Teaching Sharing

IMAG0686Sharing is a complex idea for kids to grasp. They actually have to think beyond themselves, and accept parting with something they might hold dear, at least for the moment. We didn’t really get serious about teaching sharing until our church nursery had a lesson about sharing. Lizzy came home with a new tool in her arsenal. Rather than being the one to give up something, she began insisting that everyone must share with her. It was a bit of a face-palm parenting moment.

IMAG0689So, we began the slow process of teaching sharing. Toys are the obvious things for kids to share, but we, also, insist on sharing food and time doing a certain activity. As the parents, Michael and I have to ask nicely and coach the girls through the action of sharing. It can be aggravating when they aren’t willing to listen, but when they actually follow our directions, they get lots of praise and a serene moment with friends.

We usually can tell that we have a moment to teach when a fight breaks out over toys. We ask the child that wants the toy to ask nicely for it, which sometimes means telling them exactly what to say. And then we instruct the child with the toy that it’s time to share, which means it’s the other person’s turn, and it will be their turn again in a little bit. This doesn’t always work, and sometimes ends in time outs, but when the kids aren’t being obstinate, they practice the process of sharing. We’re hoping that after enough times practicing this skill, that it will become second nature.

Canoing the Snake River

IMG_7004The Stonehocker family cabin is right next to the Henry’s Fork of the Snake River. We can see the river out our windows, and it is breath taking. The water stays a cold 52°F year round.  We love wading in the river and catching minnows, and every couple of years we venture down to Mack’s Inn in a canoe. The trip takes 2 1/2 – 3 hours, and is extremely peaceful, relaxing and beautiful.

This year, Michael, Lizzy and I took a canoe down, and my sister, Erin, and her boyfriend, Kevin, floated in a little yellow raft. We started off getting stuck in the usual shallow spots, and pushing ourselves out with our oars, one of the benefits of a canoe over a raft. Lizzy had a great time rowing with her mini oar, splashing the water, and snacking on Frooties.IMG_20130701_145559

About a third of the way down, we spotted moose in the water. I was completely terrified, but Kevin and Erin slowly drifted past, and after a while we did too. The moose stared us down throughout the whole encounter. Turns out they just wanted to cross the river to get to the other side.

About ten minutes later, we spotted another moose, drinking from the river, and we slowly floated on passed it. Soon after that, a bunch of people in canoes rowed passed and asked if we saw the moose. We confirmed that we had, and asked if they’d seen the two moose before that. Apparently we were the only ones that saw them.IMG_20130701_154039

Being in a canoe, we went considerably faster than Kevin and Erin. So every now and then, when the river had a mini island in it, we’d take the side less traveled, and then head back up the main part of the river. On one of these random excursions, we came across a huge field of wild chives. We rowed right up to the shore, and picked some chives right from our canoe. They smelled fantastic, and I wanted to climb out and pick the whole field, but I settled with just a handful.

IMG_20130701_155624At the end of trip, when we pulled into Mack’s Inn, Lizzy and I waded in the water while Michael took care of all the canoe stuff. Lizzy loved the water, and went in up to her neck! I was amazed that she was brave enough, and that the water actually felt decent enough to make that tolerable. Then, Michael, Lizzy and I sat on a dock with our feet in the water, while we waited for Kevin and Erin to come in.

Aurora Borealis

IMG_6982 Sat While leaving Ashton, ID to head up the mountain to Island Park, ID, I couldn’t help but notice how much light there was along the horizon for such a rural area. There was enough light for a distant city of thousands, spanning from east to west. Michael and I debated for a while if West Yellowstone, MT was big enough to cause so much light, and then if the light might be caused by the moon. The moon did rise in the east, and illuminated the clouds surrounding it, but it wasn’t what was causing the light along the entire horizon.

We continued driving, and then I saw a pillar of light dancing and shimmering to the North West. That clinched it for us. We were watching Aurora Borealis. While there wasn’t much color, and the light was very faint, we could still see beautiful ribbons of light dancing across the sky. I was absolutely amazed and nearly cried at the sight. One of my life long goals has been to see Aurora Borealis, and I finally got to. The most amazing part was how the pillars of light extended up into space. There was no end to them. The light, though faint, was magnificent.

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We so greatly desired to keep driving north to see if we could see more colors, but we eventually settled on a field just north of our cabin where we pulled off the road to take pictures. We should have taken more pictures, but being so far south, it was difficult to get a decent picture. The view was amazing, and I am so glad that I got to share it with my husband, who loves this kind of stuff just as much as I do. He saw Aurora Borealis for the first time while on his mission in Chicago, so he was able to say with certainty that that is what we were watching. Plus, we were able to discuss some of the physics behind it, due to him being a physicist and me having taken an astronomy class.