Monday, July 22, 2013

Clever Girl

*Bonus points if you read the title in a British accent, a la Jurassic Park.

Anna, my little naturalist, loves to catch fireflies.  She would do it every night if we let her.  Unfortunately for her, fireflies only come out when it gets dark, which is past her bedtime.  This means it has to be a night when we are willing to let her go to bed late.  That doesn't happen often, so when it does, it is, in her word "THE BEST NIGHT EVER!!!"

Recently, I was out of town for a week, so Sean had the kids on his own.  Daddy is a sucker for his daughter's big blue eyes, so she managed to convince him to let her stay up late and chase fireflies.  Joshua was staying the night at a friend's house, so it was just Daddy, Anna and Matthew outside.

Matthew likes to chase fireflies, but he gets bored with it pretty fast.  After a while, he asked Sean if they could play hide n seek instead.

"Matthew," Anna said sternly, "we are CATCHING FIREFLIES, NOT playing hide n seek!"

Frustrated, Matthew pouted for a while, and then he tried asking again.  Anna considered her brother  for a moment and then decided to try a different tack.

"Matthew, I know what we can do!"  she said.  "We can play a game!"

"A GAME?"  Matthew asked eagerly, intrigued by the notion of a new game."

"YES," Anna said grinning, "a SEARCHING game."

"A SEARCHING game?!" Matthew asked excitedly.

"Yes.  It's a game where we search for things.  And I will pick the first thing we will search for.  First we will search for...FIREFLIES."

"YAY!!!!" exclaimed my naive little toddler, and off he ran with his sister to play the searching "game."

One way or another, Anna knows how to get what she wants!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Folks, I Just Can't Make This Stuff Up

About two weeks ago, Matthew had gotten into a bad habit of opening the silverware drawer, pulling out everything he could find, and strewing the utensils about the house.  Being my "do-the-crime-do-the-time" kid, no amount of discipline seemed to deter him from this new hobby.  What did stop him, however, was somehow managing to jam the drawer shut.  It has therefore been about two weeks since we were able to get into that drawer.  We have been using whatever utensils were in the drainer at the time, which has cut down on dishes, but is pretty darn annoying.

In a seemingly unrelated event, last night we all went to church for our small group time.  I run a bible study for our youth group girls, and they all decided they wanted to go to McDonald's for our study.  My husband had the keys to our van - which I needed in order to transport the girls - so I had to interrupt the men's small group to ask my husband for the keys.  Our pastor, upon realizing I would likely be stopping at our house on the way to the van (we live in the parsonage next door to the church), said "Oh, she's going home, give her the fork!"  At this point, Sean reached into his bag and pulled out one of our forks.  From our silverware collection.  From our house.  I didn't really have time to question his as to why he had a fork in his bag; I could only shake my head in disbelief at the craziness that goes on in my house.

I also did not have time to stop at the house and put the fork away.  I had five hungry teenage girls piling into my car.  So I did what seemed to be the most logical thing to do at the time: I stuck the fork in the mailbox on my way to the van.

Fast forward to tonight.  I was setting the table for dinner and came up short a fork.  Realizing the drawer was still jammed shut tight, I mulled about what to do, when suddenly the events of last night popped into my head.  I walked out the front door, reached into the mailbox, pulled out the fork, washed it, and finished setting the table.

I am quite certain these are the sorts of things that do NOT go on at other people's houses.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Space is AWESOME!

We got Joshua a telescope for his birthday this year.  His birthday was in March, and it was freezing cold outside, so we didn't really get it out much.  This week, however, is the week of the supermoon, so we decided it was an opportune time to get it out and figure out how it worked. 

Last night we managed to get it working, but tonight we couldn't find the moon anywhere.  Right as we were packing up the telescope, we saw it peeking out from over the tops of the trees, bright and glowing as promised.  We didn't want to go to all the trouble of getting all the pieces back out, and we couldn't see it well from our yard because of the trees, so I told Joshua to grab his shoes and we would take a walk. 

Hand in hand, I walked down the street with my 7-year old son, 9:30 at night, watching the sky and getting a good view of the astronomical phenomenon of the supermoon.  Once we found a good spot, we took a few pictures and looked at it through his binoculars, eliciting from him one of my favorite responses ever: "Space is AWESOME!"  We then walked back to the house, hand in hand, talking about space, and what he wanted to be when her grew up (a firefighter), his sister, school, his friend's telescope, and, well, little bits and pieces of everything. 

On the surface it didn't look like much.  The whole encounter took maybe 15 minutes.  But tonight was one of the most precious moments I have had as a mom.  I had the privilege of sharing in my son's joy as he discovered more about the world around him.  I got to talk to him as a person, not a little kid, as we talked about real things.  It wasn't a cutesy conversation with "funny things kids say."  It was a real moment of connecting with him as the person God created him to be - an explorer, an adventurer, curious, questioning, and eager to discover. 

