Friday, April 28, 2006

The Phantom Frog and Other Ways to Traumatize Your Children


We are having gloriously sunny days and yesterday were out on the deck doing our "dirt work." (Also known as testing our soil, which Peregrine found extremely exciting as it involved dirt, water, little vials and colored capsules.) We mixed our concoctions and left them to do their thing for 10 minutes. I picked up Poppy and walked across the yard to see how our newly planted blueberries were faring. All of a sudden I felt something clinging to my backside. In a split second I thought it must have been on the chair I'd been sitting on and crawled onto me. I reached around to brush it off and felt cool, living skin. What followed was that incredibly girly reaction of jumping, shrieking, a batting mercilessly at the "thing", all with my 1-year old daughter in my arm. Of course Poppy started crying and then I realized, to my horror, that the cause of all this mayhem was only her sweet little foot wrapped around my body!
        I felt pretty lame, to say the least.
        And then this morning I ventured to WalMart with the simple task of needing to replenish the diaper and pull-up supply around here. I reached the aisle only to find that they were all out of "boy" pull-ups in the cheap brand that we normally buy. No problem, right? So I reached for the "girl" package. I'm not threatened by my 3 1/2 year old boy wearing pull-ups that have a pink stripe on them. I mean, they're under his pajamas after all, and he's not old enough to care. But you know what? I couldn't do it. I just couldn't bear the thought of seeing my boy in a pink pull-up. So I paid the extra $2 for the name brand "boy" ones. They're for my boy, after all.
         What would you have done?

Thursday, April 27, 2006

100 Things About Me

A while ago my friend Rae, who writes one of my favorite blogs, wrote 100 things about herself. It was fun to read and got me thinking about doing it too. Then Jenig is having a contest where you have to write 10 random things about yourself, so I got started and just kept going. It's hard to come up with that many! But here they are, in no particular order of importance, and most of them being of no importance anyway:

1. I tried out for a SPAM commercial when I was a teenager. (I must not have been very convincing 'cuz they didn't pick me.)
2. I have dual citizenship- Canada and the USA
3. I attended public school, private school, and was even homeschooled
4. I got pregnant two weeks after getting married
5. I was a seamstress for a few years
6. I gave birth to my daughter in the water
7. I had laser eye surgery to correct my vision
8. My family of 7 lived in a tent trailer one summer when I was about 11 or 12
9. I've never broken a bone
10. I've been on four continents- North America, Africa, Asia, and Europe
11. I've been to a dozen countries, and loved them all
12. I'm a firm believer in homeopathics and natural healing
13. But I'll go to the doctor and get "real" medicine if that doesn't work
14. I was a vegetarian for about 6 years
15. I love to garden
16. I love to cook and bake
17. I'm not very organized, but I'd like to be
18. I will homeschool my kids
19. I hope to live in another country some day
20. Mangoes are one of my favorite fruits
21. I love Thai food
22. And Mexican food
23. And Indian food
24. I make really yummy wheat free goodies for my husband
25. My husband is awesome
26. I don't deserve him
27. I don't speak any other languages, but I hope to some day
28. I've never dyed my hair
29. I can't stand raw tomatoes
30. My first car was a 1978 Datsun 510 named Tesseract
31. It was stolen and recovered in a nearby town the next day
32. I'm the shortest of my four siblings
33. I've never been drunk or done any kind of drugs
34. I always have a jar of kefir brewing in my kitchen
35. I graduated from high school at 16
36. I like foreign films (when I can find ones that aren't trashy)
37. I have my nose pierced
38. I had really high bangs in high school
39. I used to snowboard
40. I had the most romantic proposal in the world
41. I said "Really?" when Erik asked me to marry him
42. I love Calla Lillies
43. My parents have been married for almost 37 years
44. I had a goldfish that died and my brother bar-b-qued it
45. I love camels
46. I got to ride on one in India
47. And I rode elephants in Thailand
48. I love snorkeling
49. I wish that rickshaws were a popular form of transportation here
50. My parents never let anyone call me Becky
51. I had a pet rat named Jeremy
52. And a dog named Puck (because he would chase the hockey puck)
53. We don't have any pets now and that's okay
54. I really dislike cats
55. I never owned a Barbie (although I played with my sister's)
56. My friend and I toilet papered our neighbor's house nearly every weekend, and then cleaned it up for them
57. I love chocolate
58. I love chocolate with chili in it
59. I was a very stubborn and strong-willed child
60. I learned to ice skate when I was only a few years old
61. I went to Bible school
62. I run an organic produce coop out of my home
63. I'm constantly thinking up home businesses but never do any of them
64. I tried a home party business for a while, but learned quickly I didn't have what it takes
65. I have my dream job- being a wife and stay-at-home Mom to my kids
66. I love my parents and my in-laws
67. I knew my inlaws before I met my husband
68. His Mom tried to set us up, but it didn't work
69. I worked in a granola factory
70. I was a cook for a soup kitchen
71. I'm not a coffee drinker
72. I've lived in two Canadian provinces and two States
73. I love the sound geckos make
74. I once slept in the open desert in India
75. I was an extra in a really lame movie
76. I'm a follower of Jesus Christ
77. I've been in about 20 states
78. I've never been to Hawaii
79. But I have been to Alaska, twice
80. I miss sleeping through the night
81. My kids are worth it
82. I chipped a tooth biting into a rock that was cooked into some rice in India
83. I was very sick in Nepal
84. Watching the sun rise over the Himalayas in amazing
85. Monsoon rains are also amazing
86. I would love to take my family to India and Nepal someday, and Thailand
87. I was terrified of water as a child
88. And of flying
89. Now I love to fly
90. I have wanderlust, inherited from my Dad's side of the family
91. I bleach my mustache, inherited from my Mom's side of the family (Italian)
92. I got to spend a few days in Italy, and hope to go back there someday
93. My two best friends from high school are still my best friends
94. I've worked in two different health food store delis
95. I spent one day as a candystriper in a hospital when I was fourteen
96. I apprenticed with a midwife for a summer
97. I like the movie "Brother Sun, Sister Moon"
98. I love snow, but hate to drive in it
99. On a school field trip to the hospital, I was chosen to get a cast on my arm. I later tried to convince my Mom I'd broken it at school
100. I love my husband ever so much

