One Mom has given me 5 words to write about.
Church- I spend more time then the average "lay-person" thinking and reading about church. One book that I read recently about it is So You Don't Want to Go to Church Any More by Wayne Jacobsen. This book gave me a lot to think about. One of the main themes is: Do we put more emphasis on going to church than being the body of Christ? Another aspect of the book is community. Several years ago, I did a study (by that I mean read and thought about the entire New Testament and much of the Old) to further understand why the early Christians got together. That study lead me to believe that the main reason was fellowship (forming friendships around the cause of Christ). Community is something almost non-existent in many congregations. Worship (demonstrating your love and devotion to a deity) is something that our daily lives are to be about much more than singing in a large assembly.
Texas- Secretly, I have never liked Texas too much. If I had my way, I would live in Oregon. That being said. . . There are some advantages to living here. Such as family (see word 5) and freedom (as in little homeschool regulations and concealed carry) and we are at a church where I am able to serve in many ways. The Dallas/For Worth area is good for homeschooling as it has great libraries, many museums, zoos and wildlife parks. There are homeschool groups and enrichment classes galore. Texas is a very vast and diverse state. My kids and I are taking a whole year on Texas geography. There are not too many states that have prairies, deserts, forests, mountains, and coastal areas.
Education- My main principle regarding education is this: Education is the domain of parents not the government. I think that if the government is going to have schools they should be public like the library is public. And parents should be "allowed" to participate as much as they want including sitting in on classes. I believe that education is never world view neutral. Parents should be able to recognize the lies that surround our kids and counteract them with the truth.
Landscape- I assume OneMom gave me this one because I used to be a landscape architect (in training, that means degree but not licensed). Basically landscape architects do the construction drawings (blueprints) for everything outside of the building. This can include sidewalks, plants, drainage, irrigation, fences, berms, etc. The father of landscape architecture is Frederick Law Olmsted who is the designer of Central Park in New York.
Family- My extended family can be described as concentrated. From my grandparents down they are concentrated geographically living withing a 200 mile (approx.) radius of Abilene, TX with many of them living there. The are concentrated vocationally. Every female from my grandmother down (except me) is or was a public school teacher. They all also went to the same college (except me, one uncle, and my mom's husband,and my husband). My in-laws on the other hand are far-flung. They live in TN, FL, GA, TX and maybe another state that I am not remembering. They are professors, computer people, counselors, farmers, nurses, etc. Those who went to college went all over the nation. The grandmother (who passed away recently) was very smart but lived in a time and place where girls only needed an eighth grade education. Her grandson, on the other hand, has several degrees. My nuclear family is great (though maybe a little heavy on the animal side). We have fun going on adventures together and learning new things. We are especially glad to be on a journey with God together.