Thursday, January 19, 2012

I love 6-year olds

And especially these ones:).

When children are in certain phases I think we all stop and say, "what a cool stage of life!" Even amid the intense moments, there are so many 'wow' moments that make it all worth it.

We had one of these tonight. Wes' teacher has requested the kids learn to tie their shoes. I'll admit I didn't really take heed because Wes' shoes are velcro strapped. I figured we'd do it sooner or later. Well sooner (and later) came tonight. Wes is a very responsible child and so he was in a bit of a panic when he remembered they were practicing tying shoes in class tomorrow.

So we pulled out his shoes that have laces and within 2 minutes (and me reminding him there's no whining, giving up, saying I can't, etc.) he had it. Then Kate races around the corner and says, "I wanna try." And another minute later and she had it too. Who knew how rewarding and fulfilling tying shoes could be ... not to mention watching the mysteries of the world peel back layer by layer to them every day. I love being a mom.

Just a side note ... Wes read an entire scripture verse by himself tonight, with if I remember correctly, no prompting other than 'sound it out' encouragement. There was much whooping and hollaring by a certain mama:).

He's really great at sounding out words and is gaining so much confidence. The best thing about it is it encourages Kate along too. We always thought she'd be the speed reader, but she's too busy loving life (and everyone in it) to be bothered sometimes;). Love that girl.

Another side note. The picture above is of Wes and Kate at a LEGO competition in December. As you can tell, we're LEGO novices around here, but Wes has since caught the fever. His principal encouraged him to enter and so he did, and true to form, Kate wasn't about to be left out.

They were supposed to design and build their favorite cartoon character's home, all on site; no building it at home and taking it to the competition. Good Grief. What were we supposed to do with a theme like that? They'd barely even touched real LEGOs at the time of the competition. So we went to pbskids.org and looked at Word World. For those not familiar with Word World, the letters make the shapes of the words they are (does that make sense?). If you look closely, Wes' house is Dog's house (that spells out HOUSE), and Kate's is Sheep's (that spells out HAY):). It was very fun.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Back to the Duggars

Why does everything in my life right now go back to the Duggars?

I've never actually seen their show on TV, but I've followed the many news reports about them over the past several years. They have 19 children, homeschool, are very musical, seem well-behaved, are religious.

How do they do it? I realize there's a buddy system; there must be a lot of organization. Perhaps I should watch a show or two because here's where my thoughts have been lately...

Picking up socks all over the house that seem to multiply like rabbits... "how do the Duggars do it?"

Doing laundry ... "how do the Duggars do it?"

Okay, I guess maybe those are the only times I really think it, but still, how DO they do it?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

If you give a mouse a cookie ...

Am I supposed to give Laura Numeroff credit for using that title? If so, here it is. But it fits two posts so well, I'll roll them into one. Apologies again for no pics, we hope to remedy that soon.

***

We were so happy to have my sister's family visit us for Christmas. They were able to do some fun family vacation traveling in D.C. before coming to our place, and before my nephew entered the MTC (headed to Spain). As soon as they got here, they were mobbed by our children, and continued to be so the whole time here. My sister's children are 19, 16, 14, and 11. So we had a house full of big and little people.

We don't have a real dining room table and so our friends let us use their 4x8 sheet of plywood and their saw horses. It turned out to be a perfect table for our house full of 12.

Our excitement came Christmas Eve. I knew we still had one mouse in the house, after trapping its brother (or sister) a few days earlier, I was still seeing evidence of one around. During our Navitity play, my nephew, who was sitting on the hearth, said, "I just saw the mouse." It had run from somewhere in the kitchen, to somewhere toward the dining room, maybe the pantry. So we finished up the activity, Matt started his nightly routine of putting the kids to bed, and I went to the pantry to look for the mouse (that's where I'd first spied his brother). Sure enough, he was hiding inside the 9x13 Tupperware.

I notified everyone, and we all got our game faces on.

I started to move the Tupperware and off he went, running through the kitchen and into the family room. I don't remember at what point my brother-in-law got the broom, but he was pretty soon whacking the mouse as it darted through the house. The broom was too soft-bristled and really did nothing but maybe slightly zing the mouse. It scampered under the bookcase, over the hearth, and back behind the TV system. We shined a light under my cedar chest (where our TV sits) and I saw a harmless looking little brown mouse.

By this time Matt had finished with our children and came downstairs. He went out to the garage and got our heavy duty outdoor broom and I traded it with my brother-in-law. Then I poked the mouse under the cedar chest with the broom, and off it went running back over the hearth, over "If you give a mouse a cookie" (no kidding), and under the book case.

My nephews, niece and I positioned ourselves so that the mouse really only had one way to run, and then we prodded it again. All I have to say is they are fast and I don't know how my BIL kept his eye on it, but he did. Out the mouse shot, against the wall and into the kitchen again, meanwhile running over my sister's feet. She promptly did a belly flop on the kitchen table, holding on for dear life with feet up in the air, while my BIL jumped over her and delivered the death blow.

Then we laughed long and hard; those kinds of laughs that don't come often, but that just feel good.

***

Meanwhile, Wes and Kate are progressing SO well with their reading. We love seeing their excitement as this whole new world opens up to them. And one of their favorites, at least before Christmas, was "If you give a mouse a cookie"...

Friday, January 13, 2012

We're still here:)

It's just that so much is going on and I've never gotten around to finishing a few partial posts. But this one begs the question ... "how much do you share when your blog is open, and it's not a true journal, but sometimes you treat it that way?" It must be my way of posting my 'status'. I never post anything on FB, just look at everyone else's.

These are just some things I'm thinking tonight ....

We're in one of those 'outflow' times that come to all of us. Meaning that everything seems to be breaking.

Right now our 'to buy' list includes:

*dvd (or I guess Blu-ray since that's the wave, right?) player, at least twice a week I have to remove our dvd player cover to retrieve a lost disc.
*camera (ours had an untimely meeting with the floor, just weeks past it's 1 year warranty before Christmas)
*Desktop computer (ours was infected with a hearty virus 18 months+ ago and has been operated on many times since, most days we're surprised by things it does, i.e. even the keyboard has a bug where sometimes a key works, sometimes it doesn't, or sometimes it produces a different result from the one expected. The most annoying is I never know when I will be able to copy and paste. Today our speakers don't work, although all signs point that they should).
*Laptop computer (this one just happened last night, which is very problematic for my radio jobs).

Complain, complain. If only those were really important worries.

I told Matt that maybe we should just live a simple life and give up all electronics.