Archive for the ‘of picnics and playgrounds’ Category

We haven’t been to an amusement park with the boys yet.  But, I think that’s about to change (:.  A friend sent me this information and link the other day and some of you guys may want to check this out.  Students (and teachers) can earn free admission to Six Flags by reading if you’re within a 250 mi radius of a Six Flags Theme Park as we are in Knoxville.  Home schoolers are welcomed as well.  I believe the registration ends in March.  Registration and details through this link:


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Before the boys could write fluently, I would sometimes (and not enough!) let them narrate experiences or stories back to me and I would write down every word just as given by them.  The older boys thumb wistfully through these old notebooks full of stories that they’ve dictated, stories full of the charm of a child-like perspective, stories that have consecrated some very special memories better than any photograph or scrapbook ever could.  When my mom stopped by today, Matthias was drawing and wanted to show Grandma his  collection of drawings.  This narration was tucked inside his notebook and stole us back to autumn days and a lovely hike we had at the Ijams Nature Center in October.  And if you know Matthias and have an ear for authenticity, read every “s” as a “th”. Though he is working on this daily and deliberately, it’s a tough habit and I can’t help but find the “th” endearing still.


An October Narration By Matthias:

At the nature center we went on a walk up and down hills.  Climbed up hills, and down hills.  And slid on the leaves.  And there were also prickles which I poked my hair and body with.  I tried to climb the mountain, but I was sliding down, but Josiah helped me up and Elijah helped me too–natural mountains are VERY hard to climb.  And we found big snail shells and we also saw good smelling leaves [interesting pods that were similar to a honey locust, but about as long as a banana].  And write what God did [“What?” I ask him].  God created everything, the birds the clouds, the earth, the sun, the moon, the planets, the trees, the waters below the earth, cows, pigs and farms, and all sorts of animals, the water, the seas and all that he created!  We swimmed in the water with everyone and their walkingsticks and we pretended the mud was peanut butter [and spread it on each other] and we also wanted to slip and throw rocks and kick the water.  And we also wanted to get our clothes wet [and did they!].  Now let’s talk about….hmmm…Let’s do the one where we slide down the hills.  Want to talk about that?  And we also liked to jump in the water.  Did we jump?  No actually we didn’t.

[THE (abrupt) END].


a well-loved yard, bearing the sacrificial scars of our joy

Although his description is a perfect impressionistic glimpse of this day, I’ll explain a couple of things.  First, the boys climbed a steep mountain (off the trail, which I think is what inspired Matthias’s coined term “natural mountain”) and realizing that the dry leaves made it so difficult to climb up, they spent much of the time crawling up it on all fours, then body sledding and rolling down the intoxicatingly crispy autumn leaves; we unintentionally stole a great deal of good black dirt, leaves, and cockleburs in pant pockets, cuffs, and any spare crevices.  After they realized what a great sledding medium dry leaves were, they came home and got the real plastic sleds out and literally went sledding on our leafy front yard hillside.  (That poor yard has borne and worn with a lot of boyish amusement.  It has weathered bikes and ramps and large children and even a few similarly reckless adults riding small Tonka trucks with gravitational abandonment until its poor grassy mantle’s been severely gashed.  It weeps and bleeds its relentless orange clayish blood on the boys’ laundry.   I sometimes weep back.)

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