July 29, 2007

Random Reflections

Tonight is a night for rambling I am afraid. I have a bunch of random thoughts that I want to get out. Kind of fits that right now I am wearing two very different mismatched socks that I have knit for two different pairs. One is brown sideways stripes and the other many shades of green stripes in the normal up and down pattern. I am wearing them to decide which pattern I like the feel and look of better. I hated the work involved for the sideways sock but it is quite comfortable so I am wearing both for several hours to see how I feel. I also have on PJ's and a heavy Aran Irish sweater because Serona loves the air conditioning on so high that my basement feels like the climate in Ireland. My eclectic appearance matches the randomness of my thoughts.

A young child was found accidentally drown in a lake in Minnesota. In a lake we have swam in before and the boy was just a touch younger than Sirah. Another little four year old boy we don't know recently died while receiving cancer treatments at a Chicago hospital that another little boy we pray for is currently at. The news reports of the cat that curls up at the feet of the dying patients in a nursing home and two men were pulled out of the sewer system in St. Paul. I am thinking about how precious life is.

As I type my own three children are sleeping soundly nearby and I have spent time just looking at their peaceful faces, the size of their feet, the cuteness of their toes and listening to their breathing. At times like this I am reminded of how deeply I love them and how thankful I am to be their mother. A mom for just eight years now and how I have grown and changed, how I have learned and messed up in those few years, how much of a better person I am because of my children and husband and the lessons they teach me. Moments like this I just want to pull them into my lap and snuggle with them all day, play board games, watch movies, read, read and just enjoy each other. Repeat over and over again how much I love them and how special they are. I know I will hold them a little closer tomorrow, yell a little less and try my best to be a great mom to them.

Rhiannon with her sensitive spirit. She loves horses, fairies, swimming, biking and reading. She loves directing plays, creating imaginary worlds and being in charge. Yet for all her leadership she really wants people to be happy and is a sensitive giving child. She has a mind of her own, knows what she wants and works hard to present it in such a way to get what she wants. She reads faster than I can believe. I used to not believe - I used to quiz her hard about small details of books after she finished them in a single day. I have learned she really just does read and comprehend that quickly so just to let her enjoy it and be awed at quite how much she reads. Of course I can no longer keep up with her reading as she spends more time reading in a single day than I sometimes have in a week to read. I relate to her in so many ways as we are very similar - that sometimes leads to more conflict because of those similar strong personalities. Over the years we are learning to be more patient with each other.

Ciaran my nature loving high energy son. This is his season: frogs, bugs, snakes, nature hikes, being in water, skateboarding, biking, just the time of year he loves the most. His pure joy and excitement in God's creation is impossible to not be contagious. He has energy from the moment he wakes up (generally with the sunrise) until the moment he crashes to sleep for the evening. His passion is strong in areas he loves as he dives deeply into whatever that passion is: frogs, insects, skateboarding and of course video games are the current interests. Watching him come into his own and forge friendships is exciting. Sometimes he exhausts me but he also makes me smile and appreciate the important things. Ciaran is much like his dad was at a younger age and I would guess his grandfather before him.

Sirah she has a servants heart. Always the first to be my assistant, always the first to volunteer to help. She loves cooking for me in her kitchen, serving me meals, playing doll house, dressing up, putting on shows and keeping up with her brother and sister. She is thwarted by little confident that she can do anything she wants, which is often anything everyone else is doing. The most independent of the kids, the most likely to do it herself even though she is the youngest. Yet the first to come and snuggle and just need to be in my lap. She is really unsure if she wants to be older or littler again. Her giggle is the kind you want to bottle and take out on a rainy day. Her smiles and laughter and giggles bring joy to all our days as they are so plentiful right now!

They are precious wonderful kids and I am thankful for so much time together with them. Today we went to the library and stocked up on books and videos for the week. Somehow they always manage to convince me to come home with over 30 items each time we go - no wonder my fines get high - it is worth it though to breed such a love of reading in them. We splurged and headed over to the video game store where we bought some used video games that we can play as a family as well - then to top it off they each got to pick out their own bag of chips for our evening. We headed home for some movie and video game time and a wonderful family night.

I rarely like to watch the same movies over and over again. There are a few exceptions and one that surprises me that I enjoy watching so much is The Sum of All Fears. It is not uplifting, not especially well acted and the plot is rather predictable at parts but I think the concept of sum of all fears is clever and I have enjoyed much of the Jack Ryan political action movies and books - a general exception to my movie and book taste.

