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#31 of 51 Old 12-18-2013, 09:53 AM
 
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Fun to watch!  I totally sympathize with your dilemma.  I would love to enroll dd1 in more gymnastics.  She adores it, she's athletic, she has her challenges but meets them head on, joyfully. I would give a lot to be able to accommodate that, but finances can barely scrape together what she does have.  It is as much an obstacle as distance and availability.  That's not even considering the near-hour it takes each way.  Finances can be more flexible, though, than packing up a home and an established practice and moving it.  Since we can't afford to do more classes for now, I am happy to live where I do--I adore that my girls have more places to ride their bikes, a place we can raise roosters for fair (they are gorgeous!) and even consider having goats down the road (finances, again).  Growing up, I mourned the loss of my piano lessons when we moved.  My parents simply could not afford them anymore, with a new, expensive mortgage, two suddenly-teenage daughters and one fast reaching that age.  I did continue to play some, and played more on my guitar, but never really challenged myself.  (Well, I think I might be selling myself short--I did teach myself the Maple Leaf Rag and the gorgeous intro to Cat Stevens' version of "Morning Has Broken" and otherwise mined my dad's collection of music for gems, taught myself a Pink Floyd guitar riff by ear alone..... yeah, I think I'm not giving myself credit like I should.... habit.....)

 

In our house, the verbage continues to expand and surprise.  I get flustered like I haven't in a long time, but at the same time I see the light at the end of the tunnel.  

 

DD1's odd intellectual interface with what should be emotional (like, favorite color for example) is proving useful.  She *decided* that people would be able to read what she writes, even if she spells it wrong, and now she's writing constantly.  She even decided to write an angry but articulate note her dad and her sister, outlining her feelings.  Wow!  But her spelling is painfully atrocious, yet at the same time spot-on for pronunciation.  Her dragon notes are headed "Ples ritern".  She lists the "Historie" of dragons, another, a dragon's "Bodye" (gives insight into all those extra e's in old writings.  That small exhale we do at the end of most words, does that require a letter?)  Her "gole" for her dragon planes is for them to "Fli strat".  Part of me cringes, because she is nearly 9!  But overall I'm thrilled.  I'm also thrilled that this odd, baffling temperament of hers is showing some advantages.

 

Today we will be baking cupcakes for Girl Scouts, wrapping a handful of presents, watching a lot of TV because I am exhausted from yesterday.  I woke up a little dizzy, and I had to work, then head off to our Scout's service unit meeting for training because cookie season is one month away.  Went to bed  straight away after getting home, with my head still spinning a little.  It would have been a good day to stay home, so that's why today I am going to do as little as possible.  

 

I'm excited for our girl scout troop because we are likely to get another "3rd grade" homeschooler from our town.  We drive 25 minutes to a town about 17 miles away for our meetings, so the possibility of a girl near *us*, and dd1's age *and* homeschooled just tickles me pink.  I shouldn't get my hopes up too far, though.  Most hsrs here are religious and more school-at-home than unschool and therefore just as booked up as school kids.  I'm hoping she drops in today, otherwise I will be left wondering.

 

Through our hsing/using FB group, I am finding loads of girls in our age range, but it's *getting there* that is proving difficult.  However, I am slowly deepening our connections in every area, so if I'm just patient enough.  So many fascinating people!  I am thankful for my mother, who talked to simply everybody, for giving me the courage to just pluck up conversations with people.  I am being rewarded with every interaction.


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#32 of 51 Old 12-18-2013, 10:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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She even decided to write an angry but articulate note her dad and her sister, outlining her feelings.  Wow!  But her spelling is painfully atrocious,

 

When my ds (now 17 and earning A-pluses in senior English and senior writing) was young and a new writer, one evening I pried him off the computer for dinner. He was not happy -- to say the least -- to interrupt his game of Age of Empires to do so. Later I found out that he had saved his game with the file name "U R A BADE MOME." When my kids want to teasingly register a complaint about something I'm doing, to this day they will intone an a deadpan voice "oo are a bade mome." 

 

I love kids' invented spelling. It tells you so much about their understanding of the phonetic code. It sounds like your dd is doing very well with this. 

 

 

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#33 of 51 Old 12-18-2013, 11:07 AM
 
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When my kids want to teasingly register a complaint about something I'm doing, to this day they will intone an a deadpan voice "oo are a bade mome." 

