Monday, March 21, 2011

observations and praises

So much to be thankful for!

Monday Gratitude

*  7-year-old Paul teaching 2-year-old Beth how to toss a football between her legs.  (Is that called hiking?)  She couldn't have been more thrilled with the lesson!

*  I just spent a fortune buying rubber boots for two of my children.  Those don't appear in thrift stores very often.  The check-out lady told me why they've gone up so much.  Oil prices!  Anything requiring oil, like rain boots and trash bags, has gone up.  God help us poor people!  The working poor can go from barely making it to losing it, when gas prices go up.  So thankful to be a child of God!  If I weren't, the whole oil thing would scare me considerably.

*  Psst.  Psst.  I have a secret to tell you.  God owns everything--even the oil!  

*  Sitting and watching my Peter do math everyday has been so eye opening.  I get to observe his thought processes; he talks outloud as he does each problem.  I see every reaction, every raised brow.  I know exactly what he's thinking, which has not previously been the case.  I've found that he gets distracted very easily by every extraneous sound in his environment (auditory learner is the reason, I imagine, as well as the ADHD).  We work alone in his bedroom, during Beth's nap, which has meant the end to any down time, midday.  A hard hallelujah there.  Anyhow, now that I'm thoughtfully observing him, and doing little else, I'm shocked by the extent to which he goes off-track.  We had to turn off all unnecessary sounds on the Teaching Textbooks CD ROM program.  Now we just hear the voices of the two brothers who created the program, and the praise voice, telling him "good work" and other such praises, after each problem.  There is always immediate feedback; it too, is distracting, but it helps his mood and self-esteem.  We both like the voices of the two brothers.  Peter smiled one day and commented about the brother who does the lecturing, "He's so nice, isn't he Mommy?"  My Peter is a lot of work to rear, but, Praise God, he is very sweet as well!  He looks at math now as special time with Mommy.  Previously it was often a downer. 

I started him back at the beginning of third grade.  It didn't make sense to spend $120 on a half year of math.  Starting over won't do him any harm.  Now he's getting the whole package delivered in both the auditory and visual mode.  Some holes in his knowledge are already being filled in, and I'm thrilled.  We'll finish this at the end of August, take September off, then start 4th grade math in October.

I do think this work seems too easy for third grade, but that may because the beginning includes review.  An advanced math student wanting to try Teaching Textbooks would probably need to buy one grade-level ahead.

*  When 27-month-old Beth does the hand and body motions for the popular children's song, "My Aunt Came Back", I'm tickled to the point of tears.  It's the cutest thing!  I want to kiss the feet of Jesus and give thanks for my girls, right then and there.   

*  I get the same feelings when I play "Duck, Duck, Goose" or "Ring Around the Rosey" with my four kids.  We all enjoy it, but Miss Beth is ecstatic.  She could do such songs/games until midnight!

*  The weather has been warmer.  Praise God for time outside!  Slowly, the yard is drying out.  Every romp outside still means a load of muddy clothes, but I'm getting used to it.

*  Making pancakes this morning with Paul, Beth and Mary.

*  Daddy home for dinner two days last week.  He also arranged to be home to help me with the bedtime routine one night.  Peter observed that night, "Mommy, you seem more joyful tonight."  I told him that with Daddy's help, all the bedtime tasks were less overwhelming; I felt relaxed.  Please God, take this solo parenting cup from me at night!  I guess I'm poorer at it than I thought--turning into a stress machine many nights.  As the girls get older and can do more for themselves, it will get more relaxing.

*  This one is a hard hallelujah.  I need to be ever thankful for the church workers who give up their Sunday night to work with our children.  We attend Sunday night church because of Husband's schedule.  Praise God that Beth loves it now and doesn't cry.  But, there is this one thing.  I hate it that churches give out candy!  If you've got more than one child attending different classes, this can become a nightmare. How can I expect them to share with siblings, when there isn't enough to go around?  And I cringe when one child complains that they only got Ritz crackers, while the others got candy.  Give the candy fund to the third world, I say!  I listened to my overtired 2-year-old cry during the twenty minute drive home, because she only got two gummi bears from her brothers' small candy bags.  Like I said, church in this regard is a hard hallelujah.  I would much rather do home church with other couples for many reasons--not the least of which is the college-age alternative rock music we get on Sunday nights (LOUD, VERY EDGY!)--but husband is against the homey church feel for now.

*  After taking days off the computer for three weeks, Paul has gotten over his Arcademic Skill Builder obsession.  That's a good thing, because having the computer off a few days contributed to a $20 overdue library bill.  I didn't get online in time to renew some books and kids movies.  Needless to say, we changed library districts; the one we are using now only charges $.05/day fines.  If Paul gets obsessed with something else, I'll come up with another method.

The kids are done with their painting and board games now.  Time to make dinner!  Hopefully there aren't too many errors in this.  Have a good night!


Laura said...

Seeing your children through your eyes blesses me tremendously.

Christine said...

Oh, thank you, Laura! Glad you stopped by here.

Sandi said...

I love reading these post. I feel like I know you better afterward :o)
And I love hearing of God's faithfulness and work in your lives. It's a building up thing!

Christine said...

Thank you, Sandi! :)