Friday, February 25, 2011

Happy Birthday John!

For my oldest and first-born son. I just am amazed how quickly the years are rolling by!

Eight things I love about John

  1. He is my outdoorsman! Just a few weeks ago he heaved a heavy sigh as we were driving through a suburb and said, "I'm sure glad we don't live where the houses are stacked up on each other." (and we're talking 1/2 acre lots) "I'd be so sad."
  2. He seems to have a natural aptitude for music and is excelling at the piano.
  3. He is a near perfect likeness to my husband, especially in personality.
  4. He has a sincere desire to do good and right in God's eyes.
  5. He's still my number one helper. He loves to help in anyway and loves to do it.
  6. He's a great communicator, for his age of course.
  7. He is great at memorizing Scripture.
  8. He's great with tools and machinery.

He's got a growing-boy-sized appetite, too!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Great Post to Read

LadyLydia has posted a fantastic article. It is very much worth the time to read it.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Who's the Best "Cooker?"

(For any UK readers, "cooker" is going to refer to "one who cooks" and not to a stove/range. Just a little FYI there. :-D )

John, after eating a big bowl of vegetable beef soup: Mom, *rubbing tummy* you are just the BEST cooker!

Me: Thanks, John. I'm glad you liked it.

John: And after you is Pop (my dad).

Me: *giggle* Well then, where does Nana rank? (Nana=Jeremy's mom who loathes cooking. I knew better than to ask about my mother or father-in-law, who do NOT cook)

John: *thinking* Hmmm...actually Nana is the best cooker.

Me: *very confused* Nana?! Nana's the best cooker?

John: Yes, Nana is the best. She makes the very BEST hot dogs!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Excitement on the Country Hill

With a house of 3 rowdy boys and a very loud, talkative little girl, most days on our country hill are quite exciting. Yesterday was more exciting than typical. First, going back to Christmas, we got John an anthill (like this one) to go along with his school studies. We waited until spring was just around the corner to send off for the ants. Yesterday was their highly anticipated day of arrival. John invited Lydia to trek down to the mailbox with him to check the mail. When he found a manila envelope addressed to John, you could not imagine the commotion. In fact, it took me a few moments to even understand what he was talking about.

I opened the pack and found the ants in what looked like a short test tube. Leaving out some minor details, we got the hill ready for our new friends.

These are red harvester ants which, compared to our local ants, are enormous. Our most common type of ant is only about 2-3 mm in length, whereas these harvester ants are between 5-7 mm. I'd hate for one of these to bite me!

The ants were rather disoriented for a good while, but that didn't damper their curiosity. Almost every single question asked by John from this point forward revolved around the ants. Are they alright? (they were very inactive and confused) Are they dead? How long will they live? Can they be a pet? What can I feed them? When will they start tunneling? And about a billion more.

I'm requiring him to keep a journal on his observations regarding the ants, which he hotly protests. He absolutely loathes writing...even copy work!


Switching gears a bit, does anyone remember Ethan's note that he wrote in the beginning of the school year? It read, "God wil tak car uv as." Very out-of-the-blue he presents me with this note.
I was particularly proud of this on many levels. For one, only two words are misspelled: one is just two letters transposed and the other is "Joshua." It's mostly written in cursive. Plus, he remembered the correct Scripture reference! Anyway, I really love these little notes from Ethan.

Lastly, a playful jab at all my up-north readers. We've had temps of 70-75 all week this week. It is completely beautiful outside. We've been outdoors and had the windows open most of the day. We also turned the garden over yesterday, preparing to plant potatoes!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Internet Hate

No, this post has nothing to do with Internet hate machine, Anonymous and their recent time in the limelight with WikiLeaks, racism, Antisemitism or anything of the sort. I'm talking about random ugly comments anywhere and everywhere that are hurled at other people on the Internet. It seems that unmerited hostility is rampant in every community, every forum. Do these people really have nothing better to do with their lives but to be aggressive to everyone who disagrees with them?

