Friday, October 24, 2008

More Artwork

We finished our spider webs today! The glue dried over the last few days, then we colored it all over with various colors of chalk. When we rubbed it all over with our fingers, the chalk on the glue rubbed off and the background colors blurred together. The spider web stood right out from the chalk. Pretty fun!

This is Amirah's web - lots of fun colors

This is Eli's web. He was very excited that he made all the glue lines by himself.

As we were working on our webs we were reminiscing about last fall when we had quite a spider drama playing daily outside our sliding glass door. Mrs. Spider had made her web right in the door where we could observe her incredibly closely if we stood on a chair. We saw her spin, wrap and eat bugs, and even do a mating dance with Mr. Spider who maintained a web at our other kitchen window. We got to know four of our spiders by name! Mrs. Spider was really big, and didn't disappear until mid-November. This year, we got to see her egg sac hatch and hundreds of spiderlings crawl along the deck railing. But none of them stayed. We felt a lot like Wilbur at the end of Charlotte's Web when all the spiderlings are ballooning away. The only difference was that none of ours stuck around. We were very sad not to see anyone setting up housekeeping this year.

When we finished our webs, Amirah and I did some drawing. We finished reading On the Banks of Plum Creek and By the Shores of Silver Lake last week. We are now reading Farmer Boy. At the end of Silver Lake, Laura glimpses her future husband, so I thought it would be a good time to go back and read the book about his childhood on a farm in New York. They are quite a bit better off than Laura's family - many successful crops and many herds of animals. Amirah decided to draw a picture of what she thought their house would look like. Here it is!

Since we spent today waiting... and waiting... and waiting for the roof workers to arrive (cleaning and minor repairing), we didn't get out like we hoped. But we did get some math, reading, writing, and art done. I got the Singapore Kindergarten math books, levels A & B. Level B was just the right place for Amirah, and Eli begged to have the other book. So away he's going into it. I don't know if we'll get to a point where it becomes too hard too quickly (he's 3-1/2, and the book is really for age 5), but he very enthusiastically did the first ten pages or so. He loved having math time just like Amirah. He's begging for reading lessons too, so we'll have to start that soon! He already does Hebrew with us (oral).

Rosetta Stone has been great. It includes a reading unit in the lessons which is really perfect for us right now. She's also becoming more confident in initiating Hebrew orally (rather than just being receptive). Amirah and I happily did 30 minutes in it last night and tonight. I'll just follow her lead on this.

Our roof is clean and fixed. Tomorrow the exterminator comes to look at our terrible mouse problem. Next week, one of the trees in front will be removed, and a dead branch that has been hanging from one of the gigantic fir trees in front will come down too. The tree being removed has gotten way too big for its space and prior to us moving in, it had not been pruned correctly so it is growing at all kinds of strange angles. If we can get the stump out of there we're hoping to plant a nice lilac there instead. It will make our neighbors very happy, since the messy, messy tree extends across more than half her front yard!

And this shabbat we read the very beginning of the torah! It really feels to me like THIS is the beginning of the school year and from now on I might even run our year like that—go on vacation at Rosh Hashanah, and stay on vacation through all the holidays. Then it's pretty clear sailing until pesach (passover), when we'll likely take two weeks vacation. The next holiday is Channukah, which is sweet and easy. Stories, candles, fried food, dancing. Very fun holiday, and very low-key.

Better get back to the kitchen... shabbat cooking calls... so does jam and juice. We finally broke down and bought our own juicer. We have so many grapes to juice and we'll use it for years to come. Great for making jellies too. Makes a nice clear juice.

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