Sunday, February 27, 2005

A little more about Luke

I wanted to talk a little bit more about Luke's 6 year-old birthday, as opposed to his actual day of birth! This would have been the perfect time to put in a picture, and I even asked Pilotmom , my intreped Aunt Claire, for a tutorial, but we just couldn't get up the energy to actually do it. Maybe for Nathan's birthday . . . Last night I was so worried that this was really going to be a bummer of a birthday for Luke. We were supposed to bring a cake to Bible study Friday night to celebrate there, but we couldn't go. And we didn't have anything special planned for today, since we are still definitely not all better and have no desire to go anywhere. But Bob made waffles for breakfast, and I managed to get up enough energy to actually get to the store and buy some ice cream so we could have that after dinner. Then while I was gone, Luke got a huge balloon bouquet from Amy and Jason! That was a real surprise, and all the boys have been quite excited about that unexpected turn of events! That definitely made the day special for Luke! And if everyone continues getting better, than I'll make Luke's tank cake for Bible study next Friday, so he'll still have a little party.

Happy Birthday, Luke!

Today our second son, Luke Daniel, is 6 years old. He is a wonderfully healthy boy (well, technically not 100% right this second, but anyways . . .), but when he was born, he had some problems. He was born at 3:21 AM. Luke had a bowel movement while still in the uterus and aspirated some meconium during delivery. As a result, he had some trouble breathing, so the nursery kept him under observation until 6:40 AM. He got dehydrated under the warming lamp, so at 9:00 he started having circulation problems (turned purple like Barney), and they could not put in an IV line. They had to put a catheter into his umbilical vein, and they also started him on oxygen. He also had chest electrodes and a temperature monitor, as well as a pulse/oxidation monitor. Because there was fluid on his lungs, they thought he might have pneumonia. All the tests turned out negative, however, so apparently it was just more meconium. Two days later, they took him off the precautionary antibiotics, and then next day, March 2, we were able to go home, although Luke remained on oxygen for 3 more weeks at home. This was such a traumatic time for me, but now months (years?) go by, and I don't even think about it. Today I am again so thankful to God for sparing Luke, bringing him back to health, and giving us 6 years with him. Thank you, Lord, for your faithfulness!

Praise be to the Lord, for he has heard my cry for mercy. The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. Psalm 28:6-7

Saturday, February 26, 2005

More on the family weekend

You may recall that last weekend, another lifetime ago, Bob's family visited us. We've been married for 11 1/2 years, and in that time one sister and her family came out to Colorado for a weekend, before we had any kids, and one brother visited us for the day in Ohio while on Army Reserve duty. But Bob has 5 brothers and sisters, plus parents, so that leaves a lot of people who have never come before! So this was a big deal, as everyone was seeing our "stuff" and how we function in our home for the first time. Here are some awards:

Nicest thing Bob's Dad said to me: "Everywhere I look, there's something to learn," as he looked at all our maps, timelines, posters, etc. that decorate our walls. He really liked our wall world map, and he had a good time pointing out where he had sailed when he was in the Navy in World War II.

Nicest thing Bob's Mom said to me: " You're a good cook!"

Biggest surprise hit dinner food: chicken in the crockpot with french dressing/onion soup/apricot preserves. They were very skeptical of this entree, but everyone turned out to like it. (Bob's dad: "I wouldn't eat this rice without this gravy!")

Least favorite dinner part: steamed broccoli with just butter on it (Dad again: "You need to put more flavoring on this. Do your kids actually eat this this way?")

Gourmet cooking technique of mine that Bob's parents were most impressed with: mixing 2 different kinds of salad bags--plain old iceberg lettuce mix AND baby spinach. Take notes.

Most impressive decorating item around the house: the clear plastic cover we have that goes on top of our tablecloth, keeping up from having to wash it every time someone spills on it. They were even more impressed to learn it came from the Walmart fabric section, and you can get it cut any length you want! Gift idea!

