Why the Tree of Life?



Grammy and Grandpa surprised us by taking the boys to spend the night with them for Valentine's. (Thank you, thank you!) They were staying at a hotel, and the boys had a lot of fun eating in the restaurant and swimming in the warm, indoor pool. The hotel gave the boys play passorts, and Kirven wanted to fill his out this morning. Above, you can see that he 'Arrived' on the 14(th) and 'Departed' on the 15(th). The he wrote down the things he saw and did at the hotel: FISH POND, SMIWWING. He had me help him sound out the words, but he wrote all this without looking at any visual helps. We discussed his M's and W's, but he liked how smiwwing sounded out loud, so he decided to keep it that way.

This is his first writing like this, which is so fun and exciting for me to see. We're going to start formal instruction in the fall, so anything he is picking up himself is going to help him that much more.

Rolling Coins

On Saturday, Kirven asked to roll coins, and my gut reaction was to say no (Ayla was awake at the time and I just didn't want to deal with getting them to pick up the inevitable mess when they were done), but I stifled it just in time when I realized this would be good practice with coins. Quarters and nickels look the same to Kirven, as do pennies and dimes, so sorting though our decades' savings was good practice.

Crazy Pretzels

We made 'Crazy Pretzels' out of Kid Concoctions Cook Book. This was a great activity for playing with letters. Kirven made every letter of his name, and Dunagan made a bunch of 'D's. We even threw in an 'A' and a 'Y' for Miss Ayla.

They were pretty tasty even though we forgot the salt. Dunagan wanted yogurt pretzels, so we slathered his 'D's in blueberry yobaby. That did not work out so well. I was anticipating a thick, dried yogurt shell, but it just made them mushy and gray/green colored. He was delighted with them though and munched on them for a day or so until I thought they might start sprouting mold and chucked them while he wasn't looking. Happily, (for me), they weren't missed by any little people.

Making Valentines

I sent the boys out to the shop to make valentines for the annual Austin Area Homeschoolers' big Valentines Day Party, and this is what they did instead.

The boys were surprised and a little shocked at how well the stickers stuck to their skin. They were close to tears at a couple of points, but they held it together and giggled while they grimaced instead.


Plenty to Go Around

Item at the top of Evan's list of things he never thought he would say:

"Hang on, guys! There's enough poop for everyone!"

Context: poop scooping the yard Sunday afternoon. Who knew it was so much fun? Fun enough to fight over?


We gave Kirven a Klutz book: LEGOS Crazy Action Contraptions for Christmas. It's just slightly over his ability, but he and Dunagan and Daddy have made the candy dispenser (which has proven to be more of an m&m guillotine) and this zipline. The white card hanging down is a triggered trap door that hides a parachute guy. I don't know how many tissue parachutes I've made over the last few days. We've got the zipline from the chin up bar in the kitchen doorway to the playstands. Evan and I have both narrowly avoided clotheslining ourselves more than once.
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Melted Crayon Craft

Who hasn't done this craft as a child? It's like a rite of passage. The boys spent a lot of enjoyable time peeling and shaving crayons; the melting between wax paper only took a minute.




Kirven keeps sticking Ayla's baby doll into the back of her shirt.

He keeps insisting because that's where babies ride, and I keep taking it out because Ayla seems more annoyed by it than anything.

But she does look cute with her little papoose.



...ever so carefully. Dunagan has loved the destructive energy of knocking things down, preferably Kirven-made structures. He still does, but now he is beginning to build his own things.