Saturday, December 13, 2014

An Eliana first: She asked how to spell a word.

Ethan knows enough words now that when he creates a book, only occasionally does he needs to ask how to spell a word. It’s still often enough that Eliana has picked up on the question. She can write a T and O – mostly by accident – but that’s about all. Yet her inexperience didn’t stop her cute, little voice from asking, “How spell Mommy?”

She didn’t develop her book to the point where I could determine its theme, the protagonist and antagonist, or the characters’ deepest inner conflicts. But I did get to help her form the letter M.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

An Eliana first: She went down the sled hill by herself.

She was boldly cautious, in typical Eliana fashion. Since limited early-season snow meant a small hill, she naturally took it head first.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

An Eliana first: She made orange juice appear like magic.

Eliana’s interests often follow Ethan’s, which currently center on magic. It’s fun for a father, since I get to play amateur magician and see if I can improve my slight of hand more quickly than the kids can hone their skills of observation.

I emphasize that the most important trait of a magician is the diligence to practice, practice, practice. Eliana is off to an early start. Watch carefully… Where did that orange juice come from?

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

An Eliana first: She hung up a broom.

It turns out that a violin hanger works for broom, too, if you line up the eyehole just right.

Eliana hung up a broom.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

An Eliana first: She pulled her weight.

After several hours of playing at the beach, Eliana was still more than willing to help haul the beach supplies back to the minivan.

Eliana pulled her weight.

King of goof

Friday, August 15, 2014

Saturday, August 2, 2014

An Eliana first: She made a tree talk.

Ethan has known the Talking Tree in the meadow behind our house for a long time. He has knotholes perfectly placed for eyes on either side of a gap in the bark for his nose. A curved stick serves as his mouth. He and Ethan have talked for years – about the river, its creature and ice floats, the Scary Forest, what walking around feels like, and much more.

The Talking Tree is newer to Eliana, but she has discovered his secret: he talks because Daddy holds the curved stick and moves it as he talks for the tree. She also realized that it doesn’t have to be Daddy. She can make the tree talk, too, and she can make him happy or sad depending on how she holds the stick.

I don’t know why the tree was sad today; I was as happy has can be being part of Eliana’s creativity.

Eliana made a tree talk.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Another Ethan first: He took his sister on a wagon ride.

Eliana, always the cautious one, requested the car seat.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

An Eliana first: She traversed a chasm.

Eliana is an undaunted (and fortunately, equally careful) climber. The six-foot height of the stepping towers at our local park means nothing to her – after all, her brother goes across them. Now, she does, too.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

An E&E first: They took on the bouncy slides together.

This Irish Fest found me spending more time with the children at the bouncy play area than listening to music. Ethan loved the bouncy slides the best and went through with a passion. The slides were too big for Eliana to take on by herself, so I went with her. She liked them as well, but at her typical cautious pace.

The system worked well until I started feeling not so well – to the point were I didn’t want to climb through the slides any longer. Since Beth was enjoying the real Irish Fest with a friend, I asked Ethan to take Eliana through. This was a big step for both of them – for Ethan, patiently and carefully leading his sister, and for Eliana, not having an adult in the supporting role. Both children performed admirably, making it easy to spot the not-so-hidden blessing in my illness.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Another Ethan first: He broke the spelling code.

Beth to Grandma: “Do you want to take Ethan to the S-A-N-D…”

Ethan interrupted: “That spells sand dunes.”

Sunday, May 4, 2014

What are you doing?

Eliana is quickly learning many new words. She asks lots of questions, but she never asks what something is. Instead, her favorite question is, “What are you doing?” She asks even when she already knows the answer, for example, if I’m pouring a glass of milk. This leads me to believe that she’s asking primarily to hear the answer. She instinctively wants to hear the words that describe the action.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Another Ethan first: He played by ear.

Ethan is learning violin using the Suzuki method, which employs simple songs like “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”. One song that isn’t used is “Hot Cross Buns”, but Beth plays that for fun with the kids when giving them a taste of playing piano. Today, Ethan decided to play “Hot Cross Buns” on the violin.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Another Ethan first: He wrote in l33t.

I suppose it is questionable as to whether what Ethan wrote is technically l33t, but l33t by its nature defies any technical specification. I find his work sufficiently obscure to qualify. It also provides perspective on those who use l33t speak intentionally. Are they really just regressing back to their unrefined origins?

Ethan writing "What does this say?"

What does this say?

Monday, January 20, 2014

Hungry children in China

Don't try platitudes with Ethan.

Daddy: "There are millions of hungry children in China who would love to have that cereal you say is soggy."

Ethan (in the cutest voice imaginable): "Throw it in the sink then and it will go to China."

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

What would Jesus do?

We were reading a story where a boy must pass through a briar patch to retrieve a blind man's cane. The story pauses to ask, "What would Jesus do?" Ethan's answer was, "Fix the blind man's eyes."