Most impressive random household item: the rice bag we have that we heat up for injuries, when someone is sick, etc. When they found out that I had actually made it (by the complicated procedure of sewing up a washcloth and filling it with rice), they were even more impressed! Now we have 2 gift ideas!

Boy genius award: Caleb (3). For some reason, he spouted out at lunch one day, in a stirring voice, "Give me liberty, or give me death!" I don't even know where he's heard this, since we haven't studied the American Revolution yet, so even I was a little impressed. But then once he realized he was cute, he said it about 50 more times, and then I wasn't so impressed. But everyone else was.

Best late Christmas gift: Bob's sister Rose gave Nathan and Luke roller blades. They were thrilled! Since they haven't been able to go outside all week, they've worn them in the basement.

Nicest thing said overall: Sherry (Bob's brother's wife) told me as they were leaving that we had a beautiful house, but an even more beautiful home, and that's why everyone had such a good time here.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Not to bore anyone . . .

Well, since my blog is mainly a way to keep my extended family informed on what's happening in my immediate family, I am going to take another opportunity to blather on about our ongoing flu battle. Today was a better day--almost all of us actually got dressed (Jonathan was the lone holdout), I did one load of laundry, and we had something other than soup for dinner. Granted, it was frozen chicken strips and canned peas, but hey, it's a start. But, my temp still goes up in the evening, we're all still coughing, and Caleb ran a fever today for the first time in a day or two, making me wonder if he doesn't perhaps have an ear infection or something. But no one has complained about anything specific, so we'll see what tomorrow brings. In other news, Jonathan has learned how to say "No" very clearly, and he now says it all the time (but he pronounces it "NEEEEEWWWWWW", like maybe an irate, upper-crust Britishperson). He has been a real pistol lately. I wish I could report to you that I was using this time of my weakness to be filled with God's strength, but unfortunately that doesn't seem to be the case, and I have been quite snippy. Last night things really came to a head with Jonathan. He absolutely refused to eat even one bite of the chicken/dumpling soup I had made, and was having quite the little tantrum about the mere fact that he was in his high chair at all. So I in a stunning display of coordination, pulled him out of his high chair to let him spend some quality time in his crib, thereby knocking off the tray, and the afore-mentioned rejected soup, all over the kitchen floor. Sigh. That didn't help. Maybe when I'm feeling better and more coherent, I will come up with a pearl of wisdom to take away from all of this. Or maybe not. Surely we WILL all feel better someday? Hah--and maybe someday our house won't look like the Battle of Hastings just took place here! Did you all catch that clever history reference? I worked that in, and that's been about the sum of the schooling we've done this week. Guess that's why we school year-around.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Still sick . . .

Influenza (flu) is a viral infection that causes a fever, runny nose, cough, headache, a feeling of illness, and inflammation of the lining of the nose and airways.

That definition is straight from the Merck Manual, and it perfectly describes what's going on here at our house. We've been scrounging around for food, existing mainly on breakfast foods (cereal, oatmeal, and pancakes that Bob made last night). We've been living in our pajamas, and Bob and I take turns dragging ourselves out of bed to help with the boys. Fortunately the older boys have been pretty happy to watch videos all day and play or read by themselves, and Jonathan has been taking several naps a day. Bob was supposed to have a doctor's appointment today, but he ended up canceling it this morning because he didn't feel well enough to drive 40 minutes to Bethesda, the nearest military treatment facility, especially since it's snowing. The boys seem to be feeling better this morning. Their temperatures did not come up this morning, so I haven't had to give them any medicine yet today. They haven't had the bad coughing that Bob and I have had, so hopefully they will be over this more quickly. My chest is so painful, and I am still really achy all over. I think I've always been a little proud of the fact that I rarely get sick, and it's been hard to be so sick with everyone else being so sick too. I can't remember a time when we'll all been so sick at one time, and hopefully it will never happen again!