 

I love kids' invented spelling. It tells you so much about their understanding of the phonetic code. It sounds like your dd is doing very well with this. 

 

 

Miranda

 

 

:laugh

 

The note:

 

"I thingk that your being a litl ruf on me.  p. s. I have desidid not to talk to you."  

 

Not bad!  You're right, I thingk she is doing vary wel.


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#34 of 51 Old 12-18-2013, 01:03 PM
 
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DD1 intended a note to dd2 to be an angry one.  She will only talk to her using the notes.  She grumpily delivered it and dd2 read and....

 

"Wow!  Momma!  Look what we're going to do!  We're going to talk using notes!"  And off she runs to dd1 all excited and shares her ideas, now they are busy drawing stamps (Mt. Vesuvius) and raiding the craft pin jar to pin the notes together.

Vesuvius stamps and finished note.

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#35 of 51 Old 12-18-2013, 04:09 PM
 
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I love that super-cute! I feel like I'm not doing right with the reading thing.  My daughter is a perfectionist and while I try to tell her it's okay to spell things how she thinks she sounds, I show them to her the right way, maybe I should just let her sound it out on her own...but she really doesn't like doing that.  She just wants to know how the words are spelled already.  Maybe she's just not ready to learn.

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#36 of 51 Old 12-18-2013, 04:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Featherstory my eldest was exactly like that. It was harder to appreciate her progress with reading and writing as it happened but it was just how she needed to learn ... Privately. Eventually we saw the evidence, and then, wow!

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#37 of 51 Old 12-19-2013, 10:23 AM
 
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I love that super-cute! I feel like I'm not doing right with the reading thing.  My daughter is a perfectionist and while I try to tell her it's okay to spell things how she thinks she sounds, I show them to her the right way, maybe I should just let her sound it out on her own...but she really doesn't like doing that.  She just wants to know how the words are spelled already.  Maybe she's just not ready to learn.

My son doesn't believe in doing things "wrong" either. He will ask how something is spelled (or actually ask me to type/write it for him) until he is confident that he can do it right. Very slowly he has been taking on more of it himself or been willing to have me dictate the spelling of longer words or multiple words. Asking me how something is spelled is his way of checking if he is right, just the same way as his asking me to read something was his way of being sure he had it right. 

 

He started reading through memorizing sight words, slowly after turning 8. And he has been picking up writing the same way slowly after turning 10. Any effort on the phonics front or suggestion that he make things up was met with utter refusal. Oh well, his way is working. Just not on a typical time table. And most of his writing is online so he doesn't want to look the fool by spelling things wrong..


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#38 of 51 Old 12-19-2013, 06:18 PM
 
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Featherstory, my oldest hated spelling things wrong and I thought the right thing to do in that situation was to just keep on encouraging him to write how he thinks a word is spelled. That kind of backfired and he become super frustrated with writing anything down. Then one day he asked me why I was not helping him learn how to spell words! And there I was thinking I was doing the gentle thing ... Lol.

Anyway, we have since began the process of formally learning to spell but his spelling has improved naturally as well because he reads a ton. I guess my point is, have you asked her if she wants to go about this in an organized way? I think some kids feel better tackling things that are difficult for them systematically and like to actually see they are progressing in some way. We are not doing much here but it seems to have put his mind at ease enough that he is enthusiastically writing now and without being too hang up on spelling mistakes.
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#39 of 51 Old 12-20-2013, 07:29 PM
 
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I think she wants to know how to read and will say that she wants me to teach her, but I guess I'm not sure how to do that.  After reading a book about a homeschooler she wanted me to give her spelling words.  So I did that and it worked for a little while.  I figured she would just work on the same words until she memorized them.  She wanted to have some "work" to take with her when she was hanging out with my mom, so she has a dry erase notebook that I'd write her words on and she'd write them each morning.  After awhile she didn't want to do it anymore though. 

 

In other news:  Yesterday we made a little yarn doll and both girls tied 6 pieces of hair to her head.  We will cut off one piece of hair for each day to help us count down until Christmas. dd3 went to sleep early tonight so only dd6 cut the hair off tonight and we put it in our scrapbook.  Then we made a heart, cut out of newspaper.  We played the fluencia game again and she's definitely retaining a lot of Spanish.  Spanish was really her first language but it's barely been spoken around here the last few years.  Nevertheless I'm really impressed with her Spanish speaking and the visual nature of the game is helping her learn to spell/read as well, in English and Spanish.  

