Thursday, June 3, 2010


There's Paul, laying blocks. He and Will got quite a bit done on Monday, which is so nice. We still have a big hole out there, but now it looks more dignified, like we have a plan! Paul hasn't gotten any more done this week because we've had rain and he's been on call. But hopefully, he will this weekend.

That means that I'll probably be taking the boys to see their hero alone, which I am dreading. Chuck Norris is coming to Des Moines Saturday morning to stump for Bob Vanderplats, who wants to be governor. I am planning to vote for him in the primary anyway, even without Chuck's encouragement. But when the boys heard about this, they were wild to go, so we're going. I am fearful it's going to be a huge crush, though and a nightmare with parking and getting into the arena.

I heard an interesting opinion on the radio the other day. The speaker - and I can't even remember which conservative talk show host it was - said that if Vanderplats gets the nomination, then it will ensure Gov. Culver's re-election. Culver is awful and not just because he's a Democrat. He's spineless, brainless, gutless, and spend-happy and he needs to be a minor postscript in Iowa's history. So the Republican powers that be have dusted off an old Iowa relic of Terry Branstad, who was governor for 16 years back in the 80's and 90s, persuaded him to give up his half a million dollar salary heading up Des Moines University, and pushed him back into the arena. We don't want him! But he is the favored candidate right now for the Republican nomination. But it's not over until after next Tuesday, so I'm not going to fret about it until then.

I ran across an interesting verse this week in a Christian novel I was reading. It's a verse I've heard gazillions of times, but it really struck me in regards to my thoughts that I posted last week regarding Ben. Isaiah 55:8: "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are my ways your ways, says the Lord." It fits with the direction that my thoughts were beginning to roll on Sunday night. Our pastor just started preaching on the minor prophets and he started with Hosea. Now, I have had an interest in that book ever since reading "Redeeming Love" by Francine Rivers, which was a more modern day take on the book of Hosea. As I sat there listening to Pastor the question ran across my mind, "Why would God ask Hosea to do such a thing (marry a prostitute who would cheat on him continually in their marriage, even giving birth to children that weren't his)? Yes, it was God's message to Israel, but why did He make Hosea have to go through so much suffering just to relay His message? Couldn't there have been a way that wouldn't have involved so much personal suffering on Hosea's part?

And then I read that verse a day or two later and my thoughts have just kind of been snowballing. What if our situation with Ben is for a greater purpose than we can see now? More than likely, it is. If God needs to use our family and our lives to do something, then how can I protest? Maybe this doesn't have so much to do with us or even Ben, but for something far greater than we can see. Our lives are such a blip in time, that really we ought to be at God's disposal for whatever he needs to do. Just some thoughts...

And I suppose this has been a good week to have these thoughts because after our 2 week hiatus of Ben being heavenly, he's back to being his awful, rotten self. I've had several rough days with him this week and I am already dreading the end of ESY after next week! Today was his first day of that. In fact, I have to leave in a few minutes to go pick him up from that.

I got some good news on Will's Language scores this week. I talked with a veteran homeschool mom at church the other night and she suggested that we switch to another curriculum. She told me we only have to have Will take 3 years of English, unlike the 4 I thought he was required to have. What she has used with her kids with good success is a program called Alpha Omega and apparently it's just a series of workbooks. If I start Will at the freshman level again and have him work through the summers then we should be able to get through all 4 levels by the time he graduates - and if we don't, that's ok, too. So this way I'll be able to just keep his bad grade off his transcript.

And that will be good because I called State Farm this week to find out if we had to insure Will now that he is driving alone with his school permit. We don't. He's covered under our insurance until he turns 16 this fall. But they went on to tell me that they give discounts for young drivers completing some safety programs they offer, as well as having consistently good grades. So, we need to keep those grades as high as possible! I figured I'd tell Will that we'd pay the discounted rate, but if he ever no longer qualified for that, then he'd be paying the difference!

We had our first co-op pick-up Tuesday and it went really well. I ordered everything just right - so relieved! Now I don't have to dread this again for another 8 weeks!

I had to buy Will some new tennis shoes yesterday. He's been getting his shoes for several years now at Walmart because they are usually cheaper than Payless. Right after Christmas I bought him some really, really cheap ones they brought in - for $12. They didn't last very long, so he was still a size 13. We bought some better ones yesterday (well, higher-priced, anyway. They all come from China, so it's hard to say if they're any better quality) and I got to looking at the shelves. Walmart doesn't stock their shoes higher than a size 13, which is what Will is wearing now. Where are we going to go another 6 months from now when he's outgrown this size? I would assume some of those athletic shoe outfitters out at the malls would carry larger sizes, but that's going to really up the price - ugh! He got his big feet from me. Paul only wears a 12. But it's funny. Last night a family at church gave us a bag of clothes that had been through their 3 boys, the youngest of whom is almost 12. Will can almost always wear what they give us. And he's 15 1/2! And I don't think he's a super-slender kid, but he's smaller than some people, anyway. But not his feet!

This week Sam has been grabbing pieces of paper, scribbling on them, and then showing me, saying, "See! It say 'Sam Heywood'" He even wrote on his arm yesterday, telling me the same thing. If he wasn't so cute and smart, I might be more worried! I may look at some preschool materials at the homeschool conference for him. I'm not a big preschool advocate and I have no desire to push kids into learning before they need to. But, if Sam is ready - why not? If I do anything, I'll be very loose about it, though. If he has an interest and wants to do something with workbooks, that's one thing. But if he'd still rather spend his days playing, then that's perfectly ok, too. He won't even be three until late October. David didn't read until 9 1/2. There's plenty of time for formal education yet and I've learned enough now to know that you can't be very successful about forcing learning if the child just isn't ready.

Well, it's time to go get Ben. Tonight I have a city council meeting. I'd like to get out and paint my window trim today, but I don't want to be all messy for the meeting. So maybe I'll wait until tomorrow. Until later - meditate on the above verse this weekend. I know I will be.

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