I love that Zoe and Ashley are asleep (snuggled up together in one bed) by 9:00 and sleep in till 8:00. I know a lot of that has to do with their low-sugar diet. It's much easier to sleep with you don't eat loads of sugar. But it's also because they don't have to get up for school in the morning.
I love that when they wake up they often sing (usually Ashley actually), and then get a book to lay in bed reading. What a thrill it is to peak in and see them laying on their backs, knees bent, reading and looking at books.
I love that they play harder than they study. There's plenty of time to study, and their years of playing as children is short in the grand scheme of things. I love how they make up stories and act them out—like non-stop theater in the house. They work on craft projects, drawing, cutting, glueing. Zoe is constantly writing, making books, signs, and little notes. Ashley asks me almost daily to help her write her name.
They sing and dance around, often in dress-up costumes and jewelry. They go outside and play with rocks, sticks, and chalk. They find bugs, and collect leaves. We go to museums, and to the playground with friends, and take long walks in the open space. Some of our best talks are on long walks. We sit in the coffee shop or outside at the coffee shop and read. Right now we're reading Betsy Tacy and Tib (love it).
Lately Zoe has been learning about the human body on Time4Learning. She'll ask me great questions when she's discovering something new like that. The other day she said, "Are there any animals that don't have bones?" We looked at pictures of jellyfish and sea anemone, which don't have bones, and she was utterly fascinated. I get such a kick out of seeing her excited to learn something.
In the evening Andy reads to them. Usually books from the AmblesideOnline book list. Such great books. Andy has taken it upon himself to teach history (since he's a bit of a history buff). Hearing about what people ate and how they lived in ancient and Medieval Europe is really interesting to the girls. They recently finished The Luttrell Village, a well illustrated book about a Medieval English village. They also read Life in a Medieval Village. It's more of a scholarly text, but Zoe really enjoyed it. Ashley listens, but falls asleep after a few pages :-) (she loves to sleep—making up for lost time, I always say). Next, Andy is really excited to begin Growing Up in the Viking Age.
The other day my friend and I were talking about living simply, and she said I would like . It came up when we were talking about Christmas presents. My friend and I both value having fewer (and less high-tech) things. We both made our children presents last Christmas, and the grandparents supported our less-is-more philosophy. My mom got on board with the hand-made love and got Zoe and Ashley hand-made play food from someone on Etsy. It's been nearly a year, and hardly a day goes by that they don't play with those felt cupcakes and cookies.
Zoe is just as into the giving aspect of Christmas, as she is into the receiving. She wants to know where we're going to donate money and why, and how we can help other people. She truly enjoys giving as much as getting, if not more. It makes my heart sing.
Just a little rant about how much I love my life. :-)