Archive for the ‘Parenting’ Category

Sweetest of Gifts

Friday, October 15th, 2010

The kids playing at the park

“Of all nature’s gifts to the human race, what is sweeter to a man than his children?”
-Marcus Tullius Cicero

We apologize for the lack of posts the last few days.  We had a power outage among other things.

Cicero is right, children are sweetest of gifts.  They can be frustrating and annoying, reminding us that the apple didn’t fall far enough from the tree.  They are also amazing and worth the time and effort.  My 2-year-old (almost 3) recites the English and Greek alphabets with the phonetic sounds.  Children are full of surprises.  On the other hand, pieces of wallpaper have been ripped from my living room wall.

Most parents in my experience do believe their children are gifts, and that gift should be cherished.  We are going to go on a picnic with the kids and enjoy this lovely weather.  Have a good day.

Levi’s Glasses

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Levi is not so sure about his new glasses.

About two weeks ago, Nate wrote about Levi’s eye appointment.  We picked up his glasses on Monday.  So far, he’s only been wearing them in short bursts, but we’re working on it.  Even though they help him see better, he seems to have trouble with the feeling of them on his face.  You will see in the picture that he’s wrinkling his nose (this looks different from the squinting he was doing).  I imagine it will take him some to get used to them.  Also, Isaac is used to playing with cheap sunglasses and the like, so he makes a game of grabbing them from Levi’s face.  Thank goodness we got carbide lenses and bendable frames!  It was an investment up front, but it will save us replacement costs.  Another sound investment might be a pair of cheap nonprescription glasses for Isaac.

Today, Levi wore the glasses for several minutes while watching e-books on Tumblebooks (this is an awesome database offered by our local public library that I plan to highlight in a future post).  We read (or rather, watched) I Wish I Had Glasses Like Rosa by Kathryn Heling.  The story is  narrated by Abby, a little girl who longs to have glasses, and tries in vain to obtain them in a variety of funny ways.  Levi likes to play along, so each time Abby tried on a new pair of glasses, he would put his on too.  Pretty soon we had moved along to another story and he forgot he was wearing them.  That was when Isaac showed up.

Despite a few setbacks, we’re off to a good start.  Hopefully now that he can see better, he’ll be able to learn and express himself better.  He’s right on the brink of reading, and this could be just the nudge that he needs.

No Cable? No Problem!

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Something we had on vacation that we don’t have at home was cable.  We have no religious or ethical opposition to TV–we just don’t need it.  We’d rather put that money toward super-fast Internet. ;)   After this trip, I can now confidently say that I’m glad we don’t have it.

It’s not that we don’t consume our share of media as a family.  We have our TV connected to a computer so we can watch shows online.  We are able to catch episodes of some of the more popular shows on Hulu.com.  Hulu also offers a variety of good family movies like Benji.   When watching online, we are able to save less age-appropriate shows for after the kids are asleep.  Most popular kids shows are not available (legally) on the Internet, so we don’t generally see them.  Both our cabin and our hotel room had cable or satellite.  We watched a few cartoons, more out of novelty than anything.

I was more annoyed than offended by what I saw.  Most of it came across painfully stupid while at the same time preachy and didactic.  I can’t remember seeing one adult character that wasn’t portrayed as stupid or clueless or cruel.   And there were ads–wow, were there ads!  Online, we see one ad (or at most two) every ten minutes or so.  Most of these sell household products or grocery items.  Nearly all of the ads shown during cartoons bombarded kids with yet another piece of plastic crap that they need.  A Barbie with a built in video camera?  Really?  I’d almost rather they watch adult shows.  “Inappropriate” humor is usually disguised so kids don’t understand it.  Materialism, on the other hand, reaches up and slaps them in the face.

Could we have just turned it off?  Absolutely.  Should we have?  Probably.  Sometimes you just can’t look away.  Thankfully, we don’t usually have to make that choice.

Back Home in Indiana

Monday, September 27th, 2010

We are back home in Indiana today.  The kids did fairly well with most of the trip home.  We split it over two days. If I had to do over again, I would have paid Hotwire for cancellation insurance and driven it in one day.  Oh well, live and learn.

As Mandi posted yesterday, today is our 7th wedding anniversary and the 8th since our first date.  On some days it seems like 27 years and others it seems like yesterday.  As she wrote our marriage is truly a partnership.  I agree with what she wrote.  I won’t repeat it here.

In our annual tradition, we ate at Applebee’s (where we had our first date).  Vacations are nice, but it is good to be home.  Levi will be starting preschool officially next week.  We will post his progress and interesting tidbits of family life.

Its good to be home.

A True Partnership

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

In just about half an hour, Nate and I will have been married for seven years, and together for eight.  I remember waiting anxiously in front of Applebee’s to meet some guy I’d talked to online.  He never arrived.  As it turns out, he had a different idea about which entrance was the “front.”  Fortunately, I decided to check the side entrance (which he still believes is the front).  Despite his refusal to see reason (haha!), we grew into best friends and beyond, and a year later, became husband and wife.  The rest is history.

Just like on that first date, we often see things differently.  In fact, as I sit here and listen to him snore, I wonder if arguing isn’t a hobby for us.  However, our disagreements tend to be over petty things.  Where it truly matters, we could scarcely be more in sync.  To us, marriage is not just about us as a couple, but about the whole family.  We do need some time to ourselves, and we take it when it is reasonable to do so, but the needs of the family come first.

I am thankful to have found someone who puts family first and will defend us at all costs.  Romance and passion are important, and we have a little of those, but that’s not what I appreciate most about our marriage.  We have something rare and invaluable–a true partnership.  I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

It Takes Teamwork

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

The Boys Coloring Together

With two boys that are 17 months apart, it gets pretty wild at times.  They like to mess with each other or work together in their water works projects.  Once in a while they will sit down and do something quiet and constructive like coloring.

In a rare moment, I was able to get a photo of the boys coloring together.  It is just like our parenting and homeschooling; they also require teamwork.

Mandi and I try to work together in raising our kids.  For years that meant one coming home as the other went to work or dropping off or picking the boys at the babysitter.  Thankfully those years are over. Raising and educating three children is a challenge and will require teamwork to be successful.  Just like the boys coloring together, it takes teamwork.

Not Just Parents

Sunday, September 19th, 2010

The boys playing a game with Grandpa

Today we had a nice Sunday afternoon with the boys playing at their grandparents’.  As many homeschooling parents can attest, it’s not just parents who teach their children but aunts, uncles, friends and grandparents as well.

This teaching varies from an outdoor game that would be a form of physical education to even teaching a trade.  The possibilities are endless.  I believe our Secretary of State wrote a book that it takes a village to raise a child.  I disagree;  it takes a family to raise one.

Its nice for the kids to spend an afternoon with their grandfather and play.  Its not just parents who teach their children and its not always traditional academics.  Sometimes its just playing a simple game.  Even Albert Einstein thought that play was the key to success.

Who am I to argue with Einstein?
“If A equals success, then the formula is A equals X plus Y and Z, with X being work, Y play, and Z keeping your mouth shut.” -Albert Einstein