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"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire."— William Butler Yeats
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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Whiteboard Cleanse

You know you're busy when you only blog to clear up space on your whiteboard that you've jotted down notes for future blogging on.

Yeah, that sentence confuses me, too.

I want to erase my whiteboard but need to record what's on there first.

Much better.

Here are the things that Oskar will double-time-it for:
~ the open dishwasher
~ the open door to our garage
~ the open fridge
~ the open bathroom doors
~ the open door to my computer tower
~ the open backyard door

Also, whenever Oskar falls while walking, he stays in Down Dog position to peer through his legs for a bit before wandering off to his next great adventure.  It cracks me up every time he does it and prompts me to wonder at his fascination with that crazy, upside down world trailing along behind him everywhere he goes.

Karsten . . .
~ loves taking cod liver oil
~ says "dangit" even when he's happy about something (i.e. "this is SO AWESOME, dangit!")
~ he calls the living room the "viv room"
~ whenever he plays with our old, battery-challenged iPhones he has to go in search of what he calls a "plugger" to charge them up.
~ he says "absatootally" because I always say "absatively posolutely."  I love it.
~ a wand is a "lawnd"
~ the baby's white noise machine is the "why sheen"
~ back when we had a bee swarm investigating our stove vent and I was having to haul bees out of the kitchen and into the backyard every few minutes, Karsten exasperatingly declared the experience to be "SO frustrating!"
~ once when we drove with all the windows down, Karsten threw his hands in the air, giddily challenging the oncoming wind tunnel and exclaiming excitedly, "This is WONDERFUL!"

Karsten lights up my life daily.  I am constantly chuckling at his antics and shaking my head at his goofiness.  I adore him, this Mr. Independent.  This child and his zest for life are an inspiration.  ♪ ♫ He has music in his veins ♫ ♪ ♪ ♫ :)

Of course, that same zest is applied with equal exertion to both good and bad behavior, this latter being accompanied by high pitched screaming and prolonged tantrums.  It's extremely tiring if I fail to avert it before it becomes full blown.  But, I wouldn't have him any other way.  I love him.

I can't believe Oskar is already walking and Karsten is turning three this week.  Life is going WAY too fast.  But it's happy and productive and I love these little guys more than I ever could have imagined it was possible to love little people.

On the big kid front, Anders is reading and his reading improves almost daily.  He is an absolute testament to me that children will learn best when THEY want to.  Soren was reading at age three without instruction from us.  We just spent a lot of time singing the alphabet and reading alphabet books and such.  He picked it up himself from there.  Luckily, I was already embracing certain unschooling philosophies when Anders arrived at the "age of reading," because I didn't push him at all.  I would play reading games with him and suggest reading, but for the most part his reading skills have come wholly from his desire to develop them.  While Soren's reading skills came happily and insatiably at age three, I'm happy that Anders' reading skills arrived in the same manner, if not the same time.

I want my children to love learning.  That is key.

So Anders is reading, and writing daily in his journal, and has started on the Teaching Textbooks third grade math program that Soren just finished a few months ago.  Anders has been asking to do TT for a while now. I don't think he's quite at that level, but so far he's only been missing questions about months and days of the week.  He understands the math concepts perfectly.  He is a bright boy.

Anders will also do just about anything each day in order to earn time on the computer playing Poptropica on Fun Brain.  He loves that game.  He and Soren both do.  But Anders is much more willing and eager to work for his game time.  He will ask me first thing each morning what he needs to do before he can play and I will tell him "learning and chores."  He dives right into math, reading, and writing, then asks "What next?"  I love his attitude and hope the eagerness will stay for a long while yet.

Soren is not so eager to work these days.  He will do his learning and chores if the incentive is attractive enough, but he wants to do things in his own time (he is a methodical and pensive child) which sometimes creates scheduling issues.  He'll dilly dally his way through his daily requirements, being easily distracted by sibling commotions, day dreaming, and personal projects, only to lose it when I tell him there is no longer time in the day to allow him his reward.  He is learning the hard way that time marches inexorably onward; it waits for no man.  I am constantly repeating the mantra to him: work first, play later.  When he does apply himself, it's amazing how much free time he ends up with, the trick is helping him to remember this.

