7 Quick Takes Friday- #5

I'll jump right in this week...
  1. I can't believe it... but I really did-- I forgot about those sweet little cooey, sigh-like noises a baby makes while nursing, and I just love hearing them. I love these moments with Moses close, snuggled up, so content, so sweet, so needy. This way that God makes new PEOPLE is just so amazing.
  2. Tonight I started Bernard Nathanson's book, Hand of God: A Journey from Death to Life by the Abortion Doctor Who Changed His Mind, and it took me a few minutes to even clear my head and get over the first sentence:
    "I did my last abortion in late 1978 or early 1979."

    Date-wise, that's my husband and me. Late 1978 = a Spring 1979 birthday, like my husband. Early 1979 = a Fall 1979 birthday, like me. That pretty much sums up the whole abortion debate for me. We're talking about real people. A real man or woman who would have been born, and would by now potentially have had a family, like what my husband & I have. Or gone away to college and graduate school and been finishing up a doctorate in literature, like my college friend Beth. Or have a computer business he started, a daughter he adores, a motorcycle he drives too fast, and travelled to see Central American Mayan ruins like a high school friend of mine. The person that Bernard Nathanson aborted last was a real person, and Nathanson knows it now (and maybe knew it then, I haven't gotten that far). A person with the potential of a great many things, some good, some bad, perhaps some amazing things... but his or her life was snuffed out.

    I wonder if we might have been friends.
  3. Heard this week in our house while reading a book about babies being born to my just-turned-6-year-old son Baxter:

    me: "So how would the doctor know if it's a boy or a girl?
    Baxter: "By looking at the hair."


    You can't make this stuff up. :)
  4. This week, I got organized for the next stage of our homeschool journey. See, the way we do things, our boys keep pressing along and advancing in their math, writing, and reading, but we do history at a pace that allows us to enjoy it and really take it all in (plus, we have had some amazing field trip opportunities that have taken us on quite a few rabbit trails, living where we live). Anyway, we've been just taking our time to finish up their history/science curriculum books from last year. Plus, ya know, I had a baby. :)

    But here we are in September, and we're about to begin digging into American history. Ethan (our oldest son) and I have gone all the way through world history, right up to the era of the Renaissance, and we're both ready to tackle American history. I'd been planning all along to keep him on his own course, and Baxter on his (we're talking about history here-- they're always on their own courses as far as reading and math goes). But then mid-summer, I had an epiphany and realized that this year was a perfect opportunity to combine the two older boys (ages 6 & 8) and have a bunch of fun and a lot less scattered year for me. Because it's targeted towards the 3rd to 5th grade level, I'll have to adapt some of the curriculum for my 1st grader (ordered some historical coloring books and such for him to do while we're reading some of the more heady history portions), but what fun! I'm really looking forward to it, and they are too! Not only that, but it's coming at a perfect time, as we anticipate heading back to the States (Lord willing) for a few-months'-visit with family and friends next summer.

    Our boys have a great knowledge of the world for their ages, have learned a bit of another language, are both ahead in their math skills, and are doing great as far as reading goes. But I know that if we go home to Texas and they don't have any idea about the Alamo, for example, or basic bits about American history, (a) they could feel detached from their "home country", and/or (b) relatives who have not seen them in 4 years, and may not be fully convinced about this homeschooling stuff could get the wrong idea. Either way, it's a great time for us to take a year to really dive into American history. And we're doing it together- yippee! So, off we go!
  5. You know what I've recently discovered? I mean really discovered? Play-doh. I used to consider it positively evil. Those messy little teeny good-for-nothing bits that ended up everywhere, coupled with the fact that I was requested to play along, made it pretty much a no-go for (I'm sorry to say) these many years. And if we're all being honest, I'm happy to wrestle and tickle, cook alongside, read to, or even sometimes color with my kids. But Play-doh just isn't really my cup of tea. But, now that God has seen to it to give my kids in-home playmates other than me, I've realized it's not so bad.

    It isn't that expensive, it allows for great amounts of creativity (especially when fueled by recent family viewings of "Challenge" and "Cupcake Wars"), and it entertains the kids for an almost absurd amount of time. And when I'm trying to explain a math concept to my 8-year-old, get some housework done, or listen to my 6-year-old read aloud, the contented, happy time that Play-doh brings is absolutely priceless. So here's three cheers for the messy, time-consuming, joy-producing stuff! (And for kids who are old enough to use a Dustbuster afterwards!)
  6. This summer produced another epiphany for me: We Christians need the Body of Christ. We need each other! Now, of course, this should not BE an epiphany. Nonetheless, here's how God reminded me of this truth:

    Generally, we meet together weekly as a church body with 2-3 other families, sometimes more, plus occasionally some single folk. We meet in homes (often in ours), eat a meal together, pray for each other, sing to the Lord, and study Scripture together. But this summer, two things happened: one family moved back to America, and the other family in our house church took a 2-month vacation to America to put their oldest daughter in college, so we were here alone for that spread of time. It also worked out, what with me being a hugely pregnant woman in the heat, and Moses' birth mid-July, that I was indoors for a good portion of the summer. I struggled quite a bit this summer with discouragement and battling against anger in my heart and in my reactions to my family. But it wasn't until we began meeting again as the church that I realized how much I'd missed the way that God uses that time to minister to my heart.

