Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Me (According to Peregrine)

A couple months ago my sister Alyssa "interviewed" Peregrine and asked him several questions about his Mama. She wrote down his answers and gave them to me on Mother's Day. Some of them are pretty funny. I thought I'd write down the questions and answers, just for fun. Just remember, this is me through the eyes of a 3 1/2 year old who knows me well, but maybe, just maybe, he's not quite right on a couple of answers. (I'll let you decide which ones!)
  • What is your Mom's name? Rebeca
  • What is her age? Almost as old as Alyssa, 45..... xxx-xxxx (our phone number) (And, just for the record, my sister is not 45, not even close!)
  • What color is her hair? Black like me
  • What color are her eyes? The color as mine
  • What does she do all day? Works, a lot of things, cut cut cut in the yard, works with boxes, making tree cookies, she writes things down, messages on the computer
  • Who is she married to? Erik
  • What does she play with you? Games like David and Moses
  • What does she read to you? David and Goliath, sometimes movies, but not this day
  • What do you do on a walk with your Mom? She gets me bread and we feed it to the ducks
  • What does she sing with you? David and Goliath. She teaches me to obey and helps me
  • What is her favorite flower? Tulips
  • What is her favorite color? Green
  • What is her favorite food? Lettuce
  • What is her favorite animal? Elephant, just like me!
  • What do you want to say to your mom on Mother's Day? I love love. Could we please watch a movie and she said yes. Jesus would help your love. I love you and she's a bad mom because she disciplines me and she's a good mom because she loves me and she drives all the way to Fred Meyer to buy things.
So there you have it. Me in a nutshell. This makes me smile whenever I read it, and I think it would be fun to hear how he would answer these questions now or in a few months. It's good to hear how he perceives things.

P is for Peregrine

A Plethora of Perfect Projects:
  • Take a Picnic to the Park (and eat Potato Chips and Pickles and Pineapple)
  • Make Pizza
  • Eat Peaches and Pears and Plumbs
  • Read Pumpkin Day and make some Pumpkin Pancakes
  • Learn about Pandas
  • Play with Play-Dough
  • Do a Puzzle
  • Practice Psalm 147:1 "Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God."

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

O is for Opposites

We've taken a few weeks break from doing our letter-of-the-week, but here we go again.
An Ode to O:

* Learn more about Opposites
* Read Otter on His Own: The Story of a Sea Otter by Doe Boyle
* Listen to some Opera
* Make an Omelet together
* Read I Have an Olive Tree by Eve Bunting; talk about where olives grow and how useful they are
* Make an Obstacle Course
* Practice Psalm 118:1 "Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!"

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Growing Up

Peregrine, my firstborn, is going to be four soon. It's hard to believe, and I, like so many other parents, can't help repeating "they just grow up so fast." He keeps me busy with his antics, keeps me busy making food to satisfy his hunger, keeps me busy carrying on long conversations about anything and everything. He drinks in stories like water and then talks about them and plays different characters all day long. He can articulate things pretty well, and sometimes I forget that his level of maturity is not as developed as his vocabulary. But for all his growing up and wanting to explore his world and go on adventures, sometimes he still likes to cuddle up with me in the rocking chair. There is a catch though, and that is I have to pretend that he's my "tiny baby", and coo at him and stroke his cheeks and remark on how small he is. He loves to hear the story of when he was born and he pretends that he's that brand new baby again; I exclaim "we got our boy" and he blinks his dark eyes at me and I touch his dark hair and he makes little baby noises.
And every time we "play" this, I'm brought back to that moment when we first saw him, how taken we were with every bit of this new life, how he stopped crying at the sound of Erik's voice, how small and vulnerable he was. It's easy to forget sometimes, that he is still small and vulnerable. I can no longer hold him in my arms like I could when he was newborn, but in many ways he still needs the same care and protection he did then. On the other hand, he is growing and developing into a unique person who will have his own relationship with God and with the world around him.
When we play "baby" all too soon he gets restless and starts to say in a very squeaky little voice "mama, mama" and before I know it he's squirmed off my lap and learned how to walk and is once more running off to fight some dragon or be the captain of an imaginary ship. It's not unlike real life; I would be content to hold this baby for a lot longer, but he's ready to run off and have adventures of his own. It's a good reminder to me, because before I know it the adventures will move from the realm of the living room out into the "real" world; he is growing every day into the man he is going to be, and someday he really will be the captain of his own ship, so to speak. I need to make the most of the time I'm given to mold and nurture and play with and teach and train this precious little one. I have to remember that there will be another season in life for doing some of the things I want to do and just don't have time or energy for right now. And when that season comes I'll enjoy it, but I'm sure I'll look back on this time and miss the story-books and building forts and sword-fighting and watching with joy as my small, busy children discover the world around them. And I'll probably almost forget the tiredness and the stinky diapers and the projects that never got done.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Last summer was taken up with moving and we didn't go camping once. This last weekend we finally opened up the tent trailer and made our home in the woods for a couple days. We joined my parents, and my two sisters, brothers-in-law, nieces and nephew for four days of relaxing, enjoying each other's company, playing games, hiking, and eating lots of good food. Alethea couldn't get enough of the dirt and Peregrine had a great time exploring and playing with his cousins. He kept saying to me "Mom, our blue house is getting old; we should just live here now." Here are some pictures from our trip:

Koosah Falls, just above our campsite.

