Thursday, December 30, 2004

More pretending, laughing and playing

Strider has now seen his very first full-feature movie:  Finding Nemo.  Some of the comments we have heard since then:

¨      I’m not afraid of those sharks in the movie.  They can’t come out of the TV and eat me.  They only eat the fish.  Nemo is afraid of them, but he wouldn’t be afraid of a shark that only eats people.

¨      The fish on Finding Nemo don’t know that they’re on TV and we’re watching them!

¨      If Nemo had listened to his daddy and not swum away and the dentist/diver hadn’t caught him, it would have been a very short movie!

 Strider’s new “pretend” game is where he pretends to be a missionary and I am supposed to be a lady who doesn’t know about Heaven.  Then he proceeds to ask me my name, and if I “need to know anything.”  It’s so funny hearing what he knows.  When I ask him about Jesus, he says, “He was a baby, and then He was a little boy, and then He was a man, and then He died on the cross (to take away our punishment) and then He came back to life, and then He went to Heaven.  And now He’s in Heaven.”  And “He wears a white dress.”  And when I ask him about Heaven, he says “It’s a really cool place, and you don’t ever have to go to bed.  And there are lots of houses there.”

He’s also been confused lately…  When we sing the song “This Little Light of Mine” he hears the verse about “don’t let Satan blow it out.”  So he wanted to know who Satan is.  Then he wanted to know if God is in Satan.  And if not, then how can that be, because God is EVERYWHERE?! 

Rayna has been happily playing imagination games by herself apparently.  She takes 2 little people, or pictures of people, in her hands, and then proceeds to have very long conversational-sounding babble speeches!  Her inflection and faces are hilarious, but none of us have any idea what she (or the little people) are saying!
The other day both kids were out swinging, and I started playing the game with them where they try to “kick” me as they swing close, and I dramatically fall backwards.  They were both laughing so hard, that at some points there was complete silence because they were both convulsed to the point where neither could breathe and no sound was coming out!

I kicked a soccer ball really high the other day and Strider was amazed.  “I didn’t know a 31-year old could kick that high!” he said.

Strider wants to know why we say “Merry Christmas” but not “Joseph Christmas.”

He asked me the other day, “Are we in a book?  Is God reading us in a book?”

The other night I snuck up behind Strider and yelled – and scared him.  I’ve done this before and he just jumps and laughs.  This time though he yelled really loud and got quite frightened.  I felt really bad and hugged him and said, “Strider, I’m sorry – are you ok?”  He quickly turned smiley and said “Oh, Mommy… my heart was just shivering!!”

Rayna loves to dance to her toy piano music.  And we’ve all discovered that if we make the music tempo go faster, she dances faster.  So we push it up all the way until her little feet are doing a furious jig – it’s so funny!  Even she starts laughing.

Wearing the poncho and hat I knit for her
The other day she literally fell over laughing at something Strider was doing – from a standing position, right onto her face!  These kids lose all control when they start their laughing fits…

Monday, August 30, 2004

Songs, questions and sneakiness


When we were singing the song “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” and Strider kept asking me questions about it… At first they were easy, like “Don’t the lions and the tigers bite Him when they’re in His hands?”  But they got harder… like “How do His hands not get sticky when He holds all the soap in His hands?”  Hmmm….

Rayna now has 4 songs that she “requests.”  The code is:  If she says “joy joy”, then she wants “I’ve Got the Joy, Joy, …”  If she waves her finger around, it’s “This Little Light of Mine.”  If she puts her 2 index fingers together, it’s for “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and if she waves both her hands around, either with fingers splayed out,or in fists, then it’s “The Wise Man Built His House Upon the Rock.”  It takes a discerning observer to know which one’s which!

The other day I was trying to write something down and Strider kept peppering me with questions, to the point that I finally said in exasperation: “Strider, you’re going to have to stop talking because I’m writing and I can’t do two things at once.”  To which he smugly replied, “Rachael Ray can!”  (When we had watched “30 Minute Meals” a few weeks ago, we noted how she was good at doing so many things at once…  I think she’s his hero!)

Rayna is getting pretty sly these days.  When Strider was playing with his “little people” the other day, she sat and watched him quietly for a few minutes, then slowly crept up and snatched one of them.  She frantically crawled away laughing, and then ended up dropping the person, but still ran away giggling!

