Why the Tree of Life?



K, D and I went letterboxing for the first time yesterday. The night before, I had bought us each a little stamp: a ladybug for K, a dragonfly for D and a butterfly for me (they came as a set); an inkpad and a notebook. We packed everything in K's little backpack and headed off to Zilker park the next morning for our hunt and a picnic. We had a lot of fun figuring out the clue: 'the dolphin points the way', counting paces from the canoe shack and deciding which way was left. I think K was most excited when I began turning over rocks, and we found a box! I'm sure he didn't really know what we were doing until that moment. I had a hard time convincing him that this was the only box that we were going to find that day and that we would have to go home for more clues. The only hard part was balancing on a steep, leaf-littered slope, trying to hold onto D, stamp notebooks *and* keep D from eating leaves by the fistful all at the same time. I think it will only get easier and more enjoyable with time. And it will be lots of fun to make and hide our own letterboxes in the future, not to mention our own stamps which is a requirement for letterboxing-purists. :)


Helping With Dishes

D pulled up on the dishwasher this morning to help me unload silverware.


Pulling Up

We finally admitted to ourselves that we co-sleep and did a bed swap with my grandparents for their king size mattress. We have just the mattress on the floor now, and it has been really nice to have more room. It is also very timely because D has already pulled/scooted/crawled himself off three times. He is also pulling himself up on it and taking a step or two toward his goal: Molly, our cat.


Sitting Up

D is still scooting; no real crawling beyond a few steps, yet; but he is sitting himself up from lying on his tummy. This has been really suprising for us, and something we figured he wouldn't do until he was really crawling. But it has made him happier to be able to move around that much more and position himself around toys the way he wants to be. Don't know how to capture that in a photo, though. :)

All 26!

K finished learning all 26 letters sounds today! He told me after the lesson that now he knows how to read. :) We going to start short vowel sound words tomorrow. It's been amazing watching him pick it all up so quickly. It has been a lot of fun, too. During our last grocery shopping trip, K helped me find things by looking for the first letter; and he felt really big getting to do that.


Sacred Harp Singing

Last June when I went to the Ambleside Online Charlotte Mason conference in Dallas, one of the advisory board members got up with her two daughters and sang three very powerful and beautiful old songs in the Sacred Harp manner. It was really captivating. Knowing how E likes to sing, I decided to see if I could find a Sacred Harp group here in town. I found one that meets every Wednesday night, and we finally made it up there this evening. We had a great time. D loved the music and was entranced during each song, and K enjoyed himself and said he wanted to come back even though he had been saying it was too loud. :) I'm really excited about this because I think it is something that we will enjoy doing as a family, not to mention that it will really train our ears musically since it is all sung a capella. We have a lot to learn since Sacred Harp is like nothing we have ever done before! If you are curious about what Sacred Harp singing sounds like, check out the sound track to the movie Cold Mountain, or this link has some MP3 samples and a little history.


Happy New Year!

Christmas Morning

We had a great first Christmas at home! K let us sleep until 7am.

K helped open his present to D.