Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween fun!

The kids had quite an exciting week. They had their last art class for the year. Alex had a big Halloween bash with his Beavers group. We had some home school friends over for a Halloween party, followed by some good old-fashioned trick or treating and socializing with neighbourhood kids. Late last night we had to drag them in the house away from all the fun they were having, all sugared up and running on the last little bits of adrenaline. It was a fun night. Most of the houses were decorated with spooky mazes and elaborate displays. Funny pranks were played. Everyone really got into the spirit of Halloween. Where I live, the adults take this Halloween business just as seriously as the kids do.

As Rob and I crashed on the couch afterward, I told him that I remembered a segment I once saw on the news a few years back. Something about the sudden onset of colds and flu the week after Halloween. Presumably something to do with people being more confined due to cold temperatures outside, suppressed immune systems dealing with copious amounts of sugar from all those candy treats and fatigue caused by overexcited (and over sugared) children. We talked about bracing ourselves for runny noses and scratchy throats.

I suppose it was my fault for even mentioning it. Sure enough, little Miss Iz woke up this morning with a raspy voice and wet cough. It begins! She still made it to ballet class this morning. Alex and I cuddled up on the sofa and began the first Harry Potter book together. A nice, relaxing start to the day. Hopefully everyone stays healthy enough to enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

On another note...

Can someone please explain to me how you get young children out the door in a timely manner without turning into a raving lunatic? My hats off to all those parents with, oh what shall I call it, unhurried children who have to fight to get them out the door every single day.

You would think 15 minutes would be enough time to get shoes and coats on - wouldn't you? This is killer for me, someone who hates being late for anything. I'm the person who considers not being seated before the trailers start at the movies, late.

Is it me? Is it the type of children I had? Sure, their dad really doesn't hurry himself but as an adult understands concepts like being somewhere on time. Plus, he can tie his own shoe laces. Will I really be pulling my hair out for the next 15 years?

Sigh...It's been one of those days...or weeks.

Feel like rambling...

I saw something online that got me thinking. A hs mom was asking how to cope with her 4 year old wanting to go to real school. This was something we encountered last year. For us the issue had more to do with living in a fairly condensed neighbourhood with, surprisingly, 4 boys (he knew and played with) going into JK at the same time and a few more heading to SK and 1, all to the same school just down the street. Obviously he felt a little left out. Then there was the August/September back to school hype and all the adults - from the supermarket check-out girl to the waiter serving us at a restaurant, asking if he was excited to be going to school?! It was a challenge.

It didn't help that it was our first official year home schooling and I was more than a little nervous. I was new at explaining it to people and those around us were just becoming aware of our venture. We persevered. Alex reconnected with home school friends. We tried to just relax and have fun. It was a long winter but we managed. Even in our toughest moments, Rob was there to cheer us on and remind me why we were doing what we were doing.

What a difference a year makes. This year we are all on board - completely. Alex didn't even ask about school. He saw his friends enthusiasm fade dramatically after September. More than a few of them let him know how lucky they thought he was. We have expanded our home school network, more friends, more classes, more fun. Izzy is older and now a bigger part of our activities. We no longer have to wait until she is in bed to do a science experiment or read a book without pictures. She wants to learn everything Alex learns.

So, when I think of that mom, I think that the most important part of keeping the kids happy with home schooling is to make them a part of the process. Have them become invested. We are a part of many activities but they are tailored to the kids and their interests. Alex isn't big on competitive group sports, so we just don't sign him up for the local soccer league. Izzy loves girly pink things and dancing, so she does ballet. They have both home school and neighbourhood friends, and contrary to some lore regarding kids who are home schooled, are not at all socially inept. They attend classes and group events. They have a lot of say over what we learn and how much time we spend doing it. We don't spend a lot of time talking about school. We talk about learning. We talk about our values, as a family. We talk about kids, ours specifically, and that we don't think Alex should be held back a bit in certain areas (like reading and comprehension where he is years ahead) and pushed too quickly in others (like writing, which he hates). They work at their own pace and are glad for it.

I think we are just a more confident lot this time around. We survived that first big leap. We kept Alex out of school and got through the loss of experiencing that first day of school (which I admit gave me quite a few pangs) and came out the other end just fine. Better than fine, actually. Happy.

