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Sunday, March 1, 2009


We started our garden last weekend when the weather was sunny and pleasant. Rhianwen had been helping daddy break up dirt until mommy brought the wagon with Alden. Then Rhi decided to spend a little time relaxing and watching. Of course, Alden wanted to get out and experience this fun little thing called mud and grass. Eventually mommy hauled him around while putting newspaper down between rows of future plants. He loves newspaper. It's so crinkly and seems like such a good thing for his palette.

Rhianwen had lots of fun tossing spinach seed. Apparently spinach is easy to plant. You just toss and leave it. A perfect thing for a 2 year old.

Rhianwen helped spread hay over the newspaper walkways. What a big girl, and we felt so environmentally friendly...recycling and planting our own food.

On a related note, we also rented Wall E (warning: spoilers follow), and after Wally and I watched it, we decided it was a pretty good movie for a 2 year old. I mean the plot is pretty simple: give the plant to the captain. And there is virtually no dialog and no really scary sections...unless you consider a few explosions (I just told her that was how the robot burned trash and she seemed fine with that) and the jump to hyperspace scary (I guess Rhianwen just didn't know what to expect unlike Mommy and Daddy who've watched Star Wars ten million times). The most exciting part to her was when Wall E made it back and found his "friend" the indestructable cockroach and when she saw that the plant had grown into a huge tree. Aw. Alden decided to try to launch up into space out of his exersaucer. He's also been doing the army crawl, but he has to be very motivated.

In devotions, we asked Rhianwen "How do you get in to heaven?" and she quickly replied, "Oh, I'll just open the door." I imagined Rhianwen walking up to some giant pearly gates and swinging them open to a huge beautiful city full of people excited to see her. We just kind of smiled and explained about faith in Christ, but then later I thought of the verse that says "Behold I stand at the door and knock, and if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in." Duh. Then I was sad that I hadn't thought of it when she said that and tied it in and sung the song. I wonder how many opportunities I miss like that just b/c I fail to think outside of the box.

Lately, I've been feeling guilty for not putting Rhianwen in preschool. We haven't even considered it for her because Wally feels that it's not a good thing for us. He thinks that this is the only time in our children's lives where they can be home and enjoy it without pressure to perform and without comparison to others. To me, preschool seems like a consistent opportunity for Rhianwen to learn in a fun creative environment...I'm terrible at consistency and funness. After many conversations with friends about their 2 or 3 year old and their preschool choices, I've realized that most of my feelings of guilt stem from 3 things: 1) I feel a pressure to "catch up" at home with whatever I think Rhianwen's friends are learning in their preschools (of course, being a microbiologist stay-at-home mommy, I have no idea what they really do for 2 and 3 year olds), 2) I worry that Rhianwen will be way behind when she starts school and therefore will have a hard time making friends and adjusting and 3) I am frustrated that I and Rhianwen just don't "fit-in" with most of our friends because we don't do preschool. I've realized yet again, my old sin of comparing myself to others creeps in even here. I yearn for anything that I feel will help me enhance my connection and friendship with others even if it is through my kids. Ultimately, I my reactions are based in selfishness, discontent, and worry! Who knew the issue of preschool could go down that path? Whew!

Talk about a strange perspective!


  1. I can certainly relate to the preschool/funness factor. Most of the women I know with little kids have them in some kind of program at least twice a week. It's tough to continue to do what Justin and I think is best for our kids when everyone else seems to be doing it differently. I think you do a great job of teaching and playing at home though. I get all kinds of good ideas from you. :)

  2. I am wondering if you are getting any snow up there today!

    We never had to worry about pre-school. In OK none of my friends were doing it---all were teaching them at home. Besides, we couldn't really afford it. ;-)

    Plus I remembered my own childhood--I loved being at home. I did go to a K-5 type thing which was a new idea in our town. I did enjoy it for the most part....but I LOVED being home.

    I had a lot of neighbor kids to play with too. Plus my brother who was 3 years younger---was fun. I had cousins too. So there was interaction etc. I did have trouble learning to read---I was insecure and had fears of large groups---still do at times !!

    you can always get the Abeka preschool stuff and have a set time to do it with her--that worked for us.

    Dad is anxious to get gardening ;-)--we have planted some things--and they should start coming up any day--hmmm, I need to go check. We are going to get some bushes planted in the side yard this Thursday and another holy tree for the front (for the other side).

    /Alden is starting to creep and cry fairly weeeelllll ;-) Hey does Rhi have freckles or is it just that last photo??

  3. Charlie loves Wall-E. Ella finds it a little lacking in brightness and color I think...but will watch it with her brother! I had fun watching it too. About preschool...I know we've talked about this before but I completely agree. Rhianwen seems so smart and balanced to me. I do think these early years at home really do give children such a security and foundation for the rest of life. I find the sin of comparison and for me, pride creeping in constantly when it comes to the way that I mother (especially when it's different than other mothers!)

  4. I think about the preschool thing all the time too. We aren't doing preschool either and the things you mentioned nag at me as well. I have to keep reminding myself to quit the comparison thing. Oh- and I think you do plenty of fun things, just reading what you post about!

  5. LOVE your garden! The idea of a garden makes me so happy. The fact that 1 - Phil detests outdoor work, 2 - our yard slopes crazily and 3 - I kill most every plant just by looking it causes me to simply enjoy other people's gardens. :-) The farmer's market will have to do for me.

    You are, like, so totally fun (you have a garden, for crying out loud!) and the thought that Rhi could possibly be behind is so funny to me. Is she speaking Chinese yet? :-) I'm one of the only non-preschooling mommies in my group, too. Actually, I can only think of ONE other mom (among many) who has a child Andrew's age who isn't preschooling. I prefer to simply feel superior, as in "I don't need preschool! I'm just that awesome!" :-)

  6. Yeah, you worry-wart. You and Wally are brilliant. Your kids will be, too.

    Besides, you're forgetting that we all have shortcomings, but Rhianwen's first parent is Jesus, and he'll take pretty good care of her for you.

    Lastly, I was watching Alden cry and crawl towards Wally, probably wondering why Wally was backing away and wouldn’t come comfort and be with him. It made me think of my walk with Heavenly Father. Sometimes, he can seem so distant and our relationship can be so frustrating from my perspective. But he’s teaching me and growing me in ways he could not if he were to snuggle me all the time.


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