Sunday, April 22, 2007

Chattanooga for spring break. Might not immediately pop into mind, but it was a decent place to spend a spring week. Weather got up to high 80s early in the week and the car thermometer registered 25 degrees when we headed out of town early Sat. a.m. One of those storm fronts came thru Wed nite (complete with T-storm which the kids slept thru). Turns out there are quite a few tourist things to do in Chattanooga. If we had been particularly interested in Civil War you could stretch it out quite a few days. Uncle Chuck has quite a World War 2 collection - captured the kids imaginations. We stopped off at the public library downtown one day - I asked A what subject he would like books on (expecting perhaps space - his typical library fare) and was surprised to hear "world war 2" (shouldn't have been!). We read things from the "Quiet Hero" (the native american indian flag raiser) to the "Wahoo" (a sub). I learned a few things! Chuck also had the movie "Flags of our Fathers" which I hadn't seen - we watched it after the kids went to bed one night. Good movie. Chuck's land also backs up on a public park filled choc block full of ball fields - we headed over one night and watched 11/12 yr olds go at it. There were one of maybe 4 games going concurrently. It was nice for Aidan to see as he heads into his own T-ball season.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Nunchucks are fun. Who would have guessed? Of course the ones the kids got from karate studio are nice soft foam with a string and not a chain. After their first class we came home and I demonstrated what I had learned watching them (I was WAY better than they were :-) ). The studio has all sorts of ways to get more $ out of us. Not like we don't already pay enough just to go to twice weekly lessons. Then there was the over $200 "sparring" gear. (includes their first jock straps!). The $30 "belt test" fee (every 4 months if you manage to stay on track). The tournament entry fees (trophy guaranteed to all entrants! very very shiny...). Now the kids can enter TWO things (double the entry fee!) - sparing and kata (routine). Quincy unbelievably wants to do both. Huh? There are days he is barely there. The other kids all do their routines in concert. Not Q - he goes at his own speed (slow) but at least he doesn't let anyone else distract him :-) Got to go - "Putt Putt Wins The Race" needs to be started up now for a 10 min session.
a dictionary

Can you remember ever being excited about a dictionary? I can't. I decided my 7 yr old needed one when he started to ask me things like "what's 'brutal' mean?". I remember being told "go look it up" and wanted to say the same - but realized that wasn't a reasonable option. An adult dictionary seems to require an adult vocabulary to understand the definitions. Little kid dictionaries don't have words like brutal in them. I went on-line to Amazon, read a few reviews and placed my order for a kid dictionary (along with some other reading books like "George Washington" "Spiderman" various Ricky Ricotta and his giant robot books (a mouse and his robot!) and one about the race to the moon. Oh yeah - a cooking book (or 2) for me. I later informed my son. Boy was he excited! Boy was I surprised. He started mentally listing words he wanted to look up - including "atlas" and "sex". We also wanted to look up "elipad" (if I am remembering correct spelling - quite possibly not - it wasn't in our grown up dictionary and refers to kinds of snakes). Turns out the sex definition he was after was the one regarding gender. The sex of the snake for example. He was also excited to find (multiple) definitions for "a". It WAS in the dictionary! Now he is back to lobbying for a desk (needs a place to keep the dictionary you know!).