Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Outside - Stay Outside

With nasty germs floating around the inside of the house and temps knocking on 70 degrees, it is that time of year where thoughts of locking children outside become actual possibilities.

Since the garden did not actually get planted on Monday, see reference to nasty germs above, we tackled that project first thing Tuesday morning.

Here is K, in jammies (my most resistent one to leaving the interior confines) examining the straw bale. Along the fence line is the bed for lettuce & spinach.

My little 'helper'. No matter how many times we told her it wasn't a sand box she still insisted on playing there. Luckily I am not planting anything in that corner of the bed until later this spring. What I did plant in the bed were onions & broccoli. To Em's right, off picture, is a small potato bed and behind her along the other fence line is another potato bed.

Doesn't the whole thing just look fascinating ;) Dirt & straw - isn't it exciting! I think that kind of summed up MB's thoughts on the whole thing.

We did not make it to Choir yesterday as junior had been running a slight fever with his cold. We let junior sleep away most of the day in his car seat (the incline helps his breathing) to make up for the interrupted sleep he had overnight. I wish I could have joined him for most of the day.

Instead, I figured if I kept busy then I wouldn't notice how tired I was. We opened the doors & windows and I tackled cleaning the Family Room. I won't post any pictures of it - its not done and what was done, was basically undone by bedtime. Winter cobwebs were swept out and missing toys located. The rug was taken outside and beaten.

Seeing that heavy duty housework was being done, the girls disappeared into their 'bush' castle outside. Which led me to setting up the castle tent for them to play with. It kept them outside for most of the day - although several sets of clothes were changed after missions through the mud by my female knights.

I also got creative with fixing our mailbox. The wooden handle had fallen off, leaving industrial-sized stables sticking through the plastic door. Since I knew that USPS might object to being stabbed with these I figured it needed to be fixed.

My original plan had been to use an old cabinet pull, but couldn't find where we had stored them. Instead I made a handle using two small 'eye'screws and extra wire. Isn't it nice to have a junk drawer. Interesting and cheap - and we didn't have to go through the exercise of buying another mailbox and installing it. Anything to save me a trip to the store with 4 children in tow.

Amazingly enough, we did manage to complete our lessons for the day. We had night school. Everybody did their math and reading. We played several games of Memory, watched "Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?" and read Perrault's Cinderella.

"Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?" was interesting, although I have to say it is further proof of the uselessness of the type of education children receive in elementary schools. The memorization of facts that rarely have much bearing on our lives as adults. I did *better* than the two adults that were on last night (I'm not sure if the first guy was a set-up or not - to not get any question right on his own)as I only missed one question. This might not actually be a show that you want your kids to watch as they might wonder why they need to *know* all these facts when adults certainly don't.

And, finally, I had a thought after reading Cinderella to MB last night. I don't know why I have not ever wondered about it before - because I have read so many versions before. But what is the lesson from Cinderella for Cinderella and for us. More than the whole 'your prince will come' and if you are nice & sweet through hard times then good things will happen. The godmother could have taken Cinderella away from her 'life' at any time, made her a permanent 'princess' instead of just giving her one night and a chance that more might happen. But, Cinderella had to have faith that good things could & would happen - and the Prince had to make an effort for her.

I asked MB to think about why the story wasn't just over when Cinderella & the Prince met at the ball. Why is the glass slipper important, and not just because it is beautiful? Today we will talk about it more. I think it will be interesting to hear MB's thoughts about why.



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A family of six living and learning. You might catch us outside in the mud or working on crafts. We always seem to be on the go, come on and join us.