Tuesday, February 24, 2009

super heros

It all started with our weekly visit to the library. Aidan wanted to find some new Star Wars books because ever since we watched the original Star Wars while we were in Whistler it had been a passion around here. Well, while looking for Star Wars books, Luke found a book of superhero comics.

Once we were home and everyone began delving into the books we brought home, the superhero book quickly became a favorite. Later that week, I had the idea to show them the Superman movie from 1978 since it is on Netflix Watch Instantly. It was amazing how instantaneously the passions around here shifted. The next morning Aidan was Spiderman, Luke Superman and Ethan: the flash. And they have been superheros ever since.

And what fun is it playing a superhero with making some modifications. You see, Batman doesn't really have any powers to speak of which makes him not nearly as fun to "be". But, (and this is a big deal) Batman is the only one with a utility belt. Well, what's to stop every hero from having a utility belt.

You see, a utility belt allows you to integrate toys from other genres and past passions into the current passion. You'd be surprised at the things you find on a typical utility belt.

At one point, Aidan proclaimed to me that he was "Aidan-Man". Yes, he really did. You see Aidan-Man has all the powers of Superman and Spiderman but without the pesky kryptonite weakness.

It has been a lot of fun to explain to The Flash that he needs to save the world by cleaning his room, to implore Spiderman to treat the other citizens with kindness and to ask Superman to carry a heavy load for me.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


I remember eating dinner at Costco several years ago. I think Aidan and Luke were about 4 and 2 at the time which would have put Ebo in the stroller as an infant. The close quarters of the Costco cafeteria provide ample opportunity for mingling with strangers. This particular occurrence of such mingling has somehow stayed with me. I don't recall the details of how it started, but a fortysomething mom of one rather obstinate 3 or 4 year old struck up a conversation with us about the trials dining in public with kids. Part way through our interaction, she asked us what we did about "G-U-N-Ses". Yes, she spelled it so as not to rile her already-riled dinner date, also, I presume, out of misplaced assumptions as to what our opinions on the matter would be. Amy replied, loud enough for all to hear, "What...? You mean guns?" After a brief shudder, she nodded.

I honestly don't remember where the conversation went after that, but I think I probably said that I don't think you can keep toy guns out of the hands of young boys. Even if you have no TV, videos, books, etc, there is this inherent knowledge that emerges in boys at an early age that there just has to be some means of propelling a projectile of some kind with speeds great enough to inflict serious harm on another person. It's instinctive. Even in a gun-free household, at some point a young boy with find an errant spaghetti noodle on the floor and for no particular reason, point it at his little sister and go "pew, pew". You can't stop it. You can only hope to contain it.

That story is only slightly related to this post, but whatever.

So about 3 years ago, I ordered some padded swords for the kids to lovingly beat on each other with from BUDK. Not sure how I came across that company, but they had good prices on a variety of knives, BB guns, and medieval weaponry. As some of you may have experienced, often when you order from a catalogue or website, you get spammed like crazy. We've probably gotten at least one BUDK catalogue a month for the last few years. Usually they quickly find their way to trash, but occasionally they are intercepted.

This catalogue happened to come at a time when birthday money was burning holes in a few pockets around these parts. Luke took a strong fancy too it and spent about 75% of his free time looking through it. The other 25% of that time was spent telling us what he was going to get, or how he and Aidan were going to pool their money to get something big, or how he had changed his mind about what he was going to get, or how Daddy should buy this really cool thing, or... you get the picture. It was nonstop, incessant. Some acquaintances of ours have labeled Luke the quiet one of our family. We laugh about that. He just sometimes likes to save it up for home.

[Yes, those are stink bombs on the left page there. Yes, they were proposed as a nonviolent acquisition by the boys. No, that proposal was not endorsed. No, I have no idea how it works or what is inside it or anything like that]

Some of Luke's favorites:

No, it's not a flask. It's actually a "permanent match". It's a steel container filled with toxic lighter fluid that apparently has some apparatus that you can pull out and strike like a match. Of course. What 6 year old doesn't need an infinite supply of matches?.

