Trees of Transition

Planting seeds of hope throughout our world through sharing photography and thoughts on teaching, cooking, and life transitions.


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On Hold? Just Start Dancing!

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Ever have to wait on hold for a long time to figure out some business with an insurance company? Well, I had to do that today; I knew it would be a long wait, so I did some sorting of papers and some push-ups while I had my phone on speaker phone. After 40 minutes I started to worry that it would take hours to get through! The “on hold” music the company had was cheerful and they varied it in a fun way, so it didn’t get boring until I started hearing the first song in the loop again. Continue reading

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Life Is All About Learning And Gaining Knowledge

Here’s an interesting guest post on the topic of homeschooling:

Hi, I am the Momma from “A Momma’s View” (https://amommasview.wordpress.com/ ) and I am a homeschooling mom. Sometimes it is easy and sometimes it is not. But what I learned from this experience is, that life in itself is all about learning and gaining Knowledge. The world is nothing more than an oversized classroom.

First I was hesitating when my husband mentioned that he wants to home-school our son. Of course I had all kind of questions (not to say worries). What about socialization, what about isolation, what about teaching them the right things? Will we be able to handle it? Will we teach him right?

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Gutsy Pioneers: Parents Who Home School Their Children

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Home Schooling’s Black, White, and Gray: A Series on Home Schooling and Life-Long Learners  Series I Episode II

Home school parents are a unique breed; they are similar to people who choose to be missionaries. It’s a strength of will, a vision for their children and the people they desire to influence; it’s a pioneer spirit.

The pioneer mindset means that these people are willing to start something new and blaze a trail across the plains where no one has gone before. It takes guts to start something new, to start a whole school system that educates children for life! From growing up in a home schooled family, and from other observations, many home school parents don’t have a huge strategy for education with benchmarks, objectives, and goals. (Having all this structure is an advantage of public and other established schools.) What home schools do have are parents who desire to deeply influence their children’s beliefs, passions, and hopes, and by teaching the kids at home, the parents have that chance.

People may say to these parents, “Doesn’t it seem a bit presumptuous to assume you know what your child needs to know to succeed in life?” Well, a parent WOULD (or at least should) know the most about that child and what is best for them, right? Yes, having other adults positively influencing their children is important, but if the parents are healthy, wise adults, they can teach their children much of what is needed to live a successful life.

Sceptics may think: Aren’t these parents arrogant in going against the established school systems and starting their own educational institution? Well, WHO started all those established schools? Schools are started by people with vision, strength, and a desire to mold children into who they are created to be. Home school parents have that same vision as the famous educational leaders, such as John Dewey, of imprinting beliefs and molding the hearts and lives of children. Home school parents are reformers who start the reforming in their own families; they desire change and influence and invest in the humans they are supposed to invest in the most: their children.

I had the advantage of being home schooled from Kindergarten through high school, and then I’ve been trained as a certified secondary English teacher and have worked in public and private schools for the last six years. I see the advantages and disadvantages of home schooling and traditional schooling; throughout this series I will be talking about both.

I received an adequate home school education from two pioneers: Anne and Rick Campbell. Recently I interviewed my parents to hear again why they chose to home school their four children. When asked, “Why did you home school your children?” my Mom answered: “We learned about the idea from Dr. Dobson and Focus on the Family. And then God told us to do it, so we did.”

My Dad’s answer to “Why did you home school your children?” was: “Because educators were withdrawing prayer and the Bible from public schools. It was important in my life, and I wanted it to be important in your life.” I had thought it was because they wanted to teach us the Bible as part of our education, and that was part of their reason (and out in the country there were no private schools nearby). I love the Bible, so my parents accomplished their main goal of Campbell Christian Academy.

Home school families are pioneers, especially back in the 1980s when home schooling was less common. I am glad my parents chose to home school me; my up-bringing had more of a pioneer-flavor than most with living on a farm with sheep to care for and vegetables to raise, but that’s another story for another time.

If you are on the fence about if you should home school your children, ask yourself, “What vision do I have for my children? Will teaching them at home help bring about that vision?” Only you know the answer, but if you have the guts to grab your straw hat and shot gun and head off toward the west, you are probably one of those gutsy pioneers that will greatly influence the world.

By M. H. Campbell   Copyright 2014


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Smoking: I Hate What It Does to People

You’ve seen it: A cigarette dangling from a lady’s slender fingers, as the smoke spirals up above her head; these images have a seductive pull to them, but they are deadly. I love a lot of people who smoke, but I hate what that nicotine-filled smoke does to them. Smoking killed my brother-in-law.

My brother-in-law, Don, created intricate, graceful pieces of furniture for people who desired custom-built furniture. His creativity came out through creating his fine furniture, drawing, and what he talked about. 

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Top Ten Activities to Restore Hope After Job Loss

During this transition time, these activities have helped me greatly:

