I’ve always wondered how you keep an open, trusting relationship with your kids. How do they know that they can talk to you about anything, even things that might upset you? Certainly there’s no one answer to these question and, in reality, trust has to be woven through a loving relationship. But we have one activity that we think is a helpful tool for building trust and making it easier for kids to open up.
You know how it sometimes seems like as soon as Halloween comes, it is Easter? Where there are only a few days between each holiday, and kid’s birthdays happen four-or-so times a year? Where have the years gone? It seems like just yesterday I walked Lincoln in to his first day of Kindergarten, and now here we are.
Oh, wait. That WAS yesterday.
Well, here we are for real, then. Lincoln’s first week (well, two days, rather) of school. He appears to love it. His adjectives of choice have been “great” and “super.” He can name 6 of the 15 kids in his class, and he said that they all listened well in class. His school day is from 9 to 11:30, which works amazingly well for our family (I sighed with relief yesterday when he was still sleeping at 7:30 in the morning and I remembered that one of the schools we considered started at 7:45 and was 15 minutes away.). We are going to try him riding his bike and me pushing Cora in the stroller to his school this weekend to see if that is feasible to do on a school day. Lincoln’s teacher seems great and super, to borrow Lincoln’s adjectives, though I do mean them sincerely, and she looks a lot like our Auntie Laura, so she must be awesome. She seems to be kind and thoughtful, and in control.
Ok, on the more serious side, it has been a long journey getting to this point, as we considered so many different schools. I’m still not entirely sure this is where we are supposed to be, though so far everything seems to be going super great. We are still on the waiting list for another school that we really like (Last I checked, he is number 10, and we could get a call any time between now and October 1st.), and I still wonder if we should be at a Christian school, or even if I should be homeschooling. However, we’ve been praying for many months for help with this decision, and I’ve come to actually believe a few of the things I’ve been telling myself. . . like, “Where he is for kindergarten does not mean we will be locked in to a particular school for the next 12 years.” and “Involved parents really do know a lot about what is going on in a classroom, and if there is something we need to be aware of, between prayer and our involvement, we will know about it.”and “The drive time and start/finish times really do matter for our family.”
On the lighter side, I’ve laughed at seeing Lincoln fill his cheeks with air and clasp his hands behind his back as they do before they go out for recess, and I love the “silent cheer” where they all put hands in the air, without making a sound. I guess I’m not surprised that his favorite part of the day is recess, though they are not yet into the meat of learning, and I wonder if that will change. I’m sort of sad that they want the Kindergarten kids to walk down the hallway from the office by themselves next week, and I’m so incredibly glad that it was the day before school started, not the day after, when I learned that Lincoln’s class ended at 11:35, not 12 like I initially thought!
Lincoln has caught on to the “Words with Friends” fever around our house. It is so incredibly hard for him to “just look” at Daddy’s phone without actually touching the letters. We decided to play Scrabble here at home to let him make some of the words he has been suggesting that Daddy make, as well as to let him use the “double word score” and “triple letter scores.” We didn’t worry about connecting to previous words, and of course, there was some help with spelling, but he came up with quite a few words. His best score was when he scored over 100 points on one turn by copying the word “SCRABBLE” from the side of the board. Yeah, he won that game. 🙂
Cora is a girl through and through (not that there was ever any doubt!). She has been playing baby and kitchen for hours daily. I’m not sure what Fuzz thinks of eating cucumbers, but at least he is getting some time in rotation with the babies.
Cora dressed up for Valentine’s Day at church just before I realized she has a fever and we weren’t going anywhere.
Early morning fun (after I vetoed watching TV at 8 in the morning).
Lincoln with the pontoon boat he made with Grandma Linda. They recently went to the Children’s Museum in Denver with Auntie Beth, Devon, and Aydon.
Last weekend, we went to Fort Myers, Florida, to celebrate the long meaningful life of Mark’s Grandpa Warner, who passed away in November. It was a good time with family, telling stories about Grandpa Warner and his influence on his family and friends.
If you ask Cora how old she is, she will quickly hold out her hand toward you, with one finger up, and say, “Ya-Ya, Goo!” which of course translates to “Cora, two!” When we sang “Happy Birthday” to her, she blew out her candle when we said, “Happy Birthday to Cora,” and then tried to blow it out again when the song finished. Guess we practiced just blowing it out more than the when of blowing it out. She got a new little doll for her birthday, and she has already connected with it, starting with a hug after she opened it. She is such a girl!
Great Grandad and Great Grandma enjoying Piper.
Cora and Lincoln’s first real fishing experience.
We had some family fun on Labor Day. We dropped of Cora and picked up nephew Devon, and went off-roading at Red Cone.
I can feel it happening. We truly are on the roller coaster of bringing up children, which starts out slowly, gathers speed, and then hurtles headlong into a rapid ride, complete with dips, drops, climbs, and maybe even some backwards motion. Thrilling, delightful, but may cause occasional nausea. I am amazed that Lincoln is 4. The thought of school NEXT YEAR is absolutely crazy. AHHHHHHHH!! Hands up in the air!!!!!!!!
Lincoln’s birthday party was delightful–I just hope he had as much fun as I did. We went to Sunflower Farm in Longmont, the new place I will suggest we take guests with kids any time they visit us. Here are some moments from the evening.
I so need to post about Lincoln’s birthday, but until I really do that, here are a few pictures.
