Friday, August 27


The boys found a little nest a while back. It had two little babies in it - we honestly had no idea what they were. But they were so ugly they were cute. We checked on them every day or so, until...
They got hair! And suddenly, they were Significantly more recognizable!

The ultimate pet - Free-Range Bunnies. Cute, fun, cheap (although we've got to fence in the garden...), and educational!
They've left the burrow, now, but have stayed in the area, enjoying the remains of the garden, and the goodies in the yard. It'll be nice to be able to mow, again (we put a moratorium on mowing near the burrow - it's a jungle at this point!), and now we know what to look for, next year!

Kiss those babies!

Wednesday, August 25

Fit and Funny

We try to be supportive of the kids' interests. This was really easy when they were two, and their interests included snacks, The Wiggles, and nap time. Who couldn't get behind that, right? Now, they're branching out a bit, which is good - a fixation on The Wiggles at the age of 12 would be downright disturbing. It helps, too, that they're interesting and funny kids, and even though each child is so wildly different from the others, they're all pursuing things we can get behind and encourage wholeheartedly. So far, nobody has declared a burning desire to take up nose hair collections, or to become famous for taking compromising pictures of celebrities. So far, it's all good.

James left this for me one morning. I love finding these little comics here and there - I love that he makes me laugh. He's learning how to work CADD (one D? Two? I don't know. I obviously can't run it, if I can't even spell it. But he can. He'll fill me in tomorrow, if I got it wrong.) And he's learning how to make and edit movies. I don't get the fascination, there, but I'm sure he feels the same way about my love of organizing the bookshelves or moving furniture around the room.

And that's one great thing - the kids are really supportive of our various endeavors, too. They've taken beautifully to the chicken tending, and don't mock me for refusing to touch the chickens (I'll help you corner it, but *you* have to pull it out of the tree!) They don't complain much when Zorak calls them out to stand around the car on a sweltering August afternoon, to show them how an a/c clutch works. Nor do they dawdle nearly as much as I would when they make a beverage run.

So last fall, when I realized my bone density wasn't going to magically improve itself via caffeine intake and wishful thinking, and I started working out and reducing my coffee consumption, the kids got behind me. For a while, they stayed well behind me - just out of arm's reach and earshot. But we found a plateau on the caffeine withdrawals and things improved mightily. I'll be honest, the workout program has waxed and waned. But no matter where we were in the cycle, the kids have been right there, along with me. I mentioned once that I thought it was great how enthusiastic they are about working out. James said, "Oh, we don't really like doing it. We just like to encourage you." Heh. Fair enough. And for a while, that was fine.

But now, I'm looking to find ways to make it less something they do for Mom, or less something I have to set aside a time/place/bribe money for (the bribes are for me - I still don't like it, either) -- and more of a thing we just *do*. Together. And hopefully because we want to, and not because we all feel compelled to. To that end, for the next month, we'll be working together through mastering the five essential movements, as outlined in The Primal Blueprint Fitness. Today, we watched the videos, did our initial assessments, and logged our first entries in our logbooks. We'll see how it goes.

Tomorrow (thank God) is a day to "rest, move slowly, or play". I am ALL about that! We have some ideas to flesh out for making our movements more intentional (waiting for the temps to drop back under 100 or so was one of them...) and more enjoyable (that temperature thing came up under this category, too!). Thankfully, it's supposed to dip down to 89 sometime this week! I'll put ideas and plans up here, as we go. Maybe the kids will make some videos, or cartoons, to help with the presentation!

Kiss those babies!

Tuesday, August 24

Squealing Like A Little Girl

We just checked the weather, and it's supposed to be 89 degrees on Thursday! I know this doesn't sound exciting, but it is. It's exciting is so very many ways. Summer's on the downhill slope!

The sunflowers are hanging in the basement to dry. The okra's floating in jars. The beans are done, and we've learned a lot about those. The pears are thinking about ripening, and we found another pear tree we never knew we had!

The chickens are a little fickle, and we still have no idea what we're doing, there, but we're learning. Slowly but surely.

But Autumn is coming! Soon we'll spend time outside without our hair sticking to our necks, without the mosquitoes sticking to our arms. Soon we'll need jackets in the evening, and can enjoy bonfires in the twilight.

OH, yes, Summer's days are numbered, and as they drop, so do the temps! WOOHOO!

Kiss those sweaty little babies!

Monday, August 23

Snug as Sardines in a Can

Also known at the "Captain's Bunk Bed with Trundle", according to the packing slip. The boys *love* it. I like the added floor space, and that we can fit three children in the footprint of one twin bed without violating any maritime bunking regulations or anything.

I'm not so keen on how wobbly it feels. However, nobody who has seen them shimmy in and out of it seems to think it's any more wobbly than any other bunk bed, and the projections I've done indicate that should we have a structural failure, nobody is likely to die. So, for now, it stays.

They've worked out a four-month rotation so that everybody gets a chance to enjoy the top bunk, and nobody feels like the Spare Child by being relegated to the trundle. Although, with the trundle being high, it feels like a normal bed and they've all said it doesn't feel like an afterthought, at all.

See how there are six drawer fronts? The top three are false - they're part of the trundle bed frame. The bottom three, however, are actual drawers. The additional space is really lovely! They hold a tremendous amount of clothing, and so far haven't come apart. I haven't looked in them since the boys got them built, but based on what they've put their previous drawers through, I'm guessing they're getting a workout.

The kids helped with every stage, and the boys did the finish work (assembling the ladder, building the drawers, and putting on the hardware) entirely on their own. I couldn't make heads or tails of the instructions, but the kids did a great job and just ran with it! WooHoo!

And, for Julie, who wanted to see the beat up old pirate blanket...
He really loves that thing.

Kiss those babies!