|From Family 2010|
As always, we’ve had an interesting month. It seems we do everything humanly possible to avoid boring you with our monthly updates. To keep things particularly “banging” around here (just coined that phrase myself, if you use it please reference me) I’m adding a new feature. And to keep you guessing, I’m not going to tell you what that new feature is until you happen upon it by yourself.
In summary, I’m giving myself a headache trying to remember everything that we’ve done in the last thirty some-odd days. Micah and Rochelle both had and celebrated their birthdays. We finally finished accumulating the rest of our camping gear, and we broke it in.
In more detail now, late last month we held a party for Micah and some of his friends in honor of his birthday. That’s when Rochelle made the fun cake you see above. We also stayed up waaaaaay too late the night before preparing some pretty nifty decorations that are still up. The party went pretty well, and Micah got several cool gifts. Among them, he got not one, but TWO Nerf guns from us, a few action figures and books from friends, and a party that lasted most of the day and nearly hospitalized his dear parents.
On April first, his real birthday, we gave him an apparently disappointing card that contained nothing but a lousy voucher coupon to freely spend thirty of his parents’ hard-earned dollars at the Lego store. He was not impressed. We decided he will not be getting any more coupons from his parents.
Rochelle got some fun stuff for her birthday. The main gift was a neat little device that she never knew she needed called the Fitbit. She had been wanting a pedometer for quite some time, and was interested in some kind of device that would help keep track of how much sleep she was getting. So, I found a device that does both (and more). Plus, it has a very impressive, magical screen that you would never know is there until it displays something. Very cool. She has been using it religiously to track stuff, and it is helping her feel a little better about being capable of executing some kind of regular fitness regiment.
I also gave her a massive bag of Twizzlers for her birthday. You know, to offset the “healthy” aspect of her gifts.
Her birthday was on Friday, and that night we all unrolled our sleeping bags in the living room and slept on solid ground. The following Saturday was “Outdoor Survival and Enjoyment Day.” I’m proud to say I didn’t even touch the computer OR my phone all day long. We went on a mile-and-a-half walk, we learned about the contents of our camping day-packs and survival kits, and I surprised everyone with the fact that I had already purchased our tent. We set it up (which wasn’t all that hard) and slept in it that night. The kids handled everything pretty well, and we’re looking forward to setting up a real camping trip before too long. I didn’t take any pictures at all, so next time I’ll be sure to better document our adventure so you can see the kids enjoying the outdoors.
And now, for the new feature.
Books We are Reading
The truth is, I claim to love reading, but I don’t make nearly enough time for it. Part of my problem is that I love to read books that teach rather than just entertain. I read a lot of nonfiction, which can be dry while still providing barely enough entertainment to prevent me from abandoning it altogether. So while I may want to finish a book, I have to force myself to pick it up every time I read until it’s done, at which point I am glad I read it.
I currently have book marks in at least six books (and perhaps more that I’ve forgotten about) and I have a stack of four additional books by my bed that I intend on reading soon. In addition to those books, I have an entire shelf in my bookshelf that is dedicated to books I plan on reading as soon as I can. This is all just the tip of the iceberg, as I have hoards of books listed in wishlists online that I just haven’t gotten around to purchasing yet.
So, I just recently forced myself to finish a somewhat dry but very informative book by Alice Cary called “A TrailSide Series Guide: Parent’s Guide to Hiking and Camping.” It came highly recommended in other books I had read, and got rave reviews online, but it is out of print so finding it was something of a challenge. It is packed full of useful information, but you have to weed through the author’s exuberant love of hiking, which she assumes you share with her.
The most recent book I put a bookmark in and started reading is “Philosophy for Dummies” by Tom Morris, Ph.D. (fancy, huh?). So far I’ve learned that the word philosophy means “a love of wisdom.” Being one who loves wisdom myself, and being one of religious faith who is willing and able to reconcile whatever facts man presents with the truth taught by God, I’ve decided that philosophy is something that I might enjoy dabbling in. So, I’m reading the “For Dummies” introduction before investigating more serious books and classes, should I wish to do so.
Rochelle recently enjoyed “Have a Little Faith” by Mitch Albom. It was a short read and she probably wouldn’t have read it if it weren’t for the book club she joined. Apart from the book club, she read “My Sister’s Keeper” by Jodi Picoult and finally got around to reading “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen (which she will probably never read again). She reads a ton of books every month, but I’ll be sure to make sure she mentions the ones she actually recommends here.
Currently, she is reading “Julie and Julia” by Julie Powell. She is reading it on her nook, which she still loves.
