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Tuesday, 22 March 2011

What a sap....

....Moon, that is :)

Sap Moon, Wolf Moon, Super Moon, Maple Moon, Sugar Moon or even Worm Moon - whatever you want to call it, we've just had the biggest one in about 18 years.  It was cloudy here on Saturday night, so we missed it at it's peak, but Sunday night was lovely & clear, so we went out to take some photos.  It's times like these I wish for a really good digital SLR, but alas, our regular camera had to suffice.  The moon didn't look particularly large, but it was very bright - actually too bright for our camera to pick up the craters, but you can see them in the reflected blue moon.

One of the (very few) benefits of having a nocturnal child is that we can sit outside late at night while the rest of the town sleeps, waiting to see shooting stars and discussing the various constellations.  I love hearing the awe in Jasmine's voice as she asks questions, and when I'm pointing out the Southern Cross, the saucepan, various planets & other celestial bodies, I have flashbacks to my own childhood as I remember my Mum pointing them out to me :)  Thankfully, for the stars I'm not so sure about, there's Stellarium.  This is a great free program that gives you a 3D view of the stars from your local coordinates.  The only problem we have at the moment is that it's on the PC inside the house - not exactly practical when we don't have a transparent roof!  I think we're going to have to snatch D's notebook when he's not looking so we can load it onto that & take it outside with us.

What else was on the cards this week?  Well, cards!  We bought a new deck of cards & they're getting a good workout with Snap & Go Fish, Jasmine's favourite card games (AKA number recognition exercises ;)). And........

More dancing

Lots of bubbles - a good lesson in wind direction & speed today!

A mumma duck created to look after all the little chicks Jasmine bought the other day

Saving seeds from the parsley, ready for planting out soon

Jasmine's garden bed got a tidy up, ready to fertilise & grow the next crops.  I was impressed by how long she spent on this - usually, she lasts all of about 2 mins.  She REALLY wants to be fully self-sufficient in the fruit & veg department.  I suggested we'd need a few more beds made before that could happen.  She decided to pull up the plants & dig up the bulbs in the 'decorative' half of the bed so we could plant veggies in the whole thing.  She thinks it would be a great idea to grow everything we need so we don't need to buy things from the shops.  Smart chicky :)

And yes, she's had her hair chopped short.   I'm so glad she finally agreed!  She was really anti-brushing, so we had about 2 months worth of dreadlock (yes, one massive mat) to get rid of.  Nearly a full bottle of conditioner wouldn't shift them/it, so instead of freaking out when I suggested the scissors, she said "OK". I nearly died of shock!  Now, she loves it so much that she never wants her hair long again.

Even Crusty tries to "help" :/

She spent ages checking out this little snail

And wanted to hug the surviving parsley plant - LOL

The 98% cleared garden bed - the parsley will probably stay there

(you have no idea how many pics there are of him!)

And I didn't think I'd ever say this, but here we are at 'The Wiggles' concert.   I'll admit, it was actually a good show, despite my general disdain for them.   Jasmine laughed lots & I was admiring how fit they ;)  I was disappointed by the adults in the crowd, though.  They really weren't giving a lot back to the performers, which always makes it tougher for them.

I came across the MathRider game the other day via a Yahoo! Group email.  I thought it sounded great for Jasmine, but I wasn't sure if she was ready for it.  They say generally from Grade 2 upwards, so it would be better suited next year.  I downloaded the trial anyway so she could check it out.  Yep - a bit to fast for her at this point & she started to crack under the pressure of coming up with answers in a short time frame.  She's just starting to get some maths concepts, so I don't want to push anything that's going to turn her off.  Maybe next year...

In the mean time, she's been playing lots of games on Nick Jr & Sesame Street.   She's also SUPER excited to have mastered Dino Den on the PS3.

And for anyone wondering - no, we didn't get to the other gymnastics class last week.  In fact, we haven't really been getting to anything remotely in the first half of the day for a while now.   Maybe we should just go outside & hang with the bandicoots & potoroos all night ;)  Still, I'll keep trying to get her to go to sleep earlier.  I'm having a stall at the Huon Valley Growers & Makers Market this weekend, hoping to sell some more jewellery, so I have to be out of here about 8am.  Sufficient sleep would be really nice!!!

Alrighty - signing off now xx
Thursday, 10 March 2011

We blinked and missed Summer.....

It's Autumn already???  I think we had maybe 3 or 4 days over 30C this summer - even snow on the mountains in February.  That's a pretty mild summer, even by Tassie standards.  I am thankful though that we avoided the floods (except for the East coast), fires & Cyclones that affected the Northern Island this year.  However, I am really struggling to get a grip on time and days at the moment.  Hours, days, weeks & months all just seem to blend together.  I'm sure we'll get into a rhythm soon.  

At the moment, Jasmine has contemporary dance on Mondays, trampolining on Tuesdays and ballet on Wednesdays.  By Thursday, we're both ready for a quiet day at home!  Although each class is only 45mins long, it's the whole thing of having to remind her when we need to leave home, remind her again, made sure she's eaten her food, got the appropriate clothes on, get frustrated when she's still not ready at the specified time, drive there (about 22kms), do the class, get in the car, have her beg to go somewhere other than home (usually for food), sometimes agree / sometimes disagree, drive home, then start thinking about dinner.  Because Jasmine's such a nightowl (common on my side of the family), we often don't get to sleep until the weeeeee hours of the morning.  As such, breakfast and lunch roll into one and there's only a couple of hours before we need to go out to classes.  There's very little time to do much else during those days, so a lot of learning happens later at night.....and the cycle continues.  I am thankful the natural learning is so accommodating of different body clocks - I hate to think of the struggles that may ensue if Jasmine needed to be awake early to fit into a regular school schedule.

