Thursday, August 07, 2008

A Day in the Life

I read Schuyler's day on her blog this week and was inspired to write one here. I envy her the biking and sweater weather right now. She is in England.

We got up early, as usual. For the past several months, no matter how late we go to bed, the kids have been waking up between seven and eight. That is a.m.! So my body is conditioned to wake up early as well. This has always been Nicolas and Gillen's natural rhythm (born farmers) and they have taken Jesse and I along for the early morning ride. I'm hoping it's a summer thing and that autumn will bring morning sleep.

The day:

I read emails until the kids woke up. I got time to cuddle with each one alone as they woke up before they revisited their favorite place lately - Runescape. They sat next to one another, playing this on the two computers for an hour. Jesse got frustrated about a quest to herd four sheep (that could be infected with a contagious disease) into a cage in order to kill them. He decided he does not like this particular quest. One of the sheep, apparently, in really hard to herd. This is the first quest that I've heard about that sounds kind of creepy - herding diseased sheep into a slaughter house? I guess it is easier to introduce the idea of an animal plague than that of the Black Death (this game is set somewhat in medieval times). I started to tell them about this and the conversation was preempted by a need for breakfast. We'll save it for another time.

Jesse decided to do a puzzle (we just set up a new jigsaw puzzle area in the living room so that we stop walking over them and ruining them), and re-watch "So You Think You Can Dance" (the show we all watch together and are so digging), and eat breakfast - all at once. He announced that he likes to do many things at once. Gillen continued making hemp bracelets (he got out the hemp cord for the first time in over a year, last night) while we watched the dancing.We talked about why we like certain dancers and dances and about why Jesse has decided that he no longer wants to take hip-hop but wants to take a jazz/tap dance class. He starts class next Tues. Gillen has decided to sign up for gymnastics.

Jesse decided to put the song used in his favorite dance on his blog. He hasn't blogged in a long time but that song may have re-inspired him to revisit the blog world. We were unable to find the song - "Hallelujah" by Vitamin String Quartet - on Project Playlist, but we did find other cool music that included string instruments, and found other versions of Hallelujah - one of which he put on his blog.

I made some apples and cheese for all of us and we got dressed so that we could return our library books and do some fun errands.

We bumped into friends at the library and the kids played Oregon Trail on the computer there. We picked out movies and an audio book for a long drive we'll be taking this weekend. They didn't have the audio Series of Unfortunate Events #11 that we've been waiting for so we got Caddie Woodlawn, a book I loved as a kid. We listened to it while driving to Michael's and Gillen loved it - anything about life on the frontier.

We went to Michael's in order to get more hemp and beads for Gillen to make bracelets. He decided while we were there that he wants to try to lead a funshop at the Live and Learn conference in Sept. that introduces hemp jewelry. So we bought several beads (and will be buying more as coupons appear). Gillen made a beautiful bracelet while we were driving. Our third stop was Game Stop so that Jesse could use the rest of his birthday money - lots of friends and family had given him money. He had taken weeks to deliberate about what he might buy and had decided upon a playmobil zoo (which he already bought) and a wii game. He also contributed today (he insisted) to a wii game for Gillen's birthday - Buck hunting. Gillen was ecstatic. When he is twelve he can take the gun safety class at our local nature center but until then he has wii hunting games to keep him happy (as well as occasional hunting trips with friends' fathers).

On the way home, Jesse put down the book he'd been reading, Warriors, to read about his new game. Gillen and I listened to more of Carrie Woodlawn and talked about how close in time it was to the Little House series.

They came up with a plan, peacefully I am happy to add (not always the case), about who would play their new game first and for how long. Jesse played and Gillen watched him. At some point, Jesse drifted back to Runescape when he found out that another friend of his also plays and could be online.

