Monday, April 30, 2012

Jumpy And Happy

It's the last day of Friendship Club and my children offer plates of cookies to the people they love to serve. They're greeted by grunts, silence, and a few thank yous. Some friends want to touch them and others are too interested in grabbing a cookie. In any case, my children are at ease in this environment and know that it's their privilege to serve God's special people.

And since our time with them has come to a close for this year, we party like it's going out of style. Musical chairs has our friends jumping for joy and laughing and throwing up their hands in the air. The parachute comes out, they get to whack each other with Styrofoam noodles and they even get an extra cookie.

(Again, I wish I could post photos of their beautiful, joyful faces but my own kidddos will have to do :)
Later, at home, Oliver thoughtfully comments, "I know what God is doing with them, He's making them jumpy and happy so they won't think about doing bad stuff. I do so much bad stuff in a row. I wish God made me like them. Is it a good thing when you are angry with someone and you just tap them instead of hit them?"

I tell my boy doing good or bad things is a choice and that he is blessed to know the difference. But he recognizes that some of our friends aren't always aware of the social reasons we are polite or sit quietly or wait our turn. He's seeing their uninhibited behaviour and wondering why God didn't give him the same kind of freedom. I answer my child as best as I can and then I ponder these questions in my mind for awhile. How wonderful would it be for all of us to be jumpy and happy and not be concerned about whether or not we're being "socially acceptable"? What a different place this world would be.

1183. how they love to serve at Friendship Club
1184. how Natalie always joins me at the front in singing--hymnal open, pretending she's leading from it
1185. the way that Jodie and Michael act like an old married couple there
1186. the way my father-in-law melts into a puddle of sweetness when he's around our friends
1187. the way my mother-in-law is diligent every week to organize everything and play the piano to lead them in worship
1188. the way a few of them blast a laugh, like a horn, when the balls fly up on the parachute
1189. how she silently giggled in that wheelchair and her face shone when I pointed out how beautiful her hairband was
1190. for Baby Brock born yesterday--welcome to the world, number eight! your family will love you like crazy
1191. the way my son is pondering new ideas each day and learning how to articulate things that blow my mind
1192. for Betty and her forever friendship (Samuel de Champlain and Henry Hudson :)
1193. weather that allows our tiny bunny to finally be outside--phew!
1194. twelve sweet puppies
1195. free laminating at the "choo-choo train store" just because Meg was kind and polite to the staff
1196. the way the girls' books turned out in their writing class
1197. how Hilary put together a whole rain forest unit for all ten of us in a matter of days
1198. freedom to homeschool in this great country (God keep our land glorious and free!)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Just Like Pioneers

Their skirts swished around their ankles and boys grinned beneath peaked caps. It was a day to play pioneers and to appreciate the Mennonites who still live like pioneers. My sister took it to the extreme, as usual, burning a kerosene lantern and turning out the power in their house for nearly two weeks. Her children completed schoolwork in a one-room school house (her photography studio, converted) and played baseball at recess. They were allowed to choose two outfits only, and the rest were packed away. They ate what Amish and Old Order Mennonites eat and gathered around the table to play games by a homemade tin candlelight, in the evening. Without the Wii and television, the children searched for ways in which to entertain themselves. It was a challenge, but I have a sneaking suspicion, they won't forget this adventure.
They gazed upon twelve newborn puppies and helped groom and ride the horses. Then all those pioneer children shook ice and sugar, salt and milk, until it turned into ice cream. They swung high in the barn loft and played hard till it was time to go home. At the end of the day, after we commented that we didn't know where the time had gone, we saddled up our Honda and headed down the dusty road to feed our Pa... just like pioneers.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Girl Time For Teachers (Rewind to March)

It was her March Break from teaching Kindergarten so Lily asked if we could have some girl time. I knew just the place for us--back to the retreat lodge at which I had stayed in January. Vigorous walks, good talks and relaxing by the fire, we soaked up every moment of peace and quiet. And, God shed some light on a few things for us, as only He is able.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


I can hear them cracking up through the open deck doors and I smile. They're bonding in that swinging way and they call it double-dating. I peek out and bring my camera because I know that the best grins spread across their faces when they finally ride in tandem and thus, perform the "double-dating" stunt.

Sunday, April 22, 2012