Every once in a while a perfect day comes along. There was minimal fighting. (I have to be honest!) The TV didn’t even get turned on until I started making dinner. Minimal fighting with no TV is kind of a big deal. The kids played happily together this morning while I mopped the floor. Parker played by himself while I read Anne of Green Gables out loud.
Gwen stumbled across the cartoon on PBS one morning. I told her I have all the books and that they were my favorite books to read when I was about Gavin’s age. She has been interested ever since. Parker wanted me to read Frindle out loud, which I did and it was fun. I love that book. When that book was finished Gwen asked for “the brother and sister book.” She remembered that Matthew and Marilla were brother and sister. I have been reading it quite quickly considering how often I stop to check comprehension. There are a lot of big flowery words in that book!
Gwen likes the story. She gets tired of it by the end of our hour of reading. It’s hard for her to understand. The fact that Gavin likes the book surprised me. Parker wants nothing to do with it and that’s fine. He just doesn’t get to mark two spaces in his library reading book. I think Gavin identifies with Anne and her wild imagination and spirited disposition. The two G’s will color quietly while I read. It’s been really fun. And a little hard for me to not pick up the book and read ahead. I LOVE these books!
After reading we had lunch and then headed out to the pool. I always just float around listening to the silly games the kids come up with. Today was extra nice because nobody fought. At all. That never happens! Everyone was excited about Gavin’s character game. There were so many funny lines but I can’t remember all of them. My favorite was:
Parker: I don’t want to play the game Gavin! I wanna play under Mom! I wanna play under Mom!
Gavin: Well that’s weird.
I had to laugh out loud at that one. What my innocent nearly 9 year old meant was that he wanted to swim underneath me while I floated. He’s pretty good at doing it without me feeling anything. Gavin not so much. Gwen just stuck her legs under me and basically tickled me which I did not enjoy.
The sun was shining. The water was warm thanks to our greenhouse bubble wrap cover. Life was good. It felt like we had been out long enough that I better grab snacks and reapply sunscreen if we were going to stay out much longer. That’s when utopia shattered. A bit of a tiff ensued while I was inside momentarily. It resulted in a kick to the face and an angry scream. Everyone was mad enough that pool time was over without me even having to call for a time out. So that was the imperfect moment of the day.
I considered making popcorn and putting a movie on for a quiet afternoon. Then the idea hit me. I would have the kids write stories. They were coming up with such imaginative stories in the pool. I figured I could reference that and ask them to write and illustrate a story. But my idea got better when I couldn’t get this post out of my head by TP Hogan, a fellow blogger I found during Writing 101. She talks about how her stories are inspired by answering the question What If?
The kids grabbed notebooks and pencils. I explained that I wanted them to write a story answering what if. What if a mermaid lived next door? (Gwen’s eyes lit up.) What if (Parker finished the sentence) aliens took over the world? What if you didn’t have a brother and sister? What if what if?
They wrote for a solid 30 minutes. Okay, Gwen finished a little early. She’s only 6 so her writing attention span is limited. I thought it was cute that she had to bring Val down so she could spell princess. After 30 minutes I gave them each a fresh sheet of printer paper and told them to illustrate their story. Gavin continued to write. He wrote for almost another hour before scribbling out an illustration. The picture wasn’t required. I just figured Gwen and Parker would want to do that.
I just sat in a chair reading my book. The house was silent minus the quiet buzz of engaged minds for nearly two hours. I am not even kidding. We started at 3:30 and everyone was respectfully quiet, with the occasional whisper, until well after 5:00. That’s when they all took turns reading their stories and showing their pictures. The stories were really good too. I should post them. That was so much fun.
Then of course I made dinner. I made enchiladas all by myself and it was easy! I hate cooking and it feels like whenever I make anything technically all I end up doing is warming something up. It may look fancy like the broccoli stuffed chicken I heat up in the oven and the rice a roni I add water to and heat up basically.
Enchiladas seem like they should be hard. The hardest part was browning the meat. That was only hard because the meat was pre-seasoned so it was hard to tell when it was cooked since color wasn’t an indication. Heath won’t make fun of me out loud but he did say the next time we do enchiladas he will work with me on my rolling technique. Apparently I made the low carb version since I stuffed the taco sized tortillas with so much stuffing all I could do was fold them into little squares. There was no rolling! There were only ten little enchilada squares. But they were good.
It was such a peaceful day today. The kids can’t stop talking about the stories they wrote. I love good ideas!