Silly Kids and Scooters

Today the sun was out and the temperature was warm (relatively speaking). The younger children and I went to BSF in the morning while the older kids went to PE. It’s a busy household. David thanked me profusely for taking him to BSF and not making him go to PE. Hmmm. Not sure what that means since he has complained about BSF in past. I think all the activity at the Y is wearing him out. I decided he was getting enough swimming time in on the other days of the week and he could have the day off. I did, however, take Sarah to her gymnastics class (slipping out of BSF early). David was thrilled to have some free time to play in the gymnastics room. There was only one class meeting at that time and there was plenty of space for him to run around and enjoy the different equipment.

david and sarah

We have been waiting for a break in the cold, snowy weather to present Sarah with a scooter. Rachel, Daniel and David all received scooters for Christmas (and adore them) and so Tim was tickled to find one on clearance that was just Sarah’s size. It has been hidden away in the garage until the sun deigned to make it’s appearance again. Today was that day!!

sarah's scooter

scooter 1

The other scooters came assembled but this one required a little bit of work. Joshua, of course, took that job over immediately.


what could it be?

What is in the box???

He did beautifully until it came to one point – getting a safety cap on the end of the axle. He tried and tried. I tried and tried. Daniel tried. We were all a little frustrated.

joshua and the wheel
david and the wheel

Finally Daniel set out for some masking tape (“maybe we can tape the thing on and then pound it with the hammer”) and I went to consult Tim. The next few minutes were a blur. Somehow I missed the big breakthrough (should have been there to capture it on film) but Tim figured out some way to get the rascally piece on.

sarah smiles

sarah waits

Sarah waits patiently for her big brother to finish putting together her scooter. She knows he will be successful!

almost ready

Sarah gleefully set off to try out her scooter. She was rather unsure on her feet at first but finally got it working. The children played outside for a nice long time.

sarah ready to ride

While the rest of the group was at AWANA this evening, Rachel went out for hot cocoa with Miss Bobbi from church. Bobbi has served in ROCK (5th and 6th graders) for several years but is currently on hiatus. A few months ago I approached her about spending some time one-on-one with Rachel and, to my delight, she accepted. I am so pleased that Rachel will have another godly woman in her life.

rachel and bobbi

After hot cocoa, the girls returned home and we introduced Bobbi to Sleeping Queens and Heximoes. When the rest of the family returned, David and Sarah rushed in to see “who is this Miss Bobbi.” David, in his inimitable style, immediately said, “She looks way younger than I thought she was.” Lol!! We all laughed and laughed. I have to wonder just who he thought she was and how “old” he suspected her to be. Bobbi came to our Christmas party in December but there were many people there and I don’t think David particularly noticed her. He certainly does bring laughter into our family.

I have some adorable pictures of David and Sarah on the stairs but they are so interesting I have to save them for another blog. They will be perfect for a tale of some sort.


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Project 365 – Day 24 (Wed-D)

It’s Daniel’s (age 9) Special Day.


I think today a resigned acceptance of his stance as the Middle Child came over Daniel. He told me that his Special Day was on Wednesday, the middle of the week (a rather unfortunate day since we have church activities in the evening) and that it didn’t matter if Daddy started with the youngest or the oldest, either way he would be right there in the middle.

It is interesting to contemplate how birth order affects the children. Daniel is right, smack dab in the middle of the family with a brother and sister older than him and a brother and sister younger than him. Most of the time this is extraordinarily fun – he has a wealth of resources for play available to him. He can play difficult games of strategy and logic or he can drive Match Box cars around on the floor. He can tackle his big brother, using some real strength in the ‘fight’ or he can snuggle up on Big Blue with his little sister and read books. He can play with a group (if you define group as a rather small amount of people) of boys or girls.

On the other hand, it can be difficult to be in the middle. You aren’t the oldest – the first to do things, given responsibility and the chance to shine – and you aren’t the youngest – cute, amusing and precocious. What is left?

Thankfully Daniel does find many ways to shine as the middle child. Because of his placement in the family he is helpful with the younger two (easily playing with them) and still a fun peer to the older two.

daniel and sarah

Here Daniel celebrates with Sarah over her new scooter.

