Friday, May 31, 2013

1 Man and 4 Kids Home for the Weekend!

I know it's been a while since I posted but I figured this warranted a post!  So random updates in terms of my previous posts:

- Only running shorter distances of up to 3 miles in Vibram FiveFingers, left foot feels slightly strained at longer distances, want to strengthen but not injure feet!

- Recently scored a cheap pair of Salomon Sense Mantra's on eBay in excellent condition, I might have to put a separate review of those up, so far they are awesome!

- Am hoping to put a post up about anger and how big of a problem it is for both men and women and especially as parents and how destructive, misdirected and unrighteous anger can be to our kids!  Lord wiling, one day that will be posted!

- Lastly we come to the subject of the post, I'm at home with Joshua, Hannah, Abby and Jeremiah for the weekend!  Yup, that's right, just Jesus and I with the 4 kids!  The Lord provided for Becca to visit her family in Montana for our sister's graduation, so she gets a bit of a much needed break for 4 days and I get some quality time at home! :)  

I've often thought about how dad's are viewed as babysitters or simply childcare and quite frankly that really angers me (righteously, of course).  It's as if we men are completely non-family minded and absolute hacks at raising a family.  Quite frankly, these children are made up of just as much of a father as they are of a mother, 1/2 chromosomes from both parents.   Yes either mothers or fathers may play more of a primary role in the day to day care-taking and "in the trenches" parenting, depending on who's working in/out of the home but that's a whole other sermon on male/female roles that I will not get into because I simply believe all those impassioned views aren't always, if ever truly Biblical.

Anyway, back to the subject at hand, here's a new Testament verse that describes the role a father has:

"Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord." - Ephesians 6:4 (NIV)

Or in the ESV:

"Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."

And the Amplified Bible does a great job at expositing a little more:

Fathers, do not irritate and provoke your children to anger [do not exasperate them to resentment], but rear them [tenderly] in the training and discipline and the counsel and admonition of the Lord.

The whole rearing, training, discipline, counsel and admonition of the Lord thing doesn't sound like merely childcare does it?

This also reminds me of something else more old school from the book of Deuteronomy (Also chapter 6 incidentally).  Pay special attention to Verse 7:

Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord [the only Lord].
And you shall love the Lord your God with all your [mind and] heart and with your entire being and with all your might.
And these words which I am commanding you this day shall be [first] in your [own] minds and hearts; [then]
You shall whet and sharpen them so as to make them penetrate, and teach and impress them diligently upon the [minds and] hearts of your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down and when you rise up.
And you shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets (forehead bands) between your eyes.
And you shall write them upon the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
10 And when the Lord your God brings you into the land which He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give you, with great and goodly cities which you did not build,
11 And houses full of all good things which you did not fill, and cisterns hewn out which you did not hew, and vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant, and when you eat and are full,
12 Then beware lest you forget the Lord, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

Sound familiar?  That's not only and example of how the Bible hangs together but also a good way to correlate parenting and also what's implicit in the Deuteronomy passage is the cultural model that father's played in the very patriarchal Hebrew society.

So anyway, I'm sure most dad's appreciate the concern and the shocked reactions that say with or without words, "Are you sure you can handle them!!??!?!  All by yourself?!?!?!"  

But Jesus is with me, even our kids know that and He strengthens us for whatever He wants us to do, and if that's fathering, then that's fathering whether mom is or isn't around.

Or the Apostle Paul said it much better and thought of it long before I did in Philippians 4:13:

13 I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who[a]infuses inner strength into me; I am [b]self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].

PS. Here's a link to an article on the Hermeneutics Blog that's part of Christianity Today that initially got me thinking about this:

http://www.christianitytoday.com/women/2012/february/im-dad-babysitter-and-other-cultural-myths.html

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Friday Funnies: Randomness


I'll admit that this post is a little very random.  The events described here didn't even happen recently.  But as I was preparing dinner I found myself contemplating the various ways others have identified me in the past and figured it could be funny enough for a post.

The beginning of the train of thought was thinking of my new nephews names.  Both are very unique.  Very strong.  I like them (not that it matters what I think of their names).  Then I thought of our kids' names.  Joshua.  Hannah.  Abigail.  Jeremiah.  Very common.  Very Biblical.  Very Hebrew.  I like them.  Then I thought of my own name.  Rebecca.  Also common.  Also Biblical.  Also Hebrew (except for the spelling).  Also liked by me ("Thanks, Mom and Dad!").  And all of this reminded me of an encounter I had a few years ago as I was walking down the streets of Hartsdale, NY with our kiddos (then only numbering two).

