Our new front garden with three girls. Yes, the sunflowers are now taller than Bella. We’ve got a few blooms in our little wildflower garden. Such a happy spot of green to greet us every time we walk out the front door.
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I actually had a friend over on Tuesday. I’m working on this whole hospitality thing. While I was chatting with her, Bella set herself the task of making nameplates for the kids’ doors. All on her own. See, a little benign neglect leads to penmanship practice.
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Bella wanted to get books on bees and so we did. And an afternoon story time reading a magic School Bus book (drives me crazy, but the kids love it) became an afternoon watching You Tube videos of beekeepers. (And popping in to Like Mother, Like Daughter for Leila’s pictures of bee hives and honey extraction.) I had some vague ideas about how it all worked, but now I know much, much more.
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Sophie asked about what was the earth made of or what would you find if you kept digging down. So when I popped into the library last Friday I picked up a book about the Earth. And I read them a section about Lord Kelvin and estimating the age of the earth and the composition and size of the core (I learned a lot from that chapter too) and we talked about the planets. And that led to the question of why Pluto isn’t a planet any more. I remember reading an article about it at the time and thought it seemed a bit arbitrary and silly. This article I found and read to Bella was much clearer and made it seem rather inevitable: Why Pluto Is No Longer a Planet.
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I cut Dom’s hair and Ben’s on Sunday afternoon, but Anthony was asleep. So he’s still shaggy boy.
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Other questions I recall being asked this week:
“What is ‘discord’?”
“How long is a league?”
“Do butterflies get married?”
“What is a mate?”
“What is botany?”
“What is a galaxy?”
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Bella has been having fun writing Egyptian numbers on the white board for me to figure out. I rewrite them in both Roman numerals and Arabic. They exclaim how much shorter Arabic numerals are. So concise.
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We finished reading The Silver Chair. Bella exclaimed how the beginning of a Narnia book is always a little slow. Maybe a bit boring. But by the end she’s so excited she’s dashing from one end of the room to the other as I read and begging for more than one chapter at a time.
When I read the big reveal chapter Sophie exclaimed, “Oh! So that’s why it’s called The Silver Chair!” Bella totally knew it was Rilian the first time they met him. Of course she did. They were all so a-twitter. I had to read the next chapter too. Reading my favorite books with them is so very fun. And I’m noticing all sorts of details I don’t remember noticing before.
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Bella caught a fly. Was excited to observe a sparrows legs closely as it perched on the feeder, is trying to understand the difference between monocots and dicots. .
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Ben was obsessing over Jan Brett’s Gingerbread Baby. He really, really wanted to make gingerbread men. He even made that the entire content of the postcards he dictated to my parents and sister.
So we made gingerbread men.
And he was very happy. Though of course he doesn’t look it in the pictures.
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Ben made a castle out of blocks for a king and a queen. And, he said, it was far away from the battle. The king was the apostle that the kids have renamed George and the queen was the ostrich they call Pinkdial. I won’t repeat the scatalogical parts of his game though Bella has recounted them many times.
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Also, I made huge inroads on organizing and decluttering the art and school supplies. I need to get some more plastic bins to really finish the job. But now at least I think I know what I need.
So far I’ve put all the paper in one plastic bin (construction paper, lined paper, etc.) I reorganized all the paint supplies, etc. which were in another bin: I rounded up the glitter glue and markers and put them in a gallon ziploc; I put the watercolors in another gallon ziploc; put the fingerpaints in, you guessed it, another gallon ziploc. Then put all those bags back into the bin. I put the gluesticks in a plastic tub and put that tub and the glue bottles, scotch tape, dry erase markers, and other things I use most frequently into a wooden box so I can grab and go. It’s up high on the shelf where Bella can reach but none of the other kids. I hope. Colored pencils are in a metal mug. Regular pencils, scissors, erasers, and pencil sharpener go into a plastic pencil box. I still need to get a big plastic tub for all the math manipulatives.
Each kid has a lidded bin with their name on it to store all their completed projects and treasured papers. There is a bin for scrap paper and one for magazines and catalogs that they can cut up for projects. All papers not in bins get thrown away when I’m cleaning up. If I’m feeling nice I might pile them up and let the kids go through the pile to claim their papers for their storage bins.
My plan is to get the girls a second bin each for keeping school books and supplies in. So that will be for handwriting tablets, math workbooks, sketchbooks, journals. Any school stuff which is theirs and not mine. I need to get some kind of crate for my teacher books too.
Also, all the crayons go in one big plastic bag that closes with a zipper. It’s a communal crayon storage, kids do not have their own crayons. Bella and Sophie do each have a art supply kit that they received as presents. Perhaps I might get the girls their own boxes of crayons to keep with their school stuff.