Monday, January 31, 2011

Some thoughts


(this picture is not suppose to be here. It's the rewards chart I talk about later. For some reason I can't get it to copy and paste down where I want it. Any suggestions?)


We're setting the table for 5 again. When Chris is gone, I get into my work mode and get things going smoothly around here. When I think I have everything under control and feel that things are going quite well, the boys remind me of how much they miss their daddy. "I miss my dad." "I can't wait till dad comes home." And Lolo recently said, "I don't want anything but my dad."

Although I'm a big part of their lives, the boys love Chris. He just adds something really special into their lives that I couldn't do myself. He plays with them differently. He initiates his own type of activities with the boys, that they love to be a part of. When Chris and the boys were out running errands, Lolo said, "Dad, I hope this isn't a dream (hanging out with dad), because if it is, I'll be so sad when I wake up." How cute is that! (and sort of mess up as well).

Toki updates

He's doing so much better in the mornings. While Chris was gone, he slept in my bed. He needed some TLC. As soon as the alarm goes off, I turn on some classical music. I wake him up gently. And I move on to breakfast, packing lunches, warming up the van and their coats. He's been so happy lately. I've been really working on my tone with him. He's so easily affected by our tone of speaking. He gets really down on himself when we're constantly negative and not careful about how we express our frustrations with his behaviors. He's such a special person. A gifted kid. I often feel that Satan wants so badly to tear this kid down. Toki and I have decided that we're going to try really hard to not let this happen. I'm trying to be positive, watch my tone, say good things, and discipline with love.

He's a maniac reader. He finished six Harry Potter books, the Conch Bearer and is currently reading its sequel. When he's suppose to be asleep, I find him reading. He blows me away. His teacher asked him, "Do you really read this much?" in regard to his reading chart. She only lets us mark up to 1 hour a day of reading. If she only knew how much he's really reading per day!! 1 hour?? phish. Try 3-5 hours!

He's wrapping up indoor soccer and is currently playing basketball as well. He loves scouts and enjoys taking pictures with his camera.

Vy update

This kiddo cracks me up! As soon as he wakes up, he is talking my ear off. Talk about a morning person. He's up, dressed, fed and ready to start the day. He seems to enjoy school and I don't hear a complaint. He's certainly enjoys his days off, but he plows through whatever it is he needs to do.

The thing I love about this kiddo is how independent he is. He's a doer. He wants corn. He asks me for it. I tell him to make it himself. So what does he do? He takes the corn out of the freezer, puts some in a pot, fills it with water, sets it on the stove top. After it's done, he puts them on a plate and takes care of business.

When it's time to do homework, he just does it. "I'm going to do my homework now." OK with me! And he's so, so smart. We've decided he's got Chris' smarts and Toki has my smarts....meaning that Vy works things out in his brain and applies himself well. He's sharp in math has a great memory and quick mind. You can explain something to him and then he can tell you in his own words what it means. Toki is focused and has an amazing attention span. He memorizes well and reminds me of when I was a kid........I could sit in one spot and memorize page by page, chapter by chapter, in my textbooks, for a test. But don't ask me to put anything in my own words. I would just copy paragraphs exactly as they were written in the text books, to answer test questions. I think that's why Toki does so well with the Rubik's cubes. It's a lot of memorizing and it takes a good attention span. He can now solve the 4x4 and 5x5. He, however, is much smarter than I was. He's had way more mental stimulation than I ever had growing up.

I thought Vy would never learn to read because I could never get him to sit down in one spot for longer than a few seconds. Imagine a ball continually filling up with lots of jumping particles and trying to hold it still. Eventually it's going to explode because of all the energy building up inside. That's Vy during reading time over the past year. He's this little ball of built up energy about to burst if he has to sit for another minute, sounding out words. Every once in a while, he loses it and screams something out. Anyway, I've stuck it out with him, having to be very firm at times. And magically (haha, I wish) he has become more fluent. He recently read a couple Magic Tree house books and Flat Stanley. I'm very pleased with his progress. I even recorded him reading a year ago and recently, to see the comparison. I also wanted to get on tape the struggle I was having with him. Now instead of seeing a little boy about to explode and yelling at me, you'll see a little boy reading a chapter all the while shaking his leg, or picking at something or doing leg lifts, but yet reading page by page for 20 minutes. It's a miracle.

Vy is playing indoor soccer, loves building with legos, play dates with friends, and food.

Lolo

What to say about Lolo. He's been the one to do things a little bit earlier than his brothers. For example he potty trained 1 1/2 years earlier than Toki. He's also a little more advanced with his letters and phonics than his brothers were at his age. He'll be starting school younger than his siblings did but ahead of where they were in reading and writing.

I recently came upon a rewards chart at my friends house that I modified and is working for us. There are only a few things that I've been struggling with to get the boys to do. For Toki it is practicing the piano. For Vy, it is reading for 20 minutes per day. And for Lolo, not really anything at this point. But to allow him to be part of this rewards chart, he is working on reading and writing. He loves to do his assignments so that he can move up the rewards chart.

Everyday the boys do the required activity, they get to move up a tile. The kids get rewarded every fifth tile. As they move towards the end of the 30 days, the prizes get more exciting. For example, the first set of prizes include something from the dollar store, a large chocolate bar, or a red box movie. The second set includes a long foot massage or staying up late on Friday with us. The third set of rewards include a happy meal with dad or a dollar movie date with dad, or a trip to "Spoon Me" with mom. The fifth set of prizes include a new book or a new notebook/markers. After everyone has finished up the 30 days, we're going to Incredible Pizzas. All the rewards are things that are cheap and that we'd probably do anyway........but shhhh don't tell the kids that!!

It been a fun way to record whether or not they're doing these "not so fun" things and a fun way to reward the kids for doing something they really don't want to do but that I want them to do. It's hard work for them but it comes with immediate rewards and some they won't see until years from now.

Lolo is also playing indoor soccer. He chases after the ball the entire time he's in. He loves it and is such a good team player. He is doing really well in primary now that he has a new teacher that knows how to work with kids. Last year it was such a struggle since Lolo's other classmate has huge behavioral problems and they're teachers were just babysitting, not really planning anything structured and spiritual or fun for the boys. I was so frustrated. Now, even though the other kid is still a struggle, the teacher has fun things for Lolo to do and is actually getting some attention instead of none at all.

Me

My weeks have consisted of trying to keep a good atmosphere in the home. The most important prayer for me is the one we have before the boys leave for school. I can't send them out without one. I also hold family home evening with/without Chris. I keep it short and simple but take the opportunity to share my feelings about the gospel and my personal thoughts and experiences. I find that they actually stop and listen to my life stories. It's always a light switch as soon as I move from a lecture to an actual experience. I also find comfort in sitting down to have dinner (with/without Chris). A home cooked meal, a set table, and my family gathered around....there are blessings of doing this that I can't really explain and some that I probably don't know of yet. After dinner, it's homework, bath, and reading time. Outside of these regular activities, I get to work out, clean something, nap, etc. And when I'm not doing those things, I'm running the kids around town to all they're activities and often stressing out about having to be at two places at once.

Chris

Is so glad to be home. He's been catching up on sleep and this past weekend got the go-cart running. All I'll say about it is.......it's fast (too fast for my comfort) and that if he wants anyone to know about it, he'll have to log onto here and blog for himself. :0)

4 comments:

  1. I want to see video of the go-cart

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  2. i like this post, good summation! I guess i may have to break down and blog to brag about the cart.

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  3. in all sincerity, i think you are a great mom and your kids are awesome!

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