Onion Honey Cough Syrup

Here’s a neat cough syrup that several of my mom friends swear by.  The cough syrup part begins at 1:50.

To summarize:

  • Dice an onion.
  • Layer onion with drizzled honey until you reach the top of a pint jar.
  • Cover and leave at room temperature up to 24 hours. (You can serve the syrup almost right away if you need to.)
  • After 24 hours, strain onions out and refrigerate.  The syrup will stay good indefinitely.
  • Give 1 tsp as many times per day as needed.



Kieryn’s Kindergarten Year

We’re about ready to start our 2016-2017 year tomorrow.  Madeline starts 6th grade (I still think something must have gotten messed up somewhere, because that doesn’t seem possible).  Anson starts 4th.  And Kieryn starts 1st.

Before we begin, I thought I’d post the recap of Kieryn’s kindergarten year that our umbrella school asked me to turn in. (I have been so absent on this blog, that advantage needs to be taken when I can capture any memories with little extra effort.)

Kieryn B&W resize watermark

Kieryn had been eager to begin school for a while, but given my busyness with two in school ahead of her, and one toddler and a newborn behind her, I was not as eager.  Her oldest sibling, Madeline, however, began doing “school” with her when she was four, and by the time she began kindergarten this past school year, she was well-primed and ready to go.


We used Sonbeams as the basis for our Bible time.  Each week, we had a new verse to learn, going in ABC order.  The verses we memorized are:

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)
Believe in the Lord Yeshua and you will be saved. (Acts 16:31)
Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. (Ephesians 6:1)
Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace and pursue it. (Psalm 34:14)
Even a child is known by his actions by whether his conduct is pure and right. (Proverbs 20:11)
For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16)
God is love (1 John 4:16)
Happy are you, O Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by YHWH? (Deuteronomy 33:29)
I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6)
Knock and the door will be opened to you. (Matthew 7:7)
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. (Mark 12:30)
Make a joyful noise to YHWH, all the earth! (Psalm 100:1)
Nothing will be impossible for you. (Matthew 17:20)
Do not be Overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:21)
Praise YHWH! (Psalm 148:1)
Look! I am coming Quickly and my reward is with me to repay each person according to what he has done. (Revelation 22:12)
Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)
Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33)
Trust in YHWH with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5)
Sing Unto YHWH a new song; Sing unto YHWH, all the earth. (Psalm 96:1)
I am the Vine; you are the branches. He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)
Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)
Do not be anXious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6)
YHWH your God is with you. He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you. He will quiet you with His love. He will rejoice over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)

At the beginning of the week, we would read the verse and sing a song version of the verse.  Kieryn would read along in a “box” form of the verse, where every word was written in its own box like this:

Kieryn Kindergarten Scripture Box

After reading it, she would cut it into horizontal strips and would have to place it back in order.  The next day, we’d sing our verse song again and then cut the strips vertically one time.  She would again piece the words into the correct order. She continued cutting the strip each day until all the words were separate.  She also did a handwriting sheet where she traced the words of the verse.

Kieryn joins us for our daily family Bible time that her Daddy leads.  She also reads independently from her own storybook Bible.


Kieryn has completed a typing tutorial program on BBC’s website. It has four levels, each focusing on a group of keys.  It effectively teaches kids how to properly place their fingers and rewards them with dancing animals singing silly songs at the end of each level.


Kieryn completed her phonics program using the Starfall website and workbooks.  She is a very proficient reader, eager to practice her ever-expanding skills.


Taking after her big sister, who loves to write, Kieryn enjoys writing short stories. Most of her stories include words sounded out phonetically, which adds unintended adventure to the reading.  Occasionally, Kieryn will type a story and her sister will act as editor, correcting grammar. Other times, her sister will act as transcriptionist, typing out the story as Kieryn dictates it. Following is an excerpt from one such story:

Chapter 1

Dina was in a shack. It was her home. And she had lost her family. Her dog was named Marina. It was a girl dog. Dina ran with her dog to the store. Dina made her own bowls and plates out of sticks and other nature items. She got bread, butter, milk, eggs, and dog food. She paid ten dollars. She ran back with her dog. (Marina didn’t have a leash on either.) She ran back. She made dinner over a fire. And she gave Marina some dog food. And she ate some food. And then they went to bed.