Will I feel the pangs again next September when Izzy should be heading off to JK? Maybe, though to a much lesser extent I think. She does ask about school more often these days. She has a model of another system right before her eyes though, so I don't think it will be a big issue. I've always said, and I stand by this, that someday when they kids are old enough (don't ask me what that age is yet because maturity matters to me more than chronological age) and had a valid argument for them to attend a bricks and mortar school we would comply. The challenge for me, I suppose, is to meet their needs as best as I can so that they don't feel like they are missing out on anything.

All in all, we are thrilled with our decision. We make a lot of choices for our kids that they aren't always happy with or understand. That is our job and we do it with the best of intentions. So for that mom who worries about the child who wants school, I say wait a while and work with your child to make the life that makes you both happy. I am not a teacher or a dictator. I am an adviser to my children and an advocate. This is why they desperately need to be invested in the process. I can get the information to them, or help them find it but they need to be the ones to take it in. I can find the children for them to play with but they need to make the friendships. I can offer up programs and activities but they have to want to participate. One of the greatest things about home schooling your children is that you know them like no others can. A tailor made education is right there for the picking. Young children can't understand this but they will, eventually. Real school, or wanting to experience it, is not the enemy. It may very well be the right fit for her child someday, or even one or both of mine. Accept it for what it is. For now it is just the whims of a young child who doesn't even know what school is.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

5 More Sleeps!

...until Halloween. Just pulled out the costumes and started decorating today. Rob and I were in for quite a shock when we finally found Izzy's chicken costume. It is the one Alex wore when he was younger, the Halloween right before (4 days, in fact) his sister was born. Anyway, we pulled it out and it looked kind of big. We checked the label and it was a 5T!!! The boy was only 2 years and 8 months old, and he wore size 5T. Izzy just got to a size 3. Mind you, we should have known. She is barely 25lbs and Alex weighed that before his first birthday. He is gonna be huge! I just measured him for his passport application and he is 4'2" already. His Darth Vader costume is a size 7/8. Luckily we can make the top part of the chicken work because we have hyped it up so much, we would have been completely done in if she couldn't wear it. The pants come up past her neck, lol, so we will just substitute with some orange track pants which, amazingly, we already had in her size (thanks to more of Alex's hand-me-downs). Crisis averted.

We did the pumpkins tonight too. Here are the kids:


...and after!

Friday, October 24, 2008

So proud of Miss Iz!

Alex had a check up and teeth cleaning with the dentist today. I called the office and squeezed Izzy into her first appointment. She'll be 3 in a few weeks and I think that was the age I took Alex in to his first dental visit. I wasn't overly concerned about how she would fair after seeing how they managed Alex. We go to a pediatric dentist in a very small office. Only one dentist, hygienist and receptionist work there. They are so good with the kids. They will only do as much as the child allows and will cut short visits that stress anyone out. They want to set up a positive experience so the kids never fear going in.

Alex went in first. After his x-rays, the hygienist came to claim Izzy so she could watch the rest of Alex's appointment, to help her feel more at ease. Parents aren't allowed past reception. I've never even seen the back rooms. They feel they can develop an easier rapport without the parents hanging over the children. Well, Miss Izzy walked right in, chatting quite a bit with everyone in back. She didn't even hesitate or look back at me. The dentist got a good look at her teeth and she even had them cleaned (though she refused to sit in the chair and they did it with her standing up, lol).

I am amazed with this kid and very impressed with the staff. Izzy can still be quite shy around strangers and very clingy when people try to touch her. She went in without coercing, mostly cooperated and came out with a big smile on her face.

I tend to gripe about these dental appointments for the kids because pediatric dentistry is more expensive than your regular dentist and because this dentist makes you pay in advance (no electronic claims) but when I see how well the kids are treated and how happy they are, I see what a great deal we are getting after all. Alex's first dental experience was a disaster and I only have bad memories from my childhood dentist. This is worth the few extra bucks.

For the record both kids had a clean bill of health - no cavities! Alex is going back in a few months to seal his molars and Izzy is cool for another six months.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pyjama Math

It seems that whenever I [a] have not tidied the hall entryway of strewn shoes and shopping bags and [b] am still in my pyjamas and [c] in the middle of a lesson with Alex, I become the most popular person around. A visit from neighbours, an impromptu meeting with a fellow board member, phone calls from a friend, the dentist's office, my husband and, of course, a wrong number - all within the span of an hour and a half. So much for my relaxing morning.

