Thursday, February 12, 2009

Entertaining the boys

It's a long winter in New Brunswick. It would be great if it was just snow. Snow I can handle. It's the cold, cold, cold of it all. Saint John has this freeze/thaw thing going on. It freezes like a deep freeze and then warms up enough again to snow, or rain which just freezes back into ice. Today for example is a royal mess. It's raining which is melting all the snow that fell last week, but the drains are covered over and the roads are flooding and the temperature is dropping again tonight which means we'll be in an icefield once again. I had no idea growing up out west that the rest of the country lived like this.
The trickest part about winter here is that it lasts so long and the kids get stir crazy. When the snow is nice play snow and it's not 40 below it's fine. We can go outside. We can go skating, or sledding, or build snowmen or just have fun in it. I wish it was like this more, but it's not. So we are housebound. So what do you do. Here are some ideas of things we have done to keep the boys happy, burn off some energy and keep them focused on something besides the fact that we are stuck in the house.
1 - they run...races up and down the hallway. They love it
2 - hide and seek. A classic.
3 - sock basket ball - take pairs of balled up socks. Set the laundry basket up as their target and let them shoot baskets
4 - hotter/colder treasure hunt - this works best with Elijah, Jeremy's too young to really get it yet
5 - play-do, never underestimate the energy they get out with this activity
6 - basement hockey
7 - basement baseball
8 - basement golf
9 - basement soccer (do you see a pattern here? - always good to have a place where there aren't any breakables around)
10 - mini car races in the hallway
11 - build the tallest duplo tower and then knock it over - or, just build a duplo village
12 - Simon Says
13 - dancing
14 - pretending to be something else, usually dinosaurs or elephants or cows

And then there are quiet things too

1 - create a craft
2 - baking
3 - reading stories
4 - make up stories
5 - looking at old pictures and telling their stories
6 - puzzles

and let's not forget the plethora of toys available to play with. The kids are great into pretending with toys right now. They love to play airport, cars, firefighter and rescue heroes.

We're trying to keep the TV off as much as possible, so having it on becomes a treat. Last night was a great example. The kids were cranky and I knew that I had to think of something interesting to keep their attention until betime. So I cooked a relatively neat supper, laid down a picnic blanket in the living room and called them in for a dinner and movie picnic. We watched Ratitouille which I'd never seen all the way through and the kids had only watched once before. After supper I popped some popcorn and made hot chocolate. It made for a really nice cozy evening. I know Elijah especially liked it because while I was making supper tonight he suggested that we do it again.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Who would you have dinner with?

Simple question right? or maybe not. This was a question I posed to my grade 7's in an introduction lesson. If you could have dinner with any 4 people who ever lived, who would you choose?
At first they couldn't believe that I wasn't specifying music related folk. Anybody was acceptable. Of course getting them to say music related folk was my whole point. But they didn't need to know that. I was genuinely interested in who they would say.
The lists were interesting. They ranged from sports heroes (Alexander Ovechkin) to politicians (Abe Lincoln, Barack Obabma, King Henry V) to writers (Shakespeare, Stephenie Meyer) to actors (Meryl Streep, Robert Pattinson) to Bible Heroes (Adam and Eve, Moses) to real people they know. Some picted historical figures such as Rosa Parks and others picked talk show hosts like Ellen. The musical figures ranged from Beethoven to Jessica Simpson (remember that I'm having 12 year old boys answer this question).
So who would I pick? Ohhh, I don't even know if I could answer my own question. I think I would pick the apostle John, King Henry VIII, Elvis Presley and Oprah Winfrey. They are all people whose lives have fascinated me. Who would you pick?

I don't often do this...

I don't write about my job very often. It's one of those professional courtesy things. I don't want anything to print that could haunt me later. But sometimes the kids say or do things that are really funny. This one struck me as funny and quite harmless to write about. It was answers on a quiz to the same question. Many of the kids did get this question right, but I had to hand it to these few that didn't but were very creative in what they did put as their answer.
The question was to tell what D.C. meant. (I teach music, so D.C. refers to the music symbol meaning to go to the begining and play again). Here are a few of the more creative answers:
-the DaVinci Code
-DiCaprio (as in Leonardo?)
-my initials
-don't copy

They're back...a week later

I know, I'm full of tales, just not inspired to actually write them down. Jonathan and Elijah did make it back (and on time thanks to a lot of prayer) and both Jeremy and myself were very happy to see them. I think I had my very best Elijah hug ever when he walked through the door and saw me.
As for Jeremy, I think it has taken him a while to really know that his dad and brother are really here and staying. In fact he is following Jonathan everywhere and needs his dad for everything. I used to be the one to put Jeremy to bed...apparently that's changed. The cutest however was the first night the boys were back. Elijah crashed at 7pm. Jeremy was having none of bedtime. His dad was back and he was celebrating. Part of his celebration included checking in on his brother. He kept sneaking down the hall to his brother's room and looking in, just ot make sure he was really there. He did actually make it as far as crawling in his brother's bed to cuddle him. It was very cute and fortunately, Elijah slept through it all...that was my biggest fear (Elijah waking up). But we've settled back down into our regular routine with ease and we're happy to be altogether again.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Just me and my baby

Today marks one week of just me & Jeremy. Jonathan and Elijah are away visiting family in England...they will be home in a few days. It's been really quiet around here and I've enjoyed the one on one time with Jeremy (something that becomes increasingly difficult when the both of them vie for my attention).
I did miss my 4 year old though. We have talked on the phone pretty much every day that they have been away. It's pretty funny though, usually Elijah wants to talk to Jeremy to tell him all the things he's been doing. Their coversations go something like this (I put Jeremy on speaker phone so I can hear and help translate Jeremy's words)
Elijah - Hi Jeremy
Jeremy - Hi brother
Elijah - I'm in England
Jeremy - huh?
Elijah - I'm in England, but I'll be back soon
Jeremy - ok
Elijah - baby Sadie is here
Jeremy - firetruck (pointing to his truck as if to say, why aren't you playing firetruck with me)
Elijah - I played with Eva
Jeremy - play-do
Elijah - I played play-do with Eva(this being the amazing co-incidence of their conversation, Jeremy loving play-do and Elijah and Eva playing play-do together in England)
and on it goes until I get the phone back.
Jeremy's conversations with his dad are just as good, except then Jeremy runs away from me and hides so I can't have the phone back to talk to Jonathan myself, he gets quite preturbed that I would talk to his Daddy.

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