Strider announced the other day to Pete that he wanted to go to “McDoniels.”  Pete asked him what he wanted to eat there and Strider said “a banana.”  Pete told him they didn’t have bananas, so Strider said, “Ok, then grilled cheese.”  Pete told him they didn’t have that either, so Strider finally asked, “Well what DO they have??”  Pete said a cheeseburger, and Strider said, “Oooh, that would be yummy!”  

Dressing up as mice
Letter "M" day!

Rayna is still the dancing queen here…  She is always going over to turn on whatever music she can reach, and then just bops around incessantly.  Even if she hears music in the car, the top half of her is wildly dancing away!  She also likes certain cell phone rings – they get her up and dancing immediately.  I think she could dance all day!

Strider is still mind-boggled by the concept that God has the whole world in His hands…  Now he wants to know how God makes food to eat, when his hands are busy.

The other day I saw Rayna come out of Strider’s room looking very suspicious holding an empty cup that I knew had formerly contained water.  “Uh oh,” I said, “we’d better clean up that water!”  But then Strider quickly said, “No Mom, I already cleaned it up earlier when she spilled it.”  I couldn’t quite believe this was true, so I asked him to show me how he did that.  He led me to the linen closet where he showed me how he had stood up tall to reach a towel… Turning around to see my face that was showing surprise, he grinned and said, “I’m just getting a little bit big!”

Speaking of Rayna acting suspiciously…. she likes to act all sneaky (like pretending she’s not about to dart out of the room by walking slowly sideways until she’s out of the line of sight and then turning and running out) but she also likes us to know when she “gets away with something.”  Even if we try to ignore the 37th time she does the same thing she’s already been punished for 36 times, she’ll keep coming closer and closer to us until eventually she’s waving the evidence of her misdemeanor in our faces, as if to say, “Helloooo… Aren’t you going to do something about this??”

At her 2nd birthday party
But she’s also getting quite sweet…  Now whenever I pick her up she gets a big smile, looks me right in the eyes, says “HI!” and then kisses me on the cheek!  I love it…

Sunday, May 30, 2004

Springtime and lots of play time

Sprinkler fun
Enjoying time with neighbors
4 generations!
With friend Alissa

Some stories about the kids:
The other day Strider came up to me and proceeded to interview me:  “Mommy, what do you like about your home?  Which room do you like best?  Why do you like that room?  What do you like to do in your favorite room?”  At this point I finally stopped him and asked him where in the world he got all these questions.  He matter-of-factly just told me he got them from a Blue’s Clues episode.  He LOVES interviews.  In fact, when I watch him on the playground, he plays on all the equipment for awhile, but then likes to just sit down and ask the other kids lots of questions.  “How old are you?  Where do you live?  How old is your sister?” etc.  As someone told me recently, he’s either a politician or a reporter in the making!  I’m hoping for the latter.  J

Strider and Rayna have a new game they like to play when they’re getting ready for bed.  With Rayna in just her diaper and Strider in just underwear, they run around laughing like crazy, and then they organize a game of “Beada Dayda.”  They get SO excited about this game… but all it consists of is turning their little play plastic table over upside-down and then walking over it.  Strider goes over it and yells “beada dayda!”  And then Rayna goes over it and throws both arms up in the air with a big triumphant grin!  Such fun…

We went to a pond to see some baby geese and ducks the other day.  First we saw a family of geese with 2 adults and 4 goslings.  They were walking across the street and both Strider and Rayna thought that was very cool.  Then we saw a family with 3 adults and 7 goslings.  Strider pointed at them and said, “Look, their grandmother is with them!”

Strider was telling someone on the phone about a party we had at our house.  He said, “Yeah, we played a little “bolleyball”, and then some badminton.  But why didn’t we play “goodminton?”  Why indeed.

"Look, I'm a popcorn!"
Strider had to come with me to my class when Rayna was in the hospital one time, and he’s also seen Pete teaching his class once when we were watching him from the hallway.  So now when he plays “school” and he’s the teacher he says, “Good morning class.  Now I’m going to write something on the computer.”  And that’s all he knows about school!

