My niece, Jessi Sawdon is not your typical stay-at-home mom, if that could be a thing anyway. Most moms have been faced with the dilemma of working outside the home or staying home to raise the babies. In the past, the only work from home jobs were daycare or telemarketing. While daycare is a noble calling, and one whose workers must be given a lot of credit, because it is not easy to take care of several children all day; telemarketing is another story. Nobody wants to talk to you, and they truly wish you would just “get a real job” already!! When I was raising kids, and my daughters were raising kids, work-from-home was not a real option. I’m glad that it is for mothers these days.
Jessi has a degree in communication and marketing, and works as the Marketing Coordinator at LUM Studio. She is also mommy to her daughter, Adelaide Ione. The biggest blessing from her work-from-home job is that she can take Adelaide to and from school and attend the school functions that so many working moms miss because of their jobs. LUM Studio is a website designer and hosting company. Their work is beautiful and the are enjoying great success. They are becoming well known and have received work from businesses around the state. It is great that Jessi can be a stay-at-home mom to Adelaide and still focus on her career. Being able to have both a career and a stay-at-home mom atmosphere is really so important.
Jessi is a bit of a comedian. She loves doing things to make people laugh. It is something that seems to run in the family. You might ask her sister, Lindsay about Jessi, and she will respond with, “Who is Jessi?” Her sister Kellie loves to be goofy, and always laughs or smiles…especially when someone like Jessi decides to photobomb her. Her brother, Ryan is one of the world’s biggest teasers, and all the girls have been subject to his teasing ways, but it is done in good fun, and it makes for a lot of laughs for this family.
Of course, like most of us, Covd-19 has required Jessie, her husband, Jason and Adelaide to be in social distancing mode, but it didn’t keep them from being able to go camping quite a bit. During the summer and fall and they really enjoyed their new toy hauler, because they can go camping and four wheeling. That has really let them enjoy the great outdoors. Jessi and Jason have a side by side four wheeler that seats four, so they can all go together on their sight seeing rides. Adelaide loves riding with her mom and dad! They love going to the lake, the Big Horns, and sometimes Jason finds little out of the way places where they can just enjoy being together. They also love to take walks as a family and they go often when the weather permits. God has really blessed them! Today is Jessi’s birthday. Happy birthday Jessi!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
Many people think of Kindergarten as almost a play date. They think of a classroom filled with toys, books, and craft supplies, as well as a playground for recess. Many people think of it as a daycare for working parents, and of course, a place for early childhood development. All these are good things, but this was not the original plan for the creator of Kindergarten, German born Friedrich Wilhelm August Fröbel. He wanted it to be a place that was both ‘a garden for children’, where children meet with environment and also ‘a garden of children’, where they play together and express themselves in a smaller garden world by means of play with their age group. He believed that “children are like tiny flowers; they are varied and need care, but each is beautiful alone and glorious when seen in the community of peers.”
I’m sure this sounds odd to most of us, but when you look at his background, I think you will understand why he felt the way he did. Fröbel had an unhappy childhood with a severe step-mother. He was abandoned and treated in a strict fashion as a child. He got to know what happiness was, when he was living with his uncle’s family while studying at high school. He had a huge desire for education, strong Christian faith and love of nature. He studied mineralogy in Jena, Germany and architecture at the Berlin’s Humboldt University. Inborn skills of an educator helped Fröbel to realize the failure of teaching system because of its incompleteness and the failure to include the outside world in the educational process. The first kindergarten was established by Fröbel in Bad Blankenburg in 1837. He renamed his Play and Activity Institute to a ‘kindergarten’ two years later in 1840. That Bad Blankenburg Infant school used play, games, songs, stories, and crafts to encourage children’s imagination and broaden their physical and motor skills. “Kommt, lasst uns unsern Kindern leben” Come, let us live with our children’ turned into the catchphrase of the early childhood education.
Friedrich Fröbel also used studying and nurturing plants in a garden for stimulating children’s interest in the natural world. In reality, we can trace the similarities to the Montessori school system and the Pestalozzian consideration of importance to grow up in harmony with nature. Fröbel paid much attention to preparing for further school education by training the children through the complimentary self expression, creativeness, collective involvement, and motor activity. He considered training of all the vivid faculties: artistic, imaginative, linguistic, arithmetical, musical, aesthetic, scientific, physical, social, moral, cultural, and spiritual, complete growth and harmonious development to be even more important than any kind of knowledge. Fröbel’s kindergarten system flourished globally. Most kindergartens were organized for children of all social classes, ethnic groups and religious believes, Jewish as well as Christian. Fröbel’s vision of kindergarten seems to be so familiar and proper, however it was a fresh and revolutionary look on early childhood education in his time.
It’s inevitable…the end of summer, turns into the first day of school. All the kids are torn between being bored from too much free time, and the dread of getting back into the grind of studying and homework. This year finds my family with just one public school student left. Our grandson, Josh Petersen is a senior in high school this year, so this is our last year with the public school system…until the great grandbabies start coming anyway. I am finding that hard to believe.
Of course, once the kids get going, most of them enjoy school. Believe it or not, humans tend to want to be productive and for kids that does mean school. By the end of the year, they are ready for summer break, but by summer’s end, they are ready to get back into the swing of things again. They miss the organized sports, friends they don’t see except at school, getting out of the house or daycare, and in reality, most of them actually enjoy learning. I don’t think any of us really want to go through life with no mental stimulation, and that is exactly what school does for the kids, whether they particularly like it or not.
Then, of course, most kids usually get a few new articles of clothing to start out the new school year. For some, it is a matter of necessity, because of course, they have grown so much since last year, and for others, it is a necessity, because after all, you have to have at least one new outfit to start the year…right? And those new clothes and school supplies tend to take the sting of summer’s end out of the picture, a little bit anyway. I always thought it was fun to have new school supplies, even if the newness wore off pretty quickly.
