Learning to Read

The difference in my parenting style from my first child to the middle child to my last can be described as ridiculous at best.  I remember when Ben was in kindergarten and how stressful and painful and awful it was to listen to him read the four page paper books and wondering how is my adorable child so behind?  Will he ever read?  Is it possible all of my children will be dumb?

Of course, I never said this out loud…but the silent fear was there….and I think every parent will tell you that the number one battle is worry.  On the scale of worriers of the world, I’m probably not going to tip it to the extreme.  But there are the little things that nag……and then Alex somehow taught himself to read.  Probably because he is the most determined of the three.  That can be good and also pretty awful at times.

And then comes along your last born child and one day she brings home a book and starts reading it to you.  And, wait what?  When did you learn to read!  Like real reading.  Like words beyond I, am, and, and the.  Like you haven’t just memorized the story, you are actually sounding out words and, yes, reading! I give the credit to her teacher…..way to go!  Because other than reading books to her, I don’t have all the random things in my house labeled (chair, door, red, blue, stairs, window) like I did with Ben.  And I certainly didn’t sit with her and have her sound out words like I did with Alex.

Now all of my children can read!  It’s such a fun milestone to reach.  I wasn’t sure anything would ever trump potty training but this one has such a great feeling…a feeling of , hey!  my offspring may very well survive in this world!

Ben stays up late (probably too late) reading almost every night.  Alex prefers that I read to him but is getting to the point that he’s curious enough to read to himself if I say no….And then Emily.  Yes she can finally read!  And she does it with flair.  Because of course she does.

So if you’re a parent who has a child that you think will never ever read.  Don’t worry.  Keep reading to them.  Read yourself–if they see you reading, that is the best way to show that reading is fun.  And know, that whether they are 5, 6 or 8…or even older–let go of the worry–it will happen.  And that’s good advice for any stage in your child’s life…remember that…talking to myself here.

spring has sprung….or has it?

My kids are out of school this week for spring break.  Last week we had lovely mild spring weather.  They were able to come home from school and go outside and play.  This past weekend we had a ton of fun visiting with friends and they played outside almost the whole day Saturday.

And then Monday hits about midday it started to snow.  Welcome to crazy weather town.  A few years ago during spring break it snowed (I don’t know why we were surprised when it happened again)….(maybe we were more disgusted than surprised)….anyway, I took a picture of my kids out in the snow in their swimsuits.

Here are the pictures from 2013:

015But happiness can turn on a dime…

017And so this year when I showed a picture of my snowy yard to Bekah, she said I should take their pictures again.  And it took a little convincing but the kids agreed to do it.

This time little miss em started out unhappy and then changed her mind.  Take a look:

012After jumping up and down and crying and running inside she then ran back outside and said, “It’s not so bad!”

015And I couldn’t resist taking a little video, too 🙂

So until we decide to head to a warmer climate during spring break, this may just end up being a family tradition.  Alex said next time he’d video tape me out in the snow.  I just laughed at him.

Do you have any fun family traditions?

wedges run faster than blocks

The cub scout pinewood derby.  That’s how our family spent our Thursday evening.  Oh yes, we partied hard.

alexandemilyNow, I might have spent half of the time rolling my eyes, I’ll admit it.  Did you know how cheesy and over the top scout leaders can be?  They are very excited about their stuff.  But you know what?  That makes my eight year old boy excited, too.

And this year he got second place among the other Wolf cubs.  Don’t ask me to explain the lingo…I still get death stares and reprimanded whenever I call them boy scouts.  But anyway, my kid got a second place trophy.

ben and his trophyAnd since his dad and his brother and his sister (and yes, even his mom) watched and helped him work on this car for the past week, well, it made for one big happy family.  I love how happy my kids get for each other when they do well.

crazy famAnd we even did a little of hard hat work.

emilyAnd a little man talk.

big talkThey drag me to these boy scout cub scout events and I put up a good fight.  But in the end, I must say I’m pretty proud of this kid.

accepting the award And the bonding that happens between he and his dad can’t be beat.  Good job, boys!

the guys

Kids Said That

I had typed these up back in June of last year.  I can’t believe I forgot to publish them!  Enjoy 🙂

 

“Time is the best thing to do when there’s work to be done.” ~Alex

 

Emily to Stephanie:  “I like your sound.”  (meaning her voice)

 

I see Emily with a batman toolbelt on and I ask her if she is batgirl.

“No, I’m just a regular criminal.”

 

The whole family goes to the grocery store (something we do about once year…I like to go by myself).  As we’re walking I hear William behind me say…”no touching things and don’t even THINK about licking anything.”  I think he stopped Alex just in time.  I didn’t ask and neither should you.

 

We see a boy that is on E&A’s tball team at the store with his dad.  I ask the kids if they remember the boy’s dad’s name.  Emily says…“ummm, Wilbur??”

 

At another trip to the store with the kids I run into a mom of one of my high school friends.  She looks at the kids and comments that they are 3 peas in a pod.  Emily says, “I’m not a pea!”  And the lady explains it just means that they all look alike.  Alex responds…“it is because of our eyes.”

 

While reviewing the first five books of the Bible, I tell the kids that all together they are called the Pentateuch and they are all written by one person.  I ask them if they know who wrote the first five books?  Alex:  “Jesus!”  Well no not exactly.  Alex:  “oh, right, Bekah!”  again. no.

Dreams

Conversations led by my 4-year-old can be extremely interesting. A few days ago we were riding in the car, listening to Christmas music, and ‘Frosty the Snowman’ came on and this is what was said…

Emily: They really believe in that Frosty, don’t they?

Me: It sounds like they do.

Emily: People just believe anything these days.

Emily: Do you know what I don’t believe in?

Me: No, what? (I’m expecting some sort of dialogue on Santa Claus, mind you.)

