Saturday, January 22, 2011

Reading Post #2

Santa brought a cool present this year: a Kindle ebook.

I read a lot and participate in a book club --- which is more like a movable book library and coffee club -- and books are traded between friends freely.  There are a few book groups that are very serious and you have assigned reading each month and formal discussions -- not for me.  Our group is very informal; a bunch of us sit around & eat snacks and drink coffee for two hours while we decide what of the four giant bins of books is worth reading next.  The snacks are always amazing and the company and support of this group of women has been fantastic.  The book collection is getting a bit stale, however.  And the best books I have I pass on to friends while the fluffy ones I bring for the bins.  (I'll admit to being part of the problem with the stale books.)

The Kindle experience has been interesting.  I got some great books downloaded as presents and new books are a single click away.  With a decent WIFI signal I can search the Kindle shop and download a book in a minute or two straight to the ebook (and the money straight from our bank account - gulp, it's frighteningly easy and high up there with the instant gratification factor.)   There are a whole bunch of classics for free.  I can get audio files as well but I have not tried that yet.  I imagine that TJ would like to experiment with that feature -- download historical speeches or NPR?  I'm really not sure what's possible but would like to get him on board.  He's not convinced and is as I speak probably ordering a book he wants ("Africa"  a very unappealing title for a book that looks/sounds fantastic) and having it hand carried in someone's luggage when I can order the exact same book for a lower price and have start to read it in 60 seconds.

While waiting at the dentist office the other day we downloaded a Curious George book.  Just because we could.  The main problem I see with this new toy is that I can't easily share.

Reading Post #1


So the little one is now reading and part of his program at school is working with a series of word lists which consists of 'high frequency words.'  I will brag that he's the only one in reception to have already mastered the word lists (for the year) and is flying through the book list at lightening speed.

To support the school program we have home flash cards with phonic letters and letter groups and now...word cards.  I printed up cards with the word lists and added a few to make sentence building more interesting i.e. his friends' names, common nouns (tree, sky, house, etc).  I also added the words HEAD and BOTTOM.  I did it on purpose knowing that the kids would use them as potty words and of course they have.  So, is it enough that they are reading and playing with the word lists?  Did I lower the quality of their learning AND manipulate them into actually using these little word cards?

We're also reading the Emily Post kids' manners book for bedtime reading if that redeems our parenting decisions in any way

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Best of

I love a good top 10 list as much as the next person but as I tried too hard to come up with a good end-of-year post (which I missed) and then instead a worthy 'beginning of year' post, I drew a total blank.  And then my favorite husband, the baker, emerged from the kitchen with this warm macadamia nutty chocolately carmelized salted morsel:

No "top ten" necessary.  This was the best cookies ever.  Not the recipe, not the batch, THIS cookie.

When will they come out with scratch and sniff techonology for macbooks?  lickable PC screens?
Somebody, get workin' on it!  QUICK!

Monday, January 17, 2011

You Lookin' at ME?

do not under any circumstance tolerate anyone telling you that you have 'ostrich toes' 

or ostrich wings for that matter:  this 'lady' was cooling off and had her wings unfolded.  really not charming.

You really couldn't blame her.  It was HOT.  This warthog had the right idea:

Below, one of 7 lions at the park.  we had a lengthy discussion on why the guy was going INTO the lion enclosure and leaving the gate wide open.  

Mom 1: He's able to go in b/c the lions are not in the enclosure.  (looking to Mom2, who has intimate knowledge of the strange innerworkings/nonworkings of the park)

Esssssssscuse me?  (say the moms to themselves in the park where the cheetah was killed by a wandering snake, where anthrax took the lives of some visiting pachaderms, where there are as many tortoises INSIDE the tortoise enclosure as out,  where we get ant attacks on 9/10 visits and cornered by angry peacocks (why are they always so angry?)  - Where, pray/prey tell ARE the lions).

Finn:  If they are not IN then they are OUT?  
Moms:  No, the guy is doing some work and then he's going to let them OUT.
Finn: He is going to let them out of the enclosure?
Mom1: Yes.  
Mom2: No.
Finn, who is visibly agitated, tho still upside down on the upside down bench (below) tries to decide if he believes either one of us:  Is is feeding time?

How ELSE to you sit on such a bench? and with an audience?