I am starting a new William Martin book Citizen Washington. I really enjoyed the last two Harvard Yard and The Lost Constitution, historical fiction both. One of my favorite genres to read actually though I read a wide variety of genres. I blew through three Harry Potter books in the past two weeks. We saw the movie opening night and then I wanted to reread OoTP so I did. I immediately moved into HBP and finished that while Serona was reading Deathly Hollows. Being impatient to continue I started reading when he was not home and just kept two bookmarks in it. Even reading this way and letting him read it whenever he was home I finished in two days.

I thoroughly enjoyed the Harry Potter series and will one day share it with my children. Right now they are too young - though Rhiannon could easily read the books she is just not ready for the content. Not for the same reasons many Christian parents are against the books but I know my kid and I know she is not ready. We also decided until we are ready to let her read the whole series confident she can handle it all will we allow her to start - because I know how frustrating it would be to not be allowed to continue.

Still Serona and I have been reading them from the beginning and we have hand knit house scarves and hats and probably soon some quidditch socks. We have gone to the movies, though we don't go with the same enthusiasm as the Star Wars openers got from us and I would like to see this last movie again. I think it was very well done even though it varied the most from the books I think it was my favorite overall movie of the series so far. Even though the books have closure I am sad the series is supposedly over because I will miss the characters in the book and seeing what happens to them next. It was nice to finish the series and see how she chose to end it.

I am also glad I am done with the book because I had to put myself on a hiatus from all internet except the weather channel after woot.com had a potential spoiler (it was tongue in cheek and had nothing to do with the book) still it made me realize how easy it would be to be spoiled with all the news sites and blogs I read with regularity. The internet hiatus was actually nice and I always come away from those with a little less desire to spend as much time on the computer as I did before. Not to say I am not glad to be back to reading freely. I hate stories being spoiled. I was very frustrated with Serona when he read the book for Episode One and told me on our way into the theater that Padme was Amidala. So he was banned from making any noises even while reading the last HP book in my presence. He was very respectful of that and nearly exploded ready to talk when I finally finished the book.

On the knitting front I have taken to making socks. They are a fabulous summer project - they are portable and light and mostly mindless work. I have a fairly complicated aran pattern in the works for a certain special family member that I hope to spend more time on when I have thinking knitting time but for now socks are nice mindless summer work.

On the homeschool front - we have had a great time being completely off. Ciaran and I have started working on reading skills daily again this past week because he needs the review and was starting to lose the progress he made last year. We took out Phonics Pathways, Dr Suess and checked out a bunch of readers from the library to work on together. Rhiannon has enjoyed a work free summer though it is just about time to start some math review with her so we don't start too far behind. When the school supplies all came out this month she was outraged. I explained that some kids go back to school in August for college or year round charter schools and the rest go back end of august or beginning of September. She smiled wide and said "not us" and I reminded her we could start then if she preferred. She said "we don't start until October and I like that!" To find out why you can read my Why I love September post.

These next few weeks though I will pull together my classes for our homeschool cooperative. This fall I will be teaching a Star Wars class. My concept is to teach literary/movie themes like coming of age, good vs. evil, etc and then flush it out through the Star Wars saga. I'd like to have this class planned out a bit more than I usually do at the beginning of my semesters. The second class I will teach is a nature explorers/nature journaling class. I am looking forward to both. For our homeschool studies I did some advance planning at the end of the year and probably won't get around to that again until mid September right before we start up our year again.

We are still reading but I have taken a hiatus from posting reading lists. The kids and I are simply not as good about keeping tabs on what we read and so much of it is rereading our favorite books that I don't keep tabs on it. I have decided to just keep Rhiannon and Ciaran's independent reads in their grade level list and start the new grade level list in the fall when we start their next grade work. So sadly for you no summer reading lists will be coming from me but I am enjoying the break from recording it.

Well I said it would be a long rambling post and that is exactly what it was! I could go on but why bore you anymore?



  1. empressbarb5:27 PM

    You are amazing, I wish we lived closer and could talk face to face more often. You are perservering and
    witty, informed and articulate. I am glad we know one another, and are friends. K1P2....Love

  2. We've seen death up close and personal in recent weeks. It really makes you pause and think. But it also makes me want to not dwell upon death too much. I keep thinking of that line from The Shawshank Redemption, "Get busy living, or get busy dying."

    The Star Wars class sounds very cool. My son would be the first in line for something like that! Ha, maybe I would too.