Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Finally Keeping My Head Above Water

Whew. I feel like I'm finally keeping my head above water. While I have been posting regularly on facebook, I realized that I haven't blogged for awhile. Here is a little glimpse into our life recently.

When I was a teacher, I never used sticker charts. I had other ways of motivating students to read. It wasn't that I was necessarily opposed to them philosophically, but I just didn't need to use them. Then, I had my own child.

I began to notice that Cece wouldn't stay focused when "reading" by herself. She did great when I read to her, but in these last months I have wanted her to be able to sustain focus on an activity without me. Hence, a bribe. Yep.

I made her a reading chart. For every 15 minutes that she read (listened to audiobooks, used her Leapfrog Tag reader, or "read" her own books) she received a sticker. 5 stickers equaled an ice cream treat. I was thinking that she would be getting a treat every few days.

I was wrong.  The little stinker proved me very wrong; she can focus alright.  She read straight for an hour and fifteen minutes in one afternoon, so she could have an ice cream treat that day! 

We've been seeing a lot of this lately:

That's Alex laughing at Brian.

This picture really captures how cool it is to have twins.

During fall conference (more details in our update to come), we had the Hall family stay with us again.  Brian and Justin spent most of their time up at the conference, while Gretchen and I tried to keep our sanity with six kids in this house.  It rained most of the time they were here, but we made the most of it.  Cece loved her time with "her friends".

There were a few other JV moms here because of the conference, so we headed to the zoo like we did last year.  Here's the photo from this year.  From left to right (women in the back): Gretchen, serves in Albania; Kristin, serves here in Czech; Ashley, serves as the JV kids coordinator; me; Kristy, serves in Ukraine. 

Finally, here's dad and sons watching football (Alex on left; Gabe on right).

Now, that I finally have my head above water, I sure am enjoying these moments in life. Feels good.