 

She's been using a Japanese letter character game that she loves and she asked to do a mandala app tomorrow.  We're celebrating the Solstice tomorrow with lots of crafts, yoga/meditation, a nature walk, phone calls to family and watching the show Salsa.  I might also let them watch some other PBS shows.  We've been talking about Mr. Roger's Neighborhood, because she's been watching Daniel Tiger lately.  She also loves The Magic School Bus and Bill Nye the Science Guy.  I was thinking finding Ghostwriter might be great for learning words.  Maybe we'll also bring out their winter dresses and take pictures.

 

I struggle with this time of year, I want meaningful traditions but I feel like the family element overwhelms me a bit.  Expectations from so many people.  I think this might also be apart of the reason dd6 is uncomfortable with her learning skills.  There are people who tell her she should already know how to read, and already know, blah, blah, blah.  She often answers questions without even trying and basically just gives up saying ''I don't know''.  

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#40 of 51 Old 12-20-2013, 09:51 PM
 
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I struggle with this time of year, I want meaningful traditions but I feel like the family element overwhelms me a bit.  Expectations from so many people.  I think this might also be apart of the reason dd6 is uncomfortable with her learning skills.  There are people who tell her she should already know how to read, and already know, blah, blah, blah.  She often answers questions without even trying and basically just gives up saying ''I don't know''.  

 

Oh, I didn't realize your dd is so young :) Plenty of time to address the reading question! And yes, it sucks when people ask/tell kids what they should know; very frustrating! I have had people full-on quiz my children upon finding out they were homeschooled and we don't use a curriculum -- as if to prove to me that I am failing my kids by pointing out they can not answer some of their questions.

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#41 of 51 Old 12-21-2013, 08:45 AM
 
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I remember learning to read... I was 6 1/2. I was being taught the "see/say" method (memorizing sight words) which made no sense to me. So it was a bit ironic that my son was more of a sight reader. Anyway, as a parent, I thought it was nice having this memory of learning to read and the frustration of others' expectations. And it was great being able to tell people "Well, I couldn't read at that age, either!" My dh learned to read when he was 3 so he was a bit worried about ds. I figured if I learned to read at 6 1/2 while being taught in school, it was perfectly reasonable for ds to not learn to read until he was about a year older since he wasn't being actively taught.


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#42 of 51 Old 12-21-2013, 09:05 AM
 
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It is so much easier when you remember a struggle than not.  I read at the age of 4, or thereabouts.  I simply remember not reading, then I remember reading.  Not very helpful, I'm afraid, except to have faith that it can happen spontaneously in the absence of active instruction.  Though, my sisters, 6yo and 8, might have had a hand in it.  

 

I've been devious and manipulative.  For years--forever it seems-- the unequivocal response to the Chronicles of Narnia has been "No, no, and no!"  It's one of my favorite stories, and even though I realize that my kids have different tastes than I did, I've had a hard time with this one, I think because I knew they would like it.  I can deal with them not liking Charlotte's Web, I'm baffled but resigned when they nix Mrs. Frisby et al.  And, OK, upon rereading the Dark is Rising, I can see how they would be bored (it does seem a bit, hmm, manufactured to me now, though perhaps because so much has been written since that drew inspiration from it).  I can accept they are not obsessed with Little House like I was, though they like individual chapters.

 

But I've never been able to accept the active disinterest in Narnia.  And such defiance!  It's almost they have a sixth sense that tunes in to when parents even *think* of trying a bit harder to convince them.

 

So, I sat on my hands, watched the movies after they have gone to bed.  But I had to try with the movie one more time.  The girls had just bought themselves a miniature horse set with their considerable savings, I had already checked the movie (LW&W) out from the library (and received the expected protests at the time I first presented it).  So, when we got home I said I wanted to watch it while they played with their new toys.  I did want to see it again, and I hoped (just a wee bit.... OK, actually quite a bit) they would get interested.  I guess their radar was jammed by the New Toy Waves, because they heartily agreed.  Which amazed me, because they hate having the TV going while they play.

 

I did watch it, and they did, too.  ALL of it.  They LOVED it.

 

HA!

TOLD YOU SO!

 

 

I didn't really say that.  But I do feel smug.  Apparently, they are not as sensitive to Smug Mama Waves.

