Thursday, February 28, 2008


My little Turtle is going in for surgery early tomorrow morning. It's really not a big deal, only some ear tubes, but I just never like the idea of general anesthesia. I am very excited for him to hear better but would appreciate prayers for his protection.
His faithful orange lollipop from the ear doctor somehow lasted this kid all day long! It was some sort of fish and loaves phenomenon because I watched him lickin that thing continuously from 11:00 a.m. to around 3:00 in the afternoon...
...Through the sandy beach, lunch at Burger King... tightly clutched in his sticky hand while napping in his carseat... even covered in sand it appeared quite delicious to Turtle...
The kids were fascinated at the cold water divers. I hadn't realized there is actually an underwater park at Edmonds Beach. The divers have maps that guide them to the "treasure" at the other end of the rope from all the various buoys! The map showed all kinds of sunken boats down there. Pretty darn cool--especially to little boys already "obthessed with diving!"
Juliet would have nothing to do with the yucky sand.
My Essie has a total blast wherever she goes. Poser.
Long hard day at the office, Essie?
The computers at the Library are quite a big attraction for these guysGemma in absolute HEAVEN!!! Owen...blurry, but still eating his sucker around 3:00 in the afternoon. It kept him very quiet at the library. I'll have to remember that...
This is for you Gramma... This is what I was trying to explain... The wild baby with the hat dressing up, graffiti-ing the walls with pencils, stripping off the pants to expose the sure-attention-getting legs... all to get Mom's attention while busy on the phone with Gramma...
Boy Edibles...
I intercepted Silas heading outside to play, carrying along one of his famous
"thnack packs"
He often makes these for all the kids without being asked. Today he had almonds, peanuts, Skywalker...Hans Solo.....and some dry spaghetti noodles? When pressed for an explanation he said it just helps him to carry his StarWars guys in his snacks cuz then he doesn't loose them so much....makes sense....but when pressed further to explain the dry noodles he insists:

"I like em, Mom. I really like em. Twusst me... Sometimes boys just need to cwunch."

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Nursing Baby's Dilemma

It must be that humans were all created with that innate need for milk to dunk our cookies in because today I was approached by my 13 month old at a time she normally would not be wanting to nurse...but was clearly wanting me to pick her up to nurse her. I picked her up and then noticed the half eaten Oatmeal Raisin cookie in her if to.......what? How can I help you kid? What do you want from me?

She (with cookie poised just so), began to nurse but quickly stopped...looked at the cookie...looked back at me... I couldn't help but just crack up laughing because her dilemma was so apparent and so ridiculously cute. She totally just wanted a wee bit of milk with that there little cookie of hers! She and I both had a good laugh while the whole charade continued a little longer. She knew this was a funny thing! Sip....bite....sip....bite.... but not quite the same as dunking. I guess my little baby is growing up and needs a good cup of milk to dunk in. (sigh)

Hannah's Thriving Business...
My Hannah has taken it upon herself to figure out a few little tunes that happen to be favorites of the younger kids. Today she said in her sweet soft little lispy voice

"Hey Mom...I figured out if I put my violin case out while I play, the kids want to put money in."
Later in the afternoon I was hearing quite a lot of violin and noticed the kids were scrambling around a little more fervently for change to drop in Hannah's violin case. She came up to me with that little grin and a twinkle in her eye and informed me that she figured something out....

"Mom! If I dump my whole jar of money inta my violin case...then the kids rully want to throw more and more and MORE money in! Isn't that funny Mom? It's like what we read in my logic book Mom!"

She's talking about when she read about Propaganda Techniques with her father in her little Fallacy Detective logic book by the Bluedorn brothers. To be exact, I think it would fall under the Bandwagon Propaganda of appealling to people's vulnerability to "everybody's doing it". She's frighteningly perceptive. (Thank God she's the angelic one). I just watched quite amused as two of my children in particular... the two I've always known would be succeptible to all the bandwagons we parents fear... scrambled frantically for all their change and eventually turned up broke. Yes, I'm thankful that they are home with me and that Lord willing I have many years to teach them.

