First, the answer to Colton’s riddle: What starts out small, but when it goes under you can see it all? a seed.

This morning, Tyson and Colton spent a few hours teaching Carter how to ride his bike. We have not been a great bike-riding family, and all the boys were late bike-riding-learners. But today, Carter conquered his fears and took off down the veranda, training-wheel-less. We were all jumping up and down and cheering for him as he wobbled away.

Another milestone: we finished reading our book on Early Modern History by Susan Wise Bauer. The last chapter was about the California gold rush. Next we will tackle Modern History, a measly 150 years. Should be a piece of cake– just a few wars, and some minor technological advances to cover!

I think what the boys saw most clearly during our study of Early Modern history, and World history in general to this point, is the repeating pattern of domination, corruption, and fall. In our EMH studies, as Europeans systematically conquered continent after continent, the sad fate of the indigenous people was so brutally and unjustly repeated over and over. Colton expressed it like this;

“The people who took over the land from other people are just stupid. It’s all about money. They treat the native people like animals. They just want to take what they can get and not have to pay for it. It still happens today. That’s why there are places like Zorrillo.” (Zorrillo is the indigenous village in Mexico where we went to build a kindergarden classroom last Christmas.)

Colton is grunting his way through his school work these days. Spring is tough. There are so many distractions. He often has to write sentences as part of his English studies, and he comes up with some good ones. One of my favourites: “Our bums are big.” He always tries to write the shortest sentence possible with the required vocabulary. So there are often several sentences in a row that continue with the same theme, such as: “So are our heads.”, “And, so are our feet.” I realize these two sentences are not really sentences, but it makes for amusing reading. He also writes me little notes as he does his work, expressing his extreme sadness about having to do certain assignments– “Mom, you know I HATE doing this stuff.”

Tyson is working on his story. He has shared the title with us, Hunter’s Trek. But he won’t give us any more than that. I told him I’d put it on the blog when he finishes it. He is going to take the Hunter’s Safety course this spring. A friend is interested in taking it with him. Spring: green grass, flowers, and guns. Oy. Tyson is also trying to work out why this is called the 21st century. I remember struggling with that concept when I was a kid.

The whole reading thing seems to finally be clicking for Carter. He is really into mazes right now. And he can read “start” and “finish” by himself! And, he is “adding” up a storm.

So, as I have continued to ponder the mysteries of the christian life, I have this thought to share. Perhaps we should not be so concerned about “attracting” people with our exuberance and joy, not that there is not a place for that. Maybe we should be more about being with people where they are at… which may be more about blood, sweat, and tears. In other words, being real. Because, to tell you the truth, people who are happy all the time make me a little uncomfortable. I’ll have to talk to Kelly about this some time when I get a chance.