Monday, November 10, 2014

I'm 37. I'm Not Old.

I have finally arrived--

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
King Arthur: Old woman!
Dennis: Man.
King Arthur: Man, sorry. What knight lives in that castle over there?
Dennis: I'm 37.
King Arthur: What?
Dennis: I'm 37. I'm not old.
King Arthur: Well I can't just call you "man".
Dennis: Well you could say "Dennis".
King Arthur: I didn't know you were called Dennis.
Dennis: Well you didn't bother to find out, did you?
King Arthur: I did say sorry about the "old woman", but from behind you looked...
Dennis: What I object to is you automatically treat me like an inferior.
King Arthur: Well, I am king.
Dennis: Oh, king eh? Very nice. And how'd you get that, eh? By exploiting the workers. By hanging on to outdated imperialist dogma which perpetuates the economic and social differences in our society.

Friday, November 07, 2014

Katie & Mommy

Katie's drawings are getting very detailed. Note that both of them are wearing earrings, which is artistic license on her part.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Robot Children

On a whim, the day after Halloween we made another set of costumes. Scott was fixated on some game on the tablet and Katie was a bit bored, and then I had the idea to turn a cardboard box into a robot outfit. We punched holes in the top and the sides and then wrapped some tin foil on it and then we had ourselves a robot-girl.

Scott was a little bit jealous that he didn't have one, so we dug another box out of the basement and turned him into robot boy. Unfortunately, we finished the costumes at bedtime, so they only had a minute or two to start adding buttons and other "upgrades". It also meant that they could only wear them for a few minutes. They made the most of it by brushing their teeth in costume and even trying to climb into bed, which I captured on video.

Okay little robots, time to recharge your batteries.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Book Report - 7 Questions

Grandma W pays $5 per book report. Even with the longer books he has now, he reads a book every day or two, and he understands math well enough to figure out how much money he could make if he wrote a book report for every one of those books. But it is easier said than done. Writing book reports is HARD WORK.

Scott has decent penmanship, so that's not the issue. It's figuring out what to write. Usually, the best results have been when one of us has prompted him with questions about the book, telling him to turn his answer into of the required 7 lines. I decided to take this one step further, and give him a generic set of questions that he could use to write a report about any of his books.

I thought this little list was guaranteed to cost my mom millions, since it was clearly the ultimate formula to create the world's best book reports. Scott immediately went to work, on a report about Bone, a fantasy series which is essentially a comic -- but a long one. When he finished, I realized how literally a child takes all instructions.

Book Report: Bone

I had expected that he would take the questions as a prompt and then answer in paragraph form. Instead, he gave us a numbered list of answers, which seemed like one half of a conversation. We had to ask him to add another phrase to the final sentence, to make it clear that he was describing his favourite part of the book.

Still, it was a wonderful first solo effort, and it was the first time that he wrote a report with smaller script that fit within just one line. He has come a long way in the past year. With the $5 payout he was on his way to buy the much-coveted skateboard, and he still hasn't picked up the pen to write about one of the more intriguing titles that we got from the new Neighbourhood Free Library (he found Bone to be a little scary to read alone in his room at night).

Captain Underpants Series

According to Wikipedia, "the Office of Intellectual Freedom of the American Library Association reported that Captain Underpants was the most banned book in United States libraries in 2012. Several parents accused the book of having language inappropriate for the book's target audience, children enrolled in elementary schools." However, my English-teacher cousin has lamented that students in her high school English classes have been choosing these books as class material.

I can't wait to see what Scott has to write about this controversial subject.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Halloween 2014 - Clash of Clans

Clash of Clans characters



I only broke the needle on the sewing machine twice while making these accessories. I bought a brown table runner from Dollarama and used every scrap of it to make these items.

At Great Grandma & Grandpa's

Sorting the Candy

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Story Time

Last night after dinner the kids asked me to tell a story. At first I told them a short story about how I almost forgot to take the garbage bins out to the curb, but then I remembered and I did it. They complained that the story was boring, so I said that I would add in some more fun details, but some of them might not be true. As it turns out, taking out the garbage bins was quite a rambling adventure, where I ended up eating lunch on the moon with a dragon. They enjoyed this version so well, that they asked me for another story, and another. I asked them to tell me something that I should put in the story to help get me started. Some stories were better than others and elements from one story were borrowed for the next, but we liked two so well that they were still talking about them today. We decided to write them down. In fact, Katie hounded me all through dinner to make sure I wrote them down the second I finished eating:

Scott suggested the story have a duck in it.

There was a pirate who had two friends. One of them lived on the other side of the mountains. The pirate wanted to go visit his friend, so he got on his duck and he turned on the key and he blasted off towards the mountains, up, up, up. But the ducky was so powerful and flew so fast that he went way higher than the mountains, up, up, up until he crashed into the moon, where his other friend lived -- the dragon that was every colour... except for eleven... and a half.

The pirate told his every-colour-dragon-friend (except eleven and a half) that he was trying to visit his friend on the other side of the mountains but now he was far away in space and his ducky was crashed and he didn't know how he could ever get there and he was getting very late. The dragon said to follow him, and he showed the pirate a door into a tunnel that went down, down, down all the way to the other side of the mountains to where his friend had been waiting for a whole hour. When the pirate explained all the things that happened, his friend said, "How could a tunnel go from the moon to the earth? Wouldn't it have to go through empty space and stuff?"

Then the duck said, "I WANT MY CUCKOO-POTATO!"


Katie said the next story should have syrup in it (we were eating french toast)

There was a big lake of syrup that was pooled up in the mountains and held back from flowing down the hill because of a big wall. But the wall started to break because it was made out of cereal and the cereal had started to get soggy and then the syrup broke through the wall and it all flowed down making everything super sticky. The people were so surprised that they went "Ah!!!" and grabbed their hair with their hands and then their hands stuck like that and they had to run away from the syrup with their hands stuck to their heads.

So then the fire department got so many planes and helicopters and they dropped all the pancakes in the whole world on the syrup and blocked it and made it so yummy that everyone wanted to eat it, but their hands were still stuck to their hair so they couldn't grab any of the pancakes until they had a long bathtime.


I wish you could hear the way the kids laughed and laughed at these stories, especially the way Katie laughed at the end of the duck story.