Category Archives: Joshua

14 Things I Love About My Boy

  1. He loves Jesus. My son is serious about being a fully-devoted disciple of Jesus and he orders his life in obedience to the scripture. He studies his Bible and goes with me to prayer meetings from time to time.
  2. Joshua is kind. He sword-fights with David, reads books to Sarah, plays with Rachel and Daniel and helps them with their schoolwork.
  3. He likes to laugh. Even the dumbest jokes that I tell, often get at least a chuckle. He has a hearty, un-self-conscious laugh that delights the listener’s soul. One of my favorite things to do is to watch him read one of my funny blogs.
  4. Joshua loves to read. Whether it is whipping through Ivanhoe or savoring Losing Joe’s Place, he has a keen appetite for good books.
  5. how do I choose what to read today?
    So many books, so little time.

  6. He is a faithful servant. Just try keeping him away from church, when tables or chairs need to be set up or taken down. And don’t get between him and the car when groceries need to be unloaded!
  7. Joshua loves games, the more complicated, the better. Whenever I want a good game of Puerto Rico, Citadels or Settlers of Catan, my son is all over it. Sometimes he lets me win, too.
  8. He is an excellent baker and cook, delighting the family with delicious meals and confections. Always one who likes to know where his next meal is coming from, his can be counted on for simple but hearty fare.
  9. Joshua is creative and inventive — his stories and drawings are sure to delight and amuse audiences young and old alike.
  10. He is an excellent actor, with a superb stage-presence and flair for the dramatic. I still get a chuckle whenever I think of his portrayal of Mr. Wunderman in Comic Book Artist a couple of years ago.
  11. The head honcho himself
    Joshua played an “old” man rather convincingly.

  12. Joshua has nearly perfect memory, and can be relied upon to have the correct details about almost any event (for which he was present). Coupled with good story-telling skills, he can always be relied upon as our resident historian.
  13. He is scrupulously honest, to the point that I am more likely to doubt myself than I am to doubt him.
  14. Joshua has a passion for history, particularly the Civil War, and can name all the U.S. Presidents, in order (something I never learned to do). He is probably the only person you know (if you know him) who can give you a detailed assessment of Millard Fillmore’s Presidency.
  15. He is gentle and careful with his strength, a quality I am coming to appreciate more, now that he is taller than me.
  16. Joshua listens carefully to what I say and seems genuinely interested in learning from me. He even pretends to like my Army stories.

joshua's tavern sign
Rachel and Tim designed this sign for Joshua’s room. Rachel did the painting.

I’m sure Joshua has his faults — he is, after all, descended from sinners whose only claim to fame is that they were loved and chosen by Jesus. But we’ll save the discussion of his shortcomings for his Anti-Birthday, to be held on the 18th of April.

Project 365 – Day 291

Share or follow

Related posts:

Happy Birthday, Joshua!!

Dear Joshua,

Good morning! It tickles me that you come down every day and read the blog first thing. Soon you’ll need a warm blanket to ward off the morning chill. Settle in to my comfy chair and let me be the first to wish you a happy birthday. We’ll just call this little blog my Birthday Note to you. :)

I am so proud of you, Joshua! You are an amazing 14 year old and I am constantly struck with wonder that God placed you in our family and allows me to be your mother. You are growing to be an intelligent, kind, careful, diligent, serving, fun, and godly young man. I love hearing your thoughts on books, friendship, youth group and life’s daily events.

I looked aside for just a minute and turned back to find you confidently striding down the path to adulthood. How did that happen?

Merry Christmas!

The years go by too quickly.

Thank you for being kind and patient with your brothers and sisters. Thank you for holding me accountable in areas of purity, honesty and self-lessness. Thank you for modeling obedience and a cheerful spirit. Thank you for wrestling David, talking with Rachel, tickling Sarah, and playing with Daniel.

Joshua, you are a true servant and I am so grateful for all the ways you serve and bless our family every day. I love your passionate and creative mind, your discipline and strength of character. I admire the way you think through things carefully and hold firm to your convictions.

It would take too long to list all the ways in which you have added joy to my life and sweetness to our family. I have to leave something for your father and grandparents, friends and family to share as well.

The proverbs of Solomon: A wise son brings joy to his father… (Proverbs 10:1 a)

Your father and I pray earnestly for you. We pray that you will continue to walk steadfastly with the Lord, that you will have a deep and abiding relationship with Jesus Christ, that you will be pure and righteous, that you will be wise in your time and friendships, that you will treasure God’s Word in your heart, and that you will live for Him.

holding up the wall

Just another day in the life of a teenage boy.

Happy Birthday, Beloved Son!


Share or follow

Related posts:

Dishes Anyone?

What would you do with a young man, about to turn 14, who FORGOT to do the dinner dishes? Yes, Joshua, my oldest son, was so engrossed in his Carcassonne game with his father that he forgot to wash the dishes. He didn’t even appear to give the job a second thought. I came home from a baby shower and was sure to remind him of his responsibilities.

I mean, isn’t this why we have children, so they will wash the dishes and do the laundry?

joshua takes his turn

Maybe Joshua and Tim had a little wager on the ole Carcassonne game and the loser was responsible for the kitchen clean up. Yes, that must be it. That would explain that smile on Joshua’s face. He’s sure he’s about to win.

So how come it’s after midnight, everyone is bed and I’m up washing dishes? I guess I lost.

And yet with a husband who initiates Special Days with his children and a teenager who WANTS to spend time with his father, I think it’s far more fitting to say I won. Those dishes suddenly look a little sweeter.

