I'm brewing several posts, not sure what will percolate up first. Until then, here's a simple status update . . .
Sam has just plunged into the world of Harry Potter, and we now are on book 2 (Chamber of Secrets). I've ruled that he's not allowed to watch a movie until he's read/been read the corresponding book. I'm not sure how else to slow him down -- some of the later books have such intense stories that he's not yet ready for. Nonetheless, it's wonderful to see him entranced by a story. He's also enjoying school more than ever before, which is a relief and delight. He'll like it even more next year when Violet doesn't get to spend all day with me while he's with his peers. Sibling rivalry at its most subtle. He's also active in cub scouts (which he enjoys) and karate (which he doesn't like but I insist on).
Violet is deep into a Princess/Barbie (commercialized beyond anything I could have predicted. Did you know there are Barbie movies based on tales like "The Prince and the Pauper'? Holy cows.) phase, and often insists I call her Cinderella for hours at a time. I am surprised by how relieved I am when she joins Sam in a Star Wars jedi battle where she's shooting things and "killing them dead!" I guess it's all about balance, right? When she's not prancing around in nearly inappropriate clothing (do the designers at Disney even THINK about the fact that these expensive little fairy/princess costumes will be worn by four year olds? They don't need to show cleavage or bellies!) she is working hard to learn how to read, and is trying to convince Sam that she's ahead of him in the literacy race. Fine by me.
Will is currently under-employed, which I am not-so-secretly enjoying in that he's spending a lot of time playing with me and the kids and even gets so bored as to load and unload the dishwasher. He has found other ways to fill his time (I don't understand why he doesn't get bored playing playing computer solitaire), my favorite of which was teaching Sam yesterday how to split logs for the wood stove.
As for me, I'm 24 hours from finished with the elementary school Directory (a glorified phone book for school families). It's taken absurd amounts of my time, and more money than I dare admit to Will (but I NEED this $800 software to do the directory!) but I am quite proud of my accomplishment, and have learned a great deal about PhotoShop, InDesign, and Acrobat. I've told Will that it's "valuable skills" and "hard evidence" for when I go back to the real world, but in all honesty, it's just plain fun for me. I shall now turn to other projects like actually cleaning the house (oh glory what a mess it is right now) and perhaps even finishing the quilt I started for Violet two or three years ago. And maybe I'll even write a real essay one of these days. We shall see.