And I mean heck, at least if they're broke, we're keeping the money in the family?

You shall not follow a multitude to do evil;
nor shall you testify in a dispute
so as to turn aside after many to pervert justice.
~Exodux 23:2

Thursday, February 21, 2008

When in Doubt......Mumble.

Parenting involves a lot of talking. In a typical day I do more of it than any woman should but today I set new records in both the intelligible and the doubtful mumblings. My kids keep me very busy...With two additional (and very inquisitive) little minds thrown into the mix, trusting me and looking to me with those big blue eyes, to answer all their constant questions and dilemmas througout the day I had to be at the top of my game and very prayerful for the guidance that all these precious ones need.Being entrusted with someone else's kids made me realize anew how incredibly much children learn directly from the care giver they are given to. Every spoken and unspoken word. Every facial expression, every attitude...the body language and certainly the philosophies leave a lasting mark on these little canvases.
True education is, in one sense, a spiritual process. It is the nurture of the soul. Education is the nurture of a spirit that is rational and moral, in which conscience is the regulative and imperative faculty. The proper purpose of conscience, even in this world, is moral.
But God is the only Lord of the conscience; this soul is his miniature likeness. His will is the source of its obligations. Likeness to him is its perfection, and religion is the science of the soul's relations to God. Let these statements be placed together, and the theological and educational processes appear so related that they cannot be separated.
It is for this reason that the common sense of mankind has always invoked the guidance of the minister of religion in the education of youth....Every line of true knowledge must find its completeness as it converges on God, just as every beam of daylight leads the eye to the sun.
~R.L. Dabney
My older three children who have started violin lessons, gave their Grandma a nice concert today. It makes it so exciting with the symphony accompaniment CD to play with!My favorite moment was when Silas, very inspired, jumped up and started conducting. Owen, not to be outdone, (and not knowing why in the world Silas was making such violent gestures at the musicians), promptly jumped in and fired round after round beat....of the conducting.... Bang, bang, bang...(rest, rest) bang.... Apparently he's been listening to them practice??? It was fascinating stuff and the musicians just kept right on playing...conductor kept right on conducting...He, (and George Washington) will celebrate their birthday tomorrow. My wonderful little man will turn 8 years old. What a wonderful little man. So much like his Daddy...

And speaking of little men, you can never have too many around. Our little visitor Keeghan, while inspecting the storage closet, pointed out to me that it would make much more sense to have one fire extinguisher down stairs...but we really should bring the other one upstairs! Heck. I couldn't argue with that so I thanked him for the inspection and asked him to help me find a smart place for it. I got quite the chastizing when he realized it needed recharging. Keeghan plans to be a fire chief someday. Not just a fireman...a fire chief. Abiagail helped me get the pot roast going...We all read about the Walter Raleigh's lost colony...
and trace the paths of the ships of the Spanish and English colonists...
Gemma gave Elijah the sweetest card as he was leaving to spend his birthday Eve at Grandma and Papa's...
I'm not sure who's more smitten with who...

Proving still as a vessel of God's direct mercy in my life, my mother left me with a Blueberry Fritter big enough to feed an army...

~An Afternoon Pick-me-up~
Fortunately for my diet, there were plenty of munchkins up from their naps to help me eat it!'ve outdone yourself today!Juliet's first doughnut bonded us together on that deepest level we women relate... She loves it!!!
Life's Simple joys

Keeghan and Abi were getting pretty homesick for their Momma so I decided to do what she would do. BAKE! Not my natural gifting and quite risky given the fritter we've just consumed, but the call of duty today!
But we walked it off...

Juliet kept shaking her rattle to get the horsie's attention. It worked!

