Friday, March 31, 2006

Mid-night Musings..."Giftedness"

Let me start by defining gifted, as something someone does that is above average, that they are good at, and it comes easily to them, a skill that God gave them. I think that God must have gifted people with things from every facet of the human experience. Beyond the "normal" things you may think of when thinking of gifts (athletic, intellectual, artistic, musical, etc.). Like for example, giving wise words of counsel, retelling a story, making funny jokes, being a good conversationalist, being able to add crazy big numbers in your head, any and every variety of things (all things I am not gifted in).

I think it has always been easier for me to see others' gifts, but not my own. Like, I can name any number of gifts for my friends, but am hard pressed to name my own. This might be because when something is easy for me, I assume that it is easy for everyone else, so it is not a gift. Kind of like eating-- everyone can do it, so the actual act of moving food into your mouth and digesting it is a common thing that most people can do. But even here, within the area of eating there can be giftedness. Someone can have a really developed palette, and taste buds, or really good digestion, or exceptionally sharp teeth that do an excellent job of grinding food. I know, a little funny, and it may seem absurd to take this idea this far, but still, I think it is true. Every part of being human, someone, somewhere, is "gifted" at it.

So having thought about this, I was thinking about other ways people are gifted, that is not what people usually consider when thinking of their gifts. I think I am gifted with being able to copy cartoon/simple (2D) figures. I have always been able to look at a picture of something and draw it. I remember being about 7 and drawing a picture of Bert and Ernie that I copied from a placemat, and being asked if I traced it (even now, thinking of this, I am wondering can everyone do this?). But this gift does not extend to human faces-- can't do that very well.

So, I guess my question is, what weird, or not so weird way, have you been gifted?

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Birthday Party- Construction Style

This morning we had the Tuesday Morning Playgroup over for a party-- 12 kids in all. It went reasonably well, and the only casualties were to the birthday boy himself. Once when he fell off his chair, right before the cake and candles, and the other when he was bit in the arm. Other than that, the kids played, ate, and made a little craft.

I have been coaching N to answer the qusetion, "How old are you?" He unreliably answers with "Tdew!" and sticks out any assortment of fingers. He was also very excited about his cake, and questioned me throughout the morning "Cek? Cek?", so when the time came for blowing out the candles, I think he got a little overexcited and toppled onto the floor. After being comforted, he made it 3/4 of the way through the song before blowing out the candles.

At the end we had all the kids sit on the couch for the traditional birthday picture. I tried to get most of the kids in, but there was a lot of movement, and this is the best I could do.

Anyway, Happy Birthday to my big boy!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


N is feeling a lot better. His fever is gone, and his nose not quite so runny. He only got up once last night for a drink, and went right back to sleep. He even "slept in" this morning until 6:30, giving me an extra half hour of sleep.

As a result, I even feel invigorated. I actually started a new project this morning (since I had to miss WBS, yet again). I cleaned out the pantry/toy closet and primed it. I plan to paint it this afternoon and the next couple of days, in preparation for some new shelves I am hoping that Ed will install this weekend.

Only 2 more days until he returns. I have to admit that I am feeling OK that he is away. This is the 4th week, and I have gotten used to this new schedule. That is not to say that Monday mornings aren't hard, but I am filling up my time pretty easily, and don't find the pangs quite so sharp or frequent. I don't know if this is a good thing.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Waiting for the motrin to kick in

  • There really isn't anything like holding a feverish child in your arms. You realize how little they really are, as they are curled up in a limp hot ball on your lap, the heat coming off of their bodies in waves. How helpless you feel to take care of this child.

    It's hard to know when to call a doctor. What are they really going to do anyway? I've got the motrin, and the antibiotics. Do I just let this take its course, and hold my child for the rest of the day, praying that the fever will go down? Or do I drag him out into the cold and make him sit through another exam, in the hope that more can be done to help him, or out of fear that I'm not doing enough?

    And the fact that this doesn't happen in a vaccuum. There are 3 other children to care for, feed, look after (take to the doctor's office or scramble to find care for). And no relief in sight.

    BUT Thank God that I live in a country and time where ibuprofen is readily available, and the pediatricians office is a quick 10 minute car ride away. That if I were in a true emergency situation, I have plenty of people to help me out. It helps to remind myself of these things, and give myself perspective.

