Tuesday, April 1, 2008

March 2008

It’s April 1, and – yes – this is our March update. And it is ours… no excuses, I got the boys involved this time, so lets hear from them first. I asked them to tell about:

A book they’ve read lately (or one I’ve read to them)
Favorite food, song, movie, and hobbies.


Book? Swiss Family Robinson. It’s a very exciting book, although some of the things in the book could probably never happen… like apple trees growing on the same island as coconut trees, and flamingos and penguins living together. I like it because it’s very realistic and something that probably could have happened. The family is pretty much always getting along, and if they have a problem they sort it out pretty quickly without much arguing. (Mom says, this bit about Swiss Family Robinson being realistic is a bit confusing… what Wyatt means is that it’s not a book with magic, or talking animals, etc. Not that every detail is realistic!)

Soccer? I’m playing outdoor soccer again, with the same U-11 team. It’s fun! I like to be defender, run around, get tired, and get muddy! Last Saturday we played our game in three inches of snow! We couldn’t really see the side-lines, so we didn’t really know what was out of bounds, but we had fun anyway. In spite of the fact that after the game my feet nearly froze to death.

Homeschool? (I forgot to ask Wyatt about homeschool!)

Song? No.
Movie? No.
Food? My favorite food is still probably chocolate chip cookies.
Hobby? Playing with legos, making comics, and playing outside.


Book? Ramona books… many. (You know, “Ramona the Pest”, etc.) Ramona is very naughty sometimes, and very funny sometimes. Like, once, she got mixed up with a library book and mistaken that it was hers, and she wrote her name (which is really only scribbles) all over it and inside it, with purple crayon! I like Ramona books, because Ramona is very, very funny. Even though it’s about a girl, I still like it because it’s funny. It’s about a funny girl, but not about girly girl stuff.

Soccer? Outdoor soccer just started and I am playing again… I like playing with the team (U-9) I’ve been playing with for so many years. I like to play all positions. My favorite positions are defender and mid-field. I used to always play defender, but now I’m beginning to think that I like mid- too, because I can go all over the field!

Homeschool? We are learning lots of history. We just spent two weeks studying India, and two weeks studying China, and now we are back to Rome. This week we’re learning about Julius Caesar. He wanted to be King (or dictator) of Rome, but his own friends killed him.

Food? Macaroni and cheese, and cheesy-pleasy (that is toasted cheese sandwich.)
Movie? Star Wars and Godzilla
Hobbies? Play with Legos, play outside, digging and making an artificial lake in the yard.
Song? No.


Book? Swiss Family Robinson, which Wyatt already talked about, and Wind in the Willows. This is a story about a nice mole and a nice and smart-at-piloting-ships water rat. They became friends when mole was on one side of the river and rat was on the other. And the story was also about a nice but stealing-and-breaking-laws toad, and a nice but hibernating-and-welcoming badger. He’s a nice badger, but he just kind of doesn’t like company every day. I don’t really know why. Well, also, when Toad gets sent to jail, the weasels, as you might know if you heard this story, decide to take Toad Hall over, since Toad is in prison. But they actually steal it! Then Toad (who escaped from prison), badger, mole and rat decide to practically have a boarding party to take it back. And they take it back by going through a secret tunnel that goes under a squeaky board in Toad Hall, and they come out! And that’s all I have to say about the Wind in the Willows.

Soccer? Well, for soccer I have one thing to tell you. Our name is Purple Lightning! I’m on a new team this year. (My old team was the Eastside EagleSharks). I like my new team. It’s good. My coach is named Coach Sheila and I have a lot of good team-mates. And I’m afraid that’s all I have to say about soccer.

Homeschool? HS is fun, but a little bit boring, to sit there and work and work. I’m not trying to say I hate it, but I don’t always want to sit there and work. (Mom says, isn’t that pitiful! You’d think I kept him at a desk for hours! Think again… :0) ) I am learning to read… it’s really fun to learn to read! I read “Red Hen”, and “Gum”, and I read “Pig in the Mud” and “Tin Can” and “Pugs” and “Wags”! And in history, I learned about Julius Caesar. He was actually a very famous man in Rome, but he was not the only famous one we’ve heard about. We’ve also heard about Alexander the Great, and Shi Huangdi, and no-good-for-nothing Buddha. (Mom says, when we read about Buddha we learned that he abandoned his wife and children to go seek enlightenment. That’s where the good-for-nothing comment came from.) Oh, plus we learned about Confucius. Confused Confucius… that’s a joke!

Food? Breakfast Bars, that’s my only favorite food.
Song? You are my Sunshine, and Surfin’ Safari
Movie? Star Wars, Godzilla, and superheroes
Hobby? Play games like superhero games, go outside, look at a book, or other fun stuff like that.