It was also a reminder that Joshua is getting older - but it didn't make me sad.  Sometimes, if I look at old photos or flip through old blog entries, I miss Baby Joshua.  I miss that time when it was just him and me, and I took him everywhere.  I miss carrying him and cuddling with him and smelling his baby-scent.  But tonight, I didn't miss it.  Tonight I saw a glimpse into the boy he is becoming - and has, in fact, become.  Tonight I enjoyed Joshua as Joshua and soaked in the joy of a shared experience with him.  It was an experience we could both be excited about and understand together. 

I will never again go look at the moon or see the stars in the sky without feeling the excitement of a 7-year old boy enjoying a night of discovery and exploration...and remembering how wonderful it truly is to see my tiny baby become a full-grown boy. 

You know what?  Space is awesome. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Hide and Seek

Parents often adopt different roles within the family.  In our family, Mom has the read-a-story, cuddle-time, make-the-meals, give-the-permission role.  Dad has the go-outside and get-on-the-floor-and-romp-around role.  Thus as soon as Sean gets home, the kids immediately start hitting him up for game time.  The most popular among these is the classic Hide N Seek. 

The other day, I overheard such a game in play.  This particular game, however, has some interesting variations.  For one thing, Joshua has managed to contract the Summer Cold that Won't End, so he was laid up on the couch and couldn't get up and hide.  He therefore became the all-time counter for whoever was seeking at the time.  (Love it when they work these things out!)

After that was established, I overheard Anna say "Ok!  Ruby is hiding!"  This becomes more intriguing once you know that Ruby was a roly-poly that Anna found outside and was keeping in a cardboard box.  Apparently Anna was hiding the box when it was her turn to hide and Daddy was required to find not only Anna, but Ruby's box as well. 

That would have been a funny enough story, but then I overheard this conversation:

Matthew: "It's Crinkletype Ozzlestein's turn to count!"
Dad: "Crinkletype Ozzlestein is going to count and seek us?"
Matthew: "YES!"
Dad: "How is that going to work?"
Matthew: "He's going to count to 25!"
Dad: "But how?"
Matthew: "He's going to do it FAST!"

This conversation becomes hilarious once you know who Crinkletype Ozzlestein* is.  C.O. is, in fact, the kids' stuffed gorilla.  Who apparently was going to count to 25 and then come find everyone.  (For the record, the standard count for H & S in our house is 20.  I am not sure why. C.O. had to count five more than everyone else.  I am also not sure why Matthew insisted that C.O. do the counting and not Joshua - I believe Sean  tried to get him to let Joshua do it.)

I walked into the living room to find Anna, Matthew, and a bewildered Daddy crouched down and hiding behind the furniture, waiting for the gorilla to come find them. 

There's no such thing as a normal game of Hide n Seek in this house! 

*For the record, Crinkletype Ozzlestein was named by Daddy.  There is also a Crinkletype Ozzlestein, Jr.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


Our family recently took a family vacation to another state, and while we were there we visited the mall to look for shoes for my husband. (Because we couldn't buy shoes at home?  I don't know, somehow you feel freer to spend money on vacation.)

While walking through the mall, our kids spotted an Easter Bunny set up to take pictures with kids.  Now, we don't do the Easter Bunny with our kids, so they don't have much of a grid for it, but what kid is going to just walk by a 6 foot giant bunny wearing a three-piece suit?  So off they ran to check out the bunny.  Anna (She-Who-Knows-No-Strangers) ran right up to it and gave it a big hug.  Joshua kinda glanced it over and then walked off to look at something else.  (He's very cool these days, you know.)  Matthew's reaction, however, was one for the history books.

He started to walk up to the bunny to say hi, and then he suddenly stopped at stared at it, cocking his head like he was trying to figure something out.  Then his eyes got really big and a look of realization spread across his face, and as he pointed his little finger at the bunny, he yelled with all the righteous indignation that his 3-year old body could muster:


He ran up to Sean and me screaming this statement over and over, and then ran back to the bunny, pointing and yelling so we would all understand the FRAUD he had uncovered.  He knew what was up, and he was not going to be taken in, by golly - that was NOT  REAL BUNNY,  that was a PERSON!

After Sean and I stopped rolling around laughing, we collected up our fighter for truth and justice and headed on down the mall.  But the story was not over - after all, in a mall, you walk by everything not once, but twice.

And it was on the way back that things got real.

As we walked back through the mall, Matthew spotted that fradulent bunny once more, and HE had HAD ENOUGH.  He ran right up to the bunny and pointed and screamed again "THAT IS NOT A REAL BUNNY! THAT IS A PERSON!"  Then he came right up close to the bunny and whispered something to it.  I wasn't right there to hear what it was, but I imagine the tone of it was something like this:

"You may have fooled all these other kids, but you haven't fooled me.  I know what you're up to, and you will not get away with this tomfoolery.  I'm onto you, pal."

Then he turned tail to walk away, and as he was headed off, he spotted the bunny's large basket of candy.  Sensing his moment to right the wrong, he then proceeded to grab the bunny's basket of candy and take off with it

Sean managed to catch the little rebel before he got too far with his spoils.  Matthew was disappointed that he didn't wind up with a basketful of candy from this deal, but his point had been made: he had exposed the fraud of that bunny for all the world to see and taken his revenge. 

Matthew: Protector of Truth for Kids Everywhere!