May 01, 2008

All About ARDEN

Arden is now 4 1/2 years old and eagerly awaiting his 5th birthday. Topping the charts at the 95th percentile for both height and weight, he is well on his way to being a "gentle giant." He doesn't have a mean bone in his body and has proved himself to be both thoughtful and tender.

He's the boy who picks dandelions and brings them to me. (Sometimes he graces his big sister with a bouquet as well.) He's the one who stands in the laundry room holding the garage door open for the whole family. He's the one who still loves to cuddle and snuggle on the couch. And he's the one who cries big, wet tears when his feelings are crushed. He is still somewhat a "mama's boy," holding his blanket close in uncertain situations and clinging to my leg, but he makes friends quickly and is so easy-going that he is a popular little guy.

We have one--ONE--lesson left in Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons! Arden is thrilled with his reading skills and has begun reading stories "in his mind," as he calls it. He also likes to read street signs as we drive and has memorized just about every major cross street along our weekly routes. He loves doing math lessons just like the "big kids," and he is about 1/3 of the way through the Math-U-See Primer book. He could probably be doing Alpha book work, but his writing skills are not nearly as developed as his math skills. It's amazing how much he has picked up just by listening in on the other kids' lessons. Though I've been hesitant to officially call him a kindergartner when fall comes--his birthday isn't until October 18--I think we're going to go ahead and say he's in kindergarten. Emotionally, I'm not sure he's quite there, but we still have the summer ahead of us, and since he's reading and doing math above his expected level, I think we need to face the facts that he's ready!

He is looking forward to joining Tobin and Charis for home school PE classes starting next September, and I believe he'll enjoy being a kindergarten Sparkie as well. He's excited to get his Cubbie Bear pin after completing this year of Cubbies, but since the Cubbies and Sparks get together for opening ceremonies each week, he knows all the Sparks' songs, verses, etc., and I think he'll make that transition quite easily.

Arden's current obsession is hockey. (Not that his father's current obsession with hockey play-offs has ANYTHING to do with this!) Using a Superstruct disk as a puck and Legos joined together to make a stick, he "ice skates" on the living room tile floor in his slippers, scoring a goal every few seconds and ALWAYS beating the other team. We really need to get the poor boy some real skates so he can learn to skate and, if desired, pursue this passion! I know Ted would do whatever he could to make sure his boy can play hockey if that's what his little heart desires!

A few weeks ago Ted took the boys to a local minor-league hockey game, and Arden was absolutely spellbound. Now that Ted has been following the Avalanche in the playoffs (dismal though their showing has been against the Redwings, sigh), Arden is playing hockey in the living room every spare moment he gets!

Arden has recently developed a new skill: saying "L" sounds! He has been working so hard to say "llll" instead of the "w" sound. While I must admit I miss the sweet sound of "Mom, I wuv you," I'm proud of him for trying to sound like a big boy! And it's adorable to hear him over-enunciating the L's and ask, "Did you hear me say, 'LLLLLLeft,' Mom?"

Arden LOVES Bible stories. He loves listening to story time at AWANA, he loves the lessons on Sunday mornings, and he loves Bible story time here at home. He often relates things that happen in everyday life to a Bible story...a skill we would all do well to develop! He has a mind for Bible verses as well and recalls them in situations where a Word from the Lord is welcome!

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