We broke into the math this morning. Luckily we managed two chapters before the influx of people and phone calls. We are starting with Singapore math, simply because the last half of my order (which will include the first few books for Miquon) has not arrived yet. The Primary Mathematics 1A that we started on seem to be an easy refresher for Alex. He is zipping through the material because he and I have been discussing addition and subtraction on and off for a while now. I can't imagine it will take him very long to get through this, short of not actually picking up the books at all. I thought I would wind up with enough material to get him through to third grade math (although comparisons with the Ontario curriculum are hard to make because the approach is different), I know it couldn't possibly take Alex three years to complete all this.

It was a nice start to the morning. Still in our pjs, in my nice and toasty bedroom (gosh we love that little electric fireplace), going over the math work. I feel like we could be up and dressed, at the kitchen table but then I would really miss our odd approach to education. Anyway, I think the neighbours are used to us not being dressed early on the days they catch us home.

Big Night at Beavers

It was investiture night at Beavers. Alex received his kerchief and brown tail. This really isn't a great pic but we got locked out of the cabin and held the ceremony outside, where it was very, very dark...and cold. The only light came from two cars pointed at the group.

Alex was fantastic. He even looked humbled, lol. He really got into the whole scene. He was the only Beaver not running around and goofing during the Cubs portion of the ceremony. My boy is very proud. He has been carrying around his tail all morning, asking me to sew it on his cap. He showed off his new kerchief to the neighbours. He is really happy with this group and I couldn't be more thrilled.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Oh, to be so joyful and free!

Is there anything in the world as glorious as the pure, unadulterated bliss children possess over the simplest things in life?

Take yesterday, for example, when it snowed with that wet, slushy, messy weather - compounded by gale force winds that make all the adults shivery and not just a little bit grumpy. After all, we know its too soon to break out the winter coats seeing the temperature will go up tomorrow. Or so we hope as said coats are also crammed in the trunk and will be rushed to a dry cleaners asap because you forgot to do it earlier. Traffic, of course, slows to a crawl everywhere you go, and it seems you are not the only one at the store who decided now would be a good time to pick up some winter boots for the kids. Actually, you are one of a crowd that is eerily reminiscent of the hordes of Christmas shoppers who will descend upon the malls directly after Remembrance Day. Only then do you remember you face months of scrunching, tucking and fussing over puffy winter coats that don't conform to car seats, missing hats and gloves that fight against the invasion of tiny little fingers.

And what are the little imps doing while you mutter silent curses about the weather under your breath? They are running around in circles, catching flakes with their tongues. Singing, heaven help me, Christmas songs and asking me how much longer they have to wait before they can break out the toboggan. They are thrilled right to the core of their itty bitty little beings.

I must admit, it is all a little infectious. I push aside my gripes over weather I still insist must not be mentally prepared for until after Halloween - at least and, beyond all reason, get a little excited myself.

If nothing else, the look on the waitresses face at Denny's last night was worth being subjected to the exuberance from my little munchkins. When asked how the weather was outside, Alex exclaimed, "It's snowing! Winter is finally coming! Isn't that wonderful! I am sooo happpy!" I guess my kids' enthusiasm can only spread so far, for she indeed did not look at all thrilled that winter was coming and could only shake her head at him. He didn't notice though. He was too busy discussing the merits of winter with Izzy.

Poor, neglected computer...

It's been a heck of a week. Aunt Kelly graduated with her Master's Degree!!! Whoohoo! We are so proud of you, as always! :-)

Unfortunately, poor Rob was called back home early from the celebration to come tend to his children and very sick wife. I don't know what happened but it was the worst 12 hours of my life. Well, actually the week I had Norwalk was probably the worst being that Rob had just left me alone with a newborn and toddler, but I digress...

It started around 2 am and didn't stop until later that afternoon. Thankfully the kids are scarily independent. Alex helped with Izzy and they hung out on the floor in my room watching toons and playing games. What ever it was, food poisoning or some intestinal virus, it was relatively short lived and no one else got sick. I get a little germ crazy when anyone is sick. The sick person confines him or herself to one bathroom, there is a complete embargo on kisses and shared food/drink, everyone gets new toothbrushes and my appeals for hand-washing border on obsessive-compulsive.

Luckily this didn't impede Alex's trip to the symphony with Heather. While both kids couldn't go to the University Convocation, Izzy couldn't go the Symphony. Rather than find a sitter, I asked our dear friend to accompany Alex to the concert while Iz and I did some shopping. The concert was part of a series for children, this one called The Search for the Magic of Music. I am really excited to go next month to see Beethoven Lives Upstairs. We bought tickets for the whole series. It has renewed interest, for myself and a lot of my friends, in the symphony and I hope to make a night of it soon.

