Saturday, 28 September 2013

Before you say, "I'm bored. What can I do?" READ THIS LIST

A list for the holidays.

What you can do outdoors:
Talk to the chickens. Check if they have laid any eggs.
Jump on the trampoline. Climb the tree and swing onto the trampoline.
Take a ball from the outdoor toy box and play catch.
Take a bat and ball from the outdoor toy box and play baseball or cricket.
Climb on the straw bales in the back yard and pretend you are king of the mountain. Jump off!
Take a piece of fruit from the kitchen bench and eat it. Feed the scraps to the chickens.
If it’s sunny, ask Mum or Dad if you can go to the skate park to ride your bike or scooter.
If it’s wet, ask Mum or Dad if you can put on your boots and raincoat and go puddle jumping.
Ask Dad if you can help him with his building projects.

What you can do indoors:
Ask Mum if she has any chores with which you can help.
Ask Joshua if you can battle Pokemon against him.
Ask Anna if you can listen to her play her guitar.
Ask Abigail if you can play Sylvanian Families with her.
Ask Samuel if you can read a story to him.
Read a book. Then read another book.
Do a puzzle or two or three: do dot-to-dots, or mazes, or cross-words, or find-a-words.
Draw a picture. Write a story about the picture.
Draw a map. Make a legend to explain what the symbols on the map represent.
Play with Lego. Then, tidy up the Lego before you play with something else.
Play a board game. Play a card game. Play a puzzle game.
Put on some music and dance and sing.
Put on dress ups and pretend to be someone else.
Ask Mum to read aloud to you or cook with you.

What you can do during afternoon Quiet Time:
Listen to a book-on-CD in the lounge room. Put the CD away in the CD case when you’re finished.
Read books on your bed. Put them away on the bookshelf when you’re finished.
Play with your teddies or dolls in your bedroom. Pack them away when you’re finished.

What you CANNOT do:
Use the computer or wii or iPad or iPod or TV, between 8am and sunset.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Motherhood is a Calling, Not a Hobby

I was browsing and found this post on I think I might need to come back to it often, to encourage myself. Here's a tid-bit:

"Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling. You do not collect children because you find them cuter than stamps. It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. It is what God gave you time for.

Christian mothers carry their children in hostile territory. When you are in public with them, you are standing with, and defending, the objects of cultural dislike. You are publicly testifying that you value what God values, and that you refuse to value what the world values. You stand with the defenseless and in front of the needy. You represent everything that our culture hates, because you represent laying down your life for another—and laying down your life for another represents the gospel."
If you're a mother, be encouraged in your calling to demonstrate the gospel through your motherhood.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

My Own Little Swallows

I've been reading Swallowdale by Arthur Ransome aloud to the kids recently, and this morning they went off as shipwrecked sailors and explorers to the open scrub up the road from our house, on the edge of our town.

They carried the necessary rations in "knapsacks":
"pemmican" (twiggy sticks)
"grog" (cans of ginger beer)
bread and "bun loaf" (homemade bread)
"marmalade" (since there is a general disinclination to digest marmalade among our children, they settled on a jar with butter)
"apples all round" (apples - duh)
"chocolate rations (real chocolate, individual bars so there was no arguing)
and some cheese.

They also carried their own supplies. Anna, as Ship's Mate and Cook, carried the bulk of the rations as well as two plastic knives. Joshua, as Ship's Captain and leader of the expedition, carried the Ship's Knife on a belt, and also carried the Ship's Compass and Whistle for rallying the crew. Abigail was the Able Seaman, and she carried the digital camera for the Ship's Log (although she didn't do a very good job at taking photos, unfortunately) and Samuel, the Ship's Boy, carried the tarpaulin and octopus straps for shelter. Everyone wore gumboots and warm jumpers.

Here they are, ready to proceed up the "beck" (the little seasonal creek that goes under the road into town).

Monday, 9 September 2013

A Mathematical Mind

The first words that Samuel spoke this morning, still hazy with dream-sleep, were "four ... teen ... times by one hundred ... equals one thousand four hundred." What six year old child dreams of multiplication equations with answers into the thousands? And gets them correct?

This is not the first time Samuel has woken with mathematics on his mind. A week ago he woke and rolled over (he often comes into our bed in the wee hours of the morning) to ask me a series of doubling questions, such as "what is twice one hundred and twenty eight?" and "what is twice two hundred and fifty six?"

Samuel loves numbers. Last week we walked to school calculating halves of various numbers. He wasn't just interested in half of one whole, although that is where he started. Then he wanted to know, among others, what was half of five and a half, and what was half of one hundred and one and a half.

We use number sequences as a distractor to calm him down, especially when we are walking somewhere, such as to school or church, and can't stop for a cuddle and a back rub. Once when we were shopping for shoes for his sisters, Samuel got fed up and we helped him to calm down by instructing him to count the silver studs on a leather belt for sale in the store.

This isn't a recent interest. Samuel could rote count to ten (echolalia-like) well before he could string two words together to make a sentence. He loved to count to three and then, once he'd learnt, to ten, before jumping from the coffee table into my waiting arms as I sat on the couch. He loved to count as Jeff and I walked along, swinging him between us holding his hands.

Well before the age of two, I knew my son had a mathematical mind.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Faction Athletics Carnival

I was genuinely pleased with my kids' great attitudes for sports day this year. There were no tears or grumpy comments about doing events that weren't their favourite. They exhibited patience between events and good sportsmanship during and after events. Success!

Samuel doing triple jump:

Abigail doing long jump:
Abigail was Champion of the Junior Girls.

Joshua doing high jump:

Anna's first for the 100m race:
Anna was the Runner-Up in the Intermediate Girls, and broke a school record for long jump.