Saturday, March 24, 2012

Mr. R.

He walked from his car, scowling.  His eyes could pierce right though you.  Other than his coming and going to work, I didn't see him.  He was never outside playing with the family.

For 23 years he was intimidating, scary, unapproachable.

He shuffles down the block smoking his cigarettes, flipping his lighter.  He comments on the weather.  Asks about Josh's job.  Compliments our choice to homeschool.  Complains about the township.  Asks about our straw garden, my opinion on children's toys, and home improvement projects.

All this with a smile on his face.  I'm confused.

For the past 2 years, Mr. R. has baffled me.  He has been just the break this tired mama needs some days.  Some days the break comes in the form of a photo taking lesson.  Other days the break is him letting my 5 monkeys play in his backyard for 30 minutes or talking to them as he takes his walks around the neighborhood.

On Garrett's birthday he brought a card down for him with 5 dollars in it.  He calls Garrett, Roadrunner.  I like it.  It's all too appropriate.

I don't know what changed him.  Maybe it was retirement.  Maybe it was a couple of gorgeous granddaughters.

Whatever it is, Mr. R. is proof that you don't have to get grouchier with age and that you're never too old to change.  Just a couple of good things to remember.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Garrett is 8


Today you turn 8.

Can you stop growing?  I don't want you to be taller than me, and that will be happening sooner than you think.

Your loyalty and unconditional love of others is inspiring.  You are always meeting new people, no one is above you.

You love to read the Bible, something daddy and I haven't pushed on you, but something you enjoy doing all on your own.  You often call me over to read a verse or two that has spoken to you.  You often want to share your readings with your class at church, this is such a blessing.  Daddy and I continue to pray that you will always have a desire to know God more.

You are a math WIZ!  You're brain just gets it, something my brain doesn't do.  I am daily blown away at how easily math comes to you.  I am excited to see where this takes you!

You are the best hugger I know.  This is another way that you make people feel important.  A smile and a hug go a long way in this world.

People are drawn to you buddy.  Babies, toddlers, kids your own age, kids older than you, teenagers, adults.  You are endearing, funny, and genuine.

Happy Birthday Garrett.  I am blessed to be your mom.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Math Class

There are times when I wonder what craziness got into us and made us choose homeschooling for our family.  There are days when I am one phone call away from enrolling them in school.  There many, many times when I beat myself up because I feel that I am failing them as their educator.  Are they learning what they need to be learning to keep up with their peers?  Are they learning as quickly as their peers?  There are MANY days like this.  

This morning is different.  This morning is a wonderful reminder of the benefits of homeschooling.  As I sat, drinking my coffee, Gideon ran over to me with a hand full of toys and said, "Mom, watch!"  He then took two of the toys in his hand and began counting, "2, 4, 6!  I can count by twos!!"  A smile is plastered to my face and I don't think it can get any bigger, until I look just beyond Gideon to find Garrett grinning from ear to ear.  When I catch his eye he says, "I taught him to count by twos."  I'm not sure who was the proudest of the three of us. . .

Math Class
Today's Lesson - Counting by 2's.
Dress code - Shirtless.