Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Story by Molly

We do a lot of creative writing in our home.

It just happens.

Not sure exactly how it all began . . . I didn't really assign things, Emily just began writing stories, then David, then Molly and Annie and even today Jonathan has asked me to help him write a story (which sounds strangely familiar to one of his siblings current stories).

All I know is that our kids LOVE to hear stories. They have since they were very little. And they love to read and they read a lot. I think their reading shows through in their writing, which is just another reason to make sure that our kids are reading a good variety of good literature and not just filling their minds and imaginations with "less than quality" writing.

Right now, all 4 of our older kids are involved in writing books. I have promised them that if they will stick to them and finish them (editing and all), that I will have them self-published. I also am wanting to encourage them by publishing a little of their stories here on our blog and seeing if they get any encouraging feedback.

So, to start . . . here are the first two chapters of Molly's current book.

It is the 2nd in a series (the first one had a Christmas theme).

(And leave an encouraging comment for her if you have the time . . . )

The Missing Dog

By Molly Miles

“The News”

Andrew and Lilly were staying at their Grandma Mary’s house that summer. Andrew was now 14 and Lilly was 12. They were just finishing a project for their home school when they heard their Grandma on the phone and listened.

“Yes, . . . yes they are here, . . . oh no! I’ll tell them that . . . okay . . . . good bye.”

“What was that about, Grandma?” asked Lilly coming down the stairs with Andrew coming behind.

“Oh, um, that was Mrs. Beatle. She said that her dog Sarah was missing,” said Grandma.

“Missing! Sarah missing!” shouted Andrew and Lilly together.

“Yes, missing. But please don’t take the job,” said Grandma. “What do you mean ‘don’t take the job’?” asked Lilly. “Well, she asked you to help find her,” said Grandma.

“The Threat!”

“Well, we do help the town detectives, so . . . I guess we could help Mrs. Beatle,” said Andrew.

“Oh dear. I just don’t like it. Every free moment you have you run into some kind of mystery”, said Grandma.

“Well we will spend time with you, Grandma,” said Lilly hurriedly.

“Well, . . . okay. Go along. Take the mystery,” she said and walked away to make dinner.

Now the days were spent looking for Sarah. And in their spare time, Andrew and Lilly spent time with their grandma.

One morning, Andrew went to get the mail and saw an envelope with no return address on it. He took a look and then opened it. (Since their grandma couldn’t read because of bad eye sight, they always read the mail to her). His eyes opened wide at what he saw. Lilly came in the room, took a look at Andrew, and knew something was wrong.

“Andrew, come with me into the next room right now!” she said. Andrew, still looking at the paper, followed her. When they got to the next room Lilly said, “What is going on? What does the paper say? Why aren’t you reading it to Grandma? Tell ME THAT!”

Andrew handed the paper to Lilly and said quietly, “You want Grandma to hear THAT?”

Lilly looked at the paper, and her eyes grew round. The letter said,


Monday, September 27, 2010

The. Last. One

Well, here he is.
My fifth born.
My baby.

Last month, he finished his reading book.
It was the same exact one that his older brother and 3 older sisters learned to read from (and believe me, it is ready to be retired! No way it is in any kind of shape to be passed on.)

In our home, we have the tradition that when anyone finishes a school book, they get to celebrate the next morning with a big cinnamon roll all to themselves. (Actually, they grow out of this when their finished school books coincide with the end of the year.)

We also have a tradition in our home that when you finish "The Reading Book" (usually around 5 years old), you get to go with the family to the Christian Bookstore and get your first real Bible with your name imprinted on it.

Since most of the stores in our area have closed, we made time to go to the store in Louisiana and there Jonathan was able to get his first Bible.

It was a fun time!

(Now, based on the two above photos you may be tempted to think that Jonathan was MORE excited over the cinnamon roll than he was over the Bible, but remember . . . it was very hot and sticky in Louisiana. Yeah, that's right. It isn't that my kids love sugar that much . . . But oh, for the day when all of them will have "tasted and seen how good the Lord is" for themselves!)

It has been really fun (and so rewarding) to see Jonathan so excited about getting to participate fully in our family times each morning (as it has with each one of our children). He no longer needs to just repeat after Mommy when it comes time for him to read his verse, but now he has his own Bible and he is reading very well when his turn comes around. I help him with sounding out the big words. The really fun part is hearing all of his siblings clap and cheer for him when he is finished. (Now, this happened for all of the others as well, but when you are the fifth born, you have the largest cheering crowd of all.) It's fun to see, and we are all enjoying it.

Yes, I'm enjoying it. But I will admit that my enjoyment is mingled with bittersweetness. I will miss not teaching my children to read. I will miss snuggling with them on the couch and helping them struggle through sounding out words. I will miss the uninhibited look of joy when they see themselves doing something that they didn't know they could do. I will miss these family times shared with beginning readers. I will miss this season. I will. I have loved it every time it came around in our home but with the other ones I always knew there was another one coming behind. I just had to wait. But now I'm done.

Yes, there may be grandchildren in my future. And I may have the joy of watching them from a distance learn to read. But it won't be the same. It isn't meant to be the same. And that's ok.

Thank you , Lord, for the amazing gift of children and for the absolute joy of being able to teach them at home. Thank you for the hard days when they are in tears and I am on the verge and yet we find our way through to the other side and are stronger for the "lesson" we learned of Your faithfulness and strength. Thank you for the laughter in our homeschool and the joy you've given us over learning. Thank you for the days when laughter is hard to find and we have to rely on plain discipline and diligence that come from looking to You for all we need.

You have been more than gracious to me.

Again, I thank you for the privilege of being able to teach my children to read and to get to know them each better in the process.

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