Monday, September 19, 2005

Toledo Zoo

We went to the Toledo Zoo this weekend with our friends, Paul, Dena, and Logan Stankiewicz. Here are some pictures (with some commentary, of course!).

Going into the zoo--kids riding in style!

Austin and Logan

"I think we need to go that way..."

The "underwater" portion of the polar bear exhibit.

Lindsey is growing fast, but still has a way to go...

Toledo Zoo II

I guess we can only post five pictures at a time, so these posts may show up out of order. Here are more pictures...

Austin and Logan running ahead...

Janet chasing after them.

"I'm not listening!"

All the kids. Reece hates posing.

This home schooling this is going a little too far.

Toledo Zoo III

Here are the last of the highlights...

Why do the kids always get to ride in the wagon?

Reecey looking in a mirror.

Lindsey looking at a swimming hippo. The hippo actually IS under water.

Baby Elephant Walk.

Reece recovering from the zoo with a little McDonald's on his face.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Future NFL fans

We didn't pose this or plan for this, but it was such a "Kodak moment" that I thought it would be fun to share. I'm much more of a baseball fan than a football fan. Still, it's fun to watch some football games, and since Sunday was the beginning of the season (at least in Cleveland), I turned on the TV and put the Browns on after church. The boys, fascinated, hopped into the recliner together and started watching the game. I asked Austin why he liked it and he said it was because he like to watch "the guys' moves."

Monday, September 12, 2005

Reece and Books

Reece, whose nick name has evolved from "Munchkin" to "Munchy," and sometimes "Reecey," just loves to be read to. He gets read to a lot, but he thinks that any time mommy or daddy is seated somewhere, doing whatever it is we're doing, that we're "fair game" at his demand to read to him. Here Janet is reading probably his favorite book of nursery rhymes, which are more sung to him than read. Some of them involve hand-clapping and some other little motions. He just loves it.

This is it, Pooh's Nursery Rhymes. He can't get enough!


Friday, September 09, 2005

Great Lakes Science Center

Tonight, Austin and I went to the Science Center in Cleveland to see a very unusal exhibit called Body Worlds 2. I was not allowed to take pictures inside the building, so the only picture I got was of Austin at the parking garage entrance.

Austin has shown a lot of interest in the body and anatomy. This was a perfect exhibit for him to see first hand real human body parts. It sounds a little creepy, but it quickly became a fairly "clinical" learning time, with the human element pushed way in the background.

They used a process called "plastination" that preserved the body tissue in perfect condition, size, shape, and color. There were examples of healthy lungs, smoker's lungs, and a coal miner's lungs. Very interesting to see the good, bad, and worst examples. We could see the skeletal system, the muscular system, digestive system, you name it. Austin has been spending a lot of time looking at "body books" and so he actually knew right away what many of the things were as we looked at them.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Quiet Time

Honest. We didn't force this. Janet just snapped this tonight. Sometimes these moments of quiet bliss occur on their own. It's so cool. One kid picks up a book, then another, then the third. Before you know it, everything is great and nothing but the sound of turning pages can be heard. And the vaccuum cleaner. And the Indian's game streaming over the internet. OK, so they were temporarily being a little neglected, but at least they can entertain themselves. One important thing that was different about this particular reading session, compared with previous ones, is that Austin was actually reading his book. Not just looking at the pictures, but reading quietly his book. Very exciting!

Austin started his Gym class this week, and Lindsey started her math lessons this week. Part of her assignment was to make a little pattern from the pattern blocks, which she created in this picture to the left.

The kids have a habit of saying "we're in Hartville" when in the van as we get close to home. For as long as I can remember it's been Austin, once he spots the "Hartville Kitchen," starting it with Lindsey repeating. Now a third little voice is joining the fun. Reece made a good attempt at "Hartville." We're starting to hear more and more from Reecey now.

Thanks for keeping up with "the fam."

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Painting PJs

The kids received PJs from Aunt Nar that not only were they permitted to color, they were encouraged to color! Even though at first Reece thought we were going to eat, it didn't take him long after sitting at the table to enjoy marking up his little shirt.

Then, a few hours later, here are all the kids wearing their little masterpieces!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

First School Lessons

Austin is being taught a number of first grade subjects by both Janet and me. Janet covers the bulk of them including history, English, spelling, handwriting, poetry, Spanish and second grade math (Austin did first grade math last year!). The math curriculum is very good, from Saxon Publishers. Very thorough and well-planned. For Austin's lesson today, entitled "Identifying the attributes of pattern blocks," his assigment was to create a shape of some kind using the "pattern blocks" and his product is seen below. He calls it "a guy."

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I'm in charge of teaching Austin "phonics" which has now evolved into "reading," and in the next few weeks we'll start piano lessons. Austin and Lindsey also go to the local YMCA for PE classes and swimming lessons.

Lindsey can't get enough of school. She's only doing a little pre-school curiculum which includes "readiness skills." The curiculum teaches her colors, how to color in the lines, dot-to-dots, cutting with scissors on dotted lines, gluing things, etc, etc. She is also learning letters. She has learned the vowels and what they "say" and is now moving on to consonants. Today she learned the letter "B." You can see her below proudly displaying her handiwork.

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