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

D is for Daddy-O

A, B, C, D! Peregrine and I are "playing" with the letter D this week. D was a bit more of a challenge for me, so thanks to Dar and Amy and Stacy at Reforming Motherhood for helping me out with some ideas. Here are some of the things we've done or hope to do this week:

* Celebrate Daddy-O!
* Drawing
* Ducks- Reading about them and walking to the Duck pond to watch them, singing "Five Little Ducks"
* Digging and doing our "Dirt Work" in the garden
* Practicing our "D" verse, Philippians 2:14 "Do all things without grumbling and complaining."
* Talking about and practicing Diligence. We're reading Farmer Boy, and Almonzo's Father told him "When a man undertakes a job, he has to stick to it till he finishes it." I have a boy who's easily distracted, so Diligence is an area we need to work on!
* Dinoaurs! What 3 1/2 year old doesn't love Dinosaurs?
* Making Dip and Dipping carrots and broccoli.
* Do-A-Dots are fun!
* Reading about Dogs
* Lots of great Bible stories- Daniel, David, Balaam's Donkey!
* Throwing Darts- a great thing to do with Daddy-O. (Thanks, Amy!)
* Making dough- play dough or cookies dough (Thanks Stacy!)
* And, of course, talking about Dar and how Dearly she likes Daisies! (Thanks Dar!)

Friday, April 21, 2006

Why?

