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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

A Day in the Life of Guy Penrod

By Guy Penrod
June 20, 2010

Guy Penrod spent 14 years with the Gaither Vocal Band and recently released his solo debut CD, Breathe Deep.

A day at our house starts with the smell of coffee in the kitchen and the sound of my wife, Angie, and me in Amish willow rocking chairs, praying and talking in the day. Some mornings we have to hurry, knowing that at any moment we may be besieged on all sides by loving morning hugs and kisses, forcing us to get breakfast on the table. 

A joyful noise
A typical weekday consists of morning chores before breakfast, followed by Bible and music, usually taught by me. A few years ago, our family watched The Music Man. When the barbershop quartet broke into harmonies with the “ice cream” song, the boys all picked a part and imitated what they heard. In doing so, the four oldest experienced the fun of four-part harmony and the challenge of holding their own part. 

Now our kids range in age from 4 to 18, and we try to sing every day before they all break off into their own schedules. It’s not terribly structured, but we do try to expose them to a variety of music, including the old hymns of the church. We also have a voice and piano teacher who teaches them theory and sight-reading.

When my mom passed away in 2007, her home on our farm sat empty for a while until the kids talked me into buying them a set of drums, a bass and a guitar. Thankfully her house is far enough down the driveway that we don’t hear all the loud rehearsing!

Hitting the books
Following Bible and music, they head off down our gravel driveway to the schoolhouse in the valley for a full day with Angie. The guys play basketball and football and have drama, art, PE, and many other opportunities with our weekly homeschool co-op, which involves about 50 other families.

At the table
All 10 of us try to gather three times a day for meals around the family table. It’s a tight fit, and the kids bicker over whose turn it is to sit by me … imagine that! We prioritize mealtime and try to make deliberate, meaningful conversation. I sometimes laugh with Angie, right there in the middle of it all, saying, “Look at all the people! Where did they come from?” 

We fight for common ground, and we fight to stay connected with our kids as they grow up and develop their own personalities and ideas of the world. We try constantly, at mealtime, to calm and manage the blissful chaos so as to create warm memories at the family table. It’s a challenge, but we believe well worth the effort.

In perspective
We often get funny looks when people find out we have eight kids (seven sons and one daughter, who is the baby) and homeschool them all. It is challenging, but we do believe that children are our inheritance from God and we want a lot of inheritance. What can I say? It’s also really cool to be a built-in party. Everyone’s got a playmate or two … or three, or four.

With regard to imparting spiritual truths to our kids, I believe it is a matter of living transparently within our family unit. It is in watching Angie and me succeed and fail — and our constant reliance on the truths found in the Bible to deal with those successes and failures — that the most important truths are imparted. They seem to learn more from what we do than from what we say. All of life is a classroom.

Like most parents I know, some of our most meaningful times are watching our children enjoying themselves and those around them. They see things with a more carefree attitude; they create and play and smile easily. It’s refreshing and therapeutic to just sit and watch them.

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