Saturday, September 18, 2010

Tutoring Desk

This summer I taught at a private school in the area that specializes in serving children with learning disabilities and ADHD (The Hill Center). Now I am tutoring for about 5 hours a week in our home and loving it! We needed some extra income, and it seems as though these opportunities have been laid out for me. They are exactly what I would have wanted but seemed nearly impossible to initiate without a connection to schools in this area. I am so thankful that God is providing for all of our family's needs and using my teaching abilities in the process.

Though teaching in our home is an ideal situation, we don't have much of extra space to use. Dan recently built a desk to fit in the only suitable place. Here's the set-up:

And here's a close-up of his handy-work. He made sure it was wide enough to comfortably fit two chairs and attached a flap to extend the depth of the table-top when I need it.

Calvin really enjoyed "helping" Dan with the construction of this table.

While Dan was hammering all the nails into place, Calvin came out to the garage to say "Good night." Before giving kisses, he started pounding on the table to mimic Dan's hammering. So sweet to see him identifying with his Daddy!

So, while Dan, Cal, and I have been working, Jack has been doing what Jack does: lying in the stroller in the garage/driveway...

And smiling!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Very Hungry Caterpillars

I used to think caterpillars were cute. My opinion has drastically changed since we moved here to North Carolina! We have now had three types of caterpillars infest our tiny yard in the last 3 months. First, the skinny little broccoli caterpillars destroyed our broccoli crop.

Then, the nasty black caterpillars attempted to consume the tree in our front yard. We waged war against them by stepping on any that tried to cross our driveway and cutting down infested branches. We were so attentive to their efforts to take over that Calvin now points up into the tree and says "uh-oh!" whenever we are outside. There are now yellow caterpillar insides all over our driveway, but we won.

Now we have these guys all over our pepper plants: Tobacco Hornworm

And these on our tomatoes:

Apparently these white things are parasitic wasp larva. Disgusting! I'm all for something killing the caterpillars, but I'd prefer not to have wasps instead.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Haircuts, Heilshorn, Hugs, and Kisses

Dan, Calvin, Jack, and I had a great time at home in Fort Wayne last week. Here are some highlights of our time with the Rockes:

The Rocke boys have gotten their hair cut in this location since I've known them. Calvin had his first turn with Uncle Ben last week. Ben was only in town for the weekend, and he used every second he had to love on our boys. Calvin didn't perceive Uncle Ben's haircut as a loving thing, but he will some day. There was much screaming, whining, and squirming.
I'm sure that Uncle Ben's repeated rides around the yard made up for any hard feelings, though.
And if that wasn't enough, allowing Cal to stick his filthy fingers into his mouth should cover the rest. Given that Ben does not like to share a glass with anyone, I'd say he loves our little Calvin quite a bit!
Whenever Mart and her family come to visit us, we play this "pitch and catch" game with a hacky-sack. Basically you try to catch anything that comes within range and pass the ball so that others have a hard time catching it. Instead of H-O-R-S-E, it's get the picture.
We all hate it when Dan wins, but he was the victor this time. I like to think it was because Alison and I (the favorites) were distracted by our boys who were running through the middle of the game chasing after the ball,....

Chasing after Mo (the cat) with a stick (Jackson),
And arguing over the push and ride racer (Calvin and Parker). Each only cared so long as the other was interested. This seems to be a theme Calvin is having when "playing" with all his friends lately. Ahhh, coveting sure doesn't need to be taught.
Jack, you just hung out sleeping, so we don't blame you for helping Daddy win. I'm sure you'll be plenty of a distraction next time we play, though!

Formerly known as Grandma and Grandpa's house. During our visit last week, Calvin started calling everyone by their "names." Grandpa's name seems to consistently be "Bop-pa." We think Grandma might be Ma-mom, but we're not totally sure yet.

I know Cal and Jack will be repeatedly asking us to go visit as they grow up. Cal had a blast walking around the yard, biking down the driveway, climbing onto/off of the deck, going to the park, etc.

Jack was a content little guy himself...not such a bad life to be given kisses and hugs all day!

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Johnson Family

My mom, sister, and I all got to see each other last week with our immediate families. It is rare to all be together these days with distance, kids, and work between us. Here are some highlights from our sweet time!

Cousin Playtime!
Calvin is finally old enough reciprocate play with Addie (nearly 5). Prior to this visit together, Calvin was the happy recipient of Addie's giving him toys and attention, but this time he did more than just stare back! He mimicked Addie when she was acting like a cat, crawling through the bushes, and he followed at a distance (barking like a dog) as she dragged a jump rope around the yard to play with the cats. All animals these days go "woof."
Fort Wayne, Indiana has an AMAZING public park where Cal and Addie played for hours!
Calvin slid down slides, big and small, twisty and straight, until he was exhausted. He reached the bottom of a slide with a big smile on his face. Once his feet hit the ground, he threw his arms back and leaned forward before running back to the stairway for another go. I think the whole arm display was his way of saying he was proud of himself.
Cal and Addie loved these water features that popped up from the ground. While Addie just ran around like crazy through the water, Calvin took a much more cautious approach. Slowly inserting his hands into the water, he'd stomp his feet in place, shake his arms and laugh.
Cal was entertained by Addie's little dance of her own!
A sweet picture of Kim and Addie at the park!
Holding Jack

I keep wanting to have interesting pictures that include Jack, but he doesn't do much except lay in people's arms. So, here a collection of Jack getting held by people who love him.

Grandma Judy
Jack got to meet his Grandma Judy and was quite comfortable with her immediately! I think they are both pretty happy here. =)

Aunt Kim
Uncle Jason