Monday, February 15, 2010


When Bob and I were in college, we attended church together with a group of friends. We all grew up going to church but some of us didn't grow up attending a church that used hymnals.

For a time, when we first started attending, we had the impression that we could simply take hymnals home with us. Some of us were interested in learning more about the different doctrinal statements in the back of the hymnals. Some of us wanted to learn the hymns. We took them home gladly and encouraged our friends to do so also.

Eventually it came out that we were under the wrong impression. We shouldn't continue to offer "free" hymnals to the people we bring with us to visit the church.

Well. We didn't bring back the hymnals that we ... borrowed. Maybe we were gifted the initials ones...? I'm still not sure.

But. We still have them. And this is how the are often used at our house:

First, The Set up: Straighten James' blanket so he'll be comfy.

Got to get all of these books in order...

There we go... all in a row beside the baby.

Now. Sing!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Happy Math

Daniel and I have had more than a few tear-y math lessons since the new year began.

After quelling the not-so-friendly competition with a fellow mathlete at the table...

(It should be noted that this competition is completely one-sided. Example of statements made at the table during math by one particular child: "I'm done! I'm done before you! I did all my math and it looks like you have three problems left!!" Other child's response: "Huh...?")

and continuing to encourage a more diligent and cheerful attitude...

(Question for other moms teaching their kids at home: How do you encourage your child to do excellent work when it comes to the math test? This is our first year with actual tests... So far, one particular child seems to think that the test is a race. Get it done before your brother finishes his school work and you win! Oh. And it doesn't matter if you don't do a whole row of addition problems. I'm done before you!! is all that seems to count at this point.)

we finally have a happy math day for Daniel.

All joking and sarcasm aside, we really are getting the hang of this math thing. Because it's really not just a math thing. Slowly, I'm learning that teaching these kids has so very little to do with the right curriculum or method and so very much to do with a cheerful and joyful and patient attitude on my part.

Our daily forays into academia tend to flesh out obedience issues. There they are. Right there on the table with the math blocks. And what do you know? Those issues aren't just Daniel's or Michael's.

Parenting is quite the crucible for coming to terms with your own faults.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Little Moments

I watched Josiah and Mercy play a game under the table in the afternoon one day last week.

I love their chubby little fingers, all lined up... Soft dimples in rows and tiny pink fingertips.

I'm so glad that I'm here to catch these sweet little moments my kids have together.