Working with the Weather....

   I was so proud of myself and all that I had planned for school today, then I woke to pouring rain that eventually turned to snow flurries.  Our main project required us scouting around outside for leaves, sticks, grass and moss so I figured we'd have to table our work for another day.  We had tons of books due back at the library and so we decided to focus on reading once again today.  Evan is making huge strides with his early readers and read three of his small books to me today.  He also learned all 5 of his weekly sight words and can read them all on the first try.  After he read to me I read a book to him.  He loves Lego Chima and so I read Race for the Chi to him.  His brothers all sat and listened too and it was nice to have a family read aloud again. 
    The boys talked me into bringing them Christmas shopping with their great grandmother, and after checking to make sure it was OK with her, I started packing up the car for our day.  I still wanted to finish up a few books to drop off at the library on our way but told the boys I didn't know how we would get that done while I made lunches too.  Ian and Alec offered to take turns finishing the chapter book Miss Suki is Kooky.  They love this series of books so much!  I loved getting an opportunity to hear them read aloud and marveled at the changes in both of their abilities.

        I finished reading Dogs on Duty to the boys and we talked about wars, explosive sniffing dogs, drugs, etc.  I was a great mini history lesson.  By that time I finally had the car all packed up.  We brought lunches to eat on the way to the store.  We brought karate uniforms for later, Alec's dinner for him to eat after Karate on his way to get a haircut, new unwrapped toys for the Toys for Tots donation bin, and a huge bag of library books. 
     On the way to the library we started listening to The Hobbit.  The younger two boys have become obsessed with the Lord of the Rings Lego Wii game lately and were very interested in listening to the story.  They were thrilled to recognize such names as Bilbo Baggins and Gandolf.  They can't wait to hear what happens next.
    We arrived at my grandmother's and the boys played with the kitten while we got her ready to go.  She's getting older and it's tough to have enough patience with her since she often forgets what she's in the midst of doing.  I had a long talk with the boys about being respectful and not getting frustrated with her, but they were wonderful about gently reminding her and answering her questions all day,  We headed out and I gave each of the boys a budget to stick to.  I'm pretty proud of how well they did in the store keeping track of what they were spending and how much money they had left to spend.  They rounded dollar amounts, added and subtracted, looked for sales and deals and even thought long and hard about each and every purchase.  At one point Evan couldn't decide between a Lego set and a Skylanders for the Wii.  He decided he'd get to use the Lego set more often since he can't play Wii during school.  Pretty smart thinking! 
      Once we finished up all our shopping my grandmother wanted o take the boys to McDonald's.  I reminded the boys that they had already had lunch and allowed them to each pick one thing as a snack.   We sat and visited, talking and laughing.  It was great.  We headed back to my grandmother's and the boys watched TV while I wrapped all the presents up for her.  They changed for karate and we ran out the door. 
     Alec earned his third and final patch tonight but Ian suffered severe disappointment when he discovered that the had to know all the student creeds in order.  I felt bad because I didn't know that either.  Alec had not been required to know them in order-- I'm sure this is due to age and I have no problem with Ian having to know them in order, I just wished I had realized that ahead of time.  He calmed down pretty quickly and applied his all to class so I was still proud of him.  I gently explained to him on the way home that learning the 5 sentences were the hard part and that he'll learn which order to say them in in no time. 
      Evan was told today that he was an excellent listener and almost got a stripe on his belt, even thought it was not an evaluation night!  He was the only one in his class applying himself "with a black belt attitude."  I was so proud.  Then Alec was the only one in his group to remember the name of the front kick and was told that he might earn a stripe on his belt for knowing that!   They also signaled him out since he's the only yellow belt to have earned all three patches.  I love it! 
      Once home, while waiting for his dinner, Ian decided he might remember the student creeds better if he copied them down and put them next to his bed to study at night.  I was so glad to hear him offering to do copywork willingly.  I was happy to see him working so hard for something he wants so badly.  It's great.                                                                                                                                      


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