September 1, 2011
Well, we started school yesterday and you are so proud to be in first grade. I can tell you feel so BIG about it, and you love it that you have to do some school with me that “Abby's not big enough for”. Our school day so far consists of reading all together: Bible, poetry, Little House. Then you do phonics with me and handwriting independently. Next we all watch a Spanish video together. Finally I do your history, literature or geography reading (from Ambleside Online) with you and set you up with math. Next week we will add in nature study, art and music. You seem to enjoy it and wish that it took longer than an hour and a half!
You're also playing soccer now. You haven't wanted to for the last several seasons, but this year you wanted to. I think you really like it – playing hard even in the heat and scoring several goals each game. You seem to have a sense of where the ball is headed so that you can anticipate it. You are just so strong and athletic.
A month ago we went on a big family road trip: first camping in the Tetons with Papa's family followed by a family reunion in Estes Park, CO with Grandpa Daryl's family. You did great the whole time, especially having fun with my second cousin Ethan (9). Papa helped you guys make bows and arrows out of sticks, so you spent a lot of time “hunting”. We went swimming several times, hiking, mini-golfing, bowling, and to the Denver Zoo.
I think my favorite day was when we played for hours in Jackson Lake near our campsite. You and Abby and Ethan had nets and spent hours catching minnows. It was so beautiful and relaxing and delightful for me to see you so fully engaged with nature. Another day we spent driving through Yellowstone. We stopped by the lake to skip rocks, then hiked down to the Lower Falls (almost gave your daddy a heart attack having you near such a drop-off). We stopped by the paint pots and saw Old Faithful.
You have been very responsible – quickly and cheerfully doing your chores each morning and being quick to listen. You've spent a lot of time playing with Everett – and Matthew too. He follows you around like a devoted puppy. We've been playing Skip-bo a lot too, gearing up for a trip to Minnesota for Labor Day.
October 23, 2011
You're still a shining star first grader – so enthusiastically and attentively completing all your lessons – sometimes doing more than I require! Homeschool coop is in full swing and you have begun gymnastics again. I thought that this time I would do something a little different and describe your relationships with the others in our family.
Dad. You love to be with him, want to be like him. Sometimes you say you think you'll be a chemical engineer. You like to play the djembe drum while he plays piano and you're never happier than when you'retagging along with him to the dump or hardware store. Sometimes you act babyish (just can't hide those emotions!) and it frustrates Dad, then you withdraw from his “being mean to you” (speaking sharply). Then he feels bad about it and takes you along to Menards and all is well again. You guys also love to laugh together – telling jokes and playing word games.
Me. I love being with you, Isaac. My favorite part of relating to you is your vivid perception of your own need for Jesus and the chances I get to point you to Christ. A wonderful recent example: you were frustrated by the way you'd been dawdling over your chores and exclaimed, “I am just the worst person in the world!” I said, “Do you know who else said that? The Apostle Paul. And God used him to tell people all over the world about Jesus!” Sometimes you are sweet and vulnerable, sometimes mature and mischievous. I enjoy you more than I thought possible.
Abby. When there are other friends around, Abby is on the back burner. But when she's your only option, you two get along well. We just worked together to create an “art center” in the playroom and you two have already spent hours there painting and crafting. She can also pretty easily talk you to into playing Barbies or princesses with her. I've also caught you two making up songs together recently. But sometimes in the back seat of the van, while I'm driving and you two are next to each other . . . grr – you really pick at each other!
Matthew. He adores you and longs to be “big like Isaac”. You read books to him for nearly twenty minutes the other morning. He follows you around with balls begging you to play with him. Your reaction ranges from “Mom, Matthew's being annoying, please make him go away,” to “Sure, Matt-Matt, let's play,” to “Mom, Matthew ALWAYS plays with Abby and he NEVER wants to play with me.”
Elise. She brings out a very special, tender side of you. You often beg to hold her, carrying her around and plopping her gently down. You help feed her baby food and your silly antics can make her laugh like no one else can. You talk to her almost exclusively in some very strange dialect of loud baby babble.