Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Hairy Tale

I am officially conceding that Baby has the most hair of our kids. In my memory, Dinoguy had this much too. But looking at the pictures, his head grew a lot more or his was thinner. Perhaps it just seemed like a lot at the time. But having reviewed the pictures, it seems that my kids have each had more hair than the previous one, ending in Baby's fantastic do. It has highlights and lowlights (its growing in red, has dark brown in the middle and then blond tips!) The next child will need a ponytail at birth if this continues. Or perhaps we might have a bald one?  (All these pictures are at about 2 months old)
Baby, end of 2010

His shirt says "Stripling Warriors, Mommas Boys"

Dinoguy, Christmas 2002, same shirt
Dinoguy Christmas 2002, slightly better shot of his hair.

Trainboy and Fixitman, Feb 2005

Trainboy with Aunt, Feb 2005

Princess and her dad, Feb 2009.
Princess, Feb 2009

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Monday, January 03, 2011

Learning update

I asked Dinoguy what he wanted to learn about, and he responded first with Vikings! We have done a lot of Vikings in the past few months and I thought we were done. Guess not. I asked if there was anything new, and he responded Greeks and Egyptians. Okay. Then he added Aztecs, Mayas and Incas (which we have also studies in the past few months, but sure, we'll look for more!) If you don't see the theme, it's war and fighting. He knows them from playing the game "Age of Empires" and loves to learn more about it. I am going to figure out some new ways to study these cultures with him, I am glad he loves history and learning about them. We had to return the coolest Viking News book to the library finally (ran out of renewals).

His handwriting is absolutely fabulous for an 8 yr old. I'm glad to be able to say that now. He was excited about a spelling book I got him. I think because it is something new that I did not get one for his brother. I'm not sure. It is an experiment to help him feel more confidence in his spelling abilities. Because he can spell more words than he thinks he can. I liked the look of the book and its games and activities. It's called "144 words your 2nd grader will learn to spell" or something like that by Barron's.

Trainboy found a pedometer today and spent the day running in circles to up the numbers on the pedometer. He also loves to hold the stop watch on our daily walks. He is jumping around topically in mathematics and loves it all. We talked about reading clocks today and referencing things like the face of a clock. We also talked about the fractions 1/2 and 1/3 and finding 1/2 and 1/3 of different numbers. He has so many arithmetic facts in his head - or he can calculate them quickly, I'm not sure. It's pretty fascinating though. He prefers doing mathematical topics to others but really he just loves to learn. It's wonderful to see that trait in my kids since it is what I want to nurture! We did some paper folding too and made cubes and boxes today and he enjoyed that. He likes to create things out of paper and I have been reading some books about teaching geometry concepts with origami to expand on this.

Princess is a serial crayon artist. If she finds a crayon she colors whatever is nearby. Neither of my boys were such enthusiastic artists. She has colored every page of a note pad, bills, trash, newspapers, coloring books, the table, the wall, the doors, the furniture... I know its typical of a toddler, but really the boys did not do it. I said "Paper only please" and they didn't ever try to draw on anything else. She also has me read at least 10 books to her a day, probably more. It's entertaining the variety. We go from Sesame Street to the Solar System to what causes reflexes in your body and then back to simple counting books. Benefit of older siblings I guess that she gets such variety. She also is really into figuring out floor puzzles currently. Basically she's a ball of 2 year old energy and our first child who takes her clothes off whenever she feels like it. Love getting to know her and her vibrant personality.

Baby is so laid back. He smiles and laughs with us when he's awake and not eating. He is doing well at growing big and is about 16 pounds already. Love big babies!

We are starting Spanish again and doing just 6 words of vocabulary a day adding. An idea from a Charlotte Mason book I was rereading recently.

I got lots of great games for Christmas and my big educational goal is to play a game every day with my kids. Quiddler is fabulous for spelling and phonics and its just fun. Fixitman doesn't like losing to Princess though. Set is a great math game I've always loved and I'm glad to have my own version now. We also have Sequence, Yahtzee and Uno now as well as a Harry Potter trivia game. Add in the big list of games we already had and we could play a different game every day for over a month. I really think they learn more from game play than workbooks. The workbooks just give them a feeling of making progress apparently because they like them.

Additionally to our weekly park day, I am thinking we are going to go somewhere more "wild" like a nature preserve once a week or several times a month. Still trying to work out how to add that in to our life without feeling too busy or stressed. While we get a lot of outdoors time, its mostly city/suburban. So thinking and working that one out.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

2011: Diligence

April 2010
My word for 2011 is diligence. It just keeps popping out of texts to me and when I pondered on it, I knew it should be my word for the year.

By definition, diligence is characterized by a steady, energetic and earnest effort. Diligence involves dedication and dedication involves devotion. Devotion is a form of love. So diligence shows love.

So I want to be more diligent in all my roles and responsibilities. I want diligence to become a character trait of mine. I want to understand diligence more because I have practiced it more.

So this year, I am seeking and striving for diligence. I am memorizing the phrase "steady energetic earnest effort equals diligence".

In the scriptures there are many examples of diligence. 3 Nephi 6:14, Alma 7:33. Here is a talk that discusses diligence in keeping the commandments.

I also found this lovely poem: Click here to visit VoicesNet.com to read the poem called "Diligence Delivers Excellence" by Fenny Fenibo West, Nigeria

I have also learned that diligence is one of the seven heavenly virtues in Catholicism. This description on wikipedia of diligence is good.

I hope to learn much about myself and being diligent this year.

What is your word for 2011?

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