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Monday, March 26, 2012

The Hunger Games - A Mom's Review

Perhaps you are aware that I am a huge fan of the books The Hunger Games

I feel strongly that this is a series that should be read.

That said, when my twelve year old son's sixth grade class was informed they would be reading this series, I went to the teacher and said I was concerned and did not think they should read it.  He asked me if I had read them and I said I had JUST finished reading them all and they were too adult content for the kids to read.  He assured me he knew what he was doing.

I wish I had fought harder about that.

S1 read the book and loved it.  And here is the thing, I didn't want him to read the rest of the series.  But the class started to and he couldn't wait for them so he read them all.  We talked a lot about the series as he was reading them.

And then I found out it was going to be a movie.

Now I have a choice here.

As someone who knows fully what will be in the movie I have to decide if my child should see it.

But he read the books.

And I think in a book you spend so much of your time in a book the movie is not as powerful. There is, however, something to be said about an IMAGE sticking with you.

I decided this was a great teachable moment.

And it was a great mom and son bonding time.

So, my two friends, Alicia and Korene, and I took our boys to see it.

I'll not lie, we were giddy as could be.

I wanted S1 to feel it was a real special moment.  I wore heels to be taller than him. :)

 He wore his best camouflage.  
 Korene had not read the books and Alicia was the one who had told me to read them.  All our boys had read them in the same class.  I sat between Alicia and Korene, and it was interesting to be in between my friend who knew what was going to happen and my friend who had no idea what would happen.

In the movie, the children have to fight to the death.  There is no getting around that.  The movie follows the book rather well, of course the book is better.  The book is also much more bloody, much more painful to read.

When we left the movie, Korene was reeling.  We stood in the parking lot as the boys played catch and talked over the movie and the symbolism of it.  Alicia loves it for the story.  Korene was in shock that her son had read the book and she didn't know it was about THIS.  That evening Korene, Alicia and I were messaging more ideas about the movie and themes and so forth.

It's just that kind of book.  It's just that kind of a movie.  It does not leave you.

S1 and I chatted about the movie versus the book on the way home.  I asked him why it was he thought the movie was so popular.  He shrugged, "The love story in it, I guess."

"Is that why you like it?" I asked, quite surprised, I'll admit.

"No," he stopped to chew some of the fried chicken I had picked up for him after the movie at his favorite place to eat, KFC.  "I liked the book because when you read it you felt you knew that character and why she did what she did.  Some books you read, you read about the character.  This book you really felt you knew the character.

And I liked all the woods scenes.  How she had to think fast and act."

I asked him what he thought about the kids killing each other.  And this is when we began to discuss the underlying parts of the book.

As a mom reading/watching this, I could not ever fathom being able to watch my child's name being pulled out of all the names to be sent to near certain death.  I would protect them from all harm.

But the book and the movie portrayed it so well....the people had no hope.  None.

I cannot fathom it.

It scared me, the parallels it made.  My heart broke for those who have gone to war.  It pierced me to think of a world without any hope in a God to save them.  It concerns me how easily a large group of people can look to one dictator to think for them unquestioningly.

All this my twelve year old son and I talked over.

When we arrived home, he wandered off to hang out with his brothers and my husband and I chatted.  "Good movie?" he asked.

"Yes...and no.  Yes, because it's what I expected.  No, because I shouldn't have taken him to it.  Because he should have never read those books."

I know, shocking because I love them so.  I fully understand why someone does not want to read them.  I fully can appreciate the outcry against it.

For me it was because it took just more of my son's innocence.

And yet, I am thankful - so thankful - that he and I have a relationship that we can talk the books and movie over.  That we have that open dialogue.

I would rather have done what we did...see it together, not just pretend it wasn't the biggest most talked about thing in the entertainment news right now, made it a special mother son day, and made it as fun and memorable as possible.



But the rest of my boys?  No. Not a chance.  S2, who is nearly ten, would have nightmares.  And I will be more adamant he will not read it in sixth grade, I believe.

If it's not this book, it will be another.  And every situation is different.

