Saturday, February 27, 2010

Tired and Sick....

Well whatever is going around has finally made it here. First Adrian came down with it, then Gabe and Caleb and me, and of course Caitlin and James. So, we're all sitting here with stuffy and runny noses and headaches and body aches. Pretty miserable stuff. But Adrian is feeling much better, go figure.

The 23rd was my dad's birthday and his anniversary with Colleen. It would also have been him and mom's anniversary if they were still married. It would have been 32 years for mom and him. That's a LONG time. It's been a year of being married for him and Colleen, and 7 or 8 years of them being together as of this June or July. I can hardly believe that it's already going to be a year that we've been back in touch with dad. We were planning on having them down today, but with all of us being sick, we figured next week would be better for that. Jaime's making a cake, and I'll be making the drive up and back to get them. Here's hoping we're all feeling better by then.

I also have to finish painting the front room and hallway before then. We picked out a fairly bright blue that I had planned on using for the boys' rooms, but decided to touch up a few areas in the front room with it, thinking that it was a close match to what was already in there. Wrong. It's such a bright color that the old blue that was on the walls already looks almost gray in comparison! I painted the bathroom a nice cherry bright yellow, and have the same color picked to use in the hall, since it doesn't have much light to brighten it up. The boy's rooms will be 2-tone blue, with a dark almost navy blue on the top of the walls and the ceiling. And glow-in-the-dark stars and moons on the ceiling.
Caitlin's room will be a color that she picked, called bright citrus. It's a peachy pink color. It'll look great in there, and bring more light in. She has the smallest room in the house for her bedroom, so it can use all the brightening it can get.
Still need to pick a color for our room, because right now it's a deep red color that reminds me of a bordello. Not really my thing. Personally, I favor earth-tone colors. But Mike says he really doesn't care what color, as long as it's something that I like. Makes it easier and at the same time harder, because I really would like his opinion on things.
I'm thinking of light tan-ish or beige, or maybe something similar. Who knows.

As far as school, we're going to take a few days or maybe a week and just cut back to the basics while everyone's feeling under the weather. It'll be a nice break for all of us.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Been Gone For Nearly A Month.....

Wow, didn't realize how quickly that flew! In the last month, I've rearranged our room, painted the bathroom, painted most of the living room, cleaned and cleaned and cleaned some more. It's been super busy around here. We also got some new furniture and appliances with our tax refund. That took most of our refund, but we really needed them. And scratch-and-dent is cheaper than you'd think! We now have an oven that actually preheats! And a fridge whose shelves aren't falling out every time we open the door. Amazing how little things like that really make a difference.

As far as schooling goes, we've backed down a little on the pressure that Gabe was feeling. He has voluntarily started to do lessons with me out of the "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons" book. Easy? Yes for a regular child, but not so much for mine. It's not pretty, but he's trying. He already knows the letters, but not so much the sounds that they make. So this book teaches him the sounds and helps him to learn how to sound out words. Since the 5th, he has been working on the beginning lessons, and he can now recognize am, mat and sat. But we've also noticed that he's now reading more sight words without our prompting (mostly on games!). Words like "infection" and "slayer" and other game-theme related words.
He's also consistently falling asleep but 10 (most nights, we have had a few bumps), and is drawing more pictures. He wants to draw nearly every day now, faces, people, things. Always with pencil, always what he wants to draw, always when he wants to draw.
Caleb and I are working on his reading, as he can do it, but lacks confidence. We skimmed through the same book I'm doing with Gabe, and I just had him do the words. He knows the sounds the letters make, and knows how to sound them out. It only took him maybe 20 minutes to go through all the words in 23 lessons. And he had them all right. Granted most of them are simple easy words. But it's gotten him to realize that it doesn't matter how big the word is as long as you sound them out.
James and Caitlin are reading well, and we've been trying to really make sure that they are engaged in what they are reading. She's been reading the Junie B. Jones books, and is enjoying them immensely. He's reading Artemis Fowl, and has already listened to all the books on CD, and checked out a lot of them from the library before I bought him the first set that he wanted.
Our main focus the past few weeks has been their reading, because I feel that with reading, anything else is possible and will fall into place.

Aside from the early spring cleaning we've been doing, that's pretty much it. Hopefully I can remember to keep posting and not let there be that much of a break!