Monday, May 30, 2011

Family photos are a humbling reminder of how we do not have our act together

Today confirms the fact that some days you just want to hide your head under the pillow and pretend that you do not know those crazy kids over there. (But whoever they are, their mother needs to stop letting them be total hooligans).

We had our family portrait done today.

In a professional studio. Not Sears or Superstore.
High-end, their back yard is an outdoor studio, type of studio. (We know a guy, said with Jersey accent)

Now, in the past, these events have been epic gong shows. But today, was going to be different. After all, I have been using Mediated Learning in my home. I now know how to think ahead, how to anticipate change, how to communicate.

Bah to it all.

(My Grandmother used to say BAH whenever she did not believe what you were saying)

First, I planned the event. Let me tell you how ingenious and clever I was.
I had them eat and drink before the photos. Therefore, one could argue, there would be no grumpy children.

Second, I made them all change into their photo clothes after they had eaten. The pre-ML me would have never thought so far ahead. Instead, the pre-ML me would have written a blog post about how her children got sauce all over their photo clothes and that is why they all wore plastic bags as T-shirts.
But not today, my friends. Today, I thought ahead.

All day long, I talked about the photo shoot. We got dressed, styled hair and mentioned that we would be getting our photos taken at least a bazillion times.

I would now like to toss out a very important nugget of truth to all you ML families out there.
And here it is:

When encountering a new situation with your kids, it might be worth mentioning the following statement:
We are about to encounter a new situation.

Yes, that nugget is free. I am handing it out to you all today. I am not even going to turn it into an e-book and write up a fancy spiel about it. It is yours. Right here. Right now. Do with it what you will.

Because, my friends, here is something that I learned today. When my kids encounter a new situation, they are all over it like Wills-and-Kate stamp on an envelope.

My curious trio thought that the studio was a new world to be explored. Why, there were foreign objects to be discovered and named. New things to climb and to test the sturdiness and durability of. It was a time to throw away any and all learning about self-regulation and to return to the former times where chaos abounded.

And in this strange new land, my stink eye Mom look held no power. Neither did my sweet-toned fake whispering voice of Ok, honey, that is enough climbing. Time to co-operate!

The photographer, who has the patience of the widow who dealt with the unjust judge, suggested that we take a husband and wife photo. A lovely, idyllic pose where we gaze lovingly into our eyes, where the world and its troubles fall away, and all that remains is us.
Beautiful in concept. Only reality showed that we had a child, who shall remain nameless, who refused to let go of her mother.

And so we created an all new sort of photo. A husband and wife shot where they looked deeply into one another s eyes and said the same message: Let us get out of here as fast as we can with as much dignity as we can scrape together.

And so we did.
We sat in the car and decided that we were not going to discuss what happened in the studio until we had driven for ten minutes and we could collect ourselves.

Sometimes, it does not matter how often you have gone over the Mediated Learning principles. Sometimes, your kids are going to
Curious, clingy, unco-operative kids who somehow know that whenever you look at this family picture in the future, there will easily be 1000 words to describe how it came to be.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Rainy Tuesday May 24 2011

It's raining outside today.
We are inside, cozy and warm.
It's a day full of reading and talking and playing board games.
We read The Memory String and decided to make one of our own.

Brain Teasers game that had us riddling our way through problems.
Magic math triangles
Connect Four
Jillian Jiggs made a monster machine...three different times. (My son's favourite story that he wants read repeatedly)
We brought out the newest "yard sale" finds. Played many rounds of Panic, a word game.
Many rounds of Mancala
Read One Hundred Dresses
Discussed Archimedes and his theories of buoyancy and gravity. We are reading a fun book called Archimedes and the Door of Science
The day called for a few rounds of Curious George games online
Followed by a reading of The Bee Tree
Discussions on Self-regulation and reviewing scriptures that talk about anger
My eldest took this picture. Today she wanted to learn Chinese characters and practiced many symbols from the book "My Pet Dragon."

Outside for a few rounds of worm collecting. A total of ten new worms have been added to the garden

Bowls of ice cream
Watching clips of Singin in the Rain via youtube
Playing with neighbours

Sitting down to steaming stew for supper
Happy Rainy Day!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Victoria Day!

Happy Victoria Day!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Breaking Down A Block

A recipe for breaking down a Blocking Attitude in your child.

Preheat the situation to 180 degrees from a learning attitude.

1 child (or 2, as many as four. Five is overdoing it and six is being a show off)
1 big problem (can substitute with huge, humongous, or enormous problem)

Mix said ingredients together.
Stick in situation for five minutes until frustrated attitude is prevalent.
Wait until you hear the words, "Mom, I can't do this."
Once magic request is heard, apply home remedy to restore situation to proper attitude of learning.

