31 enero 2014

The ABCs

Task 1: Memorization.  Check!

Part 1:

Part 2:

Task 2:  We (Yes, WE!) need to learn what they all mean.  Give us a decade or so.  :)

Love is a verb

A great idea... (Just click on these words.)

Scenes from school and seascapes

Working the Number Board

Interestingly and unexpectedly, unlike BubU, Mita didn't need to have the rest of the numbers blocked out.

Birukti's activity of choice.  We have a Super-Reader-to-be on our hands!


First, G makes any number, 0-99, that he wants with the sandpaper letters.  He then counts it out on the abacus, first by tens and then adding the appropriate number of ones.  He loves this activity, for which I am so thankful!

The children made a boat this morning, which looks quite a bit like the tankwas of Lake Tana, in my opinion.  The boys decided to fish, casting wildly around, whilst Pobre Mita was given the job of scooch, scooch, scooching the boat across the floor... er, water.

Here, G is taking photos of the Orcas (a.k.a. Mita and Taye).  The other Orca was busy flipping, flopping, and slapping the water.

26 enero 2014


I want "all that blue to contemplate."

What I've been hearing

Mita:  "In fact, I was a baby."

G:  "The battery of the drizzle is dead."
MamA:  "Huh?"
G:  "The battery of the drizzle is dead."
PapA:  "Fo' shizzle."
(the drill, by the way)

G was singing a song about beautiful hair.
MamA:  "Cantas de Mita?"
He then told me that, actually, he didn't like Mita's new hair-do and that I should re-do it.  (Ha!)
MamA:  "Pues, de quiEn hablas?"
G:  "Elena.  Ella tiene el pelo super-bonito."

Ty:  "Quieres un cafecito, MamA?"  (as he handed me a block)

G:  "Mita and I are just having a blood test."  (Ugh.  I wish that they weren't so familiar with all of that business.)

G:  "How does the mamA get the babies in her belly?
MamA:  "God puts them there."

G:  "Why is your head so big?"
MamA:  "Because I'm an adult and that's how God made me."

(I am so glad that, when it comes down to it, God is always the answer!)

Random cuteness

I had on some cathedral music and Mita instantly put up her hands in a ballet pose, which she may or may not have learned from me dancing around the house occasionally.  Once I put the tutu on her, she danced for nearly an hour.  We definitely need to work on tucking her butt!  Ty, however, wasn't moved by the music to be more elegant.  He took it down, downtown, as usual.  My baby!

This squirrel was desperately trying to get to our bird feeder.  He put on quite the acrobatic show for Girumy and me.

"MamA!  A snowman!"  (This is what you get when MamA can't deal with the polar vortex.)


He is spelling like a champ these days!

Appropriately pointing while singing the ABCs.

I did it!

So tired!

Yes, she fell asleep sitting on the couch.  Mita needs her beauty sleep!

This one... this one does not need much sleep.  I will happily take even fake sleep from him!


my budding musicians

Are they hugging?  Or, fighting over that flashlight?

I don't know!

They are leOnes machos, not bAbushki.  Those are their manes.

I guess that Mita wants in on the lion action too... Rar!


We cwazy!

20 enero 2014

Lil' PapA

Inspired by Tëтя:
He fashioned that baby carrier himself!

Ice Cube

Tati, I have tried my best to coach Ice Cube Jr. into a serious face, but the child simply cannot do it.  This is as close as we have gotten:

I think that the brows speak for themselves, no?

Around here

So... it's Winter.  And I do not like it.  I've already used up my seed catalogues in an effort to ward off the inevitable seasonal depression and it's still a few weeks too early to start the onion seeds on the heating mat, so... I'm desperately looking for ways to see, watch, observe, measure, contemplate, log, etc. life.