Last weekend, Mark and Butch took Devon and Lincoln to Bandimere Speedway for the “Nights of Fire and Thunder” races. When he got home, Lincoln told me all about the jet cars that had fire coming out of them, about the clean-up machine that is called “the clean-up machine,” and about the “snobobiles” that had people driving them, and about how the cars went VROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM! There were parachutes in them (“Watch how they went out, can you? That’s how they slowed down.”). And, “the one that winned put out their parachutes but the other one that didn’t winned didn’t do that. The orange light means one winned. Mark reported that Lincoln didn’t say a word for about the first 30 minutes they were there, but by the end, he was talking plenty about it. Since then, the car bin in our play room has seen much more play this week than it usually does.
Also, we recently went to a “Playdough Playdate” at the church building with the Keenagers (i.e. the more “mature” members of the congregation). It was a great time, with about 8 tables of kids and Keenagers and tons of playdough and toys. Cora enjoyed just playing with the extra toys on the floor more than with the actual playdough. And now, I should really stop this post and either finally take a shower, or else figure out a plan for dinner!
Earlier this week, Cora got to blow out a candle in celebration of now being one and a half years old. Of course, the real function of her doing that was for Lincoln to know that he can now say she is a year and a half rather than one. And so far, he has told about 10 people that, so I think it worked!
Anyway, Cora got a clean bill of health at the doctor, and our clothing woes were explained. . . She is 34 inches tall, which is the 97th percentile for height! And her weight was 25 lbs, at the 75th percentile. Laura, I guess that explains why she is wearing some of the same size clothes as the twins :). At the same age, Lincoln was almost 33 inches tall, and weighed 21 lbs. She has been tall/long from the very beginning–it will be interesting to see if it continues or if her height tapers off.
Her hair still curls when it is wet, though as you can see, not nearly as tight now that it is longer. She greeted me when I came in to her room this morning by pushing her hair out of her eyes and saying, “Uh oh, bow” so that I would put the ever present bow in her hair. Really, all this bowmaking stuff–it’s purely functional. I just do it so she can see. Well, ok, maybe I enjoy it a little bit too. 🙂
Cora is walking up a storm, she has over 100 signs, and she has about 20 words. She loves doing anything Lincoln is doing, but she does let him know loudly when he is doing something she doesn’t like. She still gets the hiccups whenever she laughs hard, and she currently thinks that turning light switches on and off is the coolest thing ever, especially if she can get multiple switches in before Mommy realizes she is standing on the footstool to do it. Overall, she is sweet, beautiful, and adorable. And, no, I’m not biased at all.
At home before church. . .
Friends at church. . .
(Notice Cora’s new “Smile for the camera” face below.)
(Anybody have tips for getting four kids to smile at once? While looking at the same camera?)
Then, after naps we went up to Beth and Butch’s house in Conifer (or, as Lincoln says, on Butch’s mountain). . .
. . . but I didn’t take a single picture! What was I thinking?! Ahhhhhh!
Anyway, it was a delightful day. Lincoln has asked twice since then when it will be Easter again, and I’ve finally figured out how kids learn about all the different kinds of candy–Halloween, Easter, Halloween, Easter, Halloween, Easter…
Last weekend I had some of the best “girl time” I’ve ever had. Cora and I went to Canada to meet Piper and hang out with her and Kari while their boys were on a trip and my boys were back here in Colorado. I wish I had a picture of Piper doing a little jig (with her Mommy’s help) when we finally emerged out of customs, after a relatively easy flight. She is beautiful. And in person, she is so much more 3-dimensional than in pictures! I know, amazing, huh. She has some huge blue eyes, and her whole body smiles when she is excited (Truly. Her arms start to wave and she pulls her legs up if she is really grinning). How could it not be a good trip when greeted by this little face?
Home ownership is wonderful. And by wonderful, I mean terrible. And by terrible I mean wonderful. Maybe I should tell you what I mean.
It won’t come as a surprise to hear that when you buy a house it is surprising how much it entails. I’m still continually surprised and have owned (by which I mean the bank owns) a house for more than a decade. I envisioned “dust and vacuum” and a few other jobs. Here are just a few of the tasks that were previously not on my “things you do when you have a house” checklist:
- Grab a screwdriver and a ladder so you can inspect the fake rock face of your house for mud wasp/hornet nests. These are easiest removed in the winter when the previous generation is dead and the next ones are still larva. After prying the nests off the house, don’t forget t sweep the mud and larva off your porch.
- When you turn on an outside water spigot for the first time in the spring, don’t forget to make sure your basement isn’t flooding because someone left the hose on the spigot once in the middle of the winter.
- Check to make sure your outside air conditioning unit isn’t tilted and hanging by the compressor line because the ground under it sank.
- Check for mold in your bathroom, even if you live in an arid climate and run the bathroom vent fan.
- In the spring, go buy bags of mulch to replace the mulch that blew away last year.
- In the fall, when you mow the yard the last time, make sure to cut it short so you don’t find families of field mice the next spring making visible trails through your yard.
- On the coldest day of winter, climb into your attic to make sure your upstairs heater’s condensation drain line heater (you read than right) hasn’t tripped the circuit causing the drain line to freeze causing your heater to not heat.
- Readjust and align your doors because your house may have “settled.” (And you thought is was the people that settled in the house.)
- You do know to clean the weep holes for your windows every year, right? Yeah, me neither.