He Writes

My eleven year old son who breaks my heart daily telling me he hates reading (who can hate reading???) —my son who breaks my heart when he tells me he doesn’t want to write a short story

was forced today to start a short story.

Yes. I forced him.

And I read these two passages and my heart swelled (like almost out of my chest.)

My name is Jack S. Walton.  I was in the U.S. Navy. Someone called professor Johnson asked me to do some underwater research. Who was I to deny?

and this

When I came aboard he greeted me and said, “Hello Jack. Our destination is the gulf of Mexico or somewhere near it.”

My heart swelled and tears welled up in my eyes because he can tell me he hates writing–but the kid has got voice down and I didn’t teach him voice.

and that makes my soul sing.

The Mitchell-Hedges Crystal Skull

Not the skulls over the pond that have been deemed fake, but the Mitchell-Hedges skull. The one that is two pieces (movable jaw, just like a real skull) made from one stone. The one that Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was inspired by. This thing is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen (and touched.)

Oh sure, there’s controversy. So what?

Zane and I went to see the Indiana Jones movie in the morning–we had the entire theater to ourselves. Zane thought he was pretty damn special. After, Zane put on his “Indiana Jones” hat and tied a piece of leather to his belt loop and whipped his whip all day long. Then we headed to a nearby city where the heir of the skull, Bill Homann, was giving a free talk and viewing of the skull.

The sun was setting, coming through a window and illuminating the skull while we watched a short presentation. The photo here isn’t the best quality because I had to zoom, but I love the way it came out.

I touched the skull but I don’t think I was supposed to. Bill Homann said, “Oh. oh. Oh. No. don’t touch it!” Zane followed the rules.Now how cool is it to see the movie and then see the REAL skull? I hope this is one of those things Zane never forgets!

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Last night Zane said, “Why is there still a Christmas Tree in our living room?”

“Because I haven’t taken it down yet.”

“Because you’re lazy.”

“Oh really?


“You really think that?”

“Yes. The only work you do is on the computer with your fingers.”

“Oh. Really now.”

“Daddy does physical work all day long. You just use your fingers. That’s lazy.”

“I see. So you don’t think my brain is engaged when I’m writing my stories?”

“Okay. You use your brain and your fingers. How hard is that?”


Guess who’s scrapping the current homeschool schedule? And guess who will be writing short stories for, oh, maybe a month?

And Zane will quite possibly have to stick by my side for a week and do all the things he doesn’t see me doing. Laundry. Dishes. Toilets. Sinks. Cooking.

Oh the joys of homeschooling!

To be fair, he’s got a point about the Christmas tree. I don’t think it’s laziness as much as avoidance. I just don’t want to do it so I keep doing other stuff. I don’t want to do it because it is so very tall and I am so very short. It is overwhelming and I have been letting that eat away at me.

Day One and Two

I have company!! One of my Misfit critique partnersJen Tiszai is here visiting with her kids! They’ve never seen snow and luckily, our property is so wooded that there was still enough for the kids to enjoy!

Friday afternoon, Zane and I picked them up at the Gary Airport, which was really nice. I don’t really like going to the big airports if I don’t have to. We headed straight for the nearest MickeyD’s playplace, the kids really needed to run! Jen and I, of course, talked. Which I don’t think we’ve stopped doing since she got here.

Then to Starbucks. (Did ya really think we’d pass that up?)

Then to my house. Phil came home from work bearing gifts for all. A bouquet of flowers for Jen and Sissy, a brand-spanking new light saber for Calvin, a single rose for me, and two Star Wars Galatic Hereos for Zane.

The oddities heard from Mich’s living room ranged from “You must die” to “should we cut his hand off?” (Sissy caught this great moment on camera)

So, we’ve lived in this house going on four years and my box with wine glasses is still not unpacked. I drink out of this dusty pink colored one sent to me “free” by Harlequin. Well. They said I could keep the glass, so I did. However that presented a challenge when trying to serve my guest the house wine–y’know the box wine you guys make fun of me for drinking? Seems I have an ally now. The packaging process gives this wine a flavor that is truly delicious. Even Jen, the wine snob, said so.

