Ah--long silence. When I traveled in Europe one summer, my mom fretted to a friend that she hadn't heard from me yet--not since I had left. Her friend answered, "Well, she's either having the time of her life or she's too sick and weak to write!" So, the long hiatus here has been the former.
We FINALLY sold our Columbia house and so were able to buy a home here. We bought a house we've had our eyes on since November, long before we even knew if this move would work out. Adam found it on the Multiple Listing Service and we just kept watching it. He started calling it "our house." I couldn't look because I didn't want to fall in love with something just to have it sell before we were able to buy. But . . . the price dropped again after we got here and we were afraid we would lose it. Columbia was under contract and close enough to closing that we felt like we could chance looking and falling in love. Which is exactly what happened. On Tuesday, we moved into the house, the only one we ever looked at here!
So once again, we wake up in the woods each day, this time in a forest of pinon pines. The house sits on an acre and is surrounded by all natural vegetation--goodbye yard tools! The neighborhood of about 80 houses surrounds Allen's Lake, a small 40-acre lake. There's a neighborhood beach with small dock, boat launch, swimming and picnic area and a play ground. The neighborhood has Lake of the Pines Movie Night monthly in the summer. Last night was a showing of "Star Wars." The neighborhood kids totally disregarded the movie but spent the evening running around with their light sabers and glow sticks, playing at their own version of Star Wars.
Late yesterday afternoon we were sitting in the living room when a movement outside caught my eye. I took a closer look and it was a lynx! We watched it stalk (but never catch) a rabbit. such a beautiful, elegant animal. And, yes, we do have to be aware of the chance of encountering a mountain lion or bear. The neighborhood has lots of open space and natural habitat for animals and we abut a large parcel of open space to the west, right at the base of the foothills. The threats are a bit different than those found in Baltimore!
Other momentous changes: We've enrolled Oliver in The Shining Mountain Waldorf School (www.smwaldorf.org) for kindergarten. I've been feeling hard pressed to give him the level of physical activity and routing I feel like he needs. I think he'll thrive at Shining Mountain. The
kids start each and every day outside on the play ground and then go for a hike. They return to the classroom for a more quiet, inward activity. Then out again for more large movement. So goes the rhythm of the day. They will cook a grain every day for snack time and it will be combined with a fresh fruit or vegetable. And lots of time outside every day.
The Waldorf philosophy understands children to be busy inhabiting their bodies and learning through doing and imitation through age seven, when they move into a new developmental stage. Simply stated, Waldorf explains its hope to educate the hands, heart and head.
Levi is back in vision therapy. We continue to discover new things. He was recently diagnosed with Irlen Syndrome (www.irlen.com), a perceptual disorder in which the brain cannot accurately process certain wave lengths of light resulting in a variety of visual distortions. The treatment is to alter the the wave length to one the brain can process by using colored transparent overlays for print or colored lenses if the distortion extends to distance vision as well.
Diagnosticians for Irlen are still few and far between but we have been lucky enough to have one in Ft. Collins, just an hour north of here. We've had one appointment and will return on Sept. 3 to determine the best lens color for Levi. Once he gets his tinted lenses, he'll continue in vision therapy to address some problems with his eye movements and how smoothly his eyes move over print. We discovered the Irlen Syndrome by a strange route. Adam's stepmother, Barbara, read an article about it in The Cape Cod Times and sent it to us. It came at a point when I was feeling so frustrated and stymied. Levi seemed to have gone backward in his progress and I had a strong feeling we were missing a piece of the puzzle. Irlen has proved to be a major part of the picture.
All of this information has come so recently that we've decided to continue to home school Levi for this year. He'll attend a 1-day a week program called Options, a public school program that provides classes for home schoolers. He's excited. He chose his classes: Medieval History, Science, Math, Strings--violin, PE and Art. Two days a week he'll participate in a program run by a former Waldorf teacher on her one-acre farm in N. Boulder (www.sagehamilton.com). Below is a sampling from the fall schedule:
FALL - IROQUOIS
children 6 - 8 'How the Earth Got on Turtle’s Back'
Iroquois Totem Animals - Eagle, Bear, Turtle
Native American Crafting
Harvesting and Medicine making
WINTER - SPRING ANIMALS AND THE CELTS
Totem Animals continued - one or two blocks -
Horse for sure the rest to unfold
Celtic Legends, Folk, and Fairy Tales
children 6 - 8 strong focus on the fairy realm,
King of Ireland’s Son and more
children 9 and up - more mature legends
Practical Arts to compliment this curriculum for both age groups
Jokes by Levi
What did the ice cream say when the banana asked when it could come over?
Only on a sundae!
What does a drama king wear to bed?
What do you call a swashbuckling rat?
What do you call a shoe that has a problem?
An is-shoe! (An issue)
What do you call a video game that you play with more than one person?
What do you call it when someone listens in on Christmas Eve?
And one contributed by a friend:
What's brown and sticky?
Levi called me into his room saying, "Oliver's a quarterback." Oliver was on the bed on his tummy with 4 quarters on his back.
What does a crocodile say when it wants to be a rooster?