“The Little Condo on the Prairie” (Sept. 19)

Both home school and football make their debut in this week’s “Little Condo”:

Although Michael is a very good student, and is usually very self-motivated, sometimes he and Cheryl go ’round and ’round in their homeschooling. Here are some episodes I have overheard from the other room:

LITERAL INTERPRETATION
One day, Michael’s Algebra assignment was to “factor out” the variable (in this case, an “x”). When Cheryl went to check his paper, she found that he indeed did “factor it out.” He erased it. Yes, he literally ERASED the “x” out of the equation! I suppose that’s one way to deal with it. He’s a literalist for sure — that’s not bad in some ways, just not in Algebra!

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NO FLATTERING ZONE
Michael, doing his math homework: “Mom, I think you look a lot skinnier.”
Cheryl: “Thanks, but you still have to do those last 3 problems!”

DOES NOT COMPUTE
Cheryl was trying to explain a complicated Geometry problem to Michael one day.
He interrupted her in a monotone “computer voice”: “Error … buffering … images not loading … please try again.”

(I have noticed, by the way, that all of these “difficulties” had to do with math. Ah, wouldn’t life be easier without it? 🙂 No, it really wouldn’t. As Cheryl insists, math is a gift from God to us — and its truths are proof of His order in creation. Like all good things, sometimes it involves a struggle. But then on the other hand — there’s football! “The Little Condo on the Prairie” was really ready for football season:

A LITTLE JOY
Me: “Hey, look! College football starts in 10 days!”
Cheryl, excitedly: “You mean like a week from 3 days from now?!”
Me: “Yep, a week from Thursday!”
Paul: “Doesn’t that just fill you with joy?”
Cheryl: “YES! Not like eternal, everlasting joy …”
I retorted: “Yeah, just like temporal, earthly joy … like ‘when their grain and new wine abound’.” (Psalm 4:7) 😉

FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE?
Cheryl, watching a football player writhe on the field on tv: “I wish I could run out there and say, ‘Listen, I’ve had a baby, let me tell you what to do ….’.”

ATTENTION DEFICIT
Cheryl: “That was an easy touchdown.”
Me: “Oh, I missed it; I was watching the other tv.”
Cheryl: “There was a commercial on the other tv!”
Me: “It was a good commercial!”

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OLD NEWS
Me: “Hey, West Virginia won.”
Paul: “I already TOLD you that! I said, ‘Hey, West Virginia won.'”
Cheryl, to Paul: “Welcome to my world.”

Speaking of football, our family went to the OU/Tulsa game last Saturday, and look what we saw on the big screen at Owen Field: this picture of our granddaughter Corley Jane! Libby had sent it in the previous week:

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But life in the “Little Condo” is more than just school and football:

CONVERSATION KILLER
On the way home from the gym one night, Cheryl, Paul, Michael & I were having a great conversation. Suddenly Cheryl says: “Not to introduce a boring subject, but these vacuum cleaner tools …” Needless to say, everyone groaned!

DARE TO DISCIPLINE?
Monday afternoon I went to swim a few laps in the pool before lunch. When I arrived at the pool, there were a couple little kids in the pool, with a “grandma” type watching. I remember thinking that she looked worried when I got in the pool. I thought to myself, “She doesn’t need to worry about me.” Little did I realize that she wasn’t worried about what I would do to her kids, but what they would do to ME!
I began swimming some laps, and as I passed by the part of the pool where the little boy was, I was almost sure he spit water on me. I thought, “Surely not …” and kept on going. On the next lap, the same thing happened. The third time, I was swimming with my head underwater when I went by him, but from under the water it felt again like he spat water at me.
When I finished the lap, at the end of the pool where the little boy also was, I stood straight up to see what was going on. He looked right at me — and promptly spat a whole mouthful of water all over me! His grandmother, who obviously had no control over him, had been imploring him to come out of the pool. He wasn’t going anywhere. I decided that someone needed to do something about this little terror, so I looked him right in the eye and said: “DON’T do that! That is so rude! And don’t you ever do that to anyone again.”
He looked at me with what appeared to be an odd combination of shock and respect, but he also decided that he would now like to join his grandmother outside the pool. As he was climbing out, I added: “You ought to get a good spanking for that!”
I figure that when he got home, he probably asked his grandmother what a “spanking” was … :-/

UP AND DOWN
Cheryl: “Hey someone addressed Shawn as ‘Pastor Shawn Thomas’, that’s neat.”
Paul: “He’s not a pastor!”
Cheryl: “Well he was!”
Paul: “Well, he isn’t now!”
Cheryl: “Hey, what happened to your ‘high on life’ attitude?”
Paul: “That was the other day!”

PERSPECTIVE
One day recently, while Cheryl & I were taking our morning walk, I was complaining about how sore I was from weight lifting and running the previous evening. Cheryl said, “Do you need to lay down on the grass?” There was a story behind that remark, which recalled a very particular memory:
Last year, when I was suffering greatly from POTS symptoms in Louisiana, I tried to get out and walk a little. Cheryl went with me. But unfortunately, I was only able to go about a quarter of a mile before I started getting very sick. There was only one thing that would help: I had to lay down, immediately. So I just sprawled out on the grass in one of our neighbors’ yards, and lay there on my back for about 10 minutes, until I was well enough to limp the rest of the way home.
SO … when Cheryl asked me this week if I needed to lay down in the grass, it brought back all those memories of how sick I had once been — and how far the Lord has brought me since in such a short time. It made me feel a lot better about being sore from lifting weights, running, and finishing my 4 miles of walking that morning! I am very thankful!

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About Shawn Thomas

My blog, shawnethomas.com, provides brief devotions from own personal daily Bible reading, as well as some of my sermons, book reviews, and family life experiences.
This entry was posted in Home & Family Life, This Week In Paradise (pastors family blog) and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to “The Little Condo on the Prairie” (Sept. 19)

  1. Kathy Powell says:

    I love your stories and miss you;ll. Glad you are feeling better.

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