Thursday, June 17, 2010

Birthday and Bats and Blah Blah Blah

So Jonathan turned two yesterday. Two! It seems like he's been two for a while now, and not much about him seemed much different than the day before. Although I am realizing that I will have to do some potty-training in the next few months, the thought of which surprisingly brings very little emotion. I remember dreading it with Benjamin, being amazed at how early I was doing it with Lily (she insisting on climbing on the potty and going - backwards - at 18 mos.), and laughing at how easy it was to do with Abraham and Miriam (appoint Ben and Lily as personal coaches and reward the pee-er AND the coach for success). I don't even remember doing it with Eden, but she is potty-trained, so I know it happened.

Anyway, Jonathan's two. His favorite thing to say right now is, "I DIDN'T" even when he did or when he was supposed to ... as in, "Jonathan, stay in bed." "I DIDN'T."

Or the time he came to the door of Ethan's study with brown and green marker all over his face and hands, looked at his hands, looked at us, and said, "I DIDN'T." The marks on his face begged to differ. Ethan held him up to a mirror, where he blanched, paused, and then reiterated, "I DIDN'T."

He's a silly little guy. He has a really advanced sense of humor (which means he thinks I'm funny) and rarely (read: never) takes me seriously. We enjoy hearing his chatter and spot-on mimicry of the other children. And he has this strange ant fascination. He will drop to the ground to watch an ant closely, and when I hear him crying only to find an ant biting his arm and then go to help remove the ant and squish it, I am rewarded by a, "No, Mama! Bad Mama! Bad Mama!"

In other news, we moved out of the large upper (air-conditioned) conference room because there was a conference last week, and we are now staying in a cabin. And I am so glad, because thirty to forty bats have decided to inhabit the Upper Room. Their numbers are diminishing, though, due to the combined efforts of Kenley the Caretaker, Ethan, and a Large Rat Snake. The last left a slimy pile of fur and bat wings surrounded in foam on the floor of the Upper Room. Ethan used this as an excuse to throw in an extra science lesson for the kids, and I used this as an excuse to GET THE REST OF OUR STUFF OUT OF THERE PRONTO HURRY UP AND SHAKE IT ALL HARD!!!


And the last news is that we are working with a new lender who looks a little more promising. We've turned in the conditions they've requested, and we should know in the next few days whether they say go ... or no.

And that's all for tonight.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A New Blog to Peruse

Well, she only has one post up so far. But she's funny, and she's intelligent, and she's got five kids with hilarious funny bones. So check out my friend Andrea's blog, and get to know her. And comment often!

Just don't come back here telling me how her background totally blows mine out of the water. I know, I know.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Just when I want to be ranting about the fact that the bank denied our home loan because my husband is a 1099'ed employee without two years' history of "self-employment" (and don't get me started on how that term does not truly apply to clergy AAACK) and want to be complaining about how our schedules are severely interrupted by having to travel into town an hour away and how we can't just "go to Walmart" or have someone over for dessert whenever I have a whim -- just when all of that wants to come gushing out of the not-so-well-spring of my heart ...

I get an email that hits me in the gut. "I have breast cancer," writes a friend of mine. A young friend, with five children the same ages as five of mine. And her upcoming messed-up schedules and difficulties with homeschooling and having to stay too many hours in a place not her home come swirling around me and I shut my mouth.

My husband is incessantly humming "Whate'er My God Ordains Is Right" even as we fume at the underwriters. But he's right. And He's right.

I don't know the end from the beginning. "Soli Deo Gloria," quoth Ethan. And "Semper Ubi Sub Ubi."

"Glory to God Alone." And "Always Where Under Where."

I don't know where any of this is taking us. Where the banks will leave us nor where the doctors' opinions will leave her. But I know Who knows.

And I can sleep on that.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Science 101

Toad using Turtle as a lily pad:

The well-researched terrarium (thanks to the impulse purchase of a used copy of Hillcourt's Field Book, which Ben finds indispensable):

Just when I'm feeling especially negligent about my children's learning and schooling, along comes (providentially, I'm convinced) a tutor to live with us for a week. Not only did she instruct through her instinctual affection for the natural world, she fixed meals, dressed children and brushed their teeth, put little ones down for naps, and played wholeheartedly with all from dawn to dusk.

Last weekend, friends from our last church (my Very Good Friend Sue) came camping here to try out their new-to-them camper. They went home on Sunday but left their oldest daughter here for the week.

Kay found a large tupperware container, which was quickly turned into a terrarium. By day's end, two toads (one red, one brown), a turtle, and a lizard named Kenley were munching happily on grasshoppers.

Kayleen (or Kay-la-leeeeen, as Edee says) is at her house now. But she's welcome back anytime!

Right Thar's a Bar!

So, actually, I have quite a few things to post about. Time and little ones in need of direction dictate that I pick the most interesting thing and limit myself to that for now.

Yesterday, on the way home from a day in town and celebrations for Abraham and Miriam's birthday, we were driving along the curvy roads towards the retreat center. I was listening to the second Harry Potter audiobook (and the reader is just THAT GOOD) while trying to ignore children bickering over presents and the occasional baby whimper.

All of the sudden, I felt the van swerve and heard Ethan say, "Look! Look! Look!"

And right there in the field next to us, not more than twenty feet away, was a black bear.

Finally! We've been waiting for so long to see one! The children have been fascinated by the mangled birdfeeder here at the retreat center, desperately hoping to get to see a bear. And here we were, 3.4 miles from the entrance to the center.

I scrambled for the camera (and by "scrambled," I mean I shouted desperately, "ETHAN! WHERE'S THE CAMERA?? WHERE'S THE CAMERA?? WHERE'S THE CAMERA?? FIND THE CAMERA!!!!!!") and then tried to take some pictures. Unfortunately, someone's desperate shouting made the bear move farther away, but we did get a few pics. The interesting thing was that there were 5-10 deer not far from the bear, just munching away and looking around. They didn't move until I was yelling about the camera. Apparently Crazy White Female Spazzing Out is scarier than Natural Predator.

The children all saw the bear. And this MADE THE DAY for Abraham and Miriam. Turning five was a hit!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Guess Who's Five Today

Can this truly be? Two more five-year olds? I must confess, it does bring a bit of relief to be able to say we have six 5 and under and not six 4 and under.

Oh. But that also means two more to be starting reading this year (because they will not wait), and two more to drop naps for good (most likely), and two more to be counted in with the bigs and not the littles.

Dear me. Can I be this old?

I've posted about their birth before, but they continue along their same paths since birth: Abraham is calm and laidback and loves his food, and Miriam is fast and busy and knows what everyone should be doing all the time.

And we love them. Happy birthday, guys! I'm so glad you're in our family, and you're FIVE!
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