Kieryn completed the Math U See Primer book this year.  Though she still needs a bit more work to remember how to write the numbers 11-19, and how to skip count by fives, I have no doubt she’ll gain mastery of those as we review them in the next level.


Kieryn joined her siblings as they studied elementary anatomy and physiology.  She colored sheets showing different bones, organs, and blood vessels.  She also memorized poems about each of the five senses:


I need my eyes, so I can see
I don’t have five, or one, or three
Just two eyes upon my face
It seems to be a common place
For eyes to sit on animals
From frogs, to fish, from bears, to gulls

Two eyes, one face – that’s a match
But really here’s a little catch
Spiders see with eight bug-eyes
And here’s another eye surprise
Scallops have most of all
More than fifty! Must see all!
I’ll stick with two; they let me see
My two eyes are good for me!


If sweet-sweet candy had no taste
That would be a total waste!

Chocolate milk that tastes like water?
Won’t be found on my order

Pizza pies that taste like air?
That’s not right! That’s not fair!

That won’t happen, for I know
Tongue’s the one in the show

Salty, sour, bitter, sweet
My tongue’s taste buds can’t be beat

My tongue, the organ, gives me taste
Without it foods would be a waste!


Skinny Skin, stretched smoothly tight
Around my body day and night

Largest organ that I own
Bigger than my brain or bone

My skin gives me the sense of touch
Hot or cold, smooth or rough

Hard or soft, hand or heel
It’s my skin that lets me feel

Be Glad Your Nose is on Your Face
Jack Prelutsky


Be glad your nose is on your face,
not pasted on some other place,
for if it were where it is not,
you might dislike your nose a lot.

Imagine if your precious nose
were sandwiched in between your toes,
that clearly would not be a treat,
for you’d be forced to smell your feet.

Your nose would be a source of dread
were it attached atop your head,
it soon would drive you to despair,
forever tickled by your hair.

Within your ear, your nose would be
an absolute catastrophe,
for when you were obliged to sneeze,
your brain would rattle from the breeze.

Your nose, instead, through thick and thin,
remains between your eyes and chin,
not pasted on some other place–
be glad your nose is on your face!


An ear splitting sound!
A crash and a boom!
Ringing so loudly,
It shook the whole room!

But I didn’t hear it
I couldn’t at all
My left and right ear
Had gone to the mall!

My left and right ear
My organs that hear
Had gone to go shopping
And that’s what I fear

Without my 2 ears
That spectacular pair
I can’t hear sound waves
Move through the air!

Disposition towards school

Kieryn is an excellent student.  In fact, she’s been my easiest student so far!  In general, she is very focused, has a cheerful attitude, does careful work, and does not get easily discouraged by corrections. I am so thankful for these things!


Madeline: 9 years old


Phew! You have only one more year until you are into the double-digits! That makes me feel a bit old.  How does it make you feel?

Well, older than I was when I was five. And six. And seven.

True. Do you like being nine so far?

Yes! I didn’t discover that 10 was actually double-digits until I was almost nine. So, that’s kinda funny.

Tell me a little bit about yourself.

Okay! Um… I like horses… (Thinking silently…) Uh, when I need thoughts I can never get thoughts!  (She returns to thinking.)  I like to play with my siblings.  And we have a new baby coming.  This time, this baby is going to be half my baby.

Explain that “half my baby” thing.

Oh, okay.  Well, it started when I wanted a baby, but I was a little bit tired of pretending my baby dolls were babies.  So I figured that when you have a baby I can help take care of it a lot.  Memere said that she was kinda like a mom to Uncle Jimmy.  And Miss Myrna said that her big sister took care of her when she was a baby.

So, will you help me change stinky diapers and wake up to feed the baby in the middle of the night?

Yes! Most of the nights, anyway.  Some nights I’ll be tired.  But most of the nights I’ll help.  I need to practice for when I’m actually a mommy with my very-very own children.  Now that I think of it, I’ll never have my very-very own children, because I need a husband to have children, so they’ll be his too.  This baby will be yours, Daddy’s, and mine.  And my baby in the future will be mine and my husband’s.  So I’ll never have my very own baby.  It’ll still be mostly – like half – my baby.

Well, I can tell you from experience that sharing a baby with a husband is the best. It’s nothing to be sad about.

That’s good.  I didn’t say I was sad.  Just that I’ll never really have my very own baby.  So, now I really won’t worry about it at all.