But S2 I know could not come close to handling this.  And I feel terrible for the kids who may have struggled with the book.  Because it is just that kind of a book.  It's just that kind of a movie.

I had just read this quote before we went to see the movie. "Silence in the face of evil is itself evil. God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act." - Bonhoeffer

Katniss acted on what she knew was right.  Peeta refused to let "them" dictate who he would be.  There are amazing lessons to be learned in the book and movie, amazingly GOOD lessons that make their point poignantly well.

If you loved the books, you will like the movie.  The scenes are beautiful in the mountains. The music is touching (can't wait to get the soundtrack!) and when it comes out on dvd, I'll buy it.  I'll watch it again because I like it so.  It's a powerful movie and I can't wait to see what my husband thinks of it as well, especially him knowing what a fan I am of it.



And, on a totally different soap box rant, SERIOUSLY, did a bunch of us need to see a movie trailer where the couple is undressing each other before the movie began?   My son was more scarred by THAT scene than anything in the entire Hunger Games movie.  Heads up on the previews....

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Embarrassing Moments

Because I know these things would not ever happen to you, I thought you might enjoy laughing at me.

Since I am sure I will be hearing about them over and over again I might as well share them with you all.

In an effort to be friendly and talk to people more (not really my thing, you recall), I got myself in trouble.

Sigh.

I was chatting with the teacher who loves S4 ever so much and keeps a good eye on him for me.  I would truly be lost without Mrs. W.  S4 loves her to pieces.  Anyhow, I was telling her how S4 had been sick but seemed fine and if he seemed sickly at all to call me and I would be there right away to get him.

As I was chatting with her outside the school, a truck pulled in.

The truck looked just like S2's friend ( and near twin ) Jakob's dad's truck.  I did think through that it was odd he would be dropping Jakob off at school.

Then I remembered I was going to be friendlier like the old lady at the library.

So I grinned a friendly hello and waved to him.  I could tell from his tinted window that he seemed surprised but did wave back.

Sheesh, I need to be friendlier, I thought.

And then I seen the boy leave the truck.

The boy was not Jakob.

I have no idea what man I grinned and waved happily too.

"Oh, Crap!" I muttered in my head.

I called my husband.  "Hey, hon, I was trying to be friendly and just waved at some random guy.  Have no idea who he is.  If you happen to hear your wife is a flirt, it's because of this."

This story only makes the next one even better.

On the SAME DAY, I was working on making plans for our family to get together with one of our favorite family's we haven't seen in forever.  We haven't gotten together at eachother's houses in may be years - all of us, that is.

Anyhow.

Her husband has this incredible zip line he made for himself their three boys.  An mentioned that the zip line was broken and she would be sure that Jeff had it fixed before our boys were there.  So I tweeted Jeff to tell him we had the date planned and to have the zip line ready.  But that isn't what I thumb typed on twitter.  Oh no.

This is what I tweeted...

 texting with An planning the --th at your place. Have the zipper ready :)



Oh, yes, I did.

And he, being him, wondered WHAT ON EARTH I MEANT.

I saw what I had tweeted and wanted to die.

So I tried to shake it off, but then I texted An (who is not on twitter) and told her what I did.

She laughed hysterically (via text).

Then I called my husband.

"Hey, hon, guess what I did now? Um, you wouldn't be able to guess so...."

He then about died laughing.

Ugh.

So, I am thinking I may go back to being a guarded shy person and I will be double checking what my auto correct changes my words to.

You all my now laugh at my expense.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Boy Who Cried Sick

Once upon a time there was a little boy.

He loved his mama very much and liked to spend time with her.

It was hard for him to spend too much time with just mama because he had three big brothers who needed a mama too.

But he would go to the library with her and spend the whole day with her and Aunt Alicia and he would have all kinds of fun.

Then he got so big he had to go to school everyday.

But...

If he was sick on a library day, he would get to come to the library and spend the whole day with his mama and Aunt Alicia.

