January 16, 2008

Recent Roundup

I am out of the blogging groove lately. I am having to make a lot of changes here and that has kept us busy. We are also enjoying all our new games and toys etc.

Today we played board games for most of the day. Ciaran beat me and everyone else at Star Wars chess. We played Leaping Frogs, Blokus, The Ladybug game, and a new family favorite Triple Triumph.

We also spent some good time reading together and some history. It was a much needed relaxing and reconnecting day. Sirah even beat everyone at Wii bowling while I made dinner. Believe it or not Rhiannon left the Wii game to come help me cook - that was nice. We also had an interesting discussion about what spies do.

The kids have had a recent interest in all things Ancient Egypt again, especially as it relates to King Tut. Ciaran asked if we could take a family field trip to Dallas to see the King Tut exhibit when it is there. Sirah said it would be more fun to go to Cairo! Yes, yes it would. Unfortunately neither is likely. When I asked for field trip ideas for this winter and spring Rhia shared that she wanted to go to Mt. Rushmore and the caves out there. When I raised an eyebrow she said "What, I was going to say London, but I thought you would say no." Help us as we raise children who want to travel :)

We had a great school day yesterday when I let them each pick a non-fiction book they wanted to learn about and share with one another. Sirah picked up a geography book and asked to learn about Oceania (New Zealand and Australia area). That was fun because we just had dinner guests over the week before who spent the past year in New Zealand.

Rhiannon picked up our Ancient Egypt book (big surprise) and we read the story of the founding of King Tut's tomb and some of the transitional tombs of other famous pharoahs as well as the embalming process. This is particularly interesting seeing as how she could not handle hearing, seeing or reading anything remotely related to mummies, death, etc just a year ago - now she is fascinated.

Ciaran chose the human body book (also not surprising) and picked the chapter on the skeletal system. I got to make a living science example when we discussed the bones, spine and nerves. Was able to explain to the kids just what is going on with me now and we had fun feeling and finding all the different bones in our body.

Then the kids had to write/draw on the chalkboard things they remembered from each lesson. Today as part of art they had to paint or draw pictures related to our topics. The kids really enjoyed the discussions and reading time. I think I will incorporate that atleast once a week into our curriculum. The freedom of choice and sharing that with others made it more interesting and personal and fun.

We are bracing ourselves for a very cold few weeks coming up. A reminder we do indeed live in Minnesota. Driving to my prayer group yesterday I realized gloves were not optional - I could not hold the steering wheel without them it was so cold (and my car was in a garage overnight). It is what we call nosehair cold. When you walk outside the nosehair freezes. And we have not seen the worst of it yet. The temps are heading to teens BELOW zero BEFORE windchills and expected to stay that way until the end of the month. Lovely. The only thing that can make it better - yes we are in fact going to get some snow that we get to shovel in that chill.

Ciaran's snowboarding lessons are simply going to have to wait an extra few weeks I think. We want him to enjoy the sport after all, not have only freezing memories of it. Ciaran and Rhiannon are enjoying basketball right now. They are both able to play because the time is the same night at the same location - wonderful when that works out.

Stay warm,

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