Saturday, March 24, 2012

Happy 5th Birthday!

Remember this two-year-old boy in 2009?

...who grew into this delightfully silly three-year-old?
...who grew into this handsome and charming four-year-old?
...who is NOW a FABULOUS FIVE-YEAR-OLD man--I mean, boy!
What is new about Jadon? Well, he has decided that he wants to be a basketball player. He practices dribbling with any available bouncing ball and shoots any ball-like object into any open container. He has lost a few baby teeth, but he is definitely not a fan of that process! He loves letters and numbers and is VERY eager to begin school next fall.
Jadon still loves to dance and sing and play with his siblings. He is, by far, the most affectionate of our children--always ready for a snuggle. He also loves a project or an adventure--just so long as he's not going alone!

We are proud to have this special boy in our family! Whatever God has planned for you, little man, we know it will be special. Keep becoming all that you are meant to be!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

My Favorite Thing About Spring Is Mitten-less Hand-holding!

Signs of Spring by Christina Corona

When the snow melts away,
And it’s rainy and gray,
And the birds are beginning to sing…
Trees have tender green buds
And the earth turns to mud-
That’s how you can tell it is spring!

No more mittens and boots
No more bulky snow suits,
It’s too warm to wear all those things!
Flowers bloom everywhere.
Their perfume fills the air-
That’s how you can tell it is spring!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Les Livres du Lundi

As a family read-aloud, the classic Old Yeller by Fred Gipson, was well-received. I think they especially enjoyed imagining life in a far-away time and place, where hog marking and cattle driving were the themes of the day. Admittedly, we were not sure how the story's sad ending would be received by our clan. It was interesting to hear them discuss together after finishing the book. The comments went something like this: "I didn't really like the ending, but it was real. It really could have happened that way in real life, even though it's sad. At least, he got to have a good dog for a while. It wasn't just a princess story ending where everybody lives 'happily ever after.'" I can't help but wonder how my children' own early life experiences have predisposed them to this understanding of how the world can be full of trouble and to the value of recognizing the good that you do have.

Jadon's Pick of the Week is How Rocket Learned to Read by Tad Hills. This cute storybook tells the tale of a reluctant dog-student whose enthusiastic bird-teacher inspires a love of reading. Jadon especially enjoyed sounding out some spelled words at the end of the book.

Happy Reading!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Today's Fun Project

To try it yourself, check here!

Easter Egg Experimentation: Why I Love my Four-Year-Old's Brain

Jadon played with a plastic Easter egg and a rubber, bouncy ball for an hour this morning. He was "being a scientist," developing hypotheses about how high of a drop, what various egg positions, and what landing surfaces were most likely to facilitate the cracking open of the ball-holding egg. He came up with this on his own. I was just an eager observer, throwing in my commentary every once in a while. He loves this stuff. And so do I.

Yes, he cracks me up. (Pun intended!)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Les Livres du Lundi

This week, I read Still Alice by Lisa Genova--the very readable story of a 50-year-old Harvard professor who is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's Disease. One of the things I really liked about this book was its continuous supply of concrete examples of the challenges and lived experiences of both those living with Alzheimer's and also their caregivers. I was reminded of a time, when I was a teenager, that my youth group visited an assisted living facility to sing and bring cheer to the elderly residents there. I believe our youth choir sang a few songs, and then we were divided up to visit with the individuals in their living spaces or around the common area. As it turned out, my friend and I were "matched" up with a lady, white and wrinkled, who, due to a very recent stroke, had lost her power of speech. How she communicated her desire to speak! We, in all our teenage awkwardness, tried our best to love her as she was, and, at some point, someone suggested a pen and paper. The dear woman's eyes lit up! She began to write names, and we began to guess. "Roger? Your husband? No? Your father? No? Your brother? YES! Yes, your brother is Roger!" I remember the rush of joy as we understood despite all the physical limitations that threatened to steal this lady's ability to share what was in her heart. We sat and laughed and watched her write and guessed and laughed and hugged and encouraged and smiled and laughed some more. Still Alice reminded me of that woman, who was so alive and longing for connection, yet trapped. The book certainly calls us to awareness of others who might live so.

There were parts of the book that I found difficult to read. For example, insinuations of an assisted suicide plan and selfishness within the marital relationship were a believable part of the narrative, yet such behavior left me wishing that our world had a better hope to proclaim. (I do believe that we have been offered a better hope...for more on that, see here!) Overall, I consider this a very informative and entertaining book.

Jadon's Pick of the Week is One Smart Cookie by John Nez. I think I was as tickled by this book as Jadon. It's the story of a book-reading dog who impresses others and eventually inspires his family toward more literary involvement after he leads the way in the aversion of a town crisis. In Jadon's words, this book is great because "Cookie is funny, since a lot of dogs aren't called Cookie! And I like it because he's smart--like me!"

Other favorites from this past week included the following: Grady the Goose (a great story of family "sticking together") by Denise Brennan-Nelson, Dense Brennan-Nelson and Michael Glenn Monroe; A Morning to Polish and Keep (a Canadian fishing tale) by Julie Lawson; and Where Willy Went (a cute and quirky depiction of how babies are made) by Nicholas Allen.

Happy Reading!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Last Hockey Night in (Aylmer) Canada 2012?

Despite less-than-perfect conditions, the gang took to the backyard ice for a quick night game. With the more spring-like temperatures, the rink probably will not last too much longer. But Team Tapper loves it while it lasts!
Andrew makes a fearsome opponent! (He is learning to adjust his level of play according to potential of the opposition.)
Ethan is a tough competitor. He has a hard shot! So, look out!
Abby, too, takes these games quite seriously, but is always ready to smile for Mom's camera!
Jadon, on the other hand, is difficult to capture in a photo frame! Always on the move, and learning some good ones on skates, too!

We love our rink!!!!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Missed Me?

This lapse in blogging has been brought to you by the letters P, H, and D…

…as in Mike’s PhD proposal needed major revisions after his advisor’s review of his first draft, and Mike likes to have a second person with whom to talk things through. (The proposal was revamped and will, hopefully, be approved within the next few weeks.)
…and by the number 98.6…

…as in 98.6°F, the temperature at which the body should remain regulated, and the temperature beyond which my thermometer has been reading for a few days, causing considerable fatigue, aches, and chills. (Thank God for severe cold meds!)

Stay tuned!