(Forgive me for using springtime pictures in the summer - this is my boy in April.)
When I was six years old, all the girls in my class had seen the Little Mermaid - except me. My mom had yet to screen that very popular movie, so I really had no idea how to play the Little Mermaid when I visited a new friend’s house. Her basement was the ocean, and she of course, was Ariel, singing her six-year-old lungs out on the “rock” at the top of the stairs. When it was my turn to be Ariel, I did not know the mermaid’s songs. I still have no memory of what I sang instead, but I’m pretty sure the other girl could tell I hadn’t seen the movie.
That visit with a friend I (who I rarely saw again) stands out in my adult memory now - let’s be honest, largely because of the Little Mermaid game that I didn’t really know how to play. How embarrassing! (Except not really, because I didn’t care that much about the Little Mermaid.) But it also stands out because of something my friend said. Don’t ask me how we got on this subject - I think either me or one of my siblings must have asked her if she was saved. And my friend said she was saved, because every night she asked Jesus to come into her heart.
I have been a fan of the adult coloring trend ever since I first heard about it, and whenever I get an opportunity to review a coloring book, I jump at it. I was excited to get God Bless America: A Patriotic Coloring Book because 1) it's summer, and all the patriotic illustrations are fitting with patriotic holidays like the 4th of July, and 2) it's an election year, so what a great time to remember all the things we hold dear in our country!
I am willing to bet that most adults who have the books of the Bible memorized learned them as a kid. Kids are such sponges! It's so much easier to memorize lists of information like that as children.
I think I was probably four or five years old when I learned the books of the Old Testament. I went to VBS at a little mountain church, and there was a teenage girl there with an acoustic guitar and long brown hair who sang the Bible books song every day. I have no idea who she was, but I can still almost see her in my mind. I hope wherever she is, the Lord blesses her for her service at that VBS, because it has served me well to have the books of the Bible memorized, and it all started with that song.
Before I jump into this, I have to say that I have read books by Jerry Jenkins in the past, and I have enjoyed them. He is most known for co-writing the Left Behind series, and I read another series from him that I enjoyed. He typically knows how to keep a story moving, and I like that. But unfortunately, this book is not representative of his books as a whole, in my opinion. I just have to say that first.
We went on a camping trip to Wyoming this year, which I'm hoping to write more about, and I was prepared to end the week in a zombie-like state from lack of sleep. But Clarice barely cried during the long hours in the car, and I would look back to see her little feet sticking out of her carseat, moving happily. Feet can move happily, you know. Clarice has very expressive feet. She loved the campsite, and she went straight to sleep when we laid her down at night, usually only waking up once. I was shocked by how rested I felt each day, and it was the best vacation surprise.
Then she got her first tooth. On vacation! And we barely even noticed. To say we were impressed is an understatement. Clarice, you can go camping with us anytime.
So among the firsts this last month was first time camping (on the outside), first tooth, and first time swimming. Clarice has also started scooting along the floor, in her own, undefined way. I hardly ever seem to see her actually moving, but I'll turn around and when I look back she is halfway across the floor. She has figured out how to get from laying down to sitting up by herself too.
Sleeping before vacation was so-so, on vacation it was wonderful, and since we've been home it's been not so wonderful. She has been waking up 3-4 times each night, but in the little one's defense, she has also been sick. She has a sniffly nose, and it's so sad to see her smiling through eyes all red and nose running.
She has taken the happy noises to a new level this month via "the happy screech". Sometimes one of the kids will be playing with her, and I'll hear the screech and start to scold the older ones for making her cry, but then I'll realize she's laughing! Her brothers and sister can make her laugh so easily, and I love to see their relationship develop. Her face lights up whenever she spots her siblings.
She is loving her solid foods still, but she gets a frustrated with purees. She will eat them, but she looks so longingly at everyone else's food. She is most happy when I give her a piece of fruit or a vegetable that she can gnaw to death. I'm not sure how much makes it to her stomach, but it's so cute watching her try.
She's still half nursing, half bottle feeding, and I think I'm hanging on for the night and nap time feedings alone. Derek enjoys giving her a bottle at night because she curls in and falls asleep while she eats, and I like to nurse her still for the same reason. She curls her little legs up against my stomach and falls asleep while she eats, and I just love it. It's the easiest way to get her to fall asleep in my lap, and I want to hang on to it for a while longer.
Darling, you have grown so much this month! All of a sudden you are so much more independent. You are happy playing by yourself, feeding yourself, and falling asleep by yourself. But you still reach for me, sometimes when things are not right in your world, and sometimes just because you want to be with me. It's sweet to see you grow more and more, and honey to my heart when you still reach up for me. I love you, my sweet darling.
I recently started listening to “What Should I Read Next?”, which is a podcast by Anne Bogel (otherwise known as Modern Mrs. Darcy). I've been enjoying it - it's the perfect podcast for book nerds! She puts out a summer reading guide every year, and this year I picked up a few books on her list to check out. All The Missing Girls by Megan Miranda was one of them, and I gave it a try because the story sounded interesting. It’s a secular book, and I find that reviews of secular books need more breaking down than Christian books, so here we go.
This fall we will start homeschooling Wyatt for kindergarten.
I was homeschooled myself, from 4th grade through high school. I wrote a series a few years ago about my experience as a homeschool student and why it was good for me (you can read all the posts here). Homeschooling has become more and more popular since I was a kid (some estimates say it is growing by 2-8% annually over the last several years, with 2.3 million children currently being homeschooled in the US), and there are resources galore!
But that doesn't make the idea of teaching your own children at home any less overwhelming. In fact, when I first started trying to prepare for homeschooling my kids a few years ago, I got a little stress-paralyzed (name that movie!). There are so many resources these days that it is difficult to narrow it down and figure out what to read, where to start.