Friday, March 17, 2006


In other news, some of you may remember my post from last year (6/17/05) lamenting the absence of organic produce at a reasonable price. I just found out that there is a community supported organic farm just a few miles from our home! Families can buy shares in the farm's produce and then go and pick up their share of the harvest each week. The smallest share is 6 units + 1 "u-pick" unit (which I love doing). A unit is described as a bunch of carrots or a head of lettuce. So, since this is definitely more than our family would eat a week, I'm wondering if anyone would be interested in splitting a share? Here is the link for you to check it out.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


As E quickly approaches her kindergarten year, the reality and enormity of choosing how she will be schooled is pressing in. Basically, there are 3 choices- private (Christian) school, home school, and public school.

As some of you know I went to a private Christian school for 13 years and loved it, and was blessed by the sacrifices my parents made to send me there. The fact that we now live a couple of miles away from my school as well as another Christian school makes this option appealing to me. There is comfort in the thought of sending my kids to a school where the teachers are Christian as well as the families that attend. Also, it is familiar to me and so I find comfort in that as well.

When I was growing up, not many people were home schooled, but I remember at times feeling jealous of our cousins who were. They got to spend the whole day at home, their mom was their teacher, their school year was shorter, as well as the school day, it seemed great on those days when I didn't want to go to school. And now there is a huge home schooling movement. There is definitely something that appeals to the teacher in me. I can imagine themes, field trips, art lessons, co-ops, and flexibility, and feel like that would be a great choice. I also have several friends who are planning to home school, and it would be fun to do it together. Also, my kids would be under my watchful eye and I would know what they were learning and who they were friends with, and the families these kids were from. So there is also comfort in that.

The final choice, public school, was something I have always been interested in. Maybe it was all the Beverly Cleary books I read where the kids walked to their neighborhood schools and had friends from their schools living in the same neighborhood. I like the idea of being a part of our community and having our kids in the same school as our neighbors. Being able to walk down the street and know many of the faces we see, and be able to connect with other parents because we will see them on a regular basis. Plus, I can't escape the fact that it is free (in as much as paying our property taxes make it free). We are very fortunate to live in an area where the schools are excellent, and I want to be able to take advantage of those resources.

So there they are, the big 3. It seems so final making this choice for E, when in reality, if it doesn't work out, there are obviously other choices. We have thought about these different options, and really considered each one. But we keep coming back to public school. I feel like that is where God is leading us now. To be in our community, interacting with other parents and kids. To use hard issues and situations that come up to teach our kids how God wants them to show his love to their nonChristian friends. And so that is where we are. Kindergarten registration is a month away and I am both excited and nervous about this next stage in parenting. It is a new way in which I have to entrust the lives of our kids in God's hands, a new way to learn about his sovereignty over their lives and mine.

Wednesday, March 8, 2006


Ok, so some of you know of my situation of Ed being in Chicago for the next month and a half. And although I knew it was going to be hard being alone for so long, I wasn't completely depressed about it. Until he reminded me that he wouldn't be here for my birthday. Somehow, stupid as it may be, the I can't bear the thought of waking up and going through my actual birthday without him here.

Anyway, on a similar note, I have contracted a cold from somewhere and had to miss mini-church last night and Bible Study this morning. This is hard too. I depend on those times of adult fellowship with other Christians, especially now since they are my only adult conversation/interaction. So pray for me, especially today, as I am not feeling too patient with the kids. I need the strength to love them that only Jesus can give.

(After rereading this, I feel I have to add a little disclaimer-- I realized that I wrote this in a heightened emotional state which means that I will probably feel better in a day or two and see things in a better light.)

Monday, March 6, 2006

"That, owie! That, owie!"

What is going on here? What happened to N to make him cry like that? Did he cut himself, bump his arm, fall down?

No, nothing that dramatic. It is just a tattoo. That's right. All of this for a little tattoo. E has always loved tattoos, and he watched with great interest as I put one on her arm. I asked if he wanted one too, and he nodded yes. All was fine until the tatoo was revealed. Then he started to whimper. I pulled his sleeve down, hoping that he'd forget, and move on, but he just worked himself up. Pulling on his sleeve, "That, owie! That, owie!" I pulled back his sleeve,"Look N, it's a tattoo! Just like E's! Isn't it cool? Why don't you show Daddy?" More tears, great heaving sobs, wails, "That Owie!" That Owie" So I ended up scrubbing it off, and Noah never recovered. Shortly after this picture was taken I had to put him to bed, still sobbing.

Wednesday, March 1, 2006

not quite wordless wednesday

Here is N in our newly painted (thanks, Dad!) dining room. We are planning to put wainscotting on the bottom half.

He is "playing" the broom like a guitar. He will pick up and strum anything (books, plates, dvd cases). He loves songs, singing, and any musical instruments. I think that we will have to get him a little guitar for his birthday.