Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Super Hero Kind of Morning

It's not what you think. There were no bats or spiders, no green lanters or the like.  There was a book about buttons that a small boy brought home from school.  There was a Mom lying in bed wondering how she was going to make this morning a positive one.  Then that boy peeked through the door......

I turned on the light and said, "Would you like to read this book?"  He nodded and climbed up on the bed.  "Can we lay down and read it Mom?"
"Well, you can.  I need to sit up." 
We read The Button Box.  It's about a boy and his grandmother's button box.  They sort the buttons, talk about them and then put them back for next time.  The makes it sound rather dull.  It wasn't.  We read it twice.
"Mom, you have a button box and you don't really let me play with it."
"That's true.  I do let you sometimes"
"Can we play with it this morning?  Please?!"
(Um, No we have 45 mintues until we need to be on our way to school.)
"Well OK."
The we spent the next 10 minutes let the buttons run through our fingers, talking about what they were made of , which ones we liked the best.  It was magical.
Then just as we were getting the last pair of shoes on some little feet before walking to school a vase filled with sticks, wood roses, and 2 American Flags fell over.  I have no idea why or how, but it did. 
"Mom can I take this flag to school?"
(Um No)
"Well, you can bring it with you while we walk to school and then I will need to bring it home."
We walked down the hill flags flying.
It was a magical morning.  A super hero kind of morning.
All it really takes to be super hero is to listen, to pay attention and then do.
(Oh and forget about the mile long lists of must do's)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Unproductive can be productive.

What I did:
A few dishes
Cleaned up milk
Cleaned up milk and broken glass
Cleaned up kids
Folded fabric onto comic book boards with my kids
Picked up a path through their room while they played chef and "fed" me about 20 meals
Dictated words to a budding writer.  I should note that I just told him the words, not the letters in most cases.
Visited realtives
Made french toast
Stopped at a garage sale at Mowg's request and came home with treasures.  Among them: a slightly too long mattress for the kids bed, a tape player (that works!), some fabulous polyester and an old cupboard (small medicine cabinet size.)

What I didn't do:
Finish the dishes
Clean the bathroom
Clean the bathroom (I have 2 you know)
Clean the living room
Clean the fish tank
Feed the fish (sorry fish I forgot!)

I thought I wasn't being productive, but it turns out I was.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Playful Learning: Develop your Child's Sense of Joy and Wonder by Mariah Bruehl

Can I tell you about a book?  (I know you've never had a recommendation of a book from me before.)
Playful Learning:  Develop your Child's Sense of Joy and Wonder by Mariah Bruehl.  I can't get Amazon to let me link it or I would.  I love the cover.  Maybe it's the freshly sharpened colored pencils.  I don't know.  I just love it.  What I love even more is how very much it is helping me make sense of the murky world of helping my children learn.  She provides activities to help support reading, writing, math, science and social skills for children ages 4-8.  She outlines the learning process...the stages they go through as they develop in each area. She speaks to me in a way I can understand.   I feel as though I've been given vocabulary, understanding and processes for implementation that I can use and not just think about.

Recently Mowg came home from school having learned about volcanoes and earthquakes.  He was pretty excited about them.  He showed us how the plates worked by separating some cracked asphalt for us.  As a result of this book I was tuned in a little better to that excitement.   Tiny and I made a volcano with salt dough (not in enough time for it to dry mind you) and when Mowg came home from school we mixed a little red jello with some baking soda and added it to some vinegar.  The eruptions were fun to make and watch.  Once we were done with that we let the kids mix the mess all together to their hearts content.  It was an enjoyable evening and dare I say a bit of a learning one.  We had fun.  We experimented.  We played.  All of us, together.  Mariah Bruehl didn't recommend this activity or provide directions for it.  She simply gave me the tools to be aware and take the opportunities as they were presented.  If you haven't seen this book, please check it out.  It is amazing.  Thank you Mariah Bruehl for writing this book. 

(PS I have no affiliation or connection with this author or the publisher.  I just love the book.  That's all.)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Are you looking for us?
I'm so full of excuses, but this is a good one.  Our computer died.  Complete crash.
I'm still sorting out this new one, but it's coming and it'll read the 8gb camera card! Wow.
That's all I can say.  What's that tiny girl doing?  Is that what you're wondering?  She was fascinated by the junk under the bleachers at a rodeo (our first as a family).  FASCINATED.  That's an understatement.  One day soon I'll get on the ball.  I promise.  I hope.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I know you think that I've forgotten that I have a blog.  I'm struggling with allergies at the moment among other things.  This means I would rather close my eyes than have them open.  It also means that you could tie my hands to iron rings making it impossible for me to scratch at my eyes and I would find a way to bang my head on the wall until I could scratch them.  Actually, some of the time I think I'd like to bang my head on the wall just to do something different.   So it's not a good excuse, but it's an excuse.

I'll leave you for now with my favorite "prayer line" at the moment from my tiny girl:

"Please bless the food tommorrar."

I think it's always good to get a head start when you can, apparently she thinks so too.