Monday, August 31, 2009


Mim continues her mischievous sidling into the backdoor of literacy. Not only did she start reading before she knew all her letters, but now she has started writing before she can really read. And she still misses some of her letters when you ask straight out what they are. Is this normal? Anyone?

She started sounding words out (pop, cat, dog, etc.) six months ago, but has yet to just take off with her reading. She doesn't pick up the sight words quickly, but sounds things out each time. However, despite these difficulties, she has started writing words.

The picture above is one she drew of a character that she invented. (That purple thing in the middle is it's neck and belly. Just so you know.) It's name is pronounced Oh-blay-uh. She asked me how to spell it and I said that only she really knew that since she was the one that named the little creature. So she sounded it out and came up with the spelling you see below. Obllau. Makes sense, even if it's not technically phonetic. As much sense as English spelling will ever make, anyway.

She has also started labeling things on some of her coloring pages. For instance she had written 'sun' on one of her pages the other day. Granted the S was backwards, but I'm not going to quibble at this stage. I asked her to write 'I love you' on a note the other day and she wrote " I luv u". Apparently the child is a natural texter. I'm going to draw the line at C U l8tr, though. And if she ever writes I <3 anything we'll have a long talk and start reading through the great classics together at night.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Stream of Semi-Consciousness

Just in case anyone wondered, yes, I am enjoying my mornings of freedom so far, and yes, it occasionally makes me a little melancholy to think that my little ones are big enough to be in school now.

They both go in the morning only, but starting next year it will be all day. For the rest of their lives.

I think it's a good thing that children don't realize that for a long time; one of the many times that it's best that God doesn't give us a glimpse into the future.

We've still lots of time for fun, though, and we've been doing all the same things we did in the summer, just crammed into the afternoons instead.

Zaya's thrilled because there is much less shopping in his life. (Mommy's able to finish it all in the morning.) Mim is always sad when she realizes that we won't be needing to stop at any stores on our way out of town. This is one of the areas where Zaya is just like his father and Mim like me. Except she likes to shop even more than I do. Shopping makes me tired.

I need to go wake the kids up now (and the spouse) and get started with the day, but it's nice to have this brief moment of quiet before all the chaos of the day begins. I went for a walk with my two Hispanic friends this morning. We're trying to walk every morning at six. So yes, I'm sleepy. And I probably smell. Oh well.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Doodling Genes Pass On

Zaya has discovered the joy of drawing in class. Last year he was only too glad to put down his pencil or crayon and move on to better things as soon as possible, but now he turns his paper over and draws things.

Of course, being Zaya, he doesn't just draw the things one would expect from a normal, socially adjusted five year old. Here are a few of the things he brought home in the first three days. Sorry if the pictures are hard to see. I make no claim to photographic skills.

This is from a little book they made (The Blue Book) where they were supposed to draw things that are blue. It is "a nebula close to our solar system".

This is a portrait of his new imaginary character named Frigillin. He's an E-Coli bacterium, but don't worry, he only infects bad guys, specifically robbers. I asked my son how Frigillin knows the difference between robbers and just run-of-the-mill imperfect humans. He said he uses his sensory organs. Can't argue with that, I guess. Zaya can explain the details about how this one is different because it doesn't affect the large intestine, but enters the villi in the small intestine and etc. if you ask him. Mommy can't remember it all.

This is from The Red Book. He came up with a red hand, a red apple...and this. An artery with a blood cell and a virus.

Luckily, Zaya's teacher has a great sense of humor. She lets him be creative, and I'm so thankful for that.

Sealing Crystals

Some of our great neighbors (the W family) gave us a Rock Crystal kit a little while back. The kids loved it, of course, and finally talked me into making crystals with them last week.

I explained that at first it just looks like a rock in liquid, and they were fine with that. We set our little box of potential crystals up above my bill desk and let them sit. We helped the kids check on it periodically.