         We've finally arrived in Why-ville. For a couple months there Peregrine asked "How?" about everything and it took a while to figure out that he meant "Why?" But now he has learned "why" and there's no turning back. A typical conversation (several times a day) goes something like this:
Mama: Go get your shoes on Peregrine.
Peregrine: WHY?
Mama: Because we're going to the store.
Peregrine: But WHY are we going to the store?
Mama: Because we need to buy some more bananas.
Peregrine: But WHY do we need to buy some more bananas?
Mama: Because we ate all the ones we had.
Peregrine: But WHY did we eat them all up?
Mama: Because we were hungry and they taste yummy.
Peregrine: But WHY do they taste yummy?
Mama: Because God made them yummy so we could enjoy them.
Peregrine: But WHY so we could enjoy them?
Mama: Because He loves us. (Sigh.) Go get your shoes on Peregrine.
Yep, conversations can be pretty predictable around here. And at the end, it usually comes down to "that's just the way God made it." He is inquisitive and curious about life and wants to question and understand everything. I, on the other hand, have come to accept that there are just some mysteries in life. And that's okay with me. But while we're asking the hard questions I have a few of my own.

* WHY is it that Peregrine goes 60 miles per hour except when we're in a hurry and need to be somewhere in five minutes?
* WHY can he hear and understand our conversation, even when he's in the other room, when it's not intended for his ears? (And WHY is it that when I clearly tell him to do something he has sudden hearing loss and all I get is a blank stare?)
* And finally, WHY does he think he knows best and contradict me so frequently but still ask WHY all the time?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

C is for Camel.....of Course!


Week Three and we are onto the letter C! Peregrine has gotten used our letter themes now and keeps asking "are we still talking about the letter C?" We are halfway through the week and having lots of fun. Here are some of the things we've done or plan to do:

* Learn about Camels and Color some pictures of them. (They're my favorite animal, so this is high on the list.)
* Memorize Colossians 3:12 "Clothe yourseleves with Compassion. Read stories about Jesus. To practice compassion, bake Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies for some homeless people.
* Play Copy Cat
* Make Corncakes for breakfast (pancakes made with cornmeal and corn kernels-very yummy!)
* Observe our caterpillars and talk about their life cycle. They've more than doubled in size since we got them on Friday! Soon they'll be forming their Chrysalids.
* Listen to Classical music and talk about different Composers.
* Look at the Calendar and practice Counting and number recognition.
* Read Curious George, The Very Quiet Cricket, Corduroy, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and Little Cottontail.
* Read the story of Creation from the Bible.
* Make Carrot Cupcakes
* Practice Cutting
* Plant Cucumbers in pots to transplant later
* Plant Carrot seeds in a see-through container so we can watch as they grow down
* Talk about countries that start with the letter C
* Spend as much time Cuddling as a busy 3 1/2 year old will allow!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

When I see the Blood....

        I've celebrated Passover in one form or another several times in my life. Each time has been very different, but all memorable and meaningful. I've observed it a couple times with Christians and have also attended our local, very liberal synagogue. The strangest, and most moving experience, was in Kathmandu five years ago where I went to a Passover seder with 1500 mostly new-age Israeli travellers. Rabbis and kosher food had been flown from New York to Nepal for the occasion. (That's a story that deserves it's own telling.)
        Celebrating Passover is something I hope to continue and bring into our family's observance of the Death and Resurrection of our Savior, as Jesus was crucified during Passover and the Last Supper was the Passover meal. Yesterday my sisters and nieces and nephews came over and we had a small seder meal together. Alyssa did all the preparation and it was really special. I think it's a neat thing to do with kids because there's so much symbolism in it and you can gear it toward the ages of your kids. It is the retelling and celebration of Israel's deliverance by God from Egypt, and as Christians, our deliverance from sin through the death and resurrection of Christ. The visual, and edible, symbols bring the story to life for all of us. Here's what goes onto the seder plate:
        Maror (bitter herbs, usually horseradish) This is to remind us of the bitterness of the Israelites' slavery to Egypt, and as Christians, of slavery to sin
        Karpas (vegetable, usually parsley) This is dipped into salt water during the seder, to remind us of the tears that were shed by the Israelites in Egypt
        Charoset (a ground mixture of apples, nuts, spices and wine or grape juice) This is reminiscent of the mortar used to by the slaves in building for the Egyptians. The sweetness of the apples is a reminder that God's kindness helped them through their time in Egypt.
        Zeroa (the Shankbone of a lamb, or a beet whose red color is the color of blood) This is symbolic of the lamb that God instructed the Israelites to prepare and eat prior to their deliverance from Egypt. And of course, as Christians, we see Jesus as the true Passover Lamb.
        Beitzah (a whole cooked egg) This is symbolic of the temple sacrifice that was performed during Passover.
        There is also Matzah, unleavened bread that is eaten during the meal. Matzah is pierced with little holes that run the length of the bread giving it a striped appearance. Some Christians like to point out that this is symbolic of our Saviour being pierced for our sin, and that by his stripes we are healed. In the traditional seder, there is a special pouch containing three pieces of Matzah. The middle one is broken and the largest piece of it is hidden. It is called the Afikomen, and is representative of the Passover Lamb. Curiously, Afikomen is a Greek word meaning "that, or he, who is to come." To the Jews it is a sign of hope that the Messiah will come, and of course we celebrate Jesus, who has come and will come again! At the end of the seder a child looks for the Afikomen and when it's found everyone eats a piece of it. It really brings new life to Jesus' words at the Last Supper "This is My body which is broken for you" and his earlier proclamation that He is the Bread of Life and unless we eat His flesh we have no part in Him.
        Celebrating this Jewish feast has brought new meaning to my Christian life and richness to the Easter season. It has made me appreciate how all through history God's dealings with Israel were pointing to Jesus. While the Jews celebrate this as part of their heritage and their hope, we can celebrate the fullness and the fulfillment of it in Jesus Christ, the Messiah. The seder ends with the words "Next year in Jerusalem!" As Christians this perfectly represents our longing as well- to be soon dwelling in the Holy City not made with hands, the New Jerusalem. Even so, come Lord Jesus!