Another stay-at-home mom, whom I had met previously, crossed my path.  She was just about to deliver her second child - a boy.  Not knowing more about me and the kids than our names, the building where we lived, and our usual time to walk up and down the street, my neighbor asked me this question, "Do you have a recommendation for someone to perform a Bris?"

I stood there, searching my internal dictionary and vainly trying to make connections in order not to sound as ignorant as I was.  "A bris?" I thought to myself.  "What is a bris?"  Then I made a couple of connections based on the very little information I knew of my neighbor.  I knew her name and her daughter's name, I knew which building she lived in, and I knew what time of day she walked up and down the street.  Did I know anything else about this person?

Think.  Think.  Think.

*Ding!*  I remembered that she mentioned once that she was Jewish.  This "bris" must be some kind of ceremony.  And then I put it all together.  Baby boy due very soon.  Mother looking for a recommendation of who and where to hold a bris.  Covenant between Abraham (you know, Father Abraham with the many sons?) and God to circumcise all males on the eighth day after their birth.  Yes.  I knew what a bris was.  But why was she asking me???

Some more thinking and it hit me.  She thought we were Jewish.  After all, my first name is Hebrew.  Both of our kids' first names are Hebrew.  We lived in an area where it was common to be nominally Jewish (which, by the way, is excellent if you're into bakeries and things).  My neighbor did not know our last name.  She had never met my husband.  Of course, she had no idea that we're about as far from being Jewish as, well, Gentiles.  Pork is like a staple in Asian cuisine, is it not?  But no one ever mistakes our kids for being half Chinese anyway...even though I was thought to be part Asian by a college friend.  Anyway...back to the conversation.

So, after a slight pause, I replied, "No.  I'm sorry.  We didn't have one for Joshua."

To which she replied, having perhaps recognized her error, "Oh...okay."

I didn't think it was worth mentioning that my Chinese-Malaysian-Australian-transplanted-to-the-U.S. husband would probably be Jewish if he could.  (We are grafted in, aren't we?)  Nor did I share with her that my Grandpa Tino, being the good Italian-American grandfather that he was, sometimes called me "Rivkah" for the sheer pleasure of getting me riled up.  (As a kid I didn't know that he was calling me by the true Hebrew form of my name.)  Perhaps those things would only be confusing...and a bit unnecessary for such an encounter.

And so, having established ignorance on both our parts, we each continued on our way in true New York fashion - pretending like the whole thing never happened.  Kind of like how my neighbors who were within 15 feet of my about-to-give-birth-in-less-than-an-hour self casually walked by as if they didn't notice an incredibly pregnant woman, leaning on a rail, groaning through contractions.  "Don't worry, neighbors.  I'm not really about to give birth.  At least I hope it doesn't happen here.  Really, there's no need to stop.  I'm not really alone.  My husband and 15-month-old son are just walking up the steep hill to get our car so that we can go to the hospital where childbirth won't scare people away (except for that poor male nursing student who has no idea that he's about to witness a natural childbirth in less than an hour).  Yes, just keep walking.  It's making me laugh, actually, and that's saying something for someone who is in transition."  I jest.  That morning I was truly thankful for the skill people in our old neighborhood had for pretending like they didn't see or hear you.  I really did want to be left alone.  How awkward would a conversation about a bris have been at that point???  ;)

 Here we are, looking Jewish as only a half-Italian mom and two half-Chinese kids can look. Circa 2009. This would have been around the time of the bris conversation and several months after I learned the best way to avoid an unwanted conversation with neighbors - just look really pregnant and do your best to convince them that you are in very active labor.  They'll probably leave you alone.


Our First Year of Homeschooling

Last week the kids finished up the last of their assignments of the school year.  I can't believe we made it through a full year of homeschooling...alive!  :)

This year has been successful in many ways.  We have all learned and grown a lot, myself included.  The kids did well academically.  At the start of the year the goal was to teach Joshua to read, to work on his handwriting, and to finish his math book.  By the end we accomplished more than that.  Both Joshua (5 years old) and Hannah (4 years old) are now reading and spelling well, both of their handwriting has improved significantly, and they both completed the math curriculum.