 

This is a confession.  I manipulated.  I strewed in the most intrusive way imaginable.  I barreled my way, got my way, finally.  I just had to share it with somebody.

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#43 of 51 Old 12-21-2013, 09:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Personally I believe the more extreme forms of manipulation are entirely justified when it comes to the Chronicles of Narnia. Good for you!

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#44 of 51 Old 12-21-2013, 09:21 AM
 
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How else will kids learn that sometimes Mama is right? :wink


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#45 of 51 Old 12-21-2013, 03:18 PM
 
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Thank you for the support.  :p

 

Today illustrates the difference between a fun story (Gilligan's Island) and a great tale.  The girls have spent the entire day, rarely even disagreeing, constructing a Narnia "play" from their animals, and various materials for sleighs, etc.  

 

They even are expressing some knowledge of movie special effects, though a mite confused*.  "After they shaved his mane, they stabbed the spear into the ballistics gel......."  Thanks to Mythbusters,  "ballistics gel" has now entered our everyday vocabulary.

 

I've been listening to their games, and preparing Solstice dinner, taking the occasional break to play Operation.

 

*ETA: I vividly remember being just-8yo and standing in line to see Star Wars with my sisters and babysitter.  Though I'd been to movies before, I think I was still confused how the picture got up there.  I kept wondering whether I'd be seeing the actors coming out of the back door of the theater, like they were in back, projecting their image on the screen.  ???? I knew that wasn't possible, but I had no other explanation and (typical of me) never thought to ask.


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#46 of 51 Old 12-21-2013, 07:03 PM
 
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I need to get ahold of the Narnia books again.  We were reading Prince Caspian this summer but didn't finish it.  I fully approve of that level of manipulation!  One for the moms, I say! :)

 

I learned to read supposedly at the age of two.  I don't remember how old I was really but I've been told I was 2 or 3.  I remember that I was reading before I went to Pre-K.  I just try whatever approach my dd6 seems to be interested in, so I think she's been learning from several methods.  I don't care a ton about her reading right now, but she really wants to and maybe she's feeling the pressure.

 

We went to a Holiday party today with lots of kids and the girls had a great time.  At the end of the night some family came over and the girls played and made up stories involving the rest of the family.  I loved the stories they made up about the "goods" and the "means".  They got "twin" dolls and they immediately became the "goods" who liked everyone, while the barbies became the "means" who didn't like anyone.  We had such a busy day we didn't have time to make snowflakes today, but tomorrow is game and craft day.

 

dd6 played with a girl her age that she's known since they were babies.  They did some playing on my phone and half-memorized the word "weather".  They learned a lot playing on my phone and I realized they were both at the same level (at least with the topics they shared with each other), although the other girl is public schooled.  I had also warned dd6 that it wasn't nice to tell other kids that Santa isn't real, before we got to the party, but as soon as her little friend came to sit with us she asked dd6 if she knew and they both bonded over the fact that they knew.  

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#47 of 51 Old 12-22-2013, 04:41 AM
 
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Hah, loved your Narnia story, SweetSilver!

 

We are reading the Voyage of the Dawn Treader right now and I have to say I'm struggling to get through it. Is the next book better?

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#48 of 51 Old 12-22-2013, 08:02 AM
 
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You know, it's been years and years since I read the other stories.  Decades, even.  I'm not sure I made it through Dawn Treader.  Beside LW&W several times, I've finished Prince Caspian, HAHB, and the Silver Chair.  I'm starting the series again, but not Magician's Nephew first the way the publishers seem to want you to read it.  We'll see what I think of the series this round.


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#49 of 51 Old 12-22-2013, 12:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not sure I made it through Dawn Treader.  

 

I love all the books except LB. I have a bit of trouble with the racial stuff in HHB, so that's probably my second-least-fave. I really like VDT: it is an iliad type of story and because of that it's made up of a series of smaller discrete events rather than an over-arching plot. Not as satisfying plot-wise as a novel, but it has its own appeal and I think it's a good example of the genre. I can still quote from memory the first paragraph of the book. I love the transformation of Eustace throughout the book, and I love the American version of the ending of the Dark Island chapter. That version is less simplistic and more disturbing than the British/Canadian version. Lewis changed it back to his original non-sugar-coated version for the US edition and I actually bought a US boxed set as a twenty-something: it was my sole state-side purchase when I moved from eastern to western Canada and dipped through the US to take the I-90. Yup, Narnia fangirl from way back.

