The boys (and Heather has enjoyed it too - I haven't gotten to it yet) have really been enjoying Khan Academy this last week.  It is an educational tool, with lots of questions to test you on different skills.  Jonathan is especially motivated by the reward badges it gives you when you do certain activities.  It does a good job of remembering how well you have done on previous problems to decide whether you need more practice or not.  It also has helpful videos to teach you new concepts.

Noah was working on some fraction problems (identifying the numerator and denominator).  He had gotten three problems right and couldn't figure out why the fourth was wrong, and so I asked him if he had watched the video.  He hadn't, but had just guessed, and the first three has asked him what the numerator was, and so he had picked the first number.  He didn't notice the question changed on the fourth problem.  I suggested that perhaps he should watch the video, although I think he didn't, but did see that the question was slightly different, and so then did the bottom number instead....  I guess we will see as time goes on whether this form of experimenting/learning is useful, or if it teaches you interesting things that end up not really working out. (More)

Posted by Jon Daley on November 9, 2013, 12:31 pm | Read 26886 times | Comments (0)
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I'll take this opportunity, home from church with two sick kids, to post my notes.

10/19 - JDD, "Most fun things are spoiled if you HAVE to do them."  I forget the context of his quote but it reminded me of my thought at the harvest supper.  The middle and high school youth groups were the servers for the meal, and they did a great job and looked like they enjoyed it. But then I saw one of them asking Barbara to sign off on the community service hours and it got me thinking.  I'm disappointed that the kids are required to do some number of community service hours.  The requirement takes away the free service part of it and basically makes it forced unpaid labor - slavery!  Now I understand that sometimes it takes persuasion or force to get you to do something at first, but then hopefully you can see what a joy it is to make people's lives better.  I would think that even if you enjoyed a particular service, there is something taken away from the freedom in it to have to keep track of the hours.  But at any rate, these kids are making the best of their requirement and enjoying it anyway!

10/19 - JPD rolled back to front.

10/25 - JPD 8 mo visit. 20.5 lb, 27.25"

10/26 - JPD has been saying "hi" (sounds like "ha") and waving this month, and today he said, "bye".

10/27 - Joy, "I really like my song blanket.  It's really fun, with music."

10/28 - Faith counts from 900-1000.  Then continued, taking 10 minutes to get to 1100, then another 40
minutes to get to 1200.

10/28 - JPD gets 2nd tooth. (bottom L incisor)

10/30 - JPD says, "da, da" for dirty diaper  (Not necessarily repeated - da,da is a common word for him.)

11/2 - JPD climbs up two stairs, Faith saves him.

11/3 - JPD climbs half way up the stairway, Mom spotting.  One time he sat down, one time he slipped.  At the
triangle threshold, he had difficulty.  After some work, decided he was done and Mom carried him up the
rest of the way.

Jeremiah has been a bit wheezy with this cold but of course it's the weekend so we can't call the doctor.  Joy was coughing a lot last evening, but has not wheezed.  She seems much better this morning after I let her sleep late.

Posted by Heather Daley on November 3, 2013, 9:45 am | Read 17127 times | Comments (6)
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9/13 - A Friday. Jonathan had been asking me if he could read Harry Potter for a while.  I told him I needed to talk to Daddy about whether we thought he was ready, but I kept forgetting.  The strategy that worked was asking me in Daddy's presence so I didn't have time to forget.  So the decision was "yes, but you have to finish all your school and chores first."  Immediately after completing those in record time, he ran to the library.  Jonathan proceeded to read the first Harry Potter book in four hours.  He started book four by Saturday evening. In these first two days, whenever he talked about the story, he kept calling Harry "Arthur".  Daddy made him take a break from the constant reading on Sunday, but Monday (after school) he was at it again.  He finished the whole series the next Saturday 9/21.  So that's an average of a book a day.

9/16 - Jonathan whistles the Imperial March from Star Wars while reading Harry Potter. (More)

Posted by Heather Daley on October 19, 2013, 8:08 am | Read 9632 times | Comments (2)
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Heather and I had the opportunity to attend a marriage retreat with 10 or so couples from our church this weekend, up at Rangeley Lake in Maine (thanks Scott, for the house!)

