This is a story book that Pearl made when she was six (2010). She made it on her own without any assignment or prodding or suggestion from anyone. It shows the education of the dragon, phase by phase, starting with birth. The last picture is a mural that the group of young dragons have created together at their art school. For me, it explains why we are home schooling. But it would not have to happen at one's home--it could also be a treatise on good schooling.
A little dragon finally opens its eyes. She looks out at the world. She is ready to learn.
They learn by their selves in the dragon nursery. There are no teachers. It is fun day and night.
Dragons learn how to respect their master and defend for their selves. They paint special dragons before them.
Dragons love mazes. They don't mind being lost. They love a good adventure.
In the World
Dragons can see things differently.
Dragons (A Mural)
Carrie has been planning her own birthday parties for several years now. For those of us who believed she'd never top the Chinese pony party, well, we were wrong.
HPD Officer brought K-9 Gunner to meet everyone. He answered dozens of questions (from kids and adults) and even brought the birthday girl a Houston Police K-9 tee shirt!
Pretty wow, right? Happy 7th birthday, Carrie!
Last weekend while we were out of town, our cat Caspar disappeared. The petsitter thought nothing of it, but we knew something was up. He vanishes on a regular basis, but he never stays away for very long. It was dark by the time we got home so I searched only in our yard and our neighbors' yards on either side. After a lousy night's sleep, I went looking further. I found him dead in the yard behind our house. He'd been hit by a car and was stretched out in the grass beside the curb. I've never picked up a dead body before. It was reality's slap in the face.
We miss Caspar very much. He and Finn, our other cat, are brothers. Finn still goes out every night in search of his brother, his very best friend.
At Saturday afternoon my whole family was in our car. My mom Marcia was driving us to Pup Squad. We arrived there. I went inside Pup Squad's adoption center. After looking at Pup Squad's puppies, I got to talk to Fran. I asked Fran how old was Pup Squad. She said 4 years old. Also Fran told me how she loved dogs.
Fran is the person who helped us adopt our two dogs, Cody and Scout.
After I stopped talking to Fran about Pup Squad, I talked to another volunteer named Christy. She joined Pup Squad in January 2009. At home Christy has a mama dog that is sick is going to get healthy.
Then when I finally finished interviewing Christy, I went to go look at these dogs. How fantastic they were!
I looked over to a window and there I saw another puppy. It was off to the side, almost in a corner maybe. I walked over to the strange dog, but I liked it a lot.
I walked over as quickly as I could. I asked Christy if I could play with this dog. She said the puppy might want to sit on the couch with you.
By Carrie, age 6
Did you know that there’s a Ninja Class in Texas?
You might think this is a joke, but it’s a True Story! A girl that is 6 years old named Carrie started a Ninja Camp.
Now you might think that an adult is the leader of the camp, but you guys read half of the note and you know that the person doing it is 6. She knows how to be a Ninja.
She can walk quietly like in the olden days. She can spy on her moms. She is good at climbing trees. She can stand as still as a tree. She can balance as good as a cup.
If you want to learn Ninja skills, come to Carrie Chamberlain Reagler. Her phone number is 713-x82-78x9.
If your son or daughter wants to be like a Ninja, then you can come to Carrie’s house and celebrate your holiday here.
Marcia's birthday is on Valentine's Day. Pearl, Carrie, and Cody (with a special cameo by Finn) made this video in honor of the special occasion. Happy Birthday, sweetheart!
Carrie and Pearl made these books over the Thanksgiving weekend. I chose a few pages from each book. The first four are Carrie's, and the last four are Pearl's.
I'm thankful for Ninjas spying.
I'm thankful for friendly dolphins.
I'm thankful for rocks everywhere.
I'm thankful for my sister.
A few pages from Pearl...
I'm thankful for my loco cats and screw-loose dog.
I'm thankful for amazing climbing trees.
I'm thankful for watermelon.
I have an Angel
with a song. She has a
butterfly. She trails thunder.
Panthers dart around
her. A velvet mask is
in her hand. Silver breezes
whisper around her. Inchworms
and lemons are swirling
around her too! Her skin is like
the moon shining above her.
Then she fainted! Crash!!!!
P.S. She hit the flower pot.
by Pearl, age 7
This fall Pearl and Carrie are excited about soccer. Although they both have lime green Seattle jerseys in the pictures, they are on different teams because of their age difference. I guess they're on sister teams.
Carrie has this to say about the sport:
What I like about soccer is that I get to play front field. That means I get to kick the ball and score lots of goals for my team. But the kids follow you wherever you go! That's all of my report.
Lately she has me read books about Mia Hamm to her at bedtime. And when she wakes up the next morning, guess what Carrie's been dreaming about?
Pearl and Carrie are selling magazines with their Girl Scout troop. Here's their video sales pitch (time 1:30). If you'd like to make a purchase, click here please.
This month we have been babysitting two huge bunnies for some friends. Here are a few things we have learned from this experience. According to Carrie and Pearl:
Baba can a few more details.
