July 29, 2004

Favorite Reads

A good friend was over the other day and we were exchanging some ideas for books and I realized it has been awhile since I posted a reading list here (that will resume in September) but I thought I would post a few of our favorites from this summer, a brief sample and many have been mentioned before. I'm going to do it from memory so author list may not be complete. These are some of the read me and reread me and could you read this again even though we read it a half hour ago books in our house this summer.

The Wide Mouth Frog by Keith Faulkner
The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear - Audrey Wood
Quick as a Cricket - Audrey Wood
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble - William Steig
Pete's a Pizza - William Steig
Bedtime for Frances - Russell Hoban
Birthday for Frances - Russell Hoban
Bread and Jam for Frances - Russell Hoban
Frog and Toad series - Arnold Lobel
Little Bear series - Else Holmlund Minark
Jesse Bear Series - Nancy white Carlstrom
Miss Rumphius - Barbara Cooney
The Library - Sarah Stewart
Dr Suess books
If you Give a Moose a Muffin - Laura Numeroff
If You give a pig a pancake - Laura Numeroff
The Little House on the Prairie picture books - adapted from Laura Ingalls Wilder
Make Way for Ducklings - Robert Mccloskey
Mama Do You Love Me - Barabara Joose
Pickles to Pittsburgh - Judi Barrett
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs - Judi Barrett
Amelia Bedelia series by Peggy Parish

Some of our favorite books on tape this summer have been

Peter Pan
The Wizard of Oz
Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Dahl
The Trumpet of the Swan - White
Hobbit - Tolkein
Chronicles of Narnia - Lewis
Mary Poppins

There you have a brief peek into some of our summer favorites. We also have a steady stream of library books coming in as well as whatever the kids pick up around the house. We have cut back our reading time to probably somewhere between 30 minutes and an hour a day, so we can enjoy being outside more.


The More You Have The Less You Know

It took me some time but I have finally come to realize how very much of our children come prewired that way and also how you can be a great parent and still have challenging or spirited children. I have realized that a part of me was pretty know it all and judgmental when I was the parent of just one child.

My daughter never went near outlets, stoves, or did much of anything dangerous. I found myself thinking of all the "safety gadgets" where are the parents? Isn't it a discipline issue and aren't safety gadgets to replace inactive parents? I can say this now because my second child made me realize why they make all those for the 30 seconds you turn your back or are helping another child. Ciaran was drawn to outlets, climbing and it seems all things dangerous. He loves emptying cabinets and almost anything. Now Sirah loves stairs, emptying the trash bins and eating anything she should not. I am much more sympathetic and understanding and ashamed of my initial thoughts. I've learned so much.

I have one who has horrible temper tantrums, one who talks non-stop and has issues with interrupting, one who needs constant attention and one who is a daredevil. I have one who is mellow and easy going, one who is almost always a joy to be around, one who makes you smile in a heartbeat and one who is very precocious. They all have strengths and weaknesses and they are all their own person. We have raised them in very similar ways.

I've also found that life circumstances change. I once gave a talk on offering good snacks and meals for toddlers and young children. At the time I simply did not understand why this was so hard for some people. Convenience food was not a part of our vocabulary and I could simply control that we would have no junk food in the house. As my kids don't watch TV advertising was not a problem so they did not know what they were "missing". Again I look back and realize I was judgmental of people again and thought some simply were not trying hard enough.

Last week I called a friend and said you won't believe me but Sirah's lunch contained Cheetos - she was shocked. We bought pop ice this summer, my kids have had kool aid, caprisun and many forms of "snackfood" I don't usually allow. I find it easier with three 5 and under to offer boxed cereal for breakfast instead of homemade pancakes, eggs or even oatmeal. We stop for fast food more than ever before (though still not often).

Before those of you who know me got into shock we still serve tofu, avocado, edamame, and lots of fruit for snacks. My kids still only drink water and soy milk (with an occasional treat of juice or lemonade) and pretzels are generally the only "snack food" in our house. But I have learned to be less judgmental and realize that everyone has the best interests of their children at heart and life circumstances and their individual children can change what their "ideals" may be as I have learned myself.

Also I am a firm believer that each family needs to make the choices that best fit their family. However, I must admit to myself that I am opinionated that some choices are superior to others - at least now I understand that it is often (not always) more than just a parenting issue. I've loosened up but tried to keep our standards high.

I've learned the more you have the less and more you know. I'm thankful for the lessons that I have and can only what those with a quiverful know.


Ice Cream Shop Field Trip

WE had a great field trip today to a Ben and Jerry's shop. Yum and perfect for July! The kids got to make homemade ice cream and learn how to make waffle cones - it was interesting. They got a tour of the shop and learned about some of Ben and Jerry's philosophy - on antiobiotics in milk, give back to the community etc. Then the best part for them of course was the ice cream. Rhiannon had vanilla and Ciaran had Strawberry Chesscake with graham cracker swirl. I had sorbet and Sirah refused any.

It felt good to have a field trip - our homeschool group has been alternating field trips and playdates and birthday parties and it seems we have had few field trips this summer. It was a nice trip. Then we headed over to a local school supply shop and laminated some calendar cutouts I made for our photo file this year.

The kids are in the yard playing and Sirah is enjoying wandering the house and the deck. She loves to carry things around now that she has the freedom of her hands and can maintain her balance. Crickets, potato bugs, jumpy guys (aka toads) and general play make up our afternoon.


** "Mommy" Blogs **

During some recent web surfing in the blogosphere I noticed a disturbing trend. I noticed that while political blogs are getting lots of attention due to the bloggers at the convention it has led to some downsides as well. I have read many "Why can't it be me" or "I'm just a mom" or "My blog is boring" comments. That saddens me - because we may be mothers and we may be blogging about our children and our daily lives but that does not make a "mommy blog" insignificant. On the contrary some of the most inspiring blogs I have read have been written by other homeschooling mothers. These women and sometimes fathers give me great ideas for raising and teaching my own kids, they help me accept that my struggles and difficulties are normal and they remind me why we do what we do on those hard days. Also truth be told they make me laugh, smile and sometimes cry. They give me a connection with a community and inspiration when I most need it. "Mommy blogs" are very significant indeed.

More than that they are written histories for ourselves, our families and our culture. We are passing on to our children records of what we did and how we felt. We are leaving an imprint and representation of our families and our lives. We are journaling our history for our kids and the generations to come. We can learn from each other and we can learn from ourselves.

No matter how many hits you get in a day your blog still matters. You don't need an invitation to a convention or coverage on the nightly news or a mention on InstaPundit to have a great and meaningful blog. So thanks to everyone of you and keep up the great work in your families, communities and on your blogs.


July 28, 2004


The kids woke up itching to go to the park. They could hardly wait for breakfast and I think they intentionally woke Sirah up - I eventually gave up fighting them and we all headed out for a morning bike ride to the park with me pushing Sirah in the stroller. We walked around our neighborhood first, so I could get some exercise in and then headed over to the park - only to discover that our playground was closed for repairs (guess it will be nice when it is done) but that was no bother to the kids - we just changed gears.

Can you guess? We went on a toad hunt of course! We saw mostly frogs and they were way to fast for us to catch - but the kids gave it their best effort. We saw dragonflies (a very pretty and large blue one), butterflies, bunny rabbits, birds, squirrels, a dead hermit crab, ducklings, bumblebees, and frogs (not to mention mosquitoes).

When we arrived at the edge of our local pond we saw about 6-10 frogs just sitting there as soon as the kids tried to get them they jumped away into the water. The kids decided to sit on the edge of the water (inside the brush) I okayed it. I was on the grass with Sirah who was walking around when suddenly I hear a cry look up and Rhiannon is slipping and calling for me.

She fell into the duckweed completely - she grabbed at a branch but it did not hold her - one whole side of her body submerged itself and she came up very upset. I helped her out of the water and she was covered from head to toe on one side of her body in duckweed. She was very unhappy and asked to go immediately home and shower. We did. She walked her bike home and went right into the shower and I think she feels better now - though she claims she is never going back to the pond again.

The dangers of a nature walk I suppose.


July 27, 2004

Reading Rewards

Being a believer in the reward of reading is the story itself I usually do not do "incentive-based reward" programs. However, this summer I did knowing they would read much more than they were required to (30 each). Yesterday they finished their program and they received their bookbags, movie tickets and kids meals. They were excited. Rhiannon read 8 books yesterday to finish off her list when she found that Ciaran had completed his.

We headed up to the library where they collected their new bookbags and of course needed to get some books to put in it - even though we had already been to the library that morning and gotten out several books. Then we headed over to a restuarant and redeemed their free meal (grilled cheese, freedom fries, and an ice cream) and they were in a great mood. This was good as it helped pass the time that Serona was away on business.

They were so excited for their bookbags and we came home and read a bunch of books before bed. I am so glad that my kids love reading and love our local library. I pray their passion for books and reading continues throughout their life.


July 26, 2004

Setting the Scene

I've been surfing the internet for about 2 hours now - alternating between reading news, planning and organizing curriculum, cleaning up bookmarks, browsing the star wars fan club forums and email. I've been listening to musicmatch jukebox - some artists from tonight: stevie nicks, diane krall, dan fogelberg, fleetwood mac, abba, this moral coil and better than ezra. I got up to get a drink and realized I wanted to share the setting from which I have been working.

I am in my bedroom - I am sitting propped up on several pillows with the little bed Sirah has decided I may have - she is sprawled sideways across over 3/4 of our queen size bed. My laptop is propped on my lap, to my right is my reading table (Serona's present to me for my 30th birthday), sitting on the shelf side is a cup of tazo tea, a reading lamp and the current book I am reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I've been plowing through the whole series again after seeing the movie recently. On the floor next to me is a blanket I am crocheting for a friend. I am making an afghan with this wonderful homespun yarn.

I am struck by how wonderful my life truly is as I am surrounded by things I truly love and enjoy doing. As my family lays nearby asleep I can choose between reading comfortably in bed, crocheting an afghan for a friend with soft yarn while I listen to a book on tape or some of my favorite music, or I can work on curriculum or just surf the internet from the comfort of my bed. How blessed I am. It has been a good night. I think it is time to sign off the computer though.


Magic Show

We had a lazy morning getting going today - but we managed to ride up to our library in time for the magic show program. I love that the kids can bike there it gives us all some nice exercise and feels much better than always driving everywhere - soon Sirah will be old enough to ride in our bike trailer and I can bike too.

The show was good the kids seemed to enjoy themselves - though this is now my 3rd magic show of the summer and I find my enthusiasm waning - but for the performer and the kids I keep my spirits up. After the show we collected some books and biked home.

The kids retreated to the backyard while I made lunch. They played in the sprinkler, pool and playset. They ran around, golfed, played in the sand and of course hunted for toads (their favorite pastime this summer), thankfully they found one.

It was a great summer day - the kind I cherish.


July 24, 2004

A message to daddy

Daddy, I love you and I miss you. I hope you had a great time at the boundary waters. I hope you were safe. Have you seen any wolves? Well it's kind of discouraging or sad without you. I love you and I miss you. I hope you will come home soon. I miss you very much. I'm thinking about you and praying. Every night I pray. I hope that you and all your friends are okay. Please review and understand - I hope you understand now. Because I'm watching the days go by. I saw your postcard - I did like it and this is for you - I am writing. Me and mommy and Ciaran and Sira misses you.
I love you. I miss you, I hope you're having a fun time on your last day in the boundary waters. I hope you come home soon because we miss you so much. But now joy has come to us - you are coming home to your own family. Love Rhiannon.

July 23, 2004

In Ciaran's words

I know about the zoo. Sharks and whales and bones and a bird show, I liked that. We did all together stay home and sleep. We get up very early and played with my train track and ball tricks. Our friends sleep over. It was fun. We played with them and find frogs.

I want to say a friend disobeyed. I want to say I love you. I want to say to you that's all the words I gotta say. That's all. Yep.


In Rhiannon's Words

I would just like to tell you guys that I had a very fun week this week, I did. Well (giggle) this is the goofiest part, I did front flips and back flips that's really silly. Today I'm going to have a marching bad with silverware and jingling stuff and music things.

We had a sleepover party this week. With some of my friends (she named all of them). Well we had scones this week. We watched Willa Wonka and the Chocolate factory. This is the mostest mostest funnest part - one of my friends wrestled and bartled and played with each other and the silly part is I went like this "BRRRRRRRRRRRRHHHHHHHH" and she throws herself down on the couch.

Well while we had our sleepover party at night my brother and I got to watch a movie on the computer. In the morning we played and played and played and we found a frog. A friend helped us take care of it. The frog hopped away eventually.

Of course and then dad went to the boundary waters. And the last thing Ciaran got a rock stuck up in his nose. I licked a lollipop. We went to the zoo - I got an animal. We saw sharks. Last word I'm going to sail around like a elephant La la la.


July 22, 2004

Sleepover Party

Our family hosted a sleepover party for some friends of ours the other day. We had a total of 4 moms, 8 kids, and 3 dogs here. It was a lot of fun! One mom made a sleepover cake which was just precious, it had all the kids under a blanket and their initials - she made it out of a sheet cake, twinkies (for the bodies), marshmallows (for the pillows), vanilla wafers (for the heads) and two different color frostings (for sheets and blankets) and wrapped fruit by the foot around the bottom. The kids loved it and enjoyed getting to eat themselves, we even let little Sirah eat a bit of herself as well.

The kids played in the yard, the pool, the playset, the basement and throughout the house. The moms chatted, made dinner and watched them. We managed to get them to bed sometime around 9pm (we split them all up to sleep) and then 3 of the moms stayed up WAAAAAAAAAAY to late (as you always should at a slumber party) and watched a movie and then had heart to heart talks until 3am! The kids got up around 7 and we had breakfast and the kids played and eventually everyone went home.

It was a great idea, a slumber party for the moms in a lot of ways. The kids had a good time but we had a blast. We enjoyed good food, munchies, a terrible movie, and lots and lots of good conversation. There were many laughs at a time when many of us could use them and some good bonding. I highly recommend it.


July 20, 2004

Great Day

Today we spent much of the day at the zoo - we spent the morning getting the house in order and then headed out - we bought a yearly membership. Rhiannon's 5th birthday just passed and she received some money for her birthday and chose to buy a membership with some of it (we pitched in a bit as well) and that is what they wanted to do today.

We had an excellent time at the zoo even though it was 90 degrees and felt like Georgia hot (which feels like Africa hot according to a dear friend who lived there for 3 years) part of me questioned my sanity in going today but we did have a lot of fun.

We started by visitng the sharks - one of Ciaran's favorites and then caught the tail end of the dolphin show - which is always a hit with my kids. We walked around visiting exhibits including the wolves, tigers, moose , caribou and meerkats. Then we watched the bird show, which the older two really enjoyed - Sirah was very hot at this point and was getting a bit grumpy. After the show we went and took our picture with a bald eagle and a macaw and then headed over to the farm exhibit.

The kids enjoyed the tractor wagon ride and I must admit the breeze felt nice as did the ability to take Sirah off my back briefly. The kids got to pet goats, sheep, cows and horses. We spent time looking and the new baby piglets and Rhiannon's favorite animal - the pig. We visited the chickens and then headed back on the wagon. We hit a couple more exhibits and then went to the children's play room - where they took turns dressing up as divers and various animals. They also gave me shots and watched the Nemo fishtank for awhile. A brief stop at the gift shop where Rhiannon chose a horse and Ciaran a "jumpy guy", code name for frog in our house, I also picked up a ring-tailed lemur to add to our collection.

We headed home for a dinner of pizza and ice pops and then headed back out to the bookstore so Rhiannon could exchange some duplicate books she received for her birthday. She must have flipped through every page of over 20 books or so before deciding what she wanted - which were none of the books she looked through - instead she chose unabridged and unillustrated chapter books of Peter Pan and Anne of Green Gables which each came with a little necklace and charm. We started Peter Pan tonight before bed. She also picked up a book she has wanted for awhile "I love you Forever" . I picked up a bible ABC book for Ciaran and some really cool wooden and stone book coasters for our library that were on clearance. We headed home had another ice pop and read a chapter from Peter Pan before heading off to bed.

All in all is was a great day. We kept very busy but enjoyed ourselves despite the heat. I was amazed at how well Sirah did being dragged all over the place and spending majority of her day in the backpack or carseat. She repaid me by staying up until nearly 1am as if to stay I finally have you alone spend time with me.


July 19, 2004

Keeping Busy

Today we kept ourselves very busy. We ran errands for much of the day - trying to make it from one air conditioned place to the next. While I love hot weather, it was really hot and I thought the kids could use to be inside. We picked up some yarn and some more animals for the kids collection. We picked up some hanging racks to add to our playroom so we could hang up all our costumes, and some back to school storage items at the brand new IKEA (which was CRAZY busy). We came home for lunch and then went back out to our local hardware store to get some screws and supports to hang our new purchases (there I received a minieducation on wall supports).

Then we went for a walk - the kids each got to pick out their own treat (anything from the produce aisle at the grocery store), Rhiannon picked blueberries and Ciaran a peach, Sirah and I split some apple/carrot juice. We picked a spot in the grass and had a mini picnic. Then we continued our walk and they were each rewarded with 1 dollar to spend in the dollar store. Ciaran picked out a giant magnifying glass, Rhiannon a ring and I picked up a pair of scissors. We walked back to the car, it was sweltering heat by this point and Ciaran asked to take off his shirt. Headed home for dinner and then worked on hanging our new purchases up, it looks great and the kids will use their dress up more with it so easy to see and access.

We would down the night with a movie and some stories, after the kids went to bed I folded laundry and cleaned up and then feel asleep listening to Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix on tape.


July 17, 2004

Rhiannon's 5th birthday

Rhiannon's 5th birthday has come and gone and we enjoyed ourselves. It is hard to believe she is 5 now - for some reason this birthday seems bigger to me than the others. She seems so much more like a little girl now and like all traces of baby and toddler are gone. She seems so much more grown up now. She is a bright and sunny girl who is very happy to make us happy. She is much more about trying to please us than she ever has been before and she is very sensitive and caring about others feelings.

She weaned herself from her last nursing by saying to me "Mommy would it be helpful to you to only nurse two kids instead of three? Would that really help?" I said that it would and she said that she would be done - now she crawls on my lap and asks to cuddle or to read to be close. But I think that exemplifies her sensitivity and caring she gave up something that was VERY important to her because she knew it would help me - she often does the same for her brother and sister as well - she really wants to see everyone be happy and do what she can to help.

Her 5th birthday was enjoyable - we celebrated her family party the night before. She requested a "white pie" pizza - which is pizza and cheese without the red sauce and sprite for dinner - we agreed. Serona took her to pick out a cake at the local grocery bakery and she picked some decadent chocolate cake they all enjoyed. We watched "The Absent Minded Professor" all together and had a wonderful night. The next morning Serona and I woke up early (she requested we be up before her) and started making her flower crown. Each year on their birthday we make a crown of flowers for the kids to wear and then we save them. Serona made the crown while I got things ready for her party.

That afternoon the kids from her homeschool group came to celebrate with her. We had a pool party - the kids took turns sliding down into it and running around like crazy people. She had an Aurora cake and lemonade. We had a few snacks of watermelon, pretzels and carrots (her choices) and the kids played inside and out. We have enough grass in the house now to start a yard - but that is what Roomba is for! She enjoyed wearing her birthday crown for cake and presents and she seemed to really enjoy herself.

Some gifts she received this year include: a joke book, some dress up shoes, flavored chapstick (by request), some My Little Ponies, a great animal sticker book, a new summer wardrobe (car of grandparents), several books she requested, some dress up for her dolls, and hermit crabs. She was very blessed and very thankful.

That evening I took her out for a special date - just me and her. We headed to the local toystore where she got to spend 25.00 she had been sent. She bought a velvet purple cape, a ring, and a tiara after examining several times the entire contents of the store. Then she requested we go to the library so I could read her a story - we read Alice in Wonderland abridged and then checked out Albert. We headed over to Perkins for dinner (macaroni and cheese with fresh fruit) and then Culvers for dessert (a chocolate ice cream cone), while she ate I read her Albert. We headed home and she opened her presents from Serona and I: A clipboard (one of her favorite gifts), a special pencil with eraser, homemade leashes for her stuffed animals (she loves these), a Child's Garden of Verses, Pickles to Pittsburgh, and Around the world books, a wooden iron and a puppy (soon to come next week).

All in all it was a great birthday.


July 13, 2004

Bringing Things to Date

While blogging may be light, activity is not (thus blogging in light) - we have been busy. In the past week we have bought a new puppy, attended a birthday party, seen a zoomobile show, and had many fun days in the sun. Our days often consist of spending the time in our backyard in the pool and on the swingset. Collecting toads is Ciaran's favorite hobby and collecting pretty rocks Rhiannon's. Sirah has her own little pool that she can climb in and out of and I sit nearby. We walk into town and to the library - we go to the farmers market and the kids ride their bikes. It is a good summer - we have laid off schoolwork for the most part - other than our daily reading that the kids love and doing some "reading clubs".

I am usually not one for incentive and reward clubs for reading as I want my kids to learn to love to read just for the love of it. However this summer I have found a few that I thought would be a nice reward for my kids. Since it is NOT pulling their teeth to read I thought for once they could enjoy some of the benefits other kids get for choosing to read. It has not affected their love of reading and it is encouraging Rhiannon to do more reading on her own and not just enjoying listening to read alouds (which we still do) so far I am glad with my decision. Plus they are more than halfway done with their "summer-long" program and we signed up a week and a half ago. They still see the benefit of reading as the reward of the book though and they do love stories, even Sirah is starting to enjoy more than chewing books~

Rhiannon and Ciaran are really enjoying each other this summer and seem to be getting along better than ever. They have their moments to be sure - but for the most part they spend their days playing together in their own little world and love being in the pool and yard together. We still have atleast one day a week when we see other kids - often more - but I am so glad they have each other to play with.

