Monday, July 1, 2019

On Sundays












Ever since spring arrived, we've been trying to have a Sunday routine of mass and then a picnic and park visit of some sort.  It's been pretty glorious.  Warm weather is so much more satisfying when it's been such a long time arriving.  You just want to luxuriate in it :)

This particular* Sunday we veered off our routine to check out a local-ish farm in an effort to get all our sight seeing in before we leave the state.  The kids got to milk cows, pet sheep, gather eggs, drive a fake horse cart and taste cheese.  What more could a child want?  Well, Christopher could want the sheep to learn to use their inside voices.  Every time they would suddenly bleat he would jump about a foot in the air, cover his ears, give his most withering glare, and declare in a very aggrieved  voice that "my no like those animals."

You can't please everyone. 

Also, isn't Vermont beautiful?  We're really going to miss it here.  Even if they do have loud sheep.


* Particular to these pictures not particular to yesterday--I'm having a difficult time keeping up over here!

Monday, June 17, 2019

On First Recitals







Margaret started ballet lessons this year and after Christmas she was bumped up into the big girl Level I class that got to dance in the end of year showcase.  She was really excited, except for all the days that she had to actually drive to ballet class and get ready to dance.  Then she was significantly less excited.  She always loved dancing once she got going but I'm not sure it was worth the headache for me trying to get her there and then get her very particular ballet bun--which involved a lot of hair gel, hairspray, bobby pins, and a hair net--in. 

She did really enjoy dancing in the showcase though and she did not disappoint as the youngest dancer on stage, giving the audience a taste of some very spastic ribbon twirling as well as some really great binocular eyes every time she danced past the front of the stage as she attempted to see through the theater lights to find us. 

The boys enjoyed the performance immensely and Christopher in particular keeps asking when we can go back to the recital again. 

We'll see if I can work up the endurance to find a new studio in Virginia and let her dance again in the fall knowing that she will most likely alternate between being a grumpy bear who hates dancing and a lovely pirouetting mouse who lives for ballet.  Oh my little ballerina.  At least she's cute :)











Tuesday, June 4, 2019

On the Beginnings of Summer



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It's officially June here and I've just today taken down all the winter coats to wash and put away until next year.  Vermont Spring is intense.  The kids still need pretty hefty sweatshirts to make it through the mornings and evenings but I can't keep the winter coats out into June.  I just can't. 

School's been over at our house for the past few weeks so we've had plenty of time for tree climbing, bouquet gathering, standing in the street with ropes tied around us (?!?), and outdoor quilting so that's been refreshing to our frozen spirits, even if it's still a mite chilly when the sun's not shining.  Our kids never seem to be at a loss for finding ways to amuse themselves, even if I'm never quite sure what exactly they're playing at. 

Along with emerging from our winter hibernation, we've been out indulging in our newest passion:  shopping estate sales.  I always imagined estate sales as a scary, high anxiety, bidding situation taking place inside strangers houses.  In reality it's pretty much a giant garage sale where the person in charge of pricing has zero emotional attachment to the goods and at the end of the day just wants the house to be completely empty.  It's so fun. 

We've gotten some really great finds for so, so cheap including an antique slant top writing desk for David that just screams "New England" and also, "ha! You can't stack detritus all over me, I guess you'll just have to put all those random papers, books, and craft supplies back where they actually belong!" (you know, because of the slanted top).  He has no idea what's coming when we set it up in his new room.  I'm diabolical.  We also went to Donald Hall's estate sale, the author of the Ox-Cart Man (affiliate link).  He had a prolific library, as you can probably imagine, and I came home with his collection of Evelyn Waugh and most of his Russian literature.  He had a lot of Tolstoy stories that I had never heard of.  Five books for a dollar!  If he hadn't been the type of man who throws away all of his dust jackets it would have been perfect.  As it was, I left with more books than was probably strictly necessary.  I can't help myself, I have a compulsion to save all the books!  What if they were sending all the unclaimed ones to be recycled?  Let's not even think about such things. 

