Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Swing

It struck me recently that I have gradually exited the pushing-kiddos-on-swings era. Nostalgia mingled sorrow with joy as I thought back on the countless hours spent propelling little ones high into the air, delighting in their giggles and shrieks, my heart soaring along with their little bodies, as I recited to them--oh, how many hundreds of times?--this poem by Robert Louis Stevenson.
The Swing

How do you like to go up in a swing,

Up in the air so blue?

 Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing

 Ever a child can do!

 Up in the air

And over the wall
 Till I can see so wide,

River and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside--

Till I look down on the garden green,

Down on the roof so brown--

 Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air

And down.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Star Wars, Age 6

Not so very long ago, in a backyard not so far away....
 Exuberant young boys engaged in intensive Jedi Training.

They learned to intimidate their opponents,
 vanquish Darth Vader in effigy,
defeat the enemy from a distance,
engage in saber-to-saber combat in small, enclosed spaces,
 and develop stamina with a vigorous exercise regimen. 
  All this in preparation for the big moment... When it was discovered that the enemy, Darth Vader himself, had (dramatic music) Stolen The Birthday Gifts!
The clue led us to the closed garage, which the young Jedis needed to open by using... THE FORCE!
 Inside, the dark Lord Vader towered over the pile of presents, and dared all to fight him. 
 Lucky to escape with his life, he forsook the Dark Side and became the birthday slave. 
Kneel before Master Nathan!
Now get out of here... But leave the cake to us!
In a few years, we may have a sequel...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Something you don't see every day

So Nathan was reading one of his early-reader books, "Tiny the Snow Dog," and I happened to notice the illustrator's dedication:
To the One who loves all the children
of the world--Jesus Christ,
my Redeemer.

Huh.  Never seen anything quite like that before.  Curious, I pulled out a few other books in the series (Nathan adores all of them) and found other interesting dedicationsby the illustrator, Rich Davis:

In "When Tiny Was Tiny" it reads:
To my beautiful mom who nurtured
my creative gift since birth and who
prayed me into God's kingdom.  I love you!

From "Tiny's Bath":
To my ninety-five-year-old grandmother,
Gaga, who showed me how to love laughter,
a good story, and God.  I love you.

In "Tiny Goes to the Library",
To Angie, my wife and best friend:
I'm so glad God brought us together
to make a home.  I love you!

How often do you see dedications like those?  BTW, the books are all super cute.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Gone Fishin'

 We took advantage of a picture-perfect early Autumn day to do some fishing in a friend's lake...
 Ammo caught a fish of her own, but was perfectly content to relax in her "little cute pink chair" and observe the rest of the action.
 Nathan was in little boy heaven--this kid LOVES the outdoors, and relishes every opportunity to do "guy-stuff outside"
Jakey reeled in the prize-winner, but spent most of the morning playing with the worms.

Miss B quote of the day: "You know, I often miss living in California.  But when we do things like this, I don't miss it so much!"

I second that.

Monday, September 27, 2010


Miss B. greeted me at the breakfast table with this spontaneous little poem, composed after glimpsing a bare branch through the window:


The trees are bare,
Their leaves nowhere.
Snowflakes fall on the trees,
Happy days begin to freeze.
But winter days have just begun,
Throwing snowballs is lots of fun!
We sled down steep hills,
What--more tumbles??
Now comes Christmas, quiet, fun,
And winter's just begun.

Often, rather than simply saying something like, "I'm excited for winter to come!" she'll write a poem, and has done so since she first learned to write--she just loves the sound of words, the varying rhythms, the lingual dance. 

Just one of the many little drops of delight with which she showers our days.  There's nobody quite like Julia.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Not sure if you'd heard...

You saw it here first, folks.  Stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

School Days!

 The kiddos were chomping at the bit to get started with the school year. They ADORE our Ambleside Online curriculum and eagerly pored over this year's book list, giving their opinions as to which free reading books we ought to start first, recalling their favorite historical figures from last year, and chanting out their Spanish vocabulary. It is such a joy to teach kids who love to learn!

 You've never seen a more excited Preschooler!
Our four delights.  We are unspeakably blessed.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Old Stomping Grounds

After years of Jayhawk indoctrination and various excursions to the KU campus in Lawrence,
we finally took the kiddos to the mighty hills of Westwood...
They were appropriately impressed.

What do you think, any future Bruins among them?

Afterwards, we enjoyed legendary Diddy Riese cookies on the beach at Santa Monica.
Hey, whatever it takes to make them dream of UCLA at night!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Just like Grandma

Or Bado, as she's known around here.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Our strong-willed child

He insisted on dressing himself for bed.
We pick our battles around here.
(Notice the chigger bites on the underwear line---poor Kansas boy!)


A house built by their great-great-grandfather
long walks to the lake
swimming with frogs and chasing lizards
echoes of memories from their mother's childhood
mining quartz on the hill above the house
dusty sunsets
a night sky unlike anything they've even imagined--
A fifth generation falls in love with Tweedy.