Monday, August 25, 2008

First day of school

Well, we did it. We not only survived, but thrived, on our first official day of homeschool.

We've been talking about this a lot trying to build up some excitement for Owen. His attitude toward school has been somewhat lackluster. When people ask, as they always do, if he's excited about starting kindergarten, his response has been, "Um," hanging head, shrugging shoulders, "I dunno know." I am happy, nay thrilled, to report that now he's saying, "I looooove school!"

So what did we do? We read lots of stories, we worked on our memory verse, we sang and danced to "Six Little Ducks," we wrote letters (surprisingly a big hit!) we colored a picture, we counted how many ducks were in the pond and how many ducks were not in the pond and how many ducks were there altogether, we found China on the map, we saw the Yangtze River (where one our stories is placed) and figured out that it would take four times as long to drive the length of the river as it does to drive to Grandmom's house, we ate Chinese food with chopsticks, we talked about how hard it would be for someone used to eating with chopsticks to use a fork and spoon, and we worked on some phonics. We did all this while still doing our regular, everyday stuff of fixing meals and feeding children (including a nursing baby) and changing diapers and doing laundry and picking up around the house and even squeezing in a doctor's appointment somewhere in there.

A good day, a really good day.

Friday, August 22, 2008

This just in

I had to fire up the laptop after I just put it to bed (on my way to bed) to post this one:

While taking out my contacts in the bathroom, my bleary-eyed Jonas walked in. The cute as humble pie one.

"Mom, I'm thirsty."

I take a quick survey of the counter and see, as I suspected, no cup, no glass, no container of any kind.

"I don't have anything to drink with in here, Honey. Could you use your hand?" We do the hand-becomes-cup thing often after teeth-brushing. No, we're not proud.

"How about my mouth?"

Oh. Yeah. Why didn't I think of that?

Humble, no. Honest, yes

Jonas came around the corner dressed up in his red plastic fireman coat and hat. A priceless picture that I wasn't able to capture while I was trying to comfort a 6-month-old cranky from vaccinations.

"Do you know how cute you are?" I said.

And Jonas replied nonchalantly, "Yes."

Friday, August 8, 2008

When you eliminate twaddle

Your mother will say, "You have such different books," when reading bedtime stories to the grandchildren.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Quiet thoughts

Since having children I crave quiet. I relish those moments when the kids are asleep or playing quietly in another room. The silence is peaceful. And restful. And very much needed for my soul.

It's funny because when I was single I would turn on noise. I never drove anywhere without music playing. I either had music or the TV on at home. I may even have been in the next room changing sheets but hearing the voices on the TV helped me feel not so alone. I was alone enough that I sought out activity and people and noise.

Now with a husband, three kids and a dog, I've reached my fill. I find myself turning off the radio in the mini-van. Choosing not to turn on the TV. And pulling out puzzles, Play-Doh or crayons when I've come to my zenith of boy-generated busy-ness. Even the sounds of the dishwasher, washing machine and dryer are too much at times. I'm constantly looking for moments in my day for quiet, alone time.

Yet, I admit, there's great fun in noise too. I love the loud laughing of my kids. The exhuberently told stories of the day. I love Legoland just as much as the kids do. And a great piece of music will get my feet moving, my voice singing, and my heart pumping. I still love the noise and commotion, but I get enough of it without having to seek it out now.

It seems that when I don't get enough of something I crave it. Maybe it all comes down to balance. A wise friend once told me that humans are always seeking balance in life. I keep pondering that and keep coming back to the truth of that statement in so many aspects.

As Madeleine L'Engle says, "We need both for our development: the joy of the sense of sound; and the equally great joy of its absence." Yes.