life around here

Sometimes the house is so quiet at night that I'm almost feel like I'm not in my own house. It's like I have a daytime house, where voices and footsteps compete with shouting and singing, where I have to crank the volume and stand close to the laptop to hear the words on a youtube video. 

And then there's night, which is basically the complete opposite. 

I like them both, days and nights; they are each full of life in their own way. And so I meet the silence with some words and sit to write. 

We've been busier lately than I'd like. Sometimes I wonder if my own childhood was as busy as my kids' childhood and I just don't remember that because I was going from one thing to the next, never worrying about the logistics or consequences of all the ink on the calendar. 

Or has life actually sped up? Are our kids living at a faster pace than the generation we grew up in? I dunno. 

What I do know, is that not many people, when asked what their childhood was like, respond with the word, "Busy." So maybe that is an adult word, a grown-up concept that is more of a factor for the big people who are trying to get stuff done in the world and keep it all together. Again, I dunno.

Speaking of childhood, right now my firstborn is awake... reading. 

After listening to the Bunnicula stories, Drew came to me and informed me that there was a character in that story who got to stay up reading one night a week. He asked if he could do the same. We agreed to a trial period, saying it would continue based on how well he handled himself the day after he stayed up to read. 

Right now Drew is starting the last book in the Series of Unfortunate Events series by Lemony Snickett, a series that has moved him from a leisurely reader to a devoted reader. That transition is so fun to watch and if reading at night will further the love, bring it on!

Our 50 Day Reading Challenge has spurred a lot of great things in our house. Ella woke one morning this week, declaring that today would be the day she learns to read. She was tired of being a non-reader, tired of not having her own crowning achievements listed on our wall of books. And in typical Ella style- she came, she saw, she conquered (all in a skirt, of course.) A few BOB books down, she is sounding out words all around her and enjoying her new ability. 

I've never been a big advocate of early reading. I'm not against it per se, just read some things that made me feel it was beneficial to follow a child's cues about when they were ready to read. 

With Drew at 6, he was starting to sound out words. 

With Isaac at 6, he was kind of bored and I could sense that he would benefit from the accomplishment.

With Ella at 4, she sat at breakfast one day and screamed at me, "Why won't you teach me to READ?????" 

It's all about watching for those developmental signs, eh? Sheesh. 

Another great side effect of the 50 day challenge is stumbling upon so many new books we haven't ventured to before. Among my new reading favorites are The Friend, Best Christmas Pageant Ever, and Little Quack Loves Colors (Tessa's pick of the month). 

The boys really enjoyed the Bunnicula trilogy and deepened their undying attachment to all things Magic Treehouse.

 Ella has been in raptures over Princess Adventure Stories, Mermaid Tales, and the Rainbow Magic Fairies series. (I admit, none of these would qualify as great children's literature in my book but I think the point at this age is for them to LOVE stories. So we read these aloud, talk about the characters, make predictions, scrutinize the pictures. And through it I am learning that you can have great book experiences even outside of great books.)

In other news, Christmas is coming at us. We haven't done anything fancy for Advent beyond gathering one night a week with people from our community. Other than that, we read the Christmas story in various forms, play around with our Nativity stick puppets, have a stack of Christmas-themed library books, and try to bring it back to Jesus when at all possible. And for me this year, that's enough. 

On Thursday I woke to a back step covered in a thin layer of snow. Something about it felt like an empty canvas, like a brief opportunity to create something, so I wrote out this verse that has been pulsing in my mind over these last few years. In Him is life. It doesn't get much simpler or truer than that, does it?

Well, I think that is all for tonight. I feel like there are so many posts that have piled up in my mind, a book update that I need to write (and a book, too, I guess), and then the usual end of year resolution thoughts that start to nag at me. But for tonight, this it; just a post to say that we're here, that we're waiting, that we're trying to find life in Him. 

Hope the same is true of you, and that Christmas will be a celebration of His life lived in you and for you. 


Keri said...

As usual, I love to read what you're up to and what you're all learning in the process. It's encouraging and thought-provoking. I'm excited for your little readers' accomplishments!

Teresa said...

We love listening to Bunnicula!

Nicole @ she-laughs said...

This verse shot me right in the heart... thanks, friend; you're always a light in my life.