In addition, we have worked through a few different schedules and found a basic routine that works well for everyone.  The kids have become independent in accomplishing their morning chores and the older two are able to begin piano practice and school work on their own.  I check in with them through the morning, work one on one with each to go through new concepts and to review the work they have completed, and give each their spelling list.

I have learned some of the strengths and weaknesses for each child and am also learning ways to motivate each of them.  We have had our share of meltdowns and showdowns, but in the end we are learning how to work with each other and how to be disciplined in our school time.

Claude and I wanted to celebrate the kids' first official year of homeschool, so last weekend we took an afternoon to have a little party.


 It consisted of pizza and party hats,

a spelling bee,
view a video clip here

  certificates and new markers,
 
and a trip to Sonic for some ice cream.

Since we're schooling year round with regular breaks throughout, we'll be starting back up in July.  We have a much bigger academic load than we did this year.  Joshua will be starting first grade which means extra subjects.  In addition to math, handwriting, and spelling he will have grammar, writing, history/geography, science, and Greek (more on that later).  Hannah will be starting kindergarten although she is working at a first grade level.  She will continue with math, handwriting, and spelling and will also add history/geography, science, and Greek.  Abby will be working through a series of Toddler Bible Lessons with me along with practicing some math, writing, and reading readiness skills.  And Jeremiah will be tagging along...hopefully keeping out of trouble!  ;)

Because we are adding several additional subjects, I am taking our school break to practice building in a few key elements to our daily routine.  We are getting back into violin practice after struggling to find a good time of day to do it.  We are also tacking on an extra school session after lunch when we will work on history/geography and science.  In order to accommodate these additions, we are continuing violin and piano practice through our break and have added a read aloud time during what will be our afternoon school session.  It's only the first week, but so far it's going well and seems doable.

Before I sign off, here are some insights from the kids on their first year of homeschooling:


The best thing about homeschooling this year was...
Joshua: I think it was Math.
Hannah: Ummmm.....handwriting!
Abigail: Preschool!

The worst thing about homeschooling this year was...
Joshua: The worst thing of mine was...SPELLING!
Hannah: The worst thing of mine was doing math.
Abigail: Uhhh..playing???


And there you have it, folks!  One year down.  I have no idea how many more to go...


Monday, May 27, 2013

Pool Time


The kids finished up their school work this past week, and after a celebration (more on that later) we have officially started summer.  And what better way to enjoy summer than to set up the kiddie pools and have some fun in the water?

Everyone was melting down today after three days of being out of the house from morning till night, so Claude and I had a goal to keep everyone busy and also to wear them out enough for an easy bed time.

So, we did this in the morning:

And this in the afternoon:

And here was the end result (for one of the kids, at least):

Ahhh, sweet success!

Now for the other three...


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Friday Funnies: Jeremiah, Mighty Man or Puppet?

A dinnertime conversation.

Joshua:  I know all of David's mighty men, but my son has more mighty men than David anyway.  My son has 20-hundred-5-thousand-1-hundred-20-thousand mighty men.
Claude:  Well, that's nice, but have you read about David's mighty men?
Joshua:  No, I'll never read about that.  You can just take it out of my Bible.
[Ummmm....very concerned parents here!!!]
Claude, staying calm:  Well, I think you should read it.  I'm pretty sure you would really like it.
Joshua, not wanting to admit that his parents could choose reading material that might satiate his appetite for excitement:  I'll never like it.  Anyway...I know there were three might men.  One of them was Jeremiah.
Me:  No, Jeremiah was a prophet.
Joshua, getting back to his dinner...or at least trying to so that he doesn't show how much his interest is piqued:  Well, that's okay.
[Momentary silence...okay, so it's NEVER silent around here but it got as quiet as it ever will.  Think baby jabbering, 4-year-old rambling about loose teeth, 2-year-old humming random songs, and 5-year-old grunting while he tries to cover up his intense curiosity about David's mighty men...now you've got the idea of what I call "silence".]
Abby, out of the blue:  Yeah.  Jeremiah is a puppet.


Jeremiah: Mighty Man or Puppet?  He's cute either way!  :)


Saturday, May 18, 2013

Snapshots: Self-Portraits

Self-portraits except for one...Jeremiah can't really hold a camera yet.  :)


 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday Funnies: Abigail

Meet Abigail.  Most often we call her Abby but sometimes we call her Abs or Absters.  I'm not sure if she likes it...  :/

Abigail is 2 1/2 years old and has a way of making us laugh.  She likes to push the boundaries, like most 2-year-olds, and she loves princesses and guns, in that order.

