Sunday, April 27, 2008

Well, I am not sure exactly what we have been up to since my last post but it must have been keeping us very busy. I know we went to the symphony twice and to the ballet and we got bikes! and went on rides- well, the kids did. As it turns out, I have forgotten how to ride a bike and may need a bit of practice to keep up. And I am not entirely sure how I am going to ride with the trail-a-bike that I got so that Eva could ride with me. But it looks fun.

And today we went out and Samuel rode his bike and put up signs advertising his new dog walking business. He is hoping to walk dogs around the neighborhood. He is also carrying cards around to give to people who might be interested in having him walk their dogs for them.

We have also been out in the garden quite a bit. I let the broccoli plants that I planted 1 1/2 years ago! bloom finally and they are all the rage with the bees out in the garden and just glorious in their yellow blooms. The kale is wanting to join in but I would like to hold it off a bit longer as I am hoping to get a juicer for Mother's Day and would love to try out some kale inspired juice. We shall see whose plan prevails.

The garden is a sort of surprise garden. The seeds that we planted earlier were scattered by various forces- cats? birds? squirrels? rain? Eva? All of the above? and so they are coming up in many different places all together, turnips with forget-me-nots with onions with purple carrots with mesclun mix. Eva also planted quite a few radishes in the ground. Remember how many turnips the kids planted in the middle of the yard last year? This year we will feast on radishes. And beets. And I am not entirely sure how many sunflowers she planted. I am finding it to be great fun to be surprised by it all. She has so much fun in the planting. We also planted many many potatoes over the last couple of days and the strawberries are blooming all over. They are really doing well for themselves. The blueberries and the apples are blooming too. The bees are wild out there, buzzing all around still kind of sleepy and drunk on nectar all at the same time. Oh and I have seen the first of the lady bugs which got me looking guessed it- aphids! None yet! But, where there are lady bugs there much surely be aphids.

I forgot. We tried out a piccolo lesson and Samuel was not entirely happy with the experience and it was quite far for us to drive so he is thinking about it for the time being. It may be that it is just kind of early for this kind of music lesson.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Well, Ma Ingalls has inspired me. That family eats more corn than I can imagine, what with cornbread every single night for dinner and then sometimes at other times of the day as well. I didn't make corn bread, but I did make tamales. I love tamales and these turned out wonderful- just the recipe in the {new} Joy. And I confess to not making a trip to the special grocery store for corn husks- I used parchment paper instead and it works just lovely! I ate four- well, except for the two bites I gave to Charlie and the kids had one bite each and of course Jack wanted one but he isn't supposed to have corn. He is allergic.

We are doing some work on letters currently as Eva is itching to know them. We are using Handwriting Without Tears for writing and we have been coloring letters and looking at letters in Obvious Letters and Alphabet Theme-a-saurus and today we watched William Wegman's Alphabet Soup. I got some great suggestions for learning to read for both visual-spatial learners and for tactile-kinesthetic learners form this site.

We are still reading a lot about the Revolutionary War and have also been discussing the Civil War a bit. Samuel is interested in the similarities between the different conflicts that we discuss- someone telling someone else to do something they don't want to do- pretty much sums it up.

So its letters, Revolutionary War, conflict, Little House books, still lots on dinosaurs. Today we went to the symphony to hear the Portland Youth Philharmonic and I found a potential piccolo teacher for Samuel who we are going to meet soon. Oh and we are reading some fun Calvin and Hobbes comics (thanks Kate) that the kids are enjoying, although I am not sure they are getting them all the time. I am finding them quite funny and that helps for sure. Wait, there's more- ice cream making and trips to art class and we went to a board game day with some other homeschoolers the other day which was fun as well.

Today Eva said, "Some people take reading and writing sooo personally. I mean, they think they HAVE TO read and write. I am learning to read and write because I want to." Big smile. That about sums it up, don't you think?