Homeschool Fun

Luke has graciously taken over A’s Science lessons, and she is learning about weather right now. This is her rain gauge she made. I like the little rain cloud.

“They will stay in my tummy”

We had a bit of the sickies go through last weekend, right after Thanksgiving Dinner (lovely). I thought the virus was gone, but Little S came down with it this morning. After he slept all morning, I let him have some Cheerios (dry) in a bowl. This is him sitting at the table, thoroughly enjoying his first meal all day.

Tropical Storm Abiyoyo Hits Bethlehem

CITY OF DAVID-sources near Bethlehem confirm that a tropical storm of infantile proportions touched down near an animal stable yesterday. Apparently a young couple were lodging in the stable, since there was no room left in the inn. A woman had recently given birth to a son, and was caring for him there. No reports of injuries, but it is certain that this stormy night was one this couple will always remember.

Happy Birthday, Little Brother!

My brother, Daniel, is 27 today. Whew, I feel old.

I hear, after the fact, that my parents threw him a rousing good party, complete with a cake blazing with 27 candles, and birthday song in 2 part harmony, all before my dad left for work. And they didn’t even invite us. Probably afraid we’d eat too much of the cake.

Luke has a profitable business going in the fall, making buckeye necklaces. He’s so creative, and enterprising. He will go down to the Minnesota game this coming weekend to try and sell some he’s made. He already bought a #10 jersey and new running shoes, so hopefully all of the necklaces will sell.
Luke’s brother is coming into town to go to the game with Luke, and we will get to meet our new nephew. Good fall fun.
Go Bucks!

Doing What Matters Most

Tonia has written a post about what she has learned in her 30 Days of Nothing challenge. This may actually be her last post, because one of the things that has started to intrigue her over the last month is the goodness of silence and rest. Read her post here and see if it doesn’t challenge you to be in front of this screen less.
I’ll be sharing my own thoughts on my 30 Days of Learning in the next few days.

The Hello, Goodbye Window

I just read the sweetest children’s book (which, as many of us know, the best children’s books are for people of all ages:). It is called The Hello, Goodbye Window by Norton Juster. Big A is going to do Book It this year, and this book topped its reading list for ages 4-8. Bring on the scheduled trips to Pizza Hut!!! Hey, anything to further her education and love of reading. Heh, heh.
Anyway, this book is so good. It is about a little girl who goes to her grandparents’ house while her parents are at work, and all the simply sweet things that go on during her day. It is told from her perspective, and is just hilarious at times. A couple times I teared up, thinking about Grandpa Don being so similar to that grandpa in the book. The reality hit again that my children will not know him apart from us talking about him, our home movies, and stories on CD he made. I cherish those CD’s now. We still have Grandma Carol and Grandma and Grandpa Chase, and are very thankful for that. There are still great memories to be made.
My list of favorite children’s books is getting bigger. Maybe I will post about that in the future. This book won the 2006 Caldecott Medal, and I can see why. Look for it next time you are at the library.

Good Times

On Liberty’s fine acres we first crossed paths,
In the beginning as friends, you science, me math,
We grew up an hour apart, What good fortune!
Mom and Dad had hoped for close grandchildren!
We found out we both cheered for Scarlet and Gray,
We agreed we could carpool since we’re going the same way.
We had good talks about all sorts of things,
then realized what kind of closeness that brings.
We both had been burned by the dating game,
so weren’t quite ready for me to change my name.
But there was no denying we were a great team
and today under one roof we share ice cream.
Almost eight years and five children later,
I can’t think of one who completes me better.

Tell your love story! Check out other stories at Barb’s.

Where I Was…

The morning of September 11, 2001 started out as no different than any other morning. Big A was a toddler, and I was pregnant with Big S. Luke was at school, and we were at home, not doing much. Luke calls me on the phone, and right away asks me if I’m watching ‘it’ on TV. I kinda chuckle and tell him, no, we don’t watch TV in the morning, A just wants to veg when it is on. He’s real serious, and I go turn it on. On CBS I see the two towers, and one has been hit with a plane. Dan Rather is doing his best to maintain a steady voice, and to keep viewers informed on what looks like an accidental plane crash into a building. Then the second plane hits the other tower, and I melt. Dan Rather does, too, for a few seconds, then recovers and keeps on talking. From then on, I am glued to the TV, holding Big A tightly and crying. Then the towers are falling and I have such a feeling of loss in my gut, like when I once realized my ticket to an OSU game had been stolen from my back pocket, only a hundred times worse.
I had arranged to bring a shut-in from our church a meal that night, and wasn’t sure if I was supposed to go out, after all that was happening. Were there more cities still to be attacked? When Luke got home from school, we took the meal. While in the car passing all the manicured lawns and nice cars and restaurants and billboards and Kroger and CVS, I had a very real sense that everything was different now, that if any of this material world had a hold on me, it was decidedly less, now that I had just witnessed so many people’s lives taken from them in a matter of minutes. Now that I realized my life could be over as quickly.
I loved hearing the stories that came out afterward- brave firefighters, oh-so-brave Todd Beamer, people who were supposed to be in the buildings at the time, but for some reason were running late that morning. Providentially saved.
I read recently that many families of the victims have a hard time with 9/11 being talked about constantly. I can imagine it might be a little like everybody I know saying, I remember the day Don (my father in-law) died, over and over to me, whenever we meet. That would be weird.
But this was a national tragedy, and their loved ones just happened to be involved in an attack on our country, so I am sure most deal with the constant attention with grace.
My prayer is that we learn all we can from that day:
-be united when it comes to things that matter
-be always ready to help someone in need
-be in prayer for our nation’s leaders; they have a tough job!
-show my appreciation toward firefighters, police, and rescue workers when I cross paths with them
-live each day like it might be the last
I don’t believe this will be the only national crisis I will see in my lifetime, so it would be good if I practice these things I have learned.
P.S. I realized today that I have had four children since 9/11. And I have been pregnant five times. In Five Years. Woah.


Yesterday the kids were sick, and it created a lot of dirty laundry. I fell into a rhythm of washing, switching to dryer, and folding the resulting clean clothes. This went on all day. I thought about the areas of the world where there is no such thing as running water in one’s house. Or clean water anywhere nearby. What do they do when a little one is sick all over everything? The time it would take to get everything clean (before the sickness would spread from the dirty things to other people) would be greatly multiplied. How wonderful to be able to wash clothes quickly and efficiently! We are even able to clean our carpets (thanks, Mom and Dad) when they get dirty. What wealth we have in just our clean running water and our washer and dryer.
Today I started the process of switching the kids’ clothes from warm weather to cold weather. First let me say that we are so blessed to always have more hand-me-down clothes than we’ll ever wear, so I rarely have to go out and buy something. Up until this season, I have kept extra clothing stored in my mother-in-law’s basement. The arrangement was good and bad. We liked being able to go down there for what we needed from time to time, but there were way too many clothes! This summer I worked at cutting back and am keeping only enough for the elders this winter, for little A, and clothes for a baby (0-12m boy or girl) if we have more children. This month I want to take time to look hard at areas I am overdoing it. Hoarding the kids’ clothes is one area.This fall, they will have a lot less in their drawers, but I doubt they will even notice- they tend to want to wear the same 3 outfits over and over. This is what they’ll have:
5 casual outfits
2 church outfits
1 pr sneakers
1 pr dress shoes
1 pr casual shoes
2-3 pj outfits
I got the boys done this morning, and will work on the girls through this week. It will be cold and wet for at least the next week, so we already need the warm clothes.
Again, how many children in the world only have the clothes on their backs? Even my children’s minimum seems luxurious.