Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Simon Says

He's a suitor (Oh my).

There's a little girl in his Sunday school class. Let us call her G.They pal around together much of the time. He follows me around dropping little tidbits.

Me and G are going to get married, Grandma. Will you come to our wedding?

G calls me Sugar Puff. I don't know why she calls me Sugar Puff. I told her to stop. My name is Simon. It is on my nametag. Why can't she call me Simon? (Perhaps like you she can't read yet.) Oh, yeah. But I don't want her to call me Sugar Puff.

Me and G are going on a date when we are grown-ups. A real one. We have gone on a pretend date already. At the Lego table.

He's also a philosopher:

It's OK. Just don't watch and you won't have to worry. (Ready to do a flip from the arm of the couch into a pile of pillows on the floor.)

Monday, May 20, 2013


This morning he woke earlier than she did. He jumped from his bed and trudged through the house. He was looking for me, or her, or a show. He padded to the kitchen and skipped into my arms for a morning cuddle.

I carried him to the living room. He didn't say a word, for ten minutes he stretched and wiggled, but did not utter a word. I whispered words and questions; once, he shook his head.

Eventually he scampered across the room to pet the cat, gently with a big grin.

About that time, she woke. It was far more difficult to gauge her progress through the house; we could hear the doors open and close. She entered the living room with a big smile. And about the time her bottom found its place on my lap her thoughts and dreams and little games were being shared.

We chatted for several minutes as she wiggled and stretched. I didn't have many words--the same words I whispered to him, I spoke to her. She was pleased to share and to share and to share.

Finally they planned their morning TV. Netflix was activated, and I found my way back to the kitchen for a few more moments of quiet and planning.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Coming Up for Our Little Family

Water from rocks
Feeding sparrows
Clothing flowers
"What is it?" from heaven

I am having surgery on Wednesday. I've exhausted all the other options, so it is time for womb-removal. My feelings are mixed. To be completely honestly, it is in the area of growing our family that I've experienced my most significant spiritual crises. So while I am absolutely ready to be free from the symptoms I've been having, I must admit to a few trust issues with the God who holds the span of my days in His hands.

To be clear, this isn't about the doctor; I really like him. This isn't about the surgery per say; it is a minimally invasive as possible while removing all the symptomatic parts. This isn't about the recovery; laproscopy is much more recovery-friendly than C-section.

This is about the heart-ache of four miscarriages and one still-birth. This is about hours spent trying to figure out what I did wrong. This is about comparing my living (and my mothering) with others and coming out ahead or behind in my own estimation. This is about not understanding higher ways and having trouble trusting that His higher ways will really work to display the wonders of who He is. And this is about wishing that displaying the wonders of His grace didn't have to hurt so very badly!

I covet your prayers for me--safety and recovery and faith--for my children who will be staying away for longer than they've done and for the little one who hasn't met the mommy who isn't able to pick him up, and for my husband who will worry even while claiming he is OK.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

For Your Fourth Birthday

Dear Simon,

You turned four on Saturday. We celebrated with a chicken cake and a dragon cake and a really wonderful day at Ohiopyle.

I have so many things to say to you, newly four.

The ways you make my heart sing. {those smiling eyes and face adjustments, and the cuddles and...}

The ways you are transforming my character. {that whiny voice, and those stunts (always looking back to be sure I saw)}

The ways you are the joy of your sister, and she your own joy. {the great big belly laughs}

The ways you are a necessary part of our little family. {capturing the full emotion of each moment}

But I can't always find the words for all those things, to really capture who you are-my little boy. Just know, Simon, that you are dearly loved and that I am so very, very glad we kept trying. You are so worth the wait.


Monday, April 8, 2013

Thoughts Running Wild

We came home from Ohiopyle Saturday afternoon. It was Simon's choice to go for a walk that took George along. We walked along the Yough on the Ferncliff side. The water was high and strong. Simon spent a good amount of time worrying over his dog for what black lab doesn't want to go for a swim. The water had been higher this spring and plenty of puddles remained, puddles for frog swimming and courting and singing.

When we came home at the request of the birthday boy, just to come home not for resting. Chris worked on the chicken hutch. I dug out some pesky sumac bushes and dreamed of sunflowers and strawberries. Abigail and Simon (after he woke up) played--swinging, building, fort-ifying, practicing archery (thanks to this site). I remember thinking that I was really happy. Perhaps the coming of dear babies, the looming date of a necessary hysterectomy, and the coming of a due date empty of celebration had stolen the abiding feeling of happy. But that afternoon, and evening, I was really happy.

Sunday, we visited friends who've just bought a farm, an old farm with all the old farm work, and collections, and beauty, and spring peepers. As the night wore on, I forgot all the happiness from the day before and revisited the odd-shaped uterus, miscarriages, and possibility of an (sub)urban backyard chicken fight. Spring peepers don't live here.

Some of these things bring up good conversations about the values we are living and how they line up with the values we started with and want to be living. Some of these things bring questions and prayers and I can't say that is bad. But, some of these things bring envy and discontent and ill-humor, and that certainly isn't what we want to be living. So, I'm going to go read a book on our front porch, consider the placement of necessary spring-blooming bulbs and the paint color of our shed, and I'm going to diligently in the power of the Son, dwell on these things,
whatever is true, 
whatever is honorable, 
whatever is right, 
whatever is pure, 
whatever is lovely, 
whatever is of good repute
Philippians 4:8

Friday, April 5, 2013

Not Fun Follow-Up

The weather has turned, for a few days, to warm. Long nature walk warm.

We went on a walk and captured joy.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

"This Is Not Fun" or Where I Believe Making Birdfeeders Will Be Fun But Find that Listening to the Story Is Better

We're ending a term here. I am experimenting with a six week term schedule. We will school year around (cause really who doesn't learn anything in the summer), six weeks on, one week off with two longer breaks in the spring and fall as well as a Christmas break.

Yesterday we finished up math with a test. Today we finished four books that have been lingering in the land of mostly known, but not quite.

We're almost finished with the Burgess Bird Book for Children which is really the point of this post. It is a neat book and we've enjoyed reading and listening to it for the past two terms. The main character, Peter Cottontail learns about all the birds in his vicinity over a year. Oftentimes he is in conversation with a bird kind, but occasionally it is a discussion about a bird with another bird as in the hawk. We've drawn birds and identified birds and talked about birds.

In the End
I wanted to do three bird activities--a bird feeder, a bird house and a bird bath--with Abigail and Simon. Life happens and so we are still waiting to do those things. Today though was the bird feeder day.

Given a scoop of lard and a scoop of peanut butter to warm and mix they began while I tied stings to the pine cones. Simon was suspicious of any activity where his hands entered peanut butter, but he started. When I poured some seed into the mixture, Abigail kept mixing and talking and Simon froze.

Simon keep mixing.
I can't, holding his sticky, seedy hands splayed
Simon, mix it. This is supposed to be fun.
With just the right amount of matter-of-fact mixed with the smallest trace of whine, and while studying his hands, I have peanut butter and lard on my hands. This is not fun.

Needless to say Abigail and I finished filling the cones while George licked Simon's hands clean enough to wash. She declared that while fun for a moment, this was not an activity that needs to be repeated.
Peanut Butter on Their Hands Every Day, Please.

By way of sharing information: We found the Burgess Bird Book for Children for free on this site in a variety of formats. We are missing the pictures on the Kindle, but I use the Peterson's Guide for our backyard identification anyway so we find the pictures in there. I also found an audio version here. It is also free. Oh how I love books in the public domain. Every so often we will have a less than ideal recording, but we enjoy listening together. And I am not so strapped to a chair.