Friday, October 10, 2014

Double Entendre

My husband called me to the window this morning.

"Uh-oh," he said. "There's a hearse, dead on the road."

I think Gary Larson would be drawn to that.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Shopping List

A certain 2-year old came into our bedroom this morning and asked, "Do you want to see my rock?"

"Sure," I mumbled into my pillow.

"Oh-tay," she said, and she proceeded to shove her hands down her leggings and pull out a pebble.

I sat up and looked down at her. There were several more unusual lumps showing through her leggings. "How many rocks do you have in there?" I asked.

She shoved her hands down her leggings again, counting. She counted all the way up to eight but only produced four other rocks.

"I have eight rocks," she said. "And you need to go to the store and buy me pockets."

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


I'm fairly sure that one of the downfalls of being the youngest of ten children is when your five older sisters put you in a doll's dress, stick a bow in your hair, cart you around, and call you "Zebulinda."

Especially when you're a boy.

Sunday, October 5, 2014


My husband was gently prodding me to "just write something" for the blog.

"I don't have anything to write!" I said. "There's nothing new for me to say! We still have ten kids. I'm still doing laundry, trying to get out of doing meals, and spending too much time on the Internet. What else is there?"

"Just ruminate," he said.
  1. to chew again what has been chewed slightly and swallowed
  2. to engage in contemplation

So pardon me while I ruminate for a bit.

I am a cheater when it comes to homeschooling. I have been homeschooling for twelve (oops! That's what comes of writing down the first number that comes to your head..."Ben is 12, that's a number, YES! Write it down!") eight years now, and I only figured out this tactic two years ago. Here it is: We start our year in April, take off however much we want to take off for summer, and then start back up when we feel like it (usually mid-August). Then, whenever we are asked, "How long have you been doing school?" we can answer, "Oh, we're on week 13" in the beginning of October. It all sounds very industrious and productive. Really, it's all semantics. I'm a cheater, and I like it.

Zebulun, in his favorite place of all...Outside.
This is the kind of 10-year old girl everyone should have. She's wonderful.

 TWO THINGS have surprised me over the past two years of cheating (and also, not incidentally, finishing each year ahead-of-time):

1. The Read-Aloud. I have become a fervent campaigner for the necessity of read-alouds. Read-alouds (when Mom reads to the children) were always the first thing to be dropped when school started getting stressful or rushed. We did our math, we did our phonics, we called it good.

Now, they are the last thing to be dropped. We may not have time for math, we may not have time for phonics, but we MUST make time for read-alouds! Almost every day, during their breakfast and again during their lunch, the children listen to me read a chapter from a book. Currently, we are reading The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew during breakfast and Five Children and It during lunch. It typically takes us a little over a week to finish a book, and it is unarguably the most important part of our day. It sets our family culture, it forms shared memories, it improves their listening skills and vocabulary and sense of humor...I could honestly do a whole post on this. I am that passionate about it. 

And that surprises me.

2. I like science. My eighth-grade self would be mortified by this statement. Honestly, my thirty-year old self would be mortified by this statement. But suddenly, science is a subject that I don't want to skip! I am just as eager as my children to figure out what is going to happen in the experiment and to figure out why it happened.

An assassin bug eating a beetle on a butterfly bush. That's science!
Science is really a revealing of mysteries! It's fascinating! I feel slightly robbed that my early interactions with science, beginning in about third grade, were right after a soggy cracker-and-cheese lunch, where my carb-induced haze and the need for a nap combined to turn that heavy hardback textbook into one very uncomfortable pillow.

That's not science. That's a siesta.

And that is a bone. Also, that is boy science. Parts of dead things are still your father's territory.

Science is saying, "Watch how this world works! Look what God did! Look how He put this together, and what He has revealed to us so that we may understand a bit of how it is put together! Look what we can make things in this world do because we know a bit about how it is put together!"

I think it's mesmerizing.

And that surprises me.

So there you have it. Ruminations. (Does that surprise you?)
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