Typing/texting vs. writing

September 23rd, 2014

A few weeks before we started school, I was ordering our school material for this year (don’t follow my example of procrastination!).  Andrew happened to ask what all I was getting, and when I got down to mentioning the handwriting books, he rattled my cage.


I mentioned that Paul was going to learn cursive this year, and Andrew wondered why would we have him learn to write cursive.  Was there any point in it?  He expects that in the very near future, writing of any kind will be obsolete, and people will type, text, or even speak and have it printed from their voice.


In the end, Andrew clarified that he wasn’t saying we shouldn’t have Paul learn cursive, but he was putting for the question of why would we strap that burden on him (in light of advancing technology), and was it even necessary.


Can I go on a rant here?  I love all the technology of our day and age.  I enjoy the benefits of it.  But in my body and blood, when it gets down to the rubber meeting the road, my dig-with-a-hoe, grow-from-the-dirt, think-with-your-brain heritage comes through.  The very idea of my kids growing up without knowing how to print and write just because they can communicate entirely by pushing buttons, or speaking into a machine that will print out what dictate raises my hackles.  Even if the whole world goes to that, may my children be among the archaic few who still have those lost skills (when that day comes)!

With less wind in my sails and a lot less dignity and confidence, I ordered the handwriting book (and the spelling books).  We’ve had a conversation about the value (or lack thereof) of having Paul do spelling, because he already knows how to spell.  And that’s very true.  The spelling book has a lot of redundancy in for Paul, and likely his life would be just they same academically when he graduates from high school if he didn’t do spelling.


But you know what?  He loves his Word Building!  He loves doing it!  It’s one of his favorite subjects.  Be it overkill, or busy work, or whatever you want, why would I eliminate one of his favorite school books just because it’s not that necessary?


So, we keep it and he at least gets practice writing (and learns some things on the way that he might not have found out otherwise).


Back to the question about cursive.  Guess who is thrilled to the core to be learning cursive and loves, I mean absolutely loves, to write in cursive?  You are right, it’s Paul.  He even writes notes to himself in his music books in cursive.


So, once again, even if it’s a dying art, something entirely unnecessary for his generation, and possibly something he’ll never need or use in his adult life, he sure is enjoying it now.  He begged me to take his handwriting book along on vacation (and I did, but I don’t think he ever got it out).  He frequently does extra pages in his hand-writing book, just enjoying writing in cursive and learning more.  I don’t know the real answers to Andrew’s questions, but I am sure it was the right thing to go ahead and have Paul learn cursive.  I think kids enjoy doing things, learning new things, and they love doing something well that they can do.  I believe cursive writing falls in that category for Paul.  (And, of course, it makes me happy for him to learn cursive.  :)  )

Beach Week ‘14–Birthday Party

September 23rd, 2014

Before we get to the birthday party pictures, here is a minor overload of beach pictures.



I was standing on the deck of our beach house and used the zoom of my camera to take these.  From that viewpoint, some of these waves look like they are 20 feet tall and would sweep away a house.  I assure you it is an illusion created by the camera angle!





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Marie was getting a magnified view of her grandpa through these binoculars!


I love seeing our children play in the ocean!




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It was a treat to spend this time with Andrew’s parents.  They just flexed with whatever schedule was going on for the day and played with our kids a lot of the time.


It was not a small delight that Andrew’s birthday fell on one of the days we were at the beach.  I brought our gifts along, and one of them was a from-me-to-both-of-us gifts.  I was sorely tempted to give it to him as soon as we got to the beach because I wanted it!


I did make myself wait until his birthday, but I gave it to him right after breakfast.  It was a gift of 2 of these hats–and one of them was for me!  Now we have matching hats to protect us from the sun (and now you know why I really wanted it for at the beach).


Gail was excellent at entertaining the kids, especially if it was close to meal time and they were restless.


I wanted to be out of the kitchen as much as possible at the beach, but before I even mentioned that to Andrew he suggested I buy a cake mix and even some icing (gasp!) and bring that along for his birthday cake.


I did exactly that–bought a German Sweet Chocolate cake mix and a can of the coconut-pecan icing.


It’s the first time I’ve ever done that for Andrew’s birthday, but I sure didn’t want to make a German Sweet Cho. cake from scratch while on vacation!  (It’s one of those cakes that has 14 steps and takes 3 hours to mix up–at least it feels that way.  The icing is almost that complicated.)



Everyone enjoyed the opening of the gifts…




…especially when he got down to the ones with Reese’s candy in them!


Andrew was generous (and I gave extra Reese’s just for this reason) and shared the peanut butter cups with the whole gang.


I think it was a delightful beach vacation birthday.  I don’t know if we’ll manage to go on vacation for Andrew’s birthday every year, but it worked out nicely this time.

Part of my birthday gift to Andrew was staying up very late watching “Treasure Island” (the real one, with the live people in, not the Disney one) with him.  All that violence and bloodshed is not my first choice for a movie, but I enjoyed being with Andrew (and just closed my eyes for the worst sections).

I should mention that in addition to the cake (which was very delicious!), we also had grilled steak (which Andrew himself grilled, since he is the best grill master around here), baked potatoes and broccoli.  It was a feast!

I think we properly recognized Andrew’s birthday, and we definitely properly vacationed on his birthday!  (His dad even did the dishes for the whole day!  In case you don’t remember, the men do the dishes on vacations in the Vogan family.)