Thursday, March 24, 2011

Smiles day

Today is "Smiles Day" at school.  Everyone had to dress up in something that would make someone else smile.

We had: an Author who creates funny stories; a pilot who will fly you to your favourite holiday destination; a chef (coz who doesn't smile when they have really yummy food); and a happy person with a green smiley face sticker on his shirt (because Ezra is not a fan of dressing up.)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Little Author

Today Ezra wrote a book.  He has been doing this quite a lot lately, but today he asked me to help write the words for him.  His book is called "The Monster and the Person".

The Monster and the Person
The monster is hungry.  He is looking for a person.
The person runs away.  The monster can never find him.
The man goes home.
His home gets eaten.  He hides behind a rock.
The monster looks for the man, but steps on a pointy rock and hurts his foot.  It bleeds.
The man is happy because the monster is dead.
By Ezra.

Ezra had done all the pictures before he asked for my help, so the story was thought out before I even knew he was doing it.  I'm quite proud of his creative efforts.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sunday afternoons

Simon and I are finding ourselves increasingly busy lately.  Sometimes it feels as though the world is spinning too fast and I can't find time to do anything.  Because of this we have been attempting to devote Sunday afternoons to specific family time so the kids know we haven't forgotten that they exist.

Last week we caught the train into the city (using "family Fun-Day" fares) and went to the Powerhouse Museum for the afternoon.  We enjoyed it but found it was not quite as good as Scienceworks in Melbourne.  The kids still enjoyed themselves though.
Ezra found a mini.
Ben made music
Tim controlled bears making music
Abby tried out the electric chair
Simon on a Penny Farthing
Ezra stood at this screen for ages and listened to an interactive thing about energy.  He was not keen to leave it and later told me "That man was teaching me stuff."

Yesterday we just went to a local park with the kids scooters.  I think we had more fun at the park than we did last week.

Ezra scooting.  Actually, he stopped pretty quick, but the others had fun scooting.
Abby and Ben playing some game
Tim showing me he can balance with no hands
Simon and Ezra trying out the exercise equipment
The boys playing tag/tip/chasey (depending on which state you come from) on the climbing equipment.
Just to prove I was actually there also.

Sorry about all the pictures for those who have slow downloads.  These are mostly for the benefit of family who live far away.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Abby's birthday

Today is Abby's 11th birthday.

I have discovered that birthdays are good days to make kids get ready for school quick.  All four kids came knocking at our bedroom door at 6:45am.  We told them there would be no giving or receiving of presents until they were all dressed, with shoes on and hair done.  I have NEVER seen them get dressed so quick.  I'm sure Abby did a superman trick and dressed faster than is humanly possible.

7:15am - all dressed and waiting for present time
Presents came from near and far
There was lots of time to start playing with her new Sylvanian Family people and furniture
On arriving home from school there was a present from Auntie Kelly and some birthday cards as well.

Here at Morling College we have a tradition of sharing a cake with the other children who live nearby.  We call it "Playground Birthday cakes".  We have so many children on campus this year that I felt the need for more than one cake.  I ended up making three cakes.  The first ones are a pair, intended to represent the number 11.  Abby requested "A sour worm cake", so here's what I made.

Their hair is sour worms and the cake has sour strap all around the edge
This is using up the leftover icing and ensuring there is enough cake for everyone.
Blowing out the candles.
A present of a picture from one of our 'little neighbours'.
I think she had a good day.  She has just disappeared into her bedroom with the Nintendo DS her neighbour has lent her for the night.  We may not see her again tonight, even though we are having lasagna especially for her.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Children's questions

This afternoon I took Tim, Ben and Ezra shopping for birthday presents for Abby (because, if she hasn't told you yet, she will be 11 tomorrow).

As we were leaving the shopping centre Ben asked if Jesus and God are the same person, or is Jesus God's son.  It's actually a very difficult question to answer, especially since Ben won't accept a simple, "yes, both of those statements are correct".  I ended up referring him on to Simon but I'm not sure whether he has it figured out yet or not.

Ben has a habit of coming out with difficult questions and since doing some study, I am no longer comfortable to offer the simple, childish (and often theologically incorrect) answers that grown-ups generally give to children.  Each of my children have demonstrated the ability to understand the more complex answers and Ben in particular often asks questions that are way out of my depth.  Last week Ben accused me of not answering his questions often enough.  He thinks I tell him to "ask daddy" or "ask your Sunday School teacher" too often.  (Sorry Susan, last year David was his Sunday School teacher.)

I think my kids are pretty normal and not little geniuses who ask especially bizarre and difficult questions.  So I have to assume that other kids ask these kind of questions also and I am left wondering how other parents deal with them.

How would you answer a seven year old who wants to know how Jesus can be both God and God's son at the same time?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Mystery project revealed

Well, here it is.  This is what I was working on yesterday.  We have another new baby boy in the neighbourhood.  His parents are very musical, which is why I made the music notes, but I didn't end up using them.  Instead, I made this.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

More Saturday

In the afternoon the boys played on the oval with Daddy.
Get him!
Giddy up Daddy
Stacks on Daddy
Stack on Ezra
Stack on Tim
Sometimes it looked a bit rough
Daddy the workhorse
Abby found a baby to cuddle

I finished my project but I still can't reveal it, although I can show some of what I was working on because it didn't make it into the end product.  For Tammy, here is what those weird black shapes were. (And my project's end result is not that exciting really, I just had fun experimenting with it.)


Simon is in the library studying.  Abby is next door assisting with the important task of setting up a doll's house.  The boys (after getting over their bickering and arguing from earlier this morning) have settled into some quite indoor activities as it has been trying to decide whether it's going to rain or not outside.  I am happily working on a small project which has not reached it's time to be fully revealed, but is bringing me much pleasure as I experiment.

Ezra playing a game with Little People and Sylvanian family babies
Tim and Ben playing board games
My little mystery project

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Creative comic book names

My kids love reading comic books.  Their favourites are Calvin and Hobbes, Tintin and Asterix and Obelix.  I grew up reading the last two of these but was only introduced to Calvin and Hobbes when I started hanging around with Simon's family more.

In the last few weeks there has been a steady stream of Asterix books coming home from both the school library and the public library.  I picked one up the other day and began to browse through it.  As a child I recognized the humour of some of the character names used, but I think I understand so many more as an adult.  I'm even more impressed with these names when I remember that I am not reading the book in it's original language, but these names have survived a translation process and still come out well.

Here's some examples of the names.  Sometimes they need to be said aloud to really 'get' them.
Getafix - the druid
Unhygienix - the fishmonger
Bacteria - the fishmongers wife
Fulliautomatix - the blacksmith
Justforkix - an annoying, immature teenage Gaul
Villainous Brutus - a nasty Roman
Veriambitius - a Roman centurion
Eggnlettus - a Roman soldier
Gluteus Maximus - a Roman entrant in the Olympic Games
Phallintodiseus - an owner of a Greek Hotel
Whatziznehm - an Indian fakir
Orinjade - an Indian princess
Onthepremises - a Greek merchant

The list could go on for a long time.  This is just from the three books closest to me.  I have enjoyed watching as Abby slowly discovers the secondary meaning behind some names.  A few days ago she came and excitedly told me, "We talked about Asterix and Obelix in maths today.  We learnt about Vitalstatistix." (That's the Gaulish Chieftain.)

I look forwards to many more years of pleasure as the boys follow in her footsteps.  Even Ezra likes to look through the books although he can't read them yet.