Thursday, January 29, 2009

to 100

Pulling together all of our work with digits over the past curriculum block and a half of math, today we created a 100 chart. We started with blank grid of 100 blocks, and made columns of numerals on the left hand side of each block, skipping the first column. So we wound up with a column of 1s, 2s, 3s, etc up to 9s. I did the first couple of numbers in the column, so the kids could see the example I was setting, then Zoo Boy took over for the next 4 blocks (in this photo he is working on the 3s column).

Then J finished off the last 4 blocks of each column. (He's working on the 4s here.)

Then we went back and filled in the right hand side of each block, with the numerals 0 to 9 in each column. So we created a column of numbers 0 to 9, then a column of 10 to 19, then one of 20 to 29, and so forth. Here J is working on the 40s.

Zoo Boy finishes out the 90s column. I really thought it might take a couple of days to accomplish this, as I figured the boys would get bored with it. But much to my surprise, they actually picked up a head of steam and got more enthusiastic about writing the numbers the further along we got. The entire chart only took us about half an hour to complete, and the kids were never looking for a break.

And here is our completed 100 chart. We hung it up in the hallway for reference, and we'll be revisiting it for an activity with odd and even in a couple of weeks.

This is a nice place to break for a few days. I'm taking the Grace puppy to a training seminar during the day for the next three days, so tune back in next week for more math fun and adventures!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

many more

This week's curriculum story has been "Miss Many More", a 1st Grade Enki Education Math story about counting by. In the story, Many wants to make a pie like her Dad's strawberry pie, and needs to pick 100 berries. But when she starts picking strawberries one at a time, she decides it's going to take too long. So she picks cherries instead, because she can pick those two at a time. But even that takes too long, so instead she picks peas, as there are 3 peas on each side of a pod, and then realizes if she didn't stop to open the pods, she'd be picking 6 at a time. In no time, she has 100 peas, and makes her pie, but it, of course, tastes horrible. So she goes in search of a sweet fruit that she can pick swiftly -- and finds grapes hanging in 10 per bunch. But when she bakes them in a pie, they become a grape puddle with skins floating in them. Finally, she discovers that she can pick blueberries, by handfuls of 5, and finally makes a delicious pie.

After recalling the story, we drew pictures of the different fruits in the numbers we were counting by. The above picture is J's, this one here is Zoo Boy's. (Mine is last if you want to compare -- J's is pretty close to how mine is drawn, though.) We also reviewed a counting-by movement activity ("Strange Family") this week.

Then, building naturally on the story, today we practiced counting-by with blueberries. We started counting out our berries one at a time, then two, then three, then five. We counted out enough berries to make a blueberry pie.

The boys work on fluting our pie.

Ta da!! And it tastes even better than it looks!

Don't you just love math?!?!

My "Many More" drawing. The blue squiggly arrow reaching across my page was a continuation from Zoo Boy's drawing -- it connects with his drawing to the title "Miss Many More" because, as he pointed out, my blueberry bush has "many more" blueberries than his. I thought that was pretty clever! (He did ask permission before drawing on my drawing.)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

summary school week #15

Yes, it's true, it's an actual weekly summary from me, after a month of totally slacking off, and having completely ignored week #14 altogether. Woo hoo!!!

So this week we were finally back in the swing of things, I having broken out of my January Slump (or, more accurately being forced out by children whining "Mommy, WHEN are we going to do the practice work again?!?"). I thought Zoo Boy was going to bust at the seams when I actually sang them into our new Adventure Circle on Monday morning, and then followed up with a curriculum story. As I sang our transition song from story to creative play, he turned to J and said "I don't' believe it! We haven't done this is SO LONG."

The weather has been tremendously January-ish, so our adventures took place indoors for the most part. As result, our new Snowy Adventure Circle is packed full of heavy duty movement activities, and we follow it up with sensory-rich relay races as well. We're all getting a good workout in the mornings! We also are getting in some big time speech therapy work for Zoo Boy. He lost his first tooth a few weeks ago, and now I'm in a blazing hurry to get as many of his sounds coming out the right way before the top teeth loosen up and change the way everything sounds again. So we've added more oral motor and SLT exercises (under the direction of our wonderful OT and SLP team that we visit on Tuesday afternoons) into the daily rhythm to make sure I find time to work on it with them. (J is participating as well, because he doesn't like to be left out of anything, and even more importantly, because there is a lollipop involved....)

