Thursday, November 15, 2007

"My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways." Prov.23:26

I have always loved children. And I decided years ago as a teenager, while I was having loads of fun and winning the hearts of other people's kids, that when I became a mother, nobody would have more fun with my own kids than I would. I want to pass along my faith to them, so I must have their hearts. Jason and I keep constant vigil over their souls, their time, their play, their interests, their attitudes. They rarely spend the night away from home, even with their loving Christian grandparents. They stay with us all throughout every Sunday School and church service, and we "take" rather than "send" them most places. We are especially careful during times in our children's lives when we know the Lord is dealing with them about something. During those times, they stay with us, end of discussion. Jason and I aren't perfect, but the Lord will give us the grace to answer those difficult questions of life for our own kids, and we want them to always come home for advice. Therefore, we must have their hearts and their affections. This way of life just infuriates some people, and believe me I get called plenty of names ("fanatic", "overprotective", "overboard", "self-righteous", "holier than thou"), but my most important name at this point in life is "Mom", and I refuse to sacrifice what I clearly know is my God-given charge, to peer pressure.

So, if I'm going to insist that my kids spend the bulk of their time at our own house, I feel very obligated to make our home a fun, happy, pleasant place. I'm constantly searching for ways to milk every ounce of fun from each week that passes by. You might catch me jumping on the trampoline (which I can't do right now in my delicate condition), riding toy motorcycles, playing Old Maid, making play-doh, reading aloud a good book, "skating" in sock feet, building a tent, baking cookies, making gingerbread houses, calling off school unexpectedly, singing silly songs, posing for crazy
pictures , giving cooking lessons, planning play days with friends, planning unique and elaborate birthday parties, sword fighting, and any number of completely undignified activities. One of our most fun activities, is dress-up. My poor, deprived children have never been Trick-or-Treating, but we have never needed a national holiday to have fun. Through the years, the kids have been superheroes, hobbits, Robin Hood, cowboys, Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett, Captain Hook, Peter Pan, Wendy, Annie Oakley, The Lone Ranger, Tonto, knights, princesses, Narnia heroes, kings, queens, soldiers, Indians, pilgrims, ...the list goes on and on.

From our love of dress-up and history role-playing, came the idea of History Day. We get together each year with other homeschool families and pick someone from history to dress up as, and present a lesson about his or her life. Below are a few snapshots: Stonewall Jackson, Sacagawea, and some little Crusader Knights. (Check out my friend Melanie's blog for another report.)

(Click to enlarge this pic above of Bub and make note of his perpetually dirty mouth! )

It's a lot of work on my part, preparing and opening our home to a house full of excited children. Tuesday evening, after this year's event, Caleb came and sat in my lap and said, "Mom, I know this was hard on you this year, being pregnant and all, but I want you to know that I really appreciate all your hard work. It was so much fun, and we'll never forget this day." Well, a heart string was tied and a memory was made, so my hard work was definitely worth it.


Deborah said...

You are an inspiration to me. After homeschooling for 17 years now, I have forgotten the beauty of so many things that you mentioned in this, a fun day off...I'm about in tears. Thank you, thank you, thank you. This IS the only way to keep our children's've given me lots to pray about. Thank you, Tara.

Melanie said...

Thanks for allowing our family to share in the fun. Thanks also for the inspiration.