Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Work - ECRR Part III

Print motivation - a child's interest in and enjoyment of books.

Why is it important for children to find books interesting and enjoyable?
Children who enjoy books and reading will be curious about how to read. They will read more. Studies show that when the interaction around a book is negative then the young child likes reading and books less. He associates the negative interaction with the book and reading. When the experience of sharing a book is pleasurable for both the parent and the child, the child will be more attentive and responsive. The more pleasurable book sharing is, the more regular and frequent an activity it will become.

What can parents do to help children enjoy books and want to read more?
Read often and make it enjoyable. Make sure you and your child are in good moods, so the experience is a positive one. Stop reading when your child becomes tired or loses interest.

5 Easy Steps for Sharing Books with your Baby
1. Pick the best time.
Choose a time when you and your baby are in a good mood and ready to enjoy each other.
2. Show baby the book.
Point to the pictures and talk naturally and cheerfully. Watch what your child points to or looks at and talk about those pictures. After you name the item in the picture, talk about it: "Apple. A red apple. Mmm, I love apples. You can only eat apples when they are mashed up into apple sauce." You are adding to your baby's vocabulary and showing him the "conversation game" of back and forth. Your child will become familiar with the concepts of print, an important skill for school. For example: we open the book from right to left, books have pictures and words.
3. Talk and have fun.
Remember to touch and love your baby the whole time.
4. Watch what baby does.
Let your baby play with the book if he wants to and stop for now if he gets upset.
5. Share a book with your baby every day.
Even just a few minutes a day is important.

Friday, July 23, 2010


I recently reconnected with a friend of mine from high school. She is a year younger than me, but was a dear, sweet friend. I had heard a few things that she had gone through since high school - her mom is a good friend of one of my cousins, so I had heard bits and pieces. I was not prepared for what she had actually been through. She has lost not one, but two children. Her daughter lived for 5 weeks and her son was stillborn. She has a condition that doesn't allow her babies to grow properly in the womb. She isn't able to have more children. Not only has she been through that amazingly devastating loss, but a couple of years after that she also lost her husband to cancer. She's a year younger than me - not even 30 years old. I was saddened to my core when I heard all of the trials and grief she's been through. The amazing thing is that God has brought her through all of this with a stronger faith than she had before. I am so proud of her and so amazed at what God can do in one person's life, despite all the loss that she has suffered.

While her husband was still alive they adopted a little girl who is now 5 years old. What a blessing! I'm incredibly thankful that God has given her that bit of sunshine and joy!

Just a couple of days ago I read a book titled I Will Carry You by Angie Smith. She is the wife of one of the members of a Christian band called Selah. It is an incredibly moving story of their fourth child who was born and only lived for 2 hours. It reminded me continually of my sweet friend. I cried often while I read the book, thinking of all that she had gone through and overcome, and I prayed for her many times. I recommend the book, but only if you want to weep uncontrollably! If you've ever lost someone, specifically a child, this book would be great to read and might help you through the grieving process while giving you hope and encouragement.

I realized through all of this that there are many things that I take for granted. One of those things is having a child. My pregnancy was so easy. I never once got sick - queasy a couple of times, but not sick. I actually really enjoyed my pregnancy until the end. I did go through a long, intense labor ending with having Xander through c-section, but the surgery itself went very smoothly and he was absolutely perfect when he was born, albeit a little bruised and misshapen around his head. The thing is, things could've gone so differently! But God intervened and allowed things to work in my favor this time. He doesn't always allow it, but this time He did. How thankful I am for that gift! And what a blessing my sweet little Xander truly is. I realize fully that God has put me in charge of this child for a season. Xander's not really mine, he belongs to the Lord.

Something else I often take for granted is my sweet husband and the marriage we have. I really couldn't ask for anyone better than my David. He is so kind and generous. He loves me in a way that makes me melt, he serves, protects and provides for his family, and continually amazes me with his talents and wisdom. He has an incredibly teachable spirit and faithful heart.

I am blessed.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Visit from Dad

Today my Dad (who is a pilot) flew in from France, so he met up with me at the house. We had dinner at 5pm- a true early bird special. I don't blame him, he'd been up for a long time. We went to one of our favorites - Foskoskies. It's a great local restaurant that is located on Shamrock Ave. They're in an old soda shoppe, Pike's. We always tend to go there when Dad's in town - it's extremely close to the house and they have excellent food. Anyway, I enjoyed having some company on one of these lonely evenings. I hadn't seen my dad in a couple of months, so I was thankful to spend some time with him. He'll be heading out early tomorrow morning to shoot for his FFDO (Federal Flight Deck Officers). I'll be leaving around the same time for work. Tomorrow afternoon I get to see Xander and then late tomorrow I'll get to see David, too. I'm so excited!

P.S. More to come about the Every Child Ready to Read project at work - didn't mean to let that ball drop!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


David got a job. Praise God! We're so incredibly grateful that he's employed. The difficult part is that he's employed at a firm in Winston-Salem. For those of you who are non-native North Carolinians, that's about an hour and a half from our home in Charlotte. Since commuting would mean that David would rarely get to see Xander (David would leave before Xander woke up and get home right as he was going to bed), we talked to our parents who live only 30 minutes from Winston-Salem and have worked out a temporary living situation. The job is also temporary. It's a 3-month contract position. There may be more work for him when the 3 months are up, if they get more projects and if David decides he wants to stay.

So during the week (Monday-Friday) David and Xander are living with Mimi and Papa (my parents). They are so very kind and have been extremely supportive of our situation. They have an upstairs that they rarely use, so David and I have a room, Xander has his own room, and there's an extra living area upstairs that we can make into our den. Unfortunately, it would be equally as silly for me to commute to work from Mocksville to Charlotte, so 2 days out of the week I'm staying alone in Charlotte while Xander gets taken care of by the two best grandmothers ever. Overall it's really a great situation.

I have to admit that I miss my family. It's hard for me to make the seemingly long drive to Charlotte just to end up in an empty house, sleep in an empty bed, and listen to the quiet stillness that is our home. I'm so used to the noises of my baby toddling around saying "Ball!" or "Uh-oh!" in only the way that he can, or feeling David's presence even if he doesn't say much. But, I'm going to do my best to enjoy this time. I'm catching up on some reading, spending time with the Lord (which before now was far too infrequent), and just learning to appreciate the peace and quiet (that I was probably complaining about not having enough of not that long ago).

I keep talking to David about balance. I want some balance in our lives. He's either home all the time or never. I've either constantly got Xander or he's not with me at all. I suppose balance is something that people always strive for, but rarely achieve. My goal is to let God's peace settle over me through this hectic time and not worry so much about achieving balance, just enjoying the adventure of this thing we call life.

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Thursday, July 1, 2010