Non-Christians are idiots (and other lies we tell our children)

Recently, I’ve had the privilege of mentoring a young lady through an opportunity that may or may not be of the Lord. It’s in an area of life in which I have a good bit of experience, so I’m finally getting to put to use some of that hard-won wisdom that God so graciously allowed me to store up. One message I keep sending the young lady is this: patience. Wait upon the Lord. He isn’t rushed by the timetables of man; neither should you be.

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By request: Our Day {straddle parenting in the trenches}

Oh, how reluctant I am to throw this into cyberspace. The truth is, there is no “normal” day any more than there is a “perfect” day. There are only days, and thank the Lord for that. I–like you– am a servant, on call at any moment to answer the needs of my husband, my children, and my friends and family. If you are blessed to be surrounded with people, then you are blessed to be interrupted. That’s just the way of it. So sitting down to transcribe anything that remotely claims to be “a typical day” is truly impossible. And yet …

And yet, people ask. All the time. 

Moms in tears after nursing a colicky baby through another child’s ortho appointment ask. Women just finding out that their newest addition is due the same week as their oldest’s SATs ask. Friends trying like anything to figure out how to get a teen and a toddler to share a room ask.

“What does your day look like?”

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{Work in Progress Wednesday}

“The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive. To him… a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death. Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create — so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, his very breath is cut off from him. He must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency he is not really alive unless he is creating.” -Pearl Buck

(Work in progress: Yet another of Jack’s amazing, intricate creations. This one is a Cribbage-style board game fashioned from scrap wood in a moment when the urge to do something struck him. He carved the die, whittled the game pieces, and even fashioned a sliding storage spot in the board for containing it all.)

We’d love to see your works in progress. Something that makes you feel simple, full, or creative. Something you’re making. Something you’re doing (folding a pile of laundry–again?). Something you’re planning. Share in the comments!

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Moments, not milestones

I remember the first time Phineas stood on his own. It was in the middle of the floor, far away from the safety net of the couch or a nice, solid chair. After a bit of maneuvering that found him at time on hands and knees with his bottom thrust into the air, he stood. Fully upright, feet planted and head held high. He looked somewhat confused as to how it had all happened, but there he was. He was up.

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By request: How I Make Yogurt

Eight months in to this blog, and a pattern of Frequently Asked Questions has emerged. They range from inquiries about vaccines to recipes to how to homeschool multiple ages and stages at the same time. Some of it, frankly, is so specific to our family that to even write it up would do you a disservice. I am firmly of the belief that God calls and equips each family according to His will and plan. Reading blogs and gleaning insight, encouragement, and practical skills is a great tool. But since no one family is the same, and since what works for me won’t necessarily work for you, well … I’m reluctant to throw out there the things that someone might take for Gospel Truth when really, they’re just The Way it Works for Us.

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{Work in Progress Wednesday}

“the goal is to keep yourself moving, remember? don’t linger. don’t hover. you are not going to stay.”
― Terra Elan McVoy, After the Kiss

(Work in progress: ActionPackers being packed. A sign that things to come are, indeed, coming.)

We’d love to see your works in progress. Something that makes you feel simple, full, or creative. Something you’re making. Something you’re doing (folding a pile of laundry–again?). Something you’re planning. Share in the comments!

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Feeding the People {a large family’s 2-week menu, with recipe links}

Unbelievably, at the end of this menu cycle, we will be headed on our east coast farewell tour. That fact alone would make these two weeks center on “eat the pantry,” but adding to that the overwhelming amount of packing, purging, sorting, and preparing that we need to cover, and the fact that we’ll be seeing 80 degree days for at least a week solid … yeah, it’s crockpot or no-fuss around here for a while.

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Raising an autodidact (on purpose)

I’m remembering now how this goes, this feeding the rabbit trails for the younger set. It’s been a while, but I’m getting back into the swing. Jemmy is currently fascinated with volcanoes. You know what that means: time to break out the baking soda and vinegar.

The older kids are easier, I’m not going to lie. These are the steps for satisfying the curiosity of a middle schooler/high schooler:
1. Something gets mentioned. Recent example: “Did you know that the Smithsonian has the body of a man that turned to SOAP?!?” I overhear and say, “Saponification. Interesting phenomenon.” Older kids look at me askance, ask me to repeat the phrase, then request permission to google. I oblige.
2. Googling begins. Articles are read. Chemical formulas are charted. Condition requirements are investigated. A murder mystery from the 1940s is discussed. This goes on for an hour or more.
3. A new, previously unknown topic is discovered. The children abandon saponification with the promise that they will try their hands at soapmaking sometime soon, but will avoid lakes and human bodies.

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Shaping

These last few weeks have been busy–jam packed– with the comings and goings of a healthy, growing, sprawling family. We’ve gone and done and been and seen, and hosted and visited and experienced. The weather has ranged from cool to downright hot, and we’ve embraced every glorious minute.

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{Work in Progress Wednesday}

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” 
―Michael Pollan

(Work in progress: Our little blueberry bushes are bearing their modest harvest … and the fruits are being eaten within seconds of being picked.)

We’d love to see your works in progress. Something that makes you feel simple, full, or creative. Something you’re making. Something you’re doing (folding a pile of laundry–again?). Something you’re planning. Share in the comments!

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