We were the youngest couple (by far, the average marriage length represented there was 31 years), and we haven't been in this church for very long, and so we feel out of place in some ways - some of the people have known each other for decades, and have been married for longer than we've been alive.

In the following video, Doug and Betty Henderson discuss some aspects of their marriage.  Technology failed (the battles consisted of Apple vs. Windows, HDMI vs. VGA, HDMI vs. analog audio, and after all of those were accomplished, CPU speed or a codec issue...), and so we weren't able to see the video until we got back home.

I had a couple things strike me during this video - one is one I've thought about before.  Two of the first couples that were around my age to get married said that they didn't believe in the bible verse that says:"let not the sun go down upon your wrath (Ephesians 4:26)" as that led to just being tired and still arguing.  I always wondered about it, but figured - they know better than I do, since they are actually married, and I wasn't.  After we got married, and the very few times that we would be lying in bed not talking to each other, we always (eventually) came back together to talk and resolve the issue before going to sleep, and so I think it is a good practice.  What I was reminded of today is that those two couples are now divorced, and so perhaps this discussion could have provided an "early warning" of what was ahead, if they continued on the same path.

Heather and I do also have some difficulties shopping together, and I'll have to ask the Hendersons if they have any solutions other than not shopping together.  It does seem like it doesn't happen as much now (in NH) as it did in Pennsylvania - I think we drove a lot more in Pennsylvania, so we would stop by a store on the way to somewhere else, where we are now more likely to go out specifically to shop somewhere, and so probably shop together less often than we used to.

I was also struck by Doug's comment about not having a "bosom buddy", and not really seeing the need for one.  Another guy at church made a similar statement this weekend, though he has been looking for one.  That does seem to be a common occurrence at churches, at least from my perspective - most people are comfortable where they are, and are not interested in adding any close friendships.  As a campus minister said when I left college - prepare to be disappointed - that's just the way our modern, busy lives are.

I did enjoy the weekend, and we drove up and back with another couple, and some other conversations at the retreat were good, so it does give me hope for the future.

Posted by Jon Daley on October 7, 2013, 12:59 pm | Read 42567 times | Comments (12)
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Faith had a blast at Star Island with Grammy and Papa.

7/25 - JDD, explaining why he likes to use a certain spoon for his breakfast cereal, "That spoon
is special to me, because Grammy gave it to me for Christmas last year."

7/28 or 29 - Joy had a cold and I gave her 1 or 2 nebulizer treatments. (Putting this in so I can
keep track because now I wish I had written in other ones.)

7/30 - Noah lost his upper right 2nd incisor.

8/3 - F: "I like brothers, I just don't like when they're annoying." (More)

Posted by Heather Daley on September 14, 2013, 11:30 am | Read 6225 times | Comments (6)
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Having a dad in the fire department is educational in more than just fire safety:

5/17 - Jon is called to an accident "involving motor vehicle vs. moose"
5/18 - Jonathan reads about moose and siberian tigers on wikipedia

~5 - Joy says "owee here" = outta here

5/20 - jpd 17 lb on our scale
5/20 - After bikinh home from his ipiano lesson: Noah: "Mom, I fell.  The chain got off all the gears. So I put it back on. The handlebars got crooked from the wheel, too."

5/21 - We have a game on the Kindle that involves both a princess and a knight. Faith was talking about it and called it the princess game.  After listening to her description, Jonathan said, "Oh, you mean the knight game?"

5/22 - I have more to say about attention spans a little later, but here is one example.  Joy peeled garlic for 20 minutes while I was making dinner. (More)

Posted by Heather Daley on July 28, 2013, 8:23 am | Read 15077 times | Comments (9)
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So last week I was worn out with the extra work that unexpected messes bring.  Today I'm tired but happy about it.

