Sunday, May 5, 2013


 "Mom, I know what deciduous means," Jane interrupts the lull of study.

There at the big black table, each with a stack and shuffle of papers, we wade through ancient Greece, The Odyssey, the kingdom of the Hittites, King Saul and the Philistines.

"Mom," Jane says again, "I know what deciduous means."

I leaf to the next page of teacher notes, resist the pull of the words to capture my attention. "What?" I finally say.

"It means you go to sleep in the winter." I blink and wait for the story to unfold. "I told Jack, 'Are you deciduous?'" she carries on, "And he said, 'No.' And I said, 'Well, bears are deciduous.'"

Deciduous. I interlace deciduous and hibernation and yes, BEAR does come to mind. Still, I wait, the light perfect lemon-yellow, the children set like pieces on a chess board, papers akimbo, waiting.

The idea flits from child to child. "And maybe monkeys are too," Jack chimes in.

"Yeah." They nod, the group consensus reached. And then we look it up.

Deciduous: falling off or shed seasonally or at a certain stage of development in the life cycle <deciduous leaves> <deciduous scales>

"So polar bears are," Jane says.

I frown. "No."

"Yeah, cause they lose their fur."


So we look it up. Sure enough, they molt: deciduous fur.

Then we circle back to ancient Greece. We memorize sling and javelin, chariot and helmet. I soak in the history. We all do. We wander through it barefoot and ripe in the dark soil of ancient days.


4411. "I'm a huge, humongous, big girl," Myra declares. "I'm a giant."

4412. "It's nice having a friend who makes no mistakes," Jane says when we talk about Jesus, "'cause you can tell him anything, and he won't do anything bad with the information."

4413. "Hey Momma," she says later, "I have something you might relate to. When I'm reading, I hope I miss the chapter break so I can read more."

4414. Fruit salad. Mom makes the Tuesday Girls fruit salad: Asian pears, berries and pecans, honey and lime.

4415. "On my birthday," Myra dreams, "I'm gonna almost HOP." She pulls one knee up to her chest and tries to hop.

4416. "I hardly knew you when we got married," Craig says to me, his eyes liquid blue. "I love you more every day," he says. I carry the words like smooth stones in my pocket, a gift.

4417. "Mommy, do you know anyone who is as strong as a wild gazelle?" Jack wants to know.

4418. Jane lobbies to rearrange the school schedule. "I would like to switch because, because," she shakes her head and shrugs all at once, "I think it would be easier to endure." Endurance, it's a good card to play.

4419. Jack springs from the creaky piano stool. "How I was playing it, it was like you were listening to a picture and each note was another color that I put in," he explains.

4420. Lucy and Jack chop carrots for ham soup.

4421. "Mom, you're doing a good job," Myra adjudicates as we read more of The Odyssey (kid's version).

4422. Lucy and I go on a date. We eat huckleberry cake-pops. I order the same as her so we can be twins.

4423. Mom and I talk about the weight and delight of obeying God. Each day my love for him grows.

4424. I come across a hot-button message by Ryan Oletzke.

4425. Craig and I start reading Spiritual Warfare by Dr. Karl Payne together out loud.

4424. Our fifteen year old niece hosts a lovely outdoor party for her birthday.

4425. We spot the Deaf checker as we ring up groceries and Jane asks her name by signing to her. They pause for a small conversation ASL-style.

4426. Craig unleashes more organization on the sunroom.

4427. Joey clearly annunciates: THANK-YOU, POO-POO, and EMMA. We try and try to coax MOMMA from his lips, but he just grins and grins.

4428. Tomorrow Myra turns three.

4429. We all feel a year older.


  1. "... the weight and delight of obeying God." My love for Him grows, too, with each passing day. (Your words are a treat on Monday.)

  2. Love the word study. The very basis of poetry--playing with words. I bet the world would LOVE poetry if they studied it like this.

    The black & white pics of everyone on Craig on the couch are evergreen…..remaining alive and functional through more than one growing season….

    More poetry please….

  3. I got such a kick from the photos! Who would ever think you could squeeze so many in such a small space? ha!