Archive | June 2012

In my world: The floor of my home office

This is the floor of my home office.

This is the open toy bag that lay on the floor of my home office.

These are the dinosaurs spilled out, from the open toy bag that lay on the floor of my home office.

This is the container, yellow and tall, that towers over the dinosaurs spilled out, from the open toy bag that lay on the floor of my home office.

These are the bricks all scattered about, that go in the container, yellow and tall, that towers over the dinosaurs spilled out, from the open toy bag that lay on the floor of my home office.

This is the stuffie horse and plastic spoon belonging to the children, that played with the bricks all scattered about, that go in the container, yellow and tall, that towers over the dinosaurs spilled out, from the open toy bag that lay on the floor of my home office.

This is the mummy who paused in the middle of work and thought up a nonsense rhyme as she picked up the stuffie horse and plastic spoon (and everything else) belonging to the children, that played with the bricks all scattered about, that go in the container, yellow and tall, that towers over the dinosaurs spilled out, from the open toy bag that lay on the floor of my home office.

Time with Daddy: Legobots roll out!

From L to R,  meet… 

Bumblebee (“What happened to his arms?” “He lost them when he was fighting…”)

Powerpack (“Heyyy, give me back the yellow and black blocks on his shoulders!”  “No, they are his power packs.”  “They are not, they are my Bumblebee’s arms”), and

Optimus Prime (“No Mum, we didnt run out of blue blocks, the black thing on his right arm is his gun”).

Graphic precis

She draws a flower and colours it in on the sheet of paper.

“Look, Mummy.”

“Very nice, dear.  Um, how about doing some writing?  You’ve been drawing a lot and we’ve not touched writing for some days.”

A messy sheaf of recycled paper full of her brother’s and her drawings is stacked loosely on the blue table in the room, teasing me cheekily with its precarious tipping over the table’s edge.

“No…I don’t want to write”.

“Just a little?  Shall I pick a short verse or phrase?”

Silently, thoughtfully, she fingers the markers in the box.

“Mummy, how do you spell ‘Jesus’”?

“J E S U S”.

“J E S U S. Okay.”  I can hear the light scratching of the marker against paper as she prints each letter out.

“And this is the bread, and this is the blood, and a heart, ‘cos God loves us and Jesus died on the cross.”

“Very nice. Pretty much the gospel in a nutshell! Are you drawing anything else?”

Nevermind the writing practice, I tell myself it can wait another day.

“I’ll draw…a little girl standing here, and a little boy…”

The marker continues etching out a busy little trail.

“…when we sin…Jesus is sad…but when we are good…He is happy…right?”

I nod.

“So this is wrong…”  she marks an X beside the sad face, “and this is right!”, she finishes off with a tick beside the happy face. 

She goes on to finish a few more details on the sheet, before handing it to me as a present, and running off to join her brother in play.

Leaving me here holding on to this precious piece of paper.  I’m not adding this one to the stack. 🙂 

I don’t know that we’d done writing practice as I would have envisioned it to be…

but I’m pretty sure we’ve just had a very good session of Word practice!

***** 

All your children will be taught by the Lord,

    and great will be their peace. – Isaiah 54:13

Bookmark Monday: The Tiger Who Came To Tea

So we’ve just ended up with this 1968 “classic” by Judith Kerr in our book bag home from the library.

I read this one twice over and haven’t quite made up my mind about it.

I mean, if my daughter and I were having tea, and a tiger arrived at the door and asked so very politely if he might come to tea, would I say yes?
Probably not.
But then he might take offence and eat us up.
So it might be better to just be polite and let him come in.

And eat all the sandwiches, buns, biscuits and cake. And drink all of the milk and all of the tea in the teapot, and then all of Daddy’s supper and the supplies in the cupboard.

Children’s laureate, Michael Rosen, in his description of The Tiger Who Came to Tea, says, “Judith has created a totally feasible unfeasible experience, the juxtaposition of two realities in a way that would be impossible in our world. The result is both very funny and slightly unsettling.”

Yes, that’s the word for it.
Unsettling.
But that’s to my adult mind – thinking groceries, bills, horrors – no supper on the table and no water to wash up (!). We haven’t yet read it to our kids; who knows they might enjoy it yet.

And it’s been a long time since we took time out, sat down and did craft to accompany a book reading.  Reminded me of an old favourite. 🙂

Bookmark Monday: Drawn to beauty

Jan Brett is an author and illustrator we have just discovered. She has a distinctive style of illustration, and you cannot, must not, rush through reading the book.

I did the first time and missed out on the sidebar and surrounding border margin illustrations, which are anything but sidebar or marginal.

The mini illustrations on the side accompanying the main illustration are positioned to provide a complementary view to the words in the main storyline, gently inviting the reader to stop, look, and listen. 🙂

For example, in her book, “The Umbrella”,

the small picture on the left provides a view of what Carlos, the owner of the umbrella is doing, unaware of all the ongoing action in the umbrella itself, while the small picture to the right of the main provides a precursor to what happens next.

In “Annie and the Wild Animals”,

it is the mini images in the border surrounding the main picture that provide the background to what is happening concurrently as Annie goes about leaving her corn cakes at the edge of the wood.

Beautifully detailed to the nth degree, these books are marvellous for spending a quiet afternoon admiring and enjoying.

Impossible to please

“Noooo, you wouldn’t!”

What does one do with a stubborn unbelieving three-year old?

As DD and I settle down for bedtime, I can still hear our son echoing the irritating refrain he’s carried all day long as he now challenges his father’s instruction to brush teeth first as a pre-requisite to a bedtime story.

And I breathe a sigh of respite, somewhat relieved that it’s DH handling him and not me, because that same little boy has been issuing me and his sister the same challenge all day for the past couple of weeks.

“I WILL read you a story AFTER you brush your teeth. Don’t you trust that daddy and mummy will be true to our word, especially when you know we always carry out what we say we will do?!”

And then right there, in the stillness, in the darkness – it hits me.

“No, you wouldn’t!”.

In spite of a track record of miracles, open doors and promises written in black and white, in His Word.

Now. I think I’ve done enough time on the daily journey with God to know better than to challenge Him outright.

But the murmured “can-we-be-sure”s.  The just-in-case Plan B’s which are really more Plan A’s subjugating His plan to the background.

The not outright but subtly positioned “No you wouldn’t”s that would grieve His spirit equally if not more. The dissenting voice of unbelief, masking itself on the surface as an “I believe” while really charting its own course.

Really, that’s me challenging His faithfulness as well.  That’s me in the shoes of my little boy with the furrowed brow, stubbornly delivering  the same refrain and frustration to my Father.

And we who require of our son to trust and obey the word of his earthly, fallible parents, should we not also trust and obey in our divine Heavenly and infallible Father?  Even more fully so…?

*****

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” ~ Hebrews 11:6

*****