The one downside to going to estate sales is that it ruins other types of bargain shopping, like flea markets.  We drove down to Brimfield last month which has been a life goal of mine ever since I first heard of it and we didn't buy a single thing.  The prices were so high!  Probably because all the vendors were bringing in all of their estate sale finds and selling them at a mark up to turn a profit.  It's just all ruined.  We can't bring ourselves to pay flea market prices for estate sale finds.  Plus it's not as fun when someone else is doing all the treasure hunting for you.  Oh well :) 

Now I'm trying to balance playing outside with the kids and being a fun summer mom with getting our next home school year planned and preparing for our move later this summer.  Hopefully this is the last move for a while--this will be three in three years--and I wouldn't mind a bit of a break from setting up new homes.  It takes a lot of mental energy and somehow I don't have much of that to spare.  I've got all the school books ordered already and I just need to make all our new checklists and schedules now, which is the most draining part so I keep putting it off.

I think I'll bake blueberry muffins in the morning.  Fun summer moms bake blueberry muffins for breakfast right?  Then maybe I'll get back to the home school planning.  Perhaps.  Or perhaps I'll sit outside and work on my quilt while the kids play strange rope games. 

It's hard to predict these things.



PS David bought that rope for himself at an estate sale.  There's no limit to what you can find to delight even the most particular shopper :) 





Wednesday, May 8, 2019

On Turning Nine and Swelling the Arsenal












For his birthday this year Henry's two most fervent requests were for more weapons and ice-cream sundaes.  If only everyone could be so easily satisfied.

We had a pretty low-key celebration at home during which I managed to hardly take any pictures at all and then I still made him do his lessons--which horrified both him and at least one grandparent--but what can I say?  I guess I'm just a really mean mom.

His brothers pooled their money to procure him some new Pokemon cards and David also bought him another nerf gun.  Side note:  did you know you can buy super discounted, new in the box nerf guns on ebay?  If you've got a nerf gun addict (or two or three) like we do then close that Amazon window and check ebay pronto.  You're welcome.  Dave also picked up a copy of The Indian in the Cupboard for Henry at the thrift store because he thought he might like it so it wasn't all plastic weaponry and Pokemon cards, which, let's face it, are not my favorite. 

Darts.

There are so many darts.

Everywhere.

They breed like Legos.

It was so sweet to watch everyone giving Henry their gifts and then "helping" him to open them all as quickly as possible.  I suppose many hands make light work and all that.  Henry didn't mind, he just kept directing all the little ones and letting them see and play with his toys as he went along. 

He's growing up into such a sweet young man. 

Also, if anyone has any excellent nerf dart storage ideas I'd love to hear them :) 

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

On Easter Day








 


 













It felt like Holy Week and Easter were just a whirlwind this year, due in large part to the stomach bug that took out the family one by one in the week preceding it and then the post-Easter migraine I went down with after going on a very inadvisable sugar bender the day of.   We had a very scaled down event this year with just four extra adults and four extra children at our annual Easter party but it was still a lot of fun even if I didn't manage to put up any decorations or take pictures of the food. 

I guess you'll just have to take my word for how amazing the food table looked, even without decorations.  Also, I really overestimated how much food we were going to need.

When I asked David what he wanted to wear for Easter he said that he wanted to match Timmy and Christopher which was too sweet not to agree to.  When I asked Henry what he wanted to wear for Easter he said he did not want to match anyone which was too typically Henry to also not agree to.  David was less thrilled with the whole coordinating outfits situation when he realized he would also be matching his mom :) 

At the end of the day I asked everyone what their favorite thing was and it was a pretty even split between the egg smash and hunting for their baskets after mass.  This year I hid Henry's basket in the china hutch and no one could find it even after we told them it was in the kitchen.  It was pretty hilarious watching everyone checking the freezer and the oven and the spice cabinet all to no avail.  It took some very, very pointed hints before Henry finally figured it out. 

Being a parent sure can be fun. 

Well, I hope you all had a wonderful Easter day and are keeping the celebration going into the whole Easter season with lots of fun and treats!  I mean, I won't be because I'm officially, really, I mean it this time, off of processed sugar so that I don't sabotage my migraine prevention plan again.  But you!  You should definitely go celebrate with treats!

Happy Easter!
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