November 13, 2009

My Interview at Heart of the Matter

redmomWhere did the name Sprittibee come from?

Sprittibee is actually a nickname and a last initial put together (and here you thought it was all about honey bee obsession!). When me and my hubby were dating back in the early 90’s, he called me Spritti and I called him Spooker. Sickening, I know. The “SP” was a language addition based on that REM song, “Losing My Religion,” where he said “It’s bigger than you… and you are not me.” He slurred his words and said “Spigger”, which was somehow REAL funny to us barely 20 year old, lovesick kids who were stuck in the car part of every day together as we both ran errands for the companies we worked for. That song was on the radio a LOT back then.

Spritti is really “pretty” (glad he thought I was – cuz I was head over heels and still am). I bet you can’t guess what Spooker was. It came from a the shell necklace that Kev bought in Galveston when he went down there to buy a Yaga t-shirt. The necklace was made of puka shells. Add your S and you’ve got the original version of his pathetically dorky nickname. Lucky for him, it didn’t stick quite as well as mine. I’m sure I haven’t called him that in over ten years.

Kids are retarded. Sadly, dumb nicknames STICK. I figure it doesn’t matter if you all know this sordid secret, though. You would be amazed at how many people ask. If I had given my “brand name” a little more thought when I started blogging (on accident through commenting on someone else’s blog), I probably would NEVER have used “Sprittibee” as a blog title. Believe me, I have regretted it many times–but after four years of blogging, I’m stuck with it. I do like bees, so it’s not all bad. I have quite a collection of bee knick knacks.

Can you share a little about your family with us?48
We’re complete nerds. My husband is a computer geek and very handy with electrical and mechanical stuff. We’ve been married for over 16 years. It was love at first sight. We only dated 8 months and I was barely 20 when we landed in the JP. Amazingly, we still get butterflies for each other, so I’m pretty sure that God was behind the whole ordeal – even before we were on his bandwagon. We have 2 kids and one on the way. Our son is 12 and our daughter is 10. They are super kids and I suspect they will be more than helpful when the little Viking arrives in a few weeks. When we aren’t all working, we like to spend time together. I think homeschooling has created the most awesome bonds of love and friendship in our family. I’d rather be with my husband and kids than anyone on the planet.

Have I mentioned that my man is exquisitely handsome? That helps.

You blog at How has blogging been therapeutic for you?

Blogging is just part of who I am now. I wanted to be a writer when I was a kid, and yet I was too lazy or overwhelmed by large projects to ever spend the time necessary to get something done and turned in to a publisher. Being a party-chasing heathen didn’t help. I had binders full of poetry, short stories, beginnings of novels–and life tended to get in the way. After I met Kevin and we had our first child, I pretty much gave up passionate reading and writing. Being a wife and mother was much more pressing and rewarding.

I’ve always journaled and began scrapbooking after I had my kids, so blogging was a natural transition for me. Once I figured out what blogging really was and discovered its potential (and realized it would take too much of my precious time up), I became addicted.

  1. It serves as a platform for sharing thoughts and ideas with other like-minded folk.
  2. It provides a place to share and help to encourage other homeschool moms.
  3. It gives me a place to create a digital scrapbook or portfolio for my homeschooling and our lives.
  4. It offers a way to share updates with family who want to keep in touch.
  5. It is a platform for whining, swollen, pregnant moms on bedrest.

What’s not to love about blogging?!

What’s your favorite self indulgence?

Blogging and chocolate are my favorite self indulgences. I consider the time I blog an indulgence since it doesn’t offer equal compensation. The friends I’ve made through blogging make it worth my while, the fun reviews and free products are a nice perk, but I’d love for someone to pay me a salary for all the work I put in to it! What blogger wouldn’t?

As for the chocolate (which is almost as important), I like Choxie dark chocolate truffles, Raspberry Dark Chocolate bars from Godiva, York Peppermint Patties, and Andes Mints. In that order.

Have you ever experienced “homeschooling” negativity?

Sure. We have plenty of naysayers in our family. I’ve always been somewhat of a rebel, though, so I’m used to the “black sheep” syndrome. I was an awful and sneaky child that stayed in trouble most of my younger years. Even to the point of tricking my mom to give me $75 for church camp and taking a bus to another town and go out all weekend – all night. My kids won’t ever get anything past me. My theory on naysayers is just to let it roll off my back like beads of water on a duck. As long as you have the support of your husband and you believe God has called you to the task, YOU GO MAMA! God will give you what you need to succeed and your children will be the proof that YOU were right in the long run.

Many of the people who didn’t agree with us homeschooling as the kids were younger are coming around, or at least acknowledging that the kids are different than public schooled kids (in a GOOD or BETTER) way. Even my husband (who was my biggest critic when I first wanted to homeschool) said just the other night to the kids, “I’m so glad you guys aren’t in public school.” Now that they are older, the proof is really there in the pudding! And since I’m a firm believer that character is more important than academics (who likes an intelligent JERK?), I’d say that that proof is more than worth dealing with any “negativity” that I’ve ever dealt with.

If you could have any curriculum on the market, what would it be?

