Sunday, February 22, 2015

The boy-ohs

Eliah (21 months) now says, "Papo!" and points to the top of the refrigerator (where we keep the pacifiers) when he wants one.  He's talking more and more and has recently added, "Throw!", "Wow", and "Uh-oh" to his usual "Dada", "Mama", "Ball", "Bath", "Bye-Bye" repertoire.  He whispers "Toots" or "Bay" and clicks his tongue, holding his hand out for the cats.  We are working on body parts and he can identify his belly button, nipples, teeth, tongue, nose, eyes, ears (most of the time), and his hair.  I usually quiz him during diaper changes just to keep him busy.  I asked him the other day where his hands, feet, and head were (never thinking to have asked before) and sure enough, he knew where they were.  Osmosis.

Jamie (4 years) is currently going through a phase of carrying a notebook with him wherever he goes.  It is the cutest thing.  He like to "write" along the lines, in compact up-and-down scribbles, but he is also writing a few letters - "T", "H", and the cutest "E" with a few too many lines.  He LOVES doing his own "copywork" with his brudders during Morning Lessons.  He is right-handed a holds his pencil like a pro.  He is drawing too - stick people with big heads and long mouths.  The other day he asked for an "ink pencil".  And just yesterday afternoon he set up a little desk at the play table with the toy laptop and a pile of paper.

Truen (7 years) is always busy with little projects - drawing, painting, writing, making books, or building you-name-it with wooden blocks, Duplo blocks, Legos, Magnetix, etc.  He is an absolute self-starter and usually spends a good chunk of the night at the kitchen table at work while his brudders snuggle with Blaine on the couch in front of the television.  He wants to grow his hair out to "keep him warm".  His top-left front tooth is loose and will probably fall out sometime this spring.  He loves to speculate about big ideas like gravity or the heat of the sun.  He recently listened to The Boxcar Children during QT and came downstairs dreamy-eyed and wishing he could live like that.

Diego (9 years) has gotten back into drawing battle scenes.  Bigtime.  He filled the bottom-half of the large sketchbook he got for Christmas the year before last, but realized that most of the top-half of the paper is blank, so he has gotten back into the groove of adding to the action (different levels or ships flying through the sky).  If the house is quiet, he's usually either upstairs playing with Legos or laying on the sunroom floor drawing in his sketchbook.  He's able to make breakfast now: eggs.  I can count on his adept assistance with very little supervision.  Money burns a hole in his pocket and he spends time every day scheming on what Lego sets he (and his brudders) will buy.  He has a clear understanding of the clock, time, and money.

And my other baby, our little Homeschool.  We are in our third official year and I feel like I've learned so much.  We are in a solid routine of daily Morning Lessons with copywork, phonics, read alouds, map-making, etc.  Both boys are reading.  Diego's fluency and reading level are higher than Truen's, which makes sense give his age.  They practice by reading aloud to me every day.  I recently moved our read alouds to breakfast, morning snack, and lunch, which has been an absolute BOON.  I am actually able to get in all of our reading material each week and they are attentive and mostly quiet while I do so.  It is amazing! and it feels so good.  Before this switch, I would say we were definitely floundering.  Or at least I was.  It was hard to bore my way in through the noise and attention levels to get them to sit and listen.  Another addition that feels terrific: reading a longer piece of historical fiction that coincides with our history timeline.  Awesome.  Our most recent novel: Son of Charlemagne.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Pictoral Update

We were gone on our annual winter visit to the Twin Cities the week before last --
First with my friend Laura in Wisonsin, then with my SIL in a TC suburb.
Here are three of 'em readin' with Laura's Plumpy.
Just look at that holey knee: the demise of so many pants.

Everyone loves the fountains at Como Park --
And yes, Diego pulled out a few pennies before I put the kibosh on it.
We were there with my SIL and three of the cousins.

 You would not believe what it took to get this picture --
I had to haul Yi-ya up on my lap and block Jamie from the water behind us. 
Surrounded by boy-ohs.

 Visiting the cousins: I just love cozying up at home with them.
Here are the little guys playing with a favorite cousin upstairs . . .

 While the big guys did Lego battles with another favorite cousin downstairs.
Love them. Best cousins ever.

After a bit we came home, and after some fevers and coughing,
we continue the process of readjusting to "real life".
Just look at these little brothers!
It is amazing what kind of growth happens in less than two years.

 Just last week: I love this action shot in the kitchen --
The morning sun shining, our crowded refrigerator front,
Dishwasher, diapers, boys climbing like monkeys.