Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Botanical Gardens Early Spring

We had a nice spring day last weekend, so we took the family to the local botanical gardens. They are not a scenic as they would be during the summer when more things are in bloom, but it was still good for the kids to get out and about.

Here are photos of the various paths, ranked from best to worst for walking with kids.

image of river at botanical gardens


Balloon Faces

For no reason at all, here are some balloons that my kids drew some faces on.

image of a face drawn on a balloon with marker


Think Outside the Fence

Delta had some schoolwork that involved a form of geometry: telling the difference between items inside a boundary and items outside the boundary.

He was to circle the horses inside the fence and underline the horses outside the fence. This is what he produced:

image of an horses inside and outside a corral

“Now I don’t have to underline any of them!” was his remark.

Solomon had 40,000 stalls of horses for his chariots, and 12,000 horsemen.

1 Kings 4:26

Pets’ Names

Delta has a lot of temporary pets.

There were a bunch this summer. I think it started with Crickety, which – if you couldn’t guess by his name – was a cricket that he captured in the yard.

Then came Grasshoppy. I think Gamma either accidentally stepped on him or let him escape. Something traumatic happened to Grasshoppy, because Delta came inside very distraught. Crying about “Gwasshoppy”.

After that it was firefly season. So I caught a firefly for him. Brought it inside. Delta had built a home out of blocks for Fiery, and you could hear the wails throughout the house an hour later when he couldn’t find Fiery anymore.

Given those names, I’ll bet you can guess what some the things are that he named next. Hint: no insects, mostly inanimate objects.

Quiz: What is
A. Fishy 1?
B. Fishy 2?
C. Corey?
D. Boony?
E. Boxy?
F. Walny?

Here’s some filler so you have to scroll to see the answers…
A. A goldfish
B. Another goldfish
C. An apply core. Yes, he saved an apple core from the apple he ate, as his friend.
D. A balloon. This was a little tougher, so congratulations if you got this one.
E. A box.
F. A walnut from our yard. He gathered probably two dozen walnuts, but one of them made the cut to be his Walny friend. Which he then stuck in my shoe to surprise me.

Among these the land shall be divided for an inheritance according to the number of names.

Numbers 26:53

Why Johnson?

I discussed the third-party contenders for president with someone last week. People were jumping off the Gary Johnson bandwagon and onto the Evan McMullen train.

I do not wish anything bad on Mr. McMullen and I would be pleased if he were president. But getting him into the presidency is not my priority.

My priority is to prevent Hillary and/or Trump from getting the presidency. And I see Johnson as the best means to accomplish that.

Not as the best president, but he gives us the best chance to avoid an awful president.

My main reasoning is this: he takes votes away from both sides.

McMullen will get approximately 0% of the left’s vote. Which means that he will take votes only from Trump. Which means that there is nothing slowing Hillary down.

But Johnson, on the other hand, is between Trump and Hillary. He will take votes away from both sides. We need someone who can take a red state from Trump and a blue state from Hillary.

That’s why I keep promoting Gary Johnson.

And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs;

Revelation 16:13

Parental Advice

As a parent, I sometimes find that kids respond better to certain things than others.

For instance, if you want them to leave what they’re doing and come to you, you could try saying “Come here”.

But his response time may vary depending on his mood and how interesting he thinks whatever you have for him is.

If you want an instant reaction and have the kids right by your side immediately, try saying aloud but not directly to him: “Cool! Look what I found!

Of course, you had better have something worth showing. Otherwise you’ll be the parent who cried wolf and they’ll ignore you.

Similarly, no boy can resist going to see what it is when someone says “Ewwww! Gross!” So keep that phrase handy, possibly when you want them to clean something.

The last phrase works best on younger boys, say about ages 4 to 7. It is “On your mark, get set, go!” For example, it is time for dinner and they are not showing much interest in making their way to the kitchen. Go to them, challenge them to a race to the kitchen, then say the magic phrase. I find it’s best to start saying it before they can finish their answer to the challenge. If you can get to the word “Go!” before they have completely processed the request, they can’t help but compete.

Any other good phrases that help get your kids’ attention?

Of course, if your kids are ignoring all your normal commands and requests, you have deeper problems than some fun phrases can fix.

A man found him, and behold, he was wandering in the field; and the man asked him, “What are you looking for?”

Genesis 37:15


This story depends on the reader knowing about whistle straws. I don’t know the correct term for them, but those are the corrugated drinking straws that make a whistling noise if you blow through them, or if you spin them through the air like a propeller.

Years ago, when our oldest kids were about 4 and 2 and playing nicely in the other room, I heard the 2-year-old start to complain. “Too loud. Too loud!”

So I went to investigate.

What I saw was the 4YO blowing into a whistle straw to make the loud whistling noise. And the other end of the whistle straw was stuck into the 2YO’s ear.

I could see (and hear) why he was complaining.

Fast forward several years. Those kids are older now and know better. But we have our youngest, who is now 4 and is generally loud.

He found a whistle straw and was blowing on it, annoying the rest of the family with the noise.

The other end of the whistle straw?

Stuck in his own ear.

Crazy kid.

He will also lift up a standard to the distant nation, And will whistle for it from the ends of the earth; And behold, it will come with speed swiftly.

Isaiah 5:26