Sunday, October 31, 2010

In which we become disallusioned...

My daughter wrote a somewhat amazing story last night. She wrote it "for adults with children 3-11."
My goal in homeschooling is to put Christ first in every thing we do. I am obviously failing. She showed very clearly how she views my priority list. She also very aptly described what happens when my priorities get off. The title says it all:

Tea Is First
by Avonlea
For Adults with children 3-11

When you get up to teach your children math, chemistry, and other school books, does your mind wander? Do you long for a cup of tea? If so, put whatever you're doing down, get up and brew your favorite tea. When you come back down this will probably be what happened:
Preschool: "Mommy!" (relief)
Kindergarten: "I need help."
1st grade: "I can't do this."
2nd grade: "I don't understand."
3rd grade: "What?"
4th grade: "Mmmmm?"
5th grade (me): "Can I have a cup of tea?"

If so, quietly put down your cup and say the first letters of their names. This will amaze them and quiet them hopefully.

NOTE: Next time have tea first!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Point made. Hint taken. I leave the room for my tea and chaos ensues. If I stay put, there is peace and maybe I won't have to subdue them by saying the first letters of their names!

Avonlea wrote me a poem a few nights ago with the couplet;

"I love to kiss your lips,
even when they're not smiling."

She certainly has a gift for getting to the root of things........and of loving me anyway.

Tea anyone?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sunday Surprise

On the Sundays that I sing, it seems something always happens.
I'm gone by 6:45 am so Dave gets everyone dressed and to church on time, brings them home, they eat lunch at mom's, and then he puts them down for naps or quiet time. I come home at about 1:30 after singing three services and going grocery shopping.
Somehow in this lapse of time something always happens.
This Sunday when I came home I was pleased to find that Dave had waited for me to have lunch with them. While we were eating he dropped the news.
"So the window in Rose's room is broken."
"Broken? As in cracked?"
"No as in shattered."
"What? Is she okay? How did she do it?"
"Actually I broke it.....with my bottom."
This was a very hard sentence to wrap my tired brain around. I inquired vaguely how one goes about breaking windows with their bottoms.
Dave explained that Rosy gave him grief while he was trying to dress her. She kept darting away naked ,singing, "I'm nakey!" He finally managed to grab her, and he bent down quickly and energetically to put her panties on, and in the process shoved his entire bottom through the 100 year old window.
Rose is living with her blind down and I'm laughing at my amazing husband who never fails to surprise me!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

He's Five and I'm Still Alive

When Avonlea turned five she asked if she could go to Disneyland, this being one of all children's inalienable rights, we said yes. Being the short-sighted people we are, Dave and I went one step further and said that all our children could pick where they wanted to go on their fifth birthday. We just kinda assumed that they would all want to go to Disneyland. So, we were caught off guard a bit when a year and a half later Grant turned five and told us he wanted to go to Hawaii. Hmmm.....
And I was a little more than concerned when Rowan's fifth birthday approached and he was heavily leaning toward taking us all to Nevada. Now...I have nothing against Nevada, but Rowan's sole attraction to it was it's shape outlined on his placemat, and that's almost impossible to actually experience. So....we encouraged him to think about other Hawaii.
So motivated by the fact that he loves the ocean, and by the knowledge that his three pretty cousins live there, he consented.
We gave him a police uniform for his present and he made several citizen's arrests. He blew his whistle at all the crosswalks when it was time to go. He lingered by police cars, vowing to save all his birthday money so that he could buy one when he grew bigger.

I am a blessed woman. I love these boys.


His birthday dinner was at the cheesecake factory in Waikiki with his cousins.

This birthday marks so much more than just the passage of time and the acknowledgement of physical growth. Rowan gave his heart to Jesus this year and I've witnessed with my own eyes the Spirit's work in his life. He's learned to think before speaking, to pray for others, to check his anger by counting to ten, to ask questions and ponder answers. He's become a helpful son and a caring brother. He still gets into mischief, he still sighs when his will is thwarted, but he's learning, and so am I.
I'm so thankful for Rowan.
I'm so thankful I didn't have to go to Nevada.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Potty Talk