        
        

Friday, April 14, 2006

Legacy


        My Grams and Gramps just celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary. Erik and I have been married just over four years and I'm so thankful that we have others who have walked this road together before us. In this time where marriage seems to be a cheap commodity I'm grateful for the legacy of commitment and love that my grandparents have given to us.
        My earliest memories of Grams and Gramps are them coming to visit us in their motorhome. We lived on a farm on the Alberta prairies and they would drive all the way up from California. We would anxiously await their arrival, which for my Mom meant a lot of housecleaning. I remember her making us dust the baseboards and I would promise myself that when I was grown and my parents or inlaws were coming to visit that I wouldn't bother cleaning the house! Finally they would be there and set up "camp" in our yard. My brother, sister, and I would get to take turns having breakfast with them out in the motorhome which was very exciting! I would wake early and sit out on the porch steps waiting for the appointed time. And then breakfast would be so special, English muffins and orange juice and we would listen to Peter, Paul and Mary.
        I always felt it was quite unfair that we lived so far away from them, although we eventually did move somewhat closer. As an adult I've gotten to know them more and I'm so thankful for all the times we've spent together and the things I've learned from them. Together they raised six children and loved many grandchildren and great grandchildren. They've had their share of hard times but have stuck together and valued their love and their family. Gramps has spent countless hours writing stories of our rich family history and compiling photos for us all to enjoy. This, in part, has been my inspiration to keep records of our own family life. Grams keeps a cabinet in their home full of special items that have belonged to various family members. We affectionately refer to it as "The Museum" and I love to look at each thing and hear the stories behind them.
        Erik, Peregrine and I were blessed to spend a couple days with them at their home about a year-and-a-half ago. It was special for my husband and son to get to know these wonderful people and visit this place that means so much to me. Peregrine got to play with Gramps on his tractor and we were able to walk around their property. Grams made us wonderful meals and treated us like guests of honor. They took us to Yosemite for the day and waited patiently while Erik (aka Ansel Adams) took pictures. I hope we can make it down for another visit soon.
        So here's to you, Grams and Gramps! Here's to the last 63 years, and to however many more you (and we) are blessed with. Thanks for loving each other and all of us and leaving us such a wonderful legacy of love.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