10. Run Toward Love. After I was fired, I drove out to my parents’ home where they served me pot roast and just let me cry, tell my story multiple times, and love me.
9. Take Someone with YouIf you still have to clear out your classroom or cubicle, take a loving person with you to finish off the job of clearing out your things. My Mom accompanied me; it helped to have a cheerleader.
8. Unpack Your Boxes and Reorganize Your Life. I let the boxes from work sit there for a week, then I tackled the project of finding spots for all those books. Just face into the boxes and start creating new life rhythms by putting your favorite work objects around your home.
7. Connect with Loving Co-workers, if possibleI communicated with several people at my old job about what happened, and it surprised me how compassionate they were! Several wrote me emails and cards full of truth and encouragement. One former co-worker brought chocolate and came over to talk; it was hard, but helpful to hear her opinion. Multiple people encouraged me to not let this situation jade me toward teaching, and told me “You ARE a good teacher.” Their words helped pull the poison out of the wound the job loss had afflicted. Because that co-worker had more objective viewpoint right then, she helped me know what I could say about the job loss. I’m so thankful for her coaching.
6. Go Away for a Few Days. Yes, file for unemployment as soon as possible, but you just need time away for a bit to let down so that you can heal. I visited my brother and his family the week after my job ended, and it was there, surrounded by love that I had the strength to file for unemployment. Filing and retelling the story was hard and very humbling, but it helped me process the trauma. Hugs from my one-year-old nephew, and then an invitation from my sister-in-law to stay for four days instead of one was healing balm. My mind could let down, forget what happened for a while, and just rest, play, and love.
5. Create a New Life Structure. Get up early on work days. Apply for jobs, go network, and let job hunting be your new “work.” Have hope; you will get another job.
4. ExerciseI planned exercise into my day because it relieved stress, and brought me joy! Go run by the lake or plan to go dancing.
3. Maximize Your Networks. Yes, sign up and use networking and job hunting sites, but also connect with people in person. I went to my grad school’s career office, and they loaned me career books (a great one is The Career Guide for Creative and Unconventional People by Carol Eikleberry), critiqued my resume, and supported me in thinking about different career choices. They helped me know it’s fine to try something different, like floral design…
2. Do What You Love and Feel Your FeelingsI read, I sang, I cooked. I took floral design classes, and I started writing a book. I cried, felt sad, shouted with anger, ached with loss, and chose to forgive. Then a tutoring job came!
 
1. Believe and Know That You Are Loved Just As You AreYes, sudden job loss wounds your heart and your confidence. Yes, you need time to heal, but while you are healing, just know that there is a plan for you designed by the Great Creator. Know that you are loved. You are not your job; you are of full value just as you are.
 
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Copyright 2014 by M. H. Campbell


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Series I Episode I: Beginning with Forgiveness and Thankfulness

Home Schooling’s Black, White, and Gray: A Series on Home Schooling and Life-Long Learners 

Series 1 Episode 1

Most junior high girls like to giggle about boys and lay out at a pool party, but not me. I didn’t know what it felt like to have crush until I was fifteen, and I wasn’t crazy about being in a bathing suit. At one pool party I attended in junior high, I splashed with the girls for a while, but then picked strawberries for an hour because the hostess offered strawberries to anyone who wanted to pick them. I baked some amazing fresh strawberry pie with those berries. I treasure the freedom and creativity being home schooled gave me, but it did not make me normal. But why should I be normal?!

Home schooling has a lot of white, but there is black as well, and some gray. Through this series of blog posts, I will be looking at the mediocre, the ugly, and the beautiful parts of home schooling. I do not mean to step on anybody’s toes, but I need to be honest and truthful. Being lovingly honest can bring healthy change; I desire to bring life through my writing.

Educating humans to be what they were created to be is a life passion of mine. I believe in giving students the freedom and structure needed to develop into healthy, robust, loving adults who will do more in the world than I ever will! Home schooling is one method of doing this, but it may not be the best pathway for all children; that is up to the parents and children to explore. However, home schooling molds students into people who may be more in-tune and willing to stand up for their uniqueness in this world full of cliques and conformity.

After attending traditional college, I came home and went through a time of evaluation and sadness. I let myself admit that being home schooled wasn’t perfect; I admitted that there were some dark-sides to home schooling. Since then I’ve worked through most of the anger I had once I realized some of the unhealthy parts of home schooling and have come into a time of acceptance and challenge.

Recently one morning while walking down a gravel road in Lincoln Marsh, it hit me: I CAN graciously critique home schooling, but I must begin with a confession of forgiveness and of thankfulness.

I forgive my parents for the gaps I had in my education; they did the best they could with the resources they had. No school is perfect. Period. Even home schools. I am so thankful for the faith and freedom they instilled in me. I learned how to learn, so I get to fill in those gaps now!

I thank my parents for sacrificing so much time and energy to pour into me and my siblings. My Mom has a Masters of Education and a Masters of Divinity, so she WAS qualified to home school me and my siblings. She could have done many other activities, but she desired to have the Bible be central to our education, so that’s what she did. I thank my grandparents for funding many textbook purchases and encouraging us in whatever creative project we were working on when they stopped by, be it comic books or silly children’s stories.

Thankful is where I am at in regarding my upbringing. Thankful for so much individualized love and nurture that my parents poured onto me. Thank you, Mom and Dad.

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Copyright 2014 By M. H. Campbell

 


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Thai Chicken Coconut Soup

Mary’s Version:

6 cups chicken broth
The peel off of half a lemon-cut into about four strips
1 Tblsp. lime zest
1/4 c. lime juice (one lime’s worth)
3 Tblsp. fresh ginger, peeled and cut into tiny cubes

1 1/2 c. cooked chicken
10 oz. baby bella mushrooms, sliced

1 (13 oz.) can coconut milk
2 Tblsp. fish sauce
1 Tblsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt–add more if needed

Chopped cilantro and cooked rice to serve along side the soup

Bring the broth to a boil and add the lemon, lime zest, lime juice, and ginger, and summer for 10 minutes to let the flavors meld.

Add the chicken and mushrooms and continue simmering for 25 minutes.

Add the coconut milk, fish sauce, and sugar. Bring to a boil, remove the lemon peel, and then serve with rice, topped with cilantro.

Serves 4.

Created October 23rd, 2014 roughly based off of recipe by Long Grain on Bonappetite.com

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Photo by M. H. Campbell at the start of soup preparation.