Monday, June 30, 2014

Star Wars and Origami

My children have discovered the Origami Yoda books. Dd9, dd7, and dd4 are filling the house with origami versions of Yoda, Jabba the Hutt, Admiral Akbar, and what seems like the entire cast of all six Star Wars movies. To tell the truth, they're kind of driving me crazy with all their paper creations. But at the same time I'm pleased to see them so engaged in a creative pursuit.

Dd9 even includes them in her artwork these days, like in this picture below of a picnic where an origami Yoda protects the S'mores ingredients with a flyswatter while other origami Star Wars characters hang out with family members at a park.

Picnic with Origami Star Wars characters

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Brazil Weeks

For the first two weeks of our summer, our family studied the country of Brazil. We watched Rio and educational films about Brazil and its varied geography (the Amazon is an amazing place!), ate feijoada (tasty black bean stew) and drank guarana soda, visited a Catholic cathedral (65% of Brazil is Roman Catholic), and observed a capoeira class.

Thanks to a friend who teaches ESL, we were able to meet with two Brazilian students learning English at a local university, and they did a slideshow presentation about Brazil for me and my children. They were also kind enough to compliment my brigadeiro candies (chocolaty truffles), even though I don't think I made them correctly.

Due to pregnancy limiting my stomach's capacity, I missed one of the highlights of our Brazil weeks: my husband took our older children out to lunch at a Brazilian grill restaurant. If you've ever been to one, these restaurants involve a constant parade of barbecued meats and pineapple, as well as yummy cheese rolls made of manioc flour and lots of cheese.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Just hanging around waiting

I'm 39 weeks pregnant. My next doctor's appointment is the day after tomorrow, and I'm hoping to be induced the day after that. I would really, really like NOT to have to rush to the hospital in the middle of the night this time around.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Already done

Dd9 and dd7 finished the summer reading program already. They got all their prizes and even managed to break one already. But they keep reading. It's fun to see how just three days of long reading sessions made them comfortable reading for longer periods of time than they have been used to. Dd7 picked for one of her prizes the book Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Ambitious, that one. To be honest, I wasn't planning on starting my children on Harry Potter for a few years yet, but the example of an older cousin was a powerful influence on dd7.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Reading, so much reading

I became a bookworm sometime in the middle of elementary school. I think I became so avid a reader partly out of escapism, for my home life had some issues. For instance, our father thought we shouldn't have friends over (he seemed to have some strange idea that we should be spending all our free time cleaning and weeding), so if he came home early and we had friends over (with mom's permission), we'd have to sneak them out the back door or risk his wrath.

Dd9 and dd7 read very well, but neither of them have taken to burying themselves in books the way I used to. I was so engrossed in books that I would aggravate my parents by sometimes not hearing them and not doing what they said. I remember one week, probably in fourth grade, my father punished me by banning me from reading for a week. Being a conscientious girl, I felt like I was even being naughty when I read signs along the side of the road that week; it was truly one of the worst weeks of my life.

Back to my kids. The summer reading contest at the local library started yesterday. They are constantly reading. The two oldest have already earned the first prize. Since they have to read in 20-minute increments to fill in the spaces on their contest gamecards, it keeps happening that I interrupt them with inconvenient requests right when they're in the middle of a timed reading period. So I leave them alone and forget to come back to them at just the right break in their reading intervals. I'm very pleased about all the reading going on, but I wish they would be more available to do the little chores that I periodically need of them.