Strider chilling with Aunt Amy
Then last night he was telling Pete about what he had done that day, and in the middle of the story he said, “And we played at the playgroup, blah, blah, blah, and then we came home…”  

He also likes to make up his own words for things still…  Like when something might come apart, he says “it might break a piece.”  Or when there are too many people around, he says it’s “too crowdy.” 

Strider likes to play “church” these days.  The first time we played it, he sat Rayna and I down in little chairs and stood in front of us, announcing he was the pastor.  He said a few phrases like “The Lord is the Lord,” and “Praise the Lord, Hallelujah” and then suggested we stand up to sing a song.  At that point, Rayna decided to walk away.  Strider just watched her go, and then said, “Well, I guess she had to go to the bathroom.  Anyway, let’s sing the song!”

And speaking of church…  There are several big teen-age boys in our church who seem quite taken with Rayna.  This past week, as we were coming into church, one of the moppy-haired, baggy clothed young men came running up and gave Rayna a big spontaneous kiss on her head and then turned back around and left!  Rayna just gave him a cautious smile, and his friends all laughed.  When the big teenagers love the little babies, you know you’re in a good place.
Sweet sleeping girl

Saturday, April 24, 2004

The beginning of "Letter Fun Days"

To add a little structure to our wide-open days, I decided to compile a little "curriculum" that I call "Letter Fun Days."  For each letter of the alphabet, I now have a day's worth of activities to do, including things to wear, things to make, Spanish words to learn, verses to memorize, crafts, etc.  We celebrate one of these special days about once a week.

Here is one of our first attempts -- Letter "T" Day.  We all wore ties.  :)

Rayna wasn't thrilled with her tie.
Strider was, though!

Sunday, February 22, 2004

Wintertime joy with kids

"Fixing the boat"
"All fixed!  Let's sail!"

 Rayna has turned into the “uh-oh” alarm queen.  Whenever she hears something fall, even if it’s way off in the distance, or even if she is the one who purposely caused it, she looks at us with her big wide eyes and says “uh-oh!”  We hear this MANY times a day.  I think she thinks it’s her job in life to alert us.

The funny phrase “gobegotcheenomenome” is still a hit with the kids.  (And we adults still have no idea what it means or why it’s so funny.)  A couple weeks ago Rayna was sound asleep in her nap and we were trying to wake her up.  First I went in her room and started thumping around as I was putting things away.  Then I started talking to her and asking her if she wanted to get up – still no movement from her!  Then Strider came and said, “gobegotcheenomenome” and she immediately, poked her head up, stood up and smiled a big grin!  Then last week, when Rayna was sick and nothing could make her happy, anytime Strider would say that to her, she would summon all her strength to look up at him and smile.

Rayna’s phrase for “that’s so funny” is “bi-ja-bi-ja-bije.”  She always says that when we’re all laughing at something.

The other day Strider, Rayna and I went for a walk to the park.  While we were there, Strider was off exploring and he came upon some teen-age boys playing with their skateboards.  He sat down to watch them, completely enraptured, and I was thinking about how old he’s getting and how he’ll soon want to be part of them.  But a few minutes later he was calling me over to show me something, saying “Mommy, come do this with me!” and I realized he’s still young enough to want to be with his mommy – and didn’t realize that it wasn’t “cool” to call to me like that.  Then, as we walked by them later, Strider was very un-self-consciously singing to himself, “God is bigger than the boogie man” (from Veggie Tales) in a loud voice, not caring who heard him.  I just love this age!

Whenever we ask Rayna a question that starts with “Where” or “When”, (such as “where is your head?”) she almost always answers something that sounds like “right the-ere.”  It always has the same inflection and sound – she is purposely saying it we think.  But she doesn’t know what it means, because she doesn’t point at anything!  So you ask her where her head is and she gets a big smile and looks you in the eye and says “right there,” but doesn’t show you where.  Maybe she knows that we already know?

Strider has started telling us every once in awhile things like “Only 2 more days until we go to Heaven!”, or “Guess what!  On Thursday we’re all going to Heaven!”  The first couple times we were caught off-guard and wondered if he knew something we didn’t know… but he’s been wrong a few times now.  J Nevertheless, it’s good that he’s keeping us on our toes and thinking like that!

Strider has also started asking us occasionally if he “can use our restroom.”  We say yes, and then he very seriously says “thank you” and goes on in.  What a strange bird.