Today, October's day, 2011, 8 yr old Eth did a poem without any help.  Sometimes we prance around in a mock chase while composing spontaneous poems and laughing.

    by Ethan Isak Rohrbach

"The leaves are Autumn's flowers
And the wind is always breezy,
If you have a cold
You are utterly sneezy.

Meanwhile outside
The autumn flowers blow
It's probably uncommon
To ever see a crow.

The leaves are Autumn's flowers
And the wind is always breezy,
If you have a cold
You are very very sneezy.

And if you see an apple
Lying on the ground
And if you see a gopher
You might see a large mound.

The leaves are Autumn's flowers
And the wind is always breezy,
If you have a cold
You are probably pretty sneezy."
Each morning at the beach house we heard wondrous sounds from the resident piano which has two octaves in tune and the rest wildly awry! 
Eth starts each day playing the piano, even before he is entirely awake - as if the brain comes alive with the piano variations.  Wow can he play!  and change keys and do variations on a theme. He does not get discouraged with mistakes but simply corrects them and practices until he gets the piece perfect.
Meanwhile, back home, CT started a new school.  He has been searching for friends whose language is not consumed with swearing and sewer talk.  Hopes to find friends of similar interests and more interesting things to do than criticize people.  His talk has not been shaped by hours & hours of bad talk TV shows.  He rarely watches TV as he has too many interesting things to do. He had a summer full of great friends and fun things at two camps, mission trip, drama theatre, etc.  But at this school he knows noone.  He was rather shocked by the boys' language and rudeness at a get-acquainted event.  Where were the other boys?  Surely there are others.   That will soon have to change and boys of like minds will indeed find each other. 
We said a list of character traits was forthcoming and then found so many lists we paused!
We will skip to a list or two for thought and perusal.

The following is a favorite short list of character traits:
prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance, faith, hope, and charity, wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.   These include so many of the other character traits we think of.

-And a list that is quite long and can spring out of the former short list:

Adaptability Appreciation Attentiveness Availability Commitment Compassion Concern Confidence Consideration Consistency Contentment Cooperation Courage Creativity Decisiveness Deference Dependability Determination Diligence Discernment Discretion Efficiency Equitableness Fairness
Faithfulness Fearlessness Flexibility Forgiveness Friendliness Generosity Gentleness Gratitude Honesty Humility Integrity Joyfulness Kindness Love Loyalty Meekness Mercifulness Observance Optimism Patience Peacefulness Perseverance Persistence Persuasiveness Prudence Punctuality Purpose Resourcefulness Respect Responsibility Security Self-Control Sincerity Submissiveness Tactfulness Temperance Thoroughness Thriftiness Tolerance Trustworthiness Truthfulness Virtue.
Much food for thought in raising children! 
- being kind toward, using polite words around, valuing others in their life flight and position, whether father, teacher, professional, etc. 
Those we don't respect will not likely move toward us, respect us, or help us fly.

Grandma Gooses Encourage Kids

So many of us enjoy being "Grandma Goose" in the lives of our grandchildren or the children around us.

While having fun with them, we can encourage good character traits, by word and example,  that will help the children become happy & successful adults.

Here is the first of a list of character traits to help us help kids become their best selves.:
HELPFUL: ready to serve at any time! ‘They help each other. They say to one another, “Be Strong!” (Isaiah 41:6).’

Sea Fever

An ocean in a bathtub.
I scoured the tub for Eth's bath, chosen instead of shower, and the sink for his hair wash
preceding the bath. He was full of puppy - hair, face, body. He likes to get into what I call the gated community (baby gates surrounding the 2 puppies) and play with them. He laughs with glee as he plays and watches their responses, however predictable. The bath time which loses traces of puppy recently has lost the usual toys because: It is Time for pirate ships to sail in the ocean! Amazingly, some of the tiny cardboard ships do float and imaginations take sail.

- the real ocean from the front deck.

"I must down to the seas again,
to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship
and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick
and the wind's song
and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face,
and a grey dawn breaking.

I must down to the seas again,
for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call
that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day
with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray
and the blown spume,
and the sea-gulls crying."

(John Masefield 1878-1967 English Poet Laureate, 1930-1967)
This ocean beach village-by-the-Sea has a marvelous library which architecture befits the beach environment and contains a corner for children to have all to themselves.

While Eth selected books & a video, I found a couple for myself to potentially suggest on MamaGoose.com.
"Children of the Wild West" by Russell Freedman and "Children of the Great Depression" also by R. Freedman. What might be less interesting as straight history is made fascinating from the viewpoint of children and their stories. The books are full of excellent photos. Mr. Freedman is the recipient of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for his body of work; more than 50 books for young people.

Eth, from the shower, screamed lightly & high and Grams to the rescue. A dragonfly. Killed it. Bock to the computer. Another little high-pitched scream. "I'll save you" said Grams "What is it this time?" "A spider!" pointing to a wad of hair taken from the drain and then laughing uproariously. Saved again. He spotted a variety of things including a ghost which I denied the existance of. This drama went on several times.

I sat at the piano and played Beethoven music. Music for coming out of the shower, adding made-up words, then next music for being out of the shower with appropriate made-up words....when Eth suddenly surprised me with a push to my back. This time I was the one who screamed! "It's the ghost from the bathroom!" The Moonlight Sonata then was rendered in a style to depict a ghost on Pirate Ship.

The Wiz Kids Pirate ships games are big here at the beach. "Pirates of the Frozen North" became the start of obsessive collecting of well-detailed ships from all countries to make & sail & strategize.

When looking for books we did not forget the inviting used & new book store, in a snug corner along the street, a lovely store which offers what the owners calls "an idiosyncratic collection." I purchase an extra copy of Anne Morrow Lindbergh's "Gift From the Sea" in large print for the beach house guests and her book Bring Me A Unicorn" - her diaries & letters 1922-1928 for myself. Perhaps I will be encouraged or inspired.

Long ago the others went up to bed.
Good night two sleeping puppies. Good night kitty.