Good call. Now tell me about things you enjoy doing.

I like riding bikes, and hanging out with Adeline, and going horseback riding, and camping.  I like it most times when I go to Memere and Grandpa’s congregation.  And I like jumping on the trampoline sometimes.  I like sleeping most times. I can’t think of other things.

What about cooking?

Oh, I love cooking! I totally forgot that!  (She is quite an able baker.  I enjoy being able to give her a recipe and letting her take care of the rest.  While she’s working on a recipe, she loves to pretend she’s on a cooking show. At some point, we’ll have to get some of that on video.) Wasn’t Kieryn cute when she was young?

Yes, random-girl.  (Apparently, she was looking at a picture behind me, so that wasn’t quite as random as I thought.)

Well, this is a birthday interview, so there are lots of random questions anyway.

Okay, so tell me a bit about school.

Oh, here comes the hard part.

Hard part?!

Yes.  We haven’t been doing school much lately.  (It’s true.  We’ve had the past three weeks off for Sukkot prep, Sukkot, and then Sukkot recovery.) But last time I liked writing and art.  I like reading Adam and His Kin, and doing special assignments that are fun.  I wish we did science though.  (Yeah, I need to work that subject in officially.  I’ve been counting random animal studies – like Wild Kratts – as science.)

Tell me some things you’ve been enjoying from your Bible reading lately.

Xander’s mom made up this game called Three Spies.

(I interrupt.) Does this have anything to do with Bible?


Okay, continue.

It’s about Rahab and the spies.  But were there two spies or three?

I thought maybe two.  But did she call it Three Spies or Two?

Three.  Anyway, you follow the Bible basically to play.  We used Legos – like a red Lego as the scarlet thread at the door of the Lodge.  We didn’t actually play it, but I think that’s what it was about.

Okay, so is that your favorite Bible story?

Well, not exactly.  It’s one of them.  I really like the one with David and Bathsheba, because he learned… It was kind of sad, but um… David learned something when he shouldn’t have committed adultery with Bathsheba.  The kind of good part was when they had a baby.  But I think the baby died, right?

The first baby did, but they ended up having…

Solomon (She answers with me)

Tell me about the prayer time you had with Daddy the other night.

Well, it started with Daddy praying for me for my dreams and stuff.  But my eye was hurting like when you get an eyelash in it. I kept pulling gently on my eyelashes to see if there were any loose ones, but it still kept hurting.  So, I told Daddy at the end of his prayer, and he prayed for me again.  This time, for my eye.  He prayed that God would heal my eye and give me more faith when He did heal it.  Towards the end of his prayer, my eye just stopped hurting. I told him afterwards, and he said, “That’s the kind of faith I’m talking about!”  We said goodnight, and then I fell asleep, I think.  That was probably the most recent miraculous thing that’s happened to me.

We get caught up in a conversation about the physical and spiritual parallels in life.  It was too involved to catch it all on here.  But I love being able to have adult-like conversations with this little girl.  She’s pretty cool!  When we finish, both of us are kind of worn out with the birthday interviews. But we’ll try to do them on time next year so that they’re spaced out a bit better. 🙂

Kieryn: 4 years old

Again, I am quite late getting this interview done.  I guess two and a half months late isn’t the end of the world.  She’s roughly the same girl now that she was on her actual birthday. 😛


So, how does it feel to be a 4 year old girl?

Like how I was three.

But you’re older now.  And taller, too.

And taller?  Well, I was tall when I was three.

But not as tall as you are now.

Yeah.  Can you do a birthday interview with some breakfast?

What do you mean? It’s almost dinner time.

(She puts on her whiny face and voice.  Madeline looks at her and chuckles, which causes Kieryn to declare angrily, “I’m SERIOUS!”  Then her baby brother comes over to reclaim his sock, which Kieryn had been playing with.  Kieryn then begins calling him “Socky-pants” and laughing.  I guess that little attitude-time is over.  We’ll just forget about the breakfast thing and try to move on.)

So, Kieryn, what are some of your favorite things?

What things, mom?

I don’t know, like what is your favorite thing to eat?

Um, waffles.  Now what?

What else do you like to eat?

Broccoli and ranch.  Pasta. Um, donuts, ice cream, and chocolate chips.  (There are real answers I was looking for.  This girl is a sugar-queen.  Thankfully for her health, we make only healthy treats, and those only on weekends.)

