Activities in June

Rub a dub-dub, three boys in a tub – after decorating themselves with markers (June 2nd)
Anthony’s primary class (? Maciel, Anthony, Bryson E, Stockton M – June 3rd)
Samuel grinning after a good meal (June 11th)
Mom discovers Samuel “reading” a book (June 14th)
James and friend in a community play
James and fellow officer (June 15th)
James and Meika – piano recital (June 16th)
Samuel, Benjamin, Anthony, James – future computer nerds (June 23rd)
That must have been a goooood, ice-cream (June 26th)
No, Benjamin, I don’t think he wants to share


It is interesting what kids perceive. Tonight James was reading about the Blackbird SR71 (an army plane). He asked how it was that the metal can expand and get harder with each flight. I said I didn’t know – but dad might know how that works.

“Why don’t you know, mom?”
“Because I’m not a scientist.”
“But you know how to be on the computer.”

I smiled and answered, “Just because I know how to use a computer doesn’t mean that I’m a scientist.”
“Really? But don’t you want to find out?”
“Not really, not right now. I’m putting clothes away.”

Perhaps another day I can google why it is that the metal expands and strengthens on the Blackbird SR71.

Anyone else know why?

But it was interesting that James thought I was a scientist because I knew how to do some computer stuff!

Restaurant adventures

We haven’t been out to eat as a family in a long time. I have forgotten how messy things can get. Dave says that we don’t just leave a tip, we leave a cleaning deposit.

And I need to remember to bring not only a change of clothes for Samuel, but for me as well! Tonight he dumped water all over my pants, so it looked like I didn’t make it to the bathroom in time!

But other than the huge mess of spilled food and water, scribbled on menus, scattered and chewed-on crayons, the meal time went relatively well! (When considering it was with 4 boys under the age of 8.)

Although this a fun age now, I do look forward to the day that they can sit down and eat at least one full plate of food without wandering around, whining, or crying that the food looks like puke.

(I remember once when Anthony was 3 we couldn’t get him to sit down and eat at the dinner table. So we brought his car seat in and strapped him in so he would sit at the table. Yeah, that didn’t go over so well. I have the pictures of that – he was not happy about being constricted. Although we did get a bungee cord for James when he was 3 and after a couple times he understood that meal time was sitting down and eating time.)

Oh the wonders of parenthood! It has its days of frustration, but it also certainly has days that are humbling and rewarding.

Music and Arts

Well, James is much more excited about the Theater class. He got a speaking part – he gets to be a policeman. I went to the Fiddling class with him today. 1 hour is pretty long for a beginner. He was getting so tired. As the guitar teacher was working with the guitars/banjos, and the violin teachers was working with the fiddles, I worked with James. I took my cello too. A 1 hour lesson with mom 5 days a week. Sheesh. He’s really going to know if he wants to do cello or not! At one point the violin teacher stepped out for about 15 minutes. I continued to work with James to learn his (simplified) part. As I was helping James with a bow hold I started to banter with him because I was losing his concentration.

“What’s that death grip you got going over there on that right hand of yours?”
“Straight thumb? Can you run with straight legs? You certainly can’t run with the bow with a straight thumb!” (etc…) And James was of course making his silly comments back and I would counter with something else silly. The violin (fiddle) students that were next to us kept looking over at us.

When he got tired of playing with the group I let him rest. So when he dropped out I didn’t play the open strings. When I came in playing something more complicated than open strings, the class took notice. James said to me embarrassed, “Mom, they’re all looking at you.” It’s not like I was showing off. I was just playing the harmony part given to me. I guess my cello projected nicely. (As it always does.)

Anthony and Benjamin got to do painting with smelly paints today. Grape, watermelon, strawberry smelling pictures came home today. Benjamin’s was mostly orange. YUMMY FUN! Anthony drew a good self portrait and did one of Benjamin too. I asked Benjamin if he tried to do one himself. He said, “No, it got all crazy. Anthony did it for me.” The picture Anthony did of Ben was quite good. The circle for the head was nearly a perfect circle. Impressive! (Especially if you see what his drawings were like at the beginning of his preschool year. Yea Anthony!)

Speaking of Anthony…tonight we were reading “I Know a Shy Fellow Who Swallowed a Cello”. After the shy fellow eats all the instruments, he burped them back out. When each instrument comes out on the page some notes follow behind it. For a few of the instruments I sang a 2 bar phrase how they might sound. When we got to the last page, “And out cha cha-ed the cello” I didn’t sing anything.

Anthony said, “mom! why didn’t you sing anything for the cello?”
“Oh, I just didn’t.”
“Well sing something.”
So I did 2 bars of Bach’s 1st Suite, Prelude.

Anthony then said, “No it should be this…” and he proceeded to sing his own 2 bar melody in a 5/8 time as if it were the most natural thing in the world! I told him that he was right. I liked that one much better.

It amazed me because for a classically trained musician (or at least for me when I was trying to learn it in High School) 5/8 time doesn’t come naturally. But to Anthony, who has been listening to all the various folk songs that I’ve been exposing him to through Music Together, it just naturally flowed out of him! Kids are just amazing to me!

Arts kids

For these next 2 weeks the boys are doing the Youth Arts Festival. Anthony and Benjamin are doing KinderArts M-F. Benjamin is so excited about it and asks in the morning, “Mom, when can I go to my class?!?” Anthony likes it too. He’s really getting good with the art stuff. Their art teacher is one of the Kindergarten teachers at Larsen that I’m hoping Anthony will get next year. So hopefully she’ll see what a smart and creative kid he is and want to have him in her class!

I wanted to get James signed up for an art class too, since that is his favorite subject in school (next to recess of course). But the class I wanted him in filled up within 1 hour! So in place of that he is doing a Fiddling Class (on cello). It wasn’t very organized on Monday. We didn’t go to it today because Samuel was taking a nap after a nasty fall. Tomorrow I’m going to stay with him to hopefully make it more fun for him.

Then after the Fiddling Class is over he does the “Youth Theater” for 2 hours. The director put him on a part with a few other kids that their lines are singing parts. He was disappointed that he didn’t get a bigger part – Like the main character. I smiled and told him that when you first start acting, everyone starts small. He was also a bit disappointed that his lines were singing lines, and not spoken lines. He was trying to show me how long the song was they have to learn. It’s only the 2nd day and he was complaining that the other kids aren’t learning the song fast enough. 🙂

Jennie, you’ll have to talk to James about acting and theater stuff when you come and do his cello lessons. I keep asking, and he still says he wants to do cello. I’m not pushing, just checking if that’s what he really wants to do. I keep telling him he doesn’t have to do it – but he says he want to. So I guess we’ll have him do it. But I’m not going to be his teacher. It just doesn’t work!

I just love the summer time with all the fun different activities there are for the kids to do! The rest of the afternoon was spent playing in the water and mud. I changed Ben’s and Aysha’s outfits 4 times (seriously). Samuel’s 3 times. Anthony twice. James kept himself dry thankfully.

Oh, and Samuel has learned how to crawl up the slide. He just can’t figure out how to get back down. Smart kid. He is saying “mom” sometimes now. “Da” he has mastered along with the sign for it. He sometimes does the “milk” sign. He knows what they all are. He just doesn’t do them…a little obstinate like Anthony was at that age. (Though not as bad.)