25 February 2009

Who's that Manly Man?

Stepping through boyhood is a long process. Even in this great length of time you can see how quickly they grow. Just look at all of those muscles.


18 February 2009

Winter Blues

I can just picture Elvis singing this song, hey; it is better than if it was country. I am convinced that people who really enjoy the snow do not have little children. Staying inside for a long Winter is, well, really boring. You can only play legos, geotrax, lincoln logs, and quadrilla so many times before you are sick to death of them. It isn't that we don't like to go outside it is just that with four small children; going outside is hard to do. Caleb is too young to be outside for more than 30 minutes, Andrew detestes the snow, and Josiah's legs are too little to walk through the deep snow. That leaves Elijah and I and no one to watch the other boys. If you are getting ready to have children I suggest that you get in as much snowshoeing and skiing as you can now, because once you have more than three forget it. I cannot go snowshoeing with these boys. I would have to carry one and drag two in a sled. Not to mention that we could only be outside for 30 minutes and it almost takes that long to get Eli's snowshoes adjusted correctly on his little feet. Add Tyler being gone 3 days every other week for work and you gain a clear understanding of why we are suffering from the Winter blues at the Smith house. Well, the boys don't know what it is called yet, but they are starting to get a little cramped being inside all day every day.

There are some benefits to never leaving the house though. Just ask Josiah who spends most mornings walking around in just underwear. Even when I dress him he tends to shed his pants in one bathroom visit and never puts them on again. The kid just likes to be naked. What am I going to do about that? Nothing, until he wants to go naked outside. Also, we have been doing pretty well keeping up with our schooling schedule, and chores. When there is no competition from outside it isn't very hard to make sure you do your work inside.

Enough complaints about Winter blues, here are some pictures of what the boys have been doing to stay busy this wonderful cold time of year.

Tent building is a lot of fun, and when you are surrounded by boys it becomes an art; especially in the dead of Winter.

Schooling in our house consists of a little bit of reading lessons (phonics), some number recognition, maybe some patterns, a lot of conversations about nature and God, and an insane amount of crayons and paper.

Every man for himself. Needless to say the boys get sick of always playing together. So how do they fix this? They build three of almost everything. Three tents, three block houses, you name it. I restrain myself from telling them that if they are all building the same thing it is pretty much the same as playing together, but you know, different.

11 February 2009

Brotherly Love

I was recently reading through Elijah's baby book as I updated a few things and I must say I don't know where some of those comments come from. Here is one that I would like to share with you.

"You are such a boy - your arm becomes a gun, a stick is a sword, and wrestling is a tender embrace."

I didn't know that I could be so poetic, and sappy. I read comments like that, I see that they are true; then I get pictures like the one above  (they are hugging, not strangling each other). I am quite baffled by the apparent contradiction, but I suppose that is because I myself lack the necessary hormone to understand brotherly love.

04 February 2009

A Good Book

A good book is hard to find. I love reading. Fact, fiction, magazines, children's books, and even a dictionary can be interesting.  What great lengths people go through to produce great reading material, and yet how many children today love to read? So far my boys love reading. We are making the world of words part of everyday. Not only do we read about Tigger and Tom Sawyer, but we read about what is happening in the world, and about what has happened.  I am currently reading the book 1776, which is wonderful, and the boys love to hear the things that I share regarding the revolutionary war.  Reading is a wonderful gift, and although the boys cannot read independently yet, they are learning to read by asking questions. From publicly reading the bible in the morning to discussing what we are learning from our individual reading endeavors; the boys are taking in the information just as though they were reading the materials. 

Lately my mind has been focused on books. What kind of books do I want to read? What kind of books do I want the boys to read? Which books are worth spending money on? How do I start building the boys library into a wonderful collection of useful renditions?  I think that between us making reading an everyday occurrence and sharing the treasures that we find in words and The Word, our boys will love reading. They already do, but I want their passion for books to be with them for their entire life. So what am I doing to bring reading to the next level? Well besides teaching them to read for themselves. 

This year Elijah turns 5, and 5 is a big number. It is a whole hand.  We have decided to make the fifth birthday for each of our boys a special birthday.  Elijah will receive his very first and exclusively his own bookshelf to hold his very own collection of books and toys that are off limits to the others. This idea really is a merge of feeding Elijah's desire to read with teaching the boys to respect each other's property.  We will also be starting Elijah's book collection this year with three books by Jules Verne. I am praying that with this special gift will come a special memory for Elijah so that he will always think fondly of words, and reading, and how he started reading before, well, he could read. 

I hope that this update has come to you well, but mostly I hope that it has sparked an interest in you to read a good book and learn something new from the experience.