What is your favorite color?

Purple, yellow, and pink.

What is your favorite movie?

Turbo.  (She takes a quick bathroom break.  Now she’s ready to continue.)

What is your favorite thing God made?

Hmm.  Snow!


Yes, snow! You can make snow-castles. You can make bears, and snowmen.  You can pretend you’re making God and a person.  You can make everything!  You can draw a new baby, Madeline, and me.  Or a house.  Now what?

What is your favorite animal?

Animal? (She pauses to think…) The fastest animal in the world is (she pauses for effect)…. a…. cheetah.  (Madeline corrects her by saying that’s the fastest land animal.  The fastest animal is probably a peregrine falcon.  Kieryn is sticking with the cheetah, though.)

What is your favorite day of the week?


Why Wednesday?

A’cuz it can snow or something.  Or Aidan and Adeline can come or something.  Or the baby can come out or something.  (Interesting line of thinking…)

What is your favorite book?

The Dora book I use for school when Madeline does school with me.

Okay, well, what’s your favorite thing about Daddy?

Him working here. And playing with us.

What’s your favorite thing about Mommy?

Having a new baby.

What do you think this baby is going to be – a boy or a girl?

A girl.

Will you be sad if you have another brother?

No, then Simeon and the other baby can be twins.  (“Well, you have some big plans there,” says Madeline.)

What is your favorite thing about Madeline?

Giving me things.  (“Hey!” Madeline protests.)  Sorry, she already typed that. (She is such a spunky little girl.)

What is your favorite thing about Anson?

Sometimes he gives me things when he used to be a girl.  I’m joking!

So what’s something you like to do with Anson?

Play with him.

What kind of things do you like to play with your siblings?

Tag, Hide and Seek, I Spy.

What is your favorite thing about Simeon?

Playing with me.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

A mom.  (So sweet!)

Who is Yeshua?


What did he do for us when he was a man?

Die on the cross.

Why did he die on a cross?  Was he bad?

No, he just had to. (“He didn’t have to, Kieryn,” Madeline quickly corrects.  “He just chose to.”)

So, he chose to die to bear the punishment for our sins, right?

Yeah.  Can I go outside and play now?

Sure, baby.

And that concludes this girl’s first birthday interview.  She is a fun one to get to know, though her moods can change rather quickly.  We’re learning how to guide her through all that, which means we’re growing in the process too.  We love you, sweet girl!

Anson: 7 years old

I did the first version of this birthday interview shortly after Anson actually turned seven back in July.  But I was in first-trimester-land and felt pretty lack-luster about how it went.  So, I left it in hopes that I’d get back to it to add in some more fun details.  It took until now, but we finally finished it up satisfactorily.


So, Anson, tell me how it feels to be seven now.

AWESOME!  And Simeon is copying me.  I’m glad that you’re having a new baby.

Okay, random-fish.  Tell me a bit about your seven-year-old self.  What kind of things do you like?

Toy cars, Legos, and airplanes.  And I like car washes and balloons.  I got a balloon and a car wash for my birthday! I like states and countries too!  Maps… Hmm… What else?

How did you discover that you liked states and maps and stuff?

Well, a long time ago we did state worksheets for school. (We recently finished a year of American History/Geography.  Towards the end, he got hooked.)

What is your favorite state and why?


Tennessee?! I thought it was Alaska! 

Hmm..  I changed my mind.  My second is Alaska. (This boy was hooked on Alaska for weeks! He built paper versions of Alaska covered with cotton balls.  When he and Madeline made dessert for Shabbat, he lobbied to create an Alaska cake with whipped cream on top.  He even had plans to move to Alaska as an adult.  I’m actually glad to hear he’s lost some of that Alaska fervor.  It was just a few years ago that he promised me he’d live across the street from me when he grew up so that he could see me everyday.  With Tennessee as his favorite state, I can re-kindle that dream.)

So, then is geography your favorite subject in school?


Tell me a bit about how the rest of school is going for you.

I don’t really like it.


Because I like being outside and playing. Having to do math isn’t really fun.  But state worksheets are my favorite.  I like stuff like art.

Now you’re reading much better. That’s pretty fun, right?

It’s good that I’m reading better, and it’s fun reading when I have books like dog books or any animal books.

You’re still a big animal fan, aren’t you?