Both boys attended a class about Chinese New Year's at the children's museum on Thursday (see photo at left), and then J took a hard science class about the heart (including getting to examine a buffalo heart first-hand) on Friday. Zoo Boy was supposed to take a similar class (with a similar buffalo heart) earlier in the day, but he got grossed out at the thought of seeing a real heart, and decided that it would probably make him gag, so he opted out. J on the other hand was pretty excited to get to handle the somewhat disgusting insides of a buffalo.

(Snakes and lanterns that the boys made during the Chinese New Year's class.)

Our curriculum stories this week were "Story of the Sun Dance" and "Rabbit and Crocodile". (We didn't manage to read a nature story this week, and it looks unlikely that we'll manage next week either, so that's something we're going to have to add back in as soon as we get a chance.)

We spent most of our story work time playing various games having to do with the 9 digits we learned about during our last math block.

For reading practice, J finished up Knight Before Dawn (one of the Magic Tree House series, by Mary Pope Osborn), and Zoo Boy started reading the first Little Bear book by Maurice Sendak.

Story Time stories for the week were In The Snow, Who's Been Here? by Lindsay Barrett George; Winter Days in the Big Woods, by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and The Tomten, by Astrid Lindgren. We also began reading "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", by Ronald Dahl, although we're only a few chapters into that at this point.

Friday, January 23, 2009

rabbit and crocodile

Our math work for the second half of this week was focused around the Enki Education Math Story, "Rabbit and Crocodile", in which a clever rabbit outsmarts a hungry crocodile by betting him that he has more friends. The crocodile calls all of his friends in, they stretch from shore to shore, and rabbit counts them as he hops across their backs to reach the other side and safety. After recalling the story yesterday, we made these cute paper bag rabbit puppets, which we used in a math game today.

We also incorporated our digit cards from Wednesday in our game. The kids took turns drawing from two piles to make a two digit number.

(The only cards in the first pile were "0" and "1" so the drawn number was never larger than 19.)

Then they had to count out that number of "crocodiles" (silk scarves) and lay them across the living room floor. They did an impressive job of figuring out how many scarves to add or subtract for each subsequent number, despite the fact that I've not discussed the concepts of addition or subtraction at all. In fact, during our next math block, we'll introduce these concepts via story. As is typical of kids their age, they are already discovering the use of the math concepts prior to me labeling them as "addition" and "subtraction" -- it will be a simple task to give them the names for what they already know later.

Then both kids, with their rabbit puppets on their arms, jumped from crocodile to crocodile, counting out loud as they went.
The game was great fun, and the boys had a blast. They've requested to play it again with The Map Man tomorrow.


Far and away my all time favorite you tube video -- enjoy!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Snowy Adventure Circle

Here's our current adventure circle, for your reading pleasure! For the convenience of other Enki Education movement book owners, I've included which movement book (Grade One or Kindergarten) and the page that the activity can be found on. I've also included which sensory skills we are working on with each activity. Activities designated with astericks are just straight sensory integration work and do not include a verse or song.

Call: Round and Round (Move to bedroom during last verse, climb into bed and under the covers.)

“Once upon a time there were two boys who loved the snow. One chilly winter morning, they woke up to find a winter wonderland outside.”

Opening: Rise With The Morning (Grade One, pg 66)

“The boys jumped up and down with joy”

Awakening Breath/Vestibular/Proprioceptive: **Bed Jumping**

“Then, still unable to contain their excitement, they ran around the house”

Awakening Breath: **Running** (wind up in living room)

“They quickly put on their outdoor clothing”

Midline: (mime, crossing midlines as you go)
“Snow pants: left leg, right leg
Boots: left leg, right leg
Coat: left arm, right arm
Gloves: left hand, right hand
And a hat!
Then they hurried outside.”

Midline: Snowstorms (Grade One, pg 96)
“The boys knew right then what they wanted to do! They grabbed their sleds and went running to the big hill.”

Vestibular: Winter Secrets (Grade One, pg 68) (Hold scooter boards over heads during verse, moving down hall to kids' room -- one verse per repetition of following sequence, leaving boards at bedroom door for rest of sequence.)

“The boys climbed the big hill”

Motor Planning/Core Strength: **(climb into loft)

“took a big jump”

Proprioceptive: **(jump/crash into bed below)

“climbed onto their sleds (belly down on scooter boards)

“and down, down, down the hill they went!”

