Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Look at Him Shine! The boy is nine!

Ahhh . . . Stephen! Yesterday you turned nine. Nine years. You're still in as much of a hurry now as you were on that day you were born. A two hour labor, top to bottom--who'd ever heard of that! You left me a little tired, but fully able to just enjoy you. That still sums up who you are in our family. You are a bundle of extremes--either emotionally on top of the world, or having the worst day of your young life. You are either running at ninety to nothing, or you're asleep! You either talk my ear off, or have nothing at all to say. But even with the energy and emotions, you leave me always able to enjoy you.

We usually don't get to make a school holiday out of your day. It just falls too late in our school year, and so we're usually done with school anyway. But yesterday was the day. You and Josh worked all weekend on your schoolwork to take off. We served you the traditional breakfast in bed yesterday, and then let you open your presents. Then we just let you run the day. You started the morning listening to Hank the Cowdog CD's on your new stereo system (thank you Walmart, for the really good deal!). You told me all day how that was your favorite present. It made me kind of sad, not much in the way of toys this year for you. You're growing too fast.

Around the middle of the day, I gently reminded you that you would be upset if you didn't plan out exactly what you wanted. This happened a few weeks ago when we planned some certain things to do on a family day, but instead only watched Lord of the Rings. I didn't want your birthday to be a disappointment. You really struggled with the decision--choices are so hard for you! You finally decided on take-out pizza, rented videos and games at home. So that's what we did. In the evening you had your last Cub Scout Pack meeting, and went bowling at the bowling alley. You didn't bowl so well, in fact, I was worried about it ruining your day, but you pulled it off at the last minute and began hitting pins in the last few frames.

After bowling we came home and had ice cream cake and watched the rest of a movie. Now you are nine. We are still planning on having a celebration with some friends. You want a Redwall feast. What an imagination! The next few weeks will be busy with summer activities, so we'll have to do that in several weeks. I'm sure it will be interesting.

Stephen, you are the joy of our family. I love your heart, so tender and compliant. You have a tenderness for pleasing the Lord that . . . well . . . I wish I had! Yesterday you picked out the biggest ice cream cake I would let you buy, and today you were agreeing to share it with a bunch of friends. It is just like you not to keep something good to yourself. I pray the Lord will lavish all His best on you. I love you Stephen. It is a joy being your mom. I look forward to the next nine years and more!

Love, Mom

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

What Goes In, Must Go Where?

Time for a quiz! What do Philippians 4, Horatio Hornblower and Andrew have in common? Last week, I let the boys watch the first four Horatio Hornblower movies. I discovered them on an old videotape, and after watching the first one, realized they are great entertainment fodder for boys. So we quickly got school out of the way last Thursday, and spent the rest of the day "learning" about the British navy during the Napoleanic era. (Are you impressed with how educational I can make sitting in front of the TV sound?) All of the boys were quite taken with the stories (which are wonderful!), but Andrew has especailly enjoyed "acting out" the things he saw.

He told me a few minutes ago, "I'm not pretending Horatio Hornblower, and I'm not acting out 'The Wrong War,' [one of the Hornblower movies--AJ's favorite] I'm just being a guy and he's named Horatio Hornblower."

O-key Dokey. I guess he has temporarily had his name legally changed. Either that or he's practicing running for office.

So what does this have to do with Philippians? In Philippians 4 it says,"And now, dear brothers and sisters, let me say one more thing as I close this letter. Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned from me and heard from me and saw me doing, and the God of peace will be with you." Whether he knows it or not, little Andrew just proved this scripture true. We become a little of what we meditate upon. Even if we don't admit that we are "pretending."

I'm actually a little glad that one of Andrew's heroes is Horatio Hornblower.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

A Different Account?

Remember the recent camping trip that Josh went on? Remember how much he talked about it when he got home, leaving me thinking he actually enjoyed it? In a writing assignment this week, this is what he wrote:

Rain. We couldn't stand to hear the sound of it. Richard, Drew, their dad . . . Matt, and I were all in a car being pelted by rain and hail on our way to a camp . . . . When we got there, we pitched the troop gear, and then our personal gear. That night I had set up my tent and organized my backpack gear, when I realized my sleeping bag was soaked through with rain. That night was titled, "The Night of Agony," during which I used a bag of clothes as a pillow and a towel, small and skimpy, for a blanket. Breakfast the next morning was bacon and French toast. Afterwards we sat around, talked, and made fun of ***** until we all went canoing to a platform where some of the older scouts and adults were staying for the night. The rest of us canoed back. Later we canoed in different directions a little ways. When we got back to camp we made and scoffed several grilled cheese sandwiches. A little while later the cooks of our patrol burnt our chicken. I slept much better that night because Mr. Evans . . . loaned me a small sleeping bag. The next morning e made and ate breakfast before coming back to the bare necessities: food, beds, water, and air conditioning. I still don't know how I survived.

Is this the same trip I heard about? Does my son have split personalities? Hmmmm . . . maybe I need to assign some other writing assignments.

Monday, May 08, 2006

VERY Creative Writing!

Andrew was telling me about a story he was pretending today, so I asked him if we could write the story from it. He dictated it to me just as I have written it below. Read it and see if you can find the underlying theme!

The Knights and the Camp
By Andrew

When I was a little boy I lived with my parents in a good place near some woods. One day my parents came to me. They said,”Go out in the woods. There you will camp until all of us and all the other parents come to find you and bring you back to home. A king told all of his knights to come kill you.”

I brought this portable CD player. We brought horses. We brought knives just in case bears or snakes or other ferocious animals tried to hurt us. We killed them and roasted them over a fire. We also brought knives to kill the knights if they tried to kill us. Every single parent gave their kids a knife. We also brought our favorite beanie animals and backpacks with clothes and toys in them.

We packed up all of our stuff because we weren’t very far in the woods. We packed up and went farther into the woods. We camped, and after one night, our parents came to get us. The knights were knocked out and the parents bought knives to stab them just so they wouldn’t wake up. We still got to keep the knives.

This story was made up by Andrew.

Do you notice the theme? Kids really need to have knives! Because . . . everybody knows . . . you could face a dangerous knight or a ferocious animal who wants to kill you at any time! Incidentally, he also has a thing right now about getting a horse when he grows up. I noticed he slipped that into the story too!