Owls, Glass, Cooking, Comedy

Hi Family,

I had planned to be in bed _right now,_ but it turns out that I'm not
going to meet that particular deadline. Funny how those things turn out.
Sometimes I wonder whether it makes more sense NOT to give myself
personal ultimatums and bedtimes, since it's anyone's guess whether I'll
actually follow through.

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Today, it's owls all the way, baby. The coats and shoes are ready, and
if Ben and Jeff hear the mating call of a Great Horned Owl tomorrow
morning--like they did today--Ben is determined to hike into the woods
to try to see it. Ben wants to know: How loud are they? How big? Do they
live a long time? Does his (Ben's) current sound effects sound like a
real owl? How about this (new and different) sound effect? Do I (mama)
want to try to see the owl? Do I wonder whether I could see an owl? He
does. Would the owl like us to see it? Do I think I saw the possible
place where an owl hangs out when I was in the woods walking today??

.....It makes me dizzy sometimes, the depth of his wonderment. It's like
Ben wakes up every morning with an endless hunger to Find Out About
Stuff. It's like some crazy homeschoolers once told me--people are born
wanting to learn!

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Bennerism: "Gloves are _exactly_ like mittens, except that they have a
lot more fingers."

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We went to the Corning Museum of Glass on Wednesday, which was a field
trip enjoyed by all. We saw a hot glass show, Ben got to be the
audience-volunteer-glass-breaker for the Glass Breaking Demo, and he
received a small flame-worked glass swan for his efforts. He was
thrilled. Jem toddled around and had a great time trying to run faster
than his little legs could carry him, and occasionally falling flat. He
likes to run with his lower jaw kind of hanging loose so that with every
step his voice bounces. He is a small whirlwind to be reckoned with.

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It's been a big week for all of us, in different ways. Jem, for
instance, has--at least temporarily--decided that, gosh darn it, pee
really _can_ go in the toilet. It's not nearly such a blow to his
independent spirit as he thought, to urinate in that lovely white bowl.
This is a relief to me. He will not go off to college (or whatever) with
periodically soaking wet pants.

With independence and verve equal to his small son, Jeff spent this week
working on the continuation of his self-employed ventures. He is
starting to look for new clients and has named his Company of One:
FreeThought Designs. (Coming soon to a website near you!) He already has
a new client, and I am so proud of him, when he talks with folks on the
phone and he uses his radio voice to sound all professional and
knowledgeable. Which of course, he is. His clients are lucky if they can
get him, Freethinking and Freespirited Web Developer that he is. :)

Tonight, I taught my first in a series of four cooking classes. This one
was Simple Suppers and Basic Cooking Techniques. I had five students,
three of whom I didn't know, and we made lentil soup and quinoa and
roasted veggies and maple-glazed tofu. I have learned a lot in the past
few years, and I can tell because I wasn't nervous, didn't need to study
up, didn't need notes. I just showed people how to cook. I'm starting to
realize: this is why people strive to get good at something, so that
they can get in the Flow.

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I'm re-learning how to jump rope. I need a fun activity for when my boys
are busy wallowing in the mud pit--I mean, sand box--outside our house.
Skipping rope is much better than thinking about how I'm going to scrape
the dirt from their clothes.

Oh, and Jeff and I saw "My Cousin Vinny" last night, which was _really_
funny. Anyone have some good movie recommendations? Like, not a total
chick flick, and not a totally intellectual-unfunny-type-Film, and not a
scary action movie, but something really good nonetheless?

It turns out that now, half an hour later, is when I'm going to go to
sleep. I love you all!

Stay warm,
Sarabeth