Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Eve

Tomorrow is Christmas!! Hurray!!

I think I may be as excited as the kids. We spent the morning at church and will go back this evening for the candlelight service (My favorite!) I really want the kids to understand the true meaning of Christmas and realize that it is not about the toys, trees, and Santa. This afternoon we will read the Christmas story from the Bible.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Sad Day...

Yesterday was a very bad day. We had to put our beloved 13 year old yellow lab, Skeeter, to sleep. She had a large tumor growing in her brain and another in her lungs and there was just inhumane to keep her alive any longer. Newt decided that he needed to be there with her when she died and after careful consideration we allowed it. He was the one who cared for her and it was important to his grieving process to help her pass on. He did very well and was very brave. He admitted it was the hardest thing he has ever done but he was glad he did it.

Daddy found a wonderful poem to read over her grave and we will place a birdbath over it to remember her by.

"Lend Me A Puppy"

"I will lend you for a while a puppy," God said,
"For you to love when she lives and to mourn when she's dead.
Maybe for twelve or thirteen years, maybe for two or three,
However, will you, till I call her back, take care of her for me?
She'll bring her charms to gladden you and should her stay be brief,
You'll always have her memories as solace for your grief.
I cannot promise she will stay, since all from earth return.
But there are lessons taught below I want this pup to learn.
I've looked the whole world over in search of teachers true
And from the folk that crowd life's land, I have chosen you.
Now will you give her all your love, nor think this labor vain?
Nor hate me when I come to take my dog back home again?"

He fancied that he heard us say, "Dear Lord, thy will be done,
For all the joys this dog will bring, the risk of grief we'll run.
We'll shelter her with tenderness; we'll love her while we may
And for the happiness we've known, forever grateful stay.
But should You call her back to You much sooner than we've planned,
We'll brave the bitter grief that comes, and try to understand.
If by our love we've managed Your wishes to achieve
In memory of her we loved, please help us while we grieve.
When our faithful bundle departs this world of strife,
We'll get yet another dog and love her all her life."


Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Sunday afternoon I took Haley to see the Nutcracker performed locally. It was a very nice production and Haley really loved it because a little boy we had met through friends (to Trick or Treat with) played Fritz, a Toy Soldier, and Tea from China. Next year I am hoping to take her to a larger production in Philadelphia with an orchestra. She will be able to sit still a little longer by then. Haley is becoming very attuned to listening for different instruments in music. She will listen to whatever piece and say, "Hear the violin." or "There's the organ."

Yesterday the kids worked on their gingerbread house. Haley picked out a Grinch Whoobilation cottage. Wouldn't have been my first choice but they are having a great time putting it together. The boys are loving the fact that it was their only "school work" for the day. I love it when they work together and I hear them cooperating and being so sweet to each other.

Today I promised to take the kids to see Eragon at the movie theater. We go only once or twice a year so it is a big treat for them. I cannot stand the thought of spending $30 to see a movie when I can buy it in a few months for $20 but my Mom gave me a giftcard to use since they never go to the movies so it will not be as painful. Newt encouraged me to read the book before we saw the movie so I did and I am also over halfway through the second book in the series. I can see why it is his favorite.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Violin Concert

Yesterday was Haley's Christmas concert at the retirement home. She was supposed to play only 2 songs that we had worked on but her teacher asked her to come up and play O Come Little Children then Haley said she knew Up On the Housetop as well since she had been picking it out on her own. We hadn't practiced it at all together but she played beautifully, floating her little self back and forth and singing the words while she played.

She had learned O Come Little Children with her old teacher before we switched teachers to someone with more experience teaching technique. She hadn't played it in 4 months though because we have been trying to let her "forget" her songs to relearn them with proper technique. Yeah, right! My little elephant never forgets!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Recent Accomplishments....

My boys tested for new Gumdo belts last week. They did wonderfully in their tests. I am so proud of them. Newt also took second in his wrestling tournament last weekend. He lost to one of his best friends who is also his practice partner. Oh well. It was a great day of wrestling.

I got Dylan's new math book this week and now he is working twice as hard to finish the old one. Maybe I should buy new books more often....LOL.

This week Haley's violin teacher told me that slowing Haley down to play violin with good technique was like trying to fit her into a "Tupperware container." Then she proceeded to hand me a book called "Gifted Children: Myths and Realities." We have her Christmas concert today. She is so excited.

Haley has been messing around with reading for a couple years now. She started memorizing books when she was 13 months old and memorized any book I read to her. This caused some strange looks in the library when she'd pick up a book she had gotten out previously and proceeded to "read it." She has known all her letters by their phonetic sounds since she was 16 months old. She started putting sounds together for simple CVC words about a year later while playing in the shower with letters. About a year ago, she picked up "Little House in the Big Woods" which I had been reading to her and told me it was her turn and read a page fluently with voices for the quotations. She was able to read but preferred to be read to so she could memorize the book. Haley is now reading everything she can get her hands on. Her endurance has improved. She is using phonics rules we haven't even gotten to yet. I don't know how she figured it all out but I am proud of her and excited at all she can now do.

Almost Christmas

It is almost Christmas and I am ready to take the rest of the year off with school. We have been moving along beautifully but we all need a break. Everyday Haley asks "How many more days until Christmas?" Then she counts that many and gets really happy. This morning she said,"I know. It is only 10 more days until Christmas. And the next morning it will be 9."

I have finally completed all the Christmas shopping. I don't know why I start early every year. I think I end up spending three times as much as I would if I just went out once right before Christmas. I am so excited for the kids to see their presents.