Learning to read with Elie has been a back and forth kind of process. She'll get really interested and then we'll get into it and she won't want to do it anymore. Usually she gets disinterested when the reading gets tough. I was really thinking she just wasn't ready. However, recently she has been saying words right after we spell them so that she doesn't know what is being said. The other day, before we left Virginia, I spelled "l-a-z-y" to Hilary and Elie looked up and said "lazy?" Seriously. I was totally surprised, but didn't give it too much thought. Then, just last week, Dad and I were in the car and he spelled "f-e-e-d t-h-e d-u-c-k-s" and Elie said "feed the ducks?" It has been happening more and more often, so we are having to resort to using SAT vocabulary words to describe what is going on or we are speaking in pig latin. Either way it really slows down the conversations the adults are able to have. However inconvenient I may find this, it is totally cool that she is putting words together in her brain and sounding them out! Some of them, I'm sure she just *knows*, but some of them she is actually sounding out on the fly and that is sooooo cooool!!!!
Now she is hooked on learning to read and we are using a set of books called "Bob Books" by scholastic. They are the best thing for learning to read. They get incrementally more difficult and the early ones have only four or five word sentences on each page. They have simple line drawings to illustrate the story, but they aren't so intricate or involved that they distract from the task at hand (for long anyway).
Yesterday Aunt Kiwi (Hilary) and her boyfriend Don came down from Portland. We spent the day doing some caches around town and then cooked some delicious Indian food. GranEde let Talia help with the peachy/blueberry cobbler. Talia got to put the blueberries in, but GranEde's instructions to her were to "throw the blueberries in." Well, like all two year olds, Talia is VERY literal and so she spent the next half hour or so, throwing blueberries into the pan - one at a time!!!! As is to be expected when a two year old throws blueberries, some got smashed and many ended up on the floor. But it was so darn cute to see her tossing blueberries in, one at a time, oh-so-deliberately.
Today we took a hike to a beautiful waterfall located to the east of Roseburg. There are MANY hikes to waterfalls up the canyon that is to the east of town. This is one of Mom and Dad's favorites. The kids had a great time hiking and then playing in the water, although I think they were surprised at how cold the water was. Talia kept wanting to get into the waterfall, but neither Dad nor I wanted to take her out and get under with her. It wasn't really warm enough for that type of adventure. Next weekend we are hoping to go to the ocean and see some lighthouses. The kids are wanting to bring bathing suits, but I don't know that it will really be warm enough for that!