Midlines/Core Strength: **(pull themselves down hallway with arms, belly down on scooter boards)**

“Then they did it again!” (repeat)

“And again!” (repeat)

“Until they were so tired, they needed to rest.”

(Flop down on backs, panting)

“They laid down in the snow, exhausted, and watched the snowflakes falling to the earth.”

Vestibular/Proprioceptive: Winter (K pg. 131)

“There were some other kids sledding, and the boys heard them talking about a sleigh ride this afternoon at the horse farm. That sounded like fun! But to get to the horse farm, they had to cross the river, and the bridge was closed because of the snowstorm. One of the boys knew where they could cross the river by jumping from rock to rock.”

Motor planning/proprioceptive/balance: **hop from pillow to pillow**
“They were almost to the other side, just one more BIG jump to make”

Motor planning/vestibular: Jump Rope Game (recite verse while jumping across swinging rope)

“Whirling winds around me fly,
How will I get to the other side?
Over the bridge in one big stride,
Safely across before I ride.”

“Once on the other side, the boys could see the farmer hitching up his team to the sleigh. They knew they had a few minutes before the horses would be ready to go, so they joined in with some other children to build a giant snowman.”

Fingerplay: Snowman (K, pg 173)
“The farmer called the kids over -- it was time for the sleigh ride to start! The boys hurried to take their places in the sleigh next to the other children. When everyone was snuggled comfortably under the thick woolen blanket, the farmed called to the team to “g’yup”. The horses started out slowly, picking up speed as their hooves got used to moving through the fluffy white snow.”

Midline: Horses (K, pg 76)

“The faster the horses moved, the louder the bells on their harnesses jingled.”

Vestibular/proprioceptive: **bounce up and down hall on moon bounces, singing Jingle Bells**

“The farmer dropped the boys off back at their house. The snow was falling again, and tomorrow promised to be another day filled with snowy adventures.”

Proprioceptive: Winter White (K, pg 130)

Closing: Sun is Rising

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

digit magic

Even though the digits are only zero to nine,
They make up every number, each and every time.

-from "Digit Magic", Enki Education Grade 1 Movement Activity

Getting back into the swing of our curriculum, we started our our new math block with a review of the digits, via reading "The Story of the Sun Dance", a legend from the Blackfeet tribe. Here, in J's story drawing, he shows the hero of the tale, Scarface, along with one of the four sweat lodges (with 2 colors) that he built, and his 3 healers (the Sun, the Moon Woman, and Morning Star, who, by the way, has 5 points).

Zoo Boy's story drawing. (He says that Scarface is INSIDE the sweat lodge in this drawing. Makes sense to me. But he did add an earthworm -- that squiggle towards the bottom of the page -- to represent the "1".) He asked me to write his title for him, but showed me where he wanted it to go.

Today we wrote out a chart with the 10 digits -- there was a space for each numeral from 1 to 9, and I let them draw the "0" wherever they wanted it -- J's is obvious (his is the bottom sheet), Zoo Boy's is harder to see, it's in the margin above the 2. We then discussed the fact that these digits are the only digits there are, and that every number in the world is made up of these 10 digits. We did a few of the rhymes and movement activities from our first Math Block as well, as a review and to help "reawaken" the material.

Then we moved to the floor with two sets of digit cards, and the kids played around with combining the digits to make numbers. They were extremely enthusiastic about it, and spent half an hour coming up with two, three, and four digit numbers, finally pulling out an encyclopedia and recreating dates from history.

My version of the Sun Dance drawing, for those of you who enjoy that sort of thing. I included the 4 animal helpers and the 7 wolves that make up the Big Dipper as well.

It feels GREAT to be back to our regular rhythms again. I've finally broken out of my January Inertia (only because the kids insisted -- I would have been perfectly happy wallowing for another couple of weeks) and feel like a normal human being again. What IS it about January?!?!

Oh, and as a quick addendum to yesterday's post about my kids' inaugural experience, the boys were both thrilled to recognize the melody of the Air/Simple Gifts rendition performed by the quartet before the Oath of Office was administered -- we used "Simple Gifts" in our last adventure circle! Zoo Boy planted himself directly in front of the TV for the actual swearing in, then when it was over, came to snuggle in next to me, saying "This is NICE!" Both boys listened very attentively to President Obama's speech, and when it was over, J said "Malia and Sasha must be so proud of their Dad!" It was a wonderful experience to share with the boys, I feel so fortunate to have them at home with me so that we can celebrate our living history together.