Yesterday, Jon left very early to go on the church men's retreat.  Our morning at home started out pretty badly (bickering/fighting) and the boys had to go run around the house in the rain (10 times for Noah, 20 for Jonathan).  But that did its job and the morning chores got done well after that. Then was lunch, afternoon chores, special times, not too eventful (which is good!).

Then, the really good parts started! Jonathan had been wanting to make some French bread, and I suggested he make some for his youth group mock sleepover that night.  So, Jonathan got out my Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book. This was his first attempt at making bread by hand, but he had read the directions thoroughly.  His kneading was pretty vigorous ("What's that banging?" I thought from the other room.) but he did a great job.  He started the first rise at 3pm.  I was surprised that he put the dough to rise in a cool place, but he insisted that's what the directions said.  He was right.  Then as I read through, I realized there was no way it was going to be done before his 6:30 start time.  French bread takes a VERY LONG TIME!  So he made graham cracker, chocolate, marshmallow treats. (More)

Posted by Heather Daley on June 8, 2013, 10:59 am | Read 12480 times | Comments (10)
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Thursday morning, we wake up to find mouse droppings and other evidence all over the kitchen.  Result: big kitchen scrubdown.

Friday morning, Noah wakes up to find that the silly putty he fell asleep with is now melted into his pants, sheets, and blanket. Result: big fabric scrubdown.

This morning, the boys wake up with pink, swollen, itchy faces.  It turns out they have been making Indian bows and arrows with poison ivy vines for the bowstrings.  Result: big boy scrubdown.

(We're still in the middle of that.  I haven't yet gone out to spray the loads of poison ivy that turns out to be in their fort area.  And who knows how much poison oil they've tracked all over the house...)

I really hope that tomorrow is a day of rest.

Posted by Heather Daley on June 1, 2013, 10:55 am | Read 9601 times | Comments (5)
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Quote from Vostaas: White Buffalo's Story of Plains Indian Life by William White Buffalo:

"Many Indian boys, and some girls, too, learn to chop wood when they are quite young!  Our mothers do not say, "No! No! That axe is too sharp for you to use!"  They say, "Go chop some more wood.  Is the axe sharp enough?"

Posted by Heather Daley on May 18, 2013, 10:07 am | Read 12315 times | Comments (1)
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Joy says "lellow" for yellow, which appears to be her favorite color.

4/24 - Jeremiah figured out his thumb! It's the left one he sucks. Does this mean I'll finally get a left-hander?

4/26 - Sometimes when school runs past noon, Joy decides to get lunch for herself.  Usually, she doesn't do too badly of a job - cheese and crackers, cereal, an apple or banana.  This day, however, she got into Jonathan's chocolate stash and ate half a milk chocolate ovomaltine bar!

4/29 - Faith came up to me and said, "Mom, say, 'little boat' ten times fast."

4/29 - Jeremiah likes to watch his fist, moving his hand and wrist. I like this stage. I like lots of stages. (:

5/7 - Joy can say the /k/ sound now!  She doesn't yet use it in all the words that have it, but is increasing her use.

5/7 - This was the day Joy got out a nice lunch.  Leftover soup, poured into her own bowl, cheese, which she sliced with the cheese cutter, and a box of oatmeal packets which she opened but didn't prepare.

5/11 - Joy was sleepy, lying on the couch, singing to herself, "Mommy love you, Thay love you, Miah love you, Dad-o love you, Daddy love you, Papa love you, Don love you, Noah love you, Damma love you, etc."

I've noticed I don't have much on Jonathan and Noah lately, so I'll try to think of some of their accomplishments.  But right now I'll write just one becuase it's dinner time - prepared by them!

Posted by Heather Daley on May 14, 2013, 5:43 pm | Read 5444 times | Comments (1)
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3/30 - Jeremiah started cooing.  He also can make minimal forward progress along the bed when waking up.

Joy says "my do it" for many things.  She also pronounces "water" correctly now instead of saying "wow".  She's also really good at remembering to say thank you. (Sounds like "dankt you")

4/7 - Jonathan, as we were walking to church: "The air tastes fresh and crisp like a Cortland apple."  (This is from the boy who during school time says he can't write poetry. I think what he really means is he doesn't like to write poetry when constrained by meter and rhyme.)