Again, from the Merck Manual : After 2 or 3 days, most symptoms disappear rapidly, and the fever usually ends, although fever sometimes lasts up to 5 days. However, bronchitis and coughing may persist for 10 days or longer, and changes in the airways may take 6 to 8 weeks to completely resolve. Weakness and fatigue may persist for several days or occasionally for weeks.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Happy Presidents' Day!

Our company is gone, and we had a good weekend. Unfortunately, they left behind the present of some germs (they came sick), so now we are pretty much all feeling under the weather with some kind of head cold that is also in the chest. But we were all feeling pretty good this morning, so we decided to go to Mount Vernon (sorry there's no link--I don't feel like doing it). There, in honor of George Washington's birthday, admission was free today. Normally it would cost our family maybe $27 to go. Of course, all the rest of the population of D.C. went to day too, since it was an unseasonably warm day. As we drove in at about 12:30, we could see several spaces in the parking lots because people had already started leaving, but the lot entrances were all blocked up by orange cones. We drove down to the overflow lots, a couple miles away, where they had shuttles to bus you in. This seemed like a real hassle, so we decided to try again in the main lots. We could see available parking spaces as we drove by, so when we got near the entrance to the lot, Bob carefully drove between 2 cones, although he knocked one over. This of course led to a great surge of cars following Bob's brave lead, and by the time we had gotten all the boys out of the car, a police car drove up to put back the cones. But not before a lot of other cars found spaces! What a hero! And by the end of the day, we were so glad that we were parked close by and didn't have to wait in a huge line to board the shuttle bus. Anyway, inside the grounds, the line for the tour of the actual house was a mile long, so we quickly decided we weren't interested in that. No strollers were allowed in there either, so it wasn't much of a disappointment. Instead we wandered around the grounds, examing the large (3 seater!) outdoor privy, the kitchen gardens, the 16-sided barn that Washington invented for threshing wheat, and several pens with animals in them (sheep, a turkey, cows, etc.). This was much more interesting for the boys, and they had a good time, although Nathan's toe was still bothering him. At least it didn't start bleeding again! About halfway through our walking, I started feeling a terrible headache, and Bob said he had one too. We were all coughing at that point too, so we hurried up and went home. After naptime, Jonathan and Caleb were both running fevers, and now Nathan is as well. Bob and I were also feverish, and I imagine Luke is now too. We are all off to bed now, and I guess we won't be going to homeschool co-op tomorrow. I know Bob is planning on staying home from work tomorrow unless he has a miraculous recovery tonight. Bob's mom is also sick, so please be praying for her. We had a good time with them this weekend, and I would hate her to have bad associations of our house because she got sick here.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Quick Update

It has come to my attention that I have neglected my blog lately. Well, that is because we've been very busy! We drove back from Ohio Wednesday, then spent Thursday and Friday unpacking and doing a frenzied cleaning of the whole house because starting on Friday, Bob's family came to visit. It may not seem like that big of a deal to have your in-laws come, but for us it is--this is the first time they've ever visited us, in 11 1/2 years of marriage! Bob's parents and 3 of his brothers and sisters came, along with some of their families, so all together, we had 10 people here. I say "had" because one sister and her husband just spent Friday night and had to leave this evening. So far everything is going well (thanks for the prayers, all who are praying!). Tomorrow our family is going to church, and we'll see who else comes. We would be so thrilled if some of the cousins would come with the boys to AWANAs tomorrow night too. We'll see! The kids are having a great time playing together. I'm not sure what else is on the agenda tomorrow. Some people had wanted to do some sightseeing, but the weather forecast for tomorrow is slushy snow, and we're not real excited about driving around downtown in that, if it in fact comes to pass. Whatever we do can not involve too much walking, since Nathan has had a terrible toe injury. Friday night we ate dinner at the Lorenzinis' house before Bible study, and their kitchen, which is hardwood, is about 1/4 " higher than their family room, which is berber carpet. Nathan came flying up their basement stairs, ran into the family room, and caught his second toe (?!) on this little wooden lip. Basically, he pretty much knocked off the toenail. It looks frightful, and we have had a terrible time keeping it from bleeding. Any slight bump, and it starts bleeding right through whatever bandaid/gauze and waterproof tape combo we can come up with. And since it is his second toe, it is very awkward to even put bandages on it! So not much walking for him! I'm secretly thankful it happened to him, though, since he is certainly our "stoic" family member, at least in regards to pain issues. I'll be sure to pass on any sympathy wishes you may wish to offer though!

