Witch Hunt

We've been trying to  teach the girls the skill of disagreeing appropriately.  This involves seeing the other person's point of view, stating your own desires, and trying to suggest a solution.  Rea has gotten pretty good at it; if the girls are fighting over a toy, I can yell, "Disagree appropriately!" and she'll say something like, "I understand that you wanted that toy, but I had it first, so give it back!"  Sara usually goes along when Rea disagrees appropriately, maybe because she thinks she has to.  But this week, for the first time, when I yelled "Disagree appropriately!" it was Sara who did!  She said, "Understand... you want... but..." and held out her hand for the toy!  Super cute!  So I made sure she got a great toy.  I was so impressed.

Sara also was very excited for nursery this week.  Saturday night, when I put her to bed, I mentioned church, and she said, "And nursery, and bubbles, and snack, and dollies, wrap in blankets..."  She was very good.  We're so glad she likes nursery now.

Rea is an excellent mushroom hunter and has been encouraging us to spend time outside.  Alison is getting to the point in her pregnancy when that seems like an awful lot of work, but Rea's encouragement helps a lot.  On nice days we do pretty well.  We'll see how it goes this summer with a baby.  We are so lucky to live near the wilderness; it's a great place for kids.

Rea is also getting better and better at reading.  We no longer have to bribe her so heavily, and she can read slightly longer books, which means that they're more interesting, which helps a lot.  She's learning fast.  Sara wants to do everything Rea does, and she quite likes blending sounds to make words, though she doesn't know all her letters yet.  She will learn them as soon as we get back the Amazing Action Alphabet book we lent to Rea's preschool coop, in three weeks.

We read "Charlotte's Web" out loud this week, and Rea liked it a lot.  We let her watch the movie on Saturday while we were at a game night.  I don't know if that enhanced her enjoyment of the book, but she did think it was good.  As soon as it was done, though, she wanted to go back to "101 Dalmations."  That's a good book, but she's had us read it so many times lately that we're sick of it.  So Alison tried to put her off by reading "The Trumpet of the Swan."  She liked the first few chapters, so hopefully we can put off rereading "101 Dalmations" again for a while.

Today we went  back to the wilderness with Heather and Clancy for a mushroom hunt. We found 6 more morels
(bringing the total to 86). It looks like we will have to go up higher in the hills to find and more morels (we really roamed far and wide for the ones that we found.)

I have been working recently on a robot for RoboCode (which is a programming game wherein you program a robot that is supposed to learn how to move around a field and shoot the other robots (which are programmed by the other players.) I have set up a recurring programming competition at my work, and one of the competitors suggested RoboCode. So far the game is pretty fun. Hopefully we will get a good turn out on Wednesday when the actual tournament occurs.

My current robot constantly moves in arcs across the playing field, shooting at the nearest robot. It seems like it can't do horribly in the tournament, but perhaps others have programmed stronger AIs. All will be known soon.

We have been playing a new game called Witch Hunt at work recently. It is based on the Salem Witch trials. There is a lot of intrigue and lying in the game, but also some team play as well. As of yet people have not decided that the game is boring, so perhaps this one will go farther than the others that we have worked on.

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