 

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#50 of 51 Old 12-23-2013, 11:35 AM
 
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Unfortunately the teacher does not have the time as she's working on completing her Master's degree over the next two years. It's a huge stretch for her to even offer the weekly extra-curricular class next semester, and that's something that's officially encouraged by her employer. She also doesn't live here, as her partner works elsewhere, and the commuting (90 minutes a day) helps keep her more or less completely overwhelmed. I am going to be looking far more seriously into whether we can include some dance in our Thursdays or Fridays next year in town, assuming we'll be driving back and forth to pick up her big sister. There's a good dance school there. Unfortunately I think it's rather built around huge weekly commitments to multiple classes, but we'll see.

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Thanks for that. Its interesting to hear. I really hope the classes work out next year for you. 

 

Just wanted to say, in case it helps anyone. I really like the BBC Narnia radio adaptations. They have great music. I think they must be abridged, can't quite remember though. I remember them from my childhood so they are quite old. I did struggle with HHB for the same reason as Miranda, but it also sparked some interesting discussions. It is actually quite staggering how such thinly veiled racism was ok back in the day though. You have the blond, blue eyed, pale skinned and rational Narnians vs the dark skinned, animalistic Calormenes, and the hero is discovered not actually to be a Calormen but the heir to a country allied to Narnia. It is a bit extreme.


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#51 of 51 Old 12-26-2013, 07:15 PM
 
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It was a blog-worthy day today.  Meaning, it was mostly uneventful, excepting the pleasant weather, and punctuated by those fleeting activities you pull your camera out for and post about, before settling back into the mundane activities really fill up the day.

 

We woke up late after a heavy, 11-hour snooze.  Started with our usual screen time: TV, computer.  Chicken chores.  Checking on mousetraps in the car (welcome to rural life!)  Bingo!  Got one little fat boy first night.  I've attempted to get rid of them without resorting to violence, but they were simply not getting the hint.  DH dealt with the aftermath.  

 

Felt pretty lazy all around, same with the girls.  DD1 folded her new dragon flyers while dd2 made herself an anklet with her new and colorful plastic beads.  She invented a clasp from a pin back which works nicely.  Everyone is in a much better mood today compared to yesterday, but we still spent a lot of time on the couch with Gilligan's Island and Kung Fu Panda.

 

I donned my new traffic vest and blaze orange hat for the first walk in the woods I've done in months.  The occasional sunshine has kept me to the roads where I have lovely view of hayfields and a creek with a considerable semi-wild buffer zone frequented by hawks.  But today I went up to the end of our road and over to the back side of the hill where my friends have some property, including a 20-acre hay field which felt sun-soaked and inviting.  Back down to the shadier side of the hill to ravines lined with fern-covered maples and back home again.  Modern deer season is over, but some hunting is still happening here and there, and I simply feel safer and more at ease when I'm visible.  Even private property is not immune from dolts with guns.

 

I encouraged the girls outdoors with a promise of finding the "fairy house" I found this summer.  We stomped all around the little hillside behind our house, but the fairy house was no where to be found.  Last summer, it was under a large, exposed root.  Artist's conch was growing out of it, making a ceiling far back--into a burrow probably--and a little of the conch grew out, like a little awning.  It had been covered with moss, and I had forgotten about it or they didn't feel like going out or whatever.  But the leaves, possibly critters and whatnot have altered the topography enough so I couldn't locate it again.  I was disappointed, but the hillside was so sunny today, the girls quickly settled into exploration mode, and we made a good afternoon of it exploring the deer trails and all the hillside in view of the house.  DD1 especially is like a train--hard to get moving, but once moving hard to slow down.

 

I ended the day at the library in our little town, chatting with the librarians and not doing much at all.  Paid our considerable fines.  Went home.  Made dinner.  Now I'll be settling onto the couch to read my Troop Cookie Manager guidebook in advance of the parent meeting for out girl scout troop.  

 

DD1 has folded all the dragons from her book and is racing them down the hall.  DD2 has been dividing her time between reading and racing dragons with her sister.  That sounds sweet, but they are forever on the verge of a fight, even when they are having fun.  I'm always on the alert for when things letdown.  No wonder I'm so tired!


Give me a few minutes while I caffeinate.
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