Last weekend we had a fun dinner with our cousins, Erin and Abner. Afterwards we got to watch a movie being made. It was about the Pony Express. It was a production by the one and only HorseyWorks Studios. Is everybodoy ready? Lights, Camera, Action!
Note to longterm readers: you may recognize these actors.
Copies of my chapbook "Dear Red Airplane" arrived in today's mail. The book is published by Seven Kitchens Press. I say the chapbook is out--which is true--however it is already sold out. Seven Kitchens is a micro-press, and they specialize in publishing artful booklets in very small print runs. All the copies sold during the pre-order phase. If you'd like to encourage the editors to do a reprint, you can contact them here.
Pearl and Carrie are going to writing camp this summer, and Carrie's class did a Father's Day project. Since she doesn't have a dad, this could be tricky or awkward, but she is fortunate to have two wonderful teachers. They know that there are all kinds of families and that Carrie has two moms, also known as Mama and Baba. And so the teachers invited Carrie--all the kids, really--to write about a guy, whether it's a dad, grandparent, cousin, or family friend.
In the past Carrie (age 5) has always chosen to make cards for Pop and Papa, her grandfathers, but this year the lucky winner is... Uncle Russell. Since the girls were infants, Russell has been vying for favorite uncle status. He would whisper in their little ears:
Who's your favorite uncle?
Pearl, Carrie, and Russell have their very own WWF wrestling program, which Carrie mentions in her poem. They have special fighting monikers. It's always Pearl and Carrie versus Russell the Muscle. It's pretend wrestling, of course. Unfortunately, the line about Uncle Russell living in Costa Rica is pretend too (if only!). Carrie's poem and portrait appear below. Happy Father's Day, Russell. We love you!
Each year we look forward to the Houston art car parade. This rabbit was both Pearl and Carrie's favorite. Carrie liked the Easter eggs and stuffed animals on the hood and hub caps. Pearl liked the eyelashes, the heart-shaped nose, and the evil teeth.
Our neighbors made the Pee Wee Herman art car. It is completely covered with Peeps, the Easter candies.
I liked the cardboard box car, a throwback to all the boxes that our childhood imaginations brought to life.
Carrie adores all her cousins, but she has an extra special love for her cousin Sarah. Carrie has the same birthday as Sarah which is perhaps why Carrie perceives a heightened connection between them. She oftens tells her stories that are her *memories* (fantasies, actually) of their many adventures together. In reality Sarah is 14 and Carrie, 5. In these tales, however, Carrie is 6 and Sarah is 5. Fancy that!
This post is a e-care package for Sarah from Carrie.
Carrie made three drawings for Sarah. They are rolled up like a scroll and tied with a "bow," a pastel tie-dyed string that reminds me of dental floss.
Carrie and Pearl did rescue a baby bird last week. Carrie and Marcia took it to an animal rescue center where it is being nursed back to health. In the picture, however, the heroes are Carrie and Sarah. The sign between the girls and the tree has one of those DON'T symbols on it. Nothing pleases Carrie more than doing things she's NOT supposed to do.
I was not given any explanation on this picture so I'm not sure what to say. Feel free to take a stab at it.
Carrie is trying to learn to draw more skillfully so she models pictures after Pearl's. I love that the sky has both a sun and a moon in it.
So, Sarah, I hope you enjoy these. We miss you!
You may recall that it was Carrie who planned my birthday party this year so you might assume that her own birthday would receive even greater enthusiasm. And you'd be right!
Carrie's party theme was... interesting. As in, very. Have you ever been to a Chinese horse party? This five-year-old loves horses, and she's learning Chinese (or at least she thinks she is). So in addition to the trusty steed pictured below, she had the bakers draw a picture of a horse with the Chinese symbol for horse beside it. We gave chopsticks, Chinese candy, and fortune cookies for party favors. Carrie help choose everything for the great occasion.
There are many more photos of the Chinese lanterns, petting zoo, and birthday cake on Marcia's facebook page.
Pearl is in first grade this year. She's doing well in school and can read chapter books on her own. She likes Junie B. Jones, the A-to-Z mysteries, the Magic Treehouse series, and any true story about animals. Pearl joined a soccer team at the Y this year. Her team is improving, but they still haven't scored a point. She's pretty good though. I've been impressed with her athleticism.
Pearl's very favorite activity is still acting out stories that she makes up. Home is for acts, as far as she's concerned. Her favorite tv show is Avatar: The Last Airbender, and her favorite character is Aang whose job, although he's just a child, is to save the world. She wants to be Aang for Halloween.
In her acts, she combines characters from Avatar with characters from other stories that she and Carrie like--Scooby Doo, The Lion King, and the Hunchback of Notre Dame--with characters from their original stories--a baby named Baby, dog brothers Alex and Johnny, and Pearl and Carrie are always characters in the stories too.
Pearl still loves to draw. Her drawings are like comic books, often done in the format of sequenced squares. She loves to make them funny by placing the characters in unlikely places--kings in cages, cats hanging upside-down from trees. She still loves animals. They love her too. As do we, Mama and Baba, so very very much!