How the Kids Are
As promised, Micah wrote his own update this time, and he responded to the questions he got last month. Look for footnotes below.
|From Stuff That Happened: 2010 version|
One day, my friend Madison came to the park close to our house. She was nice. I also watched My Side of the Mountain (1). I played Bakugon (2) with my friends, but I didn’t get to battle. I also played Hot Potato, Soccer, and Basketball and Hoorse (3). And we’re going camping! (4)
My favorite Wii game is the Nerf Elite game (5). I like this game because I like Nerf guns. I do recommend this game for girls because girls would like to shoot the darts.
I like two colors.
They are blue and purple.
My favorite subject at school is science, because we do a lot of things that are fun. (6)
I do like to read.
My alltime favorite book is Campout. (7)
- We watched this movie in preparation for learning about camping and survival skills. We watched it after sleeping all together in sleeping bags in our living room, on the day of our dry run where we slept out in the tent in our backyard. Micah really enjoyed the movie despite it being forty-one years old and littered with clumsily delivered awkward lines.
- As far as I’m concerned, this is a cheap knock-off of Pokemon that has gained unusual popularity in recent years among children Micah’s age.
- He insisted on spelling it this way. His all-knowing, expert, erudite of a friend said that you spell it with two ohs when its the game. In attempting to verify this “fact,” Google offered to correct me – “Did you mean HORSE?” I’m siding with Google on this one.
- He seems genuinely excited about the prospect of really going camping, yet he has failed to adhere to certain “Leave No Trace” rules that I’m attempting to instill in him. He understands that I can’t take him camping unless he can show me that he can follow the rules, but his efforts thus far have been trivial. If we ever make it out on a real camping trip, we’ll have a pretty great post to share.
- Neft N-Strike Elite. If you’re even remotely interested in getting this, don’t hesitate. Right now on Amazon the package with the game and one Nerf blaster is selling for $17.54 – a whole .44 cents cheaper than the same Nerf blaster without the game disk. I’m not kidding. Go buy it. We paid thirty dollars for it.
- He wrote, “My favorite subject in school is science, because we do a lot of things.” I asked him to add just a little more information than that.
- The fact is, Micah is addicted to reading. This most recent book that I’ve actually asked him to read is designed to help prepare him for going camping. It covers things like the “Hug-a-tree” program so that kids can be safe when they go camping. Obviously we’re covering a lot more than that with him, but the book is a good way for him to take in some of the information on his own.
|From Cell Photos 2010|
The biggest new things with Sophie are singing, jumping and repeating. Lately, she can’t play or pass time effectively without singing loudly and sweetly the whole while. It is one of the most amazingly adorable things she does, and it hurts my feelings to spend all day at work and miss her hours and hours of beautiful music. She truly loves singing, and her songs are often as humorous as they are cute.
She is also jumping, a lot. Not just jumping straight up, but jumping off the bottom step of the stairs, and off the curb, and flying as far forward as she can. She is still a little apprehensive about it, and won’t do it unless she’s holding your hand, but with your hand in hers, she’s got the confidence to leap several feet ahead of herself. It’s really fun.
Also, she has lost nearly all of her apprehension when it comes to speaking. She’ll repeat just about anything you say now, and it’s often the cutest thing you’ve ever heard. She’s getting pretty good at forming her own sentences now as well, and she has officially said three full prayers all by herself without any prompting from adults. She’s growing up so big, and she’s getting even cuter every day.
Her interest in potty training is still minimal, and in the last month I’ve only taken her to the toilet a couple of times at most. Rochelle has maybe taken her a few more times on top of that. Sophie just hasn’t shown much interest, so we’re not pushing the issue. Of course, when she has an especially stinky diaper that causes even her to cry out in disgust, we do mention that she could have dropped her package off in the toilet before squeezing it into her diaper, and that would have avoided most of the mess and some of the smell. She hasn’t really caught on to the logic at work there, but she’s considering our proposals.
One final note. If you didn’t notice, one of the photos featured in this post is from Rochelle’s new online album – Stuff that Happened: 2010 version. She’s started using her own digital camera a little, and will be posting her photos to her own online Picasaweb account. The link can be found in the family section of our links on the blog page (you can’t see the links in a feed reader, you need to view the article at our website address at https://brhaddad.wordpress.com).
Thanks for stopping by. I hope you liked the new segment I added about what we’re reading. Micah answered two people’s burning questions this month. If you’ve got anything you’d like to hear from Micah or anyone else, just leave a note in the comments. We love hearing from you, our favorite friends and family!