A few weeks ago Abby came out of her room wearing a yellow tutu and a pair of pink sparkly shoes.  "I'm a princess," she announced.  And then she proceeded to perch herself on the back of the couch, whip out her Duplo gun from her waistband, and start shooting...with sound effects.  "Pachoo!  Pachoo!  I'm a princess, Mommy!"  While this gun-shooting was solely influenced by her older brother (who is all about weapons and warfare) I found assurance knowing that Abby will not be eating a poisoned apple or pricking her finger on a spinning wheel any time soon.

Abby is also at the stage in life when learning new things is an hourly endeavor.  Recently she has been picking up some new sayings.  She likes to walk around the house exclaiming, "I just can't imagine [fill in the blank]!"  And, "What in the world!"

Just the other day, while helping me wash the dishes, Abby said, "Mommy, I just can't imagine!  These bubbles are amazing!"  Maybe I should view dish washing with the same wonder and amazement.

While she is now in the height her 2's, Abigail is eagerly preparing for her birthday this fall.  She has requested candy, cupcakes, flip-flops, and a Roman Soldier cake.  She's the third child...her interests are not always her own.  ;)

Quick Stove Top Vegetarian Chili


As an introduction, this is not meant to go on the Super Mom's List of Healthiest Homemade Foods Ever Prepared.  It isn't necessarily unhealthy, but it mostly consists of cans of things.  Why?  Because I always keep cans of beans and a few other items on hand.  They're quick and easy when I need to make dinner in a flash.

This recipe was developed under such pressure as needing to feed three hungry kids within 20 minutes.  My husband thought that the refried beans made the chili nice and thick, and I like that I can make this quickly on the stove (as its name suggests) or I can throw it in the crock pot if I so desire.  It is easily stretched to feed any size crew by adding extra beans and salsa as needed.  We like to serve it with rice, pasta, or tortilla chips.

So, here we go!

Quick Stove Top Vegetarian Chili
Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can refried beans
1 jar salsa
1 10 oz. package frozen corn (or 1 can corn)
Chili powder to taste
Ground cumin to taste
Cheese, grated (optional)
Sour cream (optional)

Directions:
1. Add all ingredients to a medium-size pot and give a quick stir.  Cook over medium-high heat.  Allow chili to start bubbling and then reduce heat to low.  Simmer until refried beans are soft and the chili is thick, 10-15 minutes.  Serve with grated cheese, sour cream, green onions, tortilla chips, rice, or any of your other favorite chili toppings.  Enjoy!

Crock Pot Directions:
1. Add all ingredients + 1/2 cup water to crock pot.  Cook 1 hour on high or 3 hours on low.

Linked from 4 Moms Share Vegetarian RecipesIf you haven't checked out the 4 Moms 35+ Kids blogs, please do so.  They have a wealth of information at their fingertips from a lot of experience raising kids.  I always enjoy reading their posts!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Energy Abounds

You know that time of day...those couple of hours in the late afternoon and early evening when your kids are in turbo mode and you're about to fall asleep on your feet?  Yep.  This is the dreaded time of day.  Infants like to cry.  Toddlers like to throw tantrums and have meltdowns.  And preschoolers and young school-age children like to run around and make as much noise as they possibly can - and let me tell you, they can make A LOT of noise!

For anyone who is not usually around small children between 4pm and 6pm, or for other parents of littles who hope they're not alone in the crazy hour of the day, here is a little glimpse into the amount of energy that an average kid has at his disposal.

Please note that the kids danced like this and sang loudly for nearly 15 minutes without a break.  They made me tired just watching them!  (And no, that's not just something aging adults say...it's actually true!)

Also note, the kiddos sang another Chris Tomlin song with just as much exuberance as their dancing suggests while walking the aisles of Sam's Club.  No, they didn't care that heads were turning.  I'm not sure what was more surprising to onlookers - the sheer volume of three kids belting out their favorite song or the fact that their favorite song's lyrics go like this "Lay me down I'm not my own, I belong to You alone.  Lay me down.  Lay me down.  Oh-oh-oh.  Hand on my heart this is much is true, there's no life apart from You.  Lay me down.  Lay me down."  (Obviously credit goes to Chris Tomlin and his crew for the lyrics...we had nothing to do with those).

video
Anyway...energy abounds in these here parts.  If you're out of energy, maybe you could find some way to zap a bit from the little guys?  Maybe???  Come on over around 4pm tomorrow...we'll have energy galore!

