Newly minted eight (alt. title: Homeschool WIN, Cool FAIL)

The Josie turned a much anticipated eight on the 6th.  So of course we had to have a party.  I say of course, but don’t be fooled, Josie is the only child who had an actual birthday party this year.  Seeing as how last year she was the only child who did NOT receive a birthday party, we thought reversing it would only be fair.  Seeing as how she didn’t get  a party last year.  She should have a party this year.  Because we skipped her last year.  So this year she should be the only one with a party.  Because last year she didn’t have one.  So this year she should have a party.  We can’t forget.  Like we did last year.  We have not discussed this subject at our house quite nearly enough for my taste, I can tell you.

Two months ago while discussing her birthday party – which we forgot last year – she looked up and asked, “Can I have an Edward Lear party?”  To which her father, the lover of poetry said, yes of course, dear sweet child of my heart. You may have that party and all that I possess.

You see, the husband has been reading poetry aloud to the children for years now.  They love listening to him read, and they love Edward Lear especially.  He loves poetry, they love him, it all works out.

So party it up we did!  I found some charming animal masks that seemed to go with the fanciful theme and off we went.  We were joined by bees and mice,

 

 

 

a very fine interpretation of The Owl and the Pussycat, complete with Owl, Pussycat,

 

 

 

and Pig.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were joined by various beasticles, birdlings, and boys, to play The New Vestments game – making a beautiful cabbage cloak for your baby – but you knew that already.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also had what is turning into something of a tradition.  A piñata made by Papi and children, which was awesome.  It was a beer box covered in duct tape, paper and crepe streamers.  It took forever to break.  What?  You thought everything we did was classy?

On the overall the girl had a great birthday, one I hope she will not soon forget.

Happy Birthday sweet Posie!

 

Next year’s birthday themes will be Gerard Manley Hopkins, Frida Kahlo, and Edna St. Vincent Millay.

Because we are not insufferable blowhards enough.

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All chicken, all the time.

We have chosen official names for the chickies!  May I present,
Peeky (named by Elia), I am unsure of the spelling, as I am unsure to the origin of the name.

Harry (Potter, Josie’s boyfriend).  
Let’s hope Harry is actually a Harriet, or Voldemort will win this war.  And so will our stomachs.  There is no picture of Josie holding her chick because she looked drunk.  Josie, not the chick.  Can’t have drunk children on here, now can we?
And last but not least, Speedy (named by Del).  
 Gonzalez for short.  

Del woke the chickies up this morning with loving squeezes and kisses straight to the beak.  I wasn’t even out of bed when he did this.  Sometime before seven I heard loud cheeping coming from the bathroom.  I thought they were just being noisy, but then I heard the Deli telling them that it’s ok, shhh, be quiet or mama will hear.  THAT got me out of bed in a hurry.  So there’s a couple of new rules for the chicks.  Del must always, always, always wait for mama before touching them.  And no kissing them on the lips, ever.  
We installed a nice little Trio roosting spot which they enjoy quite a bit.  And when it’s sunny on the porch, we let them out to enjoy the sun and the carpet.  Until they poop, then it’s back in the box for you!  Exactly how we raised our human babies!

I think Harry is my favorite right now.  She seems calmer and plumper and sweeter.  She is quieter in her protests when we pick her up, and all over just adorable.  I’m gushing, I know.  But they are so cute.  You don’t even want to know how much time I spent sitting next to their box gazing at the sweet littles today.  Hmmm, maybe we need another baby in the house.  That will solve all our problems!  I kid.  Really.  And somewhere in Michigan City the husband just broke out into a cold, cold sweat. 