Nicolas made it home earlier than usual. I walked Tuki. While I made dinner, Nicolas and Jesse played a few games of chess. Jesse won, both games. Nicolas was not as thrilled for him the second game as he had been the first time. ; )After dinner, I took the Egyptian Tree Onions that we had received (from generous Sandra in New Mexico) out of the fridge in order to plant them in the kids' backyard farm. Gillen volunteered to help. He got the shovel and picked the spot, pulling up dead squash vines in order to make a clean row. I was glad that he has planted onions at the farm as I didn't remember how. While we were out there, his neighborhood friend Aaron showed up and helped. They discovered that Gillen's biggest watermelon was ripe and Gillen hauled it inside to cut in half and share with Aaron.When they came back they showed me the June bugs that are congregating on our fig tree. They had a great story about a time when Gillen stayed at Aaron's house and they tied a piece of string to a June Bug's leg and then flied it like a kite. I wish I had a good picture of a June bug from our yard but it was just too dark. Here is a link to a story about the medicinal use of June bugs in a story that includes a dangerous spreadable disease (this time it is humans at risk, rather than sheep :) and it has a drawing of the bug towards the bottom. It looks like a Japanese Beetle.

We talked about the tree onions while Gillen planted them and he and Aaron were intrigued. Tomorrow, I'll show them a picture of what they may end up looking like when they have grown. Above is Gillen's popcorn. He thinks that he didn't water it enough in the beginning of the season. He is saving the few ears that made it to reseed it next year, though he may still decide to throw the kernels into our cast iron wok and see how it tastes as popcorn!

Gillen and Aaron helped me to save a frog from our stalking cat, and then they decided to swim. I went inside to watch the finale of "So You Think You Can Dance." We ended up all watching it together and everyone but Jesse was very excited about the results. The best part was watching all of the judges' favorite dances of the season. Jesse got to see tap dancing, which was cool. He will be doing tap in the dance class he decided to take.

Once the show ended, Jesse had a melt down about Twitch not winning. He thinks that Twitch needs the money more than Joshua. This young boy, who had just removed many seed ticks from difficult parts of his body, on his own, successfully, without even a groan, melted down completely over Twitch's loss. He says he wants to be on the show one day. What a great dream.

I want to take a hip hop class! Or, more realistically, at least save up money for a wii dance game.

It was a nice day.


GBK Gwyneth said...

Wow! I'm tired reading your post -- well okay, it is past my bedtime, but... it sounds like an amazing day!

Danielle said...

Beauteous watermelon!

We call them Egyptian walking onions because the head gets weighted down by the bulbs and roots, making the onions appear to be walking through the garden.

helenw said...

Psst - hemp jewelery supplies in the frontier catalog!

Madeline said...

Gwyneth, I was tired writing it. I was thinking that I had picked a day with very little activity in it but when you write down most days, they are filled.

Danielle, that is so cool about the onions.

Helen! I immediately went and ordered hemp. What a great deal! Maybe he can start with our group here.

Danielle said...

Yeah, they're really fun, not to mention an heirloom to boot!

Oooh, and I meant to ask what variety of popcorn Gillen planted. We planted "tom thumb" a couple years ago, and that's about what it looked like because it's a dwarf variety. Ours were a little bigger, but not too much. I think I have a photo of them on my blog back in the first year somewhere that I could dig out if he wanted to see it.

Love reading about your days. Your boys are so amazingly well-rounded. I love that about them.

Madeline said...

Danielle, my boys love you too. : )

The popcorn is indeed tom thumb. That is good to know that it is supposed to be small. We both forgot that it was a dwarf variety. His also has mildew though, probably from not picking it on time and waiting for it to grow bigger.

Dawn said...

Ahh, that does sound like a nice day...

It was touching to hear how Jesse cared so much for the contestant and why.

When I was a kid we used to set up a table when we went to G and G's house or on a vacation and instead of TV we would sit for hours trying to put the puzzle together....good times~

Angie said...

I love your posts. These days always remind me of what unschooling is all about and how our kids (and us) are always learning - almost in spite of ourselves!

BTW - you've won an award! Check it out at my blog, if you haven't already.

Thanks for the great post.