learning

imageSchool 2016It’s inevitable…the end of summer, turns into the first day of school. All the kids are torn between being bored from too much free time, and the dread of getting back into the grind of studying and homework. This year finds my family with just one public school student left. Our grandson, Josh Petersen is a senior in high school this year, so this is our last year with the public school system…until the great grandbabies start coming anyway. I am finding that hard to believe.

Of course, once the kids get going, most of them enjoy school. Believe it or not, humans tend to want to be productive and for kids that does mean school. By the end of the year, they are ready for summer break, but by summer’s end, they are ready to get back into the swing of things again. They miss the organized sports, friends they don’t see except at Moler kids school 2016coleman kids school 2016Limmer kids school 2016school, getting out of the house or daycare, and in reality, most of them actually enjoy learning. I don’t think any of us really want to go through life with no mental stimulation, and that is exactly what school does for the kids, whether they particularly like it or not.

Then, of course, most kids usually get a few new articles of clothing to start out the new school year. For some, it is a matter of necessity, because of course, they have grown so much since last year, and for others, it is a necessity, because after all, you have to have at least one new outfit to start the year…right? And those new School 2016Beadle school 2016clothes and school supplies tend to take the sting of summer’s end out of the picture, a little bit anyway. I always thought it was fun to have new school supplies, even if the newness wore off pretty quickly.

And so, as the kids come home after school, they are filled with stories of their day to pass on to their parents, and even a little bit of excitement just to be back…until they start to think about the homework they have to get done before school tomorrow. And then, there is the lack of outdoor playtime, because they have to get ready for the next day. That might be a bit of a let down, but that is what getting back into the swing of things is all about.

10387478_10203972189043974_3295763557144631040_n10525778_10203972297206678_1895648435010323997_nBorn the day after her mom’s birthday, my grand niece, Reagan Parmely looks much like her dad. Nevertheless, I think this little girl might take after her grandma, my sister-in-law, Jennifer Parmely in some ways. For years now, Jennifer has loved hiking in the mountains, and when you get little Reagan up there, she is the same way. She loves to see what is around the next curve in the trail. Reagan’s family lives out in the country, and she has a big yard, so she is used to being able to run free to a big degree. I think it’s very possible that her love of the mountains and the trails comes from her days of exploring in her own back yard.

Of course, there are a number of family members who love to hike, but it is Reagan’s grandma, Jennifer who had the initial desire to get Reagan out on the trail, and it is obvious to me that Reagan very much enjoys the trails, whether she is with her mom, grandma, or Uncle JD. Like many of us, Reagan loves to see where the trail will take her, and in this case, she was delighted to reach Garden Creek Falls. She had a great time playing in the water, and didn’t care one bit that it was a little cold. She loved the beauty, the noise, and the feel of the cold water on her hands.

Reagan has two great playmates, in her dogs, Ayva and Dixie, and she is not afraid of animals at all, mostly because of the influence of the dogs when she was just a baby. Both of them decided immediately that this was their baby, and it was their job to protect and entertain her. I love to see the way they interact. She is such a natural with animals, letting them know with her gentle touch, just how much she loves them. And they want to be with Reagan as much as possible. In fact, it suspect that her nap time is just a bit long and boring for the dogs. Nevertheless, they wait patiently for her to wake up so the fun can begin again. I’m sure that Reagan’s little sister Hattie will find the dogs to be the very same way with her too.

This past month has brought big changes in Reagan’s life, with the addition of her little sister. She now has a human playmate…well, soon anyway. For now, she busies herself with helping her mom to take care of her little sister, and of course, learning how to say her name, which is really cute, but unable to be reproduced here. Of course, while she is learning all of the things a big sister needs to know, she is also spending quality time with her mom. Reagan love to be with her mom, and wants to do anything Ashley is doing. They do yoga together, and Reagan is learning all the right moves, and does them very well, I might add. I wouldn’t be a bit 1510028_10203972444410358_9035178608170111557_n10676125_10203972424369857_755998519846108487_nsurprised if Reagan ends up doing a little dancing as well. She has the grace and the desire for it, so I believe she will be a natural there too.