And so, as the kids come home after school, they are filled with stories of their day to pass on to their parents, and even a little bit of excitement just to be back…until they start to think about the homework they have to get done before school tomorrow. And then, there is the lack of outdoor playtime, because they have to get ready for the next day. That might be a bit of a let down, but that is what getting back into the swing of things is all about.
Having your child at work is not a new idea really. Many people have made arrangements with their boss, so that they could bring their little ones to work with them…at least until they are old enough to go to school full time. Sometimes, I think that every mom should be able to bring their baby to work while they are little. Daycare is expensive, and often makes it almost impossible for the mom to work outside the home, because they end up paying more for daycare than they earn…totally not worth it. I didn’t work when my girls were little, but when my daughters had children, they did work. While I didn’t have my grandchildren at my office all day, there were times when they did come to my office…times when they were not feeling well, were the main times. They couldn’t stay home alone, and yet their parents had to work. I was blessed in that I had a boss who allowed me to bring them to the office and let them sleep there. It made all the difference for my daughters.
Years ago, however, having the kids around was much more common. My grandmother, Anna Schumacher Spencer, ran a hotel when my Aunt Laura and Uncle Bill were little. Of course, the family lived at the hotel, so the kids were always at work with their mom. Grandpa worked somewhere else, so Grandma was in charge of the hotel. I’m not sure where the bakery came in, but I do know that the patrons of the bakery would not have been surprised to see the little ones in the bakery when they came in to make a purchase. I think that it was common to the times, and maybe something that we all could take a lesson from. Life was about the family. Nothing was more important than that. The parents were involved with the kids, and the family ate their meals together, and spent time together. The parents were role models for the kids, and the television was not the place that they got all of their information. No, it wasn’t perfect, but maybe it was just a little bit more family oriented.
My Uncle Jim Richards is a family man with deep values and loyalties. He is not one to turn away anyone in need. His home has been a shelter for a number of different people over the years. That said, I can tell you that his home has also been very blessed because of his generosity too. I don’t think that we can be givers in this world without God returning good things to us too. Uncle Jim and his wife, my Aunt Dixie have been blessed with three children, Jeannie Liegman, Jim Richards, and Raylynn Williams, as well as five grandsons and one granddaughter. They are a close family, who gets together every day. I suppose that there are people who think that is odd, but I think it is wonderful. Children and grandchildren are among God’s greatest blessings, and to have them close is priceless…and any grandparent who doesn’t get to watch their grandchildren grow up would tell you the same thing. Those years go by so fast. You have to enjoy while you can.
Uncle Jim is a gentle man with soft spoken way. I’m sure he could get angry if the situation warranted it, but I’ve never seen him angry. That says a lot about his level of patience…to be around all the kids in our whole family, all being rowdy at the same time, and to still have patience with them…amazing. It is especially amazing when the children are not his. That is just the kind of uncle he is though.
Uncle Jim has always been a soft spoken man, with a great smile. His joy in life shows all over his face. Uncle Jim and his family have always lived in the country, raising chickens and such. it seemed a life he was suited to. Over the years, they have taken care of many of the children in the family while their parents worked. I have spoken to several of them, and they all have fond memories of their time at Aunt Dixie and Uncle Jim’s place. Every one of them had a wonderful time out there. That speaks volumes about the loving atmosphere they built into their home. When the children in your care have fond memories of the time they spent there…even when they are adults, you are doing something right. Today is Uncle Jim’s birthday. Happy birthday Uncle Jim!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
When my grandchildren, Christopher, Shai, and Caalab were little, my daughter Amy stayed home with her kids and babysat Christopher for her sister. It was such a blessing, because Corrie and I would come over at lunchtime and have lunch with them. Corrie was able to spend precious time with Christopher, and I was able to spend precious time with my kids and grandkids…at least the ones we had then. Joshua would join our family later on.
Amy’s house was a lively place those days. The kids kept her running and there was never a dull moment. I’m sure she was exhausted many times, but I hope she knows what a blessing she was to Corrie, Kevin, and me. The knowledge that the children were happy and well cared for, as well as loved, brings a peace of mind that cannot be matched. And most daycares do not allow parents to stop by for lunch, as it disrupts their day, and the children can get cranky when the parent leaves, but, while he hated to see his mommy go, Christopher was fine, because he was with his Aunty Amy, and his cousins.
Don’t get me wrong, there were the normal fights and competitions during the day, but because of the close surroundings, a close friendship grew. Since Christopher was 1 day older than Shai, they had spent all their lives together, and would do so until they started grade school. First, in Amy’s care until she needed to work full time. Then in their next sitter, Dani’s care, and finally the pre-school/daycare they would go to before grade school began. Theirs would be a friendship to last a lifetime. And when Caalab came along, they would work very hard to be big helpers to Amy, even though they were only 17 months older than he was.
The kids got personalized care from Amy, because she had just the two, then three. She would not babysit Joshua, because she went to work before he arrived. I feel a little sad for him, because he did not have that special time with his Aunty Amy like Christopher did. She taught the kids things, played games, trained them in walking, pottying, and talking, although she might regret that part sometimes. Amy played a big part in those kids early lives, and I was always glad.
The days the kids spent together with Amy were filled with giggles and laughs, and a few tears, but she would kiss the boo boos and stop the fights, and get things back into fun mode very quickly. Whenever I was there, I could tell that the kids were so happy and blessed. I wish I could tell you about everything they did during those days, but unfortunately I didn’t get to see that part of the day like Amy did. I just know that the babies grew into happy children, and we knew that they spent every day in the company of friends.