Friday, November 13, 2009

[day 319... nov 15]

Haircuts for the three boys today, at our trusty local Great Clips. Julie trimmed Niall and Cory's hair, as usual, and Tynor's was taken care of by the gentleman in the far background of the photo. Julie is so good with the kids, though her haircuts are not "fabulous" - they work out ok and the kids don't get upset or (heaven forbid, but it HAS happened!) injured.

Tynor seems to have survived having the brisk guy cut his hair. I don't let that stylist near the little ones anymore. He jerks their heads around while he zips through the haircut. thank you!

[day 318... nov 14]

Hen House Take 3! I tell you, these hens are an "evolving" project. Decided the blue tarp walls weren't really going to keep them snug when the temperatures drop and the snow comes, so Dad to the rescue: built them a nice, cozy hen house to add to the tractor.

It got a little complicated figuring out how to get the house *into* the tractor, and then get all the chicken wire, doors, etc. back in place. But it was successfully accomplished today by Grandpa and his trusty carpenter assistant Tynor.

Now I just have to convince the hens to go in there to roost! So far they seem inclined to roost in their nesting boxes. Not a good plan...

[day 317... nov 13]

This is Niall's "leaning tower of dominos" - captured before they had a chance to fall.

Of course, once we took the photo, they lasted for several more days. Pretty amazing, considering that he built them in the walkway to the family room. Lucky, for sure.

[day 316... nov 12]

I observed in Niall's class today. One of my favorite ways to spend a morning is to watch a fabulous Little School teacher like Alice practicing her craft. It just blows me away how warmly and skillfully someone like Alice can guide a squirrely, busy group of 8-10 year olds in working hard, engaging in meaningful discussions, and participate in developing and following through on a plan. I am just in awe. I could have stayed all day and just soaked it in.

And watching my boy - who has had some big ups and downs in a classroom environment - being so thoughtful and deeply engaged in classroom learning made me practically well up. He has come so far in his ability to be a constructive member of a group, and still kept and developed the very best he has to offer in his inquisitiveness and eagerness to learn and share. It's wonderful to have a teacher like Alice who truly enjoys him so much and can provide him with lots of meaty material and challenges to keep his busy brain clicking along.

Just a very good thing all around.

[day 315... nov 11]

Today is my dear dad's birthday! Happy birthday, Dad! (This photo is from our trip to Wyoming in the summer.)

[day 314... nov 10]

This pretty Japanese maple is just outside the old schoolhouse at Little School. So many scenic photo opportunities in the fall!

[day 313... nov 9]

These are a few of the posted "notices" in Niall's class at school. The top one lists the rules for playing hockey safely (clearly drawn up by one of the children after a group discussion and agreement), and the lower one is about making sure outdoor play is fun and safe for everyone.

I love how positive these and other signs around the classroom are. They're about how to be friendly and safe with your classmates so everyone can participate and have a good time. Good rules for life!

[day 312... nov 8]

Cory was pretty sick this past week (fever, cough, no energy) but is finally starting to feel better. Lots of time on the couch with crab and diaper, tucked in with a warm blanket, watching a whole lot of TV. Sigh. I'm hoping he can go back to school this week but we'll see how he's doing.

I took him the doctor on Friday after a very long Thursday night of awful coughing spells where he couldn't take a single breath without a coughing fit, even after having his inhaler. :-( The doctor said he'd probably had the flu and gave us oral steroids for the cough, which have helped but haven't knocked it down completely as they usually do. Sloooooow improvement.

[day 311... nov 7]

Love the low, slanting evening sun in autumn that filters through the mossy trees behind our house.