Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Littlest LaJoy's aren't so Little!

I didn't have much time to blog while the Big LaJoy's were away at camp, but Josh and Olesya had a week alone with mom and dad for the first time.  It is always very interesting to have the kids in different groupings, as the dynamics always change.  Josh and Olesya are our youngest, and most often our quietest.  Kenny and Angela are our most talkative and animated, Matthew is our most serious.  Dominick and I loved having Josh and Olesya alone together, as it allowed more of their own personalities to shine.  Often, they are a little drowned out by the vivaciousness of Kenny and Angela.

Here they are, getting ready for a hike with our friend Mr. Steve:


They were POOPED when they came back!  I was happy as I had the house all alone to myself for the first time in quite awhile :-)

Josh is growing and changing in so many ways.  He has interests that are quite different, and his little math brain is clicking all the time.  A young friend recently said "Most of the time I totally forget he is only 9 years old.  I've been around my friends who have younger brothers and sisters that age and they never act that grown up."  I am sure that spending the majority of his time around  much older siblings contributes to that, but I am very glad that he still has the little boy inside as well.  But the older kid who resides within is startling sometimes.

One thing that came out while the other kids were gone was how much Big Thinking Josh is doing these days, and we had a really long conversation in the car about the universe and God, and this child grasps the unknowable more than any we have.  His unique way of thinking in terms of numbers somehow allows him to grab hold of the infinite differently.  He told me he knows he can not ever say God doesn't exist, because there is too much that is unknowable in the world and for anyone to speak with certainty about anything means "they are just showing how little THEY actually know!"  He spoke at length about the possible endlessness of the universe and contrasted it with the endless capabilities of the human mind.  With his furrowed brow he turned to me and said "Mom, no one even knows what our brains can do, they say we only use a little bit of our brains, so how can we say we know what God can and can do if we can't figure out what we carry around on our own bodies?"

He is such a funny bunny.  We came out of the orthodontist's office the other day and I had to sit down and talk with the finance gal about Kenny's account.  We were all talking about what a lucrative career orthodontia is, and Josh isn't contributing much the the group conversation.  Suddenly, he pops his head up and I can see he has been writing as he says "OK, so the doctor makes $--- per year, if you take what we paid for Kenny's braces, then calculate it by about 28 patients a day, which is what I guessed looking at the number of chairs he has in there and how long we were there.  Then you have to figure out the number of working days in the year and subtract weekends.  Mom, that guy is RICH!  I'd do it myself, but I don't care to have to look in people's mouths all day."  Then he giggled and said "But maybe one of us should become an orthodontist, one of us an eye doctor, one of us  a regular doctor, then we'd treat each other for free and who would care if we had good insurance!" Haha!  That's my logical kid.

He has been intrigued by cloning and genetics lately as well, and it is odd the timing of that because our neighbor across the street is a retired professor from Ohio State University who just a couple of weeks ago asked if I would let him come over and give a short class on genetics and mutations.  He said "I'll only take 45 minutes and explain the basics." and it was interesting how God plopped that in our lap without him even knowing Josh was interested.  Dominick laughed as we stood there chatting, telling him "I think you'd better plan on making that a couple hours.  You don't know how many questions are likely to be thrown at you."  Our neighbor is interested to see how much younger kids will pick up of what he has to share, and he thinks it might prove to be a fascinating conversation considering the adoption factor that comes into play in our family.  What he doesn't realize is that Josh is ready to hit him with "sperm, egg and spirit" questions.  This should be a riot.

Another example of how Josh's mind works differently and very analytically is his response to a question the other night.  We were playing a made up game of "Are you smarter than a 5th grader" but we play in teams and I make up questions based upon things we have studied, and I also use trivia questions from board games we have around the house.  Funny, but not one ever complains about having Josh on their team, despite his younger age, because often he recalls facts the others do not.  This time they were divided up boys against girls.  Midway through the game I threw out the question "Who were the first Americans?" to the boys.  There was much quiet debate about that one, and the supposed "correct" answer was of course Native Americans, which is what they came up with...until Josh then pondering inserted "Yes, but technically, the United States of America was not officially the United States of America until the Revolutionary War.  That means that the first 'official' Americans weren't the Indians OR the Pilgrims, because they were too early. Wouldn't the first real Americans be the ones who fought for independence and won it from England when we were actually then really called Americans and not British citizens living in America?"  We all agreed that though the answer was't what was on the game card, that logic deserved a point just for great thinking!

Olesya has been busy, busy busy!  She is currently working on a darling little sewing project she thought of all on her own.  I don't have photos yet because it is needing a modification today but I'll post tomorrow.  Her dad even got into it and asked on Freecycle today if anyone had old jeans to get rid of, so she could make another couple of items.  It is turning out so cute, so stay tuned and I'll hopefully have pics tomorrow.

Her gifts were celebrated in the midst of another celebration this past weekend, when she had been "commissioned" by our friend, Miss Jill, to make cupcakes for a bridal shower.  Olesya was so cute as she took down the order and recorded details.  Funnier still was how much practice went into creating this first order!  I swear, we must have gone to the store 4 times getting supplies to practice for those cupcakes.  I was actually kind of glad we had that week alone at home to experiment together, and her joy at having me side by side with her was worth me faking that I LOVE making cupcakes and decorating them...hehehe...shhhhhhh...someday she'll figure out I am not the domestic type but for now it is terrific if she is fooled.  What I dearly do love is seeing her blossom, watching as she discovers new talents and explores who she really is.  It's enough to make me put an apron on! And she must have told me 10 or more times how much she loved doing it with me and thanking me for spending time with her alone.

We mixed, we tested, we went online to find the superior recipes for frosting.  The end results were well worth it.  As this bridal shower was for someone from church and it was largely church folk there who love her, they were all sensitive to her need for affirmation and she received such lovely compliments, she simply glowed...perhaps even more then our bride to be!  I was happy for her, as she had gotten up early Sunday morning telling me "Mom, I am so excited!  I wish the morning would go fast so we can go to the shower and I can take my cupcakes!!", so this was a huge deal for her.  As you can see below, I think she did a darn good job for a first real attempt:





There always seems to be something interesting going on around here...crafts, science, history, camps, remodeling projects, books and more books.  Its no wonder none of the kids ever comes to me and says "I'm bored!".  As the summer begins to wind down and so many moms are hearing that over and over again, I am very thankful that I don't.

Cupcakes and cloning...all of this activity means that MOM needs to learn more!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm always amazed when someone goes on a mission trip to teach or do something for the "more unfortunate" or the poor natives. We come home enriched (if we pay attention), having received so much more, learned so much from others (as I always learn from your blogs).

I am also astounded by those people who think that children are a blank slate on which we parents write, that we are the teachers and they are the learners. Whether newborn or adopted, young or older these children come with personality, character, physical characteristics, etc., and then they begin to teach us. So glad, Cindy, that you are being taught how to be a domestic goddess. You are the homeschooling queen, being a goddess is just the next logical step up.

And, Olesya, you have taken on a teaching job just as difficult as many your mom has taken on with you.

The crone of chaos,
Lael

Olesya, The Sculptor

Today was not a stellar day for me in the homeschooling arena, as I finally gave in to the realization that for a couple of subjects the re...