    When the 2nd family I mentioned returned, we began meeting together again, and two other families have joined with us. It has been so encouraging to fellowship, worship, and study God's Word together. I really missed our church body. We need each other! We weren't made to be islands-- we need encouragement, and I'm so thankful for the Body of Christ and the way our Father encourages me through the people we meet with each week!
  7. It's suddenly quite a bit cooler here-- is it getting cooler where you live? Maybe some of you are already wearing jackets? But maybe you Texans or Floridians are still having warm weather... Here, it's just perfectly comfortable-- we leave the windows open, and still have the ceiling fans on, and it feels like "normal" to me (roughly 70-75 degrees each day, and cooler at night).

    I'm enjoying the cooler weather but also, in a way, mourning the loss of summer. Time passes so quickly, and our kids really had a great time playing outside this year. Plus, we're about to move into the it-takes-a-year-to-get-out-the-door mode, where each child has to wear more clothes, find matching socks, put on a jacket, and sometimes scarf and gloves, just to get out the door. And I get to corral it all. *Sigh* I'm tired of winter already, LOL.

I think that'll do it. There's my "Seven Quick Takes" for the week. If you do one, be sure to pop over to Jennifer @ Conversion Diary to share the link. Blessings to you!

10 comments:

The Arab Musicians said...

I've had fun reading your 7 quick takes. Keep it up! I had to let you know that Baxter isn't the only one who thought baby girls were born with girl hair. My husband was three when his sister was born, and according to his mother, he was extremely disappointed to get to the hospital and discover that she didn't have pigtails! He was ready to send her back.
~Beth

Mama Hen said...

Here in Alabama it is still pretty hot (91 degrees yesterday), but the mornings are cooler and I love it.

I too love the sweet noises babies make when nursing. They are so content and at peace. I also love how they will stop nursing, look up at you and smile like you are the best thing in the world, and then go back to nursing. Sweet times I hope I always remember.

Jessica in Europe said...

I had noticed you were doing the Core 3+4 with both boys from your side bar and was curious why. That makes great sense! Do you have a plan for them next year while you're in the states or will you not be there into the school year?
And I totally hear you on how hard it is without the community and accountability of the body of Christ! We don't have anyone here so our weekly worship is just my husband, the kids and me. I appreciate how much work my husband puts into preparing to preach and for the music, but it would be nice to have others to share it with!

Tami said...

I've been thinking about you/your blog a fair amount lately. Our family recently moved from Atlanta, GA to the United Arab Emirates. It has been a blessing in so many ways, but I am still having to deal with some culture shock issues (even though there is so much I love about the culture) and the rebuilding of my support network. Your writings about living overseas have been helpful. Thanks.

Brenda said...

Jess...the homemade playdough doesn't crumble up and make quite as much mess. The recipe that uses kool-ade smells really great and lasts forever.

Ashley said...

enjoyable! (the quick takes, that is!) i need to take a similar approach to blogging....all-or-nothing doesn't work for me.

desmoinesdem said...

Sounds like teaching your 6 and 8 year olds history together is a great plan. My kids attend a Montessori school with mixed-age classrooms. The first, second and third-graders are often studying the same subject--of course the little ones aren't working at exactly the same level, but they are interested in each other's work.

There's a lot of Montessori literature about the benefits of mixed-age groups of kids learning together. I see no reason why homeschoolers should have to prepare separate lessons on everything for each child.

Laurie B

Kelly @ The Startup Wife said...

Oh my gosh, the HAIR! I am laughing so hard. :)

That sounds like an interesting book--I'd be curious to read it. I really enjoyed reading your perspective on it and how you connected it to you and your husband--definitely thought-provoking! And sad, too.

It's getting cooler where I live :) finally (San Francisco). Today felt so fall-like, and I LOVED it.

love your blog!

Anonymous said...

Jess, it's been a while since I've commented, but as usual, I've enjoyed your insightful, thought-provoking posts (especially impressive while tending to your little ones)! But had to comment on the Texas history -- as an East-Coaster-married-to-a-Texan, my husband and I always laugh when my boys ask questions about Texas history and I have to refer them all to their dad, triggering the comment "didn't y'all learn this all in seventh-grade Texas history?" Sheesh. My boys will no doubt outstrip me quickly in the Texas history department!

Blessings to you on your journey!
Sharyn

Anonymous said...

Every time I come here looking to see if there is a new post I am just tickled to see that cute picture of your son That is the sweetest picture ever!!!