaps it is just that we are so darn quick to judge… and yet, we really have a hard time grasping why we are the way we are… or why we do the things we do.  I mean, we love to sit in the illusion that we know… but I’m not all that convinced.


As I am learning to reflect and take time to breathe, I am really becoming aware of my own humanity as well as those around me.  I know, it may sound strange… but what I mean is that being human means to make mistakes.  We often jump quick to an excuse whenever we make a mistake but we are often less willing to make an excuse for others when they do the same.  We are so much less forgiving but we insist that others should be moreso for our own mistakes.  I don’t know… and perhaps I am only talking about my own experiences, but it has truly been a useful lesson.  It’s not to say I would not make similar mistakes in the future… but the more I learn about myself and the way I am motivated… the way my past has molded who I am… my quirks and everything else… the more I realize that there is so much more to the people around me than I had ever imagined.  In the end… I hope that it makes me more sympathetic to the others, or perhaps at least see their actions through a different lens, even if we may disagree.


(c) Sumyanna 2018

Posted in On Life, On Parenthood, On Writing, Thinking Out Loud

I’ve Been Wandering Between Moments

Sorry to be such a quiet voice recently.  It’s not that we have been 100% busy (although close) but sometimes, I think – that life takes a little bit longer for us to fall into place.  Wherever that place might be, is sure to be full of surprises.


For those who don’t know the inner workings of a homeschooling life, know that we come in all shapes and sizes.  Some seek their goals, completely alone.  They choose the curriculum, teach, and provide all the necessary paperwork to the authorities all on their own.  Others still, send their kids off with their books and leave them alone.  Me?  I’m a different animal.  I have always loved learning new things – I have learned to love stretching my skills.


My earliest memories – learning to love learning, were definitely at my grandmother’s side.  When we went to visit, she would take out that big box of construction paper, scissors, glitter, paint – the whole works!  She urged us to use our imagination.  She urged us to desire to learn more – not only about ourselves, but the world around us.  When she learned I loved horses, she arranged for me to meet a fellow teacher on her farm to ride one of her ponies.  When I wanted to learn to sew, she wrote me letters about dressmaking and taught me to sew and crochet.


It is not that any of these things spurned me toward any certain direction.  I did not become a famous dress-maker, a veterinarian, or an artist, but she taught me the enjoyment of many things.  I learned then that the most important thing you can teach others is to enjoy the world around them, to enjoy the things that you can do and to always seek more in knowledge and ability.  For that reason, I teach the kids.


As much as I would like, I just can’t handle taking everything on.  I guess you could say I know my limitations.  So for us, we use a public school that also provides online curriculum.  Truthfully, I have found that there are pros and cons for all of the choices – but this is the one that fits us best.  That said, one of the most difficult things to deal with is time.  Even though the kids have teachers for their subjects – I am still their primary teacher.  I would not have it any other way and I guess that’s what makes me – me.


So when I say we are busy schooling, you better know that I am sitting at my computer most of the day, leading one kiddo through a math lesson and another through language arts.  We do that the entire day – only ending to make dinner and then sleep.  Sometimes, I am afforded the opportunity to seek my own goals outside of homeschooling.  It is then that I raise the camera or sit down to write.  In the busy moments, I am sometimes at a loss for such time.


This past month (or at least, most of it) was a time period known as “October Count.”  This is the time when funding is determined for schools.  During this time, we are required to do more online work and EVERYTHING is required to be done on time that day, no matter what.  So any flexibility in our schedules is thrown out the window at this time.  So in case you have wondered if I am okay… I am.  If you have wondered if I have run off… I wish 😉  I’ve just been wandering between the moments, hoping for a bit of fresh air.  Today, for just one moment – I was able to speak with you.


