Friday, June 23, 2006

Pet Bugs

I am just thrilled! Recently I picked up this book from our library. No catchy cover, no color pictures and the copywrite is 1994. But none the less the title looked interesting enough for summer. Pet Bugs: A Kid's Guide to Catching and Keeping Touchable Insects by Sally Kneidel. We've looked at other similar books and this one is far superior. First of all, the introduction is riveting. Sally writes as if she were walking and talking beside you on a bug safari. Twenty six insects (a couple spiders and a couple segmented worms) are highlighted in this book. Each chapter has line drawings of the insect and then the following sections: What They Look Like, Where to Find Them, How to Catch Them, How to Keep Them and What They Act Like. Each section is so straightforward that even the youngest bug lover will feel smarter after hearing it read. And each section is so full of fun information that even the most squeemish will be tempted to turn over rotten logs. Lee (7) is so interested in hearing me read about the insects that we have read and reread almost every chapter. We did go on a search for a millipede; didn't have any luck finding one, but came home with a blue skink and saw ant egg sacks (an added bonus). We've been watching the house for a praying mantis and daddy longlegs. Seems like when you want one you can't find one and when you don't want to be startled by one you always are. This book is so fun and informative that I plan on buying a used copy soon.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

A Look at Literacy

I've always wanted a reader, a child who carried a book everywhere. Once Grace began to read I thought she would love reading so much that she would be reading all the time. Boy, was I wrong. She is only 8, so maybe I'm jumping the gun on this, but honestly she doesn't enjoy reading (unless it's the calendar to see what's on the agenda for the day) as much as I thought she would. I've always enjoyed reading and we read as a family a lot, so I just thought that it would carry through to our children. She does love the idea of reading. She checks out piles of chapter books from the library with plans to read them all and then reality sets in and after three weeks she's read 2 chapters from only one book. I encourage her to read in bed at night and after a couple of pages she turns out the light. I don't know why I worry about this issue so much. She has so many other interests. She stays focused when she practices her violin daily and is excelling at that. She is very kinesthetic; she's had 3 sessions of swim lessons spread out over her eight years and has become an avid swimmer and now learned to dive this summer just by watching her friend. She dances with perfect rhythm and has lots of unique moves. She has very good control of her body; she rollerblades, bikes, scooters and ice skates all with excellent skill (and without lessons). She is very intuitive to the needs of others and is always the first to help out when trying to get out the door on time or when it's meal time. She is thoughtful and always writes Thank You notes and possesses excellent speaking skills, especially on the telephone. She is an entrepreneur, always looking for ways to earn money. She once wrote up flyers to hang on our rural neighbors' doors letting them know she had eggs to sell. Most recently she called some of those same neighbors asking if they had any odd jobs she could do. She is a lovely child (whom I would miss dearly if she got her way and went to a week long resident camp) and after reading this post I realize that reading consistently would not make her any better than she is already. My prayer for today: Dear Lord, thank you for entrusting me with 4 beautiful and talented children. Help me to mother my children in the best way for each of them. Lord, I ask that you give my children opportunities to develop the skills that you know they will need to carry out their vocation. Amen.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Oh Shut Up!

Last night Lou was crying in bed because she was scared. Never mind that the bedroom lamp was on and the hall light was on. The problem was that Grace was staying up a little longer which meant that Lou was alone in the room. I had had it! It had been a day of lots of bickering, not listening and begging to just watch movies. It was 8:30 and I was already tired; Lee was insisting that I read to him about bugs that he wanted to catch. So in the heat of the moment, I mumbled, "Oh Shut Up Lou", then I realized that Grace was sitting right there. I quickly apologized for my behavior, but not before getting "the look". The look is the one that I'm sure I give them when they say something sarcastic, rude or down right hurtful. How embarassing to be the mom and given the look by her child. At that moment be both realized that we are human and all make mistakes. Lesson learned.

Friday, June 9, 2006

Rabbits Like Asters

Liquid Fence works great if you remember to spray it on the plants. As the young shoots were emerging this spring I sprayed them after every rain and had no problems with rabbits chewing on them. I got a little lazy about spraying the asters and now one entire plant is gone. So out came the Liquid Fence again and I was reminded of how awful it smells. I don't know what's worse letting the rabbits eat the butterfly garden or trying to enjoy the garden with that awful urine odor.

American Family

I've always wanted a flag pole in front of our house. We had a house bracket for a while, but the wind bent the pole and then after residing we just never fixed it up again. So for my birthday this year DH bought me a 15 foot flag pole and installed it by the front fence. I finally feel like a real American Family.

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

"Happy" Graduation

We attended a graduation party for my cousin this last Saturday. The weather was beautiful, I visited with lots of out of town relatives, ate great food, listened to fun live music, watched my kids make friends with the other kids (no social problems to speak of) and unfortunately, watched 40-50 teenagers drink alcoholic beverages without their parents or the host of the party having any concern about it. Thinking back to that day I am saddened that the adults didn't put higher expectations on these youth, our future. Listening in on a couple of conversations I heard them swear incessantly, belittle their older siblings who are in college, talk disrespectfully to their parents (on cell phones) and talk of having no plans for their future except to live at home until "kicked out". I hope this is not an average cross section of the youth of today because if it is we are in for a lot of trouble. All I can say is that I am so sad for these young "adults". Their spirits have been crushed and now they are left to find a purpose for themself. My prayer today: Lord, help those young people to come to you. Show them their purpose and give them the will to follow your lead. Help me, O Lord, to develop a love for you in my children, that they will follow your lead and know that you have a plan for them if they just listen. Give me the strength to set high expectations for my children and not back down when "everyone else is doing it". Amen

Remembering Good Times

I was home alone with Lee the other day, so we took advantage of it and went for a canoe ride. The peacefulness of the water and quietness of the morning really got his mind thinking about times past. Each memory began with, "Remember when......" and each one ended with, ".......you read (fill in the blank with a good book)."

Remember when we took our after harvest trip to Eau Claire and you read from the Little House books.

Remember when we went to Cabelas and you and dad bought us the bow with the nerf balls; you read The Last of the Mohicans to us.

Remember when you read Indian in the Cupboard and then Uncle Nate brought the movie to us to watch.

When good books and memories are tied together they will last a lifetime. I am so happy my children will have the memories of "good books".