Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My Noah Boy

Sorry, you've been getting alot about my Noah lately, but he's growing up so fast :)

I was so proud of him this morning! For the past couple weeks during school, I haven't known what to do with him. At first, I let him wander around, but then I'd find him doing bad stuff, like playing in the potty ;/ So, then I'd try putting him in his booster to eat a snack, but honestly, a toddler can eat aloooooot of snacks in a short amount of time, and it was getting quite unhealthy :)

So, I finally decided last Friday that something had to be done. This child needed to learn to stay on a blanket and play! So, last Friday, most of our school day was spent teaching Noah to 'stay on the blanket'. At the end of the day, I wasn't sure if he'd gotten it or not. But today, when I put down the blanket with his toys, he crawled right onto it without me asking. Then, he sat there and played with his toys for a good 35 minutes, without getting off of his blanket once. Talk about one happy Mama!!! I was able to concentrate on the older two and school, and know that my toddler wasn't playing in the potty :) Here is where he sat for a good part of the morning:

And lastly, here is a short video clip of Noah 'dancing'. I'm not sure if he taught himself how to do this, or if Cosette taught him, but it cracks me up!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

When they're big enough to copy...

" Quiet, please, I'm making a very important call"

"Hello, Pizza Hut?"

Thursday, September 24, 2009

More soon, hopefully

My mind has been full lately-- full of the 26 letters of the alphabet, how the tilt of the earth going around the sun causes the seasons, the five different food groups, different shapes in art, short vowels vs. long vowels, color patterns and shapes, making Old Testament style scrolls---and this is my 'easy first-year' introduction to teaching home-schooling :)
I have not had much time or energy lately to take pictures, much less think of any interesting blog posts. I've been devoting myself to getting a handle on teaching the older two and taking care of the house and baby (well, I guess he's pretty much a toddler now :) But, hopefully soon I will post more here :) We're getting into the schedule of things, and once my mind clears up some I promise to share some pictures with you (after I get around to taking some, of course.....)

Monday, September 21, 2009

A sudden change of mind.....

Eli: Can I take a shower tonight, Mama, instead of a bath? 'Cause I'm a BIG boy now!

Me: Sometime Eli, but not tonight.

A few days later:

Eli: Mommy, can I pleeeease take a shower tonight? 'Cause I'm a BIG boy now!
Me: No, you're taking a bath tonight, Eli
Eli: I wanna take a shower sometime, Mama, I'm a BIG BOY now!!

Even later:

Me: Okay, Eli, if you really want to, you can take a shower instead of a bath. I have the water already running for you. Come get in.

Eli: Um.....um......(looking not-so-fondly at the shower)...um.....no Mama, I can't, 'cause I'm NOT A BIG BOY YET!!!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Worth Considering

A friend of mine gave me a book called "That's My Son", by Rick Johnson. I haven't finished it yet, but so far it's been very informative and worth-reading. One of the biggest things that has stood out to be (probably because it's a big fault of mine), is this idea, which I am going to paraphrase:

Little boys usually will not be able to sit through a 'lecture'. After about 60 seconds, their eyes glaze over, and you've lost them. Keep your instruction times short, simple, and to the point. Four things to remember:

1. Get his attention (Turn off the TV, make him put his toy down, whatever)
2. Make Eye Conctact
3. Give him good, concise information
4. Ask him to repeat it.

Now, the author does say that a good lecture is sometimes just what a child needs, but that it's like a triple fudge sundae----a little goes a long way, and after too much, you just get sick of it :)

Here, I'm ashamed to say, is what a lot of my 'instruction/correction' to Eli sounds like:

" Eli, why are you drawing on the bathroom floor with a marker? That is a very bad thing to do. You KNOW better than that, Eli! Now there is pink marker all over Mommy's bathroom floor. What would make you do something like that? Mommy doesn't like to clean up marker from the bathroom floor! What are we supposed to draw on? Paper, not the floor! You should always ask Mommy for paper when you want to draw with markers! Now you have made a mess. You should never, ever, ever do this again. Now, I am going to go get a paper towel, and you will have to clean this up. Don't you feel bad for what you did? I am so upset, Eli....." and on and on.

Yeah. Did I lose you at about sentence number two? Eli usually looks kind of 'glazed over' too. So, here, according to the author, would have been a much better way to handle that situation:

"Eli, coloring with markers on the floor is not allowed. Please do not ever do this again. Do you understand? Good. Now, please go get a cloth to clean it up."

See the difference? Short and concise, the point is made, I remain calm and in control, and Eli is more likely to actually remember it in the future, instead of my voice like Charlie Brown's mother going "Wah, wah, wah, wah wah" :)

Something to work on? I know I'm feeling convicted......

