The Days are Long, but the Years are Short

Life at The Castle


A Mommy to my boys

Another First

This evening we had our first broken bone.  Jack and a friend from church were playing in the fellowship hall at church while several ladies and I prepared for our last night of Narnia Camp.  According to Jack’s story (while under the influence of truth serum aka pain medication), they were racing and as they came to the finish line, Jack jumped as his friend fell.  The end result of the collision was that Jack tripped over his friend and landed on his elbow, fracturing his arm just above the elbow.  He was pitiful.

Brian was leaving work when I called, and he came right to church to take us to the ER.  My dear friend Holly who had been with me the entire time (getting ice and holding a book as I read aloud to Jack to help him stay calm and generally being the wonderful friend that she is) offered to take care of Daniel so that he could stay for Narnia Camp.

After the normal rigmarole of x-rays and pain medication, they told us what my gut had told me a couple of hours before.  Now comes the fun part of the story.  Did you know that there is a fun part of a story about a sweet kid who breaks his arm?  There is, and it is called:  post-pain medication conversation.  I spent a good deal of time this evening laughing at what Jack was saying or trying not to laugh at what Jack was saying.  Here’s a little sampling for you, just the few that we could remember.

  • I feel great!  Great!  I’ve never felt this good before!
  • (At the drive thru of the pharmacy) Look at that drawer!  How did it do that?  That’s FANCY!
  • (In response to my command that he not run around with his friends) Don’t worry.  I’ve learned my lesson.
  • I feel sssoooooo good.
  • (singing) I’m a Duffer!  I’ve got a big gray beard!
  • Next stop: to get my brother! I can’t wait to see my brother!
  • Cheeseburger from WENDY’S!!

I best get into bed because it may be a long night once the medication wears down.  The score for hospital bracelets stands at Daniel:5, Jack:2.


A Fleeting Summer

Our summer break is nearly at an end.  Since our family breaks from May – July and begins school the first week of August, the boys and I have only 2.5 weeks left before we launch our next school year.  I have been busy making preparations, some as simple as finishing a slipcover for the schoolroom chair and others as complex as determining curriculums.


This morning, in an effort to wrap my mind around the big picture of years, Classical Conversations cycles, and ages (of the boys), I sat down and composed a chart that laid out the details of each year from now until Jack graduates from high school.  Once finished I looked carefully at the chart and fought back tears, praying that the Lord would deal graciously with my sons and cause them to grow in wisdom over these next years.  2028 seems a long way off to me now, but as the fleeting summer reminds me, time no longer creeps by as it seemed to when I was a child.  May the Lord bless these years and use them for the good of our family and for His glory!

Brotherly Love

This morning Jack drew a picture for Daniel.  The drawing was of the two of them standing under a rainbow, and he brought it to me, asking me to write “I love you” on it for him.  So I did, but evidently not in the correct place.  He asked again, being careful to specify where the writing should be.  When I handed it back to him, he said, “Two ‘I love  you’ words!  That should clue him in!!”  And my heart just melted.  Even though there are days that feel like the bickering (over imaginary things, people) will never end, they truly love one another and are building a friendship that we pray will hold strong throughout their lives.

The Perfect Pet?

This morning at breakfast, the boys announced to me that they’d like to have a pet.  Again.  We’ve gone through a couple of fish, but they didn’t last long (literally).  Since we rent our home and don’t have a fenced in yard, a dog or cat is out of the picture.  The boys are sad about that, but they understand why we can’t have one.  I diplomatically held the discussion off by telling them to talk about it among themselves and read some books about different kinds of pets while Mr. Thompson and I discussed it.  Later, I promised, we’ll have a family meeting to decide.  The conversation moved on towards what would be a perfect pet, and I thought you would enjoy this snippet.

J: A dragon wouldn’t even fit in our house.

D: And then his head would put a hole in our roof.

J: Yeah, and dragons aren’t even real.

D: Yeah, and then the rain would come in our house.

J: And it would flood our house like when the rain flooded Piglet’s house.

[conversation moves to a retelling of the adventures of Pooh and Piglet to the best of their abilities]

A Humbler Mommy

It’s humbling to be the authority on all things for one’s children.  It highlights my inadequacy.  Tonight I was asked to confirm the doctrine being preached at church (“Is that true, Mommy?” asked little Daniel several times during today’s services) as well as called upon to determine if a particular cell phone tower was taller than a Transformer.  I confirmed the doctrine, but had to honestly say, “I just don’t know, buddy, ” when it came to the Transformer.  Of course, they know that Transformers are fictional, but if they were real…

I have always known that I didn’t have all the answers, but I never knew how few answers I had when compared to the number of questions that two curious boys can ask in the course of the day.  Some are completely insignificant, but others are of the utmost significance.  The utmost.  Sometimes the ones of utmost significance are the hardest for me to answer because God is bigger, much, much bigger than what I can describe or explain.  And so I pray.  And I pray.  And I pray.  I pray for the humility to say that I don’t know when I don’t know.  I pray that I would have increasing understanding.  And I pray that God will fill in the gaps left by my humanity.

An End

School has just closed for the day and (as much as possible) for the year.  For some unknown, undoubtedly-feminine reason, I want to cry.  Next week will still see my boys gathering into my lap for Bible time and prayer followed by calendar and some random activity to keep their minds fresh, and of course, the reading in our home will cease only when we’re gone.  Nevertheless the school year is officially closed, and one year that the Lord gave me to pour into my sons is gone.  It has been a fruitful one, but I will never get it back.  God is so faithful in giving me these sad moments.  They help me to cherish our days and seize the opportunities that daily come along to teach and love and train our boys.

Whether you homeschool or not, whether you have children or not, you are living your life for the one and only time.  Join me in a prayerful attempt at doing it well for the glory of God.

New Traditions

I am a tradition lover.  Our little family has lots of traditions – big and little, daily and annual, simple and elaborate, but all intentional.  Randomly something will happen that will begin a new tradition, but it’s rare since it requires an essential change in our lives (not as an absolute necessity but because if we’ve been doing it for a while, we probably already have traditions in place for it!).

A few weeks ago, I saw an advertisement for a hardback copy of Peter Pan, and I immediately wanted to buy it for Daniel.  We read Peter Pan on my Kindle this year during school, and it was one of Daniel’s favorite books, quickly becoming the basis for all kinds of imaginative play in the Thompson house.   But…for what occasion?  Not that I couldn’t just buy him a book, but it was a nice copy, and we typically don’t just buy extras.  And then, AH!  A new tradition!

We’ve decided that at the end of each school year, we’ll give each of the boys a nice hardback copy of a book that they loved from that school year.  I’m so excited (said the nerdy mom)!  The copy of Peter Pan that I originally saw in the advertisement was not what I was thinking so I passed on it, but since then I’ve bought Daniel’s Peter Pan and The Wind in the Willows for Jack.  Now I have to wait until May 2nd to give them to the boys!  I’ll post a picture of them with their books after they get them.

Snowy Days and a Messy House

I looked around last night and realized that my home has fallen into disarray.  Things tend toward chaos you know.  I couldn’t figure out what had happened at first.  I have not be unusually slothful, and I had only left my home to attend church in a solid week (and only for one service at that since Daniel was sick!).  Suddenly I remembered that I’ve been spending all of my cleaning hours building snowmen, pulling sleds, chasing little guys in the snow, and changing/washing/drying load after load of wet play things.  I’m glad that I spent my time with the boys, despite the consequences for our home, but now I know that if I don’t buckle down this afternoon, the weekend will do me in.  So, off I go to fold clothes, make beds, sweep floors, sort through mail, etc., etc.  And just for fun, here are some snow pictures (which you’ve probably already seen if you’re my FB friend!).

1980-01-01 00.00.09-14 1980-01-01 00.00.10-4 1980-01-01 00.00.11-5 1980-01-01 00.00.11-6 1980-01-01 00.00.11-7 1980-01-01 00.00.33-2 1980-01-01 00.00.47-1 1980-01-01 00.00.59-1 2011-01-07 20.22.41 2011-01-07 20.32.39 2011-01-08 19.27.48 2011-01-08 19.39.04 2011-01-08 19.39.58 2011-01-08 19.51.53 2011-01-08 19.58.30*While the pictures were loading, I managed to finish folding the laundry!!  One step at a time 🙂

A blessed childhood

Christmas always brings up my best memories of my childhood.  My childhood wasn’t perfect by any means, but as far as I can remember, my Christmases were.  Both sides of my family were fabulous at Christmas.  Reading the Christmas story.  Playing with my siblings and cousins.  Singing Christmas carols together as Daddy and Papa played their guitars, typically in at least three part harmony.  My Uncle Charles playing Santa Claus.  Carols around the piano at Mema’s house.  Oh, I could go on forever about how magical it all seemed to me.  Mr. Thompson said that I had a TV family after he attended his first Christmas with us.  He was wrong, but I understood the sentiment.

Recently I’ve read a few articles about how it’s okay to admit that your Christmas isn’t a TV family Christmas.  And I agree.  If it’s not.  Mine isn’t there as much as I wish it were.  BUT Moms, Dads, let’s not give up on it either.  In whatever ways your family celebrates Christmas, give it all you’ve got because the miracle of Christ’s birth is worth celebrating.  The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory.  It’s worth all of the scripture reading and Advent-candle lighting and singing and feasting we can do.  And if the Lord blesses it, it may become part of a beautiful childhood memory that will resonant in our children’s souls for the rest of their lives.

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