Why People Get Expensive Cars

We need a new car, so there are a lot of discussions about cars these days.

Deep Thinker keeps pointing out models he knows to be expensive. But I keep responding that there is no point in owning an expensive car. We don’t need expensive things. We just need to be able to transport ourselves from our home to karate lessons. From home to school. From home to the store.

Deep Thinker has been trying to explain his stance. And today, he had a very interesting point. He based it on a new pair of Nike running shoes we bought him for school a week ago:

“Mom, you know why people like expensive cars? It’s the same reason they like expensive shoes. It’s not because of the price. It’s what you get FOR the price. Example–my new Nike’s. They’re expensive. But when I put them on my FEET , there is such a big DIFFERENCE. See Mom, you wear old, cheap shoes. You’re like that person who would walk around with bad shoes or even no shoes–and you will feel fine. But you will never know how comfortable your feet would feel in a nice pair of Nike’s!”

Hm. Thinks he knows everything. Little smarty pants.

Butterfly Facts

Rowdy Rebel was “helping” me cook dinner the other night.

He asked, “Mom, did you have any babies before you and Dad got married?”

I said no.

He said, “Ohhhhh, so ya have to be married to have babies.” I said, yes, pretty much.

And he explained, “Well, butterflies don’t have to be married to have babies. They just stick their BUTTS together.”


This was a fun dialogue we had today on the way home from summer camp.

Rowdy Rebel: “Mom, do you know anyone who has a uni-bra?”

Deep Thinker: “Ummmm, do you mean a uni-brow?”

Rowdy Rebel: “Oh yeah. So Mom, do you know anyone who has a uni-bra?”

Advice on Mummies

We were driving back home from Lake Arrowhead a few weeks ago. (This is one of our favorite Southern California family vacation spots–along with Big Bear. If you don’t know about these areas, you can read about them here.) Suddenly, the boys started talking about mummies. I have no idea why or how the topic arose…but Rowdy Rebel and Deep Thinker had some serious messages. Here is what they said:

Rowdy Rebel: “Mom, you cannot EVER marry a mummy.”

Me: “Okay. I won’t.”

Rowdy Rebel: “Because they are DEAD. Also, if you could marry a mummy, you should not do it. Because you can’t ever KISS it.”

Deep Thinker: “Yeah.”

Me: “Eeeeeee…That’s true.”

Deep Thinker: “Also, you can’t have children with it.”

In conclusion, I felt this was very sound advice, so I plan on following these tips closely.


Batteries and Bodies


One of my favorite evening activities is what I think of as “one by one” walks. By this, I mean that I like to take each of my boys for an individual walk and catch up with their thoughts, feelings, ideas, and just spend a little one on one time. With three boys, the “one by one” walks don’t happen every day, but I look forward to each one, no matter how long the wait.

I was on a walk with Deep Thinker a few months ago, and he made an interesting observation.

“Mom, for toys to run, they need batteries. Ya have to buy batteries at the store.”

I nodded.

He continued, “Ya know, we are like toys…but instead of batteries, we have  souls. We can’t work without em. The best part is…we don’t have to buy em at the store…God gives us a soul for free!”

Problem with Math

I thought I’d encountered a “teachable moment” with my second grader last week. He mentioned that a friend of his had said that their family is running low on money.

My son loves math, and he also loves thinking about business and making money–therefore, we often talk about math in terms of numbers, and he’s always asking to learn more about fractions and decimals because he feels if he can conquer those, he can conquer anything. But I I thought the point he brought up about his friend’s family would be a great chance to talk about money in terms of life rather than math–by explaining, for example, that no matter how much money we have, we’ll still have problems unless we learn how to spend it right.

So I said, “See, the problem with money is that…”

And Deep Thinker completed my thought like a true second grader, “…it involves decimals?”

Reading Age for Rowdy Rebel

Rowdy Rebel read to me for the first time tonight. At first, he was pretending to read.

It’s a story called “The Big Hungry Bear.” It’s about a mouse that finds a strawberry and ends up sharing it with a bear.  Kids LOVE that story. I never really got into that story for some reason, but I’ve read it with the boys a million times.

Tonight Rowdy Rebel pointed to the title, and started telling the story, “The mouse finds a strawberry and pretends to share it with the bear, but really he eats it.” (Actually the mouse DOES share with the bear…but not in Rowdy Rebel’s version.)

So, then Rowdy Rebel asked, “Is that what it says there Mommy?”

I said that was very close, and then I pointed to the word “big” and said, “Let’s try just this word.” I started to help him, but he sounded it out himself.

Then he kept sounding out all kinds of words in the story. Then he recognized the word “strawberry” on different pages. Goodness. That was fast! They’ve been teaching them to read in his pre-school–but apparently, it all came together for him tonight.

What a milestone. Makes me want to cry:)

Hard Times–But Not for Everyone

snailDeep Thinker has caught wind of the economic troubles in our country. He’s all about money. He was the first one in his class to learn how to add all of the coins to make a dollar. Each day, he has a new idea on how he’s going to make lots of money. The other day, he decided to buy a packet of seeds and sell each one for $10–he figured by the time he sold the pack, he’d have college paid for!