I've mentioned the bird feeder.  Honestly it makes me nervous.  Putting up a bird feeder can so easily lead to a garden full of trinkets and I don't want to be the lady with an iridescent bowling ball in her front yard.  So, the bird feeder is just a temporary life-drawer-inner.  As soon as the ground is able to be worked, the bird feeder will go away until the next Winter. 
I've decided that the kids and I will each have a daily 15-20 minute silent bird-observation time.  We love it!  While Ty was watching yesterday, I heard (Silence is the goal, not the current reality.) the following:  "Fly away, Peter!  Fly away, Paul!  Come back, Peter!  Come back, Paul!"  "Lunchtime!  Lunchtime, birds!  It's lunchtime!"  "Tweet, tweet!  Eat, eat!" followed by a very excited, "MamA, hice una rima!"

We are also waiting for the amaryllis to begin growing so that G can measure the stem each day with his beloved pink ruler.
See that bit of green?
And, I've decided to begin sprouting seeds to eat.  My first batch was a success and the kids curiously gobbled them up.  

We have been diligent with doing school, because we should and because it helps distract me from the frozen tundra in which we live.
making math sentences

Ty, the puzzler, working on his skills in order to give la Chinita a run for her money!
Mita did very well making sequences out of drawings today; however, the photo won't flip and I don't want you all to have to look sideways, so...

That's about it, from around here.

18 enero 2014

Isn't that the truth?!

"I assured him, that this whole globe of earth must be at least three times gone round, before one of our... Yahoos could get her breakfast, or a cup to put it in."

Gulliver's Travels

17 enero 2014

As with Reb' Tevya... I hear that, Gulliver!

"But, happiest beyond all comparison are those excellent Struldbruggs, who being born exempt from that universal calamity of human nature, have their minds free and disengaged, without the weight and depression of spirits caused by the continual apprehension of death."

Gulliver's Travels

(Yes, I know that I am as deluded as old Gully...  at least on one take.)

16 enero 2014

Cousins: Ty and LauLau (pronounced LoLo)

Notice the TWO spotters: Protective Papa's hand on his baby and Rob at the ready on the other side.  Let's just say that Ty is... unpredictable.


We've moved school-time upstairs because I can't deal with the cold basement.  Ugh.  A haiku about cold cement floors is forming in my brain... but it's frozen there.  Sorry, maybe once I thaw in Spring I'll be able to share it. 

Anyways, the kids have been doing very well.  And seriously, I really am only going to have to teach G.  He'll take care of the twins.
G loves that pink ruler!  He has been carrying it around for days, "measuring" everything.  So, it was time for a lesson.  I gave him a number and he drew a line of that many centimeters.  (I am definitely teaching the metric system first!)

Yes, today, for the first time, G read a book, in its entirety, to Mita.  A match made in heaven!  Seriously.

And here is G, teaching the twins how to use the Hundred Board... which I've had to pare down to a Twenties Board, so as not to overwhelm my perfectionist, and therefore easily frustrated, son.  :)

So old!

He is getting so big! 

Doesn't he look like a teenager?  Yikes!  Let's hope that he will be as excited about washing potatoes when he is an actual teenager!

Self control... just a bit

Smelling, looking at, just being near... that chocolate cake!

02 enero 2014

A bit of our life

Lately, we've been...
...praising God, free-style, at home-church.

...having lots of snack times, a la Ethiopia.

...enjoying the fact that G and Mita can now play a game ON THEIR OWN!!!!!!

...finishing up workbooks.  G is a-maze-ing!

...preparing Winter Science observation opportunities with this birdfeeder.
Lately, I have been hearing...

"Apparently, she's not Sondra."  G said this about Mita the other day.  "Yeh, apparently not."
"Of course I'm speaking metaphorically."  G said this to no one in particular the other day, thanks to The Cosby Show.

And, you'll never guess who I saw!
Well, minus the upside-down swimming goggles...  It's my childhood love!  Ben Dahl!  The flannel, tucked in to jeans, made me think of him as soon as G came out wearing this.  Ah, sweet memories...