Saturday, December 5, 2009

Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

For his birthday, Dave informed me that I had given him tickets to a KU basketball game, and he took his favorite 5-year-old fan to his first big game.

There was a bit of suspense when Alcorn State scored the first 4 points of the game, but KU then went on a 36-point scoring streak and ended all drama. Nate learned the rules of play, witnessed many slam-dunks, and had an all-around great guy time.
They came home at 11pm with a sleepy but glowing little guy. His dad was rather glowy himself.

Saturday, October 31, 2009


Five years of boyish blessing, five years of long hugs, five years of careful observation, five years of deep thoughts, five years of trying to be just like Daddy. We're so thankful for five years with Nathan.

To celebrate, we spent a day in Lawrence, exploring the KU campus and enjoying the natural history museum.

We also ate amazing pizza, found my new favorite tea shop, listened to Jacob cheerfully call out "Jayhawk!" every time one came into view, and stopped the entire family whenever Ammo needed to attend to her baby's "needs".

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tea Time

Most every day, after putting the Little Force of Destruction down for his afternoon nap, the remaining kids and I gather from the far corners of the house and yard and assemble for tea. This has become one of our favorite routines, taking a drift-aimlessly-around-the-house time of day and making it instead a time of savoring.

We savor our hot tea--gingerbread spice is the kids' favorite, while I cozy up to Earl Grey--and modest snack.

We savor poetry. The kids adore the lyrical language, and our only rule is that no one interrupts during the reading of a poem. Every week or so they will clamor for me to help them memorize a poem that has struck their fancy, so that they have a growing log of beautiful words and rhythmic thought filling their little minds. You should see the grin spread across Nathan's face as he recites

"There was a young lady from Niger
Who smiled as she rode on a tiger.
They returned from the ride
With the lady inside
And the smile on the face of the tiger."

And it is a time of savoring one another. When we are through, the kids often dismiss to a "moops," which, if you have never read The Penderwicks, means nothing to you, but to them it is an all-important kids only meeting, usually conducted in our stall shower.

We have done this in a hit-and-miss sort of way since Julia was 3, but this year it has become an indispensable element of our joy-filled days.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Why we home educate

People often ask, "Why do you homeschool your kids?" In response, they often get a fuzzy pros-and-cons sort of answer. But when it comes right down to it, this is why I homeschool:

Because God made this incredibly huge, unspeakably beautiful, mind-bogglingly complex universe rather than a simple black, empty sky.

Or take a simple blade of grass, which is tread underfoot or chewed by ruminants, and look closely: GOD PUT HAIRS ON EACH BLADE!

Why? Why did He bother to make such common things so intricately, fascinatingly, wondrously beautiful? Why did He create the heavens to be so vast, so varied, so undiscoverable?

Because everything from the galaxies to the grass bears His fingerprint, in which the close observer can discover traces of His amazing creativity, limitless power, intimate care.

As I educate my kids, I see the world for the first time all over again and feel the wonder of discovery. I strive daily to stoke the flames of awe in their little hearts rather than quenching them with wonder-killing "scientific" explanations and laws of "nature". I point with my children and say, Behold our God!

Moving from the book of nature to that of history, I can show them that there is nothing new under the sun, and that the wisdom that comes from fearing God applies in every time and place. We see that tyranny is mankind's continual default, and that all historical solutions--whether monarchy, socialism, democracy, feudalism, oligarchy--have ultimately failed to solve this problem, because it is a problem of the heart.

I can introduce them to art and music and poetry that fill them with affection and praise for our holy God, showing them true beauty rather than the Satan-hijacked imposter which so quickly turns our affections to baser things.

There are so many useful occupations I can train their hands to do, so many lofty goals and ideals I can instill in their little hearts, so many noble examples of godliness, bravery, and steadfastness that I can put before their eyes.

Keeping them home is by no means the only way we can do these things, but it is the way we have chosen.

