Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Things I Think

I just finished my turn teaching my son's preschool co-op.  It was a great month for us.  Very busy, but great.  We started the month out with a unit called "I am special."  It was a great way to have the boys introduce themselves to each other and it also covered the topic of diversity and being unique.

Now, I support the "diversity" lesson.  I truly do believe that there is intrinsic value in having things be different.  I rejoice that there are so very many different trees and plants and animals and people.  I think it is good for the fact that differences add beauty to the landscape and to people.  This lesson however, which was so much like many other lessons I have been a part of, seemed to lack something.

If the whole point of the diversity lesson is "look at us and how different we are!" it seems sort of pointless to teach this to small children.  They look at you and you can see in their eyes the response yeah I already knew that.

The missing link came to my mind while I was teaching Sunday school to my daughter's class.  The lesson was "I have talents."  We had talked about how everyone has different talents and that makes us so unique and great.  I was thinking how very similar this lesson was seeming to Greg's preschool diversity lesson.  The kids seemed to already know everything I was saying and all the "right" answers.  Then I asked them, "So why do you think we all have different talents?  Why don't we all just have the same talent?"  I got a whole slew of answers on the level of to be happy and unique.  Now I don't discredit those reasons, but there is a much more important reason that I think, I for one, seem to have overlooked.  These kids certainly didn't know the answer.

So that's when it came to me.  The reason that our uniqueness, our special talents, our diversity is so important and wonderful is that we are supposed to use those talents, strengths, perspectives to help everyone around us.  The strength that comes from diversity whether it be in nature or in people is when all those differences come together to make a stronger whole.  It is only when you take into consideration all the view points of a certain object that you can really begin to get a clear picture of the whole.

It is not just our differences that are important.  It is what we chose to do with them.  Our diversity makes us stronger only when we chose to use our strengths to help those that need it.

That is the lesson I wish all children were being taught today.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


This week has too many things.

I've said yes one too many times.

That is all I have the time or energy to write.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Great Things For Kids

Recommendations from Greg:
You know what is so much easier for 2-5 year old boys to play with than a wooden track?  The Chuggington interactive railway system.  The tracks snap together so they don't fall apart while Greg is playing with them.  I had no idea about these because we have a boat load of brio trains from when Dan was little.  Our brio train set is amazing, but the problem is that when playing with them the track falls apart and constantly has to be fixed.  Then Aunt Katie got a small set of two trains and a small track.  I have watched small boys put these tracks together by themselves and play with them by themselves and ask where more track was.
Greg received one of these automoblox cars for his birthday.  It wasn't a roaring success right off the bat.  In fact I thought he wouldn't ever really care about it.  Boy was I wrong!  He loves taking this car apart and putting it back together.  He likes to roll it down the stairs on a cardboard "track."  He likes to put it back crazy sometimes too.  The only drawback is that he has about a million other cars that are on a totally different scale than this one car.

Recommendations from Charlotte:
Charlotte loves to listen to books and has recently started really enjoying chapter books.  We happened on Junie B Jones and fell in love.  This is the first series of kids books that I have read ahead simply because I couldn't wait to get to the next part.  We love this series!  We only have about 4 books left of the entire series.  Also, we started reading the series last summer and I think it really helped to prep Charlotte for Kindergarten with the idea of a school bus, a principal, and class time weren't too scary for her.

So those are some things we're loving around our house these days.  Do you have any that you think we should try?

Monday, September 10, 2012

From the Little Lee

How is it that five months have already passed since this little guy entered our family?  Five months was F-O-R-E-V-E-R with Charlotte.  Five months is nothing with this little guy.  I thought I'd take a second to write a little about him before I forget (because I know I will).  
 The first photo is for Grandpa Greg.  Here Lee is asking when to be on the course for his tee time.  Shortly after taking this photo he simultaneously grew out of this outfit and figured out how to sit up on his own (in short spurts).  I don't think he's going to stay in the sitting phase for very long.  This kid is so much like Charlotte.  He is always moving.  Always.  He doesn't sit very much because he's always lunging for something just out of his reach.  Not at all like Greg, who was so very happy to just sit.
 Also I have never seen a baby so interested in eating.  Starting at about four and a half months he would sit on our laps at dinner and lunge, mouth open, at any food he saw.  He would then cry when he didn't get anything.  That's why we started giving him food a little bit ago.  He loves it.  (Again just like Charlotte.)  What he does not so much love is when the food is all gone.  He has now developed a funny cry when he wants to eat something.  He'll sit with his mouth open and tongue partly out and sort of cough/cry.  He'll do that for a while and when that doesn't work he switches to his totally mad cry.
And finally I included this photo to show that he descends from my family.  This is exactly what Aunt Katie does for photos!  She anticipates the flash and blinks at just the wrong time.  Lee has been rolling over front to back and back to front for a while now.  Like I told you, he's got all sorts of wanting to get moving in his little body.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Wisdom From My Mom

My mom has always told me that from the time your baby is born your job is to get them strong enough to leave you.  You work and you sacrifice and you work some more in the hopes that at some point they wont need you to work for them anymore.

This week was the first tiny flight out of the nest for both my little birdies.

Greg was easy.  Preschool co-op isn't really a whole lot different than having playtime at a friend's house.  Oh, and this month it's at our house so it isn't really even out of the nest...yet.
Nothing says first day of school like a spider shirt!
 Kindergarten.  Now that's another story.  After taking her first day of school photo she and I walked hand in hand down to the elementary school.  I knew there wouldn't be too many more first days of school that she would be willing to hold my hand the whole way so I savored the moment.
I kept thinking Go!  Enjoy! Have as much fun as you possibly can!  But not too much fun.  I want you to come back to me.  Go! Learn! This is your chance to explore!  But not too quickly because I love watching you discover things with me.  Go! Create!  But not too much because I want to see all that you do.

Mostly I was just excited for her.  Mostly I was excited for me.  Mostly I couldn't wait to begin.  But partly? Partly I wanted to hold on to that little hand and never let it go.  And then I remembered my mom's words: from the time your baby is born your job is to get them strong enough to leave you.

Fly little girl!  Soar to the sky!  I'll be right here when you need to land.