Project 365 – Day 284

Share or follow

Related posts:

The Three Amigos

This evening we picked up two of Joshua’s friends on our way to church. Both boys’ mothers are recovering from leg injuries (one had hip surgery). We giggled a bit at the thought of them getting together and hobbling about on crutches or lounging with their feet up while the children (9 of them between the two families) cleaned the house.

When we arrived at church, I hopped out of the running car to take a quick picture. I made asked the boys to stand near each other for the picture. “Pretend you like each other,” I shouted in my best photographer voice.

joshua, tom and timothy

Can we please go to youth group now, Mom?

“Why is your mom taking our picture?” One of the boys asked.
“She always has her camera with her, it’s just a thing she does these days,” was Joshua’s reply, not embarrassed, just resigned.

I never could get the boys to stand very close. The one where I suggested they put their arms around each other came out looking like Joshua was about to throttle one of the other young men. I thought it best to be kept off the blog.

In the end I settled for, “Stand still.”

Project 365 – Day 262

Share or follow

Related posts:

Never Ending Dodge Ball

One of the delightful things about having a houseful of children is that we almost always have enough people to play games. When I was growing up, it was much more difficult to put together a good game with the resources at hand:

Me: “Hey, Mark, how ’bout we go play a game of tag?”
Mark: “Who are we playing with?”
Me: “I figure you … and me … and Posie … ?”
Mark: “Beat it, kid, I’m gonna draw instead.”

The mighty flee before the weak
“The swift cannot flee nor the strong escape.” (Jeremiah 46:6a)

As it turned out, Mark was actually drawing up operational orders for armored-cavalry attacks on defenseless villages, a valuable skill which stood him in good stead in later years. Posie, though she was often willing, was too little to be a credible opponent in any game, six years younger than me and nine years junior to Mark. I usually had to find other ways to amuse myself with her. For the record, there are no witnesses to her wild claim that I put her in the clothes-dryer … although if anyone could use 40 minutes on “medium permanent press,” it would be her. (I love you, Poz!) :)

“In my day,” I tell the children, “Kids had to make do with ghost runners, ghost batters, ghost umpires, and even ghost spectators. I once played a whole game of baseball with just myself and three aluminum cans!”

“Right, Dad,” sneers my son, Weasel. “And I’ll bet you walked seven miles uphill both ways through blinding snow to get to the ballfield, too!”

I was hurt. I’m pretty sure that tale featured a hailstorm, not snow at all! Those kids just don’t pay attention anymore, when I tell my stories. But enough about me. Really.

This week Joshua invented a new game, which he christened “Never Ending Dodge Ball”. Organized dodgeball is one of his favorite games, and he greatly enjoys playing variants of the game at the gym in church or at the YMCA. As often happens, his creative brain came up with a version that can be played in our own backyard.

Rachel closes in for the kill
Rachel (like the Royal Canadian Mounties) can boast: “I always get my man … “

The rules to his never-ending variant are fairly simple:

Anyone who can find a nerf ball can throw it at any other player who is ‘alive’.
You must actually throw the ball at another player, you can’t tag them with it.
If you are hit by a ball (before it hits the ground) and don’t catch it, you’re ‘dead’.
When you are ‘dead’, you have to lie down on the ground (unless you are fussy about bugs, in which case you can squat).
If you have a ball and you are ‘killed’, you must hold the ball up so that anyone who is ‘alive’ can take it from your hand.
As soon as someone is ‘killed’ after you, you are restored to ‘life’ again.
If you happen to still have a ball when you are made ‘alive’, you are free to use it immediately.
If someone is newly ‘alive’, they must be allowed five seconds to get to their feet and run away.
You may never handle more than one ball at a time.
Hits in the head don’t count.

Turn-about is fair play
One moment you’re a predator, the next you’re prey …

Since there are two, three and sometimes four balls in play, the game can become quite interesting, with players chasing one another only to be hit in the back by someone they weren’t watching. Sarah adds a special wrinkle to the game, since she has a special little ball that only she can pick up (she is little, and couldn’t get the other nerf balls before her siblings swooped them away).

Sarah attacks, ruthlessly
It is easy to become distracted in a standoff with another player, only to feel a gentle ‘poink’ in the back as Sarah sneaks up and assassinates you.

The game has several cheerful advantages:

  • It can be played in a fairly small space, and boundaries don’t really matter.
  • Players are rarely ‘dead’ for very long, which is nice for younger players, low on patience.
  • The game seems equally fun for players from 5 to 41.
  • It can be played for a short or long time (or until enough players get hurt and go inside, crying).

A Mexican Standoff goes sour
“Mutually-Assured Destruction” is more than just a political slogan, in this game.

It certainly doesn’t hurt that my children are very kind to one another. They are careful not to run roughshod over the little ones, and they stick scrupulously to the rules. They good-naturedly allow the younger kids to catch them, and they throw the ball gently to avoid injury (well, most of the time). I am always very proud whenever I think about how considerate and loving they are to each other — surely, we are greatly blessed by the redemptive work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of these five rascals.

Rigor mortis sets in
Daniel takes ‘death’ very seriously …

By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. — John 13:35
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. — Ephesians 4:2

Daniel pays off a penalty
Of course, injuries happen, and sometimes there is a penalty of five or ten push-ups for unnecessary roughness. Wasn’t it kind of Sarah to count the reps for Daniel?

Altogether, the kids probably played this game for more than an hour, today. David went off to bed with a bounce in his step:

David: “Josh, it sure was fun playing with you.”
Joshua: “I had fun, too.”
David: “Play tomorrow?”
Joshua: “Maybe!”

Project 365, Day 209

Share or follow

Related posts: