Friday, March 12, 2010

Catching Up Again

We've been much too busy enjoying SPRING!! To bother with minor details like blogging! So I'll try to catch up, and scatter in a few pictures of our day at the park while I'm at it LOL.

The weather here has been AMAZING!!! Ok, not so much today . . . cold & rainy, but the past week or so has been perfectly beautiful spring weather! I think it's quite telling, that, a week or so ago, we were putting laundry away & A1 asked if she should put the gloves & hats (which I'd taken opportunity to wash after all their hard use this winter) in the out-of-season clothes bin in their closet. When I said, no, we might still need them, sometimes it snows in March, A2 said NOO!!!! I'm TIRED of snow! LOL! It's been a long winter . . .

So, we've been reveling in the spring weather!! Last Sabbath we invited our pastor & his wife over for dinner, and went for a walk after lunch. It was still abit muddy and snow covered, and they had an afternoon appointment that meant they couldn't stay long, but it was still SOO nice to get out and walk and enjoy nature! They homeschooled their boys, now in college, and Linda was a pointing out all kinds of nature things to the girls and explaining them! I think we need to invite her over for frequent nature walks this summer!

Little Bit is enjoying getting to walk around outside. She found some snow still hanging on at the park (above) and was excited to feel it and taste it (I'm sticking to the "good clean dirt" theory based on the fact that a few days before we'd driven by the park and the whole area was still snow covered and didn't look particularly walked upon). She's not so sure about walking on grass, but loves exploring where there's hard surfaces to keep her from losing her balance.

One day this past week, we were all out on the patio and she finally decided to venture up those steps you see in this last picture. I made sure I was close enough to catch her if she fell, but just followed her, from there she toddled on up the sidewalk that leads to the barn. There are more steps at the top of the hill and something about the way the wind blows (I guess) dry leaves collect thickly at the bottom of those steps. She was hesitant to walk on those so turned around and reached up to be carried. I lifted her over the leaves & set her on the first step and she climbed up those steps, I didn't wait for her to ask for "help" at the top of the steps since they then take a STEEP step down onto the road, so I lifted her down onto the road and we kept following her (the big girls had come with us). She proceeded to walk up a very steep hill (steep enough that walking up it at a normal speed leaves me out of breath) she lost her balance a few times, but got up and kept going each time. And continued her trek, all the way to our neighbor, Judy's house. We regularly take walks up to Judy's house to visit Judy & let the kids and Judy's dogs try to wear each other out, and apparently Little Bit's learned the route after all those "sling rides". I still can't believe she walked that far (guesstimating it's around 2/10 of a mile!) especially when it's all pretty much straight up hill. After we visited with Judy for awhile, the big girls wanted me to let Little Bit walk home too, but combination of the fact that she was well past due for nap and the thought of her walking DOWN such a steep hill made me nervous, I opted to carry her home.

We've also taken advantage of the beautiful weather to do some schooling outside. Little Bit's not at a point where I'm comfortable trying to read to the girls and such while she runs around outside, so we've done the "together" part of school in the house, but then I've let them take my laptop (with the mp3s of the Little House books) and their copywork books and such out onto the patio to listen to their Little House chapters and do their copywork while I put Little Bit down for her nap (while we have the general rule that they can't play outside while I'm putting her down for nap (which I accomplish by taking a shower & letting the white noise of the shower put her to sleep) because I can't hear them as well, I do let them sit on the patio to do school work, figure there's not much chance of them getting hurt just sitting there LOL).

We've been studying Australia as our "extra" right now (I'll post a review once we finish it) and that's interesting for all of us.

I find it interesting how just a couple months can make all the difference in what will & won't hold their attention. Throughout the Prairie Primer curriculum there are recommended biographies to read from the "Sowers series" we've started into a couple others but they've just been a tad over the girls' heads and haven't kept their interest, I haven't pushed it because this IS a 3rd-6th grade curriculum we're using, so we're obviously not going to be able to use it all AND I want to do my best to encourage a LOVE of biographies, not make them a "chore" (I LOVE reading biographies & always have, I want to SHARE that love with them if at all possible!) So, when a biography of Fannie Crosby was recommended a month or so ago, I opted to use the "Your Story Hour" story of Fannie Crosby instead, and they loved it. Now we're on to "The Long Winter" and the recommended biography is on Samuel Morse. I did find a "book on tape" that includes it, but it was pricey. I also found a "younger" book (at least appeared to be) than the Sowers series one about Samuel Morse at the library but we're STILL waiting for it to come in, so this week I decided to have another go at the Sowers series, they whined when I stopped reading for the day, so I guess it's a hit LOL.

In other news, they are now reading American Girl books to themselves! We were at the library earlier this week (Tuesday, I think) and they decided to get the first book from the dolls they are respectively planning to get for their birthdays. A1 set right to work reading it, A2, at first insisted that it was "too hard" and she needed me to read it to her, but after I sat with her and had her read the first couple sentences to me, she realized she COULD do it, and has been working through it ever since. A1 is reading about a book a day, though now we're "stuck" until book 3 comes in at the library. A2 is still working on book 1, but in addition to the fact that she does tend to struggle more with reading, and I suspect is more of a "perfectionist" in this area as in other areas, and isn't as willing to skip over a word she doesn't know, her doll of choice is Josefina, so her books include Spanish words as well. I'm so thrilled to see them reading, and enjoying "real books".

They also continue to enjoy cooking & baking. A2 made brownies essentially by herself (just w/ me there to give guidance) earlier this week, and the 2 of them together made bar cookies today again with me just giving guidance.

And I think that about brings us up to date.

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