Daniel brings many challenges to the family but many joys as well. We have begun a new study of Proverbs in our school time. My Bible reading plan goes through Proverbs every month. I decided there was so much meat in the chapters that I wanted to read them with the children, but I desired to find a way for the passages to come alive and be interesting. I came up with the simple idea of using part of our school time to go through each verse one by one – having the children take turns reading and explaining the Proverb aloud. Brilliant!

I make sure we each have the same version of the Bible (for simplicity sake) and have the children start with verse one and continue on through the chapter. I am pleased with how much the kids understand and how willing they are to spend a rather significant amount of time studying Proverbs. Daniel and I did a portion of a Proverbs devotional workbook last year. I had intended it to be something he did on his own but that didn’t prove to be successful. He had a hard time understanding the questions and how to find the answers in the Bible passage. It is remarkable to me how much he has improved in his comprehension and understanding in just a year’s time. One of my great desires for Daniel is that the wisdom found in the Bible (and especially Proverbs) would penetrate his heart and mind and that he would grow to be the “wise son [who] brings joy to his father.” Proverbs 15:20a.


This, of course, is NOT a picture of our Bible reading time.

This has been a difficult year for Daniel in the area of friendships. His cousin moved to Norway, his best friend moved to Thailand, two other friends from church went to Africa for the year, and recently his good friend from co-op moved to Kentucky. That’s a lot of loss in a young boy’s life. Through it all, however, Daniel maintains a hopeful, cheerful spirit. He is an incredibly resilient boy in many ways. Already he has made some new friends in the homeschooling PE classes at the Y. I have no doubt he will find some fun companions for this year’s adventures.

He is our Middle Child and well do we love him.


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Project 365 – Day 23 (Tues-R)

It’s Rachel’s Special Day. Hooray for Rachel (age 11). She is our oldest daughter and well do we love her. What a blessing it is to partner with Tim to raise Rachel up as a child of the King.


We went to the Y this afternoon – met Tim there – and played wallyball. Rachel is getting to be quite the skilled player. She and Tim were on the same team for a long time and they played really well together. I was impressed with how much she has improved and how often she was able to successfully return the ball (unlike me – I’m afraid I’m the only one in the family who seems to be getting worse).

We had a vegetable, pork, rice stir-fry for dinner. It was delicious although one child said it had too many veggies. In my estimation, as a mom striving to feed your family healthy foods, if you only have one out of five children complain about the quantity of vegetables served, you are doing REALLY well. Ha!

Tim got a telephone call in the middle of dinner so the children started without him and then slipped off to watch a movie so he and I could enjoy some time alone. It turned out to be a lovely hour of discussion and prayer. I am really falling in love with regular, lengthy prayer with my husband. What a powerful thing to bring to our marriage.

After the movie, Rachel chose to play The Awful Green Things from Outer Space. It is a two player game that we stole/ borrowed/ re-claimed from Tim’s parents game collection. I haven’t ever played it so I can’t give a detailed review. We’ll have to get Rachel and Joshua to chime in when they can. I’d love to see the children contribute more to the blog.

game timetim and rachelgame

Joshua was there as counsel for Rachel and family photographer. He took these picture for me. Sarah, David and I read books on the new chair while the rest of the family was playing nearby. I know there is much speculation and wonder about what we are going to call the new chair. Or maybe there wasn’t any speculation or wonder at all (much more likely). Still, if the chair is going to truly have a place in our home, it needs a name. We call the double recliner that sits in the living room and is the ultimate spot for reading school books, Big Blue. We call the small blue recliner Little Blue (not very creative but it does get the point across). So you can see that beloved, well used pieces of furniture have to have names.

Rachel and I thought and thought and came up with….(drum roll) Cream Puff for the new chair. We thought it was perfect – describes the color, sounds tasty, and captures the soft, comfy essence of the chair. Already we are meeting some intense resistance. Joshua hates it and Tim is shocked we would name His Chair without him. Hmmm. We’ll see if the name survives. I wonder if we also need a catchy title for the couch. Any creative ideas?? Let me know.

Of course, I just realized my Orange Chair hasn’t been christened so that either shoots a hole in my theory or says something deeper about the chair itself. In reality we aren’t that creative of a family. My nana had a gift for naming things that always seemed to fit perfectly. Maybe I’ll start calling the orange chair, L’Orange (with a beautiful French accent). That does pose some problems if we ever have it re-upholstered but it’s too late in the evening to think of everything.