Emily: I don’t believe dreams come true.

(Now is the time where I attempt to reassemble my broken heart while trying not to laugh.)

Me: Oh that is too bad!

Emily: Wanna know why?

Me: Yes, I do.

Emily: Because the other day I had an eyelash on my cheek and daddy got it on his thumb and told me to blow the eyelash and make a wish. Well, I wished that I would become a mermaid and it did NOT happen.

Alex: I wished for a video game!

Ben: Alex, you have to wish for a specific video game.

Emily: I just want to be a mermaid.

“Welcome to Hollywood! What’s your dream?” Name that movie.

Summer Picture Explosion

Since it is fall and before it becomes winter, here are some of my favorite pictures from this past summer and start of the school year.  all unedited.  because, really, I’m no photographer.  And no amount of time on picmonkey is going to make you think otherwise.

needtobreathe concert.  such a good time.004

boy scout day camp.  I went a couple of days.  It made me want to be a boy scout.  I may have partook in the bb shooting contest.015

 obligatory photo at the zoo.004

foam party.  fun was had by all some.

008

tball trophies.  no they didn’t “win”.  But those smiles deserve some sort of prize, right?003004

hanging out at cousin allie’s wedding shower.010

Fun at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.  We walked through these no less than 10 times.  but we did it very slowly.  so they couldn’t yell at us.019

THE BEACH!  oh how I miss it.  it is almost too painful.019

we visited an ice cream parlour whle on vacation.  i agree wholeheartedly with this saying that was flying above our heads.  truer words have never been written.039

the boys at the kids’ triathlon.  ben really improved his time this year.  so proud of them both.013

Ben turned 8.002

Ben and his buddies on his birthday.015

My niece’s wedding.  The kids clean up pretty well.010

oh em.020

school started far too soon!008

Emily didn’t like that she had to wait a few weeks after the boys to go to school.  The first day brought pure delight to her face.008

Alex turned 6!003

he celebrated at the bowling alley with some friends and family.012

we read close to 100 books in two days so that emily could ride in the street fair parade.  during the parade someone in the crowd cried out, “there go the smart kids!”  I replied, “Nope just a bunch of overachieving parents!”006

em’s favorite ride.022

the ride that i forced my children to ride without me (b/c I hate it).  they all begged to go again.012

And so farewell summer of 2014.  It was a great one!

School Pictures

Her last first day of preschool.  Kind of impossible to wrap my mind around that fact.

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His first day of Kindergarten.  The first few weeks were a little difficult.  Monday mornings were very hard to get back into the routine.  There was one instance where I went to eat lunch with him and he was bawling when I left.  Being a mom is a hard job sometimes.  But things are looking up.

004

And his first day of second grade.  Second grade brings a lot of new changes.  A classroom with all new faces.  A teacher very different than the ones he’s had in the past.  After some very rough days, he is adjusting.  It is taking a little longer for mom.  I know he will grow a lot this year academically.  I am also learning the difference between choosing joy versus just being happy.  I am thankful he has great friendships built over the past few years.  I am thankful he is at a good school.  I am thankful he has such a gracious heart.

001

How is school going for  your children this year?

piggie and her friend gerald and scary children

We live in a rough neighborhood. You never know when you might be mugged and your books stolen from you.

backyard reading

This is what happens when you come home with new Elephant and Piggie books from the library.  I had no chance against these ruffians.

bball reading

This bike gang was so scary, I basically threw the book at them.

reading on bikes

Consider yourselves warned.  If strolling down the street this summer while carrying books by Mo Willems, be on the look out.  You never know when they might attack.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Random Pictures…although not really since they are all mine and are all from my camera.

They’ve never had so much fun fishing….and I’ve never been so grossed out.
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I went with Alex on his field trip to the fire station.  Always a fun time.
057

Emily and her Hello Kitty birthday party.  She’s already talking about her Doc McStuffins bday and how she’ll be turning 5–in 11 months time.
012

I’ve spaced it and totally failed on the kids’ preschool snacks this year.  I vowed to make it up to them for the month of May.  This was Emily’s snack….
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…And she took these to drink.
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When your child gets a hold of your camera, you get this picture.
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And this picture.
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and this picture.
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If you can’t go to Europe, shop at Kroger.  (I’ve had swiss chocolate.  This says it is a “swiss bar” but it just isn’t the same.)
047

I had to tell Emily that if she wasn’t done with her sucker her tap shoes were not the place to keep it until later.  I guess that’s not common sense to a 4 year old.
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I also had to tell her that her green marker is for paper NOT the piano keys.  Again with the common sense.
006

Individuality

How is it that three children from the same two people could be so different?

Do you dislike rhetorical questions? Is that a rhetorical question?

I love observing how my three children, in the same situation, respond differently.

For example.

On making decisions–

Me: Ben/Alex/Emily, would you like to watch a movie?

Ben walks over to the movie cabinet and grabs his favorite movie.

Alex walks over to the movie cabinet, looks at the movies for a few minutes and then ends up with two in his hands and says he can’t decide.

Emily, while walking over to the movie cabinet, whines that she ‘just doesn’t know which one to choose.’

On meeting new people–

New person: Hi what’s your name?

Ben turns and walks away.
Alex stares at the person.
Emily says, “Emily.”

Kids come with their own personalities, and while you see them when they are little, they really start to magnify the older they get.

I didn’t know Ben would be so kind when he looked like this.

baby ben

I didn’t know Alex would be such a quick learner when he looked like this.

baby alex

I didn’t know Emily would be so witty when she looked like this.

baby emily 2

I can’t wait to see how they grow and develop over the next few years.  It will be an adventure for sure!

015

>>The first three pictures were taken by my friend, Bekah.  I shamelessly stole them from her fb page.<<