Monday, February 14, 2005

New School Name

A post back or so, I had mentioned that I was trying to come up with a new school name. This weekend, God gave me one! At the retreat, as we talked about 'The Pursuit of God in the Company of Friends", we talked a lot about showing grace to each other in the Body of Christ. First, God pursued us--we are dead in our sins, and only by the Holy Spirit drawing us to God can we know Him at all. Then, we pursue Him--Ps. 63:8 "I follow close behind you, Your strong right hand holds me securely." Thirdly, we talked about the company of friends, asking the question, 'If God is enough to meet all of our needs, why do we need friends? How do they deepen our relationship with God?" We talked about the community of believers, specifically about showing grace to others since God showed so much grace to us. We discussed some good questions to ask friends when they are going through hard times: How is God pursuing you through this? How does the other person (that you are having problems with) reflect the image of God? What are you seeing about grace through this situation? How can I bear this burden with you? How is God moving you closer to Him through this circumstance? What does God want you to know about Him? Well, through all of this discussion, I thought a lot about grace, and how I really want to model that in our home. I think we often don't show a lot of grace to the people we're closest to, certainly the boys don't seem to, and I want that to change. Then, on Sunday we went to Faircreek for church. It was so good to hear Pastor Elmore preach again! He is going through Philippians, and this week he was on Phil. 2:12-18. As he talked about vs. 15 "so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe", it hit me that this really sums up my goals for our homeschool--that the boys would shine like stars in this dark world, reflecting the grace of God. There's nothing within them or any of us to make us shine--we have to be living in the light of Christ to reflect His light. I want them to shine with God's grace, attracting others to Him. Therefore, the new name of our homeschool is Lumen Gratiae--Light of Grace Classical Academy.

Happy Valentine's Day!

We're having such a good visit here in Ohio--that's why there's not been much time for blogging! I am very fortunate to have a husband who realizes that I need time away from the boys to recharge, and he's very good about giving me that. Amy and I scrapbooked at her mom's house Tuesday evening, Bob and I went on a double date with Amy and Jason to Chili's Wednesday night, while the big boys were at AWANAS, and Friday night I went on another ladies' retreat, this one with Amy and my friends at our old church, Faircreek. That was a lot of fun. The topic was "The Pursuit of God in the Company of Friends", so I was so glad I could come back and go to it with Amy! Two ladies who have been friends for a long time gave their testimony Friday night, but it was a little disjointed and spur-of-the-moment. Amy and kept looking at each other and thinking, "We could do this!" Maybe someday . . . Moving really makes me appreciate my friendship with Amy even more, and I am so glad that I know that even though we're not nearby right now, our friendship isn't dependent on physical closeness. She's been a support for me through the years no matter where we've been living, and how little we can see each other. It's been fun to be here in Ohio again, and it will be hard to leave. Maybe someday we'll be able to move back here, but in the meantime, I'm glad for phones and email! In a side note, I guess I should mention, since I titled this "Happy Valentine's Day", that Bob and I just got back from a delicious lunch date at Olive Garden, my favorite place! How nice to be here where Grandma and Grandpa can babysit! : )

Thursday, February 10, 2005

"Latin For the Illiterati"

