Apr 28, 2008

Nashville Half Marathon

I will break from tradition and post mainly about the adults this time. WE had a good time running the Nashville Half-marathon this past weekend. Being a newbie, I was quite pleased with my results. I had two of the best coaches, Chris and Patti, who have ran races before this one. I went through a myriad of emotions the previous three months preparing for this goal of mine. Even on race day, I when through the shakes (adrenaline rush I think), nauseous, tears (a lot of those!), and frustration when my body just wanted to quit. We all finished and I am so proud of us. The hills were unexpected, but it added to the accomplishment. I definitely want to run another race. Here is a video of the highlights.

Apr 22, 2008

Authentic Learning

It started when Caity decided that she likes ladybugs. This proclamation followed a long time of HATING all bugs. In an effort to show her not to be afraid, I decided to close the year with a unit on ladybugs. Fast forward a few weeks through some pathetic attempts to get Caity excited about the little red creature, to a neighbor capturing one of her own. This well meaning five year old did not know much about them; therefore her ladybug was captured in a small empty container. Surprisingly, it did survive the night and was released back into nature.
The next day Caity was beyond thrilled when she found her own ladybug with the name of Melacarti. Sister shared in the excitement and dropped the ladybug which quickly flew away. For the rest of the hour Caity could be found sobbing and singing in the backyard about Melacarti. We knew she was dramatic, but I did not know she would feel so deeply about an insect.
I started thinking I could use this to my advantage. This morning she was still mad at her sister for losing her friend, so I seized this learning opportunity. We started with some internet research on the bug. She wanted to know how to take of her next bug better. Then she started a poem and song to add to her book she is working on for the remainder of this year.
We went outside to play and I started a ladybug hunt. Caity was not convinced that I would ever find one. Well, we found three, but all flew away before being captured. Finally, Melecarti 2 was found, and Caity went into action. She placed the wet paper towel at the bottom of the container with air holes with a soaked raisin and some (what we think are) aphids on a leaf. During the bug hunt we talked about the life cycle and stages of Melacarti’s life.
(This is where I knew that I was a homeschooling mom.) As the rain shower came over us, we all began to pack up our things and head for cover. Colin dropped his shoe (for the um-teenth time) and I found it! I saw a larva stage ladybug. I got so excited. I quickly called Caity over for the container and I tried to scoop him up. I was a bit too exuberant, because I squished him. I picked up the remains to show Caity and saw the yellow excretion they use for a warning signal to a predator. (This is when I even surprised myself.) I rubbed the yellow goo on my finger and took a whiff! It really stank. I then offered Caity a smell. I refrained from tasting it. What better way to understand an insect’s defense then to experience it first hand. I am only sorry that I killed the little guy, and we didn’t get the chance to see all of the stages.
For those that know me best, this is out of character. The pure excitement of some real life learning got me so worked up that my ‘prissy’ side left for a few moments. The learning has not stopped yet. Caity handed her brother the container, and he shook it as he walked around the house. She witnessed another defense in which they pretend to be dead. The ladybug is now walking and soaking up the water in the towel. Melacarti will be released after the rain shower subsides.
Now Caity is so excited to share with Dad what she learned today in school. That is a wonderful by-product of this adventure. What a great day!

Apr 18, 2008


Apr 11, 2008

Picture time

Here are on the spot pictures that Chris took. I am in the process of trying to rally the gang to take more formal pictures. I even got Chris to pose for few, because turn about is fair play. Once we figure out the timer, we can have a nice family portrait that includes Colin.

Apr 5, 2008

Another List

I love lists. I come by this quite naturally as I grew up with lists as a form to organize thoughts, to-dos, and make life decisions.
For you faithful readers you may recall one of the first posts stating why boys are so great. I also mentioned that I am fully aware that one day I could post one about why girls are so great. That time has come. I didn’t realize that the inevitable would happen so soon. Wow! Colin turned one and change almost over night. Some of the change is just in contrast to the age that the girls are at right now, but some of it is pure Venus vs. Mars. He is still the sweetest boy ever; however, he also has become one of the craziest as well. Rather than make this about Colin, I want to state some of the reasons why girls are great too.

1. They are content to sit and read books
2. They are content to sit and play anything
3. They are content to sit and sing songs (Do you see the theme appearing?)
4. They tend to be patient
5. They play nicely without hurting each other. ( most of the time)
6. They clean up their toys and take pride in doing so.
7. They are emotional creatures that understand if mom needs a good cry (sometimes joining in)
8. They are always teaching me something new about myself.
9. They try so hard to do what is right
10. They are Caitlyn and Malena and that is as good as any reason

Apr 4, 2008

Just a pic

I still have not gotten the other photos that Dad has taken of the kids, so I snapped a quick one this morning. I will get the other ones posted soon. Happy Friday!

Apr 2, 2008

Poem by Caitlyn

I promise to post something soon. I just need a few moments to gather my thoughts without sibling squabbles.

Until then, here is a short poem that is part of Caity's poem book she is creating in school. I have her permission to share this one, but she wants to have something fun to show mamaws and papas when she has her book completed.


Red is the feeling I enjoy.
Red is the feeling of Christmas cheer.
Red is the bright strawberry in the sunny morning.
Red is the sound of a robin singing loudly in a nest.
Red is the feeling of cozy and warm I sleep with at night.
Red is the taste of spicy pepper that is crunchy.
Red is the smell of pepperoni baking on pizza.