Yes I am! I really like animals.  That’s why I like to watch Wild Kratts.  They teach me about animals, and dad does too.

What’s your favorite animal now?

(Slaps his head and grimaces.) I don’t have one.


I like every animal! It’s hard to pick one that I like the best.  I have a different favorite animal every day. (Kieryn asks, “Well, what’s your favorite animal today?”) Cheetah.  (That’s been his long-time favorite.)

Mom, how about you ask me what’s my favorite color or favorite movie?

Okay, what’s your favorite color?

Well, it’s the same as my favorite animal.  It’s different every day.

Well, what about today?


What about your favorite movie?


What about your favorite meal?

Probably chicken salad sandwiches with apple juice.  (When I first asked this question to him back in July he said, “Pancakes.  Probably pancakes.”)

What about your favorite day of the week?

Definitely the seventh day.

What about your favorite Bible story?

The one where David fought Goliath.  My second favorite is the story of creation.

What’s your favorite story about Yeshua?

Well, the story of creation is about Yeshua. (He makes a great point. But I’m interested in how he’ll clarify that.)

How is it about Yeshua?

Because Yahweh made the heavens and the earth. (He goes on to quote the rest of Genesis 1:1 then says…)  It’s all about Yeshua.  (Well, it’s not very specific, but I still agree.)

Okay, so what do you want to be when you grow up?

Can it be something that I made up?


I want to be a vet.  (Back in July he said, “Somebody who drives and looks out for animals. Not wild animals.  Lost pets.”)

Okay. What else, monkey?

I’m not really a monkey.

Yes, I’m aware of that fact. But you’re our family monkey.

No, I’m not. I am a crocodile!

Hmm…Why a crocodile?

I’m trying to think… Because I like crocodiles! (Madeline says that’s not a very solid answer.  Anson gives a frustrated sigh in response.)

Since we’re quite a bit behind with the birthday interviews this year, we’re going to go ahead and close this one out now.  We’re so happy to have this boy in our family.  You are maturing in great ways.  We love you, Anson!

Madeline: 8 years old

We did this birthday interview a little differently.  Erich did the interviewing this time and videotaped the whole thing.  We’ll have the unabridged video interview available for viewing in a few days. 


Madeline, how old are you?


How old do you want to be?

(She’s confused.  And for good reason.  Daddy isn’t your traditional interviewer.) Well, I want to be … eight!

What are you most excited about over the next year of your life when you’re eight years old?

Hmm…That’s a tough one. It has to be …. it has to be my next birthday.

So the thing that excites you most about being eight is turning nine?

(Giggles) No!

If your brother were an animal…(Erich pauses either for effect or to figure out exactly where he’s going with this question. Anson takes advantage of the moment and says, “I would attack you!” Erich continues.)…What kind of animal would he be?

He would be a pig! A pink pig! (Anson laughs and elbows her. “I’m not pink! And I’m not a pig!” Meanwhile, I’m beginning to regret having relinquished the questioning job to Erich :-P)

Anson, if your sister were an animal what type of animal would she be?

A hippo, because they spray their poo.  Remember, Madeline? (Madeline: “That was dirt, Anson!  That was dirt!”)

Okay, enough poo talk… Kieryn, if your sister were any kind of animal, what kind of animal would she be?


A pin?

Uh huh. (Anson: You mean a pig, Kieryn?) Yes. (A bit more three year old silliness ensues, and then probably the family highlight of the night. Once the full, unabridged video interview is posted, you may want to consider checking out the interaction between Kieryn and Anson that happens around 4:45. It’s classic! But for now, back to the interview…)

What is your favorite subject in school?

It has to be history.

History is fun. What in history that you’ve learned has been most exciting this year?

It should probably be… Well… The Indians and the Pilgrims.

Did you learn about a particular Indian?

Squanto. And I learned about Leif Ericcson, and Vikings, and Captain John Smith, and Christopher Colombus.

Very nice! What year did Christopher Columbus sail to America?

(Silence) Umm…

Would you like a hint?


Columbus sailed the ocean blue in…

Anson: 1492!

Petsible, (Erich’s nickname for Anson) is stealing the show! Alright, so here’s another question for you: What is your least favorite subject in school?

That is definitely math.  It is hard and I do not like it one bit. (I think she’s exaggerating a bit here.  There was a point where she found math to be hard and didn’t like it one bit, but lately, she’s been doing really well.)