How do your kids like to channel their excess energy?

 

Good Morning! (Updated to include photos)

 
We're not really morning people around here.  Well...Claude has to be a morning person (he gets up in time to leave for work between 6:00am and 6:30am).  The rest of us have been sleeping in lately...a lot!

So, yesterday morning and this morning I woke up an hour or more earlier than usual and thought to myself, "Maybe I'll get up and get some things done while the house is nice and quiet."

Yesterday that ended in me falling back asleep and waking up at the normal time.  But this morning I actually got out of bed, and what did the kids do?  (All you parents out there can probably guess!)  Yes, they woke up, too!  :)


Okay...so maybe not all of them!


They haven't found me yet.  I heard Abby say, "Where is she?"  To which Hannah replied, "I don't know but she's not in there."

Even though I don't have the morning to get things done (like exercise or start another sewing project), I have the opportunity to listen to the kids wake up.  So far I've heard the girls talk to each other in their groggy morning voices, sing "Amazing Grace", and discuss the best way to entertain Jeremiah when they can't take him out of his play yard.


So, the "productive" morning is just like any other morning, except that I'm the first one dressed.  That's an improvement on our usual situation!  :)

So, are you successful at waking up long before the kiddos?

 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Toddler Bible Lessons: Gideon

  
 Here's an oldie from our earliest days of homeschooling.  And not only the earliest days of homeschooling, but my first days of learning about the joys of teaching the Bible to babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.


Gideon
Judges 6

Memory Verse
"The Lord our God is with us, He is mighty to save." -Zephaniah 3:17

Lesson Focus
God was with Gideon.

Materials
-Plastic water bottles, empty
-Paper, scrap or construction
-Tape
-Crayons, markers, stickers (optional)
-Bible, I like the Beginner's Bible [link] since it's pretty accurate, concise, and engaging for young children

Directions
1. Optional: Decorate the paper with crayons, markers, and/or stickers.
2. Roll paper into a cone, leaving an opening at the smallest end.  Secure with tape.
3. Read the story of Gideon with your child.  Use the plastic bottle and paper trumpet to act out the part of Gideon's army blowing trumpets and smashing clay jars.
4. Have your child join you in re-enacting the story as you read it again.  If you have a young toddler, read just the end so they have the opportunity to re-enact the story before losing attention.
5. Talk about the lesson focus and say or sing the memory verse a few times.

I did this activity for the first time when Joshua was 2 years old and Hannah was almost 1 year old.  Joshua was able to memorize the story and the Bible verse by the end of the week since we repeated the lesson each day.  Hannah was entertained at best, but I know that the lesson was "going in".  :)

Following is the original post with photos and a video:
We're in our first official week of the Chew Family Preschool. So far so good! Today we learned about Gideon and the victory the Lord won for the Israelites with only 300 men, some torches, some trumpets, and some clay jars

What did we learn from this little lesson?
-Joshua learned that the Israelite army "smashed clay jars"
as he has told us repeatedly all afternoon
-Hannah learned that blowing a paper trumpet can be very funny
-I, Becca, learned that two water bottles and two rolled up pieces of paper go a long way

Here's our enactment of the battle plus a few photos. Enjoy!


video


Hand-Me-Down Clothes Storage


For a while I've been wanting a simple, straightforward, easy to maintain system for storing hand-me-downs.  The system of storing clothes based on gender and size grew to have too many variables and really wasn't working for us, so our bins of clothing became more and more disorganized, and the pile in the corner of our bedroom marked "to put in clothing bins" began to grow.

So, I did what any desperate organizationally challenged person would do - I checked Pinterest.  I can't say that I conducted a Pinterest search because the amazing thing about my "search" is that the pin came to me one day.  Nice!

The pin is from this blog.  I didn't think of this system on my own, nor did I find a way to make it any better.  I simply followed the tried and true advice of another mom who knew better than I do in the area of clothing storage.

The system is like this (you can read the original post from the original blogger here):
Each child has a plastic storage bin for clothing to grow into.  As the kids outgrow clothes or the seasons change, I throw out or donate items that have stains or holes and that we will not use for another child.  Also, if an item has never or hardly ever been worn by one child it goes in the trash/donation - if I didn't use it one time around why would I use it again?