Howeverrrrrr.....last year, a few of us mentioned how good it would be to have gymnastics classes for homeschoolers at our 'local' club.  They have them further afield, but too far & the times clash with other activities.  Then yesterday, I received an email to say another home ed parent had organised classes locally, with classes starting this morning at 10.45am.  I knew this was not going to happen, but some friends took their kids along & were really happy with the class.  I had a chat to Jasmine about it, telling her it was a gymnastics class just for homeschoolers & a lot of her friends would be there.  I said she'd need to get up earlier than normal & she just couldn't contain her enthusiasm.  When I said that meant going to bed earlier, she asked, "like about 12?"

"No - that won't really let you have enough sleep.  More like 11."

"How about 100?"

"Hmmm, noooo.  How about 11?"

"OK then." to test out that theory.  She agreed in principle on other occasions, but it never lasted.  It will be interesting to see if the motivation is strong enough this time.  If it is, and she does indeed wind back her bedtime, then we may consider dropping trampolining next term & having a longer day on Wednesdays.  We'd have gym n the morning, then go somewhere for lunch, spend a couple of hours at the library before heading back to the same centre for ballet in the afternoon.  We did this for a little while last year when we had some time to kill between classes & she really enjoyed it.  Needless to say, there were squeals of absolute delight at the suggestion.  

I think part of me is hoping she does like this other gym class.  The class is nearly half the price of the current one, and twice as long = better value for money, we'd be saving some petrol money, we'd free up another whole day to either do stuff at home or to go out & explore more of the world, and she'd get extra time at the library, which she really enjoys.  Everyone wins really :)


Ever the performer, Jasmine has really been getting into videos lately.  I have to take videos of her doing everything - photos just won't suffice!  I'm sure it won't be long before she has her own YouTube channel for all the performances & tutorials she's producing ;)

I also think Jasmine's going through some emotional changes this week.  It's not surprising - it's her birthday in 3 weeks & a lot of her milestones happen a month either side of her birthday.  D noticed her stutter is back to a degree (something I hadn't noticed until he mentioned it, but always a sign of development for her) & I've noticed a return of the auditory processing disorder-like symptoms that had diminished greatly in recent months.  She's also been wanting more one-on-one time with me & telling me she loves me approximately every half hour.  Her desire to tell me has given her the motivation to learn how to write some more, as well :) 

Our car schooling today focussed on the sun.  The conversation went something like this......

"Why hasn't anyone been able to capture the sun and pull it in yet?"

"Because it's a giant ball of burning gasses & you'd burn up completely before getting anywhere near it."

"So there'd be no bones left?"

"Nope.  No bones.  Nothing.  All gone."

" bones.  (pause for thinking)  So how close could you get before you started to burn?"

"Well, your skin will start to burn if you go outside for a few minutes (this is Tasmania people - the sun burns real quick!!!!!) but I'm not exactly sure about the gravitational pull of the sun so I can't say right now how close you could get (inside a space craft) before you'd be incinerated."

"OK. (more of a pause) The sun is like electricity.  The sun is power!  You could cook a pizza in the sun."

"Yes you could, if you had a solar oven." (we've made a really crappy one in the past)

"Yes, you just need some tin foil.  Tin foil's all you need to make an oven."

"Well, you can make it from other things that would be more effective, but foil is the cheapest option."

"Yeah" (mind wanders.....)

One of Jasmine's favourite TV shows is Mister Maker.  I have to admit, he creates some pretty cool stuff :)  She'd seen a stencilling technique using black paper, chalk and round household objects to create a solar system picture & was hanging out to try it.

Of course, I had to get the camera out & record her doing a tutorial ;)  She enjoyed it so much, she did another picture using the same technique, this time layering the colours & noticing the new colours that were created as a result.  The second pic also saw the addition of a shooting star.  And yes, got that on video, too!

There was also much excitement earlier in the week when the new 2-part David Attenborough series 'First Life' aired on the ABC.  Fossils have been a bit of an obsession for Jasmine in the past few months, so she was fascinated to see "the BIGGEST trilobite EVAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!" amongst other creatures.

Finally (you didn't think this post would ever end, did you? :P), there's a girl who lives diagonally across the road who's about 4 months older the Jasmine, yet they'd never played together.  Tonight, this girl was standing in the middle of our loungeroom, looking slightly terrified.  I said "Hi xxxxxx, what are you doing here?"  She'd seen us outside playing with a giant bubblewand that we'd picked up from Big W earlier for $1 & wanted to have a turn.  Jasmine had come inside to tell me the bubble mixture was finished when the girl arrived, so after establishing that yes, her mother did know she was here, I refilled the tube with more mixture & sent them outside to play.  After the bubbles, they picked blackberries, bounced on the trampoline & had a wonderful time.  I was just about to leave D with the girls while I went to the supermarket (7.30pm & very hungry by this point) when the mum came over to take her daughter home for bedtime.  Jasmine asked me afterwards why the girl was going to bed while it was still light.  I explained that she needed to get up early to go to school the next day, as all children who go to school need to do.  I think Jasmine felt sorry for her new friend ;)

And on that note, it is now 2.40am & about 5.5 hours since I started this post.  I did spend an hour and a half of that time trying to get Jasmine to sleep, but was instead reminded why I lean towards a Zen bedtime.  OK - off to snuggle on the lounge (I'll try not to snore) and watch First Life on iView.