Soren is also one of the sweetest, most wonderful and sensitive kids I know.  He is so tender with his little brothers.  Just the other day he made Karsten a Lego dollhouse type thingy out of a shoe box, spending a considerable amount of time in execution.  He plays with Oskar all the time and is constantly declaring him to be the cutest baby on the planet.  For every expression of the delay fish that I described above, there are double the expressions of service and kindness.  I love our So So.

Soren also just finished his first week-long Cub Scout day camp.  Each day this last week he was gone from 9am - 3pm.  It was strange adjusting to not having him around and I was always eager to pick him up again. It felt like our lives were on hold while he was gone, like we couldn't function properly until he was fitted back into place in our day.  I love that.  I love that it feels wrong when he's gone and right when he comes back.  He had a grand time, though, and I'm glad he was able to have the experience.  He would come back each day telling stories about activities he participated in, showing us his arts and crafts, and telling us knock knock jokes he learned from his fellow den buddies.  When we got home, he would dump his flimsy, camp-issue backpack on the ground, peel off his hat, pour the sand and grit out of his sweaty shoes, and jump into whatever his brothers were involved in before we left to pick him up.

Soren is such a great oldest child.  I couldn't ask for better.

Dan is working hard.  I am a lucky lady to have married such a hard worker and I love him for his dedication to providing for his family.  I admire him so much.

At church, Dan is the assistant ward clerk over finance.  He cuts reimbursement checks and counts tithing donations and makes a handsome addition to the clerk's office.  :)

At home, Dan is a slave.  No, just kidding.  Sort of.  But I do keep him hopping with my demands for home improvement projects and my sudden helplessness to stay on top of homemaking duties whenever he's around.  Dan is a mean diaper changer.  And by "mean," I mean stellar, superb, proficient, amazing . . . .

I am a mom.  And I love that title.  I struggle with certain aspects of all that title entails, such as cooking.  I am not a consistent cook.  I have never been in all our ten years of marriage.  I don't know why, either, and my repeated failure to consistently provide family dinners for my family is discouraging.  I know this is important for my children's development, our family health, and our family togetherness, etc, etc, etc, but this is an area that despite my knowledge and desire, I seem to be unable to break my negative cycle and habits.  I am exasperated by this.  Done.  So over it.  Would like to hire a chef . . . without breaking the bank . . . which I am already breaking by resorting to eating unhealthy restaurant food way too often.  Blah.  Must. Not. Give. Up.  Somebody give me a pep talk already, I need it!

At church I am the Primary 2nd Counselor and work primarily with the Cub Scout program, which I love.  I remember back when I was the Primary president in this ward a few years ago, I always viewed the Cub Scout program as this great, mysterious, confusing jumble of meetings (den meetings, pack meetings, committee meetings, roundtable meetings, etc.) and was grateful to have such an able counselor to take care of it all.  When I was first called to be over the Cub Scouts at the beginning of this year, I was pretty overwhelmed.  Now I love it.  I love these boys and I love to see them having fun because of the planning we do in the committee meetings.  I'm only a small part of that planning - my job is mostly to take care of Cub and leadership rosters as well as the calendar for the three wards who are combined, also providing meeting minutes for each Cub committee meeting - but I feel proud to be a part of it all nonetheless.

So much for a simple whiteboard cleanse, eh?  Oh well, this is not surprising to me.  I have always been verbose and long-winded.  :)

Now, off to reclaim that whiteboard . . . .
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Courtney @ Ordinary Happily Ever After said...

I'm pretty horrible at dinners too. It's really depressing but I console myself with the knowledge that I am awesome at so many other things that hopefully that makes up for it :)

Daniel said...

I love that you love being a mother. So cool!