So sometimes he would have a sorta tummy ache.  It would ache - a little - until he got to the library.  Then he would feel better and get to color pictures and make crafts and check out lots of books.  There was a train track to play with and he could hug his mama whenever he wanted.

One morning, he woke up and didn't feel very good.

But he knew what his mama would say.  "You have to go to school." So he didn't tell her he felt sick.

After not even an hour, he said he needed to go home.

But, mama didn't believe him.

The teachers didn't believe him.

His big brother didn't believe him.

But when he puked....

Everyone believed him.

When his mama, who rubbed his back as he puked into the garbage can, took him home to rest he said, "Mama, you know those super moms they show on tv?  You really the super mom."

And she smiled and told him she loved him.

So he cuddled up with the pillow pet mama had known he would need and fell back asleep.

But he learned a valuable lesson this day.

Don't cry sick unless you really are sick.

(Alice and I thought we should read him The Boy Who Cried Wolf, but then after hearing him puke - again - we decided we could wait to read him that story when he was feeling better.  Thanks to wonderful "Aunt" Alicia who sent us home.  You really are a genius, you know. :) )


Monday, March 19, 2012

Frogs

My boys love frogs.

 Do you recall when they brought one down to me every night?  Those Night Frogs were quite the mystery for a bit.
The boys are already on the search for a new pet frog.  They have been trying to catch a few bull frogs they found in this 80 degree Michigan weather we have been having.

The other day S4 said, "Frogs are my favorite because they are never mean and they never bite. Wait, do they have teeth? No? Then I love frogs, don't you Mama?" 



So the other morning as I was sipping my morning coffee watching Fox 17 news, I nearly fell off the stool I was sitting on when I saw this video of Emily.  

Then Sat Truck Troy made a mini clip video that is even funnier and I had to share with you all.  I guarantee it will make you laugh.



Friday, March 16, 2012

A Trip to Kalamazoo Valley Museum

As you know, I work at a library.  I am super blessed to work with Alicia.

In planning our summer reading program (Dream Big - Read theme, focusing on night and Brian Lies' artwork), Alicia and I talked about how cool it would be to tell the kids about the stars in the sky and how to find the different constellations - but pretty much impossible on a summer morning for our library kiddos. That's when Alicia found a link for the Kalamazoo Valley Museum's Planetarium.  They were showing a winter sky special.  We decided we would take our boys out of school for the afternoon and bring them to the museum ourselves.

Seven boys. Two country girls. 

We could do this.

I baked the boys, and Alicia's boys too, some chocolate chip cookies.
When I went to pick them up, S1 mentioned that Miss Alicia's cookies are better than his mama's.
He is now forever regretting that statement.
He's pretty sure his mama isn't making him cookies for a good long time.

But armed with chocolate chip cookies and lots of excitement, we headed to downtown Kalamazoo.

My boys can't recall ever being in downtown Kalamazoo.

It was a bit of shock to my country boys.

And when we DROVE INTO A BUILDING to park...they were shrieking.

Seriously, I could have just driven to the parking garage and it would have been a field trip.

 Because the parking garage was sooooo cool, we needed a photo.
 The planetarium was impressive.  At one point, S4 leaned over and said to me, "Mama, is it night time right now?"  We were the only ones in the planetarium which made it more memory making.  Will I be able to find the stars in the sky now? I believe I will still struggle.  But did I learn a lot?  I surely did!

Outside of the planetarium there was a tornado machine.  I so wished I had taken a picture of that because the boys were enthralled with the tornado.

