Friday, February 25, 2011

Good Eats Coming Up!

The local homeschool group is having a potluck tomorrow! Oh, it's a sledding party too, but for me, the potluck is the main event. I LOVE potlucks! I delight in getting to eat all sorts of wonderful things that I can't make for dinner at home because my family would leave me sitting alone at the table while they head down to the Cornerstone Café.

Potlucks also give me the opportunity to fix whatever dish my heart desires, even if it does have vegetables in it and go crunch; for instance a real salad with lettuce or cabbage and no jello (don't get me wrong, I love jello salads, but I can have those at home where they always goes over well) or a dessert with peanut butter in it which I can't get away with at home thanks to my crazy stud muffin who doesn't dig peanut butter unless it's on bread.

However, there is one dilemma: sometimes there is nothing my boys (or husband) care to eat at a potluck. Their spirits of adventure simply wither away in the presence of unfamiliar (or green) foods. They beg, "Mom, can you please always bring something we like?"

So my personal compromise is this: bring a main dish my whole family enjoys, and bring a salad or dessert of my choice. My quandary this time is which "dish of choice" to bring. I'm torn between cabbage and ramen salad and peanut butter balls. Oh the delicious dilemmas of potlucking!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

From the Mouth of a Big Boy

I love that Elijah is learning to read.

I do not love that in learning to read he is also learning proper pronunciation.

He says, "I will put dis sell on da self."

But when he reads, he says, "I will put this shell on the shelf."

I didn't even realize he never says "sh" and always says "da" and "dis" until we got to those words and sounds in his phonics book, and he pronounced them correctly. It sounded so weird coming from his mouth. It sounded much too grown up for someone who forever and always must stay a little boy, by edict of his mother.

At this point he only says "the" and "this" and "shell" when reading, but I know it won't be long before he talks this way all the time. Sigh. First it's Isaac's smell, now it's 'Lijah's speech. They really do keep right on growing up, no matter how much I wish they'd stay this age forever.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Much Too Young to Smell This Old

Isaac, age nine, recently had to begin wearing deodorant. Yes, had to. He doesn't like that he has to wear it, and I rue the fact that he's old enough to necessitate it. But the thing that really bothers me about it? The smell. (I know, it's better than the previous smell, but...)

He smells like 15, like long legs and clumsy arms, like cars and girls, like not wanting to hang out with Dad and Mom. He smells like someone I once would have considered aromatically hot (and not in a prespirey way). He's much to young to smell this grown up!

Why don't they make little boy deodorant that smells like baby powder? I'd be so much more comfortable with that.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Beyond Being Polite

The boys (and I) have been learning about the Middle Ages, including castles, knights and other exciting medieval stuff. I was particularly fascinated to learn how a man went about becoming a knight. In a nutshell, when a noble boy reached age 21, if he had been a good squire and learned his lessons, he had the opportunity to become a knight.

Special preparations were made for the big day when he would be dubbed, including taking a bath (a pretty rare occurrence in those times) and spending the previous night at church praying. He would then take a vow to be brave and good, to fight for the Christian religion, to protect the weak, and to honor women.

Reading this, I was inspired. Using good manners is a big deal at our house, but I dream of our sons going so far beyond merely being polite to being truly chivalrous, making these vows the knights took into a way of life. So of course my mind starts racing to come up with ways to encourage our sons to live like this and act like this, but eventually Truth catches up with me and I realize that training their bodies and their habits will avail them nought if that is all the deeper I go. (Yes, nought. What can I say. The Middle Ages are rubbing off on me.)

If they have the manners, bravery and nobility of knights, but have not love, they are nothing.

So we're back to the basics. Love the Lord you God with all your heart, mind and strength, and love your neighbor (or your brother) as yourself. Yes, Wade and I still have to teach and model for them specific ways to love others (including opening doors for ladies), but chivalry should be a result of the love of Jesus inside them, not an end in itself.

Realizing this makes everything so much simpler and more complicated all at once. Can't we just have them take a bath and get dubbed?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Monkey Boy

And I wonder why there are footprints on my ceiling. Do you think maybe he's related to his Uncle Kenner? They both like to defy gravity.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Punny Boy

The boys are learning about the Middle Ages in history (Yup, world history in first and third grades. We're homeschoolers. We're allowed to be weird. Sometimes I think we're expected to be weird!). The past few days we've learned about castles (the book you brought last week was quite timely, Mom!), and today we read about what it was like growing up in a castle as a son of a lord.

When a young man reached age seven, he became a page, and his duty was to wait on the ladies of the castle.

When he reached 14, he became a squire, and his duty was to wait on the men of the castle.

At age 21, if he was good and noble, he could be come a knight.

So at the end of the lesson, Lukey pipes up, "So if some boys about my age who all lived in castles started a club, would it be called a book?"

That kid just kills me :)