Monthly Archives: March 2011

Hard work

Hard work is a part of life.  Staying at a job till it is done is a necessary self-discipline to possess.  It is not always fun to jump into the yard work or the laundry rather than sit and passively view TV all night; but it is part of being responsible.

Our responsibility to our children, and to the God who gave them to us, is to prepare them for the future.  To mold them shape them and direct them towards a successful path.  No matter the task at hand or the chore to be accomplished our first duty as parents is the shaping, the training and the encouraging of the boys at our side.  Our boys will need to be good men, productive adults, and excellent husbands and exceptional fathers.  They need to be ready to cuddle a sick child or to work all night in the bitter cold to keep a pond from freezing up for the live stock.  They need to be self sacrificing and work till the job is done and done well; putting their family and others first.

Our boys jump into hard work and thrive on being right there beside Daddy or momma in all daily tasks.  We strive to limit as much as possible the time they must, for safety reasons, be excluded.  We endeavor to talk about work, tasks and chores in a positive light and to encourage their eagerness about upcoming work.  We make every effort to portray life as “fun and work” but “work first, then reward yourself”.  I admit it is more of a challenge to momma or daddy to ‘share the work’ but the long term benefits of allowing a 5 year to cut cedar trees, a 3 year to sort laundry, or both the boys to shovel mulch is the worth more than gold.  Today we “share the work” with them, soon our family will share the work more evenly and the day will come when they will share the work with our grandchildren.  Our boys see shoveling rock or hauling trash as a joy a time to be with daddy and to ‘do for’ momma or the family.  Daddy and I make every effort to encourage them, to include them, to challenge them and to nurture their innate willingness to work.

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Big Brother is such an odd child.  I love him, and watching him learn is amazing.  I introduced the number line to him today, both the concept of greater than and less than and the symboles.  He took to it right away.  This was after acting incapable of counting pennies.  I sat down with both boys, with the intention of seeing just how high (one to one relationship) Big Brother could count.  He acted goophy and silly and slow and never did count, correctly past 13 and I know he can do better than that.  I sent him off, and started a momma project:  I got out a calendar and turned it into a sticker chart for him to keep track of his non “time out days”.  He responded well to a small reward for going 7 days without having to be “parent removed” self control is a big struggle for him, but he is so proud of himself after the fact.  He loves “challenges” so I decided to challenge him to go more days this time.  Since learning the calendar is a goal we are working on right now I thought recording his successful or not successful days on a real calendar would give him a more tangible way to learn days and ‘how long’.  The number line sprung up as we were trying to come up with a challenge day count.  At first he was all over the board, I do not if he was just shouting random numbers at me (“let’s do 2 + 1 days Momma, is that a lot?”) and knowing he was being silly or if he really still has that weak a grasp on  the sizes different numbers.  His suggestions were all over the place from 3 to 156, by then I think he was just writing random numbers.  He seemed pretty amazed that 150+ days would be “after this summer, it would be getting cold again”.  So I made a small number line; circled the 7 (the last challenge he met) and use the < and > symbols for the other numbers on the line.  I did it more as ‘something to write as I talked’ to try to just get him to look at the number line; but he got it.  He seemed to really be paying attention to the line and how the numbers related on it.  “This side is always littler momma?”  Now we’ll see how much retention he has tomorrow and if he really ‘grows in understand’.  We’ll see if he can USE the concept of greater or less than (< and >) or bigger and smaller as we talked about them in relations to numbers.  Nevertheless for today he seemed to be ‘getting it’.  We looked at the number line (1 to 15) and talked about all the numbers, in more or less random order, compared to 7 and he was right on them all.  Pretty exciting.  It continues to amaze me how some things are so quick for him, and others he just doesn’t seem to ‘grasp’.  We’ll see …


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The boys in what the call “pa pa shirts” (I had asked Big to “smile”)

Ah my boys, just a normal day.

 and now the other one ….


