Friday, November 15, 2013

At present...

...I am enjoying the settled peace that descends upon a house where are children are asleep in their beds and a husband is out of town. Very soon, the quiet will be too quiet, lacking the noise of a man studying, but for now, it's nice.
...This evening had several of the PC wives and kiddos visit a local deli that is foolish enough to offer free kids' meals - we know how to make good use of that offer!
...I've been enjoying the leaves on the trees and the brilliant colors they turn, but that seems to be done now. Last Friday, the county sent some street sweepers around to collect any leaves we could blow into the street. We cleared the whole front yard of leaves - the kids worked hard, and it looked great. Now, the leaves are falling so thick and fast, you'd never have known we ever picked up a rake.
...Since we've been here, I have been using my phone as my alarm clock, as I'm sure most people do. I've been finding, though, that it acts as quite a distraction, sucking time from more noble reading pursuits. So, I've resurrected my old alarm clock and will relegate my phone charging to some other place, in the hopes of making better use of my time.
...For history, we are reading through a book called The Children of the Covered Wagon, about the emigrants who headed west in the mid-1800s. As we read, I am reminded afresh how thankful I am to live in the time and place we do, with plentiful medical care, easy travel, and flush toilets. It never ceases to amaze me what some of these incredible people were willing to endure - suffering loss after loss, yet pressing on with a perseverance I know little of.
...Last week, for history, we were learning about the Alamo, and the lesson plans included a suggestion for the children to watch the 1960 classic The Alamo, with John Wayne. I thought it sounded like a good idea, so without previewing it, we streamed it free through Amazon. The first 2 or so hours (stretched out over 3 days) was okay, though somewhat slow. When we finally got to the battle itself, I realized I'd made a major parenting fail - Ellie had her hands over her eyes and was squeaking, and the others were horrified! They were simply unprepared and rather upset to see these brave "characters" who they'd come to like, killed in battle, even though they knew how it all ended. The one redeeming factor in it came out when it occurred to me to mention that they men in the movie were not the actual men in the story, but actors - no one died in the making of that film. That helped quite a bit, but my lesson has been learned - always preview your movies, even in the curriculum company recommends it!

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