We went to Barnes and Noble the other day so I could get a Latin/English dictionary. While there, I found a great book called Latin For the Illiterati, and Bob was kind enough to buy it for my birthday. It is filled with thousands of words, expressions, phrases, and abbreviations that are Latin. Many of them are common medical or legal expressions, and a lot of the phrases are from Virgil and Homer. It's been a lot of fun to read through, and I like being able to add some key phrases to my Latin repetoire around the house--ones such as "Ohe! Jam satis est!" which means "Hey there! That is enough!" Or how about "Quid nunc?" which means "What now?" Even Nathan could interpret that one! Another one that will be particularily useful, especially with easily-distracted Nathan, is "Age quod agis", which means "Do what you are doing". Another good one: "Apage!" or "Be off!" Some of them are kind of funny. For example, "ab ovo usque ad mala" literally means "from the egg to the apples", but what they are actually saying is "from beginning to end", because the eggs were appetizers, and the apples were dessert. Sometimes I will just sound like a wise old sage as I deliver such quotes as "Multa pententibus desunt multa", which means "To those who seek many things, many things are lacking", and was said by the great Horace (not really sure who he was, but he must have been wise, since he has many such Confusius-like quotes in the book). I'm also trying to use the book to come up with a new name for our homeschool. I've always just used our last name, but I'd rather have some cool Latin name. A lot of the good ones are taken--Logos (Word) and Veritas (Truth) being two that immediately spring to mind. So give me some input-- ___________ Classical Academy: Imago Dei (Image of God) Libertas (Liberty) Magnum Opus (Great Work) Lumen Gratiae (Light of Grace)? I'll keep looking too. In the meantime, I leave you with this wisdom: In necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas (In things essential unity, in things doubtful liberty, in all things love--motto of the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ).

Monday, February 07, 2005

Happy Birthday To Me!

Today was my birthday--I'm now all of 32 years old. It is truly the best present of all to be here in Ohio with my parents and Amy. Bob has tried very hard all the years that we've been married to get me home for my birthday, and that's meant so much to me. We went to Young's Dairy for lunch today and picked up some half-gallons of ice cream for the party tonight--chocolate peanut butter, of course, and also butter toffee. Mom made pork chops, potatoes, and apple sauce for dinner (my request--my potatoes never turn out as well as hers do!), and then Amy, Jason, Zachary, and Jacob came over after dinner for cake and ice cream. Actually it was an ice cream cake too, since just plain cake isn't really my favorite, so we definitely weren't short on ice cream! After everyone left, I came down to check my blog, and I discovered that the old Well Trained Mind boards were back up! What a great present! One poster said it felt like coming home . . . Actually, I think that now I will deal with the change better since I will have a little time to process it all. I kid you not, I dreamt all night about trying to figure out the differnt "thread" options on the new board. I have very anal-retentive dreams. The new boards might be back up in a month or so, so that gives me plenty of time to get used to the idea. SUDDEN change is what is very hard for me to deal with! All in all, a good birthday!

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Change

I think I've already mentioned that I don't like new things or change, but right now there seems to be a lot of both in my life! And it is the little things that are really bumming me out. Yesterday I saw that one of my favorite blogs, Diplomad, is not going to post anymore. Today I discovered that my absolute favorite message board, The Well Trained Mind message board, has switched to a totally new format. AKKK! Stop the craziness! So far the new board has been incredibly slow--and that is on my parents' computer, which is DSL. I can only imagine how slow it will be at home with dial-up. I guess God is saying that I don't need to read it so faithfully, but it's always been kind of a place of stability in the crazy day-to-day life of homeschooling, and I didn't need for that to change right now. Like one of the other posters said, I'm not really that technical, so I think it will be hard for me to figure out how to make the board "work" for me, especially if it keeps on being so slow. Grr. Why do things always have to change? I frequently ask myself this question, because frankly, I would be pretty happy if things just went on as they always have been! One reason the world operates this way, I guess, is that it constantly provides a contrast to the steadily-unchanging character of God. Also, it keeps me clinging less tightly to my ways and things. It's hard to hold tightly to something if it's shifting around all the time. Now, if I could just hold onto the Lord instead of flailing around, then I'd be just fine! But that's hard too. I'm sure you're wondering why on earth a simple format change in a message board could be so earth-shattering, but really that's just a small thing coming on top of a wave of potential huge changes this year and in the next 2-3 years as well. In fact, I don't think I can think of any other time in our marriage where Bob and I have been on such different pages as far as what we think we should be doing--I don't think we're even in the same book! This is definitely causing a lot of tension here. I'm not going to go into all the details here yet, because a lot of the things might not work out, and in that case I'd be worrying about nothing. (Well, I guess I'm stressing no matter what happens, but at least you all won't be!) So when things firm up more, I'll tell more. In the meantime, I guess I'll attempt to figure out this crazy new board.