Is it me, or are they both giving me that same daring look???
~Thank you Lord for your BEAUTY~
My funny Essie helping me test the "sport" setting on my camera
This boy is sheer rascal! See his wicked laugh as he watches Mommy dart to save the stroller rolling down the hill! SILAS!
So back on the topic of the always-constant, never-neutral instruction of the children; When passing the neighbor's yard, Keeghan requested that I read one of the several signs "TRESPASSERS WILL BE SHOT...SURVIVORS WILL BE SHOT...AGAIN." I explained that it was kind of a joke, but that they clearly don't want people trespassing. "But Mithuss Kirkman, what does that mean?" "Well Keeghan, it means if you go in their yard, they'll shoot you. And if you get up....they'll shoot you again. But like I said, it's probably meant to be a funny way to tell people they really don't want them in their yard."

"Is that BAD Mithuss Kirkman?"

"Yes Keeghan, guns are very bad. All guns. Terrible, wicked things. If we got rid of guns, then man would be basically good. Repeat after me Keegan"...... hahh... juuuust kidd'n Liam.... point exactly. How was I to know I'd get into a discussion about guns with this little man today? And how were his parents to know? I really could've done a number on the truths this little boy's Daddy is teaching him regarding freedom and responsibility. Fortunately this little boy was entrusted very carefully to me by his wise parents who know very in depth and care very much so, what we believe, why we believe it, what we will exhort their children in, and what we will leave to the parents. And this part seems silly to even have to say, but they know that we love their kids. We have a reason to teach them what is good and true...

...You shall love the LORD our God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.

Deut. 6:5-9

This is how children are shaped. It is so easy to forget, and so tempting to ignore when we are confronted with the pressures and demands of life. Education is never neutral. Childcare, academics, extra curriculars...can never be strained out or separated from the nurture of the soul.

Give ear, O my people, to my law;
Incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings of old,
Which we have heard and known and our fathers have told us.
We will not hide them from our children,
telling to the generation to come, the praises of the Lord, and His strength
and wonderful works that He has done.

For He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel,
which He commanded our fathers that they should make them known to their children;
That the generation to come might know them, the children who would be born,
That they may arise and declare them to their children,
That they may set their hope in God,
And not forget the works of God,
But keep His commandments.

~Psalm 78:1-8

Ah, the Joys of Having Babies close together!
The Trials of having Babies so close together...
But mostly the Joys of Having Babies close together!!!

And remember, When in doubt...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

To Pee or not to Pee... THAT, is the Question!

Yes. With nine children underfoot... turning your back for even a moment to pee can be a risky thing. We had two extra students join us today as we continued through the Elizabethan Era and learned about Shakespeare! Our two extras blended in just wonderfully and we are looking forward to tomorrow!

Keeghan is only a few days older than our Silas, and Abby is only a few months older than our Essie. Their little brother Ronan is only a week or so older than our Owen so we have great fun and great memories with our friends! Essie and Abby are SO cute together! I have never known two such articulate little girls!
When I titled this post "To Pee or not to pee", I was thinking of this walk and how little ones instinctively have to pee once you have just bundled them up and left the comforts of toilets and tissue far, far behind...
We met a new neighbor and her beautiful horse named Quincy.
He was really showing off for the kids.
Owen and Juliet had never seen a REAL BIG HORSIE so up close and personal! WOW! And the answer to the question soon turned out to be.... PEE! Find a bush and pee for heaven's sake!
We learned about some crazy Renaissance Cures like leeches and molasses covered spiders. We experimented (right before nap, mind you!) with one recipe ~
~Lettuce tea to make you Sleepy~ the camera out of focus...or is this tea working???
Keeghan's tea worked so well he passed out he said!The Mind is a powerful thing mothers. Never underestimate it... Essie and Abby had a little rest time and laid down with Momma while I read my Stepping Heavenward book by Elisabeth Prentiss which I highly recommend!
Aren't they precious? We didn't expect Abby to really crash but she sure did! Essie is faking it for the picture...
And after resting for a good 45 minutes we decided to surprise Abby with some cookies!
This girl's face melts my Mommy heart...
Gemma practicing her violin...
My little Juliet is turning into such a HAM! I should have known it when she cut those teeth looking way too much like big brother Silas!RASCAL BABY!!!
Me and Turtle playing around with the self portrait setting. I LOVE MY KIDS....