If you've known me very long, you know that I hate poop. Hate it. I hated changing my babies diapers and potty trained them at an absurdly young age. Yet, I know that it happens, that it is a natural, normal function, and I deal with it. However, I do not enjoy it, nor do I find it humorous in any way.
Crass joking is a sure fire way to get a very dirty look from me. Part of the reason I dislike that type of joking is because it seems to perpetuate itself. It's easy to begin, hard to stop, and very quickly gets out of hand. Because of this, it's not allowed in our home. However, with four children and several dozens of other children that come in and out of this home, it sometimes very innocently happens.
For example, Dave was telling the kids a story about when he and his friend Jake got a frisbee and some apricots stolen from them. The point of the story was that people are more important than things and they prayed that whoever took them would be blessed by them. Dave said, "Yeah, we just imagined a couple of bums at the park playing frisbee and eating apricots." His conclusion was met with down cast eyes and silence. Finally Rowan said, "Don't be crass Daddy." Dave looked at me in bewilderment. I started laughing because I realized that the only definition of "bum" that they knew was "bottom, rear, etc." I told him to tell it again and try saying "hobo" instead! Grant was visibly relieved that Daddy wasn't being gross but said he was going to have trouble getting the picture of, "bums catching frisbees in their cracks," out of his head.

Then today, Rowan was cutting pieces of a hen out to glue on his paper. I said, "okay Rowan, let's glue on your body now." The room became intensely silent. I looked up and my eyes caught Rose's shocked expression as she said, "Mommy, Rowan's potty is glued on!?" ("potty" is the term we use to refer to "privates")
I explained that I used a "b" for body and that we were creating the little red hen, but that comment started the downfall. A few wings later, Avonlea said, "Mommy I just read something SO interesting can I read it to you?" I was still up to my beak in glue but absently agreed. She proceeded, "Wood chucks breed 20-40 times a minute." I put the glue on the desk. "Really." She continued, "Yeah, but even more when they're excited!" My mind whirled. I knew about rabbits of course, but I had never heard about woodchucks and what the heck did she mean by excited? She goes on, "Yeah but if they're really relaxed they can just do it like once every five minutes." And we've been trying to have kittens for a year! How much do wood chucks go for? My mind is reeling in possibilities. Avonlea looked at my open mouth gaze and said, "Mom, I said breathe."
"Ohhhhhhhh breathe."
See what I mean about things going downhill quickly. Later today, at ballet class, one of my little dancers had stomach issues and the red flags of her condition were waving wildly, so to speak. Every time we leaned forward in our stretch the room reverberated with cannon accent.
And I had to laugh.

(Please note the distinction between a cute little tooter in pink tulle and a big hairy man cutting loose the bonds of propriety.)

Sunday, October 17, 2010


I tend to travel with one goal in mind. God often has a different one. After a brief tussle I give in and take what He has to offer, and it's always an adventure.

Dave came home from Dallas on Sunday after an exhausting trip moving his friend there. We flew to Hawaii on Monday morning. Dave also got sick that day. Tuesday he got a terrible sunburn. I mentally constructed a post entitled, "When Paradise Isn't".
I sat at the beach for hours and hours, and at night when Dave and the kids went to bed at seven, I stared into the darkness and thought, and thought, and thought.

I thought about this life I lead and I evaluated how much of it is lived for self as opposed to what is lived for God. I thought about all the beautiful scenery before me and how it is a reflection of the God who created it. I thought about my favorite scenery of all, my family. They can stand in front of anything and make it beautiful.

I couldn't help but think about old Hawaii, what it would have looked like, smelled like, sounded like. I could look at the highway and imagine it away, and picture instead an old trail through the wind blown grasses, the roar of breakers unceasing, the heady scent of flowers.

I thought about family and friends, and those I consider both. My children's wealth of cousins is a great joy to me.

I thought about a woman's role in ministry after her baby/pregnancy days are done. I thrashed out the desire all women have, to be used in ministry, and their insecurity how best to pursue that.

I thought about my marriage and how my world turns upside down when my husband ails. It is so much easier to face life with his loving, giving heart by my side. When he was in his tired/sick/sunburned fog, I could barely face the day, even in Hawaii. My prayers were half moan, half battle-hymn, and I prayed much.

On Saturday, 5 l-o-n-g days later, he started feeling better. My smile returned. The vertical line between my eyebrows disappeared. I stopped thinking quite so much.

I had different adventures in mind for this trip. But God took me to a place where I could think, pray, reflect on His creation, and ponder my place in His work. I had my sister-in-law and my husband (the last 5 days) to stimulate thought and His beauty to stimulate praise.

And really, it came down to what it always does, all roads of thought landed me at the same destination; that in Him, I have everything I need. That when I seek I always find, when I knock the door is opened. Sometimes I'm just asked to knock in unexpected places. Like Hawaii.


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