Watch Troubles

I always wear a watch. And for the last many years, I've had a Timex--nothing fancy, just one from WalMart, with the date where the "3" should be, and the Indiglo feature so I can light it up when it's dark if I need to. Well, the battery stopped working about 2 weeks ago, so I took it to WalMart to get a new one. The lady there said she'd had troubles getting the backs of the waterproof Timexs back on, but I told her to go ahead and change the battery, thinking to myself, "What a wimp." Of course, she was right, and neither of us could get the back on, and I even brought it back home to Bob, and he also couldn't get it on even using clamps. So my next step was to buy a new watch. I don't like change, so I bought the exact same watch again from WalMart on Friday, the day I went on the retreat. (As an aside, while I was waiting to go back and get the new watch, I wore Luke's "Goofy" watch that he got for Christmas from Nana. When I taught at homeschool co-op, one of the other kindergarteners had the exact same watch on--twins! She was thrilled!) When I got back from the retreat on Sunday, I noticed I had some bumps on the my wrist, and I thought maybe I had been bitten or something, because they were very itchy. I started wearing my watch on the other wrist where, lo and behold, bumps started appearing on the exact same points! The odd thing is, they weren't under the metal part of the watch--they were clearly under the just the watchband, which is leather. I went back to WalMart on Friday and exchanged the watch, and I put the new one back on my left wrist. I thought last night that I was starting to have more bumps, and when I woke up this morning, I found my wrist covered with them. I am wondering if Timex has changed their supplier of watch bands, and they are using different chemicals to tan the leather or something? My mom suggested finding their website and emailing them, and I will indeed do that. But right now we are getting ready to leave to drive to Ohio for my birthday, so I am waering Jonathan's Winnie-the Pooh watch (also from Nana!), since I couldn't find Goofy quickly. I guess in Ohio I will try just replacing the watch band, since the actual watch face part isn't bothering me.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Public School for Babies?

Someone on the Well-Trained Mind General Board linked an article from the Denver Post which said that Littleton, CO is planning to build a new public school for children ages 6 weeks to 3 years. Here is what they will do: The Village 2 would expose infants and toddlers to a variety of approaches, including language development and social interaction, McVeigh said. "A lot of it will involve highly trained staff talking to the infants and toddlers, stimulating the thought process, using open-ended questions and helping children understand," McVeigh said. Yes, it certainly takes someone who is highly trained to teach babies to talk! I think that if people are already having to put their children in day care, then yes, one would want that to be the most stimulating environment possible. But the way it sounds is that people who have a choice will want to put there children in here because they will think they are not able to teach their baby what it needs to know. Another poster on the message board wondered when something like this will go from a "can do" situation to a "must do" situation--when will they force people to put their babies in school or otherwise verify that the parents are educating them? It's never a postive when the government starts taking over the responsibilities of parents. And it makes me so sad to think of parents who miss out on the opportunities to teach their little babies and watch them develop. Each one is so different and so precious!

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Praying for your husband

I thought some people might be interested in seeing the different prayers for husbands that I got from my retreat.

