Tuesday, October 28, 2008

And now he reads...

Finny has been "beginning reading" for ages. He could read his name when he was in his twos. He's been actively trying to read for several months now; sounding out letters, reading contextually, writing letters, asking questions, etc. It's so marvelous to watch a child learn absolutely naturally - we've never "taught" him a thing, only modeled for him and answered questions.
Last night as we were all cuddled in bed getting ready to read. Finn picked out an old Star Wars book that we hadn't read in awhile. I read the first page. I turned to the next page and then Jack and I were talking about something. A moment later Finny said, "I know what that word says." I looked at the page and he was pointing to the word Obi-Wan. I asked him what it was and he said, "Obi-wan." It occurred to me that he had probably seen that word so much that he was reading it from memory, but I complimented him wildly anyway (of course). But THEN he said, "See, it says O (he pointed to the letter O), B (he pointed to the letter B) and ONE (pointing to the "i" which he mistook for the number 1). He was actually looking at the letters and sounding them out!
Then, today, as we were driving to the library he was counting all the Obama signs - something we love to do. He was quiet for a minute (rare) and then said, "Obama is just an O and a B and then MAMA." HOLY COW! SO right!
This is real reading. Understanding that each letter makes a sound, putting those letters (sounds) together makes a word.
SO EXCITING! What a marvelous, magical world awaits him. I feel the door creaking open and am picturing all kinds of characters tumbling out to welcome him to glorious world of STORIES! Sort of like a Disney movie when the magic portal opens and all the storybook characters come frolicking out.
This picture was taken in our tepee (yet another wonderful gift from Grandmary). Now that the weather is cool we've been climbing in there and having tea while reading The Dangerous Book for Boys (Grandmary again!). Yesterday we had tea, made paper airplanes and read some of Prince Caspian.
I must be dreaming...it's all so fabulous...my life...his life.
Y'all come over and we'll make some tea and climb in the tepee.

Michele, Jack and Finnigan the Curious

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Shakespeare wrote...

"When he shall die, take him and cut him out in little stars
and he will make the face of heaven so fine that
all the world will be in love with night and pay
no worship to the garish sun."

This is one of my favorite pictures of Finn. It captures his beauty so perfectly; those ruby lips, skin like peaches and cream, eyes like a deep and ancient forest dappled with sunlight. He has such an old soul and such old-fashioned beauty to match. Whenever I look at this photo I think of this quote. I used to know it by heart as I love it so. I found it almost impossible to even type the words, "when he shall die..." But, die he shall someday and when he does the face of heaven will be so fine that all the world will be in love with night and pay no worship to the garish sun.

I find it hard to breathe when I think that I almost went through my life without this child. What would my heart be without him? Nothing. Nothing at all compared to what it is now. I love him so.

How do planets float?

Mama Holt
Oh, um, well,
it's because, well, they're not
really floating.
I think...
What do YOU think?
Finnigan the Curious
I think it's because of gravity.
Mama Holt
Right! I actually think that the planets are not floating. I think it's because they are orbiting the Sun and they're going really, really fast so it looks like they're floating. So, maybe that means that they look like they're floating because there's actually NO gravity and it's the pull of the Sun (or maybe the other planets) that keeps them in order and moving along?
Finnigan the Curious
Is that true?
Mama Holt
I'm not sure. Let's go look it up on the computer.
Finnigan the Curious
Nah. I'll just wait 'till Dad gets home and ask him.
Seriously! Isn't that hilarious?
And for those of you still wondering how planets float:
They do not "float." The planets are in motion, and that motion is governed by the gravitational pull of the Sun. The position of the planets and their respective velocities is such that there is a balance which keeps the planets in their orbits, as opposed to either flying out into space or being pulled into the Sun.Everything in space floats because there is no gravity. Gravity is produced by objects in space, so when something in space nears an object, it begins to "fall." It's speed depends on the size of the object.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

My man.

Photo by Autumnfawnphoto.com

Not a day goes by that I don't feel grateful that Jackholt is my man. Here are just a few of the reasons why:

He makes me a delicious latte every morning on his fancy espresso machine.
He is generous with his money.
He has now assembled, unassembled and reassembled an intricate bunk bed (now fort) for Finn without ever batting an eye or acting grouchy.
He still tells me I'm pretty.
He always says, "love you" before he hangs up the phone.
He gets up in the middle of rain storms to roll up the car windows or bring in things that we left out.
He acts like it's OK when he comes home from work hungry and there' s no dinner and Finn and I are jumping on the trampoline and we've already eaten.
He's a great cook.
He drives cool, old cars, but is willing to give them up to spend more time (and money) with us. Ditto for cool, old airplanes.
He's got a scientific brain, but is always open to listening (and often believing) my alternative, radical ideas.
He's down with unschooling even though he's as educated as they come.
He cries in movies, especially when they involve children and families.
He knows how to fix, make, create, build ANYTHING. ANYTHING!
When he comes home from trips he always hides a gift for Finn in his suitcase.
He has a great mind for navigation and can read any map with ease. I always feel so safe traveling with him.
He's so dreamy and I'm so lucky.


Friday, October 3, 2008

"Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar."

Isn't that a wonderful quote? It's by Bradley Miller who founded The Humane Farming Association.
We were THRILLED to find this caterpillar in our garden, chowing down on the milkweed! After he gets his fill, he'll turn in to a pupa and then a Monarch Butterfly! Isn't he gorgeous?
I had to thin out the lettuce last week as they are growing so profusely. The seed package suggested eating the baby shoots. What a great idea! I pulled them all up and showed them to Finn who promptly tried one. He said they were DELICIOUS and then proceeded to eat them voraciously. He said he was just like the caterpillar. I asked him if he was going to turn into a butterfly. He said, "No, just a superhero."
I'm telling you, there's nothing more exciting in the world (other than having a baby, I suppose) than growing your own food. It makes me so happy and makes me feel like everything is going to be OK. Despite all the untoward things happening in the world right now, the garden still grows, the sun still shines and little boys still want to be superheroes.
Soon we'll have our own spinach, lettuce, carrots, peas and potatoes. Y'all come by - we'll make some corn bread and pick some fresh veggies together.
Michele, Jack and Finnigan the Curious