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A different sort of view

Several times today, I turned around to find Noah like this:

I guess he thinks the world looks better upside-down :)

Something beautiful

Just a quick note to direct you here, to this post. It is beautiful. It touched my heart. It kind of relates to my post from a few days ago about letting Cosette be a 'helper', but oh, Elise says it so much better than I did :) Please, take the time to go read this. It will touch your heart too.

School, school, school, and a picture :)

My days are very, very full. From the minute I wake up in the morning, I'm busy. As any of you moms out there already know, three little ones will keep you on your toes. Add into that the addition of kindergarten and first-grade home-schooling, and I'm never lacking for something to do :) After the first few days, I admire even more those moms who are homeschooling like seven different grades at a time :)

By the way, I love, love, LOVE our new curriculum. Love it. Check it out here. Maybe I'll change my mind by the end of the year, and if I do I'll let you know, but I doubt it.

In addition to all the normal letters/numbers/reading, etc that you would expect a first grader to work on, Cosette is already learning about these things: Collecting bugs and making bug habitats, doing simple equations, like ____ -1= 5, learning about the Jewish Calendar and how it correlates to our own calendar, which will follow up with more studies on Old Testament History, she made a pottery jar which also corresponded with her O.T. studies, she placed a piece of honey bread beside an ant hill to see what would happen, she's having guided drawing lessons, she's learning simple home economic skills like the five food groups, how to peel food, how to make a bed, etc, she has a Proverb of the week that she memorizes, I'm giving her recorder lessons, and the curriculum always has a boat-load of additional science or math related library books that we're supposed to check out and read :)

Whew!! And all of that in the first six days. It may sound like a lot for a little munchkin, but she's handling it beautifully. So much of it is 'hands on' and interesting that she thinks it's all fun!

Eli, too, is pleasing me with how interested he is with everything. At the beginning of the summer, he would NOT have been ready for any of this kind of stuff, but he's doing great now with just 1/2 an hour or so of 'sit-down' time with me. I think we've got a good grasp on his colors now, and he actually is recognizing about 10 different letters, which just pleases the punch out of me :) He spends much of the time that Cosette is doing school working on his kindergarten hand's on stuff, like his colored peg board, his alphabet puzzle, his number train, and just plain coloring, and cutting out paper :) He surprised me the other day by showing me a page full of letters that he had written. He did this on his own free time, and I was very happy.

But, as you can see, school takes up a lot of time, so my days are full. My apologies if I don't get around to everybody's blogs quite as frequently---I'm still here, just pressed for 'spare time'.

I'm seeing where simple household cleaning tasks like dusting and vacuuming may be just a little less well maintained around here, but that's alright. There's a fine line between knowing your priorities and just letting the house fall to shambles. I'll figure it out eventually, I'm sure :)

Here is a fun picture of Cosette working on
her Jewish Calendar this morning. Did YOU know
that the Jewish New Year starts in the spring in the month
of Nisan (Abib) to remind the people of God's protection
during the Passover and Exodus from Egypt? I didn't either :)
See how much fun homeschooling can be? ;)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I can do it, Mama!

---yet when she's 'done', there is still shampoo in her hair and she forgot to scrub her ears.

---there is desitin from Noah's diaper all over the bed-room floor, because she insisted on changing his diaper herself, without telling me first.

---there is waaaaaay too much milk poured into the cereal bowls, and is thus wasted

---she is 'ready' to go to the library, yet her hair looks like she just went through a tornado because she 'fixed' it herself


----the laundry was folded to perfection the other day and even put away.

---she picked up her room without any problem

---She made our big bed all by herself, and it was only a tiny bit crooked.

So......as a mama, I am struggling deciding which things she is big enough to do 'all by herself', and which things I should really still help her with. I don't want to 'squash' her enthusiasm; on the contrary, I want to encourage her and train her and help her! And yet, at the same time, we can't afford for cup-fuls of milk to be wasted because she spilled them, or for Noah to get diaper rash because she didn't change his diaper properly, or for her to walk around with dirty ears because she 'forgot' to scrub them.
Where is that fine line? How does a Mama decide? I think that Joel and I will make an extra effort to let her do the things that are safe for her (or whatever sibling is involved!!), and that don't have to necessarily be done 'perfectly'. For example, I'm not concerned if the laundry isn't folded perfectly, or if my bed is made a little crooked. However, I do think it would be unwise to let her walk around with dried up shampoo in her hair! So, I am going to have to kindly explain to her that some things, Mama will still have to help with, even until she is much, much bigger.
My little girl is growing up, and I want her to do so with grace and dignity---not dirty ears ;)

Do any of you 'more experienced' parents out there have other suggestions or words of advice to offer?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Getting Spoiled

My week-end was a bit fuller than it usually is, but oh so fun! Unfortunately, I was so busy having fun that I forgot to take any pictures :( So, here are a few high-lights instead:

1. I got to have dinner out with my husband on Thursday night. Trust me, almost two hours sitting in a quiet restaurant eating incredible food with the man you love is, well----incredible :)
Thanks Joel!!