We headed upstairs and came onto the how to produce Energy race track.  Really, this drew the boys in and we could hardly get them away.  They worked to build a car like the demo.  With an electric type engine, they could race the cars around the track.  
 Even my husband, when I told him about this, thought it was cool.
 The boys had all kinds of fun modifying their cars to race them.  Well, everyone had fun but S4 who you can see crying.  He wanted to make a car, he wanted to race a car and he really needed nap.  Fearing a breakdown, I suggested we go explore.
 Honestly, we didn't know anything about the museum and thought that the little section we were in might be it.  Oh, no!  The museum took a turn and suddenly we were engulfed in Kalamazoo history.
 The boys could not believe they got to pretend play these instruments at the Gibson Guitar section.
 The speakers played the music of the play wooden instruments and the boys acted as though they were the professionals playing.  S2 has always dreamed of playing the banjo.  I am not even joking.
 S1 looked mighty fine.
 This picture of S4 cracks me up.
 S3 was ready to write his own music.
 We wandered farther and came to the General Store.  S4 was more than slightly ecstatic that there was a checker board and didn't want to leave until he had successfully beaten his brother.
 But when we found this.......
 Everyone had to be a newscaster.  The weather was a lot of fun, the boys love watching the weather on Fox 17, as you know, and they just had so much fun playing with the weather map.

The desk?  I mean, how fun was this?!
 They were able to move the camera and pretend they were Mike Davis so to say they had a blast here would be an understatement.

The part of the museum they loved the most though, shocked Alicia and I a bit.

It was the diner.
 I don't know if it is because they don't have play kitchen sets or what, but the boys were enthralled with this diner set up.  I don't think we will be eating any food they make for awhile but, seriously, the boys had fun making up food and taking orders. 
 Even baby Callisto was in shock at their silliness.
 I mean, they were so animated it was hilarious to watch.
 You can see S2 laughing hysterically.  They all were but S2's face cracks me up.
 We had to move them away.  They were having waaaaaaaay too much fun.

There was another flight of stairs.  And at the top of the stairs was a mummy.
 To be honest, this sort of freaked S4 out a bit.  This was an ACTUAL dead person?

Yup.  Yup, it was.

But it is a dead person mummy with a TWITTER ACCOUNT!!!! Seriously. You can follow HERE.

And the boys did find this mummy to be amazingly cool.  

We headed off to the disease section and just as the boys were thinking this was going to be grossly enthralling, we heard the announcement that the museum was closing.  Where had all the time gone?

We hurried out of the building, soaked in some more glorious sunshine of the day, the boys wanted to know if New York looked as cool as downtown Kalamazoo (really, Alicia, we need to take the boys out more) and drove our suburban out of the building (aka parking garage) to head for home.

This was a small miracle.  I usually always get lost but I followed Alicia to the museum without a bit of problem and I drove home without even thinking I may be lost (Siri was there to help).  Easiest trip to and from.

We stopped at Plainwell Ice Cream for some of the world's greatest ice cream.
The boys (and their mama) arrived home exhausted but happy.

S1 emailed me.  "Sure had a lot of fun today.  Thanks."

I think that pretty much sums the whole day up.

As a mom, I was so thankful that all the exhibits were kid interactive.  The museum wanted to kids to be a part of the history, this makes it sink in even more for them.  Had we had more time, the "phones" you could pick up and listen to tell you the back story of the display would have been something the boys would have learned so much from.

When you are so used to saying, "Be careful! Don't touch that!" it was great to just let the boys explore.  THAT made the day fun.

Already the boys are wondering if we can go back again soon.  And yes, I think we shall descend upon the Kalamazoo Valley Museum again in the near future.

There is no cost to visit the museum
There is a three dollar charge for the 45 minute planetarium show

INFO

Monday - Thursday, Saturday 9am-5pmFriday 9am-9pmSunday and Holidays: 1-5pm (Closed Easter,
230 North Rose Street | Map + ParkingKalamazoo Michigan 49007800.772.3370 | 269.373.7990

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Boy Who Was Raised By Librarians

Today I was very excited to be the guest reader for S4's Kindergarten class.  I kept it a secret from him...which is tough to do, let me tell you.

I brought in Brian Lies' Bats In the Library.  The whole line of Bats books by Brian Lies are great, I love the illustrations!

And I love the fact that my husband can't stand that book because he has an insane fear of bats.  Did I ever tell you about our honeymoon....hmmm, I don't think so.  (Mental note to self, you MUST tell that bat story on your anniversary this year!)

But the first book I read was The Boy Who Was Raised by Librarians.  I looooooooove this book for very obvious reasons.  In case you don't know those reasons, I will tell you.....

