Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Bicycle Breakthrough

For the sake of remembering events in my child's life, I will post about a HUGE deal that happened today.  I really doubt I will forget, though.  It's been something that's been a long time coming.

I could boast or brag or whatever about Caleb's academics.  He's such a smart boy, part of it natural maybe, part of it because we expect it of him, part of it because we work with him.  He's a healthy kid, and that's why he never misses school.  He's a great student from what his teachers tell me, so it makes me happy to know that part of his life is going well.

But, as smart as he might be, it took him until today...five days before he turns 8...to FINALLY take off his darn training wheels!

We really don't know why it took so long.  Did we not encourage him enough?  Did he not trust that we would be right by his side, running along with the bike?  Was he that afraid to fall?  Afraid to fail?  I HAVE NO IDEA!  It started to drive Josh crazy, but then one day someone said, "Are you really concerned for his sake or for your own?  Are you worried what other parents will think, or is this really about riding the bike?"

Deep thoughts.  We decided we were too concerned about image (in our own minds), so we backed off the issue.  It wasn't a character or behavior issue, it wasn't really that much of a developmental issue, so we had to let it go.

So today, for whatever reason, when Caleb asked to go outside to play, I whispered to Josh, "Please take off his training wheels...I think he'll do it."  I have no idea why I had a feeling.  Maybe it was because the boys across the street are constantly riding bikes, and today Caleb asked if he could ride out there, too.  I had a hunch that peer pressure would finally work (good peer pressure if there is such a thing).  Maybe seeing those boys would finally make Caleb realize that he was big enough to do this.

As I stood inside the house, I prayed.  I asked God to give Caleb a spirit of calmness, not a spirit of fear.  I asked Him to give him the confidence he would need to do it.  And as these words came from me, I looked out the window and saw my son flying by on his bike!  It was like he had been riding like that for years.

I still don't know why it took so long.

I share this for two reasons.  First, as I stated above, I like to record such things on my blog.  But second, just in case any other mom is pulling her hair out because her almost-8-year-old isn't riding without training wheels, it's ok.  You really have to let it go.  "It's not a right of passage," as someone told us.

Which is true.  I did love seeing the smile on Caleb's face, though.

And the smile on Josh's.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Favorite Things

I'm going to add a "favorite things" section to my navigation bar, so I need a link to it! I hope to write once a week or so about a product or service that I love so I can share it with you, then I'll add it to this link as well. So stay tuned. :)

Walmart Birthday Cakes

Friday, July 20, 2012

Summer is Almost Gone

This is the 705th post of my blog.  I don't get an award or anything...but I thought it was note worthy. :)

The summer has, as always, flown by.  I realized on Wednesday that there are only three weeks until school starts, and that seems unreal.  Our school districts starts way early, but being one with children AND a teacher as a husband, I know that both kids and teachers are ready to go back.  And for the most part, I know moms are anxious for their kids to go back...but I honestly don't think I am.  I've had a lot of fun with them, even though we've not done as much as in past summers.

Every now and then I'll see a commercial or a news story on what to do with kids so they don't lose their academic progress over the summer.  I can't say that I worry or put all that much thought into this, but what we have done is just two simple things: I have asked Caleb to write a letter once a week to anyone he chooses - must have 5 sentences, nice handwriting, good spelling - and he reads chapter books - whatever he likes, even if it's just Phineous and Ferb.

Mama bought a book for Caleb to read while he helped Papa sell tomatoes!

As far as math goes, that's always a subject being used around here it seems!  Even the picture above is an example of math work, Papa has Caleb help with selling tomatoes, and when someone gives him money, he is actually very good at knowing how much change to give someone.

Sarah likes to bring us books to read to her, but I've noticed that she tries to read on her own, and it's pretty cute.  Sometimes I think she has memorized some of the book, but sometimes I know she's either reading from context clues or she knows the sounds of the letters in part of the word and figures it out.  Either way, it's a great start for her since she's just entering kindergarten. 

One of Sarah's fishing adventures this summer!

Gabriel is still a work in progress!  I chalk it up to being third born, but I really am not sure why he's not where the other two were at his age as far as learning/academics go.  But with Sarah and Caleb both in school this fall and Gabriel going to preschool two days a week, I pledge to get this sweet child caught up! :)

Gabriel and Daddy...eating oranges!

Even though Leah is only 3 months old, I can already tell she'll be a talker...what girl isn't?! :) She is cooing and smiling and giggling...and it's pretty darn cute.

Leah loves being outside...this picture was before the major heat wave!

While I actually prefer the fall, I will most certainly miss the summer.  I love being at home with my entire family - it's be best perk of marrying a teacher.

My sweet 4

Friday, July 6, 2012

Generational Parenting

I am up really late (for me).  It is 11:35 pm, and I'm waiting for the dishwasher to finish so I can go to bed (because I always check to make sure cups didn't flip over and fill with water).

Since I'm up late, I was going through some of my friends' blogs.  Lajoie wrote an entry about kids these days, and I left a comment. 

I decided to post it on here because even though I thought I could write a long entry about it, I'm not sure I can say much more than I did in that comment:

I want to write an entry about this, I'm just not sure how to go about it...and that is...since this seems to be a cultural crisis (horrible kids who don't behave and don't want to listen and bully each other who may end up bums) I wonder where did that parenting style (lack of parenting I suppose) came from? The generation before us shakes their heads at us and tells us how rotten our kids are (not mine specifically - or yours - but you know what I mean). When/where/how did our generation get the notion that this was ok? And did the generation before us fail us somehow?

Have you ever thought about this?

Sunday, July 1, 2012

A Family Favorite (Simple) Dinner

I will turn up my nose at anyone else's meatloaf, but not my mom's.  She has often found a way to make things that I seem to love - and I can't find a way to love it any other way.

I think it's perfectly seasoned, perfectly juicy, perfectly yummy.  It's also perfectly simple, which is a big plus for me - a very non-skilled cook!  And when I'm just not sure what to do with the hamburger in my freezer, this is just right.

Prep time: 10 minutes or less!
Cook time: Total of 30 minutes
Number of ingredients: 4

What you'll need:

-8x8 glass dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray
-2 pounds (or 1.5 is what we used) of hamburger
-1 package of Lipton onion soup
-1/4 cup of Worcestershire sauce
-BBQ sauce (whatever you like, we used hickory brown sugar for a smooth, sweet taste)

In a bowl, combine Lipton onion soup seasoning with hamburger.  I like to smoosh it with my hands to get it in there good! :) Then add the Worcestershire sauce, smoosh that in, too.  Evenly spread out the hamburger in the glass dish.  Bake at 375 for 15 minutes, drain excess liquid before covering the meat with BBQ sauce to your liking.  Cook 15 more minutes.

My mom adds brown sugar to the meat before baking, she also adds a little on top when she adds the BBQ sauce.  We like things sweet evidently!  Tonight when we made it, we did not add it, and I like it that way as well.

Give it a try!  I think you'll love it! :) I know I need simple dinner ideas, so I wanted to share one with others.