Wednesday, August 1, 2012

How do I love Torah, it is always the object of my discussion

Sweetwater Creek State Park
Today we went on another hike with the group. This hike was more strenuous than the previous one. It required some climbing over boulders and fallen trees and some descents using nearby trees as supports. Needless to say, my kids had great time. The boys waded a bit and stayed with the group, while 2yo and I poked behind. The river had some beautiful rapids and vistas. The boys walked with kindred spirits eager to climb every rock and get their feet wet.
Kings of the hill

 There were a ton of itty-bitty frogs hopping everywhere and 6yo made it his mission to catch them. I observed how he squatted, patiently waited, and then, with stork-like precision, seized it between his fingers. (None of the frogs were harmed, they all hopped away). One of the frogs literally jumped into his hand. Since he is not afraid of them, he takes liberties which leave most of us queasy. I was thinking, Steve Irvin kind of liberties.

This is a different frog, also released. Altogether, he caught 5, and touched one lizard.
This lizard was spotted by me, and was left untouched.

2yo investigating a flower

this is the trail

After this very exciting hike, we had lunch and walked over to the visitors' center. It had some artifacts from the old mill and some stuffed animals. The building had a living roof which the boys wanted to see. Over there, for the first time, I saw hummingbirds. Now, for most people, they are not that exciting, but I grew up thinking of them as exotic species. I knew they live here, and 8 yo saw them before, but I was just awed how they looked like giant insects and yet behaved so differently. 2 yo was a bit scared of them, even though we kept telling her that they are not bugs, so we had to leave.

In the afternoon, we headed home for an hour break between the hike and taekwondo. There I saw that a friend posted about this great site, I checked it out and found all sorts of useful things: meforshim with nekudot, maps of Israel and songs. I played one song about the articles in the Mishkan, and another about mesorah. Now that one 8 yo asked me about, and I explained again. When we got to zugot ( pairs), he asked me who they are, and then he pulled out Pirkei Avot to look them up. I just sat there, wondering how much more confident I could be about judaic unschooling if my kids were fluent in Hebrew.

The boys got their new taekwondo uniforms and were taught how to tie their belts. They both told me that they liked their class. I am glad that we have a month to wait and see.

When we got home, I gave each a hanger for their uniform and sent them to shower. The plan was to head out to our local shul for siyum hashas celebration. 8 yo decided to put on Shabbos clothes, and 6 yo followed. My husband came home and 8 yo excitedly told him about his new uniform. Then he added that we might need to ask a rabbi whether it needs tzitzit, since it is a four-cornered garment, with each corner splitting separately from another. My husband took a look and saw that the corners were cut off, so it does not need tzitzit, but I was just glowing with nachas: he is thinking in a halachik way and applying it to the surrounding world!

Now the boys are at the siyum, 2yo is snoozing, and I have a uniquely quiet house while it is still light outside...

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