S4 used to go to work with me one day a week at the library and it was the happiest, funniest, most hair pulling time.  I miss my little library helper now that he is in school every day.  My boys, thankfully, love to go to the library with me.  Part of that reason is because they like that they ALL get their own computer to play addicting games but that is beside the point....they LIKE the library and that makes my heart so very happy.

This book was a gift to me when I started my new job from An.  And I love An for reading it to her boys and knowing I needed it so instead of telling me about it, she just sent it to me.

Our library now has a copy there.  Alicia and I loved it too much to not purchase it.

When I went to post my facebook update today, I wanted to link the book.  I found it on YouTube so now I can share the whole wonderful story with you all!



I always pause at the point where the snake can live in the bathtub and say, "And mom's do NOT want snakes living in their tubs so that is not a good book to check out.  Snakes live outside, okay?"

Because my boys would try that.  You know they would.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Don't I Know You?

An old woman, cheery in face and sweet in demeanor, shuffled into the library with her walker.

I greeted her from my seat behind the library counter. Her face lit up. "Oh, I haven't seen you in a long time!" she said.

I had  N O   I D E A  who she was.

She must have seen that on my face.  "What is your name, honey?"

I told her.

"Oh my oh my oh my, look at you all grown up! What a pretty girl you are! My, my how time flies."

Still,  N O  I D E A who this woman was.  So I asked, "And I know you how?"

She went on to put me in a class with her girls, and then remembered I was younger than that.

But I didn't go to school in the town I work in and when she realized I wasn't who she thought I was she saddened a bit and then instantly cheered, "Well, it is a pleasure to meet you!" she smiled.  She then made my day complimenting our wonderful town library.

She was such a dear.

She settled in to wait for her family who was using the computer while I went back to work.  But her sweetness stayed with me and brought to mind a conversation I had with my husband this week.

At the beginning of the school year, I saw a girl I had gone to school with.  For the life of me I could not remember her name.  Later, it hit me but I couldn't remember if it was pronounced Cas-ee or Cay-cee. So, I just have not said hello.

In my defense, she hasn't either.

But, the thing is, I DO know who she is even if she didn't recognize me.  And it is driving me crazy to not say hello.  And why don't I say hello?  Because I can't remember the correct enunciation of her name?

Her husband dropped one of their boys off this week.  HIS name I remember.  Matt.  You can't really mess up the name MATT.  But, because I haven't talked to his wife yet...six months into the school year, how sad is THAT (and in my defense, I don't see her often)...I didn't say hello to him.

When I told my husband this, he called me out. "That was rude!" he chastised me.  My husband talks to everyone...me, not so much.  At all.

"But I couldn't be talking to him when I haven't talked to her.  That just looks so wrong!" I defended myself.

Still.

How much nice would I have been had I not said "Hey! We went to school together and now your kids go to this school? Good to see you!"  That's all I should have said because every time I think back to then, that's what I know I should have said.

I could have been nice.

Why do I have such a hard time talking with people I actually know?  A complete stranger of a woman mistook me for someone she knew and was still sweet to me.  I could learn a lot from her.

A whole lot.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Surprise! We Are Gonna Have a Baby!

Friday, after our adventurous day at work, I returned home and got the mail.

I received this box.
Apparently Similac has heard we are expecting a new baby.

Which is as much news to me as it is to you.....and to my husband.

My husband who had not yet seen the box.

And my evil plan was birthed.

At the dinner table, I set the box on his plate, covered it with a dish towel (remember my post about getting remarried? Yah, here is one of those un-photographed dish towels, much to my embarrassment.) and waited for his arrival home.

I giggled with anticipation all night because, well, I have a rather vivid imagination and I could imagine his reaction.

It was going to be grand.

The fact that after S4's arrival we made sure that there was NO way we would have another bouncing baby boy added to my hilarity.

Well, that and it had snowed that day so I may have gone from depression over the snow to giddy at hearing it may reach sixty degrees on Sunday.

