Copyright © Jasmine of the Valley
Design by Dzignine
Wednesday, 11 May 2011

It's all about family

Ah, it does my heart proud to be raising a Socialist Greenie :D

I love how kids can see so clearly what many adults fail to grasp, or have pushed aside in preference of economic gain.

On our way to trampolining today, there was a fair bit of smoke coming from a roadside property.  I noticed yesterday that there was at least one big tree down & an excavator onsite, so obviously today's task was to take care of the unwanted tree.  Jasmine wondered why there was so much smoke & explained what they were doing.  She was disgusted, stating most emphatically that we need trees to breathe & it was "stupid" to cut them down, before a couple of minutes of tutting & mumbling to herself about the environmental impact of the smoke & loss of vegetation.  I explained that some trees become diseased, or it may have needed removing so they could build there.  She was surprised to hear trees could get sick, so we talked a bit about different diseases that affect plants.  Further along, there was someone else burning off and again she was very vocal about how bad the smoke was and wondered why the people didn't know that.  I just smiled to myself, imagining how she'd be if she ever got to question Forestry Tasmania about their practises ;).

Jasmine has been trying to grasp the concept of power & electricity lately, with it coming up often in conversation.  We've talked about what it would have been like to live without electricity & her main concern was how people had parties without it - LOL!  I suggested that they probably still had celebrations for different events, but not quite like the parties we have today.  I pointed out many of those celebrations would have involved lots of people in the same village.

Then when we woke up today, she noticed the clock on the (evil) microwave was not displaying the time correctly.  I mentioned there'd been a blackout while we slept (D had told me about it while I was still sleeping), which triggered more talk about electricity. During that same car trip today, we had this chat.....

"Mum, you know way back in the olden days, before there were people like us, when there were people who used to look after dinosaurs?  (laughs)  Well, not realllly, but you know a really long time ago before people had power?"


"I think they still had lots of parties!"


"But they didn't NEED power.  They had their families.  Who needs electricity when you have your family?  Family is all you really need!"

Wow!  Who needs electricity when you have your family?  Brilliant question and one of those moments when you realise how important the simple things are.  I love that girl!!!!!
Wednesday, 4 May 2011

What happened to April?

I think I must have blinked & missed it  : /

So lots of catching up to do blog-wise, but I'll try to condense it as much as I can.

Despite having driven past it hundreds of times over the years, we had never visited the Apple Museum at Grove, so with a bit of time to kill one day, we checked it out.  Jasmine LOVED seeing the old machinery & learning about life in years gone by.  We got a demonstration of a slinky machine (of which we actually have one, packed away in a box from our last move....somewhere) & Jasmine was amazed to see how many varieties of apples there were - certainly a lot more than the half a dozen or so types in the shops today!  We definitely plan on going back when we have more time so we can really discuss all the different displays.

The jeans cake - a last minute change
from the castle cake she originally wanted
The first week in April saw a big jump in Jasmine's understanding of phonics & her desire to learn more.  We've had a subscription to Reading Eggs for a couple of years, but she's finally at the point of "getting it".  She's also been copying words she sees around, even copying the different font styles which I found interesting.  I'm also no longer "allowed" to type words into search engines for her - I am only allowed to tell her the letters to type :)

April was also Jasmine's 6th birthday, which I think has contributed to the leaps in learning - the 3 weeks either side of her birthday are always big for milestones. The most exciting thing for her was getting an aquarium & 3 fantails.  She'd been asking for fish at least since her last birthday, so I decided this was a good time.  She's been doing really well with looking after them, albeit a little heavy-handed with the amount of food given at times.  We cleaned out the tank last weekend & we discussed the filter media & explained how that worked.  She agreed that swimming around in your own poo & rotten food would not be very nice, so understood the importance of keeping the tank & filter clean.

A couple of cuties who share
 South American heritage
My Dad & his partner (Bump & Nanna Bump) came over from SA for Jasmine's birthday which was nice because she's so into spending time with ALL the family as much as possible (including ringing her other Nanna @ 4am for a chat - Nanna was not so inclined to chat at the time).  We headed up to ZooDoo one day - a place we had not been since her 2nd birthday.  Apart from pet fish, the other critter she's been hassling for is a guinea pig.  Oh, the excitement when we walked into the room with the guinea pigs & rabbits!!!! LOL  Getting her out of there then presented somewhat of a challenge (we did go back later for a second look / cuddle, but I said no to a third visit - mean mum that I am ;) ).  We went on to pat & feed some very friendly wallabies, but the emus were a bit too scary for her.  We took the bus tour up the back of the zoo to feed the larger animals such as more emus, ostriches & camels.  A rogue goat came along for the ride, which Jasmine thought was HILARIOUS!!!  Of course, the goat ended up with most of the food, but he was much more gentile in his eating habits than the ostriches.  After grabbing some food for ourselves, we checked out the tigers just in time to see them getting it on (nothing like a bit of privacy) & got to feed the lions - well, Kiara, anyway.  Bakari was too busy sunning himself on what was a glorious Autumn afternoon.  We then went back to the native animal section & Jasmine realised she was patting an emu & it was not attacking her, so that's one fear conquered.  One final trip on the safari bus - complete with goat - and it was time to call it a day.

A mean looking wallie who was so gentle & friendly

Feeding the wallie
THAT goat ;)

Bengal tiger - I think this is Lena

Getting over her fear of emus
Kiara & Bakari enjoying a lazy afternoon rest
Feeding Kiara

We finally made it to one of the homeschoolers gymnastics sessions.  At first, Jasmine refused to join the class for the older kids as all the instructors were male - something she's had an issue with since having a male instructor last year, although she's always been very wary of men in general.  We headed to the younger group (more free play) & hung around there for a while.  One of the instructors asked how old she was & I said 5 (well, she was for another 31 hours), so she was allowed to stay for that class.  I mentioned the issue of the male instructors & he pointed out that one of the girls had just gone down to the other group, so we went back to check it out.  What a difference an instructor makes!  She loved the rest of the class!  I was hopeful that she'd be happy to do that instead of the trampolining class so we could free up a day to do other things, but no such luck.  She wants to add this class, not substitute one for the other.  Dammit!!!  But still, it's all the stuff she really enjoys doing, and it's a good activity on so many levels, so four classes a week it is!  She told me today Bouncers is her faaaaavourite class, followed by Contemporary & Ballet.  Mind you, she's still going to bed really late, so getting up in time for the homeschool gym class every week may be a bit of a push.  We'll take it week-by-week & thankfully, it's a casual class anyway, so no biggie to miss lessons.

So this week's focus is on bees as Jasmine wants to know how bee babies are made.  I found a great video on YouTube showing the life cycle of honey bees & I've printed out pictures & facts about bees for her to make a lapbook or even a spiral bound book which she can look back on & add to later.

Apart from all of that, it's been lots of games online @ Nick Jr & Sesame Street, more YouTube vids on all sorts of topics, the time-telling PC-ROM that I've gone blank on the name of & lots of board games, particularly the Ladybug Game, Go Fish & Snap (she's such a cheater - LOL).  Oh - and everything's a song at the moment!  She makes up songs about everything & sings much of the day away.  A bonus is always knowing where she is - and having a good belly laugh whilst admiring her abilities :)

OK, I'll finish up this post with one of her favourite pics.  No wonder she can never hear what I say to her! ;)