Monday, June 14, 2010

Baseball boy

This weekend was the last game of Jacob's baseball season, which meant 1) a trophy
and 2) snowcones!
We've had such fun during baseball that even the eighteen-game season seemed to fly by. I will miss seeing him bat (this is a serious league--coach pitch for kindergarteners!)
and run (he leads off like a pro!)

and field (he's even had a couple double plays this year!).
Our entire family has loved supporting Jacob. Eric absolutely delights in playing catch and pitching balls; 
Zachary and Michael play catcher for us or take swings off a tee; even little Adam throws his hands up and cheers each time I do (and I do a lot!). I love being a baseball mom.
I really, really love it.
Hurray for Jacob! And here's to several more years of the great American sport.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Eric's back!

For the past four weeks Eric has been on night float at the hospital, and we've hardly seen the guy (awake) at all. But now he's done, and so he's been trying to get to catch up on the life that he was missing for the past (almost) month! First he replaced the brake pads, calipers, and rotors on his car, a project that took him and my dad several hours over two days. Their work saved us over a thousand dollars, though--hurray for handiness!
Zachary's learning the ways of handiness, too:

Oral surgery was also on Eric's to-do list. Today we had a six-hour "date" during the excursion to Western Maryland for the surgery. The mountainous drive was a beautiful backdrop for conversation. On the way back, however, the poor guy was still half under anesthesia and had short-term memory loss. This was similar to how he felt when he was doing night float, though, so he took it like a champ.

Darling Eric, I'm glad that you're home tonight. Life's better when you're here.


This book about reading aloud to children recently inspired me:
As I was telling the kids about it, we decided that we would make May a super reading month. We made goals to visit the library weekly, expand our reading pool to include new authors and genres, and read a total of 500 books for the month. Five hundred books would be approximately four books per child plus one shared scripture story per day. It seemed manageable when we made the goal, but it turned out to be a goal that we really had to work on. We ended up finishing on June 3, so it was actually 500 books in May, plus three days. Five hundred books is A TON of books!  
I maxed out the limit on my library card during every visit and felt like a pack mule lugging them back and forth each week. It was a positive experience, though, and I think that we've increased our selection skills and reading enjoyment. It gladdens my heart to see Jacob taking a book along with him
or to hear the younger boys ask for another and another.
Books! What deliciousness.

The other goal we recently reached was part of the kids' chore responsibilities. They get a nickel for each completed chore (or a dime, for hard ones). We told them that we could go to the National Aquarium if they could earn $20 towards the trip. I know that this goal took more than a month, and even more than a month plus three days. In fact, it probably took them more than two months! But last Thursday the electronic piggy bank said $20--hurray! We even excused Jacob from school so that we could be at the aquarium on a less busy day. The boys savored every exhibit, even the river ones displaying grayish trout that most people brush past. 
And of course they loved the shark staircase, the coral reef shipwreck, the rainforest room, the ray pool. We even got to see a dolphin show:

So great work, boys, on your goals! You're super readers, super workers, and super kids.