(c) 2017 Sumyanna

Posted in On Life, Thinking Out Loud

No One Knows the Weight Our Souls Carry, Loud Thoughts

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I think along with this quote I want to say something…

People often walk around acting like other people don’t matter. I don’t mean that everyone does this – but this is becoming somewhat of a trend these days (at least I have noticed it here more in the U.S.).   Now, more than ever, people treat others with open prejudice, they no longer worry how they look to others or the harm they do to the person they are blaming.


I was hoping that the tolerance we have seen was a sign of good things, but I guess my eyes have been opened to the fact that prejudice was always there (it just wasn’t spoken loudly in public).  Now, even that is changing.  Growing up, we were taught to treat people with courtesy and respect.  These days, I am not certain what people are teaching the next generation, but I do notice a difference.  And now, sadly – what are their actions teaching the next generation (or do they not realize that what we we say, what we do, and how we treat others leaves a lasting impression and essentially is the main vehicle for teaching children what to value)?


Nowadays, we have people in politics shoving each other under the bus.  People are being abusive in their language.  People are showing little respect.  Truthfully, it is on both sides of the aisle.  Is it really so hard for them to realize that they are the people brewing this environment we now live in?


Of course, it is not only the politicians, but also the voters.  All you have to do is listen and you hear people disrespecting the other side.  People call names, or hurt one another – all in the name of defending that they are on the side that is right.  Has anyone ever bothered to consider…


  • How can you be on the side that is right if these are the tactics you use to show it?
  • The one who raises his voice the loudest is not displaying his correctness, but instead shows he does not have the truth to support his facts.  If he did, he would feel comfort in knowing he is right (whether the other side sees it or not) and realize that at some point in time the truth will be known.
  • We all live in the same country.  Everything – and I mean everything that happens here affects us.  Today, it may seem one group is on the upside.  They may be successful and haughty – but at the end of the day, at some point that coin changes hands.  They should remember this.  Working together, valuing one another’s voices are paramount to our success.  Another group may be on the downside.  They may not be heard or paid attention to.  They may be voiceless.  At the end of the day, at some point that coin changes hands.  Keep forging forward, trying to make change, but do it with dignity and decency.  If you were not successful, try to understand the reasons why.  What were your mistakes and what should you do to strive for change?  This is not a game.  This is not “winner takes all.”  This is a country, with people (real people) who suffer at the hands of injustice, prejudice, and greed.  To me, I feel the world needs to grow up a little.  These behaviors we have seen are rather infantile (just ask any mother).  We need to start realizing that what we do, what we say, and even what we ignore has consequences.
  • People always try to justify their behavior.  It’s just like when you hear kids are fighting,  “He hit me first!” they will cry.  However, at the end of the day – we are responsible for our own behavior.  How you act and react tells a lot about you as a person (even if you don’t realize that).

What I’ve never been able to understand, is that others don’t realize that other people bleed. Other people feel. Other people struggle.


This brings me to something that has been bothering me this week…

I find it unconscionable that United Airlines treated a passenger the way they did. They did not know who he was. They did not know his mental state. They did not know if he had health problems. They did not know if he was suffering from PTSD or anything else. There are so many things that are possible and yet they came at him like none of his rights mattered.

Thing is, we just don’t know what struggles anyone has. That woman pouring us coffee at Starbucks that we were short tempered with could have just found out she had cancer.  That child that we just yelled at to get the heck off our lawn could be contemplating suicide.  That person that just cut us off at the light may have had their mind somewhere else, perhaps because they recently had a death in the family.

We know nothing about the people we meet, and yet we assume so much. We need to be more aware that we don’t know. We need to learn to be more compassionate. And what we should focus more on, is that all people deserve to be respected. Yes, we must walk carefully, talk carefully, because if we want that same respect from others, we have to do it ourselves. This is not something to take lightly.

People today are growing inconsiderate. They look only as far as their own feelings and can’t be bothered about what others may suffer, or think, or feel. I think this is the real change that we need to make today. Without compassion, what good is your heart? And if your company does not act compassionately towards people, I (for one) will not be a customer.

(c) Sumyanna 2017