I seldom leave a comment on a blog or other site which has a large following (as in 100+), My OB Said What?!?,, and Are They All Yours??!? are the only exceptions I can think of. On the first two sites, I have received replies to some of my comments that were nasty. It's not a comfortable place for me as I am not a "hater." I am really a sort of "you do your thing and I'll do mine" sort of person. Not everyone is like me and I can live with that.

That said, I don't often get ugly comments through on my own blog. If I do, I never publish them. Today was an exception, having received a mildly rude comment in regard to one of Lydia's birthday gifts. What is puzzling to me is why? Why does any one think that my personal beliefs are to be measured by anyone else's system of values? Furthermore, I really just don't understand why people think that if they are rude I am more apt to listen to their snide remarks.

The anonymity of the Internet makes people more apt to say things they would never, ever say to someone's face in public. It's a rare thing, but it does happen, that people will look you in the eye and say, "Why do you need 4 children anyway? What are you, a rabbit?!" People may think these things, but wouldn't say it to you face-to-face. I want to stress the point that NO ONE is anonymous to God. He knows the heart, the intentions. He knows that hate-filled comments hurt. He knows and sees all. Therefore, I personally have two criteria for leaving comments: 1) would it honor God and 2) is it something I could say calmly and kindly to someone's face.

I've argued within myself on whether or not to give any attention to the mildly rude comment. It's really not worth my time or energy, but I think I shall. The comment left read as follows:

Who the h*** gives a girl...let alone a 4 year old girl a BB gun? She needs to be playing with dolls and learning to be a mom.

This comment was left by "John" who left no link to a website of his own. As I have read and reread this comment I really believe it to be a frail attempt at sarcasm and mockery. There is nothing at all wrong with girls having guns. Shooting guns is one of my all-time favorite pastimes. I probably shot my first gun around Lydia's age. My 7 and 6 year old sons are quite the little marksmen. The part about "dolls and learning to be a mom" best shows that this person probably seeks only to deride who we are and the principles we stand for.

To answer the question, however, we are the sort of people who allow a girl to be given a BB gun for her 4th birthday. It was given by Jeremy's parents with our approval. I say with you, "John," that she certainly does need to be playing with dolls and learning to be a mom. She plays with dolls in healthy doses. She helps clean house. She helps cook. She's learning all these with close supervision. She also plays house, plays mommy, loves to fish, wants to learn to hunt, plants a garden, swims in a muddy creek, loves Bass Pro Shops, does yard work and plays with cars and trucks with her older brothers (only if her car/truck can be a girl!!).

If you know who we are, you know that we live in a very small, very rural area. Being able to use a gun is a helpful tool for living where we live, not to mention normal. Many men carry a shotgun on a gun rack mounted in the rear glass of their truck. A few years ago we had two wild boars rummaging through our backyard. I tried scaring them off by yelling, to no avail. So I went in and got the pellet rifle and got their attention, if you know what I mean. There have been other incidences with wildlife that made me glad that I had shot my first rifle at the tender age of 7.

The time stamp on the comment coincides with a hit from my traffic feed from Murrieta, California, which with a population of 100,000+ is polar opposite to our 1-traffic light town, population of 600. I don't pretend to know how to survive in the big city, but I could write the book on living the country. Girls with BB guns are totally normal here and, rest assured, will have no effect on her ability to mother a family. In fact, the ability to use a gun has been quite helpful in my tenure of mothering. Thanks! :-)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Happy 4th Birthday, Lydia

That's right! My only little daughter is officially 4. Doesn't the time fly? As I was tucking her in a few nights ago, I looked at her little face and thought, "She looks like a kid and not a baby." Four, it seems to me, is a real milestone. It seems to be the age when they really start to leave the last few babyish mannerisms behind. Their attention span is longer. They become more interactive, more observant.

Four things I love about Lydia:

  1. She's my only little girl. I'd love to have another, but for now, she's the only one.
  2. She loves anything and everything PINK!
  3. She (finally) ditched the pull-ups at night.
  4. She has a tiny screechy voice which sounds too cute when singing. Probably something only a mother could love!

The birthday girl (with cousin Mia) and a BB gun she got from Paw-paw and Nana. This is the usual 4th birthday gift from them.

She forgot to wait for everyone to sing "Happy Birthday." I had to relight the candles. LOL