Life is getting back to normal. We will be leaving shortly for gym class and tonight Alex is officially inducted into Beavers. Pictures, of course, to follow.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Short days, short fuses...

We seem to all be a little on edge these days. Less patient with each other. It wasn't until I heard Alex talking to Izzy yesterday that I realized he was using the exact same tone I had been all day. It was a bit deflating. As much as I try to catch myself sometimes I can't see what is going on until the kids reflect it right back at me.

This time of year, while extremely pleasant for me in many ways, is tiring too. I do too much and lack of sunlight affects me. It forces me confront something that most people know about me but that I talk little of, being bipolar. I don't avoid the topic, it just doesn't seem to be a big part of what I put out into the world. Truthfully, I just don't think about it that often anymore. Nearly everyone who knows me knows I have it. I have never hidden it. I've never felt shame over it. It is my illness and I cope with it.

Having a mental illness was, of course, a big consideration when we decided to homeschool. Most of my concerns were exactly the same ones I had before the kids even came along in the first place. I knew that I had a lot in my favour and we were determined not to let fear dissuade us from something we are very passionate about. To begin with, I am very well versed in my illness. I know all about bipolar and I know, more specifically, about my bipolar tendencies. I have a healthy support network. I try to keep as much chaos at bay as I can control. While I still have mild ups and downs, I have been in remission for 4 years and medication-free for nearly 3 years. I was the luckiest person around to have had some of the best health care available to me and doctors who not only treated the illess but taught me about it too.

What I am not good at, though, is remembering that I do have limitations. Like right now, I have a lot on my plate. I have the children to contend with. I have a hectic schedule to maintain. I am committed to some community work. All of which is usually not too big a deal until the fatigue sets in. Not a deep, dark, can't cope kind of tired, just a blech, don't really want to get out of bed kind of tired. I know that this is something that a lot of busy parents can relate to and that the feeling is not an exception for me or bipolar people in general. My real challenge is the fine line I try to walk to make sure these little swerves onto the shoulder don't completely veer off the road into a deep ditch.

Of course, Rob would just say I am too hypersensitive to my own problems. That my concern for the welfare of the family has me putting all the successes and failures squarely on my shoulders. I am sure he's right. I will have to defer to his perspective on this matter, I suppose. He swears he'll tell me if I become too unbearable to live with, lol.

Actually, just getting this off my chest helps. I forget that admitting it is okay to feel a bit crummy stops me from feeling even worse. I debated whether or not to put this on my blog. It is a hard subject to avoid, though, because it is just such a part of me. I'd rather have an honest account of what I am up to and not sugar coat the more difficult aspects of my life. While I like reading about peoples lives, those who omit the rough patches do a disservice to the rest of us. Perfect people living perfect lives do not exist.

To bring this around full circle, I'll get back to me and the grumpy family. I am in some bizarre way happy for the reflection the kids give me. It helps me temper my moods around them and it tells me when I need to fine tune some new coping skills. If my kids only take one thing away from having me as their mom, I hope it is something that can be summed up in one of my favorite adages, when we know better, we do better. Words to live by, I think.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Pumpkin Farm

Here are the kids at the pumpkin farm, not too far from Aunt Kelly's house. This year we didn't bother with the corn maze. Last year I thought it would be fun. Hah. Turns out that getting lost in tall stalks of corn loses its novelty quite quickly. It was dull and annoying. And we paid for honour. We wound up separated into two groups and my group (just me, Wendy and the Iz, if I recall correctly) finally gave up and shoved our way out to the back road. Yep...good memories, lol! This year the kids each picked a pumpkin out to carve. Afterward we headed back to a truly fantastic turkey meal. The only complaint was that the headset for the dvd player did nothing to distract Izzy and she drove us nuts the entire trip, there and back.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Turkey Day 2008!

Rob and I have taken to calling Thanksgiving Turkey Day. Why? I think it's because the only thing really required on this holiday is the roasting and eating of the bird. Easter requires children hunting for eggs and, well, we won't even go into Christmas. This year I am almost completely off the hook for cooking, save one chocolate-caramel-pecan cheesecake. My neighbour is making us dinner tonight, and even made Rob a (genuine - from scratch) cherry pie. He will be so pleased when he finds out. Then Monday we are off to visit family for more turkey. Perhaps even a jaunt to a pumpkin farm.

The kids are excited, the weather looks great, and we bought each of the kids a pair of headphones to go with the DVD player in the car. It may turn out to be the loveliest weekend all year!

