A Week, Briefly (In Which We Watch Things Grow)

As May advances, I can feel a drive to rest.

Sounds funny.

How could I feel driven to rest?

Seems contradictory.

But it is what it is, and I feel a pushing, aggressive, compelling drive to rest.

I've begun to honor that drive by sitting still in the afternoon for a few minutes at least twice this week.


And because seminary ended this week, we are beginning to work our our summer schedule.

Hurrah for seminary!  Hurrah for the end of seminary!

The kids' tire gardens are thriving.  The kids are faithful about watering and tending to their sunflowers and peas. 

Today (Saturday) is our end of season dance performance.  Pixie spent the week sewing and crafting, and now she has 4 darling circle skirts and 2 no-sew bow ties (I've asked her to make a set for our little boys) all ready for the swing number she choreographed to "Jumpin' Jack" and the "Callin' Baton Rouge" clogging number she, Belle, Super Star, and Nature Angel are dancing.

Our sand pit has seen constant use this week; I think Lola has about half of the pit in her hair.  No matter how hard I work at it, I can't get all of the sand out!

We've done a lot of wildlife watching--just informally.  Baymax likes watching insects; he thinks beetles are super interesting.  Ladybug spent a whole afternoon watching a snail work its way across our sidewalk.  Nature Angel and Little Princess found a robin on her nest on the edge of our woods, and now we're hoping for a sight of baby robins soon.  Little Brother stopped often in his play to run into the house and tell me, "I hear a cardinal singing!"  Nature Angel and I have singled out a new bird call from the masses of calls all around, but we have yet to match the call to the bird.

Pixie caught me braiding Lola's hair while I waited for Brother to go potty and wash up before his school session.

We all spent inordinate amounts of time getting Baymax and Lola out of mischief.  Lola knows how to unlock and open all of the doors, all of the baby gates, all of the cupboards, all of the drawers, all of the lids in the house.  Nothing can stop her but her high chair seat belt.  She can also dress and undress herself completely.  Baymax isn't so coordinated, but he's strong and he's a tease.  He knows how to make kids scream, and he takes great pleasure in it.  He learned how to moon us this week.  When he does it he sings, "Poopy bum!  Poopy bum!  Poopy bum!" over and over, cackling with glee when his siblings run away screaming.

We didn't take any early morning walks.  The seminary ride difficulties of the past two weeks bumped us out of our work of forming that habit, and it was easy to let it fall by the way.  Instead we've been getting an earlier start on chores and breakfast, and we've had slightly longer mornings for school--which has been nice because I've spent a sizable number of hours helping kids with projects in the mornings.  Poor Little Brother only got preschool twice this week because of all of the time the older kids needed from me.

Little Princess is teaching herself Chinese.  She's using an Usborne internet linked book to learn how to pronounce the words.  She's really faithful about it!  Her passion for all things Chinese started with Andrea Cheng books.

We did get to have a lovely breakfast at the park on Wednesday.  We had no great wildlife rescues, but the sky was so blue, and the breeze was so fresh, and the sun was so warm, and the trees were so green that we reveled in the beauty of it all and had a hard time making ourselves leave when it was time for Ladybug and Brother to go to therapy.

We spent some time watching birds build this nest . . . seems they have some organizing to do. :)

I hit the mother lode at the thrift store when I went shopping for summer clothes for Nature Angel and Little Princess.  By chance I overheard one lady say to another, "Those Legos really hurt when you step on them, don't they?"  I looked up to see 7 bags of Legos marked at $3 and $4 each.  The ladies had moved on, so I grabbed all 7 bags.  We went from about 3/4 of a gallon of Legos to over 9 gallons for under $30.  The kids have played endlessly!

Bookwork is seeming to be a less and less valuable part of the day.  We're still doing it because the kids still like that one-on-one time with me, and because it lends comfort to my small ones who count on routines, but I'm slowly reducing the number of minutes each child spends at the table with pencil in hand.

Nature Angel helped Baymax make our family with marbles.  He chose who would be each size and color and then named us all off perfectly.

I'm seeing the same surge in negative behaviors in Ladybug, Brother, and Little Brother that I saw last summer.  They really don't like change.  However, I'm also seeing increased stamina for coping with change.  Last year at this time they'd collapse into tantrums immediately; this year they have delayed reactions of passive-aggressive behaviors, and their tantrums are of shorter duration.  That feels hopeful to me.

I'm off to sort costumes, do some Saturday chores, and work on a summer chore schedule.

Monday morning comes so soon!!

(linking here)


  1. We have that exact same playground and climbing area in our city park. I had to do a double take at the backgrounds to make sure we weren't really neighbors, grins.

    Happy Mother's Day!!

  2. Precious pictures! Love the disorganized busy birds' nest, Baymax's purse lips above the bowtie, picture of you multitasking... And Little Princess self-learning Chinese?!--that's pretty awesome!

  3. I remember a time when watching bugs was dangerous for the bugs and very short for the kids. I can see a huge miracle from where they started. You have managed to work wonders. The pictures are precious. Tell your mother hi. Love you.

  4. Gardening, informal nature study, sandpits, breakfast in the park and lots of new Lego. Sounds like a great week to me.

  5. I love the flow of seasons and how it changes our activities. However, I know what you mean about some children just hating change. I have had a few of those through the years.
    Blessings, Dawn

  6. Love the tire gardens! That is really cool. My son really likes bow ties. No-sew is right up my alley! My son will be starting Seminary this fall. I'm excited for him, but wondering if he will have to take early morning or online. It will depend on his online class schedule. Since those classes are filmed-live, I don't want him to have a conflict with Seminary. The playground looks fun! It's too cold to enjoy the outdoors here. It was snowing just yesterday!

  7. The picture of you braiding is sweet. :) And I love the tire gardens! We have some seedlings that need to get into bigger dirt, and I kind of don't know what to do with them. I don't have a big empty planter right now.

    Congrats on the Lego score!


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