Thursday, February 24, 2005

We're getting crushed by a snow storm today--we probably have about 8 inches out there already. It's a wet, heavy snow, which you can see by the way it's coating my rose trellises and the birdhouses. The kids have been out playing and sledding, and the poor puppy has baseball size iceballs caked in her fur.

Just two days ago, we were outside enjoying the sun and warmer temperatures. The kids played spy/survivor out in the woods behind our home, running around the wetland streams and communicating on walkie-talkies. They played out there for the better part of an hour, having a blast with the independence. It's great now because the leaves are off the trees, so I can still keep an eye on them. I'm wondering what we'll do when the leaves come out, along with the poison ivy...

When they came in, Sam took a nice long tub to warm up, drained it, soaped up the tub and walls and proceeded to "ice skate" for an hour, assuring me he would hold onto the railing to stay safe, which he did and had a ball in the process!

The girls read through Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom together, which I'd read to Julia that morning. They were both going through, working it out and going through the lower case and capital letters. When they were through, they pulled out their "Survivor" jug, in which they keep slips of paper with names from present and past episodes. The girls sat on the couch and sounded out the names, with Em helping Julia with the different sounds. At one point, Em discovered that Julia had writen down all their names as well, and she was a bit indignant that she could now get voted off the island. ;)

When they were through, Sam and Julia played, while Emily made herself a pad of paper by stapling some scrap paper together. She asked if we could write some words together with me writing them in lowercase while she would write them in caps. We went through a series of about 8 or 10 words, playing around with rhyming sounds and word families.

The kids had a great day, which they topped off by playing with some Crayola model magic, creating a kind of currency with it, which they then used to play store. They put on their gis and practiced their karate moves for a while. They capped off a great day by camping out in the living room on the sofa cushions. Yes, life is good!

Yesterday morning, the kids played with Sculpey on the back deck, making coil pots and letters. We baked it with the windows wide open, and the kids painted their creations in the afternoon. The girls have been really into figuring out words, playing around with the magnetic poetry words on the fridge and sending emails. Email accounts and online games have been big motivation with the reading. It's interesting watching the girls learn together, with Emily, older, having the stronger skills, but Julia, younger, having the greater motivation--the same way they potty learned. Guess that shouldn't be too much of a surprise.

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