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Thursday, October 9, 2008


I am often struck by how quickly Alex's reading is progressing. Actually, I am usually surprised by the breadth of his knowledge, often wondering how the heck he came across certain things. Well, today I figured it out. He reads way more than I thought he did. I have stocked up our home library with a lot of nonfiction books. Subjects on everything from nocturnal animals, medieval knights to the solar system and famous architects. Turns out Alex is reading these...all the time. He gets frustrated with long books. He can read early chapter books, like the Magic Tree House Series, very easily but he doesn't want to. He prefers to hear them read aloud. Also, since he got started on comic books, has has a hard time stopping himself from skipping pages and jumping all over the place.

This explains another aspect of how and why Alex jumped to the reading level he is currently at. I tend to buy these nonfiction books around the 3rd through 5th grade reading levels. These books have been popping up all over the house and it seems to solve the mystery of how Alex started reading at a 4th grade level so quickly. All of the unofficial testing I have done with him all points to a serious grasp of language at just those grades. Turns out that stack of books on his bed wasn't just there to make a ramp for his hotwheels cars.

As happy as I am seeing him progress so well on his own, I have to say I am even more thrilled with the independence that comes with it. It makes my life a heck of a lot easier.

Some Rhythm

We seem to be finding our groove. The issue has been balancing our out-of-house activities with some schoolish work. Sure, we read a lot. We have great discussions. The kids are taking in a great deal. I am ready for a slightly more linear approach to subjects like math now. One can sometimes feel slightly akin to being lost at sea when you are doing a science project on foliage one minute and researching volcanoes on Mars the next. It's disjointed and though I understand that this is the way humans process new information, I can't help but feel like I need to follow some sort of bigger plan. In a relaxed, loose kind of way, of course.

So our days seem to be working out like this: Alex wakes up early (around 6am - gah!) and Izzy about an hour after that. Always the only kids up so early with no where to go. I do not rush out of bed unless we are due somewhere quickly. There is breakfast and then we head back to my bed for reading time. It can be either fiction or non-fiction...anything goes. This morning it was an hour of reading about volcanoes, tsunamis and earthquakes. Then we head to the kitchen and do some sit-down work. Izzy loves to colour but if Alex is doing anything from a workbook, she must too. Unless she finds the scissors as cutting paper into tiny bits entertains her forever. Rarely are we home the whole day. We'll read, mostly Izzy's books because Alex does a great deal of independent reading in the afternoons. There is computer time and play time. Lots of that. Throw in some cartoons, tea with neighbours, outside play, a nap for Izzy and quiet play time alone for Alex, meal preparation and you can call it a day.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Cheers and Jeers!

I have been trying to get downstairs to the computer for days now. Rob got me a little EEEpc to roam around the house with and while it is more than adequate to check email or tool around online, I can't get to my photos unless I use the big one downstairs.

Looking back on the week I can only shake my head at the erratic adventure I can only call my life. I thought about that old column they used to put in magazines, yay to this and nay to that. Feels like something I can work with. Here is a sampling of where the last week took me:

Happy to have finally decided on, and ordered, Alex's math curriculum. Couldn't decide between Singapore and Miquon so I chose both. Feeling pretty Mathy this week.

Sad to cope with a break-up in the family and the way it is being handled.

Group lessons and activities are going really well. This week I actually recognized what Alex's art project was supposed to be, lol! Sad that I partially goofed on arrangements for a hs activity and left a few families out in the cold. This is difficult for fastidious, perfectionists like me.

Happy to be, love, love having my own car...but a bit sad that I actually seem to have less time alone. Will need to reevaluate schedule soon to carve out mommy-only time.

Thrilled Thanksgiving, Halloween and Izzy's birthday are almost here. Stunned at how little on my weekend list is getting done with no reprieve in sight. Sometimes time moves too quickly.

Bad week on condo board followed by great week on condo board. For something I absolutely did not want to be on I seem to have taken a lead role in it and, thankfully, good changes are happening. Phew!!!

Happy that within a month I have a preschooler and my baby/toddler days will be naught but memories! (Smiling too much at this thought.) Annoyed that Izzy can't stop talking about her birthday and what she wants (really, I can't remember Alex bugging us for so many presents) and sad that I forgot the terrible 2's are nothing to the, shall we call it, more challenging 3's.

