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April 04, 2008

Spring Memories

My boys amaze me. . . really they do. I'm seeing as time goes by that their interests and lives are expanding, and that expansion goes beyond my experiences.

For example, someone recommended the Yul Brynner 1969 movie Taras Bulba to me, so we rented it the other day. In spite of our time in Ukraine and great interest in that region, I still have fuzzy spots in my understanding of its history. R9 piped up, "Wasn't he a Cossack? Who killed his kid?" J11 answered, "Yeah, but he wasn't as bad as Ivan Groznyi." While I wasn't exactly sure of where he fit in history, I thought he was a Cossack, but wasn't sure about it until we watched the movie.

The other day T10 asked me, "Who do you like better? Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, or Bill Gates?" Later the boys were playing a modification of a game that they made up, each making decisions as a businessman about shares and advertising and keeping score on a piece of paper. J11 has been reading The Myth of the Robber Barons (for fun) and their U.S. history text is addressing industrialization and monopolies.

Today they spent most of the day on the lanai, hand-painting their little green army guys. Hubby found a book that describes specific battles and they've been setting them up throughout the living room and re-enacting them. J11 and R8 each painted red-shirted Garibaldi troops. I hadn't even heard of Garibaldi and his exploits before now. . .

I've been giving the boys more cooking tasks. They love cutting up onions and peppers and I'm starting to count on them to be my sous-chef helpers. They made cupcakes for a neighbor's birthday, and surprised me with brownies and milk one night for dessert. Better yet, they are just as good as cleaning up kitchen messes as they are at making them.

They've been reading avidly. Once again, we're under a self-imposed ban from the public library. We just don't do well with due dates. Thankfully, we have two Goodwill Bookstores in our area which each have well-stocked kids' and homeschool sections.

Both my mp3 player and the boy's cd player died this month. We're taking turns with the laptop. I'll listen to my lectures with my ear phones on (but missing my learning during drives.) The boys have been listening to Alexander the Great and other stories from LibriVox. (Finally taking advantage of this, Kathy!) I'd really like to get them another cd player, but want to make sure it's both kid-durable and can read mp3 and wav files.

So many little daily details that I don't want to miss and forget. Yet, I know they are hard to remember if I don't record them. I want to get family photos taken soon.


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So wonderful to read about how wonderfully your boys are growing! You're doing a great job, mommy TG! =)

Have a blessed weekend now!

Posted by: bp at April 5, 2008 01:12 AM

What a fun update!

Don't give up on the library! I have had stages of being really bad about getting books turned in on time. Have you ever heard of Library Elf? It has saved my sanity, and also a lot of money. Can you access your library record online? If so, you can sign up for Library Elf, and get emails the day before books are due. I love it. All my girls have there own card, so it's a challenge to keep track of all the books that are due or need to be renewed. With ELF, I get an email with all four of our cards' books in one place. Or you go to the ELF website to check any time you want. Really, it's just about changed my life. My library wasn't on the list when I first checked, so I requested they add it and they did. I hope it works with your library.

Library elf list of libraries: http://libraryelf.com/Libraries.aspx

Adding a library: http://libraryelf.com/FAQ.aspx#addLibrary

Posted by: Missy at April 5, 2008 09:02 AM

I love when the kids start beginning to get caught up in the history of the world...both past and present. This all helps form them as adults, I think...knowing our past, prepares us for the future.

As for the library, we struggle too. It's hard for us to keep up on all the books. We own so many ourselves, then they get books from school and on top of that library books....it's hard to track them all in the household...with 5 kids, several of which aren't old enough to understand how to track their possessions.

Chad told me that you can now get audio books from our library's website and download them on your Ipod and whatnot. I find this intriguing...I guess they have a few of Anne Lamott's book where she is reading her own writing...thinking I will check that out.

Have a great weekend!!

Posted by: Shanna at April 5, 2008 02:07 PM

Love when you talk about the boys.

Posted by: Carol at April 6, 2008 09:04 AM

I must admit, I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who's bad about returning library books on time. :-)

Posted by: kathryn at April 11, 2008 01:35 AM

I'm also glad to know I'm not the only one with library woes. Our St. Paul library didn't charge for kids books.... I miss it (so does my wallet)

Can't wait until my boys are ready for this stage, it sounds so exciting :)

Posted by: gwen at April 20, 2008 10:14 PM

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