Finally Molly today — 26 pounds …


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The boys worked on numeral order; that is putting printed numerals in order and counting “up one” and “down one”.  They got to go 20 questions on the computer, ok Big got to standing by me and Little, hanging over my should got to shout out the numbers he knows, indifferent to the actual question, and point a lot.  All I can say is you have to be physically strong to home school a preschooler and a kindy kid – I wanna be the mom fro the Incredibles!!   After the computer time we got out the number tiles and I gave Big Brother the 1 to 10 tile and told him to put them in numbered order.  He can count much higher; but as for recognizes the written numeral; he struggles at 8 and above.  Our current goal is to count, and identify numbers up to 100 with ease. 

Home schooling is even more fun, not only with a little brother to help you, but a puppy too.

Both boys worked on fine motor skills today with a set of lacing boards.  Stop sign, square, pizza slice, so on that they lace the edges with shoelaces.  Ok maybe it is just my kids, but these do not keep their attention for over 45 seconds.  I can’t even tell you if the task is a challenge for them, or super easy – they won’t stay at it.  They start to lace, then they are swinging the cards by the lacing string (so, of course, Momma has to take it away) or “fishing” with them or ….you see the trend, they are not lacing.  So the cards got taken away after about 3 minutes after Momma had to stop them being swung and used for tug-of-war.  This is honestly the challenge I run into with most “fine motor practice” they start misusing the item almost immediately (bead got tossed, or rolled; tweezers or tongs pinch people, and so on).  I am not sure if this behavior is due to them just being little boys (all BOY boys at that) and so close in age they constantly egg each other on; or if it is a avoidance behavior because the request (the fine motor activity) is a challenge or frustrating for them.

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Little’s Blood Test Results

Remember Little Brother’s horrible blood draw and appt at the GI specialist at the Children’s Hospital?   Got all the test results back and they all came back normal / negative.  While I am certainly happy about that, I am, at the same time, frustrated.  I would genuinely like some answers regarding the seemingly random symptoms Little continues to struggles with.

The advice of Dr. Mhd Louai Manini, M.D.?  You’re gonna love this!  “let’s watch him for another week or so and see if things don’t right themselves”.  OK.  So I brought in 13 weeks of detail notes regarding fevers, eating, behavior, stools, weight gains and losses and medical appointments; but watching him another week or 2 is going to help the situation??

Nice guy, I really did like him, but please – if you do not have an answer just tell me so.

So now Daddy and I have to decide if we want to give it more time, or go back to the Ped (Dr Amy Kimball, we love her) and see about pursuing immunity issues? 

His symptoms are that that serious; since he is in general still gaining weights and the weight losses correct themselves in a week or two.  Nevertheless, given he has been struggling with this mystery malady since the first of 2011 and while not getting worse is not over it either is a cause for a Momma to worry.  Actually I am more worried about his body’s inability to conquer this (virus?  Bug?) lingering illness than I am about the illness itself.


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little sprouts

The boys started some seeds in the kitchen with Daddy.  The sunflowers are coming up.  Apparently my boys are much more gifted at growing things than momma is. 

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Sunday at mass I happened to be reading The Catholic Devotional in the pew.  I found a pray that made my heart sing, well it stung some too, but mostly my heart sang.  I’ve done a little research, and am still attempting to find the original author of this pray, I do not see the reason it is slated as a ‘pray for after HOLY COMMUNION’.  To me it seems much more fitting as a ‘how to start your day pray’.  I think I am going to start using this as my morning offering; and as the boys age I am considering teaching it to them too – but they are still trying to grasp the Our Father.  Nevertheless I found it in no less that three places (such as catorgizied as a pray after HOLY COMMUNION. 

Again, I am not the author of this fantastic pray, and I am seeking the correct person to credit.

Dear Lord,

help me to remove from my mind every thought

or opinion which You would not sanction,

every feeling form my heart which You would not approve.

Grant that I may spend the hours of the day

gladly working with You according to Your will.

Help me just for today and be with me in it.

In the long hours of work,

that I may not grow weary or slack in serving You.

In conversations,

that they may not be to me occasions of uncharitableness.

In the day’s worries and disappointments,

that I may be patient with myself and with those around me.

In moments of fatigue and illness,

that I may be mindful of others rather than of myself.

In temptations, that I may be generous and loyal,

so that when the day is over I may lay it at Your feet,

with its successes which are all Yours,

and its failures which are all my own,

and feel that life is real and peaceful

and blessed when spent with You as the Guest of my soul.

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