Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ed plays The Tempest

It had been awhile since I had posted anything about the music in our home so I shot this video of Ed playing The Tempest tonight. I enjoyed prepping the video for the blog but also going back and seeing clips from the last two years.

Here is a clip from a year ago and here is a clip from two years ago.

One of the things that I love about blogging is that it creates a readily accessible family history. If I were not blogging I may have never shot these videos and even if I had, I would be hard pressed to find them. Now, with just a click or two, there they are. It is wonderful.

I will also have to catch Miss Bookworm on the violin soon so you can hear what a wonderful job she is doing. We also have two brand new piano players in our home - F.G. and Buddy. I assume you have heard enough renditions of Mary Had a Little Lamb, so I will hold off on posting a sample of their work for a little while.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Infectious Thoughts

Anna has been on a baby doll kick lately. She can get absorbed for an hour or more caring for one of these dolls. At first, I thought this was a good thing. Now I know better.

One can’t underestimate the power of thoughts. There is not a single thing we do that we don’t first have the thought of doing it – whether it is a day or a millisecond in advance. Some thoughts even have the power to spread from person to person like an infectious disease. This is why Anna’s doll phase is a bad thing; she is spreading thoughts of babies around our home.

A few weeks ago I came home and found mom down in the school room. When I sat down to talk with her, she was rocking one of Anna’s dolls and Anna was helping. CrazyMom told me that Anna likes to act as if CrazyMom is the mom and Anna is mom’s helper. I did not think much of it until Anna wandered off in the house. As CrazyMom and I continued talking, I noticed that she was still rocking the baby.

“Um, Hun. Anna is gone you know.”

“Yeah, so?”

“Well, I just noticed that you are still rocking the baby doll.”

“Yeah,” she said and did not stop.

A few days later I came down for breakfast and CrazyMom was feeding a baby doll a bottle. I quickly glanced around and did not see Anna.

“Um, Hun.”

“Anna was just right here!” CrazyMom protested before I had a chance to say what I was thinking.

I let it go. But then I saw the shopping list on the fridge. Notice what it says on the top right. When I asked CrazyMom about it she assured me it was just something for Anna's dolls.

And it is not just CrazyMom, either. I found K.D., who is particularly sensitive about gender roles, feeding a baby doll the other day. I knew then that I had an epidemic on my hands.

I have been working hard to eliminate these infectious thoughts and I thought I was making good progress for awhile. But CrazyMom keeps making these comments despite my disapproving looks. “Oh, look at these cute shoes,” she says as we pass a clearance rack at Meijer. “Now all I need is a little boy to put them on.” And last night when CrazyMom and I were discussing sleeping arrangements in our home I said, “We could always put another bed in Anna’s room.”

“Or a crib,” she replied.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Real World Math: Biblical Equations and Downed Trees

The other day I was sitting in a small group with some college students answering questions about the book of James. Being more inclined towards math than English, we started discussing which mathematical expression best answered the questions.

“What does James 1:19 tell us about the relationship between listening and speaking?”
Note: James 1:19 says, “This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.”

Our group debated the merits of:

Listening > Speaking (We should definitely listen more than we speak.)
Listening = 2 x Speaking (God gave us two ears and one mouth.)
Listening >> Speaking (Maybe our listening should be much greater than our speaking.)

Then on Thursday CrazyMom called me at work to let me know two trees fell over in the yard. The thought I had was:

high winds + soggy soil + evergreens = lots of work staking up trees

When I got home, GrandpaR and I walked out to survey the situation.

“We ought to just get out the chain saw,” GrandpaR said.

“Yeah, probably,” I replied.

But we spent the next hour trying to set the trees back up and stake them. Surveying the pathetic results on the first tree, I headed for the garage to get the chain saw. Turns out the real math equation was:

high winds + soggy soil + evergreens = firewood

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Night without Me

“Blah blah blah,” was all CrazyMom was hearing, I am sure. I had been gone all day and did not get home until 10pm after a day of school and parent conferences. When I arrived home, I found CrazyMom lying on the floor in front of the gas fireplace with a stuffed tiger for a pillow, a green blanket, and a book.

I was still a little fired up from my day and had no trouble filling the airwaves. CrazyMom patiently laid her book on her chest as she listened for awhile.

“I got three haircuts done after dinner,” she finally interjected.

“Great!” I replied and then started back in with my captivating stories – “blah blah blah.”

“I also was able to get quizzing practice done with both Ed and Buddy before dinner,” she said interrupting again.

Abrupt topic changes don’t faze me since they happen all of the time. CrazyMom will even say, “Did you know she just brought home another child?” referring to some online friend of hers where the “she” is a completely different “she” from the last sentence she said to me.

Undaunted, I moved from stories about parent conferences to how I solved a software glitch with a robot the robotics club had built.

“Not only did I get quizzing practice done, I also read with F.G. before I had to cook dinner,” said CrazyMom.

“Hmmm. Seems like you got a lot done tonight.”

“Yeah. It was like I had all of this extra time.”

Finally, the dam broke and a wave of understanding washed over me.

“Oh, I see. You had all of this extra time because I wasn’t home,” I said feeling a little dejected.

“Well, it was interesting to observe how much more time I had this evening without you,” she said as she laughed and smiled.

Now it may be true that CrazyMom had more time that evening, but I am sure it is clear to all of us that it was not nearly as exciting without me around.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

If I die, will you . . .

“If I die, will you cut the kids’ toenails?” CrazyMom asked me this morning when I came down from taking my shower. She was on the floor huddled over Buddy’s feet wielding a silver pair of toe clippers.

“Of course,” I said to reassure her. “They will probably be crawling all over me and cut me with their nails. Then I will line them up in the shop and cut all their toenails with some power tool,” I then said to un-assure her.

CrazyMom is not overly prone to worrying about the future, but occasionally when she is doing some task that she thinks I would never remember to do, she worries that if she were gone it would never get done. It is at these times that she says, "If I die, will you . . ." I wish that I had been writing down all of these critical items over the years.

Now if it is something that CrazyMom is particularly concerned about me doing if she were gone, she instead makes me promise.

“CrazyD, promise me that if I die you will check on the kids every night before you go to bed,” she says with a serious look.

You see, the last thing CrazyMom does every night is to go into all of the kids’ rooms and check on every sleeping child. With an arbitrary adjustment of the covers here or a moving of a stuffed animal there, no child is really down for the night unless he/she has had a final check by mom. Of course, I think she just does this because she has to see their faces one last time before bed. Being wired a little differently, I think their cute little faces look pretty much the same as they did two hours earlier when they were put to bed, so the imperativeness of the activity is lost on me. But that is precisely why she makes me promise. It is important to her that the final check is done and she is afraid I won’t do it.

“I will,” I say and although I am an honest and reliable individual, there still seems to be some doubt in CrazyMom’s eyes. Or maybe she is just thinking how it won’t be the same if she is not there to do it.