Monday, October 7, 2013

Making Lists

      It has rained (poured actually) for two straight days.  We have periods of the day where it looks like it's going to let up for a bit, but by the time we finally get around to actually going outside it is raining again.  The wind has been blowing like mad and whipping up all the leaves and needles and it would be hard to play outside even if it wasn't raining!  This caused a problem for us yesterday since we had planed to visit Overlook Farm for their harvest festival and go hiking.  Needless to say we did not go to the farm or hiking since I don't enjoy either activity in the rain.  I'm definitely a fair weather kind of girl and since I couldn't think of anything we could together as a family inside somewhere we ended up staying home most of the day.  We spent the day snuggled up in the living room.  The boys played video games while my husband worked on his computer and I attempted to label and put away vacation photos.  We had our first fire of the year in the fireplace and pulled out some lap blankets.  It was actually quite nice to have an excuse to stay inside for once.  We're often on the go and downtime can be nice. 
      I am not feeling that way at all today!  I'm sick of the rain and really miss the sunshine.  The boys were sleepy (probably due to the dreary weather) and were reluctant to get out of bed.  They all came downstairs around 7:30/8:00 this morning.  I loved having the morning to myself to exercise, clean and get ready for the day but I had hoped to be on our way to trampoline by 9 since I also had errands to do.  I realized pretty quickly that we couldn't possibly eat breakfast, get dressed, clean our rooms and get through schoolwork in under an hour.  Alec told me he had been up for a while but wanted to finish the last of his Weird School Book-- Mrs. Cooney is Looney.  He has read at least a half dozen of these books in the past few days and has actually started quoting them.  It's so cute.  I hear him saying "bummer in the summer" or "nah nah nah boo boo on you" quite a bit.  I certainly wasn't going to complain that he spent the morning in his room reading! 
         The boys watched Popular Mechanics for Kids while getting breakfast out and ready.  After they ate they quickly got dressed, brushed teeth and made their beds.  We settled into schoolwork and I was impressed with their efficiency.  Evan wanted to learn his middle name this week since he learned his last name last week.  I wrote his full name on a sheet of paper and asked him to write it two times nice and neat.  Once he was done I asked him to spell his name for me.  He needed a bit of help with his middle name since it's still fairly new but luckily it's short so he had it down pat by the end of the day. 
     While Evan was working on his name I pulled the two older boys into the next room and read them Wallace's Lists.  Alec had already this book on his own the other night while searching for something to read but I had an activity planned around it today.  He certainly didn't mind listening to it again (in fact when Evan asked me to read it to him Alec wanted to listen to it a third time!) and the boys really enjoyed the story.  It's a super cute story about a mouse who is a fanatic about writing lists and sticking to them.  I then told the boys that for writing today I wanted them to decide on a list to write-- it could be places they'd like to visit, favorite foods, toys or games, a list of their animals, really anything was fine as long as they wrote a list of some sort.   I asked them to give their list a title, put at least a few items on the list and use their best hand writing and try their best at spelling.  Once again they happily took their paper and pencil and got to work.  I did not hear one single complaint or argument!  Ian wrote a list of places he'd like to visit and sat down by our wall maps to copy the spelling.  Alec chose to write a list of his favorite toys and activities and use phonetic spelling to try and sound them out as best he could. 

      By the time we were done writing it was time to head out to trampoline.  On our drive there and back we listened to The Mystery of the Cupboard and I have to admit that I'm a bit sad we're finishing this set of books.  We have enjoyed listening to these stories of Omri, Little Bull, and all the other characters that we have encountered through these Indian in the Cupboard stories.  The boys had another great class and were starving by the time we got home.  We ate a very large lunch complete with treats like apple pie and chocolate chip cookies while watching the rest of Popular Mechanics for Kids.  We then finished reading Hurry Up, Houdini! (the last book of the Magic Tree House Series) and the boys started asking me when the next book would be out.  Luckily there was an advertisement for the next book on one of the last pages so I told them they have to wait patiently until January.  Since it was another wet, gloomy day I did tell them I'd allow them to watch movies and play video games, but I warned them that I wouldn't always allow that on rainy days.  Alec and Evan watched Olive the Other Reindeer while Ian watched even more Popular Science for Kids and some of Alaska: The Last Frontier. 
      Yesterday, I was able to download Typing Instructor 5 for Kids from Amazon for free (using code Macro913) and I told the kids they could try this out too.  I also reminded them of other learning games websites that they could play with as well.  I figured if they were going to be playing anyway they might as well play something educational but I really didn't push it.  Honestly, this kind of weather just makes me a bit lethargic and, well as bad as it sounds, uncaring.  In the grand scheme of things a day or two playing video games when we're stuck in the house together isn't the end of the world. 

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