My husband is notorious in our family as a lover of pickles. He is a particular pickle lover – he only prefers peppery pickles. Sorry, couldn’t resist the alliterations! Anyway, we received a pickle ornament some time back because of my husband’s well-known passion for pickles (I may or may not stop). Attached to our pickle ornament was a story of a pickle tradition in which a pickle ornament is hidden on a Christmas tree for children to find. The first child to find the pickle receives a prize. In the years following we have started to do this tradition with our kids. And our kids LOVE it! It is one of the only traditions for the holidays our kids discuss the moment we get the tree out of storage.
We just finished our first day of school for the girls (and AG, by surprise) in our updated homeschool space. I know it is Labor Day. But Labor Day means Daddy is home and I have help for the day. We also have our first community day with Classical Conversations tomorrow. I am trying to alleviate the busyness of the morning tomorrow whilst establishing an understanding that we do school AT home. I had to explain this to the girls a few times because excitement has an affect on their ears!
1 in 5 are unplanned. For our first baby I prepared to have her naturally (or as naturally as possible). I read the books, prayed a lot, and psyched myself up for the big day when I.would.birth.a.human. Then as the day approached our little surprise was breach – laying patiently on her side for the day of her (overdue) arrival. We did all the things we could to try to turn her. And she did!! I felt her flip the night before the big day. We got to the hospital and they did the ultrasound – she had flipped and was now sitting up straight – even more breach than before.
We made the decision: a C-section was necessary.
And suddenly we were in a whole new world. We had no idea about what to expect, what to know, nothing. We were just walking through the motions for the next few days with a new baby as new parents, me recovering from a major surgery.
After months and months of waiting, I finally have gained permission to start planning our Disney World trip in earnest! I started a little while back (before baby #4) and have most of the “plans” in place ready to be carried out. In the meantime, I have been slowly saving money for Disney World. It is not a cheap prospect for us! But I am softening the blow to our bank account by employing some simple methods for saving money for Disney.
I have written before about our most successful method of saving money. By this method we have purchased a refrigerator, a dishwasher, a washer/dryer combo, a custom leather sofa, and a backyard playset for the kids. And I am currently stashing money away for our Disney trip that way, too! But I have some other methods for saving money for Disney I want to share with you.
We have some young alphabet loving learners in our house! It started early for my oldest girl and I think she passed it down to her sister and her brother. G was able to sing the alphabet (with some little stumbles) at 18 months. And just a couple months later, she had the whole thing. Then she started working on learning the letter sounds. By the time she was 4 she had just started reading (through a combination of phonics and sight words) without me “teaching her to read.”
To a lesser extent, W (5 years-old) is interested in the alphabet. She has known all the letters for a long time and is proficient at writing them, too. But she is less interested in finding out what sounds they make. Teaching her to read has been an extended process which requires much patience.
And on her heels is AG (2 years-old). In love with all things letters and books, he is well on his way to becoming a reader. His most requested picture books are alphabet related. And he spends much of his time identifying letters. And he loves to match the “big” letters to the little letters.
I share this as an awed observer because kids (in general) amaze me. They are seriously little sponges that make learning look completely natural and fun! The way learning should look! I did very little to help my kids fall in love with the alphabet.
I don’t spend much time in Christian bookstores. I have found that shopping for the latest Christian bestseller is usually a waste of time and money. The sheer amount of worthless books I have to sort through to get to the worthy ones is overwhelming.
But, I do wander into a Christian bookstore every now and then. Even though I know what I am looking for, it can be hard to find it. The shelves are filled with books offering solutions to problems, theological perspectives that are popular and unpopular, and LOTS of Christian fiction. Since I don’t read Christian fiction, I tend to find myself in the non-fiction aisles more often than not. And what is to be found there is a conglomeration of options that can be quite confusing.