Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Authentic Thanksgiving

Yesterday we participated in a little homeschool Thanksgiving play with a group of other kids and parents at a nearby park. At the beginning, a woman stood up to explain the upcoming program.

"...And then Squanto will come up and tell us about..."

"Is that the Squanto we read about?" Skyler whispered to me.

"Yes, Sweetie," I answered, thrilled that something of our Thanksgiving studies had actually sunk in.

His eyes widened. "Is he still a-yive?!"

Renewable resourcefulness

Today we were talking about fire safety. "What would you do if your hair or clothes caught on fire?" I asked, testing the kids.

"I would run outside and roll on the ground," Skyler assured me.

"Sweetie, don't run outside," I said. "If you are on fire, drop down on the floor and roll. I don't care if the house catches fire. I can get a new house. I don't want to lose my little boy."

"We could get a new house," Anaya put in. "But we couldn't get a new you."

"That's right," added Seth. "There are lots of houses in the world."

"But we could adopt another boy." Anaya thought that was worth mentioning.

"No other boy could ever replace you, Skyler!" I told him.

He wasn't so sure. "But what if he obeyed?"

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A new definition of forever

Recently we talked about how many times Jesus says to forgive someone. Skyler is still having a difficult time understanding numbers, so seventy times seven was confusing to him. "That's lots more than you can count, Sweetie," I explained. "Four hundred and ninety!"

This concept is so amazing to him that it bears repeating regularly now. (Of course, he finds it most necessary to rehash this concept when his own transgressions necessitate forgiveness.) Yesterday he felt the need to preach a mini-sermon on forgiveness to Anani, an enchanting little visitor his age who is staying with us this weekend.

"Mommy," he asked me, "how many times does Jesus say to forgive?"

"Seventy times seven," I answered yet again.

"Anani," he addressed her solemnly, "you have to forgive sevenny times seven. That's for-ever."

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Flying leaps of illogic

I skipped writing almost everything that happened over the summer, due to being on the road and not having internet access. But at least one incident stands out in my mind as blog-worthy.

We were in Arkansas, visiting my family for a few weeks. One of the rules at Grandma and Grandpa's is "no running in the house!" Even though we have the same rule at home, for some reason this is incredibly difficult for my children to remember.

One day Skyler scampered into the bedroom and suddenly let out a piercing shriek. Rushing to his side, I saw blood gushing from his knee. I carried him, howling, into the kitchen and began dabbing at the deep wound. It was very deep, so I called my mom, who came to examine him. (Both of my parents and all three of my sisters are RNs, so I usually leave medical decisions up to the family vote when they're all around.) She decided to repair it with medical tape, so after the bleeding finally slowed, we did our best to patch him up. Through sobs, Skyler explained that he had fallen on the edge of the bed and cut his knee.

"You see, Skyler," I admonished, trying to glean golden lessons from the situation, "this is why you aren't supposed to run in the house."

"But Mommy," he protested in wide-eyed innocence, "I wasn't wunning!"

"What were you doing?"

He flapped his arms to demonstrate the obvious answer. "I was twying to fly!"

The root of all evil

Anaya is the quintessential entrepreneur, especially when it comes to making money. The child would be thrilled to sell the clothes off her back and dash home wearing nothing but a smile, if she could get money from such an endeavor.

The other day I caught her trying to sell a string of beads to her gullible little brothers, in exchange for emptying their little piggy banks.

"Anaya, you can't do that," I explained. "The boys don't understand how much money is worth."

"But I want the beads!" I heard the pleas as soon as I went into the next room.

"No," grumped Anaya, determined to paint me as the villain. "Mommy won't let you have them."

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Racially challenged

Of all our children, Skyler is the most competitive. One of the ways he expresses it is by pretending we are racing with all the other cars on the freeway. I largely ignore this (turning a blind ear to his urging that I pass everyone in sight), but occasionally I try to help him overcome this great need to win.

The other day on the way to church, he and Seth decided we were once again racing. I endured the shouts of "Faster, Mommy! They're passing us!" and such, calmly reminding them that we were not actually seeking to beat anyone to church. They compensated by racing only those that were behind us. However, as we pulled into the church parking lot, I couldn't resist making one more attempt to help them overcome the urge to compete.

"Look, boys," I pointed out, "see all the cars that got here before us?"

"No, Mommy," Skyler protested. "All dose cars were in a diffewent wace!"

That's the Spirit

There is a positive side to having your kids all at once, like triplets or something. They all can be at the same developmental stage. While this may drive you absolutely nuts for a while (like breastfeeding), later on it seems to me it would get much better. We didn't do this, though we came close with the boys. Since they are only 13 months apart, they appreciate each other's ludicrous attempts at hilarity, thus sparing me the need to attempt to laugh. ("Knock knock! Who's there? Gompy. Gompy who? Gompy banana! Bwahahaha!") In most ways, I'm very grateful I didn't have multiples at once, largely because I thought I would go nuts each time I added only one arrow to the quiver. However, having all of our kids as a batch would have made illustrations age-appropriate to all of them at the same time.

For better or for worse, that is not how we have been blessed. The other night we were talking about surrender to the Holy Spirit and how God changes our stony hearts to hearts of flesh. To illustrate, I lightly pinched the skin between my thumb and forefinger. "See, this is flesh," I explained. "It's not hard like a rock. When God changes our hearts, He makes them soft like this, so they aren't hard and mean."

The next day when Anaya was battling with an attitude issue, I reminded her of this. "Anaya, What kind of attitude do you have right now? Are you letting the Holy Spirit be in your heart?"

Skyler jumped in to aid his sister in grasping spiritual realities. "Anaya, you can tell if you just pinch here." He pinched the skin between his thumb and forefinger. "If it's soft, you have Jesus in your heart."

I tried to help him out without offending him. "Sweetie, that's almost it. But we're talking about your heart..."

"Oh!" He slapped his chest. "You have to be soft here instead!"