November & December Books

December 30th, 2012 by Rachel

25. No Biking In the House Without a Helmet by Melissa Faye Greene – This author wrote “There Is No Me Without You”, a powerful book about AIDS orphans in Ethiopia and an Ethiopian woman who helped rescue hundreds of them. This book is the author’s personal adoption story of adopting five children internationally. It was a sweet book about her nine children, their family dynamics and the honest trials their family experienced.

26. Her Mother’s Hope by Francine Rivers – I was in the mood for some lighter fiction over the holidays, and this fit the bill.

27. Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo – Wow, this was a hard book to read. The author spent three years living in the slum of Annawadi, in the shadows of the Mumbai International Airport in India. She followed several residents of the slum and their stories of survival, despair and hope. It was shocking and terribly sad to read of the corruption and oppression of the poor.

28. The Round House by Louise Erdrich – This was a page turner. I enjoyed learning more about Native American tribal laws, modern issues among Native Americans, and this fiction adventure story. I could have done without some of the language.

29. Her Daughter’s Dream by Francine Rivers – This was the next and final book in this series. It was not as fast-paced as the first book. It seemed to drag quite a bit in the middle, but I had to find out what happened to the characters.

Sugar is 4.5

December 4th, 2012 by Rachel

You are finally four and a half! You have waited for this day since you turned four, six long months ago. I wish you would stay little, but you are in a hurry to be a big girl, and you have your big brother to keep up with and your little brother to mother.

Even though you are surrounded by all these boys, you are one of the girliest girls I have ever known. Your clothing choices are labored over (sometimes days in advance). You have been working hard at styling your own hair, sometimes using up to 25 bobbypins and 10 clips at once.

You also love to accessorize. HEB has jewelry-dispensing machine, and though you have been getting pieces you don’t like, you continue spending your hard-earned quarters there. You almost always have on a ring and necklace, and often sport a bracelet or huge clip-on earrings. We have reached a compromise on your clothing choices–you can wear whatever you want as long as it is weather-appropriate. I tell you long-sleeves or short, pants or shorts, and then you go for it. The only exceptions are family pictures and weddings.

You are such a little momma to all of your dolls and stuffed animals. Every stuffed animal is dressed in doll clothes with your hair clips on their ears. Your favorite is a tiny dog you named Newborn around the time your baby brother was born. Newborn has been in your arms almost nightly as you go to sleep. You feed her, diaper her, and apparently she wakes you often in the night to nurse. However, recently Newborn aged quite a bit and you spent three full days planning her wedding. You made confetti, flower arrangements, and you even wrote a song which you performed on her big day (and rehearsed at the top of your lungs that morning at the park for a good 15 minutes.) Daddy officiated the wedding so you could be free to orchestrate it. You have an attention to detail that amazes me. Someday, you will be planning our parties.

Though you act like a very big girl, you have say some very adorable things. My favorites include:
-I wonned ya! (Instead of “I beat you.”)
-It is going downer. (Instead of “getting lower.”)

You also got a big girl bike recently. You manage it very well, and have woken up very early in the morning to practice riding it while I workout in the driveway.

You insisted on getting your hair trimmed last month after begging and begging me to take you to cut it shorter. I held you off for a few weeks, but when you threatened to cut it yourself, I knew it was time to go. However, you cried for at least two hours about it when we got home before you decided you liked it.

You amaze me with how much you are learning in CC. You don’t often participate when we are reviewing memory work, but then you blow me away with how much you know when you do participate. I have been holding off on teaching you reading since you are content to draw pictures and play with your dolls most of the time when Bud and I are doing school. Last week, I got out the letter tiles and put together several simple words, which you sounded out rather effortlessly. I guess it is time to start formally teaching you to read.

You are such a blessing to our family. I love you so much! Happy half birthday.


Speedy is 15 Months Old

December 3rd, 2012 by Rachel

Time is flying with Speedster. He has one speed–go, and he seems to do everything with a lot of gusto. He is so much fun these days and keeps us on our toes and in stitches, to use a few cliches.

We had pictures done with Shannon Morton last month, and I am in awe of her ability to get so many great shots with such a busy boy. More to come later.

Some new things for Speedy this month include:
-mastering climbing onto the coffee table (though I am trying to thwart this by putting him in bulky cloth diapers and tight blue jeans. It really works.)
-climbing ladders well including the big kids’ bunk bed ladder
-taking one nap most days (we had only one two nap day in the last week)
-mastering a wealth of animal sounds including crocodiles chomping, seals barking and whales singing
-new words: sit, car, backhoe, backpack, shoes. He makes a slurping sound for cup/drink and says “choo choo” for train
-blowing kisses with a big “Mwah!” to cars driving by or anyone saying good-bye
-still loving to read books and he will sit for ages if you are reading to him

Another milestone this month was that Speedy learned to sit in the shopping cart without standing up. Ever since he was about 8-9 months old, this kid figured out how to roll himself over in the shopping cart seat and stand up with the belt tightly around his waist. This led to me having to wear him on my back for every shopping trip (and have my ponytail tugged constantly). Anyway, I am enjoying not having a monkey on my back in the grocery store.

We have gone on several nature walks this month, and Speedy is content to ride in the Beco backpack for most of the time, and then he explores right along with the big kids, dragging a huge stick around just like them.

He bit Sugar on the arm last week. I think he has had enough of her pestering him and is asserting himself over her more.

He loves anything that goes–cars, trucks, trains, construction equipment, tractors, airplanes, buses. I let him watch a few little videos on the ipad so I could clip his fingernails, and now, if he sees the ipad, he starts whining and begging for “backhoes.”

We had a rough few weeks of sleep with Speedy with three or more night wakings some nights. Previously, he had one or two, which I could handle but three or more was taxing. I am not sure if it was caused by a low fever he ran for a day or two, the transition to one nap, or teething (he still only has 8 teeth), but whatever it was, he seems to have turned a corner.

He is making his sound for camel as we were waiting in line to pet one at the WorldFest earlier this month.