Well, I drooled over Rosetta Stone for years and haven’t ever been able to afford it. I guess I’d take a few boxes if they offered a give-away or review! We are about to start Italian with another program soon, so I’m not as whiney about it any more. I’d also love Photoshop Design Premium CS3 or 4, but not just for school (although I would love to teach the kids digital art and photography skills, as both of them are interested in it–like mom). Those two programs are way out of my price range. I pretty much have what I need and borrow what I don’t from friends in local co-ops or the library as we go along. If I had my druthers, I’d have much more mad money for buying books that we fall in love with, though. Books are my homeschool desire when it comes to spending sprees.

You have a large blog following. Does this effect what you share at all?

I don’t spend as much time worrying over numbers of readers like I did when I first started blogging. I often forget about the site meter for long periods and I removed my blog from the ‘ecosphere’ because I’d rather worry about the content than my “status.” I realized over the years that you shouldn’t try to figure out what people want to read, you should just be yourself. If the traffic comes, then so be it. That doesn’t mean I don’t try to be part of the community and reach out to other bloggers, it just means I don’t obsess over my readership–or lack of it–but rather focus on being real, just like you would in real life!

I post pretty much whatever is on my mind – but I do consider how family members or friends might react to it before I blurt it out. I think I worry more about my family and friends who read my blog (the ones I know in person) than I do the general public. I’m sure there are other weirdos like me out there. I love reading other people’s blogs when they are candid and real… so I figure it will only run off the people who probably shouldn’t be reading, if I’m that way in my posts. Even when talking about fry-snatching, getting catheters at the hospital, and swapping snot on accident.

Could you share with us your homeschooling motto/theme/verse?
I believe what Clay and Sally Clarkson said in “Educating the Whole Hearted Child,” that homeschooling is “the right thing to do!” In their book they share so many amazing quotes and inspiring scriptures. It is hard to narrow it down to just one verse, motto, or theme.

I call our homeschool “Magnum Opus Academy” based on the book Charlotte’s Web. Magnum Opus, loosely translated from Latin in to our modern tongue is “life’s masterpiece.” Charlotte’s was her egg sack, containing the children she would share with the world after she was gone. You could also call that a legacy. Your children are your legacy. There’s nothing more important than educating them and passing on the faith in Christ that sustains you. One of my favorite verses (listed on my About Page at my blog) has the line “when Christ – who IS YOUR LIFE appears” in it. I firmly agree that He IS my life. Based on that, nothing else but a God-centered education would do for my children. Homeschooling is really the only way to achieve the type of family bonds that God desires, the worldview that God desires, and the purity of heart that God desires.

I absolutely adore my kids. I see how homeschooling (even though I am flawed and broken) has blessed their character every day. Therefore, I rejoice that in my weaknesses, God has done miracles. I am honored to be His tool.

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” – 3 John 4

One day I hope to be able to say that long after I have finished my portion of the educational life experiences that my kids are to receive, that they will continue in the Truth. After all, any parent that loves their children would not sacrifice herself to make sure that they stayed alive. And eternal life is much more important than this temporal one.

How has homeschooling changed your life for the better?
Homeschooling is freedom. Freedom to think for yourself, to follow your bliss, to take advantage of quality time together as a family, to dig as deep as you want in to what ever interests you. Every day we spend with daddy when he is off work, every vacation we take, every field trip we go on, we are so very thankful for the fact that we are not strapped in to the rigid schedule (or watered-down curriculum) of the public school system. As much as we have moved, I can’t see how any other lifestyle would have worked for us. While we lived in Arkansas for two years my husband worked nights and weekends and got odd days off (sometimes not even consecutive days). If it weren’t for us homeschooling, they would hardly ever have seen their dad for two solid years.

Another blessing has been the PEOPLE we have met. Oh, I can’t even go in to this right now or this might become a novel. Suffice it to say that there are a ton of wonderful kid-loving, God-fearing, selfless and amazingly interesting and fun homeschool parents and kids out there. Friendships that will last far beyond graduation–that’s another blessing homeschooling has to offer.

Congratulations on your “future new addition.” Has pregnancy changed any of your homeschool routines?

Pregnancy has forced me to reconsider my perfectionism. It has really relaxed our style and given me the freedom to feel like God is in control (instead of me). What a blessing! The kids are thrilled with our more flexible and relaxed schedule. School and family life has been more enjoyable. Will our school schedule always stay like this? No. I’ve learned that change is still the only constant – even with homeschool curricula and schedules. However, it is a joy to go through the different seasons of your life, and we are trying to make the most of this one despite any difficulties it presents. Hopefully the infancy and toddler years will be the same–more growing, learning, adapting and bonding together.

Interview by:

nikowaNikowa is a 2nd year homeschooling mom to two boys. With her “learning never ends” philosophy, they have an eclectic year-round approach to learning. When she’s not teaching, she enjoys photography, organizing, cooking, and reading. She is a #1 LOST fan and watches UGA football too! (Go Dawgs!) You can visit Nikowa at Knowledge House Academy.


Melissa Stover said...

i did not know that about the name. interesting and weird. it is hard to choose a blog name and few people realize how important it will be. i just thought it was a neat name you came up with. if you don't tell anyone the story they just think you're clever.

Stretch Mark Mama said...

I FINALLY know how to pronounce your name! Well, at least your blog name. :) It's spritti!

Anita said...

So, I'm not the only one who had problems with picking a "dumb" blog name and being stuck with it! (My HSB Suzanne will never let go!) :)

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