Tonight I'm thankful for....
- our cozy dinner party for my aunt and uncle, held here at our house. The fellowship was wonderful, the food was good, the house was clean and comfortable, the kiddos were charming. Making it all happen exhausted me, but at least once every six weeks we need to have someone over. I know that offering hospitality is important for even the busiest of families. There will come a time--sooner than I want!--that the kiddos grow up a bit and the house cleans up easily, making dinner parties more common around here. I know a clean house is not supposed to be a part of hospitality, but it sure helps guests feel comfortable when there's no distracting mess and dirt around.
- the classic story Robin Hood. It reeks of burly testosterone, unlike Heidi--which the boys nevertheless loved anyway. (Peter is after all, a major character in Heidi.) But like Heidi, Robin hood is centered on honor and good character, providing powerful modeling that children will remember.
- the Junie B. Jones stories. No, Junie is not exactly a role model, and arguably this isn't the best literature, but it's laugh-out-loud funny and my boys are consuming a chapter book in a day and a quarter for the first time in their reading careers. At nearly a book a day, they'll be through all 26 of these in no time, and then they'll hopefully move on to something even better. Amelia Bedelia is insanely funny as well, but the reading level is even lower on those. The boys might choose more humor or go on to something different, like mystery. (My own reading craze started with Nancy Drew novels in the fourth grade.) My task is to expose them to lots of classics during school hours, while keeping a close eye on their pleasure reading, making sure I don't go overboard in my censoring.
- two giggling girls, sweet and soft
- two active boys, sweaty and strong
- the story Duck On a Bike, by David Shannon. My Mary has me read it daily now. It really is a very charming story and the illustrations are amazing! I love the varied farm animal personalities Mr. Shannon skillfully paints--with amazing eye detail. How do you paint a personality, you ask? I don't know, but David Shannon does just that. All the personalities come through in the eyes, somehow.
- for my present circumstances. I'll come out of this poverty-level living with the ability to live under my means, which is no easy matter in our society. I want my children to learn two very important lessons: live debt-free and under your means. The Duggars and other large families do very well on these two values--even paying cash for homes. I wasn't capable of teaching this or modeling this before; it wasn't taught in my home growing up. We've learned enough--the hard way--to model it from here on out.
- my older boy, who walked up to the art teacher tonight and spontaneously thanked her for the art class. She was touched and hugged him, which he found embarrassing. Anyhow, I was very happy to hear that he'd made such a gesture. He was horribly behaved most of the day around here! I need reminding to look beyond the horror of ADHD and see my son's heart. Always. That's who he really is. Sometimes I want to scream at the level of frustration we all live with due to the condition. It's hard not to worry about Peter's future, for one thing. I can clearly see that having ADHD negatively impacted my husband's life. Will it be similar for my son, or worse, since he has two co-morbid disorders? It seems cruel to allow such a thing for boys, who are commanded as men to provide for their families. They must do so while competing with other men who are perfectly normal, neurologically. I am forced to push my son hard, in love; to do anything less is a disservice to him and to the family he will one day have, God willing. He must be tougher to accomplish what his peers will find easy. The only good I can find in all of it is this: It serves as an hourly reminder that God is in control, not me.
And He doesn't make mistakes.
"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."