I wanted S1 to video his reaction.  S1 did not understand my silliness.  He assumed it was because Daddy hated the taste of whatever the drink was in the box.  This made me laugh even more.

When my unsuspecting husband walked in, he seen the dinner plate and smiled big.  He loves to get surprises. I was nearly jumping up and down at this point.

He lifted the towel before S1 could get the camera.

"What in the world........." was all he could mutter.

His face was one of shock.  And then confusion. And then he looked at me as I began laughing hilariously.  "Similac thinks we are having a baby!" I laughingly explained.

"Humph" was his reply.  Then, "Hey, what is for dinner?"

Not quite the huge reaction I had hoped for but fun all the same.

But all night he would say, "Can you imagine having another one now?"

To which I would shake my head and say, "No.  No I can not imagine having another."

This story was made even better because Sunday we found that our friends from church, Wes and Karen, are having Baby #16 in October.  Yes, they are all theirs.  There is one set of twins, a zillion boys and four girls (2 of which are the twins).

I think I will give the similac to them because we so do not need it.


Friday, March 9, 2012

Mama, You Smell....

After a day where S4 informed the school he was sick and sure to throw up at any second so our awesome school called and informed me and my friend Korene, who totally rocks and works at the school, drove him across the street to the library at where I work (and was there alone) and he then told me he may have just been hungry so he ate all my lunch because he left school to fast to grab his lunch and maybe a movie would help him feel better too....

....and he suddenly felt all better.....

We returned home.

S4 gave me a big hug....and then began sniffing.

S4 believes he can sniff out scents like an animal or a survivalist.

"Mama....you smell.  You smell like...." he sniffed harder, "Like the library. Must be cuz you are there so much."

S1 gasped. Then,  "Wait, is that a good thing or a bad thing?"

"If Mama smells like a library then she smells GOOD."

Wise answer, oh young one.

A Rambling Post


Spring is officially on it's way to us here in our corner of the earth.

I had a day off when the sun was shining and I just could not stay inside.  I had to get out.  I had to dig out my growing bulbs.  I had to dig in the dirt and just smell the smell of growth and green and dirt again.

I may be odd.

But it felt sooooo good to be outside digging in dirt again.

And at the end of the night, as I snuggled down in my just washed blankets that had been dried on the clothes line and my hair still in french braid pig tails, I fell asleep with a smile on my face.

Today, however, it is dreary and cool and I am looking at my house thinking I really do need to clean it and spring it up a bit.

Cat hair blew past my toes today and I nearly screaming thinking it was a mouse.  I need to clean.

But I am also dreaming up some house plans too.

Nothing grand, just some new splashes of pain, some new curtains...I really really want the carpet to move out of our house permanently but we have discussed my hatred of carpet many times and I won't bore you with more talk of how much I disdain the carpet and would be happier with even plywood on the floor to replace it.

Big breath...moving on.

S4 has been chattering away unlike....I do not know what to liken or unliken it to.  It's really something else.  When he is picked up from school or dropped off from the bus, he greets me talking and he. Does. Not. Quit. Talking.

At all.

I know which kid moved in line and who had to move their car or what book was read or the games played at recess and then he asks me to spell.

"How do you spell......."

I tell him.  "Great. Are you sure?"

I was sure.

When he is not asking me to spell, he is asking me what times what or what plus what or what minus what equals.  

By the time I go to sleep at night I want silence.

But here is the funny thing.  The day I was home alone, happily in my garden, I kept looking over my shoulder for one of my boys to be there.  Even with the wind howling and the radio on, it was eerily silent.

Sometimes I miss the little hands that would hold mine as we left the school.  Some days I miss the boys being here and me feeding them a zillion pounds of food a day.  But sometimes it is nice to just be home alone for a few hours to recoop and clean and write.

Spring always makes me want to write and write and write.

I am reading the book The Secret Garden to the boys.  They groaned when I told them.  They hated it to begin with.  But I think they are finally finding some of the magic in that book.  They actually asked me to read it the other night.  I think the book is the perfect spring time book.

