First, the weather has been a lot like this first photo. It hasn't snowed every day. But the cold....oh, the cold!!! Needless to day, our activities have taken a major turn to favoring indoor events lately.
The kids have participated in lots and lots of classes. I've not been good about taking pictures at classes these days. Sometimes it's because I forgot my camera, but mostly I'm just too busy myself while they are going on. I lead several craft workshops on Mondays for our homeschool group, since our classes have ended for the semester. So we've been braiding rugs and felting soaps and dipping candles. The kids have had art classes and nature classes, and J's geology class wraps up today. They've been to museum programs and we've gotten together with friends to play or just hang out. In other words, our busy fall has continued right into the start of winter!
At home on their own time, the boys have been playing with our word-family town board (as featured in posts over the past month). I found this on the table one day, Zoo Boy experimenting with building words using the same consonant but different word-family endings. He's also creating stories (all verbal) using the words he makes. In fact, my day has been just FULL of Zoo Boy's stories recently. He comes up with them far faster than I can write them down, which is a shame because the boy has a pretty creative and entertaining mind.
We've been visiting the Norad Santa Tracking site each day, where they are posting a new game every day for the kids to play. Some are print-outs, like this word scramble. (They've also done a crossword puzzle and a word search.) Some are on-line puzzles. Some are simple on-line video games (very, very simple, the sort that don't even bother me). And some are just nice (like Christmas music to listen to). We spend a few minutes every morning on the site to get a bit of a holiday fix before moving on with our day.
J's getting near the end of his origami page-a-day calendar and is nervous that we haven't ordered a new one. I actually had a heck of a time coming up with one, but there WILL be one for him under the tree. The designs in the 2010 calendar seem to be much simpler than in the 2009, so I hope he's not disappointed. I also ordered a joke-a-day sort of calendar for Zoo Boy. The jokes seem pretty harmless and stupid, so right up his ally.
J's also been doing a lot of story retelling, drawing illustrations on his magnadoodle. Here's an example of mirror handwriting. Apparently Leonardo Da Vinci wrote his journals in mirror handwriting, because he was left-handed and it was just easier to write backwards? (That's what J says anyway, obviously he's been reading about Da Vinci lately....in fact, I had to ask him how to spell Da Vinci....)
All of us have been absolutely mesmerized by the dance competition show "So You Think You Can Dance", which we started watching as a family a couple months ago. The kids spend a good part of their day imitating the dance moves they've seen on the show (here's Zoo Boy doing his best B-Boy impersonation), and J is absolutely begging me for dance lessons. (He says he plans on registering for So You Think You Can Dance when he's 24, as that should give him plenty of time to learn everything about dancing.) The local children's museum is having a "try it" dance class put on by a local dance troupe, so I've got him signed up for that, then we can look into lessons from there once he decides what style he'd like to pursue. We're taking them to see a performance of The Nutcracker this weekend, that should only add fuel to the dance fire around here.
As for me, here's a peek at what's been keeping me away from the computer. This is only the small "pre-holiday distribution" pile, there's a much larger unwrapped (and in some cases unfinished) pile for the actual holidays. I'm not letting you see what's inside the wrapping, as maybe there's one headed your way and I'd hate to ruin the surprise! But I'll give you a hint: it involves yarn and a crochet hook....
Look for more posts later today, I'm by no means done with my catching up!