Thursday, September 02, 2004

Yesterday, we went on this great Pirate Cruise out of Annapolis, called Chesapeake Pirates. The kids got to dress up and have their faces painted before the ride. Then, we went out on a pirate boat for a 75 minute cruise where the kids went on a treasure hunt to find the treasure map, battled a rival pirate with the water cannons and followed the map to the X to haul in the treasure. The kids had so much fun!

This week we've been recovering from our trip. I'm, unfortunately, coming down with a cold, so the kids will probably get it next. I'm guessing it'll be a low-key Labor Day weekend for us.

I brought some of Sandra Dodd's Thinking Sticks back from the Live and Learn Conference, and the girls and I have been playing with them every day. It's amazing to watch the connections they make and how Emily's mind, especially, works. Julia's mind is still working very literally, but Em's is just expansive. Each stick in the pack has a category like measurement, music, television on it. A player chooses two sticks at random and throws them down, and the players take turns making connections between the two categories.

Emily got safety/economics and made the connections that life guards have to pay for certifications in order to get their jobs. For music/cooking, she made up a cooking song, then I started singing, "Hey, good lookin', what you got cookin'?" Jim started telling us all about radio isotopes when we got time measurment/medicine. This morning we looked up Aesop's history because we were talking about time measurement/morality and I couldn't remember if he was enslaved or in jail when he wrote his fables. When we got steam/motion this morning, I brought up steam engines and how they revolutionized movement around the country and world, and Julia was able to talk about Thomas the Tank Engine and how he used coal to create his steam. All in all, we've had some really terrific conversations!

Julia continues to work really hard on her mosaic/ geometric coloring designs. Her dedication and focus is impressive, and she's come up with some really beautiful color combinations. I dug out a 3-ring binder for her and some page protectors, so she's been putting them all into a portfolio book that she takes with her everywhere.

Sam's still busy trying to settle himself back into a sense of normalcy. He has a much harder time with transitions than the rest of us, and he often spends his time wishing he was back where ever we left. So, while we're at home, he constantly talks about going to Grampa's shore house, but while we're there, he keeps saying he wants to come home. I really think for him it's a transition/ comfort zone thing that I'm trying hard to honor just by letting him talk about how he's feeling. For a long time, I would hear him, and then immediately start trying to fix things because I'm a problem solver. I'm starting to think he just wants some time to process and needs help doing that verbally with me there to support and hug when necessary. He's growing so much, though, every day.

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