Erik and Alethea go hiking.

Peregrine had fun floating his boats.

Who needs toys when there are sticks and rocks and water and dirt?

A rare and wild Oregon Monkey I spotted in a tree.

You'd never guess it, but we're at the top of a 60-foot waterfall!

Did I mention she got dirty?

We liked this guy so much we brought him home! Anyone know what kind he is?

And, as we like to say in my family, "A wonderful time was had by all."

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Peregrine has always loved stories, whether they're read or told or acted out. And almost since he could talk he's liked to retell the stories he hears. The funny part is that he tells them in the first person, as if he was there, only he adds in small details that would pertain to him. For example, if I was drinking tea in the story he would change it so that he was drinking steamed milk. Erik tells him a story every night before bed- it recounts the day's adventures that they've had together in far-off lands. The next day Peregrine tells me about the tigers he and Daddy hunted or the dragon they slew, or about riding motorcycles across the ocean floor or going to the moon.
Lately Peregrine's penchant for story-telling has crossed the line into telling lies in order not to be disciplined for something he's done. Most of the time the truth is quite obvious to me, and when I ask him directly about it he'll admit it, but there are times when I'm not 100% sure he's lying and I don't know how to deal with it. The humorous part of it is when he's caught lying he's taken to saying "I'm not liable! I'm not liable!" I don't know where he heard the word, but it's clear he thinks it means "I'm not lying!" (Of course I don't laugh when he says it, as funny as it is!)
This morning he woke up up way too early, and after I cuddled with him for a while I put on his bedtime CD and told him he could get up when it was over. The CD is an hour long and after 20 minutes he cheerfully trotted out of his room and said good morning. I asked him if his CD was over and he said it was, and then I asked him if he stopped it and he immediately denied it. I took him back to his bed and asked him again and he gave me the same story. I told him it was not the truth and then he made up more of a story- that he was in his bed and he heard song after song after song for a long time and then he heard the "click" and it was over! (He apparently forgot that CDs don't click when they're done.) I told him he would stay in his bed until he was ready to tell the truth, since getting up was what he hoped to accomplish by the lie. For the next hour I returned to his room, asking him again what happened and he stuck with his lie. I prayed with him, and left him until he finally admitted that he had gotten up and turned off the CD. He apologized to me, and we both prayed that the Lord would help him to always speak what is true.
We do have a clear consequence that happens every time he tells a lie, and we read Bible verses about lies, mostly from Proverbs. I wonder sometimes if he really believes what he's saying. (I know the "experts" would say that kids his age do believe they're own lies, but I certainly don't think you do them any favors by overlooking it.) It's definitely not something we want to allow to grow in his life.
I'm wondering how other people have dealt with lying with their children. What consequences have you given, and what seems to have helped them understand the importance of telling the truth? What about when you're not positive they're lying, but pretty sure? I'd appreciate any advice on the matter, as well as your prayers for us and for Peregrine. Thanks!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Fun with Toilets

Peregrine, who was so excited about flushing to start with, has nearly abandoned the practice altogether now. Yep, it's, ummm...... interesting? But twice in the last while he got so carried away flushing that he clogged the toilet and flooded the whole bathroom. When I asked him what happened he said "I flushed and flushed and flushed and flushed and flushed and flushed." I guess it's either all or nothing for him.
I've had some interesting toilet experiences in my life. My earliest memories are from when my parents were in Bible school. We lived in student housing and shared communal bathrooms, which we had to go outside to use. As a kid it was all I knew, but looking back on it with a Mom's perspective, not so fun. Some family friends didn't have a bathroom, just an outhouse. I still remember the cold seat and having to dump a scoop of ashes down the hole afterward. Many years down the road I spent time backpacking in northern Washington and learned to leave camp with a shovel, just like God instructed the children of Israel to do during their sojourn in the wilderness. I have many memories of Mexican toilets, the ones that you can't put toilet paper in, and how grateful we were in one village where they dug a hole for us to use, since they just squatted by the side of the path! (The pigs took care of the piles, and I hoped they wouldn't serve us pork!) In Liberia I learned the fine art of the bucket-flush, since there was no longer running water in the houses. I was glad I'd been pre-warned and practiced before going since my first attempts backfired on me, literally. In Thailand I was introduced to the squatty-potty, in it's most basic form a hole in the ground, although it was often made of concrete or ceramic and had foot-grips on either side of the hole. I actually grew to really like the squatty, and if we ever built a house I'd consider putting one in. (In the second bathroom of course!) There were the toilets on Indian trains- the best thing to do was to not drink anything and try to avoid having to use them. But when necessary, it was a challenge to stay balanced- while squatting- and try desparately not to touch anything as the room was so filthy, plus hold on to my precious toilet paper and try to keep my skirt off the floor. At a Rainbow Gathering in India there was a long trench dug in an open field. That was pretty uncomfortable as there was no privacy. But by that time I'd learned to hold my skirt in such a way that I could be discreet even in the middle of a field! And as much as we tried to act as the locals did, I never could give up toilet paper. The first time I had to use a public bathroom after returning to the U.S. I was slightly panicked because I didn't have any toilet paper with me!
Well, that was probably way more toilet talk than most people want to know. I'm thankful today, for indoor plumbing that works, for toilet paper, and for little boys. Even when they forget to flush.