Māra (my gorgeous friend and fellow blogger and perhaps maybe one day sister-in-law) has 'tagged' me to this book challenge thingy which seems not quite as bad as all of those chain letters I have a habit of rejecting...

You've got to:
1. Pick up the nearest book of at least 123 pages.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the 5th sentence.
4. Post the next 3 sentences.
5. Tag 5 more people.

So I've done it, this is a quote from the "God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins:

"It is indeed fabricated from start to finish: invented, made-up fiction. In that respect, it is exactly like the gospels. The only difference between The Da Vinci Code and the gospels is that the gospels are ancient fiction while The Da Vinci Code is modern fiction."

So there'ya go. Interesting.

Now, as for tagging 5 more people, that's tough, as not too many people I know actually have blogs. So here we go, if I tag you then feel free to send me the answer by email, or as a comment, or not participate at all ;)): Jon Smedes! Courtney Smedes! (don't make it the same book you two), Joel Smedes! Gerry Smedes! and, lets make it another Smedes... hmmm... JULIE SMEDES! Go go go!!!

If kids are about anything at all, they are about teaching parents patience. And about letting go the reins now and then.
Tiss is now a gorgeous five, which means that in Australia he should have started school this January. I have been a little worried about the fact that in Latvia, kids start school aged SEVEN - so he's got a whole two more years of bludging before he starts his official schooling. I've been worried that he won't learn to read or write before then. But lately he has begun to prove all of those wise people right - the ones who have told me that things like an interest in letters or literacy just 'happens' in kids at their own pace. It's not something you can rush or force on a kid. Of course you can try, but you run the risk of it backfiring, and making them hate the thought of reading.
So at home we've been going slowly, slowly, with gentle nudging... For a while now (about 2 years!) Tiss has known his alphabet, but only recently has he started putting letters together. Thanks to our knowledgeable friend, Mara, we've been encouraging Tiss to do "think spelling" - when he gets the urge, to just write, write, write, however he can, no matter what the spelling is, so that he practises his letters and sounding out words and gets used to the idea of writing and communicating with letters. It doesn't matter if the words aren't spelled right. Or if there are no spaces between words. We'll get around to that a little later down the track. So this little gem (above) is what he wrote today when he was in the middle of an imaginative game. If you are trying to decipher, you need to keep in mind that in places he is writing English words with Latvian phonetics; and that for Tiss a "TH" sounds like a "D"... Anyone know what it says?


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