Lastly, YAY for politics! Canadian and American, though I am much more enraptured by the political process with our Southern neighbours. This feels exciting and big. Even Alex can't stop talking about Obama. Sadly, Nay for poor Robbie who hates this whole process, is sick to death of CNN, and can't wait for it to be over. He's just happy that I don't want to go into local politics myself, though he wouldn't put a lot of money on me sitting on the sidelines forever. Lucky for him home schooling takes up too much of my time as it is.

That, my friends, is a small morsel of the way things were this week.

Have I mentioned how much I love Autumn?!

The kids and I decided to introduce Rob to the local Marsh on the weekend. It would have been perfect if (a) Izzy had stopped whining, (b) my back hadn't been killing me and (c) it wouldn't have rained within a half hour of our arrival. I have also decided that if I am looking for an enjoyable and peaceful family walk through the woods I must actually leave the children at home.

All was not lost though. After driving around a bit in the car, the weather let up and we took the kids to a local farm to play. Nothing like pumpkins being shot out of a canon to save the least in the eyes of a five year old.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Fathers and sons

We had a good thing happen this week, which, sadly came out of a very negative incident. It involved issues that can be very difficult for parents to handle. Normally, just due to logistics (I am home all the time, Rob isn't) I handle many of the big talks. We are a very open family and I hope that the kids feel comfortable coming to us. This talk was a little different and I wasn't making much headway with Alex.

Then daddy came home from work. I talked to Rob privately and asked him to have a man-to-man chat with Alex. He did...and all I can say was wow! They talked and Alex was open and receptive. A new bond was forged. Rob and Alex tend to butt heads frequently over Alex's (mistaken) perception that I am President and Daddy is just my VP. It isn't really surprising as I am with him all the time and he sees me making many of the family decisions.

This pleases me to no end. As the kids get older I try harder to get out of the way of their relationship with their dad. It isn't always easy for Rob or the kids. When you spend so much time together there is an ease between each person. Sometimes Rob feels like the outsider and he can't fall back on all the "tricks" I use. This was nice. I love watching the kids develop a stronger relationship with their dad, outside of the one with me.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

It was fabulous!

Our local Y has a home school class. I found out about it a few weeks ago and totally flaked on it last week, forgetting its mere existence. We love our Y. I have been to a few different locations but this one is great. Every class or activity our family has been involved in has been top notch. I should have known we would love the home school class too.

I wasn't sure what to expect. We had avoided a few local groups in the past simply because my kids were young and the activities are usually geared towards 6 and up. Today there were approximately 10 kids. Ranging from a few preschoolers to teenagers. The instructor sectioned the gym off and the older kids played wheelchair basketball and the younger ones played floor hockey. Alex participated in both.

This is why I love home schooling. The kids. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. Okay, not to knock the general population but we attend the Y open gym on weekends. It is utter chaos. Fun, for sure, but quite unruly. Alex had his first introduction to cliques and bullying during these open play sessions. It was a real eye opener.

Today, when I saw all these people file into the gym, my first thought was huh, I have doubts about this being a good fit. Was I wrong! The instructor (who my kids fell in love with instantly) settled them into wheel chairs and had the group play freeze tag. A few parents participated too. The older kids were so great with the younger ones. I was beaming when the teenagers would make sure Alex got his turn with the ball. Or when one of the preteens took Izzy by the hand and brought her into a game. These weren't extraordinary kids. They were just kids used to being around all different age groups. It was co-operative and fun. Everyone wanted to be there. No one felt left out or bored. Just seeing the way the adults interacted with the teens (and the reciprocal respect) moved me. There was such a great feeling among the participants.

We have a new favourite class. The kids were begging to go back as soon as we left the building.

Life in the fast lane

Is it an age thing? A busy parent thing? You know, that weird feeling that life is passing by too quickly. When people ask what you've been up to you can't answer...though you know you've been busy. Too busy.

I actually had to look at my date book to remember what we've been up to. Sad, I know. There were all the lessons. A day trip to visit my nieces and nephew. Monday we went on a hike through the Marsh with some friends. That is Alex in the photo holding a toad. More than 2 kilometres were trekked that morning. No wonder the little ones were complaining, lol. That same afternoon we made a quick trip into the city to wish our dear friend "Feather" a happy birthday. As Alex remarked in the car, she looks darn good for 14!

This week looks to end up with more of the same. A few more classes, our biweekly pilgrimage to the library and more visits with friends. It would be nice to stay home this weekend. I have an awful lot of stuff around the house I would like to get done. Okay, not like to do but have to do. I am already 5 months behind on my Spring cleaning. To quote another smart home schooling mamma, "It's not cluttered, it's lived in!"