A Week, Briefly (In Which Belle Saves a Bird)

 Without a doubt, the best part of Monday was our review of The Living Christ.

For whatever, reason, Pixie had the camera with us at the table, and she filmed for almost 15 straight minutes, capturing how the little boys just sang their hearts out and filled the rest of our hearts with joy.

Here's a video of the last not-quite-4-minutes of the singing:

The video quality is rather poor because I reduced the file size from jumbo-giantic to uploadable. :)

Little Princess has her back to the camera because she's mad at Pixie for filming when her hair is uncombed.

The computer is on its side because I tipped it over to point the speakers out toward the kids, so they could hear the music.

And, I don't know what else to explain  . . . other than the ugly, torn wallpaper that is on our wish list to remove . . . but it's pretty far down on the priority list.

Anyway, I think the light of the kids' spirits is too lovely to wast time fussing over the ugly wallpaper.

On Monday morning, we also put away our preschool story time and reinstated early morning walks/outdoor play.  It's pretty consistently just jacket weather first thing in the morning, so I shoo the littles out to revel in the rising sunshine and birdsong.

On Monday and Tuesday, I took them on walks around the block--or half of it.

Two year olds are terrible walkers. :)

We looked, listened, smelled, touched, and even tasted (honeysuckle blossoms are edible) as we wended our 20-minute way.

We had a disciplinary problem or two on Monday, as we worked on remembering how to be safe when walking along the street, so it wasn't all joy, but the joy outweighed the frustrations, and we reveled in identifying a cardinal song, watching squirrels at play, seeing "our" maple tree flower, feeling the dew seep into our shoes, inhaling the cool, sweet freshness of the morning, spotting nests in trees, and picking dandelions.

No wonder our singing was so full of joy!

We did what usual school we could in the morning, and then the older kids and I settled in for part 1 of our A Tale of Two Cities marathon, in preparation for their book club meeting on Friday afternoon.

In a quiet moment of listening, Lola loved on Theo.

On Tuesday, it was more of the same, minus the singing . . . and the disciplinary issues on our morning walk.

I hit the grocery store for snacks for the older girls, though, and we stayed up later than usual reading and munching (in order to stay awake).

A Tale of Two Cities is a wonderful, wonderful read, but it is Dickens, so it is dense!!

Rose Red's mermaid tail designs--they're a new passion.

How Baymax occupies himself while I read aloud--squirting my hair with water . . . and occasionally sliding a brush through it.

We celebrated our very first Breakfast at the Park on Wednesday morning.

This was the scene of the bird rescue.

As we ate and chatted, we noticed a bird fluttering around on the pond.

"Look!" we said, "That bird is taking a little bath on the pond!"

Then we watched and watched and watched and watched and watched . . .

and the bird's flutterings grew first more frantic, then slower . . .

"I don't think that bird is taking a bath.  I think it is drowning!"

Belle ran down to the pond to get a closer look.  Nature Angel followed close at her heels.

The bird was way out in the middle of the pond, but as the girls approached and called to it, it made its way over to the side!

Once it was within reach, Belle reached down and picked it right up.

It grasped her finger with it claws as the lifeline it was, kind of sighed a bird sigh, and settled down gratefully.

It just feels like a miracle.

We didn't know what kind of bird it was at the time, but we thought it was perhaps a fledgling that had failed in flight.  The spots on its feathers made it seem kind of young, and there were a couple of blackbirds fluttering around in a frustrated way on the opposite side of the pond.  Our bird's beak was a different color, so I had my doubts, but we decided it was worth a shot to take it around to the tree they were near and put it down underneath it to see what would happen.

We remembered from our experience with the baby robins a couple of years ago that birds have no sense of smell and will absolutely take back their young even if handled by humans.

A contingent of 4 kids headed around the pond while I kept the remaining 6 with me near our breakfast (Rose Red and Pixie missed out because it was late day for seminary).

It turned out that the bird was not a baby.  The kids reported that they watched it for a while, but the blackbirds never went near it.  After time, they decided to approach it again to see if it was hurt or if it would fly away.

It flew away.

They ran happily back to me to report that the bird was fine--able to fly independently--and it was time to play.

So we did.

Ladybug can tie her own shoes now!!

Poor Theo.  He did not climb that wall of his own volition. :)
We came home tired and happy. 

First we looked up what kind of bird we'd rescued.  It's a European Starling . . . the kind we've always called "dancing birds."  We love to watch them dance through the skies in massive flocks.

Then the littles settled into some at home outdoor play while the older girls and I read and read and read and read and read and read . . .

The littles got to have some water play it the afternoon.

But I didn't get a single picture of them.

Youth activities at the church gave us all a break from reading.  There's a church member of a nearby congregation that has loves escape rooms so much that he invented a bunch of gospel related, portable escape rooms.  He shared some of them free of charge with our youth, so they divided into teams and had such a good time figuring out the clues and "escaping."

Nature Angel was worried about her activities.  Her recent birthday moved her from the younger group to the older group of Activity Day girls, and she felt that she left her favorite friends behind.

However, her loving leaders, the kind older girls, and the fun skit night activity removed her fears, and she came joyfully home telling me all about how "awesome" skit night was.

Thursday was more of a challenge than a joy, but there are good moments worth remembering.

No walk for the littles.  Too many behavior problems on their part and poor hormone management on my part left us ragged and fractured.  We cleaned the garage instead--not joyfully.

What was joyful, though, was how Nature Angel and Pixie stepped in to soothe frustrated feelings and offer Christ-like help.

I am unendingly thankful for their examples.

And the clean garage is soothing to my spirit each time I walk through it.

Pixie had my phone in hand as we sang our opening song, so she captured a few seconds of Lola singing:

Seriously, I love singing with my kids.

I promised the littles that I would pack up their school and do it with them at dance practice so that I could keep reading to the older girls, so they happily headed out to the sunshine for some outdoor play.

I did pack up their stuff.

But then Lola cried to be carried out to the van, and in the hustle and bustle of getting out the door on time, I forgot the bag on the table. :(

Ladybug felt betrayed and showed it with first passive-aggressive behavior then a tantrum.

We got through it, and we had a reasonably peaceful evening with a pizza picnic on the deck and a ton more reading of A Tale of Two Cities.

(The reading did get so gruesome that we kicked Nature Angel and Little Princess out of the room to go read sweeter bedtime stories with Sir Walter Scott who was [thankfully] home earlier than usual that night.  They left gratefully.)

It is now Friday morning.

We have 19% of A Tale of Two Cities to finish before 2:30 pm today.

We can do it!

 Next week, we return to our regular homeschool schedule.

I hope. :)

(linking here)


  1. So fun to be able to share in all this! Love the video/audio clips! The Littles are getting big!

  2. How sweet to be able to rescue the bird!

    Have a great week-end!

  3. Breakfast in the park sounds like a lovely idea! Have a great weekend!

  4. I love the idea of breakfast in the park. What a lovely kindness to rescue a bird.
    Blessings, Dawn

  5. How neat to get to see a bird up close and personal like that! We had a hummingbird fly into our house once over a decade ago, and I caught him and took him outside. When I opened my hands on the grass to let him go, he sat there for a moment, as if collecting himself, then levitated up about 2 feet, paused, and zoomed off. It was the neatest experience. (And yes, we all scrubbed our hands with soap afterwards!)

    Breakfast in the park is a fun idea! I'll have to add "picnic" to my summer bucket list.

  6. Sounds like another great week. Hope you got A Tale Of Two Cities finished in time. Dickens is very rewarding, but he does go on a bit at times!


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