B is for Blowing Bubbles


        Peregrine and I are having so much fun with our letter-of-the-week. We have moved on to B and I can't believe how many things start with B. There are more ideas than we could possibly do in one week, but here are a few that we have done or hope to get to in the next few days:
* Bake Bread and have it with Bean Soup
* Read about Bears, Birds, Bats and Bugs
* Learn about Butterflies and make these pretzel butterflies for a snack.
* Read about Bees and eat some honeycomb.
* Build with Blocks
* Make Butter and spread it on fresh Banana Bread
* Blow Bubbles
* Plant our Blueberry Bushes
* Read about Baby Animals
* Learn about and listen to Bach and Beethoven
* Make Bug shaped pasta with Broccoli
* Bar-B-que with Daddy
* Play Ball
* Sing Baa Baa Black Sheep
* Take a walk and look at the Blackberry Bramble. Talk about the seasons.
* Recite Matthew 5:9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God". Talk about ways we can make peace and ask the Lord to help us.
* Read Blueberries for Sal, The True Story of Balto and Brown Bear Brown Bear What do You See?
* Look at the flags of countries that start with B and find them on the map.
* Talk about friends and family whose names start with B.
* Make the letter B out of frozen Blueberries and then eat it.
* Talk about being Brave and read Bible stories from the life of David.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Sisters, Part 2: Gloria


        It was a cool spring evening in Alberta. My Dad was graduating from Bible School that night and he was probably the only person on stage who wasn't smiling. Instead, he was casting worried glances my Mom's way. I was nearly six and had been the baby of the family for a long time. I knew my Mom was going to have a new baby soon, but I didn't realize that I would be dethroned by the event. Dad and Mom both made it through Graduation but found themselves in the hospital later that night where my Mom gave birth to a baby girl. The sky was dancing with Northern Lights and they named her Gloria Grace. Alyssa and I were a bit miffed that they didn't call her Crystal Princess or something like that, but we loved her anyway. My Dad hung her cradle from the ceiling in our tiny living room and we welcomed her into our lives.
        Even though she had usurped me as the littlest, cutest person in the family I liked my baby Gloria. You can tell because in family pictures from that era I was often pouting at not being allowed to hold her. I was delighted when all her hair fell out around a year old because it gave me a chance to use one of my new vocabulary words: molting. I didn't realize that it wasn't used to describe people. She grew to be a sweet little girl, creative from the start. As soon as she could hold a pencil she started drawing things that looked like what they were supposed to. It was pretty amazing. We would find her drawing little stick people and sunshines on everything from her legs to the back of our Scrabble tiles. It came in handy if you needed a certain letter. When she wasn't drawing she was having adventures with her imaginary friend Purple-ea.
        She spent about four years of her young life wearing a pink bathing suit. Since we lived in the Great Frozen North she often had to wear several layers over it to stay warm, but you could say it was her base layer, day in and day out. On top of the bathing suit would go whatever outfit she fancied at the moment. Seriously, this girl would change her clothes ten times a day and throw the last ones on the floor in a heap. It was the artist in her I guess. Clothes to match the mood or something like that. I'm not sure, but I think she still changes her outfit more often than most people do.
        Gloria was always sweet and eager to please, sometimes a little too much. People with more domineering personalities, like our youngest brother and myself, would really take advantage of her. When she was about 7 or 8 I would ask her if she wanted to play queen-and-servant. Eager to play with her much older and cooler sister she would happily agree. And let me tell you, I really made my little servant serve me! I owe her big time.
        As adults we've had so many adventures together. There have been lots of road trips in my sometimes-not-so-reliable Datsun to Seattle and San Francisco and Santa Cruz and all over Oregon. There were the three months we spent traveling around Asia together. We passed long hours riding in boats and snorkeling in crystal blue water, riding elephants, and drinking mango shakes on the beaches of Southern Thailand. In Nepal we cooked on our rooftop and rode in tiny rickshaws, made lots of friends, had cockroach killing contests before bed, and fell in love with that little war-torn Himalayan kingdom. We laughed as the people tried to figure out who was the older sister: didi, bahini? Bahini, didi? And then there was India. I had been there before but Gloria's welcome to India began in a train station that was so crowded there was barely room to move. There were men sitting staring at us as if we were movie stars. That night we were woken by loud knocking on our hotel door at two in the morning. It was five policemen wanting to see our passports. You really would think they'd have something more important to do than harass innocent tourists! The next day began the 19 hour train ride that is a story in itself. Let's just say it was hot, humid, and crowded. And I mean India crowded, like 22 people in a compartment meant for 8. That story deserves its own telling so I'll leave it for another day. We spent three weeks in India, up in the mountains where the Dalai Lama lives. We walked forested roads and ate roasted barley porridge and listened to monkeys play on the rooftops and fell in love with another land and another people, the Tibetans. Gloria was sick there and we played countless games of cards and ate mangoes together. We met all kinds of strange and wonderful people there before retracing our steps through Nepal, Thailand, and back to the U.S.
        Gloria is a wonderful auntie to my kids, and a wonderful sister and friend. She paints and decorates and makes things beautiful. We can finish each other's sentences, or say something like "Do you remember that time...." and both dissolve into laughter without ever actually mentioning the time we're thinking of. We can both talk and listen at the same time, which leaves my husband totally bewildered. I'm so glad that she lives just down the road and I get to see her often. She got married just a few months ago and now is living a new adventure. Her husband is a brave man to marry into our big and crazy family and I wish them every happiness in their life together. Sometimes it's hard for me to believe she's all grown up, my little Northern Lights Baby Sister.
        

