{ Noisy Nature }

I hauled two busy boys along on a walk last Monday.

I warned them in my best tough-mom voice:

“We will walk ten miles today, boys. If you want your water bottle, carry it yourself. If you grumble and whine, you will not get a treat at the end. You can do this. We can do this. Let’s go build some muscle, guys!”

So we started off on a well known path.

They were trailing behind me.

Perfect time for me to whip out my earbuds and listen to my own audiobook.

Peace and quiet and lovely time to myself.

Nah, I will wait a little.

Then it got noisy.

That throaty, burping frog pond.

That airy, whistling, bird choir.

The rustles in the dry leaves of tiny who-knows-whats.

I couldn’t miss this.

Spring was waking up here.

The sun was melting my winter slouch.

My ears were being treated to a magnificent, miraculous, musical racket.

“Make a joyful noise,” said the psalmist.

Maybe this is what he meant.

~~~~

Psalm 100

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! 

Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!

Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!

For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.

~~~

This is my Father’s world:
The birds their carols raise,
The morning light, the lily white,
Declare their Maker’s praise.
This is my Father’s world:
He shines in all that’s fair;
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass,
He speaks to me everywhere.

–from the 1901 hymn “This is My Father’s World” / lyrics by Maltbie D. Babcock

{ Boys on Bikes }

 

Biking with boys is a rough, unpredictable sport. Although bike etiquette comes slowly, boys on bikes do not.

Boys on bikes are powerful, confident and free! They are captains of their wheels; masters in the wind.

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When you go biking with boys, you may encounter things like this:

  • The neon-helmeted junior rider in front of you may stop abruptly in the middle of the bike trail. He will expect you to stop, too — although you had no warning.
  • When there’s an orange cone on the trail, warning riders of a hazard, (crumbling pavement, loose gravel, etc.) a biking boy will zigzag as possible to the cone before swerving. He will veer left at the same time you yell out in horror: WATCH OUT! It’s like playing a telepathic game of “chicken.”
  • Boys on bikes like to ride “hands free” on easy stretches, or when younger riders roll by.
  • The exhilaration of riding may cause boys on bikes to play “air guitar” for 5-10 seconds before safely gripping their handlebars again.
  • Boys and bikes enjoy a symbiotic relationship. The boy propels the bike, and the bike energizes the boy. I know this, because when a boy dismounts a bike, he is suddenly energy-zapped, thirsty, and ravenous.

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Summer bike rides with boys are the best.

Boys on bikes do not care about Haiku, but some moms on bikes do:

~~~

Bike ride on a trail

Nature perfumes our journey

Through sunshine and shade

~~~

Orange cone photo credit: Colin Czerwinski

{ Experiments & Eternal Eyes }

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Note in code to my son.

Little boys and their dreams.

His face lights up, telling me about drones, magic tricks, or how he wants to begin a new business fixing things.

This won’t go on forever; someday he will be doing instead of dreaming. So instead of zoning out, tonight I prefer to embrace his experiments and enthusiastic chatter.

My little boy said, “Can I borrow some liquid soap?”

“What for?”

“I want to isolate some DNA.”

Pretty impressive, and found on page 62 of Show Off: How to Do Absolutely Everything. One Step at a Time.

It’s the perfect book for little boys to “amaze, investigate, create, explore, cook, and move.”

Now, they need a mama with plenty of patience and applause as they try, discover, build and do…

Oh Lord, please give me eternal eyes, patient eyes, to remember that my little guy will be little for a very short time.  Help me to nurture his dreams and encourage the gifts You have given him.

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{ Deism, Drones & Death: Musings of a Homeschooling Mom. }

What I am learning this week:

  • When you plan a big party, remember to double-check to see if your mother-in-law’s invitation got sent.  (I am in the process of making this right.)

 

  • Little people listen more than we realize. When I asked my children today during American History, “What do you remember about Deism?” I didn’t expect eight-year-old Gianny to be the one itching to answer: “It’s the belief that God set the world in order and then went away until judgment.”

 

  • Drones are cool and come in two main styles: quadracopter and hexacopter. People who get to review drones online are very cool.  People that blow things up using household materials are possibly even cooler. And, I was just informed that the King of Random just flew a drone online for the first time.  That’s cool colliding with awesome. (This information was generously handed to me by my 13-year-old, who offered me the pleasure of watching a 7 minute drone video. I am a blank slate when it comes to knowledge of drones, so I learned a lot.)

 

  • Gardens eventually die. Looking out the window this morning, I saw the bittersweet view of a frosty garden.  I mourned my basil and zinnias for about five seconds and then was grateful I wouldn’t have to battle the tomato slugs anymore. I gathered what I could. Photos attached.

 

  • The last peach in the bowl is always the most precious and sought after.  I could divide it into 12 tiny slices….or just eat it myself after everyone is in bed. 🙂

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I will miss the bright beauty of the zinnias.

 

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Green tomato recipes, here I come.

Isaiah 40:8~ "The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God stands forever."

 

{ Upside-Down Adventure }

IMG_20170528_074110.jpgThis is how we encourage writing with our kids:

1. My child has some event that seems worthy enough to tell mom about. It could be a happening with other kids, a sad movie he saw, or a dream, etc.  I tell him to write it down, and I will type it out.  We do this often.  Sometimes, I re-write it as a news report, poem, or article. (Good writing practice for me.)

2.  At the end of the school year, I collect these informal pieces, plus the reports and essays they have written for school.  We deliver these to Office Max, where they assemble the papers into a spiral bound book. It’s cheap: $3 – $4, depending on the book thickness.  The result:

  • a record that we have accomplished something for the school year
  • a memory book of stories, dreams and events
  • a way to show student progress in writing ability, year by year
  • something special to set on their graduation open house table.
  • a reason for grandparents to smile
  • a feel-good addition to our homeschool

My son’s recent tree adventure prompted this writing activity:

Marco’s version:

One day, I climbed a tree.  The tree was tall. It had a lot of branches. I was getting a view of the house and the road.  When I was getting down and my foot could not reach the branch, then I slipped.  And I was hanging upside-down.  I yelled for help.

Ava came first. She saw my leg, stuck in the tree.  She held onto me, so I would not fall into the stinging nettles.  Soon Gino came.  He pushed me back up into the tree and I got my foot unstuck.  I climbed out of the tree and put my shoes back on because they had fallen off.  Then I said “thank you” to Gino and Ava and I walked back to the house.   The End.

Mom’s version:

A nine-year old boy narrowly escaped impact yesterday when he hung upside down from a tree branch until rescued by siblings.

Marco regularly climbs the same tall basswood tree on his rural Midwest property.

“I like it because I can see the whole house and the highway when I’m way up there,” he says.

From an upright position, Marco doesn’t fear heights.  But yesterday, when he fell head first and dangled by a caught foot, he was afraid no one would hear his cries for help.

“I started to climb down, but I slipped. I yelled for help, but no one came at first.”

Ava, his eleven-year-old sister, was the first to hear him.  She ran over and held on to him, so he wouldn’t fall into a patch of stinging nettle plants. Gino, 16, followed, lifting Marco’s foot clear of the branch.

The relieved boy gathered his fallen shoes, thanked his siblings, and ran back to the house.

Shaking, Marco told his story to the rest of the family.

“I’m thankful I didn’t fall into the stinging nettles. God protected me.”

~ Lisa

Survive“>

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/survive/