Cannibalism Again

There is something in the way I am raising my boys that is beginning to concern me. Somehow, I am creating a breeding ground for deep thoughts about cannibalism. If you have been a long time reader of theMangoTimes, you know that my first round of raising boys created this previous discussion (yes, go read it and come back).

That was ten years ago. Now, with my second set of Mangoboys, it seems like we are treading again on familiar territory. I snapped this photo to remember the setting for my recent discussion with Christian (Mangoboy #5). Yes, this is the same boy from the Real Calvin Podcast.

Christian: "Hey Dad, our brains are pretty cool."
Me: "Yes, I agree. We have pretty cool brains."
Christian: "Did you know that if you tried to eat your own finger, your brain will stop you from eating yourself."
Me: "That seems like a VERY cool function of our brains."
Christian: "Yeah, no matter how much you want to do it...your brain won't let you."
Me: "Our brains are smart that way."

(A few seconds pass and then I hear the following from the back seat).

Christian: "Eat your thumb...Eat your thumb...Eat your thumb."

(I didn't have to look back, I knew exactly what was going on)

Christian: "Yup. No matter how hard I try, my brain won't let me eat my thumb. That's cool."

I love my boys. In all of their creativity, energy and challenges, they just make my life better.

Quietly making noise,
Fletch

 

Man...That's a Lot of Kids!

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The Saturday Morning Crew

On Saturday, the ladies from our church hosted a "Homeschool Mom Encouragement Day."  It was complete with fun discussions/seminars about homeschooling, a curriculum swap, a great catered lunch, free lattes at mid-morning, and just a bunch of good fellowship with other moms.  The intent of the day was to encourage newer homeschooling moms by having seasoned moms share their joys, trials, struggles and successes (without having to feed kids/husbands for the day). 

My best friend Eric (

I've mentioned him before

) and I helped our wives to get the church set-up and ready for the event with the famous "conquer and divide" technique.  Early Saturday morning he drove over with the big boys to get tables up and sound/lights turned on, while I stayed home with the younger kids to feed them breakfast and watch reruns of Columbo.

Do the math with me here...we have 14 children between us...he took the top two boys...that left 12 (but the baby goes everywhere with mom, so that actually left 11) between the ages of twelve and one.  The photo at the top are all of them waiting to eat breakfast...and the photo at the bottom is how I chose to feed the hungry mob.

Had you told me sixteen years ago that I would be feeding breakfast on a Saturday morning to nearly a dozen kids, I probably would have laughed (or ran away...).  I also understand that caring and feeding for a herd of kids is not the highlight for most men's Saturday morning...but in and amongst the donut swapping, juice spilling and funny discussions around our kitchen table, I clearly recognized God's calling on my life.

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Nothing fancy - donuts, fruit, Sunny D

P.s.  Ek and Smidge...please watch what you eat and continue to take care of yourselves...I am not ready to do this every Saturday yet...

Quietly making noise,

Fletch

At the End of the Day

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"Tired Boys"

Last night I was able to share a few minutes with Christian (between his late night meal and his bedtime).  I realize that I am rarely on this side of the camera lens here, so sitting in my office with my MacbookPro (favorite all time computer) sitting in front of us, we snapped a few pictures as we were falling asleep together...

Quietly making noise,

Fletch

Father's Day - the Fresh Maker!

On Father's day this year, I was treated to the great Diet Coke with Mentos experiment. (If you don't know what I mean, google it and watch the videos).

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"Houston...we have liftoff"

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"Notice how Nate is projecting it toward Jack.

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"...Also note how Hayden has left the scene"

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"Jack with a mouthfull of used Mentos and Diet Coke...mmm...yum"

Quietly making noise,

Fletch

Day With Dad

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"Coke in a bottle, Hecho en Mexico"

King Solomon, writing to his son:

"When I was my father's son, tender and the only one in the sight of my mother, he also taught me, and said to me: "Let your heart retain my words; keep my commands, and live."

My two oldest boys went away this weekend with their grandfather and uncle to see an antique tractor show.  That left the two little mangoboys home with me and since the newest is still tied to mom for feeding, I took the 9yr old out for a haircut.  We shared a few laughs and a "Coke in a bottle" while watching a few trains roll through our small country town here in the middle of the San Joaquin valley.

Since I am often in the "dad-to-many" role, I love these times when I have just one of the mangokids with me.  It gives them a few hours of dad's attention and it allows me a little "Solomon time" to probe a little deeper to find out what's going on in their lives and provide some more specific shepherding of their hearts.  It also provides an opportunity to surprise them with a treat and to remind them that they are unique and special to me.  It takes time, it takes commitment, but I can almost see their little lives fill-up as we spend the time together.  Kendra can tell a difference too - often on the other side of the coin, when she encourages me to take one out for some needed shepherding or one-on-one time!

And, for the cost of the coke and few hours of time, it's cheap therapy for a weary dad as well!

Quietly making noise,

Fletch