"Lo, Children Are An Heritage of the LORD: and the Fruit of the Womb is His Reward" - Psalm 127:3

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Cuddles and Snuggles and Lots of Reading

 How's this for your own farm?  I bought all these little soft rubber animals on an after Easter sale for the baby (except for the one with wheels that he's putting in his mouth).  The eight year old thinks he has to play with them all at once.

 The eight year old loves to entertain his brothers.  And he likes to read, so he reads to anyone who will listen - or in this case, anyone who hasn't figured out how to crawl yet and is a captive audience. :)  Seriously though, the little brothers (and the daycare kids) love to have him read to them.

 The other night the three year old was being super snuggly.  I think he's finally starting to feel the need for more attention, maybe feeling like he's the odd-man-out with the baby here now.  The baby is 10 months old now, and we're just starting to see the three year old being more clingy, especially when I've had to be gone from him for any period of time, which I was on Friday when the eight year old and I went to Jackson for the homeschool field trip.  He was attached to anyone who would tolerate it.  First me, then his brother...

...then his sister...  He's really kind of overwhelming when he's like this... smothering, in fact.  But I try to sit with him and read five hundred books in a row, or the same one six times in a row.  His favorite book right now is Little Toot - about a little tugboat.  He also loves The Gingerbread Baby (the version by Jan Brett) and The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle.

 Speaking of books, here's my latest solution to keeping them organized.  I ordered a bunch of large book ends with non-skid bottoms.  I was actually shocked at how soon they arrived.  I ordered them Monday just before lunch from OfficeChase.com - a company I had never heard of - and they arrived last night - barely more than 24 hours.  Nothing gets here that fast.  We live in the middle of nowhere.  Anyway back to the books.  I wanted to solve two problems: 1. junk always gets piled on top of the toy sorter and 2. we have a terrible time keeping track of our library books.  The books are all held up with three sets of 9 inch bookends.  Nine inches is a lot bigger and beefier than I expected, but I'm thrilled.  I wanted bookends that would definitely hold up the books, and these do.  The three sets are divided up - 1. my library books, 2. the kids' library books, and 3. some of our favorites we want easy access to.  I use one of the spaces in-between the sets of book ends to hold the books I've finished (and my husband's current read) and the other space holds the board books we don't want to give the daycare kids free access to (our favorites). 

 We have a kid-friendly display bookshelf that holds board books anyone can get to at any time.  Most of the books on this shelf were purchased at yard sales or the thrift store, and I am not so attached to them that I will flip out if they get ruined.  I try to teach the kids to handle books carefully, but accidents happen.  That's why we keep our favorites out of reach - or more particularly, our kids' favorites.

My latest read has been The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared by Alice Ozma.  This was a really good book.  It's a non-fiction account of how a father made a pact with his daughter to read with her so many nights in a row - every night, at least 10 minutes, finishing before midnight.  They started with 100 nights, but then couldn't quit.  They ended "The Streak" as they referred to it at 3,218 night, when she was 18, the day he dropped her off at college.  They had been on the reading streak since she was 9 (but of course had always read together).  He was a school librarian, and toward the end of the book she tells a sad story of what was happening at his library, with the principle deciding that the focus should be on computers, which led to the eventual removal of all the books from the "library."  It's a very moving book, and one every educator and librarian, as well as parent ought to read.  I know things have become technology based, and that is where most people's focus has turned, but reading is necessary for success in life.  I can't imagine what life would be like without books.  Sounds like one of those futuristic horror novels.  Fahrenheit 451, anyone?

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