Monday, January 19, 2009

history in the past and in the making

I toted my camera along with me today, snapping photos of our new 10 inches of snow, the boys studying geography under the covers while I was out doing chores this morning, cavorting down the hall during our new adventure circle, and baking bread this afternoon, fully intending on documenting and posting about our triumphant return to schoolwork today. Then I sat down this evening to discover that I didn't have my memory card in the camera. Danged camera, you'd think it would be smart enough to let me know that all those great pictures I was taking were going nowhere!

But anyway.

This morning Zoo Boy woke up to a cleverly folded little stand-up paper sign created by J, which said "Good Morning and Happy M.L.K. Jr Day". Zoo Boy read it, and immediately asked "What do we do on Martin Luther King Jr day"? Both boys turned their attention on me. Tempted to provide them with more information than they are developmentally prepared to handle, I reined myself in and answered simply, "We remember an important man who had a wonderful dream." "Martin Luther King, Jr?" J asked. I nodded. It was all they needed -- all they could understand right now. In years to come, we will study the man and his life and times, and read his inspiring words. Plenty of time for that.

But what about history in the making? The history of OUR times?

It's tempting to provide more information than the kids are ready to process. Understanding WHY this is such a big deal in the history of our country depends a great deal on understanding where it is that we came from. And I just don't think it's in my young children's best interest to know the darker parts of our history just yet. So while I have a burning desire for my boys to be a part of this, to have that understanding, it's just not the right time for them to be made THAT socially aware.

So we'll have the TV on mid-day tomorrow, a great rarity in this house. And I will allow my kids to experience this bit of history on whatever level they are able to. I will save the analyzing, the details, for future study, when they are old enough to truly understand the history of our country and all the twists and turns in the road to get here, to this place. They've already picked up from the climate around this house that this is an important event, something that their parents are thrilled about, and they are every bit as excited to watch our new President sworn into office as we are. For now, it is enough.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

easing back in

The north wind doth blow, and there shall be snow....

And what will my family do then?

They'll snuggle in tight

And sleep through the night

And dream of an early spring.

Ok, so I couldn't resist sharing this photo (and being a little silly with the rhyme from one of my kids' new favorite seasonal poems/songs).

It's true, it's hard to deal with all this cold and ice and snow. But we can't help but smile a little at this VERY typical winter. The past several years (or longer!), it's been abnormally mild in January. It's much easier to plan snowy themes around January the way it's SUPPOSED to be -- cold, white, and semi-miserable. It's just not January without a touch of frostbite....

Seriously, though, I've been spending the week planning out our next couple of blocks. We'll be starting our 2nd Math Block of the year on Monday. During this block we'll be introducing the concepts of greater than and less than, and odd and even, amongst other things. These topics are typically covered during the same block at the numerals, but I decided to split up the material into two blocks. For my kids, I felt that the extra attention on comprehension and moving at a slower pace is a good choice. Add to the fact that Zoo Boy really isn't old enough for first grade yet, I thought the way the curriculum was written moved a bit fast for him. I'm in no hurry to get through the materials, and taking care to establish a deep understanding of the concepts is very important to me. No need to rush things!

Today I put the finishing touches on our new Adventure Circle (with a Snowy theme, of course!), which I'll share once we actually start using it and I can get some pertinent photos to go with it. I still have a couple of manipulatives to make and activities to plan out for the math stuff, but I will feel ready by Monday. Unlike this PAST Monday, when my kids were clearly ready to get started again, but I was not. Instead, I ramped up our daily rhythms a bit in preparation for next week.

So this week we're getting up at our "normal" time (rather than whenever we felt like rolling out of bed, like the past couple of weeks), which means that I've got breakfast on the table right at 8:00. We're doing some sensory-rich relay races instead of circle at it's assigned spot in our rhythms, and playing board or card games in place of story work, but it's giving our mornings a more structured feel. We're still having the longer rest (2+ hours) during the afternoon (which I honestly wouldn't mind keeping as a permanent part of our rhythms), but we've added Reading Practice time back into our afternoons again. (The kids wouldn't allow me to put that off any longer -- they insisted on starting with that again by the end of last week.)

So we're getting ready. Which means I'll soon have a reason to update the blog more regularly. Thanks for your patience in the meantime! I've needed the break, and have been quite enjoying being away from the computer a bit more than usual.

Monday, January 12, 2009

ice and cold

We're struggling to drift ourselves back towards a more stable daily rhythm, while buried beneath a heavy blanket of ice and snow. (Gotta love January -- um, not.) I'm also gearing myself up to start blogging a bit more regularly again. But in the meantime, enjoy some photos I snapped while out doing chores the other morning, before our most recent snow storm:

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

five goals for 2009

Ok, Blogger fixed their photo upload problems, so I figured I'd celebrate by sharing the pics I was going to in my last post, while, keeping with my tradition the past several years, I list (and explain) my top five goals for 2009, a few days later than I traditionally would have posted them. (I've been distracted.) These goals are in no particular order. (But this particular kid-on-a-sled is J.)

Goal #1: Get Healthy. (No gagging on the stereotypical resolution allowed!!) Oh yeah, I know, we all SAY we'd like to eat healthier, exercise more, lose weight, yadda yadda yadda. I was no different, I said that every year too. But now that I no longer HAVE health, I really NEED to do something about it, rather than claim to want to do something about it. Psoriasis, body cramps, joint problems (nothing new there really, but still), and a return of migraines (oh joy) spattered across this past year, and it's time to DO something to stop the madness. It's time to get my body back on the health bandwagon -- lose some weight, see a Homeopath for some constitutional help, and get my diet back on something resembling made-for-human-consumption.

(Zoo Boy, trying to stay warm in the woods. Hey, it was at least 18 degrees F this day, which felt balmy compared to the previous several days....)

Goal #2: Set my priorities. I started to word this "simplify", but after having used that particular term for several other years, and feeling fairly unaccomplished at it, I thought I should step back a bit further and just figure out what it is that actually WANT out of life. For me personally, for the kids educationally/developmentally, for our family as as a whole. Should we make more of an effort to grow more of our own food? Go on a real family vacation? Which museums/organizations do we really want/need to be members of? How many classes is too many for the kids? I'm trying to strike a balance between taking life slow enough to deeply appreciate and enjoy it, and running around making sure that we're not missing out on every experience this amazing life has to offer. The vast array of what's available to do is enough to drive a homeschooling mom insane! Especially a homeschooling mom who, somewhere in her depths, truly believes that less is more, even though she seems to have a lot of trouble actually living that reality. I figure setting my priorities is a pretty good step in the right directions of sticking to those things that lead towards accomplishing our individual and family goals, and weeding out those things that detract from that.

(Today's ice storm -- nice, huh? Answer: NOT)

Goal #3: Climb out of our financial abyss. Five years of Autism Remediation and related therapies, almost entirely paid for out-of-pocket, has wreaked understandable havoc on our financial plans and future. We're already taking steps to remedy that, and I feel fairly confident that we'll be able to put a nice fat check-mark in front of this goal when I look back on this year in December.

(The kids play a game of "Zooreka".)

Goal #4: Add foreign language to our homeschool program. I'm going to begin including Spanish in our curriculum this year. I'm not 100% sure exactly HOW I'm going to do that. I DO know how I DON'T want to do it. So that's a start. I DO know that I'm going to start by incorporating some Spanish songs and games into our circle. Er, um, strike that. I'm going to start by LEARNING a few Spanish songs and games myself. Er, um, strike that too. I'm going to start by actually buying a CD of Spanish songs -- something that comes with a songbook so that I have half a shot at learning the words with something close to proper pronunciation. From there, who knows. Learning Spanish myself would almost certainly be a step in the right direction....

(I told you it looked like a major toy chain got sick in here....)

Goal #5: Learn more about Adult ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). Because, as some of you may have already figured out (since most of my friends and family did long before I ever considered the possibility myself), I have recently come to realize that I, in all likelihood, have ADD. In fact, I seem to pretty much be the poster child for Adult ADD. Easily (ha!) distracted? Check! Extremely disorganized? Check! Problems prioritizing? Check! Intense focus on areas of interest? Check! Inability to complete menial or uninteresting tasks? Check! Like many of my big epiphanies over the past few years since turning the liberating age of 40, this realization has had a certain freeing effect. As in, oh, so you mean my brain is wired differently than other folks? What a relief! I thought I was just certifiably nuts. And now that I know that I'm not going to suddenly, magically be able to organize my life and household, I can commence with reading up on coping strategies for Adults with ADD. I'm actually pretty stoked at the possibilities!