Thursday, April 06, 2006

First Blood and Broken Fingers

        As I was folding laundry last night Alethea was merrily pulling the piles down from the coffee table. She lost her balance and ended up sitting on the floor screaming. I thought that maybe she'd bumped her chin or something but then I noticed blood around her bottom teeth. A bit panicky, I wondered if she had knocked her tiny teeth into her gums. She stopped crying in just a moment and I realized that her tooth had cut her lip. She went on her way with nothing more than a bit of a fat lip, and I think I was more traumatized than she was. My sweet, unmarred baby was bleeding.         
        I remember Peregrine's First Blood. He was sitting on the couch (backwards) when he toppled and hit the back of his head on the edge of the coffee table. I scooped him up and wrapped him in my arms, cradling his head in my hand. And then I felt it through his thick hair- blood. It's amazing how many thoughts can tumble through a Mama's mind in a split second. Did his head crack open? Will he have a concussion? Do we need to call 911? Take him to the emergency room? Will he have brain damage? Will he even survive? So I did the only logical thing and called my Mom. She assured me that he would be fine and that head wounds always bleed a lot. I was comforted. I think. Peregrine stopped screaming after a few minutes and who should arrive at the door but Doctor Grandma herself. I'm not sure if she came for me or for Peregrine but we were both glad of her presence. There's nothing like a Mom who's been there, done that to speak words of peace and comfort in those situations.
        Now Peregrine has taken to breaking his fingers. At least that's what he calls it. He bends a finger back as far as he can and says "Mom, I'm breaking my finger". That's my cue to say "Okay Peregrine, you can break your fingers but I'll have to take you to the doctor." At that point he exclaims "No!" and proceeds with breaking the next finger. And so it goes with each finger, the same conversation, over and over and over and over. He informed me that his fingers break very easily. And that if he breaks his head off I can take him to the doctor and they can put it back on for him. I'll try to remember that.
        And the best of all? He told my Mom the other day that if he gets tired of Alethea he'll just kick her back to Jesus! I guess if she breaks anything in the process I'll know what to do.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Letter to Alethea




