We are all starting to feel better finally - not fully there, but GETTING there and that's the direction I want to be going in! I took the kids to the doctor's yesterday to do a follow-up. They are both still coughing and I wanted to make sure it wasn't bronchitis or pneumonia as it tends to become. Their lungs sounded fine and were cleared as good to go. Yay!
They have tennis camp for a few hours in the morning until through Thursday so I've been taking the time while they are there to get back on my bike. It feels both good and bad. Good to be out and riding again. But I'm sucking wind. I've been laying low on the society front since I am contagious through today so I guess I shouldn't be too hard on myself given that I still have the flu and am still feeling its sluggish effects. I've met some nice people out on the trail and in the biking community lately and that's AWESOME. There have been many familiar drive-by "good mornin's'" and a few new people that I've met that I'm glad I made the time to talk to. There's also a new bicycling group starting up nearby so my hopes for finding a good group to ride with are high. Tonight I even attended (FINALLY!) the free monthly bike maintenance class that I've been meaning to get to for the past three months so I should know how to change a flat now. I'd like to try taking things apart at home Friday or over the weekend just to practice and feel more confident about it all. After all it's probably only a matter of time before I get a flat out there on a ride and I'd like to be prepared. I've said little prayers of gratitude every single time I finish a ride and DON'T get one! Seriously. I also learned of a good century ride nearby that I need to check out to see if it's something that I want to do.
Speaking of things that I want to do.... I've been wanting to MAKE GNOCCI ever since I last ate a delicious dinner at The Wine Kitchen with Mike. So that's what I did for dinner. A full recipe will follow in the future. But here's a peek. They were delicious little pillows of potato-y goodness. YUM!
Oh and I love days when packages arrive on my doorstep addressed to me. Especially from Amazon.com! I'm a big, HUGE library fan. We visit our local library at *least* once a week and currently we have way more books checked out than I feel comfortable admitting. But there are some books that I just have to get my hands on that they, and our local brick-and-mortar bookstores, don't carry. Once Upon a Time: Creative Writing Fun for Kids was one of those books (so was Mudworks which was also in our package today).
The cards are separated into categories like How-to, Genre, Characters, Action, Setting, Feeling (Mood), Object, etc.
What Jessi found most exciting were the "Can you imagine?" and "Sparklers" sections. The "Can you imagine" section gives some interesting words that you could use in telling your story to get your thinking more descriptively. The "Sparklers" section asked questions that serves as jumping points to create your own story. Children can combine a few of the questions and their own imaginative answers to make their story more complex.
Here's my Goodreads review:
We just got this and both kids LOVE it!! We spent some time reading through some of the cards while eating lunch and then Jessi (age 8) couldn't take it any longer and ran upstairs to get her notebook and a pencil and is writing away on the couch. She just needed some inspiration and the sparklers and words to try were just what she craved!! Ryan (age 4 11/12ths) is walking around with five of the cards he has chosen for a story of his very own that he told just us that we are now going to do some art representations of (not sure if we are going to do drawing, clay, or something else). View all my reviews >>
Both kids enjoyed these and Ryan even wanted to go further with his story. In fact the few words that he mentioned were really the seeds of an idea. He grabbed the clay and got to work and in that more details came forth as he created.
It started with the soccer field which is where his character, Jack, was having his birthday party. His best friend, Bob (who is also his neighbor) came along, as did his other friends, and his dog, Buuku. They split up into teams (the Yankees and the Redskins - yes, soccer teams) and even Buuku knows how to play soccer. He told me about the house, the driveway, and the car (made out of Wiki Stiks and some wheels from a mini-skateboard toy that he once got in a goodie bag at a party he attended two months ago. The skateboard is long gone but wheels get saved around here).
I loved seeing this take place. The initial motivation and thoughts. The details as things expanded. The problem solving when the first soccer goal wouldn't stay up. The excitement in his eyes. The pride at the completion. This was something he really got into. Very fun to witness and be a part of.
Jack's house with the car parked in the driveway (maybe his mommy can't fit her big car in the garage like me).
And Jack and his friends only have to take a walk down the sidewalk to arrive at the soccer field and the birthday party location. Sweet!
Another view of the car (in this one you can see the wheels)