4/17 - Joy, starting to progress to full sentences, "Uh-oh, where my coat?"

That same evening, Joy put away the pasta sauce from dinner, scooping it out of the pot into a container all by herself.  Yes, there were drips on the table, but not too bad, really.

4/22 - We had a young friend over for lunch, and she wondered if Mr. Daley was going to come have lunch.  Here is Noah's response, summarizing Daddy's life: "He sleeps, then he eats breakfast, then he works, works, works, then he eats dinner, then he sleeps, then he eats breakfast, then he works, works, works, ..."

I might add, on some days, some more "works, works, works" after dinner and before sleep.  I hope his customers are thankful for him!  (We are thankful for them - and him!)

4/22 - Me, to Joy, "Why is your hair all wet?"  Joy, "Um . . . water?"

A picture of Jonathan at about 3-4 months came up on our computer - it has been confirmed: Jeremiah looks like Jonathan!  Joy was convinced it was "Miah".

That reminds me.  Joy says all of our names now: "Daddy, Mommy, Djon, Noah, Thae, Me, Miah"

Posted by Heather Daley on April 23, 2013, 7:10 am | Read 8235 times | Comments (6)
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3/24 - Faith counts to 100 by ones.

3/25 - Joy says "Miah" for Jeremiah.  She started this before that day, but that's the
first day I realized that was what she was saying.

3/25 - Joy sorts the Peanut Butter and Jelly cards by type, all on her own initiative, and
correctly.

3/26 - Noah read Faith's handwriting scripture upside-down.  He only had trouble on the
longest words (like "Scripture").

3/28 - Joy counts, "3, 2, 3, 2, 5, 2, 3..."

Joy now consistently calls Jonathan "Jon". 

She also says "God Bless You" when someone sneezes, and it sounds like "Blebt, bloo"

Posted by Heather Daley on March 29, 2013, 5:43 pm | Read 17214 times | Comments (1)
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Oh, yes.  It has been half a year since my last pocket notes post...

9/6 - Joy says "yum" and "yummy", "all done/gone" (sounds like ah-doh), "where shoe?", and "mine" (sounds like my)

9/25 - Faith reading the Bible to Joy: "When you want Mommy to cuddle with you but she can't, you aren't alone because God is with you."

Faith also reminded herself of this as she went down to put tools away in the basement.

9/28 - Noah let me listen to his piano practice and I was impressed with his progress: both hands, dynamics, steady rythmn  (More)

Posted by Heather Daley on March 19, 2013, 5:16 pm | Read 13245 times | Comments (6)
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My due date was February 21. Jonathan, Noah, and Faith had all been exactly five days late. Joy was early, but we weren't sure of her date and the more we thought about it the more we figured she probably had been late as well. So we had Linda and Porter schedule their flight to arrive February 15.

Jon had an opportunity to buy some woodshop tools from a friend in Seattle for a very good price (including shipping across the country.) The timing to go learn how to use the tools and pack them up for shipping worked out so that he would be gone from February 7-13. We would have preferred a week earlier, but it was still getting him home before my parents and certainly before the baby really would come. People at church were shocked that he'd go so far away so close to the due date. But we were confident. You can't think early too much or you're about to die of impatience by the time five days late actually comes. (More)

Posted by Heather Daley on February 24, 2013, 5:55 pm | Read 14905 times | Comments (8)
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The first blog post in a long time, I realize.  And I won't make any promises about more frequent updates, etc.

I have found that I am writing on facebook more often, and reviewing products online (got a Kindle for Christmas, and so have been reading and reviewing on Amazon) and generally have less time for internet stuff anyway, so haven't been blogging anywhere near as much as we were before.

But, anyway...  Today's topic: stuff food manufacturers put into food that wastes my time since I have to read the ingredient labels in the store.

 (More)

Posted by Jon Daley on January 18, 2013, 9:27 am | Read 243070 times | Comments (5)
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