Within a few days we had lovely crystals on our rocks.

Apparently, one of the children checked the crystal box without help at least once and bent one corner down just enough to make a tiny hole in the plastic.

So the crystal water leaked out slowly but surely onto the surface of my desk, splattering on everything else within range and sealing the roll top shut.

Does anyone know how to clean up a crystallized roll top, or alternatively, does anyone want a slightly used desk?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Annnnnnd.... They're Off

It's officially the first day of school.

Mim picked out most of her outfit, including trying and rejecting several hundred pairs of shoes. Apparently, she doesn't have a wide enough selection to suit her tastes.

Since this is just Pre-K, that makes me a little afraid for the future.

Zaya's all excited about his new year as a Kindergarten man. He's in a class of all boys, and there are only about 5 or 6 of them total. Mim's class will have eight kids, with a mix of boys and girls.

Art took them on his way to work, so Mommy is home alone, with a seemingly endless list of all the things I said I could do "once the kids were in school." Since I have to leave at 11:00 to get them by 11:30, I don't really have all that much time to conquer the world. I think I'll get started with a little bath.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday Morning at the Teeson Home

Zaya and Mim start school this Thursday. That means that today is our last free Monday of the summer.

We're spending it in typical summer fashion.

Mim had breakfast with Gatito on the front porch. She had a Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich, and kitty had cheap Wal-mart cat food.

The kids jumped on the trampoline for a while. Mim took out every ball in the house and they bounced around with them.

Now they're playing WiiFit. They did a couple good runs together, and now Mim is trying to dictate what her brother should play next.

I've already lost and found my cell phone once, and checked my e-mail way more than is healthy for a normal human being.

Now Zaya is a "plankton-eating Manta" and I am zooplankton.

Life is strange, but good, and we're enjoying our freedom while we can.

Friday, August 07, 2009

We're Back

Art and I had a wonderful little mini-vacation this week. We went to Lake Murray down in South-Central Oklahoma. In fact, it's very close to the Texas border. We rented a little cabin for two nights and enjoyed spending some time without the little ones.

They had fun with both of their Grandmas, including two nights of "sleepover" at Grandma Lilibeth's house. For more information about their escapades there, see her post or this video.

Art and I went swimming in the lake, walked around, drove around, sat around and read books, sat around and fished. (Well, watched a fishing pole anyway. We didn't see any actual fish at that time.) Here's a picture of Art looking particularly attractive in his goggles. I've got a picture of him in snorkel and all, but decided that in the interest of keeping our home a happy one, I wouldn't post it. He cracks me up so much because he doesn't ever think he has to look or be "cool". I love it, and I think it's a great example to our kids.

We were excited to get home and see Zaya and Mim, and they were very excited to see us too. They kept telling me "I love you sooo much!"

All in all, too short, but great fun. I look forward to taking the kids someday soon. They would love it.

Thanks to Grandma Lilibeth and Grandma T. We appreciate you both so very much. The kids love you and we're so blessed that they are happy and coddled when we are away.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009




The hair-brushing, at least, will not be a crisis every morning before school. I'm sure other crises will rise to take its place, but maybe this will be one less struggle.

Oh, and don't be fooled. She loves it. She's just admiring herself in the mirror in that last one.

Monday, August 03, 2009

A-B-C; Round 2

I think I've figured out little Mim's problem with learning her alphabet. There are about 5 letters that she consistently has trouble with, despite being able to sound out basic three and four letter words.

She learned the sounds of most of the letters before the actual names of the letters. I think that's the whole problem. She has trouble with: C, G, V, W, and Y. Occasionally others, but usually just those. She knows what they sound like (except V, she forgets that one sometimes) but cannot remember what they're called. Especially C. It just throws her for a loop every time. Would all you teacher types out there have any advice for that one? Do you think she's having trouble with those letters because they don't sound like their names? (She doesn't have any trouble with Q, though.)