Well, as the boys mentioned, soccer is off to an interesting start. I love the way the league works here in Bellingham. The kids are on teams by neighborhood, so they practice close to home. ALL the games are on Saturday, and all at the same place. So Saturday can be kind of an epic, but at least we can all be together! Had their first games a week ago, and they were back-to-back. It may be the only time this whole season that it works out that nicely (!) and it was a good thing, because it was really cold! (More about that later.) This last Saturday I was out of town and missed game day. Kerry managed to get all three boys suited up, bundled up, and out to the fields at the proper time, but – due to 3 inches of snow on the field and more falling rapidly – the games were cancelled. Wyatt’s team ended up playing an unofficial game anyway, since everyone had shown up, but the ball doesn’t really roll well in wet sticky snow!

Tate has really improved at soccer. Until quite recently he ONLY ever played defense… and he’s good at it! We call him The Wall. Actually, all the boys like defense best – must be genetic or something! I tease them that someday I’ll get them sweatshirts that say, “None shall pass.” But Tate is branching out and asking to play mid or forward. He gained a lot of confidence, playing indoor soccer all winter, but is finding the much bigger outdoor field a bit of a challenge!

Gunnar had to be bumped up this season. The league is really cracking down on playing by age, rather than grade. I had to go through an appeal process to keep Wyatt on the team he has always played with, but decided to let them move Gunnar now, rather than have to face it later. He loved his previous team, and was sorry to have to move, but has “landed well”, with a neat group of boys, and a coach we’re happy with. He’s definitely the little guy on the team, and not at all aggressive, but he’s having fun. :0)

We’re still muddling along with homeschooling. We do most of our schoolwork together, in spite of the boys’ different ages. They all love Logic Puzzles, and we do a lot of reading together. We always have a fiction ‘chapter book’ going, and we have been reading through a Bible Story book too, as well as doing some memorization together.

Wyatt is working much more independently, and – mostly – with a good attitude. That is HUGE… very helpful! Sometimes he gets done quickly and can help Gunnar with some of his work. (Reading directions, etc.) If he gets done first, he LOVES to draw comics.

Tate has had a lot of frustration lately, due to the fact that Gunnar (a Kinder!) finishes his work first. Yeah (duh) I don’t expect him to do as much! So Tate tries to rush, to get done first, and gets frustrated. We’ve had a lot of talks about this, and it is getting better… his attitude is improving. I don’t think I’m expecting too much of Tate, but he’s at a point where he just can’t rush and ‘get it’! He’s been learning his times tables, so his math was really ‘information-dense’, if that makes any sense. Now that he’s getting more comfortable with multiplication, he is relaxing more about it. Tate also got a new hearing aid (HA), just a couple of weeks ago, and it is wonderful! I can tell he’s hearing a lot better with it and so can he. Thank God for technology! Tate is really excited about it because – now that he’s a bigger, more responsible boy – he has this HA with three “programs”. His new ear-mold is neon green, and the HA itself is blue and somewhat transparent, so he can see the ‘workings’ of it. Who knew HA’s could be so cool?!

Gunnar is adjusting to being expected to sit down and actually complete work at the table. He says it’s boring, but his face lights up when I have the others ‘launched’ into their math for the day, and can sit down to work with him. Gunnar is rightfully proud of his progress! I’m calling him a Kindergartener, but we’re working through some 1st grade math concepts, and – here’s the biggie – he’s really learning to read! I’m so proud of him!!! He loves history and has amazing recall of details.

What else is new…

As we mentioned, relating to soccer, we’ve had a bit of snow. This is so bizarre. All winter we had no snow, so we actually drove over to the other side of the mountains to go play in the snow! (Okay, and to see our friends!) But, starting the second day of spring, we have had snow, more snow, and still more snow! I think today is the first day it hasn’t snowed! Thankfully, it hasn’t been a problem on the roads (and hasn’t really accumulated on the ground… except for Saturday/soccer day), but snow has fallen nearly every day and is quite low in the hills all around us. Go figure!

I’ll try to attach a pic my friend took of the three boys and their “Fir Cone City”. They love to do stuff like this in the back corner of the yard. Though I’ll admit I’m not too excited about them getting the hose out and making a large lake, with the weather still this cold!

A friend and I got away to a Moms’ retreat called “Teach on the Beach” last weekend. Wow… kind of like drinking from a fire hydrant! I think I’ll be absorbing it for a while. I have to tell you though, that I gave the boys a few ‘pep talks’ before I left (and Kerry too!), and I was thrilled and amazed to come home to a fairly clean and tidy house! Although Tate did get a concerned look and confessed to me, “Uh, mom, I think we’re wearing the same underwear from before you left.” Small potatoes, sweetie!

Happy Spring to you… whenever it actually arrives!

No comments: