Archive for the ‘the little red boots’ Category

Eden Olivia Horton is watching everything and confidently trying her hand at it all.  After several minutes of suppressing our laughter at the constant thudding against the hardwood floors while we watched her lift weights like the boys do for their exercise routine, Chris started taking video with his iphone…we weren’t prepared for her last stunt (: —neither was she.


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It’s Grandma Dorothy’s fault. (: The boys received some sumptuous minty lip balm in their stockings that she bought from GoatMilkStuff.com.  And now Eden, inspired, is imitating them with her own found version, a glue stick.

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NTH, oil pastels

JDH, MH, oil pastels

Art.  A quaint picture isn’t it?  I especially like photos versus video on this one because it makes all the noise and movement stand still and it seems so idyllic.  There.  There’s home schooling. Right?


Unpainted and unpictured are my anxious thoughts, particularly the day prior when we work with watercolors and I dare not think of a camera for I am at the ready for all the potential artistic energy present at my kitchen table: water and color and eager fingers clutched around paintbrushes and souls ecstatic with the rush of being creative like our Maker.  My nerves and muscles tense with readiness to catch the inevitable: spilled, overflowing, and spattered creativity that cannot be contained.  Not to mention there’s the unpictured background, the antithesis of still-life, my sweet whir and whirl of happy movement, Eden, who I am anxiously tracking lest she apply a damp “wash” on the palette of my wood floor with her own watercolor technique–she’s toilet training.  Quaint mom.  Quaint kids.  Quaint pictures.  Quaint happy thoughts.  But real life and real art are messy processes.  More colorful than we intend.  And often damp.  So it’s good again and again to step back for some perspective, seize a little still-life glimpse, and savor with a grateful eye and heart the solitary beauty of the small moments.

I suppose it adds to the irony, but I am unable, for some odd reason, to rotate this photo


Siisum’s Flower, you thought?  And which child’s is that? Oh, that would be Matthias’ flower.  He can read forwards, but he struggles with writing forwards.  Read it backwards phonetically, with “Th” where you see one “S”, because he struggles to distinguish them in speech, and you can decode it too.  Yes, I am in the process of teaching him to write forwards too (:.

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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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quotable moments from 2010:


10/8/10  Matthias, as I paint a red nose for his clown face before going to the circus: He, with twinkling mischievous eye, eager eyebrows, and cunning smile, whispers slyly, “Write a booger.”

Matthias' fine archery form

4/10 Matthias, 3 yrs old, after we were discussing the possibility of a dog or a cat…“Can we get a dolphin?  They don’t bite.  BUT if you kick them, they will bite.” He also asked for a real baby elephant for Christmas.  (Just a little one).  Thank you to everyone who did not comply.


pensive thoughts regarding Intelligent Design

5/10  Matthias: “I’m afraid a bear’s going to come and a satellite is going to come to our house.” [Me: What do you mean?]  He (in the tone indicating, isn’t it obvious?): “Because there are bears in the woods and satellites in the sky!” Maybe we should separate the little ones from our astronomy and natural science lessons?

11/5/11  Matthias, talking to Grandma Dorothy on the phone…Matthias tells her about a picture he drew; she replies that she’d like to see it. Matthias shakes his paper back on forth next to the phone vigorously, “Do you hear that?  That’s my picture”. She says again that she’d like to see it.  He replies unbelievingly, “But didn’t you hear it go crackle, crackle?”

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