Thursday, June 26, 2014

Greek and Stuff (or Why Our Kids are Weird)

When something went wrong, my Grandma Phillips always used the expression, "Oh, man!"  My mom used the expression often.  And I, too, use this same expression.  Naturally, the kids do as well.

These same kids are learning Koine Greek right now.  Joshua and Hannah are in their second year (this means that they can identify and write the letters of the Greek alphabet, tell their sounds, and identify about four words - it's a nice, slooow program).

The newest word in their Greek curriculum is "anthropos".  It means "a man".  This morning I overheard Hannah saying, "Oh, anthropos!"  Followed by a string of laughter.

I also found this written on the kids' scrap paper earlier in the week:


Claude and I are trying to keep up with them so that we can one day read a little Greek ourselves.  I'm already beginning to see the dust kick up behind them as they take off and we struggle to tell the difference between ν and η.

On the other end of the spectrum, Hannah made this confession to me several months ago.

"Mommy, I don't know the English alphabet."  [She was already reading chapter books and dictating 20-word spelling lists at this stage, so I know that she knows the letters, just not their order.]
"Would you like to learn it, Hannah?"
"Well, I know the Greek alphabet, so that's okay."

At the time, had we chosen to enroll her in public school, she would have been starting kindergarten.  If singing the alphabet song was some kind of requirement to enter kindergarten she would have failed. 

Abby spends a lot of time doodling letters on paper.  Her favorites seem to be o, t, and A.  And, yes, she does write only capital A.  She can also write her name but this takes on different variations like: BBAY, YBBA, ABBY, and my personal favorite BABY.

In the past couple of weeks I have found θ in the midst of the usual English letters.  It looks like Abby is also learning Greek.

I've mentioned before how much the kids love the Little House on the Prairie books.  So great is their love for all things Laura Ingalls Wilder that even Abby and Jeremiah "read" the books.  I would say that 9 times out of 10 they have chapter books in their laps instead of one of many awesome picture books that line our library shelf.  My favorite is when they insist on putting a book mark in their book before setting it down.  I haven't quite figured out how they know the difference between one page of solid text and another.  But apparently it really matters.

Jeremiah is talking up a storm.  He likes to tell me about anything and everything he can remember from his day.  Earlier this week he ran up to me and said, "Abby neaking bood!"  Translation, "Abby, sneaking food!"  And so the tattling begins...

He also likes the question "Why?"  Last week he came into the bathroom while I was painting my toenails.  He stood, sucking his fingers, for a few minutes and observed this strange activity.  Then he said, "Mommy, I want toe paint."

The conversation continued as follows,

"Jeremiah, you can't paint your toe nails."
"Because boys don't paint their nails."
"I'm not sure, Jeremiah, that's just how it is in this culture."
Then he thought for a moment, sucking his fingers.
"Mommy, Joshua toe paint."
"No, Joshua doesn't paint his nails."

He's not even 2 years old...I was kind of hoping to put off the "why" stage for another year or so!

Jeremiah also thinks that whatever happens to his siblings is also happening to him.  Last week he came to me and said, "Mommy, my teeth loose.  Come out."  Then he reached into his mouth and tried wriggling his teeth.

"Jeremiah, your teeth are not coming out."
"Because your teeth are growing in right now."

Abby swallowed a ring that Hannah gave to her.  It was made from wire and fairly chunky glass beads.  She, being like her dad, has a stomach of steel and seems to have passed it without too much trouble.  We haven't actually found the ring, though.  So, for a couple of weeks we have been checking each and every one of her bowel movements.  Boy am I glad that, after consulting our pediatrician, we no longer have to scour the toilet for signs of a digested ring!

Apparently Jeremiah thinks that he, too, swallowed a ring.  He told us the other day, "Mommy, I ring in my poop."

Sometimes You Just Need to Remember

These are two of our favorite home videos.  On particularly rough days, Claude will sometimes play one or both of these.  They always make us smile...and if it's been especially stressful, I may even cry.  Either way we are encouraged that our children do communicate with others in more than snorts, growls, and screams.


