Saturday, October 11, 2008

A few days ago I took the children to the library in search of seasonal books to go with our homeschooling lessons. A quick look at some of the books on my list made me wonder if I would be able to engage Oliver with them: they were long on text and short on illustrations and only one of them had any kind of rhyming verse. Oh well, I thought as I hurried to check them out, Sami will be interested even if Oliver isn't. Well tonight, before bed, Sami selected "The Tomten" as his bedtime story. This is a book with lots of text and only so-so illustrations so I imagined that Oliver would just roll over and go to sleep, tuning me out altogether. I was surprised then to see Oliver repeatedly turning his attention to the book as I read. Sometimes he appeared to be studying the pictures as well. Nevertheless, I kind of hurried through the book then reached over and turned the light out. In a flash Oliver was out of bed, flipped on the light and retrieved the book from the floor where I had tossed it. He handed it to me and then crawled back in bed. I looked at him rather shocked and said: "What?" So he replied: "Read the book."

Making sure there was no mistake I asked: "You want me to read the book again?"

"Yes!" came his immediate reply as he reached over and opened the cover of the book.

It makes me wonder if all along I have been compensating for him too much by choosing books to read to him that were well below his age range. It would make sense that he would have trouble focusing on books that bore him. I guess I'll have to start visiting the library more often!


Today was an amazing, wonderful day with the kids. The weather here in the middle of Virginia was warm and sunny -- 77 degrees!! Our major errand for the day was to drive to a farm about an hour away to pick up the meat we had ordered. Once a year we buy bulk beef and pork from a farm where they raise animals using totally sustainable, organic practices. I've never been much of a meat eater but now I can really appreciate the difference between good meat and what you buy at the supermarket. And the best part is that since we buy it in bulk it works out to be affordable. And we know the farmers and we get to visit the farm. On the way we stopped in a neighboring city so the kids could ride a mini train. They were both enthralled and I loved seeing them both so excited.

It was also kind of interesting to watch Sami start to make the connection between the farm animals and what we eat. On the way home I told Nik a story about our neighbor who had to get rid of her chickens because someone complained to the zoning inspector. She gave away a few and one of them ended up in her freezer. Sami had spent a lot of time with those chickens. He knew their names. A few minutes later I heard a small voice pipe up from the back seat asking: "Mommy, why did C. put the chicken in her freezer?" Immediately, I felt terrible. But I decided to be simple and forthright about my answer. "Because they are going to eat the chicken, Sami. Just like we had chicken for dinner last night." He didn't linger on the issue so I guess he wasn't too disturbed.

Here are a couple of pictures from the day.


  1. Anonymous9:56 AM

    Great pictures!

    I loved reading about how Oliver is blossoming in his verbal comprehension skills. Sometimes we're caught by surprise by the time when kids no longer need the compensations we make for them.

    By the way, have you checked out Jan Brett's books? She has one titled Hedgie's Surprise that has a tomten. Anyway, the illustrations are beautiful and the stories are just as good. They were BIG favorites of J. when he was younger.

    I'll add your HSing blog to my Bloglines subscriptions. I am sure I'll be stealing ideas from you for T's learning. :-)

  2. That is awesome about the book interest!!! I need to try to really paying more attention to what interests Andrew and try reading books like that for him. Like maybe books about trees or something. Oliver is really doing wonderful!!! And he looks so grown up in those pictures. We are still waiting for Brian to lose his front tooth. It should be any day now.

  3. Thanks for your comment on my blog--it was nice to laugh at the fact that someone had a similar diagnosis experience. It's way past my bedtime and I've been reading through your archives, and I'm feeling blown away. So many of your posts spoke to me. Your post "It's Not Like You Think" perfectly described what I'm feeling right now.

    I look forward to reading more, it's going to take a while!


  4. Hooray for the fun day/long book love/not getting freaked about meat!!!