Sunday Update

Ben and Noah had a great time with dad on the Father/Son Campout this past weekend, despite below-freezing overnight temperatures and Noah falling in the river.  Apparently they went through bags of marshmallows in the traditional “mallow-as-torch” game, and Noah made his own gourmet ‘smore complete with fire-blackened mallows.

The girls got pedicures and dinner and then my sweet mom gave me 18 hours of total solitude, taking the girls home to sleep over.  That was weird and wonderful.  I got all the carrots, radishes, broccoli, more peas, onions and all the potatoes in–7 varieties in all.  So strange to start a task and work it to completion without interruptions.  But of course, we are working on not having the children be seen as interruptions but the project itself, right?

Still, it was great.  We had lots of luck with red potatoes in our first year here, so I did some of those, California Whites, Norkota Russets, and some lovely “All-Reds” with pink flesh.  I talked about potatoes a few years ago, but I am still amazed by the process–a seed potato is just a potato with lots of eyes–you cut each into chunks, at least an inch around, with 1-2 eyes a piece, let them dry in the shade a bit (mine dried in 8 hours with a fan) and pop them in the ground, eyes up.  Each plant can make 6 potatoes, and on many of the seed potatoes, I got six pieces to plant.  Pretty good returns there.

It felt so good to get my hands dirty again, although today I remembered the exhaustion that comes after a farm day.  So tired!  I’m having trouble uploading pics for some reason, so I will do it through email after this post.

Ben is getting into a more pre-teen seriousness, but has finally mastered his paper route (finishes before Scouts without any help from me!) and he’s a good student and a hard worker. I love him so much but somehow am always furious with him. He makes me nuts–probably because he’s so much like I was and I want to spare him the problems I had.  But, I’m trying.  He’s my first little guy and I want the world for him. 

Sophie is a sweet chatterbox.  She helped me get the chick pen split for mother hen to take the other side tonight–not usually a Sunday activity, but I saw a rodent in the coop today because the door was open and was nervous about the chicks being in there another night.  The cats make it so I rarely see those things (alive, anyway) but we do have plenty of fields around us and I know they’re out there.  A rat can eat chicks, although I think the thing I saw scutter by so quickly was a mouse.  But I didn’t want to risk it. Sophie was a great help out there and I really enjoyed her company.  I’m looking forward to more of that.  If I can just keep her home–she is always trying to leave and play elsewhere.  You’ll think I’m being too hard on myself when I say I think it is because we have too much craziness and yelling and inter-kid fighting in our house.  But I think that because she said so much.

Ben and Sophie are starting with a new piano teacher (other than me) next month–we have friends that take from her and she is pretty hardcore, but turns out amazing pianists.  I’m excited about that.  They also are both in Tae Kwon Do–Ben is high-brown and Sophie is orange belt.  They both go to Capitol Hill Academy, which we love, and Noah will start there next year.  I’ve almost finished their website, check it out!

Lucy and Noah do preschool at a popular neighborhood in-home school and go to what we call “Monkeynastics” for some reason.  We’d taken a break for the holidays and are barely getting back to it.  After two weeks in the pre-K/K class, Noah got booted to the 6 YO boy class–he can do amazing things–the fastest cartwheel I’ve ever seen!  Lucy got bumped to the second level Pre-K/K because, they said, “She’s fearless.”  This week we are going to visit a “Twinkle Class” with the local Suzuki violin teacher and get them on her 16-month waiting list. 

I always said my kids would do a sport and an instrument but I have to admit I pick sports that don’t require enormous investments of time or cash.  I cram all the activities on one or two days so I can be a homebody on the others.

Popcorn really is popping all over the trees these days–although not yet on the apricot tree–and Lucy wants to sing that song many times a day.  Sometimes she let’s me sing that instead of Jingle Bells at bedtime.  A nice breather there.

Noah and Ben have their own rooms now, and WOW!  They both have clean rooms!  The roommate situation made for a trashed room 100% of the time.  Apparently they both just needed space.  Finally Noah is free to just build and play cars on his car rug in his own room–it definitely was a good move for everyone.  He is such a little sweetie.

David’s been a bit under the weather but in improved spirits because I am now home to make sure he eats meals and takes vitamins–no kidding, a noticeable change.  I’ve enjoyed having him home an extra week and just want to say that the iPhone is great for a marriage–texting random thoughts, playing the “Words With Friends” app together (you can’t call it Scrabble!), sharing pics of what we’re doing with the kids, or his meal when he goes to a new crazy hamburger joint back East.  Now I ALWAYS know what state he is in–both geographically and mentally.  So, thanks, Steve Jobs!

There’s the family for this week. 

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