Well, there you have it. You all have been doing Bible time.  Is there a particular Bible story that you’ve really liked lately?

Kieryn: Gen-sis!

Who is Janice?

(Madeline translates: Genesis. Then she proceeds to answer.) I like the Bible story about Solomon.  Yahweh gave him the wisdom and he chose which woman the baby belonged to.  It’s my favorite so far.  And Judges and Ruth and Esther I like a lot.

What about the New Testament? Is there anything in the New Testament you enjoy?


Just the whole book?

The one where He says, “I am the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it on a basket.  Instead, they put it on a stand and it gives light to everyone in the house.” (Actually, Yeshua says, “YOU are the light of the world.” But I’m impressed that she still remembers this one.  We memorized it over a year ago and haven’t recited it in a while.)

And the one in Luke where Yeshua is born.


What do you want to be when you grow up?

Well, I want to be particularly two things, author and artist, so I can write and illustrate my own books.

That’s a fantastic idea!

I think I’m already growing up to be both.

You’re already a very good artist, and you’re already a very good writer, so you’re well on your way! (She smiles. And she really is a great artist and author.  She has already started writing about five different books. We just need to work on her follow-through. The stories start out great, then just dangle unfinished because a new idea comes along.) What about a chef? (That has been high on her list in the past.)

Yeah, that one too! Actually, I’d rather be more of a baker than a chef.  You never know! I particularly want Yahweh to choose, but if He lets me choose, I’d choose one of those.  But I think the author and artist might win in the end.

Do you have a favorite song?

Is that a trick question?

No, it’s not.

You mean like a kids’ song?

Any song.

Well, I have a lot of favorite songs. The train one and the other one.  And the one you were playing when you put the CD in the van. When you guys were working on the roof.  All the songs from that guy that sang.  (She’s referring to John Mayer.) I think that guy was my favorite singer.  And then there’s the Solomon one. (She proceeds to sing, “Make me wise. Make me wise. Let me see through this world’s lies.”) That one is the one I like, too.

Is there anything else you’d like to add, baby?

I think Adeline and I are going to start a book club where we write our own books and present them next time we see each other.

Did you know that usually a book club is where you read other people’s books and then talk about them?

I know, but this one’s different.

Fair enough.

And I think Aidan should be the president because he’s oldest.

And do you have anything else to add?

Yes. This has been a fantastic birthday and I’m glad that I was even born. I’ll tell you three people you should thank: Yahweh, Yeshua, my dad, and my mom. That’s all for this birthday interview!

We, too, are glad this amazing little girl was born. What a magnificent gift she has been to our family these last eight years! May our heavenly Father bless and keep this precious one so that she does mighty things for His kingdom.

Anson: 6 Years Old

I am posting this just over one month after Anson’s birthday.  But the photo below was taken on his birthday weekend, and the interview itself was done just a couple of weeks after his birthday.  (Just so I don’t seem quite so negligent in my record-keeping. :-P)


So, you’re 6 now, buddy! How do you feel?

Hmm.. I don’t know.

Hm.  That wasn’t very exciting. Tell me about you’re favorite animal.

I like lots of animals, so I don’t have a favorite.

Well, tell me about a few that you like.

Peregrine falcons. Gharial crocodiles.

Gar-i-what? (I had to Google it to get the right spelling.)

Gharial.  It’s a type of crocodile.

Okay, you’re the animal expert.  What other animals do you like?


You recently got a cheetah cub as a pet, right? (An overpriced, but cute, stuffed animal Memere bought him from the zoo. I dare not refer to him as a stuffed animal aloud, or I’ll get a speech about him being a real cheetah cub.) What’s his name?

Chirpster. He’s really fast.

Anson with Chirpster, Lioney, and Bane
Anson with Chirpster, Lioney, and Bane

You also got a couple of other animals for your birthday.  Tell me about them.

George! And Curious George!  They’re twins.  They’re really good swingers. Did I get any other ones on my birthday?

No, I don’t think you got any other animals.

Oh! I didn’t get any more animals, but I got my fire truck.  The Lego fire truck that Memere bought me.

You like doing Legos?

Uh-huh.  It’s fun to build, and it’s fun to fix them if they break. (I’m thankful for this attitude, as Kieryn has proven to be pretty adept at accidently breaking his Lego creations.)

