11 September 2015

Seven Quick Takes

The sun had just crested the ridge before ours as I was driving home from dropping Matt at work this morning, and I had to stop and take a photo. The hills are gilded right now, and I'm trying to enjoy it as much as I can because I know the leaves will be down soon.

We had a late night last night, Little Bear playing out in leaf piles with his youngest aunts and uncle while Matt and I lost track of time talking with my parents. We didn't get home until after 8:30, so I was expecting a rough night. "If the kids both have really good nights and I'm able to drive you in tomorrow," I told Matt, "then I'll go to Mass. Otherwise I'm staying home." Make a promise like that, and of course what happens? Both kids fell asleep quickly and slept through the night. Mass it was.

Little Bear was so well behaved in Mass today! Sitting next to his aunt certainly helped, as did having a priest with a strong Indian accent which kept him paying attention. Little Bear was good, Kit slept or was quiet on me, and for the first time ever, ever, that I can remember at this parish—and I've attended this parish pretty much all my life—the church was silent after Mass ended, with everyone either kneeling back down to pray or heading out quietly instead of starting up loud conversations. It was wonderful. Startling. But definitely wonderful.

Tonight we learned that our favorite ice cream place is closing by the end of September! It's a local place with the best ice cream in the world, and we're so disappointed. The owners plan to continue their seasonal open-air ice cream stand next summer, but the year-round ice cream parlor and their partnership with local restaurants are both ending. We have been saving up our "points" from buying ice cream there ever since we got married, and keep saying we'll redeem them for an ice cream cake when we have a reason to have a cake, but I suppose we'll have to pick one up before they close and just keep it in the freezer.

Little Bear has been amusing lately.

In the sunny parking lot: "Mom, I'm having trouble making the sun stop shining."

Getting into the food-preserving spirit: "We will make lemon blueberry popsicle salt granola bar jam!"

Offering suggestions: "Should we have another one more cookie now? Two cookies? Okay!"

Playing school is still fun. It doesn't happen every day, but most days we pull out at least one or two schoolbooks and spend some time with them.

Little Bear has clearly paid more attention than I'd realized when he's been at my mom's house during school time, because he surprised me by knowing the answers to several questions from the first two religion chapters: "Who made you?" "God!", as well as immediate Yes's to "Does God know and see all things?" and "Can God do all things?" We got a little sidetracked today on "Where is God?", because the concept of "everywhere" was astonishing; "In church? In our house? In the garage? In a tree?" 

He's known his alphabet for I don't know how long, more than six months now, but has really begun making the connection between letters, sounds and words. It is so great to watch him light up as he hears himself say a word, and realize that he knows what letter it starts with! He had a lot of fun the other day running around the apartment looking for things that started with T to feed to this tiger.

Science with Daddy is very possibly everyone's favorite subject. When we first started talking about homeschooling, Matt felt particularly strongly about making sure we did "all the experiments" in science courses. Since he's enthusiastic about it (and doesn't typically have a baby in his arms every waking moment), I've been very happy to get materials ready each week and then let Matt be in charge of "doing science" at some point over the weekend. Little Bear has been so excited about looking forward to their projects, and Matt has been enjoying them too. This semester they're going through a book of earth science projects; they've learned about the layers of the earth by frosting a big cookie, made crystals with gumdrops and toothpicks, and I think this weekend they're making a cross section of a volcano with salt dough.

Check out more quick takes at This Ain't The Lyceum!

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