Anyway, do you like her glass? She requested it. Maybe she’ll write horror with me after all…

First thing Saturday morning, the kids were outside in the snow! Here’s Sissy trying to build her snowman.

See Jen’s blog for Calvin’s “shoes are optional” photo. He gets along with Phil, who also goes into the snow barefooted. Must be a man thing.

Jen wanted to see all of our property, so we went for a walk. Calvin found a “dinosaur bone” It appeared to be a piece of spinal cord from an *ahem* extinct creature. Calvin, efficient child that he is, promptly made it into a snow cone. Uhm. Yes. We looked over and caught him scooping snow up with the bone and eating it out of his treasure.

Molly decided she needed to cool off in the murky waters of the forest. Of course, that also meant she needed a bath upon our return home from the journey.

A little more light saber action from our Jedi.

Poor Chuck’s wiped out. Looks like he’s growling, but he’s falling asleep. That snarl is actually his normal look. Poor dog’s lip gets stuck like that all the time.

And of course, the day wouldn’t be complete without Phil being horny.

My Little Ripper

Yesterday we had our driveway plowed into a hill for sledding. I was reliving my childhood and wanted Zane to experience some of the best memories I have of growing up. My dad used to have a snowplow on his truck and winters were way more snowy than they have been lately. I remember dressing up in my snowsuit and going with him. He’d drive up and down the streets of our city, people would run out of their houses waving money and flagging him to their snowed-in houses. He’d plow, my brother and I would shovel. We had a blast!

Our house was the epicenter for all things fun in the winter. Dad would pile up snow with the plow as high as our house then shovel steps into the hill. He’s smooth out the other side of the hill and sometimes pour water down the smooth side for that extra speed. All the kids in the neighborhood would converge at our house and we’d be out there for endless hours.

With the piles of snow Dad would plow at neighbor’s houses, we’d tunnel out forts and stock them with piles of snowball ammunition. We’d then embark upon the biggest snowball fight of the winter. Every winter things got better and more elaborate.

Phil, Zane and I played out in the snow yesterday and made some of those memories. One that stands out for me is depicted in this picture. Zane yelled out, “Mom! Look at me! I’m going to snowboard down!!”

Phil and I looked at each other with eyes bugged out. Phil said, “Well. I didn’t know he had it in him.”

“Neither did I.”

But he did. All I could think of was my high school bud, Eric Grusak. This is the Eric I remember hanging out with. Totally Punk, but one of the best guys ever. He was always so sure of himself and more than that, he could motivate you and help you to believe you could do it. Do what? Whatever. It didn’t’ matter.

I remember games of tackle football where the guys were always content to let me be quarterback, a few of them liked my spirals so well, they pleaded with me to join the team. I would have, but the school wouldn’t let me. (figures) I also remember building floats for the Homecoming parades. Some days, no one showed up except Eric, Stanley and I. But the three of us got things done.

I ran into Eric on MySpace a bit ago. We’ve been emailing, I found out he’s a professional snowboarder now! So yesterday, when Zane, without prompting, decided he was going to snowboard, I thought of Eric.I dropped Eric a line and found out over the weekend he scored BIG! He’s now the National Divisional Champion for overall freestyle! Wow. Can you imagine? Congrats Eric!!! Here’s what the National Divisional Champ had to say about Zane, “That’s AWESOME. He’s got great form.if he wants a real snowboard,just let me know. Flow makes snowboards that would fit your little ripper.”

My adrenaline is pumping thinking of Zane as a professional snowboarder. Makes me want to train so I can get out there!

Funny how we never know what God is going go put in our path and even more fun is how these things come to pass. I have no clue what the future holds for Zane, but I know that I’m excited to find out.

Here’s some more pictures of Eric. Here, here and here.