Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Fall Fog

The sky gets lighter as the sun comes up, but this week is foggy, so we still don't see the sky during the day. Yesterday it was sort of a rain-fog. It wasn't raining, exactly, but your hair and jacket got wet if you were outside, and there were water drops on the pumpkins. Oh how Svea loves the pumpkins! She gets so excited every time she sees them! She starts pointing and kicking her feet and yelling "pumkin! pumkin!" For each one.

Last week we inadvertently got up a half-hour early one day because that was the time the kids woke up. We realized, though, that the morning went so much better and calmer when we had a little extra time. The boys even got to watch a little bit of Spiderman before they went to school! So we talked about it, and decided that we should set the alarm for that time every day so we had time to get dressed, eat breakfast, get ready for school, and still have a bit of time for relaxing. Even Torben agreed, and he's definitely not a morning person!

Monday after a weekend was a tough one for the new early-rise plan! But, thankfully, there is a light right next to the pillow where I sleep, so I turned it on immediately when the alarm went off, and then called "God morgen!" to the kids, then got up and turned their lights on as well. It worked out well; everyone felt more relaxed and we left the house even a little bit early! Hoorah!

I decided that this year I was going to actively participate in Nanowrimo, where you attempt to write a 50,000 word fiction novel in the 30 days of November. That's a lot, of course, but it averages out to 1,667 words per day and that's not too difficult for me most of the time. The challenge for me is that I typically have not written a lot of fiction. So coming up with a storyline and plot development will be tough. But I have some vague ideas and will see where the story takes me. On days one and two, I got to just over 4,000 words, so I'm ahead of the recommended average so far. Yahoo!

When we got to the school to pick up the boys, Torben was sitting alone on the tire swing. As soon as he saw us, he pulled off his boots, then his socks, and started to climb the poles again. He loves doing that! And I am glad he waits until we are there to watch rather than doing it on his own! I think maybe they're not allowed to do it during school time. That seems like a good rule. I looked across the yard and saw Anders careening toward us in a moon car, gaining speed because one of the teachers was pushing him. It's nice that they make even cleaning up into a game. Last week it was Torben's turn to ride in the moon car as Mark pushed it into the shed to put it away. Then Anders ran over to us and with twinkling eyes said we had to come inside to see something special. So we went. It is the start of a new unit, and they are studying the USA! They had painted flags -with 15 stripes instead of 13- and painted the letters U - S - A in red, white, and blue and hung them from the ceiling. We saw a chart where they had all written words they thought of when they thought of the USA. It's fun, for the boys to get to talk about where they are from with their new friends.
 For halloween, they had also made lots of pumpkins from orange paper, and ghosts out of thin foam, that were hanging from the various light fixtures and tree branches in the room. It's fun to see how the rooms are decorated throughout the year with the art work of the students. That's one of my favourite parts of young childrens' classrooms. They are always so vibrant and colourful.

Across the street from our house is another preschool, and the driveway to the parking lot is often vacant during the day -especially on weekends when the school is closed. So it is a perfect place for riding bikes and running around. The boys and I headed out there for a while while Svea was taking a nap. They thought it was fun to race each other down the (slight) slope of sidewalk.

We also stopped to look at the many varieties of rocks there are here. Some of them are truly fascinating to me-

They look like your standard rock on the outside, but the inside seems to be an entirely different kind. Almost like a gem that's been covered with a crust.

I also happened on this one, that looks remarkably like a toucan!
It is outside a school, so it's possible that at one point the red end was painted, rather than it being the natural colour of the stone. But it's a pretty good likeness nonetheless!

And when I picked up this one, there were two of the tiniest snails I've ever seen on the underside!

It's fun to take walks with the kids and see new kinds of nature. So much of the landscape looks similar to what we are used to, but then there are very big differences as well. And I love how much they are loving being outside! They spend hours outside every day at school. Many hours.

We learned on Monday when we took them to school and looked at the calendar, that the clown is coming to visit today...I am curious to see how they react to seeing her show a second time in about a week.

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