Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Xavier Knows How to Love

Have you ever read the book The Five Love Languages? The author posits 5 'languages' are spoken when we are loving someone, or being loved. In order to feel loved, we must have our love language spoken to us. The five languages are: words of affirmation, acts of service, physical touch, quality time, and gifts. It can be difficult to speak the love language of someone else, if you do not have the same love language.

Gabriel can be hard to love. He's prickly. The only way he likes to be touched is by being punched, kicked, and shoved (Tae Kwon Do and general shoving as you walk down the street- typical teenage junk). He's much more into sarcasm than affirmation. He feels that if you do something for him (like make his bed), it's taking away from his ability to learn to be responsible (his words). He likes to get gifts, and treasures them for years, and this may be his love language. However, it would be my guess that his language is quality time. The problem is that he is an introvert and needs time alone. Needless to say, it's hard to love him.

Xavier's primary love language is probably physical touch. But, Xavier is special in that he just exudes love. He spends a lot of his day trying to find someone to cuddle up next to. He constantly tells me people how beautiful they are. Xavier frequently does things for people, like bring them drinks and breakfast in bed. He goes out of his way to spend time with you and is totally focused on you while he's doing it. He also gives people gifts. I can't count the number of times he's brought me flowers. But, is he easy to love? Well, the fact of the matter is that I believe his love language is physical touch. Since he spends a large portion of his time cuddled up next to me, it's easy to love him.

But, Xavier, he knows how to love. You can't help feeling loved by him. That makes him special

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Haircut

We cut Xavier and Dominic's hair at home. After all, we just buzz it with the clippers, so it's not a big deal. Dominic, however, does not like getting his hair cut. It wasn't until recently that I realized it was because the clippers were dull. We got new clippers, and told him where he could find them. He wanted to look at them before he got his hair cut.

Well, when it came time for me to cut his hair, this is what I found.





He had even wet his hair and used a comb. He was so proud of the fact that he had given himself a haircut. I love that kid.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

What They Want to Learn About

Since our reading schedule will be much lighter starting in September, I've asked the boys for suggestions on things they want to learn about. The way it goes is this. I have things I want them to learn. They have specific books they need to read. They have math they need to do. Other than that, I'm open to suggestions. We've decided to do this MIT Open Courseware for the first trimester. They're all very excited about it. I'm especially excited about it. It is so much fun homeschooling!

Now, I'm trying to get them to open up about what they want to learn about. Dominic wants to learn about electricity. However, he has been obsessed with the human body for about a year. I thought that perhaps his new interest in electricity would overtake his interest in the body, but no. He wants to learn about the brain, the heart, the lungs, blood and veins, RNA and DNA. So, now, I'm looking for resources outside of the 300 or so books (yes, I'm exaggerating) we have about the human body.

Obviously, we'll be studying the human body this year. But, now I need ideas for the other boys. Gabriel is on board for the brain, and I'm sure Xavier will enjoy learning about anything. However, I'd love to see ideas of things that YOU might enjoy learning about. Is there a specific event in history you think the boys might be interested in? (Obviously, Dominic needs to learn to type, since he keeps pressing keys while I'm typing, the rat.) Is there some fun geography program that you've seen? Is there a book that they just have to read?

We're open to suggestions.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Cleaning Out the Library

We started cleaning out the library in May. We are almost finished. You're probably wondering why it has taken us two months. As you can see, we first went through all the books to see if we had them all listed in our catalogue. That meant taking every single one of our books off the shelves. Since we have over 1,500 books, it took a while. Then, we started cataloguing the books that were not listed. (Of course, we've gotten more since then, and they've managed to make their way onto the shelves without getting catalogued. Ugh!) After we catalogued the books, we separated them into piles of books to keep and get rid of. Then, we separated them into piles of fiction and non-fiction. Then, we separated them into historical fiction, science fiction, myths and legends, etc, and biographies, animals, nature study, meteorology, earth science, geography, classics, etc. We shelved those things as we separated them. Finally, we stacked all of the approximately 200 picture books on the floor. Since then, Dominic has been slowly going through them to figure out which ones he wants to keep and which ones he wants to get rid of. We have two 'get rid of' boxes. One box is the actual get rid of box. The second box is the, "I'm too old for this book, but it is a really good book and we should keep it for any other children that come along" box.
We have about 20 books left to read. He has whittled that lot of 200 books down to, so far, about 30 books he wants to keep. His criteria is simple. It has to make him laugh. If he doesn't laugh, it gets tossed. All those super hero books his brothers loved? Gone. All those Sweet Pickles books his mother loves? Gone. Curious George, which his father loves? Gone. He is ruthless. At least it has cleared some room on the shelves for other books. Of course, we still can't fit everything on the shelves, and it is time to buy new books for the coming school year. I guess we're going to have to get some more book shelves.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Dominic-ism

Xavier was discussing the fact that there are a lot of different creation stories.

Dominic put in, "Then, there's the big combustion!" -not exactly the right chemical process, but funny, none the less.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Florida Trip

Gary had to go to Florida for a week, so we reluctantly went with him.

While Gabriel was in North Carolina with Gary in July, he discovered Tom Clancy. This is how he spent much of his time at the room- out on the balcony reading.


Dominic, on the other hand, has decided to persue a career as a barista.

My only concern is his penchant for putting things that make your mouth burn in his drinks.


Xavier wanted to spend all day at the pool or beach.



Dominic really hates getting his face wet. Here, Gabriel takes him in hand and helps him overcome the waterfall. By the end of the trip, Dominic managed to do it himself.

And, he rode a cannon.

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