We homeschool because we want to help our children to see the God-saturatedness of absolutely everything. We homeschool because we want to train them up in the way they should go, in every area of life. And we homeschool because I love it.

Friday, September 25, 2009

We're Off!

Thanks to two brave families who have taken our little ones for the weekend, Dave and I are headed to Minneapolis for a weekend of refreshment! We're so excited--it's like summer camp for married people!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Take Wings and Soar

Consider how great things
The Lord has done for you;
O let your soul take wings
And praise His love anew.
Resist the downward pull and soar,
And sing whom you adore.

Look up, look up, arise
Above the clinging earth;
He waiteth to surprise
The quickened heart with mirth.
Resist the downward pull and soar
And sing whom you adore.

~Amy Carmichael

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Soccer Season

After patiently watching his sister for two seasons, Nathan finally got his chance to play with the big boys this year!

He got to play on the same team with his buddy from church

And his coach was one amazingly cute guy. I couldn't take my eyes off him!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Our backyard just got a lot more exciting!

The Ringmaster has been laboring,

The kids have been playing,

And the Trainer has actually managed to find some quiet moments with the kids so happily diverted!

Monday, August 24, 2009

When I am tempted to call service mundane...

There is no great with Thee; there is no small,
For Thou art all, and fillest all in all.

~Amy Carmichael

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

First day of school!

For Miss B, the first day of first grade

Nate hates to be left out, so we'll call this the first day of Preschool (which involves lots of K'nex and not much else).

And for Ammo, yet another day of being adorable.

Friday, June 26, 2009

It's out!

After weeks of waiting, a treacherous encounter with Grandma and dental floss, and some persistent wiggling, the first top tooth came out! Miss B was overjoyed, although a bit concerned that a proper flower girl shouldn't have a big gap in her mouth. After we reassured her that it would make her all the cuter, she rushed to find the tooth fairy pillow and settled in for a prosperous night. Up at 6am to collect her earnings, she dashed about in joy, and before I could stop her, she found... THE TOOTH. On my sink. Whoops! After thinking it over for a while, she brought me this letter to leave out tonight.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Look Who's Three!

Three years ago we received this unspeakably precious gift.

Her road was not as smooth as parents always wish for their children, but the bumps have shaped her in ways that only our Wise and loving Father could have foreseen. We are so thankful for her life, and we celebrate the delightful little girl she has become! Here are some highlights from her special day:

Our little architect

"Mommy, look what I made! Does it look like the temple Jesus is building in heaven?"

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Visiting the Land of Cheese

We've finally recovered from a GREAT visit up north. I braved two 11-hour drives with 4 kiddos under 5 with only minor mishaps, and we managed, in the course of one week, to play in parks in Kansas, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Missouri! Nate, our map master, practiced tracing out our route for a week in advance, and could tell me what state we'd be in next, what rivers we crossed, etc. He'll be my navigator in no time!

Once in Wisconsin, the time went WAY too fast. The brief rundown:

Caleb treated everyone to a hot cocoa, all the cousins paired up all week and still claim to be bestbestbest friends, we took lots of walks, played in parks, saw ducks and geese with their young, and ate Aunt Jen's good cookin'; Jake spent the week running away from Evelyn and chose the top bunk as his favorite hideout(he was adept at getting both up and down--yikes!); and as you'll see, we made several valiant efforts at capturing the elusive group shot!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Cookie Monster

Mmmm... Warm cookies. I bet I could snag one before anyone even notices...

Busted! That didn't work.

I'll try a different technique...

Easy does it...


Quick--get to em before I'm stopped!

Boy, I'm good.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Fun with clippers

Our favorite barber came over to give me lessons on cutting Nathan's impossible hair. It took a little longer than usual, but he was oh-so-patient (note the expression), and looks oh-so-much-better!!

Friday, April 3, 2009

A Visit from Bado

When Bado comes to town...

The weather shows off

The kids show off

Tackle football happens in the house

Babies begin to walk

A plethora of books are read

And everyone wishes it could go on and on!