2. My sister recently finished her CNA/GNA certification, so, in honor of her graduation and job-finding success, my parents rented a motel room for her in a really nice motel that was just recently built (only about 15 min. from our home). They extended the invitation to me and my two cousins, and we went and had a fabulous girls night out! We ate dinner, sat in a jakuzzi, went swimming, stayed up way too late talking, slept in, ate a yummy breakfast, and then Kristin and I went to get my hair cut and went shopping. Trust me, this is not usual 'week-end happenings' for me, but I loved every minute of it!! We were trying to figure out a good excuse to go again next year. We finally decided that, maybe we should just make an annual thing of it, excuses or not ;)

So, here I am back home again. I am one happy camper. My food poisoning (or whatever that was) is completely gone, I had an incredible weekend, and I get to hear my husband preach tomorrow :)

When I got home, though, it was kind of like 'welcome back to reality' . I realized that dinner needed fixing, diaper bag needed packed for church tomorrow, Sunday School lesson needed prepared, three dirty kids needed bathed, and the house needed a general 'picking up' from being neglected all week-end. So, things were accomplished, and I can leave for church tomorrow in organized peace :)

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Picture Collage

Here's a large mix of pictures from several different occasions that I've been wanting to post:

Over the weekend, we got to meet some
friends of my mom's whom she's known since
childhood. We've often heard her mention them,
and it was fun to actually meet them. My mom's friend
has several children, and here is one of them with
Cosette. Aren't they cute together?

My wonderful husband built a furnace room downstairs
to help keep my laundry and pantry area clean. He even
let the kids help him paint it! Isn't he a good Daddy? :)

Well, here it is, Cosette's first day of school photo :)
What a big girl!

This is the 'first day of school' the kids woke up
to this morning, and they were both super
excited. We had a great first day. The curriculum
we chose is perfect---just enough for Cosette without
being over-whelming.

Eli exploring his new school box

Cosette making a painting with the window crayons.
We are doing alot of 'hands on' type of activities
this year with school to make it fun :)

Practicing her pattern shapes

And finally, Joel takes one evening each month to
go on a 'date' with Cosette and an 'excursion' with Eli.
Well, tonight was Cosette's date night with Daddy, and she
was verrrry excited. She spent a large part of the afternoon
setting up this tea table for their date. She had me light candles,
and she served Hot Apple Cider to her Daddy. How special!

(Oh, and thank you all for your kind thoughts on my stomach bug :) Actually, I don't know what it was---I'm leaning more toward food poisoning, but I guess I'll never know for sure. I was feeling significantly better today, so I'm hoping to be back to normal very soon :)

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Food, food, how I miss thee......

I seem to have caught.....something. I'm not sure what it is. I feel fine (great!) until I eat something, and then my stomach turns to knots, literally. It feels that way for an hour or so, and then I feel fine again. And then we repeat the whole process at the next meal. (And NO, I am not pregnant, as a few people have already asked me) I'm thinking maybe some kind of food poisoning? I have no clue. I wish I were a doctor. Anyway, in celebration of the fact that I have eaten nothing but a piece of toast for going on 48 hours, I thought I'd share some recent 'food' pictures with you :)

Cosette helping to make a salad

Eli vs. a stack of three pancakes.
Who will win? (The pancakes won, by the way )

Noah having his first real bowl of 'grown up'
cereal. The spoon was mostly just to make him
happy---he ate most of it with his fingers. :)

And now, I shall return to my peppermint sticks and tea.......

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Because sometimes it IS all about me...

I know, I know, I just quoted a line from 'Bride Wars'. Yep, I'm guilty of watching girly movies like that sometimes. Preferably, with my sister, while my husband is at a meeting, and with a big bowl of ice cream. That way, my husband doesn't have to be tortured while he tries to sit through it.

But, I digress. The real reason for this post is...well, ME :) (Hence, the title :) At least, it's about this fun '''MeMe" that I found on another blog

So, buckle your seat-belt, folks---here's 12 random things about me that I know you were just dying to know today :)

1. When you go to Wowmart, what one thing do you get every single time, besides a funky-wheeled squeaking cart full of frustration? Diapers or pull-ups. Every time. Without fail.