Well, I could go and tell you about all sorts of more nonsense but I think that is enough for today.  I'll try to have some heavy or funny or deep or silly thing for you soon. :)

11 days until spring

Thursday, March 8, 2012

He Stood Up For His Values

Yesterday at school my son stood up for something he believed in.
And I am so proud of him for it.

Heard of the movie The Lorax?

Pretty hard not to.

Our school is decorated cutely with silly Dr. Seuss trees and flying Seuss birds.  The little boys came home bearing some sunflower seeds and some sort of official looking paper that said they had taken the Lorax pledge or something another.  I honestly didn't pay any attention to it because they were just happy about the seeds.

Yesterday S1 came in rather glum.

"What's up?" I asked as I scooped them out some special dirt cake we made on Oreo cookies birthday.

"I had a rough day at school," he said.

He's had a rough year at school.  Keeping in mind what Sue said on the Real Mom's of West Michigan Tuesday, I reminded myself to just listen to what he was about to tell me.

"Tell me about it," I encouraged.

He then explained to me that the teacher had asked the class to sign a Lorax pledge.  He didn't care to sign it, he could care less about the seeds they were giving out since we would have plenty of seeds to plant this spring anyhow, and so he didn't sign it.

He didn't make a big deal about it.  He just didn't sign it.

I would have been proud of him for that.

But then the teacher asked him why he didn't sign it.  He just shrugged and said it wasn't something he agreed with.

The teacher then pulled him out of class and explained to him what it was.  S1 still didn't want to sign it so he just told him he wasn't going to.  And then my son went back to his school work.

Over the course of that day, the teacher pulled my son out of class FOUR times.  Yes, four.  He told him he didn't need to be so black and white on things.

S1 still didn't sign it.

But what got my son right to the heart was when the teacher said, "Don't you read your Bible?  Don't you think we should take care of the earth?"

And my son, he looked right at his teacher who is in authority over him, and was brave enough to say, "I don't want to sign something that is making a bigger deal over creation then the Creator."

I nearly cheered when he told me that.

He had left the school feeling beat up but he left with his head held high.

And I am insanely proud of him for doing so.

My quiet 12 year old son who is growing into a little man already, who is nearly as tall as me, who quietly does his work and is a huge help to us all, who has decided to read his Bible in a year and has kept up with that schedule...I am so proud of him I am crying as I type this.

He asked us not to make a big deal of it.

But when I seen MobSociety ask for a linkup for Let's Hear it For the Boys, I couldn't resist sharing this story.

I hope that I would be as brave as my son has been.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Protecting the Girls

Last night, in the dead of night, the dog barked.

I mean, after acting half crazed this afternoon and barking all evening and then barking insanely much around eight thirty pm, my dog was driving my crazy.

My eldest, after seeing that his mama was about to have a meltdown because it had taken he and his three  brothers TWO HOURS to clean the living room (that wasn't even that messy, I know that is hard to believe, but it's true) he took it upon himself to clean out the kitty litter.

That's how I know he knew he needed to do something grand to make sure I knew he had heard me.  No one likes to clean kitty litter.

Not only did S1 clean the kitty litter, he even pulled on his boots to take the kitty litter right out to the dumpster.

He came pounding back up to the house, burst through the door, uttered the word "Opossum" and headed straight for the gun cabinet.

We have an all out hate of the opossum animal.  You may have read about my dramatic war with one in the Praise and Coffee Magazine in Spring 2011.  Earlier this year an opossum snuck into our chicken coop and killed my most favorite chicken, Holly Hoppie.

She could only hop on one leg, her other leg was non working.  We returned home one night from church and heard Holly's death cry.  The boys and I cried for days.

I hate opossums.

Anyhow, S1 went charging for the gun cabinet.

He got loaded up and with S2 at his side, the stormed outside to protect our girls - our chickens.

S3 and S4 stood on the porch...one was wearing jeans, winter boots and a tshirt.  One was wearing undies, a tshirt and bare feet.  The stood perfectly still to wait for the death shot.