Hope your summers are as enjoyable.


July 4, 2004

Fourth of July

Today was a great day. We marched in our local parade for our federal congressman who is up for reelection this year. The kids enjoyed handing out stickers for him and were real troopers walking the entire few miles (including walking to and from our house) and they really seemed to enjoy themselves. Even our dog walked wearing stickers on his paws! Serona carried a spray bottle and helped out the crowds by spraying them with water as we walked by - it was a hot day!

After the parade we headed home for popsicles and cold water in our wonderfully air conditioned home. Then we were off again to visit some friends who just had a baby. We brought dinner over and just enjoyed their company - their beautiful daughter is just 3 days old!

We helped out around the house - helping organize their basement and move some furniture, vacuum, sweep, do laundry - however we could be used we were. We believe it is so important to help out friends during their times of need, especially right after the birth of a baby! Even the kids pitched in and helped as best they could. They also enjoyed some time jumping on their trampoline.

On the way home we all watched the fireworks displayed that had started. We arrived home to discover that we have an excellent view of our own local fireworks show from our deck. We were able to see a great show from our deck inside our screen room free of bugs and other people's smoke and noise. We put on some nice patriotic classical music to listen to. After the town's display was over we were able to enjoy a few of our neighbor's displays (which were actually very impressive) and then finished the night off with some of our own smaller fireworks so the kids could enjoy some little ones close up. It was so nice for once to not be bothered by bugs on the 4th!

The kids were exhausted and falling asleep as we got them ready for bed. It was a great day. A very busy and full day, but a great day nonetheless. Hope your fourth was just as enjoyable.


July 3, 2004

Private Gardens

We had so many plans for today - they all got rained out so we needed to readjust our desires and expectations. We were supposed to have a day filled with outdoor carnival like activities including pony rides - but instead it downpoured and even we decided it would not be a good time for the kids. Instead we decided to do a craft project on Serona's pushing.

We headed over to Michael's and then Frank's nursery to pick up supplies. The kids made their own little gardens to take care of. We bought each of them there own round terracotta pot and some potting soil - a plant, some shells and decorative rocks and each got to pick a decorative animal (Ciaran picked a toad of course and Rhiannon picked a pig).

We headed home into our garage and filled the bottom of each pot with river rock then potting soil and then the kids helped transplant their little plants - plus the impatients they each planted when we toured the flower shop a few months ago. Then they each got to decorate their pot however they wanted with decorative stones and shells. Then each placed their animal in a special place and we carried them up to the deck where they will stay and the kids can water and take care of them each day.

This was a cheap and easy project that the kids absolutely loved and I would highly recommend. We enjoyed it so much that we have decided this is what will do as party favors for each of the kids during Rhainnon's upcoming 5th birthday party.


July 2, 2004


We had some of the kids friends from our homeschool support group over today. We spent the entire day including dinner with these two wonderful boys! I was amazed at how well the kids played and got along - there were no fights, no problems and they really enjoyed one another's company. I had 5 kids here today and believe it or not 3 of them napped at the same time! They all helped clean up and we spent much of the day outside in the pool and on the slide.

One of the things I love about homeschooling is the opportunity for the kids to play and get to know kids of all ages. Rhiannon was playing with a 7 year old boy for much of the day and often the four of them would all play together or sometimes you would find an older child with a younger one - either helping them or just playing together.

They took turns helping get the younger ones on the swing or pushing them, the helped Ciaran find a toad (his summer obsession), they all played the games the younger ones requested and they just had a good time together. In many ways I did not feel like I was watching them because they kept themselves so entertained. Most of the time Sirah and I just sat nearby and I focused on playing with her in her little pool while they played next to us.

Occasionally I needed to remind one of the younger children to use their words instead of scream and remind the older kids to listen to their words and respect them. For the most part though they were able to work things out themselves. It was an enjoyable day for me too.


July 1, 2004

Magic Show

We went to a magic show this week - the kids really enjoyed themselves. The magician was fun and energetic. The show was crowded and busy. Ciaran's favorite trick was when he pulled a live bunny out of a book. Rhiannon's favorite was when he made a dollar bill and piece of carrot turn into live goldfish. The truly enjoyed every trick he did but these were the ones they picked as their favorites.

After the show we headed to the children's section at our library to find that the entire magic trick section had been emptied. We did find a Magic for Kids video to watch. The kids talked about the show much of the walk home and all through dinner as they informed Serona of their day. We will have to find more shows for them to attend like this one.