As the name of my blog indicates, I spend a lot of time thinking about home. Of course, my Heavenly Home is the one that is eternal, so that’s where I need to lay up my treasures, and that’s the one I’m striving for. But in the meantime, I have been given this tiny piece of the here-and-now—this home on the edge of town, this family, this neighborhood—in which to serve Him. And, though this is in the earthly realm, I want the things that happen here to be investments in the Heavenly realm.

Friday, January 17, 2014


Of my four children, two have loved math, and two loathed it with every fiber of their being. One of the loathers was thrilled to stumble across "Arithmetic" in which poet Carl Sandburg seems to share an aversion to math.  

This morning as Bekah was doing her math lesson (she is not one of the loathers), she came across a word problem that reminded her of the poem.  

"What number is equal to all your fingers plus half your toes, minus your knees and elbows?"

 So we had to reread the poem and share a laugh together.

by Carl Sandburg

Arithmetic is where numbers fly like pigeons in and out of your head.
Arithmetic tells you how many you lose or win if you know how many you had before you               lost or won. 
Arithmetic is seven eleven all good children go to heaven -- or five six bundle of sticks.
Arithmetic is numbers you squeeze from your head to your hand to your pencil to your
        paper till you get the answer.
Arithmetic is where the answer is right and everything is nice and you can look out of the 
       window and see the blue sky -- or the answer is wrong and you have to start all over 
       and try again and see how it comes out this time.
If you take a number and double it and double it again and then double it a few more times,            the number gets bigger and bigger and goes higher and higher and only arithmetic 
         can tell you what the number is when you decide to quit doubling.
Arithmetic is where you have to multiply -- and you carry the multiplication table in your
         head and hope you won't lose it.
If you have two animal crackers, one good and one bad, and you eat one and a striped zebra
        with streaks all over him eats the other, how many animal crackers will you have if
        somebody offers you five six seven and you say No no no and you say Nay nay nay and 
        you say Nix nix nix?
If you ask your mother for one fried egg for breakfast and she gives you two fried eggs and
         you eat both of them, who is better in arithmetic, you or your mother?

I am not a loather, but this poem makes me laugh every time!


  1. Oh I am a loathed! I loathe, abhor, despise and just plain hate it! I failed geometry in sophomore year, and worried if I would even graduate high school! Then, ironically I spent 30 years of my life working in............a bank! Go figure! lol. xo

  2. LOVED this post, but I am a definite LOATHER....Just never could bear it, haha, and I am no better today. Figuring out the math that is involved sometimes in my quilting is my most hated part, lol. Enjoy your week-end!

  3. I am sorry to say that so far ALL of my children loathe any kind of math (and their mom and dad are not too keen on it either). This is despite the fact that my father-in-law is an accountant and my mother taught math for many years. We all can identify with Mr. Sandburg:)

  4. I used to be a loather who has come to enjoy math as an adult. I used to love poetry and am no longer a great fan, but I do think this is funny.

  5. Math is sure fun. How the numbers play. I think I came to appreciate it more when I homeschooled but I've always enjoyed it. Fun post and great poem!!

  6. I'm ambivalent, neither a loather nor a lover, although I probably tend more to the loather side.
    Fun post.

  7. I had to read this poem to the family tonight because we were having trouble counting our cards while playing Crazy 8's! Our first inkling that we had a math loather was when a Saxon math problem said "42 red ones washed ashore. Then 26 blue ones washed ashore. How many washed ashore altogether?" Daughter had a total meltdown because she didn't know WHAT washed ashore!


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