2. What is something that people are currently "into" that you just don't get or appreciate? I don't really know what people are 'currently into'---I'm a stay at home mom! I do know that my kids are into homemade orange-juice popsicles, which I find absolutely disgusting.

3. What is something that really hoists your sail that other people might feel "ho-hum" about? Sleeping in until 7:00. Yes, 7:00. I actually got to do that on vacation last week! Hey, I've had three babies in the past five years---'sleeping in' has been pretty much erased from my vocabulary!

Favorite song to sing in the shower or car? 'Lucky'--That crazy song playing on my blog right now that some of you have told me you love and some of you just don't get. Either way, it's catchy :)

5. A really great salad must have this ingredient: Crunchy yet soft Out-Back style croutons

6. Advice in a nutshell to new bloggers (one or two sentences): Pictures. Lots of pictures.

7. What was the alternate name that your parents almost named you? Do you wish they had chosen it instead of the one they gave you? Bambi. At least, my mother tells me that my Dad considered this name at one point. Seriously?? Um...I'm quite happy with my real name, thanks anyway Dad! :)

8. What in your life are you waiting for? That day when my husband tells me I have to get on an airplane for some reason. Okay, okay, I'm not waiting for it, I'm dreading it.

9. You get a package in the mail. What is it, and who is it from? My last package in the mail was a new Baby Blue's comic book, sent to myself from me :)

10. Today--what song represents you? Noah's 'sleepy time song'---I sing it three times every day!!

11. What is one thing that blogging has taught you about yourself? I was supposed to learn something from this? I thought it was a relaxing thing to do while the kids are napping...

12. How are you going to (or how did you) choose the clothes you're wearing today? What do they say about you in general or specifically how you're feeling today? Well, I wore my favortie jeans, a pretty multi-colored tank top and a white sweater over top. The jeans said that it was chilly outside, so no shorts, the colored tank top said that I'm a little 'girly' when picking out clothes, and the sweater said that I'll always be a little too conservative to wear a tank top all by itself :)

Now, wasn't that a fun MeMe? ;)

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

An 'Eli' kind of week :)

Eli seems to have 'good weeks' and 'bad weeks'. Well, this week has been an 'in between' kind of week. It's not that he's been bad or disobedient, because he hasn't, he's just managed to get into a lot of mischief!

Yesterday, he locked my bed-room door. But, he was on the outside, with nobody on the inside. This wouldn't have been a huge problem, I could have left the door closed all day----except that I was still in pajamas, and had errands to run later on. I tried the little key thing, and could NOT get the door open. This is the second time this has happened, and I apologized profusely when I had to call Joel to ask him to come home and open up the bedroom door for me! Fortunately, while he was here, I finally had him show me what the trick is to unlocking the door, so I think I'm prepared for next time! (However, I hope that there won't be a 'next time', since I clearly explained to Eli that this is a big 'no-no'!)

Okay, then, today, I'm out in the kitchen, and Eli comes running. "Mom, come see what happened!" "What happened, Eli?" "An Accident!" Uh-oh! Not a good sign. The plug on our bathroom sink has been broken for a while, and we keep forgetting to fix it, so the hole in the sink is completely open. I've been afraid of dropping little things like earrings down there. However, Eli had managed to drop his whole toothbrush, upside down, down the sink pipe. I could just see the tip of it sticking up, and could not reach it. I was laughing, but Eli was quite upset.
"How will I brush my teeth, Mama?" I assured him that we would get him a new toothbrush, and tonight after Joel got home he got some tools and fished out the tooth brush.

So, after the tooth brush incident, I thought all was well. However, I heard Cosette say to Eli "I decided to turn a flower green, like Mama showed us to!" That sounded REALLY bad. However, when I went to her room to check, she had properly filled a vase with green food coloring to turn her Queen Anne's Lace green, and hadn't spilled a drop. I breathed a sigh of relief, but not for long. I headed to the kitchen, where I found Eli completely blue. He had decided to taste the food coloring, and had it all over his hands and mouth and lips and tongue and teeth. The funny thing was, his tooth-brush was currently down the sink drain, so I couldn't brush the food coloring out of his mouth, so he went around quite blue all morning :)

As I lay on the couch tonight, relaxing before tucking the kids in, Eli came over and started to rub his hands through my hair. Then, he patted my face really sweetly, and just gave me this incredibly precious grin. I thought "In spite of all of his mischief, where in the world would I be without my little Eli-guy??"


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