The nasty opossum was in our SHED.  The shed I spoke of last night that is stocked with ice cream. In this shed also sleeps chickens...they don't like to be far from the ice cream either.  They know that's where the good food is.

I had been in that shed TWICE that very afternoon.

Whether I was in there for ice cream or not I do not need to say.

At this moment, with two boys standing on the porch clinging to each other, with one son running around with a flashlight and one son loaded with a gun and a dog barking insanely much, my husband pulled in the driveway.

He was told by four excited boy voices what was going on.

I just smiled sweetly and said, "Welcome home, baby."

He grinned as he pulled out his gun and went to join the boys.

The opossum was shot.  My husband informs me I should be nice and not put the picture on the blog.  I think of Kellyn and how she still goes on and on about the boars head post.

Then I thought of Kellyn and how she went on and on about the boar's head so I just texted the photo to her.  She was stuck in a meeting last night, she needed the photo.

Becca tells me she is not interested in the tail being sent to her either.

But here is the information I will give you about the nasty opossum that was attempting to kill my chicken and then steal our ice cream.  S1 is (gasp!) two inches shorter than me (DO NOT tell him I admitted this fact) and that opossum was as long as his waist to his boot.

Not a one of us have ever seen such a huge monster.

It was such a great shot that my husband said we could eat it for dinner.  NO WAY!!!!

Sigh.

Anyhow...

i am thankful for my boys who protect the girls - the chickies and their mama....

Monday, March 5, 2012

Where Are The Stars?

I was looking through old blog posts tonight and came across this one.  It is one of my most favorite from the very first year I started blogging.  I wrote it for Sue's blog and I thought about just liking you to that post but she had a give away that day and I fear some may think she was having a give away TODAY. :)

That could be messy.

But again, here is one of my most favorite posts from long ago (it seems).  Hope you enjoy it too.


Where Are the Stars?

Our youngest, S4, has a fascination with stars. When we are out in the evening, he must search the sky for the first star. Once he finds it, he points excitedly, jumps up and down, shows it off to anyone near him as if we have never seen stars before and then breaks into song….

“Twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are……”

It’s the cutest thing ever.

The other night we, S4 and I, walked out to the shed where we keep the deep freezer stocked with ice cream. The sky was filled with stars and S4, who is very afraid of the dark, clung to my hand and sang. Anyone who was with him must sing as well.

When I went to bring the ice cream back last night, he didn’t want to go with me. It was just too dark. “But you sing the song, Moma”, he told me as I headed out.

I knew he would ask if I had indeed sang it when I got back in so I did sing it to myself, feeling pretty dorky, as I walked to and from the shed. And sure enough, he wanted to know if I had sung the song. I was glad I had.

When it’s a cloudy night, S4 will look for the stars and panic when he doesn’t see them. He is sure some sort of catastrophe has occurred and taken all the stars. Without stars, what is the purpose of night?

I try to explain to him they are just beyond the clouds, just beyond what we can see. He is very skeptical. He searches the sky until he can, indeed, see the stars again and then, once more, we must sing the song.

So often when this happens I think of my Christian walk. When going through the dark times, I am scared. God is the light that gets me through. He sends me a million trillion reminders of His love. “His banner over me is love” is the song that runs through my head. He is there and while it is dark, it is in the dark I see the beauty.

But there are times when I can’t see God in the midst of my dark time. I can only see darkness everywhere, every dark shadow and crevice is something to take me down and out for good. I don’t want to be out in the night, I don’t want to walk from point A to point B. I know God is there, but I can’t see Him. And it is difficult in that time to praise Him, to trust Him, to see the beauty in the darkness.

God always brings the morning, whether they are filled with sunshine or storms. There is always the sun. God always brings the night, whether they are star filled or dark. But God is always in control, always there, and I am reminded of that when ever I have to again remind my little boy that the stars are indeed there…that morning will indeed come… How often don’t I need God to remind me the same way? “The dark night will pass, I am faithful and true.” And it’s these reminders, these little stars, if you will, that get me jumping up and down, praising God for His faithfulness.