Wednesday, September 17, 2008


If you don't already read aloud to your kids on a daily basis I would encourage you to add it to your daily routines. You would be amazed at the people you meet, the ideas that you will consider and the terrific conversations that you will have with your kids. We've read outloud daily (well, almost) for years and for hours at a time. It has been time well spent. Our kids know good literature, understand the craft of language and have been introduced to all manner of people, places and events as a result.

Our current read-aloud is Benjamin West and his cat Grimilkin by Marguarite Henry. Like all of Henry's books it is a 2-thumbs up, engaging and full of vivid characters. She captures the time period of colonial America with it's hard work, simplicity and strict adherence to morays and rules. (Already, Cub has renamed Butterfly, his kitten, Grimilkin in honor). The Wests were Quakers and considered pictures worldly, Benjamin, however, longs to draw and paint. Indian friends teach him to make colors with found items such as clay, bark and nuts and a new world opens for Benjamin as he adds colors to his sketches. It is a wonderful book of a child's longing, and a God given call manifesting itself despite circumstances. West goes on to be the court painter for King George III, becomes president of the Royal Academy of Painters and is considered the Father of American Painting. Isn't it odd how God placed Benjamin, with all of his talents and longings, into a family that wouldn't naturally approve? I wonder at this. It will be a lit/theology question for the kiddos today.

This past Sunday our pastor gave a sermon on the responsibilities of Freedom. If I was more of a techno head I would tell you to go find it, here, but I'm not at this point so you'll have to go to to listen to or read it. I've heard a lot of people say that they won't vote this year because of "poor choices," to which I say, "Fie!" Those in conservative camps have been spoiled these past 8 years by a President who truly embraces evangelical values and causes, who prays to a living God and is courageous enough and transparent enought to quote Scripture on international T.V. Now, it's back to business as usual. Squandering a vote is squandering freedom in my not so humble opinion. Freedom that has been, on so many different levels, a rare and precious commodity throughout the history of the world.
Later in the day Cub said excitedly, "hey, our country has 3 Fathers! George Washington is the Father of our Country, Benjamin Rush is the Father of American Medicine and Benjamin West is the Father of American Painting!" Last week he stated that the "Story of the World" was the cheat code of history. Could it be that we've raised yet another history geek?

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