Tuesday, April 30, 2013

He has an answer for everything

It's the end of a long day in which Miles chose to disobey quite a lot.  I just sent him to his room with the instructions to "pray and ask God to help you be more obedient."

A few minutes later I started to go up to check on him -- but found him playing on the stairs instead.

I just looked at him, and his immediate response was,

"Well... He just didn't help me!"

What am I going to do with this child??

Friday, April 26, 2013

From their little mouths

Holding the "whole world"
in his hands...then spitting
on it to make it "rain."

The way Miles thinks:

As we were driving along in the car, he announced, "I'm steering this car with stick back here to make it change direction."

I said, "Oh, you have a rudder there, do you?"

"Yep," he said.  "I actually have two rudders, but my other one is charging."

This is a boy who likes to be in control.


This was the haircut he got
 while I was out of town!
Colsen's thoughts:

He was remarking to Pete how it was interesting that with many animals and birds, it's the male who has all the beauty and attractiveness.  With humans he (wisely) recognized that it was the opposite.

 When Pete asked him why he thought this was, he said, "Male animals need to be beautiful to get the females.  But people know English and can use words!  So the men just need to say, 'Will you marry me?' to get the females."


Rayna's perspective:

She told Miles to sit down with her at the table to do some "testing."  (She's in the middle of year-end testing this week.)  These were her instructions:

"Ok, you sit there and I'll sit here.   Now we're going to say some words.  You go first."

Miles looked puzzled.  "How do I do that??" he asked.

So then she proceeded to say stuff like, "Alright.  You say, 'horse,' and I'm going to clap and count.  Now we're going to do one more test.  I'll say 'buzz' and you say, 'bee.'  Now what kind of ice cream would you like?"

Her kinds of tests are pretty fun!


Meanwhile, Strider....

Having gotten a little old for saying cute little funny things, Strider isn't quoted as much on this blog any more.  Nevertheless he remains one of the greatest causes of laughter in our house!  Miles, especially, about turns himself out laughing so hard at the things Strider says...whether they make sense or not.

We very much enjoy having this creative, enthusiastic, humorous young man around.   (He hates this picture of him, but I love seeing him laugh.)


On Brotherhood:

When Colsen had a fever, I tried to keep him separated from the rest of the kids as much as possible.  All day Miles seemed listless and bored.  Afterwards, when the boys were finally playing together again, I asked them if they had missed each other all day.

"YES," said Miles

"So, so much," said Colsen.

I hope they always love to be together like this!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Lemonade stand and Kite Festival: the make-up of a good Saturday

Our weekend already seems like a distant memory, so I better record some of it quickly before it completely escapes my mind.

Saturday morning was our neighborhood yard sale day and by now our kids have realized this is a time they can easily sell some baked goods and drinks in a short amount of time.  This time was no exception.  Colsen took charge of this sale and decided he wanted to make cinnamon rolls and strawberry lemonade.  Both were indeed very tasty and he sold out quickly.

Of course this afforded our family lots of talks about cost structure, profit goals, marketing, supply and demand, employee incentivizing, compensation, and promotions.  (Cole decided to give his first cup of lemonade away to the first customer -- "like Chick Fil-A does.")

Then after some quick yard work and cooking, we went out to meet some friends at the neighborhood Kite Festival.  It was a nice breezy day for it!

 Miles cracked us up wanting to ride this "train" all by himself.  The man knows what he likes.

 Afterwards we came home and Pete and I started to get ready for an elegant evening out.... when Cole announced he had a headache and was feeling cold... sure enough a fever bug was taking over his little body.... and that became the big story for the rest of the weekend.  Not as much fun as the first part!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Inside her brain

The way I view numbers is very different from the way my daughter views numbers.  I love numbers, and she loves everything, so she also would say she loves numbers.  But the way they line up in our respective heads appears to be quite different.

For 6 years I have been using a laminated "number chart" to try and teach her various math concepts.  It is very dog-eared and marked up now as we've referred to it over and over.

Recently I was realizing she still wasn't speaking the language I was when it came to the order of numbers, so in frustration I told her to go write out all the numbers up to 50.

So I was expecting her to come back with something resembling the number chart I had created -- the way my brain works:

This is what she came back with:

As her math teacher, I want to bang my head against the wall repeatedly, but as her mother, I find her brain fascinating.  She completely followed the directions and wrote all the numbers... but she did it in her own order and design.

The inside of her brain looks like a very fun place..... but now I'm beginning to see why concepts like more and less -- and all the other building blocks of math -- are very hard for her to grasp.  Her numbers aren't all marching in a line like mine do -- they're dancing all over the place!

Park Day

Our homeschool co-op met this week to celebrate spring (in our neighborhood again- - gotta love being able to ride bikes to an event!) .  After a picnic lunch, a couple of the women organized some relay races and games for the kids. 

S racing
R racing
Sack races (R on right)
C hopping
Water balloon toss
Oreo-on-face game
Strider almost got it!

"Keeping up the 'kite'" game

Getting ready for Tug of War

 Then on the way home we discovered some baby goslings at our pond.  Fun surprise.... until they grow up.  :)

It was a good spring day.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


It's been the kind of day when I wonder why I've spent 6 long years teaching one of my children the same math concepts over and over, as it seems like they will never, ever actually take root in this child's brain, and we both end up in tears.

  It's been the kind of day when one of my children wants to challenge every single statement that comes out of my mouth, clearly with the goal of escalating each issue to a full-blown battle.

It's been the kind of day when I catch my youngest using a vegetable peeler to scrape the paint off the edges of the walls of our school-room.  Who does that??

  It's been the kind of day when my boys light a fire in the backyard twice.  Then they finally hear me yelling at them to get the hose, and they do, but then they end up drenching themselves as well.  And then they end up all muddy.  And then they traipse their muddy selves all through the house to get up to the shower.  And then they go in the wrong shower, the one that Pete broke this morning.  And then they realize it's not draining properly, so they traipse their wet selves over to the other bathroom.

 And then I burn the bacon that we were going to have for dinner.

That kind of day.

Monday, April 15, 2013

"Hawaiian" party

Our 4 "TFC" families got together for a Hawaiian party this past weekend.  This year our times together have been less frequent than in years past, but we talked about how we've been thankful for these consistent friendships for the last 5 years.  And we're making the most of these times occasional times together... lots of good food, crazy kids, and games!

 These are the same friends that we celebrated with at our 80's party and the 70's party earlier this year.... the thrift stores around here are loving us!

Activities for this party included a hula hoop competition and a limbo contest!

Now how low can they go?

At first it was pretty easy....

 Then it got more challenging...

 Soon all the big guys were out.... but it was still pretty easy for some!
Aloha everyone!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Backwards Day

Several years ago we celebrated "Backwards Day" here and the kids ask periodically if we can do it again.  So finally we got around to doing it this past week.  Now I'm recording it here* so I can show them someday that we actually DID it!

Backwards Day started out with dinner -- pita-bread pizzas!  There was a little bit of resistance to having vegetables in the morning, but eventually everyone got into the spirit of it all.  Then in the evening, the menu included French toast and sausage.  That meal was the greater hit.

I even did my pony-tail backwards!

We also dressed backwards, walked backwards (sometimes), did our school order backwards (started with "homework", etc), and tried to say a few sentences backwards.  Driving to swim lessons I was requested to "drive backwards," but I did not comply.

And that was Backwards Day!

*Speaking of recording things, I recently finished my latest "blog book" so now we have a whole stack of them on-hand.  I love watching the kids peruse through them and remind themselves of what we've done in our short history as a family so far!