Home Remedy
Apply one of the 5 w's (What is the problem? Where are you having trouble? Why all the fuss? Who is telling me that they've run into a bit of a gaff? When do the problem start to get frustrating?)

Once applied, continue repeated applications until the problem is identified.
Once identified use extracting tool to find solution.

How to Operate an Extraction Tool
Using this multi-faceted tool, first apply the jack knife. Slice through the problem, and asking questions all the while, determine whether or not this problem can be broken down into sequential steps.
Using the magnifying glass, compare size of each piece of information.
Using tweezers, pick the largest piece of the puzzle and solve that particular step. Follow suit with the next piece and so on until problem is solved.

Blocking is undone.
Learning has occurred.
Good has been done here.

May 19 2011

This morning's weather was straight out of Jack Johnson's Banana I made pancakes that way and we stayed in our pj's until 9:30 am.

Then off to the greenhouse to indulge in as many green things as possible. We came home with an abundance of verdant pleasures that will be put in our garden very soon.

Farewell to visit grandfolk and on to several games of baseball, followed by many new Lego designs.

Time for worm hunting...which soon turned into puddle collecting.

We found one puddle...
Two puddles...

Three puddles to jump in!

Happy Thursday

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Working the Brain Muscles

Here is a fun Brain Gym video!
Warm up your brain and go,go,go!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Counting to five and Twenty Dickens-style

Here's what our week looked like:

All day outside digging worms and all things garden.

I indulged in all things Dickens this week and watched Little Dorrit on DVD.
It's very hard to to press pause or stop and go to sleep...because you lay in bed thinking...
"What is the big secret? Why does the watch have the message DO NOT FORGET written inside?"
It is gripping stuff I tell you. Gripping.

In other news, I have this song stuck in my head.

Happy Saturday!

Monday, May 9, 2011

I fought the lawn and the lawn....

In the red corner, we have the reigning champion. Heavyweight-hitter with a goal of world domination, Mr. weed-sucking-the-life-out-of-your-plants Dandy Lion!

(Crowd boos)
In the blue corner we have the challenging underdog, featherweight with a goal of yard weed annihilation, 5minutemom.

Crowd cheers
(random guy holds up JOHN 3:16 sign)
Oh, what's this ?Dandy Lion gives 5minutemom the squinty eye and says, "You are going down!"
5minutemom does some fast talking. "Dude, first I'm going to boil your roots and kill your potential to dig deep and fight against me....
...then I'm going to stick you with this sword...
You will never age.
You will not grow grey.
You will never see your grandchildren.
(Leans close and whispers)You will die alone and friendless.

Who wins?
Find out....

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Place for Lonely Hearts on Mother's Day

To the girl who sits in shaded silence today because her mother died at a young age; you have travelled years of growing up and growing into yourself and look for her whisper of approval in every woman that you have come close to. You've bravely stared today in the face and softly said the words,"I still remember you."
Today can be a lonely day.

To the girl who dreads this day and stays home from church, because she can't bear to hear that there are great moms to honour when she was robbed of that affection from a selfish woman who loved her unhealthy habits more than herself...more than her kids. You are familiar with the feeling of something being not quite right and asking yourself, "Why couldn't I be enough for her?Why would she do that to me?" You quietly ask yourself, "Will I ever do that to my kids?" And then swear to yourself you won't.
Today can be a lonely day.

To the girl who is made to feel small by her mother's words. Whose choices today constantly bring the disapproving sneer and the hard words that hit you across the heart. You wear the brave face of a soldier and weather her comments about your choices and how you are raising your kids.
Today can be a lonely day.

To the girl who is far away from family and watches as everyone else gathers in homes to celebrate, who picks up the phone and tries her best to say the words "I love you" but knowing that a hug would mean more; who struggles with being far away from all that is familiar.
Today can be a lonely day.

And yet the Lord is here.
Jesus will meets us in all of our weaknesses and bring comfort to those who mourn, and hope to the weary. He has placed you here, in the Body of Christ, where you are loved and appreciated for being a Daughter of the King.
He has a destiny and a plan for you.
Psalm 68:6 says so.
He sets the lonely in families.

Today doesn't have to be so lonely.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Quick Update

Hey Everyone!
Just a quick hello to those stopping by the blog after reading the new Wisdom magazine.
This is a busy two weeks for my family and I won't be posting very much.
Welcome to my blog house, though.
Kick off your shoes.
Take a look around and grab any ideas you want.
Leave a note and let me know what you find!

I'll be back to blogging after Mother's Day weekend.