What about the Bible?

I have three favorite kings: Solomon, Saul, and David.  Of course, Kieryn has David as her favorite. (Yes, I’m sure we’ll hit that when we do Kieryn’s belated birthday interview…)

What do you like about those kings?

I don’t really know. Solomon is wise.  That’s one thing.  (Madeline tells Anson that Solomon was wise.  Anson is surprised that Solomon isn’t alive now.  Madeline is incredulous that he’d even think such a thing.)

Is there something you’d like to talk about?

Clicks his tongue.  (Madeline: That helps you think?  Anson: Well, it could help me think.)

What would you like to be when you grow up?

I want to be lots of stuff.  I don’t know which one to pick.

Like what?

A racecar driver, a go-cart driver… (Madeline: Actually, they’re the same thing.  Anson: No, a racecar is bigger and more dangerous than a go-cart.)

Anything else?

Police! After that, a fireman.  I’d like to be that too. I want to be a regular person too. (For some reason, I didn’t ask for clarification on what he meant by this.  Now that I’m going over it, I wish I had…)

What’s your favorite color?

I have two. Blue and green.

Why those two colors?

Well, Chris wears green, and Martin wears blue.

And they are the Kratt brothers, right?

Or you could say the Wild Kratts. They go after animals and help them. And they learn about them. They go on missions.

That show is one of the reasons you know so much about animals, isn’t it?

Well, yeah.

Do you have a favorite Wild Kratts episode?

I’ll tell you my favorite one now, but there might be more episodes coming.


I have lots.  Maybe like ten.  Is that okay?


The first one is… Well, the gray squirrel one. It’s when Martin says that the blue jay helps the squirrel plant the whole forest. But Chris says only the squirrel plants the whole forest.  They didn’t get to see who was right, so they just called it a tie.  My other one is the …

(Madeline and Anson proceed to recount several episodes which leads them to laugh and share all kinds of inside Wild Kratt jokes I’m not privy to. After a minute or two, we try to get back to the interview.  Anson asks me not to type what he’s about to say.  He’s done that several times already so far. He suggests that I ask him about his favorite movie.)

Okay, what’s your favorite movie?

It has to be the Incredibles. Could you put Jack-Jack attack on there too?

Yes, but you know that mom and dad were not a huge fan of the baby turning into strange things, right?

I know, like the monster part.  I know they do make it really funny though.  I just like it.

Do you remember what daddy talked to everyone about after we watched it this weekend? (We spent a while talking about all of the bad examples of behavior we saw in the movie: the dad lying to the mom, the siblings having terrible attitudes with each other, etc.  And we talked about how dangerous it is that the people who make the movie make these bad behaviors seem funny. Even though we own many great, family films, some sneak in here and there that have subtle but dangerous negative influences. We decided we would be taking a break from our weekly movie night. When we resume, we’re going back to the safe, edifying ones we have.)

Yes, mom, I do.  But I just like it.  But it’s not my favorite.

You just said it was your favorite.

Is it okay if that’s my favorite movie?

I suppose, buddy.  But we’re not going to be watching it again any time soon. Why don’t you tell me about school?

My math is easy.

What kind of math stuff are you doing?

(He doesn’t answer right away, so Madeline whispers, “Addition.” Anson is reminded of Fiddler on the Roof, raises his arm, and sings, “TRADITION!” They get distracted again and begin giggling about something. I wish I had a video camera handy to capture them laughing at each other.  It’s such a fun thing to hear. I let them enjoy the moment and take the opportunity to go back and do some editing to this post.  By the time I’m ready to get back on track, Madeline is reading a chapter of Wise Words to Anson.  It’s late anyway, and we all should be going to bed. So, that concludes this year’s birthday interview.)

Before I wrap up, I do want to add that we’ve seen a lot of good fruit from Anson this year.  He has grown tremendously in self-control. He is practicing patience and kindness, especially with his little sister, Kieryn, who wants to do everything with her big siblings but who often gets in the way and slows them down.

He has also grown in his presentation skills.  In the past, he has been too shy to sing songs with other kids or recite passages of scripture.  But the other night when everyone was over bringing in the Sabbath, Anson recited his memory verse of the week (along with the scripture reference):

I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness
but will have the light of life.
– John 8:12

His daddy and I were so proud.