- My daily wake-up time hovers around 5:00 AM. I don't use an alarm clock, I simply tell myself that I want to wake up at that time. If/when I wake in the night, I look at the clock and tell myself, "three more hours", "one more hour" and so on. I get myself out of bed by remembering it is the only time for quiet contemplation that I have.
- Bedtime is fairly consistent: in bed by 9:30 PM, drifting by 10:00 PM.
- We still all go to bed at the same time and sleep in the same room. It is a double-edged sword in some ways, but more weighted on the side of Good. It definitely keeps me accountable to be in bed earlier, and I love the lights-out conversations with the boys. I sing to them every night. When we're in bed early enough, I read to them. Any kind of night-time troubles are handled by boys whispering, "Mama...?" and I'm not bringing anyone back to bed all night long.
- The downsides: no evening solitude, the only quiet evening conversation between Blaine and I occurs if/when the television is on. Ah well. It is the path we have chosen.
- Spring! It has been such a relief to send the boys OUTSIDE to play for more than 30 minutes. I am so, so thankful for spring. Things were starting to get a bit stir-crazy in these parts.
- The fellas spent a couple of days in the trees on bird patrol, pounding plastic buckets to bits and denting metal containers with Great-Grandma S.'s old croquet mallets, making a wonderfully booming racket. The grackles had just arrived back for the season and congregate in great numbers in the grove around our house. It would go from loud, raucous chattering to silence and the sweeping flap of hundreds of wings as the buckets were pounded.
- The last couple of days have been misty, moisty mornings, when cloudy was the weather, and just delightful. I made sure we were done with our schoolwork in record time this morning just to get outside and enjoy the dampness.
Yessir Grok and Spiderman
Eliah looking out the eye-hole of the Spidey Costume
- The boys went through quite a spell of dress-up this winter. Jamie mostly, wearing his crocodile suit most days for what felt like weeks. It was the cutest thing. He cycled through other costumes as well - dragon, Spiderman, frog, cow, etc. - but always came back to the "croc-a-aisle" as Eliah calls it.
- In recent days, Jamie has been very interested in hauling around his bunny family - my big, white bunny from childhood, everyone's favorite Bunny Rabbit Smudge, and the little brown bunny in green overalls.
- This has inspired Eliah, who has been tending his menagerie of teddy bear, ant-eater, snail, croc-a-aisle, and bat. He sleeps with them every night and when he wakes up in the morning, his hands are full of stuffed animals plus his water bottle. Every morning.
- Yiya calls soldiers "Yessirs".
- And this is what romped down the stairs one morning before lunch after things had been a leeeeetle quiet for a while. The Pig Bros. in two of my reserved vintage dresses.
- I finally cleared out my vintage dress collection last spring, after realizing that I had had enough. I just can't keep all this stuff. Blaine might as well have hooted and hollered and said, "'bout time!"
- I've been reading more and more poetry of late. It really, really hits the spot. It spurs so much thought and emotion. I loved the atmosphere it creates. The literary power it holds. I am amazed by it.
- I am almost done with Dakota by Kathleen Norris (I've been reading it since June) (ala Mother Culture) and at one point in the book I thought to myself, "She could have said this so much more succinctly in a poem...."
The most amazing carrot ever
- We are almost finished with our second term in school. Huge successes have been the establishment of Circle Time, regular Picture Study, Folk Songs, our first foray into formal Math Lessons, Habit Training, weekly pencil drawings, establishing Reading Practice, afternoon athletic practices, and a more established routine. This is a real homeschool, where in past years it felt more like practice. We are catching our groove. It feels great.
- In the Room for Improvement category: keeping Littles under wraps and maintaining the self-discipline to keep a steady routine day in and day out (me). I feel like I've made strides in both areas.
- So we have had A LOT of wins this year. I am so pleased.
- A funny related side-story: I keep crying while reading Abigail Adams: Witness to a Revolution by Natalie Bober. The difficulties that the Adams family endured, the intensity of the build-up to revolution, the political unrest, the strain . . . all I can say is "Wow . . . I just never knew". There is something about a narrative account of history that leaves text books in the dust. Dead and dry and parched.
- The boys are quite concerned as I choke up, working on either regaining my composure or squeaking out the words, and pat my back or give me hugs. Diego tries unsuccessfully to comfort me by saying, "It's just a book". (Riiight.) The tender-hearted things. I told them this morning that I don't mind crying about it at all - it is helpful to understand people and life better.
- If anything, I've come to a much greater understanding of the origins of our nation. How young we truly are, what amazing principles it was founded on, the irony of the birth of a nation combined with the demise of many other nations, the fact the war and squabbles are the neverending story of humanity. And so on. I am amazed.
- Truen is reminding me that my "five minutes" are up.
- Time for a popcorn snack.