        Dearest Alethea,
        It's hard for me to believe that you just turned one! We celebrated your birthday with a little springtime party and you had fun eating your cupcake and rubbing the frosting in your hair and playing with the tissue paper from your presents. You delighted us all with your smiles and laughter. You are my springtime girl, fresh and sweet and pretty, like a little flower.
        Just a year ago you were brand new, tiny, blinking in the light for the first time. You mesmerized us with your dark eyes and your soft "wispy, wispy hair." You've learned so much in a year- how to smile and sit up and crawl and stand and laugh. It's a joy to watch you discover things and to get to know you. You've always been gentle. Instead of grabbing things you open your little palm and feel them instead. You don't pull Dada's beard; you stroke it. But you do pop everything into your mouth! (and usually with your left hand, just like Dada.) You do things at your own pace: even though you could sit up around six months you had no use for it because you always wanted to be on the move. So you'd "lounge" instead, and then take off crawling on your belly to your next destination! You have no fear, just an adventurous spirit; you love it when Dada flies you around and throws you on the bed. You enjoy pulling things out of boxes and baskets and drawers and shelves. One of the only ways I can get you to stay still is to give you a laundry basket full of clothes or open a drawer and let you take things out one by one. You love music, and especially when I sing and clap. You flap your little arms like a bird and smile and laugh!
        You like to be where the action is, especially if Peregrine is involved and will follow him all over the house. You light up when he squeals at you and you watch him like he's your hero. He has loved you from the start, but now that you're a bit bigger he's not as gentle with you as was. Now he seems to think that he can pick you up and drag you across the floor if you're somewhere he doesn't want you to be. But you let him know what you don't like and I think you'll be able to hold your own!
        You are small for one year, dainty and feminine. Your eyes are bright blue, like your Daddy's, and I think you look a lot like him. He says you have a winsome smile (and he loves you.) You get excited when you see him coming home from work. I think you just might be a Daddy's girl. You still have wispy wispy hair; it's dark and long and we put it up in a little "fountain" on top of your head. I call you my Dolly and love to put you in pretty little dresses. You are soft and sweet and I love the way you smell.
        I wonder what things you will enjoy as you learn and grow. Your first name, Alethea, means truth, and we pray that you will always love the truth. Your middle names are part of you too, Poppy and Joy. We called you Poppy from the time your heart was only the size of a poppy seed. Already beating, we marveled that you were being fearfully and wonderfully made within me. And Joy! The Lord has brought us much joy through you and we also pray that your life would be characterized by His joy.
        I love being your Mama and am so thankful that God gave you to our family. I have enjoyed you so much this past year and I look forward to each day that we have together. We shall have lots of fun, you and I! We will play and dance and cook and sew and grow things and have tea parties.
        I love you my tiny girl, my Poppy Joy girl. You do bring joy to your Mama's heart and sunshine to my days.
        Always,
        Mama
        

Monday, April 03, 2006

A is for Apple Crisp


I found this website that offers ideas for learning a letter a week with your preschooler. Even though Peregrine knows most of this letters and the sounds they make I don't think he's ready to start reading just yet. I've been wanting to start doing more structured activities with him, and I think this will give us a springboard to do that. More than anything, it will ensure that we get one-on-one time together. The more I've thought about this idea the more I like it and think of more things we can incorporate into it. I bought a board that is half cork and half dry erase and each week we will display our letter card as well as any art work or pictures we draw or find that start with the letter. I've previously mentioned the book called My ABC Bible Verses: Hiding God's Word in Little Hearts and we will focus on one verse each week. In addition to that I hope to have one character trait to discuss and work on for every letter. Attentiveness, Bravery, Courage, Determination, Etc. I just ordered Picture Book Preschool that will help me to find story books to illustrate these traits. What else? This website has tons of activities, ideas, and printable coloring and tracing pages for each letter of the alphabet. There are snacks and activities and animals and countries and songs and the list goes on.
We are starting this week with the letter A. He seems to be enjoying it and so am I! Here are some of the things that we've already done or are planning to do for the letter A:
-Making Apple crisp and Applesauce with my Absolutely Amazing Apple Assistant!
-Reading Coral Reef Hideaway about an Anemone-fish.
-Looking through our big Atlas and talking about the continents and countries that start with A. There are lots!
-Memorizing Proverbs 15:1 "A soft answer turns away wrath", talking about what that means and practicing it.
-Thanking God for giving us strong Arms to play and work and hug.
-Making the letter A with Cheerios or chocolate chips. And then eating it of course!
-Cutting an Apple in half and stamping with it on paper.
-Learning about Astronauts.
-Talking about people we know (or read about) whose names start with A- Alethea, Alyssa, Aunties, Annie, Ashley, Andrew and Abbie.
-Talking about Attitudes.
-Learning and practicing being Attentive.
-Making Alphabet Soup
-Eating Animal Crackers with Apple Juice
I'm excited to embark on this journey of learning together with Peregrine. I plan to post the ideas I have for each week as well as how things have gone. In a few years time I'll be glad to look back on it when I start over with Alethea! I would love to hear ideas from others as well.