"More" and other things

I have successfully taught Y how to sign "more". It was really easy. Therefore he must be very smart...I'm just bumbling through this, frankly. At the suggestion of some friends I am going to teach him "food" and "drink" and maybe "bottle". And "please" and "thank you". I also think I'd like to teach him a sign for my name. I've often wondered how I will teach him what my name is. Seems like most mothers refer to themselves in the 3rd person (Mommy this, give that to Mommy, etc) and I feel, well, crazy doing that. And my name doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, either. I'm sure it will come out something like "ben" or something like that. So now I shall attempt to think of a sign for my name also.

I need to remember to tell the transport worker that takes him to visit his mom that he knows this sign so that if he does it at his mom's house she will know what he is trying to say. That kind of makes me sad...just that she is not involved in teaching him these things.

We are having D "save" and "give" a portion of his earnings. It's not really an allowance - we pay him based on what he does or does not do. He doesn't get paid for everything (like making the bed and keeping his room clean) but he does get paid for doing some things. Can I just say it is AWESOME to not have to vacuum or sweep and mop? Yeah! At any rate, he doesn't want to "give" or "save" anything. He says there is no reason to save because his mom and his godmom and his aunties will just give him whatever he asks for. Isn't that nice? I'm sure when he wants to go to college or wants his first car they'll just whip out the cash to pay for it. Not! It's frustrating to have the things we are trying to teach him be undermined by them. I'm sure they mean well. Many parents just give their children anything they ask for in the name of love. Our philosophy is that loving them is showing them how real life works, so they'll be ready when they go into the real world.

We are still making him save and give money. We are going to open him a savings account at our credit union. Apparently any adult can open an account for a child, they just need their SSN to do it. So that's kind of cool. Also we are letting him choose charities to give money to. We said he can give to ANYTHING. He said he doesn't care where it goes, which is frustrating! I don't know if he truly understand the concept or not.

One thing that was super funny that happened lately was that our dishwasher is not bolted to the counter so you have to be careful when you open it, and D accidentally made it tilt forward. He asked what was wrong with it and I explained, and he said "Well why don't you have your landlord fix it?" I laughed out loud! "Landlord?? This is OUR house! We are the landlords!" He looked kind of shocked. But it kind of shows you the environment he has been raised in. Renting has it's place for sure (and can be a very good thing), I rented for several years before marriage and a few years after too. But I don't think it should be a way of life (unless you are in the military and move around a lot or something like that).

We also told him that we paid cash for our most recent vehicle purchase, and he again was shocked. We don't do this to brag at all - it's to show him that you CAN get nice things if you save your money, and saving money is fun! It was awesome to write a check for our car! It's awesome to not have car payments!

I really hope we can change his mind about saving money. My parents never made me save money; they just always suggested it. Looking back at all the money I wasted (think going shopping for clothes and shoes with every paycheck) I definitely wish I would have handled my finances differently early in life. One summer I made $100 per week baby sitting and at the end of the summer I had NOTHING to show for it. Nothing! And my parents didn't save up for my college - not that they should have; I think each parent should handle it however they see fit (and however they are able). But if I would have saved my money I could probably be done with school by now. As it is I have about 40 hours of college left before I can get a bachelor's. I've been out of high school for 10 years! Prior to getting foster kids, the main thing holding me back was money. Now it's time AND money. Not that we don't have the money...just that there are other more important things to buy. :)


  1. About the signing, Levi has decided that "more" really just means "give me what I want" and typically it's up to me to figure out what that is. He also signs milk, but it really just means "drink", or "nurse". There are a few rather useless signs he knows like "hat", "sleepy" (which you would think would be usefull, but he only does it to be silly), and book. To be honest, he uses all of these at completely inappropriate times, and some of them at somewhat inappropriate times. It's really up to me to figure out whether he means what he's saying.

    My parents didnt' make me save either, but I kind of naturally did it anyway. As a kid I was somewhat of a miser. I never spent anything. That was kind of a good thing I guess, but on the other hand it made me kind of stingy. I think D has a good thing going for him in you two; esp. with your philosophy on parenting.

    Jonathan's parents were quite shocked that we paid cash for our car(s). They were also surprised neither of us had college debt, and that we put 20% down on our home. We look at all of those things as HUGE blessings, and as answers to our prayers for wisdom in wisely spending our money.

    Additionally, I'm quite convinced that our commitment to tithe through the roughest of circumstances has been paramount to our attitude of non-ownership - of the earthly things we've been entrusted with. Giving is an essential part of learning (and remembering) that we really own nothing in this world.

  2. OK - I had just typed out this long comment about how proud I am of you guys and a bunch of other stuff. When I tried to post it - there was a glitch in the system and it deleted the whole thing. GREAT!!

    Anyway - I AM proud of you guys and I love reading your blog Brynnie!


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