Sunday: That he might become a holy man, a man of prayer, mature in the Lord, growing in his knowledge of the God. (1 Thes. 5:23, Col. 4:12, Eph. 1:18-19, 3:16-19, 6:18) That he might daily seek God with all his heart, walking in the Spirit moment by moment, growing in his dependence on Him. (Ps. 119:1-2, 27:4. Prov. 3:5-6, John 15:5)

Monday: That he would learn to take every thought captive, to not be confused into the world's thinking, but to think spiritually. (2 Cor. 10:5) That he would learn not to depend on his circumstances for happiness, but on God alone. (Hab. 3:17-19)

Tuesday: That he might have new strength in the midst of his busy schedule, and that the Lord might infuse him with His strength. (Eph. 3:14-19) that his self-image might be a felection of the Lord's thoughts toward him. (Eph. 1:17-19, Rom. 12:3, Ps. 139)

Wednesday: That he might become a called man, not driven, with well-thought-through and prayed-through goals in life. (1Cor. 9:24-27) That the Lord might give him wisdom to lead his family physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. (Eph. 1:17-19, James 1:5-7)

Thursday: That he might stand firm against the schemes of the devil, and resist Satan in all circumstances. (Eph. 6:10-18, James 4:7) That he might not be deceived into unbelief and sin. (Gal. 6:7)

Friday: that the fruit of the Spirit might be exhibited more and more in his life. (Gal. 5:22-23) That he might learn to love as God commanded. (1 Cor. 13:4, Rom. 12:8-10)

Saturday: That the Lord might protect him, guarding his course. (Prov. 2:8) That he might learn to manage his time well. (Eph. 5:15)

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

A Tale of Two Very Different Boys

Something happened last night that so clearly demonstrates the differences in the personalitites of Nathan and Luke. By way of background, for Christmas, the Lorenzinis gave them this "Knight's Treasure Chest", which has all these wonderful activities and games about medieval times for them to do. One activity involved constructing a tiny "mangonel" (catapult) using these itsy-bitsy plastic pieces and a 1 in. piece of string. The wheels are held on by these 5 mm pegs. Well, last night as I was reading their Bible story, I noticed that one of the wheels was missing. I mentioned that, and Nathan was all disappointed, "I tried to reconnect it with a piece of wire, but I guess it didn't work." Luke was looking around the floor and found the missing wheel, so we put it back on the mangonel, at which point Nathan realized that this was a different wheel. He had very cleverly used a staple to hold the other wheel on, bending it like a twistie, and it was still working great. In the meantime, Luke continued to look around and soon triumphantly held up the tiny peg. We put it in to hold the other wheel on, and then Luke proceeded to find the last peg. These are so small, and their floor is not all that clean, but he is a real finder. Nathan, however, is an innovator. So both boys solved the problem in their own way--Nathan figured out something new, and Luke searched to find the original piece. Hmm--which boy is like Bob, and which boy is like me? : )

Lots of Boys

Today we spent the day at the house of some friends. The McCs are in our Bible study and homeschool co-op, and they also have 4 boys, ages 6, 5, 3, and 6 months. Today was co-op day, and Nathan went, but Luke's class (K-5) and the K-4 kids were supposed to go on a field trip to the Udvar-Hazy Annex to the Air and Space Museum. This is a good museum, one that we like, but I just really felt like 4 and 5 year-old kids weren't going to get much out of it, unless they came from all Air Force families, like ours! It is a big cavernous building too, and many of the 4 year-olds are really not that obedient, so I could envision lots of chaos and scary situations. I was thinking about not sending Luke, but I wasn't sure what else to do, since he would be sad to miss co-op. Then Christine said she wasn't going to send her Caleb, so we decided to have a play date instead. The boys had so much fun! Christine picked up Nathan and Isaac and brought them back to her house so the boys could continue playing after lunch. You might think that having 8 boys under 8 in one house would be so crazy and loud, but it really wasn't. Everyone played so nicely together. The McCs are also following The Well-Trained Mind, and they are using Story of the World, Vol. 2 for history as well. They're a little ahead of us, but they're definitely in the middle ages as well, so the boys enjoyed playing with their Pappo castle and knights. It's wonderful to have found a family with which we have so much in common! We are already planning to have a joint medieval feast during the summer to celebrate the end of the school year.