Anyway, he was asking some questions about why everyone keeps saying the economy is bad. I was explaining it the best way I could without scaring him. I said that prices are high, and some people are losing their jobs. He seemed to get it. He had lots of questions. He also had solutions–for example, that people should just GIVE farmers gasoline and equipment; this way, they could charge lower prices for the food they grow:)

Rowdy Rebel was listening to this conversation. At one point, I was explaining that when a person loses a job, he or she has a hard time paying for things like a house or apartment because they aren’t getting money.

I wrapped that statement up by saying, “A lot of people are having a hard time now.”

Rowdy Rebel piped up and said, “Well, not caterpillars. Also, not snails. They aren’t having a hard time because all they do is eat GRASS.” (Don’t worry–you didn’t miss anything. The comment made no sense whatsoever. Also, snails don’t eat grass. And then he started talking about how if it’s a big snail, he keeps it as a pet, and if it’s a little one, he steps on it.)

In our home, when everyone stops screaming andthrowing things long enough to have a serious discussion, this is usually how it ends up!

Play Connect Four NOW

My husband’s work hours have gotten easier, so now when he comes home, I get to take walks! I take the baby and Rowdy Rebel for a walk first. We walk for about 45 minutes. Then we come back and I take Deep Thinker.

I love walking with them one at a time. When we all talk together, they usually end up competing to talk first, yell at each other, and argue a lot. When I talk to them individually, I get to learn all about their thoughts, how school went, and things like this. Also, I like the questions they ask me.

Oh, one other problem with group talks is that when Deep Thinker is around, Rowdy Rebel copies his answers to every question, no matter what the question is.

While we’re walking, every once in a while, we stop at a nearby store and buy little toys or games. The other day Rowdy Rebel wanted to buy Connect Four. I thought he’d like it, so we bought it and have been playing together. He loves the game but still can’t plan strategies on his own–though he does understand when he has connected four and loves winning.

Today we took turns playing. Deep Thinker ended up helping Rowdy Rebel during one round. Their goal was to defeat me. So at one point, Deep Thinker helped Rowdy Rebel line his chips up so that he had two rows of three chips. Even if I blocked one row, he’d win by compleing the other row.

Deep Thinker said to Rowdy Rebel, “Look! You have two ways to win!” Rowdy Rebel looked at the board and seemed real smug.

Rowdy Rebel was so excited he almost yelled as he gloated, “Mom, I’m going to beat you. I have TWO ways to win! TWO of them Mom.”

Then he quietly asked Deep Thinker, “And what are those ways?”

Bully Stories and Fairness

Bully stories and movies scare me. As a parent, especially a parent of boys, one of my worst fears is that my children will be bullied in school. This fear grew exponentially before my first son (Deep Thinker) was even two! He was so passive that he let other children take his toys, moved out of the way of any child walking in his direction, and other things like this. It worried me a lot.

But as he’s grown, his self-esteem has blossomed. We talk a lot about fairness–what’s fair to him, what’s fair in general, and how sometimes things just aren’t fair and a person has to figure out how to move on. He gets a lot of it. Because he likes things to be structured, he follows the rules of fairness–and as a parent, it is one of my greatest pleasures to see that he expects other people to be fair with him, and he has developed strategies of ensuring this outcome even in unrehearsed (and sometimes intimidating) situations.

SO, today, when I picked him up from school, he pointed to a boy who was still waiting for his mother. He said, “That’s Dennis. He hit me in the face with a backpack today.” I was NOT happy–but still curious about how my son responded.

“Yeah, that was mean. What did you do?” (Technically I should ask my son why Dennis hit him with the backpack. But if you knew Deep Thinker, you’d understand that he doesn’t provoke others. EVER. Except his brother and me.)

Here is the rest of the story in Deep Thinker’s words: “Well, I told him I was very angry but didn’t want to hurt him. Then he started laughing at me and talking like a baby saying ‘oh, are sad that you don’t know kawate? you fink you want to twy to hurt me?'”

“So, then I grabbed his shoulders, you know, where your nerves are. And I grabbed them so hard that I could feel his heart beating. And it was beating really fast because he got nervous! Then I PUSHED him really hard and said ‘Don’t you EVER bother me again.'”

“Then he said ‘okay.’ After that we were standing in line and he was shaking because he was scared of me. But he said it was because he was cold from the wind blowing.”

Deep Thinker proceeded to explain how Dennis always bothers other kids in the class and then acts nice when parents see him. He said Dennis tries to act like a “gangster.” Anyway, I told Deep Thinker that I am pretty sure Dennis got the point, so when he sees him in school, he can say hi and just kind of let the air settle.

Then, Deep Thinker asked, “But what if Dennis thinks I’m being too nice, and he decides to bother me again?”

I told him it sounds like he’ll be able to handle the situation.