Being Intentional About How We Spend Our Time

First thing this morning, Evan asked me to help him make another bracelet on the loom.

I had just gotten downstairs and had a ton of things I needed to do like take out the garbage, empty the dishwasher, etc. but instead I said sure and I sat down to walk him through making his own bracelet.  

I'm always reluctant to put aside those things I think are so important and take those five or ten minutes; my usual response is "Yep, just give me a minute and then I'll help you." 

 Except it's never just a minute and often times I run out of time to help them so I was glad I set everything aside and just enjoyed helping him.

  • I want to be more intentional about stopping what I am doing and focusing on the boys when they ask for help or want to play a game with me.  
  • I know that what I have on my agenda doesn't always need to be done right away and I need to be more intentional about setting it aside
  • Childhood is fleeting and I don't want to look back on this time in their lives and think I kept pushing them aside for housework.  
  • Housework will wait!

It was nice with just the two of us downstairs working on something together.  He got frustrated a few times when the bands fell off or he hooked the wrong band but his beaming smile of accomplishment when it was done was just priceless!

The rest of our day flowed quite smoothly from there and I tried to be in the moment as much as I could.  

Once all the boys were dressed they asked me to read a chapter in Harry Potter and while I was reading Alec and Ian worked on their samurai coloring pages.

Ian headed outside to play in the sand and Evan headed out to play on the swing set.

Alec worked on making another loom band bracelet.

His cousins arrived and the boys all had fun running around playing together, making up games and enjoying the fresh air.  They played inside and outside, brought out all their Pok√©mon cards, went swimming for a bit and Alec worked on making a loom band necklace for his older cousin.  The boys had so much fun together and were reluctant to say good- bye when it was time for Evan's karate class.

We listened to our book on CD in the car and Alec worked on coloring in his color by number book.  He's working on two pictures at once and it's just so neat to watch the pictures emerge.

Evan had so much fun at karate and got to use padded swords for the whole class.  They played musical punching bags (like musical chairs but when the music stopped they had to find a bag and hit it with their sword; when you couldn't find a bag you were out and had to stand in the middle using a squat).

The older boys spent Evan's class working on math, reading, and playing educational games on the Kindle.  Their favorites included 2048 and Stack the States.  Ian loves to challenge himself to put all 50 states in the right place without making any mistakes!

Once my husband came home and the boys had eaten dinner we headed out for a family walk/ bike ride.  The older two boys wanted to ride their bikes and we reviewed bike safety, rules of the road and had a nice time.

We walked & biked to a nearby park where the boys were free to ride around.  It was almost 8 by the time we arrived back home and we all settled down to do push ups and sit ups.  The older boys were given an assignment by their karate teacher to practice sit ups and push ups at home each night and so far my husband has been great at getting them to comply.  The boys were excited that I was joining them last night too.

They ate a quick snack and got ready for bed.

Even though it was late I did agree to read a book with Evan when he asked.  We picked 10 Little Hot Dogs out of his stack of library books and by the mid- point of the book I was tearing up---- not because the book was so good or anything but because Evan did such an amazing job reading a brand new book.

I couldn't believe some of the words he was decoding (like jumping, playing, and blanket!

He loved reading all the blurbs near the dogs mouths too and sounded out bark, yip, ruff, arf, woof and, once I reminded him that yip had an I in it he took a second guess and came up with yap too.

He sounded out snuggle with us and remembered it; trying it out for the snuffle page but realized it wasn't quite the same. 

At least three times I stopped to give him a high five and I hugged him so tight and kissed his forehead declaring "you're reading!'  

He smiled, laughed, and finally agreed.  His older brother and dad came in to listen too and they all agreed he was doing a great job. 

I'm so happy to finally see some real progress.

I'm bracing myself for the fluctuations and the arguments that he still can't read but I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Plus I can already hear him reading with such great expression too! 

Alec ended up staying up in his room until 10 o'clock reading his Secret Zoo book.  He's supposed to turn his light off at 9 and so I didn't realize he was up so late, luckily he can sleep in if he needs to.

The Secret Zoo: Raids and Rescues by [Chick, Bryan]

Ian also chose to stay up a bit past bedtime and read his Weirder School book.  It's one of the first times in a long time that I can remember him staying up in his room reading after we say good night.


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