Back to Rachel’s blog. Sarah picked Cream Puff as our reading destination (usually we would retire to Big Blue). Everyone loves the new comfy chair. Daniel was on the computer enjoying some game time. It was noisy with music playing in the background, computer game sounds in another corner and a board game in the center of the room but it was family and we were all together. What a precious time! I am so thankful for a husband who encourages focused together time. It takes attention and energy and a decision to make it happen. I am thankful for the way he sacrifices his time and personal interests in favor of building up our family. It is Not easy but the rewards are priceless.

book time

Rachel and I wanted to do a tribute to the special friends in her life but we ran out of time and night fell upon us too quickly. Rachel picked The Voyage of the Dawn Treader as her read-aloud for the evening and Tim read several chapters. The little ones went up to bed and I worked on my BSF in the living room. I tried to keep my interruptions to a minimum (“Why was Lucy all by herself? What did the monopods look like before they were ‘uglified’? How did the man get off the dream island and on to their boat?”). I mean, really, I was doing my BSF, not listening. It was their fault for being so interesting right when I was trying to do my Bible study.

Rachel and I will try to work on the friendship blog during the week and have it ready for next Tuesday.

We love Rachel!! She is a delight. She is helpful and witty and sincere and curious and passionate and knowledgeable about scriptures and on and on. As my mother likes to say, a very satisfactory daughter.


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Happy Birthday Aunt Kate

happy b day

Today is my mother and her twin sister’s birthday. We love them both so dearly. The kids shared a few words for their beloved Aunt Kate. Rachel made this sign and will share her thoughts tomorrow.

Aunt Kate (aka Kathy) is the most wonderful aunt a person could ever want. She is loving and kind and encouraging. She is compassionate and merciful and bubbly. She reaches out to the people around her and loves them as friends without reserve. She is wise and affirming and supportive beyond measure.

Every year we try to visit my parents at their summer home in TX; without fail the children (that usually includes Tim and myself) BEG to have Aunt Kate come and join us. It just isn’t proper to have a family gathering without her there. We understand (in the back of our minds) that she has her own children and grandchildren but we greedily claim her as OUR OWN.

I Peter 4:8-11 describes much of how Aunt Kate lives her life:

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Aunt Kate loves deeply – she will tell you that she has seen how God’s love can transform the heart and bring about healing and true love.

Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Kathy opens her home to friends and family with a generous heart. She loves people with a whole heart.

Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. Kathy lives out God’s grace in the way she loves those around her, accepting them where they are and with all their faults and foibles, walking along side them.

If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. I have hardly ever known anyone who speaks words of encouragement and comfort with such truth and love as Aunt Kate. You have been blessed if you spend time in conversation with her.

If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.Kathy serves faithfully and consistently – in her church, in her family, in her community. Even when weary or busy, she reaches out to claim Christ’s strength to work through her.

Truly she is an amazing person and well do we love her!!!

Here are some words from the children.

David – Have a good birthday, Aunt Kate. I hope you come and see us sometime. Thank you for sometimes giving me presents. I miss you very much. Are you going to have cake on your birthday? I really want for you to come over because I miss you. I just want to see you so much. Have a good time with your sister, Mamie. Thank you for letting me stay at your house at Texas. I really liked it.

david and daniel
Daniel and David, getting ready for bed, at Aunt Kate and Uncle Jerry’s home in Texas.

Daniel – Happy Birthday, Aunt Kate. Did you get any presents for your birthday? What were they? Thank you for the popcorn at Christmas. It was delicious. I liked it when we were with you in Texas. Did you like the photo book about Fort Clark? I miss you. I hope you come and see us.

Sarah – Happy Birthday to you! You look like Mamie.

sarah outside
Sarah – sitting in the windowsill of the sunroom in Aunt Kate’s TX home.

Joshua- Happy birthday Aunt Kate, I hope you had a happy birthday I love you.


Joshua – relaxing in Aunt Kate’s TX porch.

Kathy (proud to be named after her beloved aunt)

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Project 365 – Day 22 (Mon-J)

Joshua holds a balloon in honor of Mamie and Aunt Kate’s birthday. See Happy Birthday blogs ( MamieAunt Kate) to read more.

happy bday

P.S. See, Tim I took your advice. A nice short blog. LOL!

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