Only time will tell which things Reagan likes to do the most, but then again, she is only two years old, and so has a lot of time to decide what her interests will be. In the meantime, she is content to spend time with her family, because she loves them the very best, after all. Today is Reagan’s 2nd birthday. Happy birthday big girl!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

Role ModelMy nephew, Rob is a multi-faceted person. As a little boy, he had either a keen sense of direction or he was very observant. Whenever he went somewhere with someone, if they went a direction that was other than the normally taken route, little Robbie would quickly explain to the driver, that this was not the right way to go. The offending driver then had to try to explain to Robbie that they were taking an alternate route. I’m not completely certain that Robbie was ever really convinced that they knew what they were talking about. I think he probably thought they just wandered around until they found their way, and while they always seemed to manage to find their way, they nevertheless, had done it wrong. I think it was mostly because Robbie was a very observant child.

He has always looked up to his grandpa, my dad, Allen Lewis Spencer. If his grandpa did something, he wanted to do that thing too, and he wanted to do it just like his grandpa. I suppose that was the reason he was able to walk into a campground spot the family Campinghad rented for the night and take care of a little problem that the family was having. His brothers-in-law were trying to get the campfire started, and no matter what they did, the fire fizzled. Robbie, however, had been watching his grandpa build a campfire for years, and now, he knew exactly what needed to be done. Robbie didn’t say a word, but just walked up to the campfire ring, moved the kindling around a little and lit the fire, then he used a hat, just like his grandpa had always done, to fan the kindling until it grew into a nice little fire. Then, without bragging or even saying anything at all, he simply went on about his own activities. I’m sure his brothers-in-law were both amazed that he got it going so easily and thankful that he didn’t rub it in. Like his grandpa, he just did what needed to be done and didn’t make the other guys feel like they didn’t know anything about it.

As a dad, himself now, a grown up Rob knows what it means to be kind and patient with his kids, and it has created a great bond between him and them. They think the world of their daddy. He reminds me of my dad in that way too. If he continues to follow the teachings of his grandpa, he will become the problem solver his grandpa always was. He could become the go to person his Dad and Robbie and the old wagon agrandpa always was, and that would be a great goal for anyone to aspire to accomplish. I can’t think that Rob would like anything more than to become more and more like his grandpa. Since my dad’s passing, Rob has taken over many of the chores that had belonged to Dad. Everything from taking out the trash, to shoveling the walk, mowing the lawn, ad even checking in on Mom to make sure she is doing well, and has all that she wants or needs. He loves his mom and grandma, and considers it a privilege more than a duty to take care of them.Today is Rob’s birthday. Happy birthday Rob!! You get better and better with each passing year. Have a great day!! We love you!!

Kids do so many funny things, but one one the funniest is learning to feed themselves. Food gets poured out and wiped on the face and the hair. It gets dumped on the floor and thrown across the room. And that is food they like!! So just imagine the food they don’t like, or think they might not like. It is quite the picture.

Many people in recent years buy a little cake for the first birthday, and turn the baby loose on it. Oh boy, is that a funny thing. Here is the baby looking at all these people who usually aren’t there at mealtime, but for some reason they are today, and then they give you this huge cake, and tell you to go to it. Well ok, sounds good, right? Absolutely!!

Yes, learning to eat can be quite the ordeal for the parents and quite the laughing matter for a baby. Some times the baby just wants to play, and what better way to play than to squeeze the food between their fingers and watch it ooze out. And even the parents must admit, that it can be funny to watch the whole process.

Well, Christopher was a wild one when he ate. The food went everywhere, and sometimes I think he liked putting on a little show for his parents. He has always been a bit of a clown. Maybe its just a boy thing, because as I recall, Caalab and Josh were pretty good at it too. Shai, on the other hand mostly didn’t like being messy. She was a girly girl from the very start. So, to see her really messy didn’t happen as much, but when it did, it was quite funny.

Unfortunately…or maybe thankfully, babies soon learn to feed themselves without all the mess, and those funny little moments are soon over. Perhaps, we should cherish them instead of worrying over them so much. I think that parents sometimes get caught up in the idea of having a perfect child, and they forget to enjoy the funny little imperfections that make up the child and make that child unique. All too soon, those days will be over and the child grown…but then you get the opportunity to go through it all over again with the grandchildren.

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