After I sort, I put the clothes into the next child's bin.  For example, Hannah's outgrown and out of season clothes will move down to Abby's bin where it will stay until Abby is able to wear it.  And when someone is in need of bigger sized clothing or something more appropriate for the season, I simply open that child's bin and take out the clothes that are the size s/he needs at that time.

Our bins are labeled as follows:
-Joshua (his bin is small since he doesn't receive many hand-me-downs)
-Hannah
-Abigail
-Jeremiah
-Baby Boy (for future kiddos)
-Baby Girl (also for future kiddos)
-Boy Shoes
-Girl Shoes

What I like about the new system:
-It's quick to sort out clothing since I'm only working with 6 piles vs. the 20+ I had with the size/gender sorting.
-Clothing can be added and removed from the bins without having to re-organize to fit different sizes.
-The maintenance is ongoing since I get rid of unwanted items as I see them come through the laundry or check the kids' closets.
-There are no more questions about the difference between 24 month vs. 2T sizes, or 5T vs. 4/5 - am I the only one who doesn't understand that?!
-I don't have to guess what size the kids are moving into since the clothes in their bins will always be the next size up.

I don't understand why this is, but keeping up with the kids' clothing needs is a real challenge.  How many shirts, pants, dresses, etc do they need?  How do I manage the change of seasons?  Do I put all the clothes for one size out or switch as summer rolls into fall and fall into winter?  (Thankfully the seasons are almost a moot point since moving from New York to Texas!)  And what clothes do I hang onto when there is currently not another child of a certain gender to receive the clothes or the age gap between same-gender kids is several years?

These questions are what I ponder as I fall asleep some nights...well, only occasionally.  But it is all too true that the thought of kids' clothing is often rolling around in my head, waiting to be figured out.  At least I'm a few steps closer now than I was before!  Thank you to the blogging world of stay-at-home moms for hooking me up with a new and improved hand-me-down storage system!

Snapshots: Milestones


Today marked a very exciting day in Hannah's (4 years old) growing up journey.  After a several weeks of patient practice and perseverance, she was able to tie her shoes by herself for the very first time!  To say she was proud of her accomplishment would be an understatement.  She was ecstatic!

Congratulations, Hannah!  We are proud of you!  And good job, Daddy for being an excellent shoe-tying teacher!  :)

 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Friday Funnies: On Life and Death

As I'm writing this post the kids have marched through the kitchen and living room about 5 times, shouting and yelling.  It seems that they have watched the walls of Jericho come down in the process.  They have also built elaborate guns from math manipulatives, which they have used to wage war on each other.  Thankfully no one was hurt or offended before they moved on to another activity.  And now they are playing a tuba (really it's a kitchen sink...literally...from the toy kitchen), a saxophone (known to most grown ups as a green plastic penny whistle), and a snare drum (an empty container and some screw drivers) while marching around the house.  Yep...just another morning for the Chew Crew.

Anyway...on to the real post.  :)


The kids are really interested in life and death recently. Part of this expresses itself in identifying any and all objects around them and asking the question, "Is that living?" My favorite questions of this sort come from Abby (2 1/2 years old), who is always very serious about the topic. "Mommy, is a straw living?" :)

The other part of this fascination with life and death comes out in conversations that happen at least once a day and almost always sound the same. Initiated by Joshua, this topic has taken on some interesting ideas...

Joshua: Do you know what the worst thing about living is?
Me: No, I don't know.
Joshua: Dying.
Me: Okay, I can see that.
Joshua: And do you know what the best thing about living is?
Hannah: Living.
Joshua: Yes, that's right. And what is the best, best thing about living?
Hannah: Heaven!
Joshua: Yes. You got it right. And what is the best, best, best thing about living?
Hannah, ponders the question.
Joshua, approaches Hannah and whispers in her ear: You have to say either Roman Army or Soldier.
Hannah, very loudly in protest: But I said heaven is the best, best thing about living!
Joshua: But I asked about the best, best, best thing about living.  I'm sorry, you got it wrong.

And one last insight from the 6 and under crew concerning life and death.

Joshua: If you die on the day you are born that means you've been dead your whole life.
Me, being a good mother and wanting to instruct my children in what is true and right: Ummm...okay...I'll just take out the trash now...

Maybe it's just my tired brain, but I couldn't quite get my head around that statement enough to bring greater clarity.  And perhaps he's right???


What interesting ideas do the little guys in your life have about big topics like life and death?