Friday, March 14, 2014

Monkeys in Gymnastics

Tey just completed his second session of gymnastics. He is loving it! It is the perfect outlet for him, and his little strong body of endless energy seems to fit the sport well. 

He just figured out climbing today and this was as high as his fear of heights would let him go. It's much higher than I would have thought!

For the past few weeks he's been working on controlling his landings for cartwheels. Ya know, instead of just throwing all your weight and power into a movement and not thinking about the outcome. Yeah, that. He's also gotten his legs a bit straighter too!

He loves doing these little releases. He's been doing them since day one.

My personal fave: the balance beam. He gets good exposure to this because his homeschool gymnastics class is co-ed.  I love that they cover each apparatus, even boys doing beam and girls doing rings. 

Mei just completed her first session and I am so glad that she enjoys it a lot too. She is naturally flexible. Flexible beyond belief, really. She is also a complete clown in the gym. Thankfully she is just silly enough to make the class fun, but she really listens to her coach so she learns more and more each time we go. I got mostly her on the beam, but she can do some cool stuff on bars and the rings too.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Better than Harry Potter?: Bean's 13 Reads of 2013

Last year Bean and I started what I hope will be an end-of-the-year tradition. He told me what his favorite books were of the past 12 months and posed for a picture with them.  We're doing the same this year, but I still need to go to the library to take that picture because so many of his faves were borrowed. I do, however, have the list of his top 13 picks of 2013! So, without further ado...

Peter Pan
Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie tops Bean's list for 2013
 #13 Harry Potter and the Socerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
#12 Paul Bunyan Swings His Axe by Dell J. McCormick
#11 Enchanted Forest Chronicles (series of four) by Patricia C. Wrede
#10 Always Neverland by Zoe Barton
#9 Stuart Little by E.B. White
#8 Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White
#7 Ralph S. Mouse (series of three) by Beverly Cleary
#6 The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
#5 Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder
#4 The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
#3 The Littles by John Lawrence Peterson
#2 Tumtum and Nutmeg (series of six) by Emily Bearn
#1 Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

We only included new books of 2013 and not ones he reread from last year, like The Chronicles of Narnia. Also a series was only included if he completed it in entirety this year. This sadly excluded several series that he's currently reading, such as Percy Jackson and the Olympians (on book 4 of 5) which would have ranked #1, The Dimwood Forest Series (on book 3 of 6) which would have come just after Peter Pan, and Peter and the Starcatchers Series (on book 4 of 5) which would have come in just before Always Neverland (so much about Peter Pan!). I have no idea how he keeps track of them all! Anyway, it does give us insight into what might top his list of 2014.  Ok, so you might have noticed that I made an exception for Harry Potter. Though he read the first two in the series, he was really frightened by Chamber of Secrets (Like claiming he could hear whispering from the walls in his room) and will likely not pick up the series again in 2014, or so he claims. I was surprised by how many books he read this year that he liked better than the first Harry Potter.

I was not surprised about Peter Pan, the boy read it a couple times, and then all these spin offs like Always Neverland and Peter and the Starcatchers. He started pretending that Peter Pan visits him at night and they fly off to Neverland. Tey was getting jealous because he was missing out on the travels Bean was talking about :)

He also read a lot of books about adventurous mice and other small animals. It seems quite fitting for him to be reading about small, unsuspecting heroes and heroines. I particularly enjoyed Tumtum and Nutmeg's recipes in the back of the books. Bean requested Nutmeg's famous strawberry creams for his birthday treat, and we also made the lemon pancakes when for one breakfast while we were hosting a Safe Families child. We suggested some heroic mice literature in preparation for his birthday present, his first role-playing game Mice and Mystics, which is extremely story driven. He enjoyed it so much, he read the storybook aloud to our friend while he was over painting our master bathroom. Thankfully our friend enjoyed it too.

Do you want to know what didn't make the chopping block but he also read and liked: The Little Prince, Mary Poppins, Pinocchio, Bedknob and Broomstick and Holes. He obviously tends to enjoy classics, fantasy, adventure, and stories with animals, or some combination of those. Do you have any faves like that? Please do share!