So, there it is. Tune in about 12 months from now to find out how it all went....

vacation and vampires

Yes, yes, I hear the complaints loud and clear -- why has a week gone by without a post!

Well, you're not bound to like this much better -- for some reason I'm unable to upload photos today due to an "internal error". Whether it's my computer's internal error or Blogger's, I'm unsure (nor do I know how to figure that out!), but I'm going to hold to the faith that by the time I actually have photos worthy of posting, it'll be all straightened out. For now, all you're missing is my kids sledding, playing in the snow, playing games in the house, our current ice storm, and my living room looking like a Toys-R-Us store threw up on it.

However, that is not my excuse for not posting.

My reasons are two-fold:

First, we're still on our winter break. Not that that stopped me from posting up until this point, but truly, there's not much to report. My kids have been busy redecorating the living room to look like it does in it's present condition (something I really need to take some time to remedy one of these days), which, while amusing to them, isn't really something worthy of documenting.

And second, and the real reason for the absence of posts, has been my absorption (obsession?) with Stephanie Meyer's Twilight Saga. You know, the teen vampire books that have been all the rage -- Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn.

One of the kids got me the first book for Christmas. I made the mistake of picking it up on Friday morning. I finished it around midnight, with not much of anything getting done around here between those two points in time. The dastardly publishers had printed the first chapter from the next book at the end. I resisted reading it. Until morning.

So then I had to run out to the bookstore to buy the 2nd book, using a grocery shopping trip as an excuse as to why I was going to be out ANYWAY. I started the 2nd book at about 4pm on Saturday. And finished it about 4am. Which would have been OK if I hadn't had to work on Sunday. And if they hadn't, yet again, included the first chapter of the next book.

As luck would have it, I had 2 hours to kill between students on Sunday. I discovered I forgot a few items in the previous day's shopping trip and ran out to pick those, and the last 2 books in the series (I wasn't naive enough to think I wouldn't just run out for the 4th after finishing the 3rd, so figured I'd save myself another trip out).

I started the 3rd book on Sunday evening, but was dozing off about mid-way through it around midnight, so forced myself to put it to one side, where it sang out lovingly to me all Monday morning while I actually caught up on laundry and animal chores. By the time I got the kids fed with an early lunch, I'd run out of excuses to avoid it, and jumped back in. I finished up about 4:30 in the afternoon.

I showered.

I started into the 4th book about 10 minutes later.

Fortunately, there was just NO conceivable way of reading the last book all at once -- it's over 700 pages, for goodness sake. So I had less trouble putting it down at my self-imposed deadline of midnight and getting a semi-reasonable amount of sleep. I allowed myself a few hours of reading time Tuesday morning, but needed to take the kids to therapy on Tuesday afternoon and forced myself to leave the book at home -- I remembered what a mush my mind was at the grocery store on Sunday, entirely consumed with the characters and story line, and decided that a little coherence would be good for dealing with therapy homework instructions, as well as making the long drive to and from the office. And I resisted even looking at the cover when I got home, as I gathered dogs and trotted off to classes with them, getting home too late to consider picking it up again.

So it was with a sigh of relief that I picked the book up again this morning. And with even more profound pleasure that I thumped the cover closed at about 3:30 this afternoon, sighing the deep sigh of satisfaction that only comes from a story well told from first page to last.

Do you like vampire stories? How about stories of forbidden love? Or just romance in general? How about anything written by an author who really knows how to develop characters that you care intensely about, and how to weave them around a mysterious and intriguing story line?

Yes? You'll love it.

But make sure you can afford to take a week out of your life before you read the first paragraph....

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

In contemplating this new year, this 2009, on what I feel is sure to be the cusp of changes for our country, our world, my attention is drawn to a song (from 1992) that embodies all that I hold in my heart and hope for in the coming year, that we can finally get on the path to making this dream a reality where we all can truly be free. Quoted from the lyrics of "We Shall Be Free" by Garth Brooks:

When the last child cries for a crust of bread
When the last man dies for just words that he said
When there's shelter over the poorest head
We shall be free

When the last thing we notice is the color of skin
And the first thing we look for is the beauty within
When the skies and the oceans are clean again
Then we shall be free

When we're free to love anyone we choose
When this world's big enough for all different views
When we all can worship from our own kind of pew
Then we shall be free

And when money talks for the very last time
And nobody walks a step behind
When there's only one race and that's mankind
Then we shall be free

Stand straight, walk proud, have a little faith, hold out
We shall be free