Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My apologies, lawncare specialists

We did it. We confess.

All of you who make a living providing homeowners with lush, green, perfectly uniform lawns will be working extra hard. All you homeowners who care deeply about such things are in for the fight of your spring, at least if you live in a certain-mile radius of us.

You see, we promulgate weeds here. Not just any weeds, mind you -- dandelions.

I'm not a particularly gushy mother (SHOCKER!), but even I cannot deflate the faces of those who delight in bringing me dozens upon dozens of bright, yellow bouquets each spring. "Flowers!", they shriek, when they find the first one of the year sprouting up in the yard. Since moving here nearly five years ago, we've gone from a few patches here and there to near ground-cover status.

This may be because -- yes, you guessed it -- our activities do not end at bouquet collection. How can you be dandelion specialists if you do not help nature do its work?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

End of the year test, homeschool style

I cut the first part off by mistake, but thought you might enjoy this poem, recited by Levi.

Monday, April 21, 2008

...And that's two points for the girls

In the Suburban...

Levi: "Hey, we need to pick our joke of the year. How about Jesse's 'catch-up/ketchup' joke?"

Eric: (getting in the spirit of the kids first bowling outing) "I've got one for you. What did the bowling pin say to the bowling ball?"

Levi: "I don't know."

Eric: "It's not my fault!"

Levi: (after a looonnng pause) "Ha! I get it Dad! It's not my fault...that's a good one. Delaney, do you get it? You don't get it, do you. It's like the bowling pin gets hit, and..."

Delaney: "I get it. It's not funny."

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Things I Like (a stolen post title)

Thank you to my sister for inspiring this post.

1. Quiet evenings after a loud day.

2. When you just happen to be finishing up a study of Russia and Russian music, and you just happen to hear an announcement on the radio about a free orchestral presentation of Peter and the Wolf for families, and you spontaneously take the kids, and sit in the front row, and it is absolutely wonderful, and they sit spell bound, and give you excited looks when it comes to parts they remember. And there is free food.

3. Things that are free.

4. The growing realization -- that must only come with growing older? -- that being content with what you have brings so much more satisfaction than getting something you wanted.

5. Sitting in a cozy chair on a Sunday afternoon, making out grocery and menu lists, while my daughter snuggles beside me writing new stories and pictures in her notebook.

6. The start of a new week, with a clean kitchen sink and a promise of sunshine.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Kid - 1, Mother - 0

I realize, now, that I have been coasting. We've been diaper-free for more than a year. Everyone dresses themselves. I can read my own books in the corner of the children's section of the library for quite a long time without any shushing. As a bonus, we get lots of hugs and spontaneous "I love you" 's and "thank you, God, for my dad and mom" prayers. I really like these ages.

I'm taking my cues from society, I guess. It tells me that the babies are demanding, and toddlers are terrible, and just wait (!) until they're teenagers. But I have never gotten any warnings about oh, say, 8-year-olds. Which must be why I was so caught off guard this week, as we ventured out for a long walk and playtime in the finally-warm weather, at a local park. We had a great time together throwing rocks in the creek, and finding interesting things to look at on the trail. When we got to the large playground, the four youngest ran off to climb and play. Levi, however, camped beside me on the picnic table. When a neighbor friend of his -- whom we haven't see all winter -- strolled up with his mom, Levi camped beside me at the picnic table. I said, repeatedly, in various forms, (sounding very much like a voice from my past) "Go play."

He said, repeatedly, "No. I don't want to."

After an hour or so of trying to have a conversation with my neighbor, while talking over the head -- literally -- of my suddenly-statuesque 8-year-old, we headed home. He asked me, in the truck, "Do you want to know why I didn't want to play on the playground?"

"Yes!" I said. "I really do."

"I didn't want to play with the little kids," he said, as if I should have known.

Oh. Yes, of course. The little kids, who are, like, seven.

At the end of the warm weather last year, he was the first one out of the truck and on the top of the monkey bars (and I'm sure we'll still have more of that this year). Someone could have mentioned to me that I should have buckled myself in a little earlier for the roller coaster of "I'm old/I'm just a kid". Didn't you remember my motion sickness?