Friday, February 23, 2018

Vintage Family

"Grandpa, tell me bout the good old days
Sometimes it feels like this world's gone crazy
And Grandpa, take me back to yesterday
When the line between right and wrong
Didn't seem so hazy

Did lovers really fall in love to stay
And stand beside each other come what may?
Was a promise really something people kept
Not just something they would say then forget
Did families really bow their heads and pray
Did daddies really never go away?
Oh, Grandpa, tell me bout the good old days.

Grandpa, everything is changing fast
We call it progress, but I just don't know
And Grandpa, let's wander back into the past
And paint me the pictures of long ago"
- Jamie O'Hara,
 sung by Wynona Judd

I continue...

"Mom and Dad, tell me 'bout when you were raised.
How did you spend your days?
I need to know for certain!
My children, they are growing fast.
If this family is gonna last
we had better do things the old fashioned way."

Paint me those pictures of long ago.
Daddy, how I need to know.
It is an upstream swim in culture so dim,
We just can't go that way.
So tell me 'bout your childhood days.

Daddy, your wisdom has given us resolve.
We are gonna pray, work hard, and love.
We won't have video games in our home,
Or let our young children have a phone.
We will eat together at the table each day,
Go outside for walks and play.

You said, "Teach your boys to show respect,
Honor their elders, do an honest days work.
Show your daughters, to be gentle and kind,
Cheerful, like grandma and you'll do fine."

Oh, Daddy, thank you for sharing with us 
"bout the good old days."

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Boy Mom, Morning Rituals, Starting the Day Right

The cold wet air of February awakened my senses early, 
too early.
Yet reluctant to leave that lovely deep sleep I had been enjoying, I lingered. 
 Not a morning person, to say the least. 

 My cheerful daughter popped her head in the room to see if I would like a cup of coffee, 
and I heard the stirrings of the children: 
someone making breakfast...oh yes, today would be Jim's day. 
 I could hear the muffled giggles and squeals from Olivia and Gabe
 along with a rhythmic bump on the wall....
so surmising they are swinging in the hammock with the cat. 
 The other boys are doing the outside chores:
 firewood, chickens and other animals, starting the generator,
 and they have noises too,
usually shooting and crashing sounds,
 because, in their minds, 
they are ever in a battle-
 saving the day as all around them danger and evils loom. 

 We have 5 boys, you  know...these boy noises
 have been an ever present part of our married life, which is now nearly 29 years. 
 These boys of ours may be wild men and warriors outdoors, 
but once they cross the threshold of our cabin, 
the boy noises cease, and they are now gentlemen,
 respecting mama's need for war to stay outside.

The clatter of dishes gets me up, finally.
  Someone is setting the table, breakfast will be soon.
  All the happy clamor of our morning routines are a joy to my soul.
  I light the candles, 
we say grace,
 eat together, 
Daddy reads the Bible,
 we sing a hymn.
  Its a little early for me to sing, but I warble out a joyful song and nobody seems to mind.
  The day has begun.

  Daddy is off to the office, the older children have their work and schooling.
  I, with the younger four, gather in the living room in front of the fire
 for our morning time together.  
Poetry, Americana, and Great Explorers enliven our minds
 and give me another chance at a cup of coffee before real brain activity begins. 

Though not a morning person,  our morning rituals,
the companionship, the cheerfulness all sings to my soul,
 stirring in my heart gratitude for God's goodness, for family, for another day. 
It is the sweet and gentle start I need.
They need.

 Soon, math, reading and Bible will be completed, 
and with lunch, I will send the boys,
 and girls too, 
outside for a few hours of boy noises before continuing our school day. 
 They will come tromping in wet, muddy, swaggering, 
boasting of their conquests as we have tea and goodies. 
 I will read to them The Willows In Winter for a good long while as they settle down.

 As afternoon wears on, and all subjects are accomplished, 
when the frig and the pantry have been thoroughly pillaged, 
light has faded
 and so the forging of knives,

 the tinkering on a truck,
 the slaying of would- be assailants has come to an end,
 then, our evening begins 
and talk of current events,
 future plans of what to be when they grow up,
 games of chess and checkers,
 then second dinner before bedtime, 
and thus ends our day.

 This boy mom expires early and sleeps hard.
Turns out, I am not much of a night person either. 
But, then too, raising boys is hard work.

 But isn't it so true that that which is so tiresomely accomplished is worth the most?  

I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.
  All the dirt, mud, frogs, worms, stitches, noise, and exasperation, 
its worth all my whitening hair and then some.
 I love raising boys.
  I adore my sons, especially when they cook breakfast!

When homeschooling went from frustrating to beautiful: part 1

The morning was flowing along wonderfully.   Our hushed early risers soaked up the fire and coffee  as the pitter patter ...