His mean parents put the kibosh on that one pretty quick. We explained that Papa had drank lighter fluid when he was boy and was pronounced dead at the hospital prior to being revived. He didn't press the issue on this one. Also, it's important to keep in mind that in our house, you have to 8 before you can have a pocket knife. I know that rule is quite arbitrary, but Aidan would ask us for a knife every day a few years back so we kinda came up with that rule on the spot. That is how case law is established in our family. Everyone else just has to deal with it.

His next option was this:

I guess it's not a pocket knife. We jokingly/sarcastically told him that we could also get Ebo some metal armor so they could have real battles. Apparently our jest was a bit too subtle as we found out a couple hours later that he really thought that was going to be it. Serious redirection ensued.

We were finally able to persuade him that the cheap airsoft guns offered the most value for his dollar. Also, it was understood that they would primarily be used as props because "we don't want to waste all the bullets."

Of course, it wasn't just Luke who felt the need to bolster our household defenses.

It's times like these that make me so glad that we have a girl. She can lend beauty and grace to all this testosterone. She brings sensitivity and compassion to the family, along with a healthy dose of cuteness. She is a beacon of femininity in the swirling waters of testosterone upon which our household floats.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

ava & the chickens

Ava loves chickens. She has a stuffed chicken (from the Boynton books which we all love) who she is often seen playing with, carrying around or bringing to bed.

I think this love was sparked last spring when we got baby chicks. She was at just the right age to be forever changed by the little balls of fluff in our garage.

Often when I get Ava out of bed she explains to me that she could hear the chickens (she means the rooster) in her bed. And every time --EVERY TIME!-- we drive away from home she calls out, "bye chickens" and every time we pull up to the house she greets them with "hi chickens."

Ava loves chickens.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

aidan judges Judges

This morning after breakfast while Aidan was reading Judges ch 8 aloud to the family he came to this line:

31"And his concubine who was in Shechem also bore him a son, and he called his name Abimelech."

If you don't know the story of Gideon it is wonderful story detailing the history of God saving His people in a way that only God can using Gideon as his servant warrior. My boys love this story very much --our whole family does. Read Judges chapters 6-8 for the amazing narrative.

So this morning when Aidan reached verse 31 and read "and his concubine" he interrupted himself to declare ominously "oh, no. Nothing good ever comes from a concubine..." Aidan then proceeds to elaborate on how whenever there is a concubine involved there is trouble, completing his thought with the example of Wu Zetian (Wu Zetian is the only woman to have been empress of China. She began as the emperor's concubine and through many awful acts, including killing her own daughter rose to power). Aidan, Luke and I had just learned about Wu Zetian in our history study a few weeks ago.

This whole thing tickled my heart in so many ways. First of all, he expressed his thoughts in such a cute and intelligent way. Second, he is remembering and applying the history I am teaching him. Third and most importantly to me: he is right! The fact that Gideon had a son with his concubine is a foreshadow of the trouble to come! The next chapter is all about the gruesome trouble that Gideon's son Abimelech brings to God's people.
I love it when they get it!

Sunday, February 15, 2009


There has been a bit of a lull in our posts lately for this journal. We just keep forgetting to take pictures is the truth of it. But life is marching on!

A few Saturdays ago the sun came out and we celebrated by going for a bike ride/walk in Lynden with Cutzi and her kids. Despite the sun, the cold still demanded we don our favorite hats.

It was perfect. We played at one park, walked and rode to another park, then went out to lunch. Up in the great Pacific Northwest, it starts raining in about November and doesn't much let up until April. You need to carpe diem so you can get your wiggles out.

Sometimes I wonder if the people in California get bored of this because they pretty much get to do it whenever they want. There's no way they appreciate it as much as we do. Anyhow, it's good to brush up on your large motor skills.

We were thankful for the sun, the exercise and the company of good friends.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

sweet baby number five

Here is our first picture of the newest member of our family for the journal. Sweet baby number five is developing well and we are so thankful to find he or she is growing healthy and happy.

Baby was so active that we were not able to get a super profile shot but I love the position we caught the little sweetie in here. He/she is sitting with legs straight up in the air almost touching the nose! So funny. Sweet baby had his/her hands by his/her head and both feet right there too. I love it.

Everyone in this family is so excited to meet this person. We are halfway there! And so thankful for this blessing.