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Snapshots: Weekend

We did some yard work, walked to the neighborhood pool, worked on sewing projects, and enjoyed one on one time with Daddy.  We made it to and from church without a single tantrum (although we were on the cusp of a couple) and we have managed to enjoy an afternoon of rest time, nap time, and Legos.  This weekend must be recorded because we may not have a replay for a few weeks months years!

 This, my dear friends, is why we go to the pool.  If only everyone had a nap like this one...and then went to bed on time!

 We have a few duos in the family.  First came Joshua and Hannah.  Then came these two.  Both spell T-R-O-U-B-L-E.

The girls share socks.  They rarely match the socks.  This, by no means, keeps the socks from being worn.

The Baby.

 The Book Worm.

The Builders.

Here's one to prove that Rachel is not always napping.

And here's one to prove that these little guys do have parents.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Friday Funnies: Joshua's Grocery List

We found the following list on our kitchen counter.

Grocery List
Medical Store, Car Shop, Academy, H.E.B.

Gun, 1
Knifes, 18
Tape, 2
Glue, 8
Tools, 10,080
Scissors, 4
Candy, 3-4 packs
Phone, 1
Fax Machine, 1
Printer, 1
Computer, 1
Traps, 185
RV, 1
First-Aid Kit, 2

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Homer Price Homemade Doughnuts

We are currently reading "Homer Price".  The kids can't wait every day to dive into some of Homer's crazy adventures.  If you haven't heard of this book, read it, or read it with your children I highly recommend it!

Now, we are not usually a very "hands-on" homeschooling family.  I have a lot of ideas for fun things to do with the kids, but we rarely do them.  At this stage in our family my daily goal is to keep everyone fed, clothed, rested, and up to date with schoolwork.

But today we actually carved out some time to make homemade doughnuts - in honor of Homer Price.  We followed *this recipe (cut it in half to make about 3 dozen doughnuts plus doughnut holes) and had great success with it.

*The recipe calls for packets of yeast.  If you buy yours in bulk, like we do, you will want to know that 1 packet of yeast = 2 1/4 tsp.

Make sure your self-control has come along for the ride or you may eat more than a couple of these babies!  Not that I have any experience with my self-control flying the coop...  ;)

Friday, June 6, 2014

Snapshots: Teeth, Mobility, and Giant Pots

Joshua lost two teeth this week.

This photo was taken after the first one came out.  For some reason his teeth have been spreading out leaving a huge gap around this one tooth.  By the end of the week the gap on the right was just as wide as that on the left which made him look like he had one single tooth right in the middle of his mouth.  I called it the snaggle tooth and it had quite an effect paired with some growling and hissing.

He wouldn't let us take a picture after the second tooth came out tonight.  According to Joshua, smiling is painful and he wishes not to do it unless absolutely necessary (or we catch him off guard).

While one is losing teeth, another is gaining them.  Jeremiah has had a mere six teeth for several months - really, I think it's been close to one year.  Recently his two year molars came in, but he had big gaps in between the front teeth and the molars.  Until this week.  I've counted at least four teeth that have come through in the last few days.

And while we're on the subject of milestones I must not forget Rachel.  She started crawling this week!  And she is quite happy about the new found freedom.  I do, however, suspect that she does not like the new predicaments in which she finds herself - this evening she was stuck under the high chair and couldn't figure out how to get out.

We go on a family "hike" every Saturday morning.  There really aren't places to hike in this part of Texas.  Except for a local park that has some man-made hills.  To the kids these hills are the biggest hills they have ever seen.  In an area where elevation gain is non-existent I can see why they are so thrilled by them.

Anyway...while running up down their favorite hills and picking wildflowers a couple weekends ago we tried to snap a quick Chew Crew photo.  No one ever looks at the camera at the same time, so this is as good as it'll get.  Oh, was stress-free and tear-free, so I consider that a success!

I asked Claude to pick up a big stock pot on his trip to Sam's Club this evening.  I was thinking something modest but bigger than our current biggest pot, which is no longer large enough for some things.  He came home with this:

Soup anyone???