In my pocket this week, VOLUME THREE
We celebrated Bruno's birthday on Saturday and of course Father's Day on Sunday. Before Bruno went to bed on Friday night he said, "Don't forget my bear!" He has been pining for a Gund Snuffles Bear of his own. I have one from my childhood, and I bought one for our firstborn, who of course turned out to be Seb. Bruno picked up on the theme and has been borrowing my bear until one of his own could be procured. While he slept, we placed his new panda in bed with him. He woke up a full hour earlier than normal on the morning of his birthday, carrying his new bear into our room to enquire about the obvious magic that must have occurred during the night to produce such a treasure in his bed.
Mama-reads / I love to read, but I have so many other things to fill up my time that I have begun looking at reading as a discipline, just as cleaning up the kitchen after supper or brushing my teeth are activities I simply do because they must be done. I don't think we can always be producing, creating, and giving, and sitting to read is a real and tangible way that we can feed our souls and tend our mind-gardens. I have been trying to put my phone down in the evening and pick up an actual book (I save articles and blog posts for day time/work time reading). Currently I am reading Mansfield Park, Charlotte Mason Summaries, and Tremendous Trifles. I am going through these at what feels like a snails pace, but I am trying to focus on quality of reading time, not duration. The variety of these three is wonderful, and I am getting into a rhythm of when I read from each. Charlotte Mason is my park bench read of choice, and Mansfield Park is my nighttime companion. Tremendous Trifles pops up during a little quiet time during the day, or before I begin writing.
Read-alouds / We finally started reading Little House in the Big Woods, and I am pleased to report that it has been a smashing success. Today at lunch the boys regaled their papa with little anecdotes from the story so far, and it was simply the best. If you are reading aloud to your children and it doesn't seem to be working, push through. Switch books if you need to, but keep trying. I had no idea that Seb (6), and especially Bruno (4), had retained so many details of the story and I wanted to cry I was so happy seeing them eager to share little bits of what happened. And here's a fun fact, I've never actually read the series! It's new and exciting for all of us.
We started several new chapter books last week, and none of them worked for us at the moment. We'll revisit them later and I think they'll be well-loved. Don't feel that you need to push your kids past the first 2 chapters of a book. I like to read at least that much, and if one or both of them are positively miserable, we set it aside for a later date. We did that this week with The Black Stallion, which proved to be just too much drudgery for Bruno.
Seb's school year. We are starting the year at the beginning of July in order to give ourselves some wiggle room when the baby comes in early September. I have no way of knowing what those first weeks will look like, and I don't want to have the pressure of schooling hanging over my head and telling me I'm failing (even if I'm not) because hormones should not be underestimated. I also want to have some sort of routine in place so that we feel like we know what we're doing. There is no way I could have a baby and start homeschooling for the first time in the same week. I'm scrambling to buy the last of our curriculum and get a plan ready. You can be sure you'll get the full description of our plan and curriculum soon!
The baby is arriving in 10 weeks, as in, one more week until single digits. When do I need to start planning for this? Yikes.
First poems for children, specifically boys. You all were so helpful in suggesting poetry for me, so what about for kids? I want a great adventure poem to introduce to the boys. Maybe a shipwreck on the high seas? A pirate attack? Or a Journey through the deepest, darkest jungle?
Motherhood looks like
Giving Seb and Bruno haircuts (one of my least favorite duties, but so satisfying when it's done and I didn't totally mess up).
Trying to outsmart Texas summer and get the boys outside. We spend a lot of time at the Baylor or public libraries, the children's museum, coffee shop, and home during the high-heat/strong-sun middle of the day. In the morning we try to find some water to play in, and then again in the late afternoon. It's currently still cool enough that if we get out first thing in the morning we can spend a couple hours meandering on campus, at the zoo, or park.
Tortillas at every meal. Quesadillas for lunch... chicken tacos for supper (much more often than I'd care to admit). Hey, we'll eat our veggies when soup season rolls back around, or rather when we roll ourselves around to soup season. #cheese
I am trying to notice things, little things, and point them out to my sons. Today, we got to see a Jaguar extremely close since he likes to sit right up against the glass at the zoo. We looked at the pattern on his coat and noticed the colors, shapes and texture. Bruno proudly observed, "Mama! I know why he has those spots!" And then in a quiet, mysterious voice, "So he can blend in..." His eyes sparkled, and it was a reminder that teaching our children to see the beauty of God's world need not be complicated.
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