Archive for October, 2012

Ainsley asked all of her questions about God.  We talked about a lot of interesting things.  She was upset that she isn’t learning about this in school.  Why did she only learn about this on Sunday?  I explained why, and then she was sad about all of the people who don’t believe in God. So she has decided to write a book based on what she knows so far.

She read her chapter to me.  Very sweet.

It is worth hanging on to.

See video here.


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1. Are there any good websites about God?
2. Is God a person?
3. Did God come here in the world?
4. Is God very perfect and does he not want to not show himself because he is perfect?

That’s all I need to know.


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Quote of the Day

When we were trying to leave church today, Ben was outside teaching a 2 year old friend at church how to beat out a rhythm on the steel pole.  I walked up to them both and said it was time to go and led to 2 year old by the hand to the child’s father.

“He is one of my minions,” says Ben to me and the child’s dad.

“I don’t think that sounds nice, Ben,”  I say, rather embarrassed that Ben would say that in front of the child’s dad. I smile to the father that coded smile that says I-am-so-sorry-I-will-kill-him-later-for-that-comment.  As we are walking away I say to Ben, “I think we need to find another word.  That word doesn’t sound good.”

Ben says, “You know how Gordon follows me around and does everything I do?  And C—– is just like Gordon.  He does everything I do.”

“Yes,” I reply waiting for him to continue this line of logic.

“Well, that a minion.  Every one needs one . . . and I’ve got two!” declares Ben with a huge smile on his face.


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The Kids Are Reading


Ben is reading the first Percy Jackson book via the iPad. Madie is reading the seventh Percy Jackson the old-fashioned way. Both reading and enjoying the same series of books. How cool is that.

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Camo Day at School

Ben dressed Ainsley this morning in his camo.  He dug in his closet and found enough camo clothes to dress both him and his sister.  So sweet!  She loves looking like a twin with her sister, but rarely has the opportunity to do it with Ben.  Today was the day!

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The whole family made caramel apples the other night.  Then we let them cool and sit for a day and got to enjoy them the next night.  Madie had been complaining that she has never had a caramel apple.  Apparently her friends had made fun of her.  So we made some good old fashion caramel apples.  We unwrapped the candy, melted the candy on the stove, dipped the apples, and set them to cool.  Then Chris said that this wasn’t the right way.  He did it growing up and they would buy a kit.  Whatever.  If you are going to do it for the first time, skip the kit and spend the time and do it the old fashion way.   We certainly had fun doing it!  And then eating it!!

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Praying in our family has always been a part of routine.  We routinely pray at each meal. We routinely pray every night.  We pray at every car accident that we pass by.  We pray at church. We pray when we are in need.  But our prayers are “routine.” More rote than meaningful.  We even throw in some Lutheran indoctrination by having the kids say the Apostle’s creed every night as part of our routine.  I thought that we were doing good.  When the kids were little, we use to let them lead the prayers but they tended to get really lengthy . . . and I mean they went on for-ev-er.  We didn’t want to discourage their prayers so we wouldn’t stop them, but the meal was cold by the time they would get done.  It almost felt like a competition each night to see who could go the longest.  So we turned to rote prayers to help us move through prayers and to get to the next part of our schedule.

This all sounds terrible. I know that contrary to all of this that our kids are comfortable praying in front of friends and can lead groups in prayer.  I’ve seen it happen.  But I don’t know that they know “how” to pray.  Of course, do any of us?  As Lutherans we often struggle with this.  Too often we leave it up to the pastor to lead us.  But we need to be better at it.  I owe it  my children to teach them to pray meaningfully. And to give myself credit . . . I know that we have taught our children the importance of prayer and have built it into our daily routine. Now it is time to take it to the next level.

