Monday, January 23, 2012

A New Week

It's Monday and we hit the week running! Things to do and places to be. And, along the way, I hope I remember to teach my kids a thing or two so they aren't academic delinquents. Truth be told: there are plenty of days that go by and not a single school book gets cracked open. Good thing learning can happen apart from books though, right? Right? Um, right?
Each month the boys attend a simple class at a local nature center. This month was "Natures Noises" and they learned how to identify various frog and insect calls.

Teacher: "Okay, guys, listen to this sound and see if you can tell me what animal it is."
[She proceeds to play said sound.]
Grady Lee: "That's a tree frog and we have lots of those in our yard."
Teacher: "Great job! Now, let's see who can tell me what this sound is."
[Insert said sound.]
Grady Lee: "That's a cricket and it's actually the sound he makes when he rubs the hair on his legs together. And, did you know that only boy crickets can make that noise? And did you also know that crickets hear with the hairs on their legs because they don't have ears on their head?"

At this point, I hopped over and whispered in his ear that he wasn't the teacher and needed to be quiet and give the other boys a chance to guess. Help - what do I do with my science-loving but sometimes overly-geeky-and-ambitious five year old?!
Three kids were missing at this class so it was a small group of just four boys. Four boys that, with great gusto and enthusiasm, all made a chorus of frog sounds with homemade instruments. The chorus was anything but serene and calming and Annalyse sat super still with enormous eyes while the chaos broke out.
One of the little guys in class actually attends Bible class with the boys on Tuesdays and the three of them delved into deep conversation about the important things in life. Like, "I wonder what snack we're going to have in class tomorrow?" and "Wanna play with the blocks together at our next class?"
While the boys stayed busy making frog call instruments, Annalyse stayed busy playing with some already-made instruments. She must have paid good attention during circle time because she knew right away how to strum her little fingers on the rubber band to make the croaking sound.
After class the four little boys ran through the nature center playing Spider Monsters, and Annalyse waddled behind trying to get in on what they were doing. She was intrigued with everything new around her and wasn't fazed when she was "not allowed into our spider web because this is for boys only who have muscles to fight the bad monsters."
Nature class was followed by several quick errands and home just in time for lunch and Annalyse's nap. I want to think the afternoon was productive in terms of schooling, but who knows for sure. Micah completed several ABC tracing worksheets and simple addition worksheets. He certainly didn't learn anything new, but the dear child desperately needs penmanship improvement so I think tracing is still important at this stage of the game.
Grady Lee took forever and a day to read Hop on Pop, and while I fought to stay awake, I was sure to squeal and congratulate him when he finally finished. The doldrums of beginner reading was enough to merit making another pot of coffee - I was t.i.r.e.d.
By 3:00 Annalyse was awake and crunched on graham crackers - her newest obsession - while the boys created Valentines cards for extended family. Grady Lee is always the one who follows directions and takes his time. Micah is always the one who hears what he's told but then interprets it to mean whatever he wants it to mean. The result? His Valentines cards have a lot of brown and gray smudged heart-like shapes rather than the cutesy pink and read hearts like Grady Lee obediently created. Whatever.
Grady left this morning to spend several days in NYC. My working man has criss-crossed the country several times over the past couple of months and enjoyed the chance to meet up with several long-lost friends, eat at the best of the best restaurants, and sleep in the nicest of the nicest hotels. And, I guess he does a little bit of work in between.

That's terrible of me.

He works really hard. He works with focused intention. He works with honest integrity. And he works by thinking outside the box in whatever ways he can. He gets things done. He excels. He gets noticed. And best of all, he comes home to me when he's done with all of that.
While he's gone he is good at taking time to take lots of pictures and text them to me to show the boys. They enjoy seeing all "the super tall buildings" and the "taxis that drive daddy to his office." While Grady is enjoying the bustle of the city, I'm enjoying the fact that kids are already in bed and that I'm about to soak in a hot bath and read a book.
Don't get me wrong, I miss when my man is gone. But, if I'm deep-down honest, I rather enjoyed the frozen pizza I made for dinner tonight and the fact that by 9:00 I'll probably be in bed.


  1. Matt was in NYC today too!!! Brothers were in the same city and they didn't even know it!

  2. Sounds like a day full of learning to me--but that doesn't surprise me having followed your stories for a while now!

    I love the pics of Annalyse. She just shines full of personality!

    Sorry if I've already shared this, but have you used this site:

    We've used the "Paragraph Worksheet Maker" section. Hamilton dictates letters for me and then I print them and he traces them and we mail them. It's been a bit of incentive for him to actually sit and practice writing.

  3. I so enjoy reading about your dear family. I survive many weeks with John out of town - always an encouragement to hear that other friends are in the trenches as well. : )

  4. Um, that sounded like a whole lot of learnin' & schoolin' and stuff, Missy, so don't go selling yourself short! Those are some super fine & bright boys you are raising there & their sister will, no doubt follow in that path, as well! Love those adorable bath time photos, cuteness!! Oh, and way to go Grady Lee for all those science facts, what a good brain God has given him, I know God is preparing him for great things!!