With a huge sigh, I realize that it must start with me.  I need to focus on my own prayer life and build from there.  I realized that I needed to do better a few weeks ago when Ainsley had a friend spend the night.  When it was time to tuck the kids into bed, we were praying and I asked her what she prayed at night expecting her to tell us a rote prayer.  She told us that she prays for something that she is thankful for, then she prays for those who are hurting or in need, and finally she blesses everyone in her family.  Then she lead us in prayer. So cool.  And I thought . . . and a little child will lead us.  That is a great outline for nighttime prayers!  We are not telling them what to say.  We are just setting an outline and then the kids can fill in the blanks.

So we have been trying this out for the last few weeks.  Some nights are better than others.  The kids can get stuck on what to pray for.  But it is a start.  The kids seem empowered by the outline.  So our prayers are more meaningful than before. Of course, the kids want to do the new prayer and then add the rest of our normal prayers at the end.  So I think prayers took 10 minutes last night.  New prayer, “Now I lay me” prayer, Lord’s prayer, and Apostle’s creed can take some time.  It’s too bad that the amount of time spent in prayer doesn’t get you to the front of the line in heaven! I am grateful for this new change.  The kids want me to participate too, so we are all doing it together.  Each sharing what we are thankful for, each sharing something/someone in need who we must lift up in prayer, and then asking God to bless all of those closest to us.  It can be very powerful at times.  It is certainly bringing us closer to each other and making prayer about others and gratefulness and less about what we want from God.  Eventually we will get there, so that this becomes natural to them and helps them to have a closer relationship to God.

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Friday Night Musings

Hank escaped from the backyard this week, so Chris spent a good part of the day fixing that issue in the backyard.  Hank is a smart dog and I know that he will eventually figure another way out.  I frankly blame myself.  Our days get so busy that we don’t spend nearly enough time with him, so he gets bored and finds a hole in the fence.  Hank is looking for adventures on the “outside!”  I can’t say I blame him!!

The kids come home during Chris’ project.  I took the opportunity of Chris being outside to force my children outside for outside time.  No chores. Backpacks left in middle of floor. Snacks feed hurriedly while standing. Then a quick shove . . . and out they went.  I walked outside at one point to find the neighbor kids over and they were all playing foursquare in the driveway.  Fun!!  The kids love unscripted time and they needed after the kind of week we have had.

Now the kids are inside and I’m fixing dinner.  To keep them out from under my feet, I sent them into the living room.  Now Madie has her yoga video on and they are all working on it . . . including Chris and the dog (Chris is trying to get the dog to cooperate with him.  Good luck with that.).  They are all quite the sight.  At least they are all smiling.

Ben walks into the dinning room and sees the table that I’ve set and declares, “we are eating like kings tonight!!”  Ainsley comes running into the room to see what “eating like kings” looks like and she sees that all I’ve done is set the table with a tablecloth and cloth napkins.  Wow, it is amazing how little it takes to make amaze my children.  I realized lately that I am resorting too often to disposable dinnerware to help make the clean up process go faster.  I had a nightmare that my children had grown up and were telling their children how to set a proper table by pulling out the paper plates. Ugh.  Not that paper plates are a bad thing on occasion, but I’m becoming lazy and using them more than I should.  So we ate like kings tonight!!

At the end of the day, the kids and I headed upstairs to finish up the books we have been reading together.  After reading to the kids for an hour, we still have a little bit to go in Little House in the Big Woods.  But I had to finally call it quits, Ainsley had nearly fallen asleep, so it was time to tuck everyone in.  It was a good night, and a nice ending to a very busy week.

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Quote of the Day

“My day was horrible.  I got in trouble at school because everyone kept complimenting me about my suit.  Well . . . I had to respond and tell them thank you.  And then I would get in trouble for talking! People should just be quiet.  I should be able to wear my suit without all of the comments!”

That was the answer to my question, “How was your day?”  Poor kid had it rough.  The sad part is that the boy loves his suit and he especially loves the compliments.  But after today, he doesn’t want to wear his suit anymore because the teacher told him that his suit is a distraction and that he probably shouldn’t wear it anymore.  I think more people should wear them.  It is sad when a child in a suit is such a rare anomaly. 

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