And speaking of babies.  I risked life and limb getting a picture of the robin babies for all of you!  Mama robin almost snatched me bald she was so mad.  They’re not quite as cute as the chicks, but I’m so glad there are four.  Four eggs, four birdies.  Just right. 
~~~~~
In other news Josie auditioned for The Secret Garden musical being held here in Chesterton.  She didn’t get a part, but I was so proud of her lack of fear and enthusiasm for something new.  We found out yesterday morning that they were holding auditions that night.  Both girls wanted to do it, but when Elia found out that the audition would be on a stage, in front of actual people, she said thanks but no thanks.  Josie found that idea to be “fabulous”.  So without practice, without sheet music, we headed over, she (softly and shyly) sang “Hey, Good Lookin'” (her favorite Hank Williams song), she read in a passable English accent, and she went home floating on clouds.  That girl has no fear.  
I love seeing the different personalities of these kiddos unfold.  

The Josie is 7

On Saturday we had a birthday party to celebrate the Josie turning 7 and the Deli turning 4. Saturday was Josie’s actual birthay, and maybe just a month late for Del. The most surprising part of that sentence is that we celebrated a birthday on the birthday date. A rare occurence around these parts.

Of course, as seems to be happening a lot lately, my camera died too early, so there are very few photos.

Let’s begin a few days before the birthday, shall we?
The kids decided to make their own pinata.
Well, the kids decided, but only one kid really did it.

Everyone except for the Elia decided that the paper mache mix was too goopy, too smelly,
and too much.
I agreed, but was conscripted.
The original plan was to make a chewbacca head, but we went with a beach ball.

Although it ended up looking like an easter egg.
Whatever it looked like, it didn’t matter.
It was stuffed with candy, so it could have looked like a brown paper bag, for all the kids cared.

We ate a lot of good food. A LOT of good food.
Grandma made a super cute clown cake, I made some pies.
Josie wanted a blueberry pie shaped like Ariel.
I made a blue berry pie with a top crust made from cut out stars.
Close enough,right?

Happy birthday sweet Josie!

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The Josie is 7

On Saturday we had a birthday party to celebrate the Josie turning 7 and the Deli turning 4. Saturday was Josie’s actual birthay, and maybe just a month late for Del. The most surprising part of that sentence is that we celebrated a birthday on the birthday date. A rare occurence around these parts.

Of course, as seems to be happening a lot lately, my camera died too early, so there are very few photos.

Let’s begin a few days before the birthday, shall we?
The kids decided to make their own pinata.
Well, the kids decided, but only one kid really did it.

Everyone except for the Elia decided that the paper mache mix was too goopy, too smelly,
and too much.
I agreed, but was conscripted.
The original plan was to make a chewbacca head, but we went with a beach ball.

Although it ended up looking like an easter egg.
Whatever it looked like, it didn’t matter.
It was stuffed with candy, so it could have looked like a brown paper bag, for all the kids cared.

We ate a lot of good food. A LOT of good food.
Grandma made a super cute clown cake, I made some pies.
Josie wanted a blueberry pie shaped like Ariel.
I made a blue berry pie with a top crust made from cut out stars.
Close enough,right?

Happy birthday sweet Josie!

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Recent doings

Our first attempt at making Naan – deemed a big success.
“And I only burned myself twice!” says Josie.

The fort.
I don’t even know how this happened.
What started as a silly gathering of the neighbor’s extra tree limbs. I thought we’d make, I dunno, a tee pee? A trellis for peas? Turned into a full fledged fort with a flag. It is not finished yet, but don’t worry, you will see it in all its glory.

Mother’s Day at my in-law’s house.
With the best kids ever.
Isn’t he sweet in Grandpa’s hat?

And today, Pinkalicious.
The musical.
It was Pinktastic.

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flutter by

For the Mikey/Elia birthday we bought butterfly nets with real! live! butterfly! larvae!
I thought this was a good idea, you know, science, learning, good for the brain, connect with nature and all that, but have you seen butterfly larvae? Yuck.

Double yuck when they are in their little plastic tub contentedly munching on the beeswax looking stuff on the bottom and dropping copious amounts of beeswax looking pellets of poo. Those spiny little worms (caterpillars, Mom, Elia inserts with an eye roll), started out teeny and grew disturbingly fast. All on my piano in the living room.

Nature is ugly.

But the butterfly larvae happily ate their stuff-in-a-jar, grew big and fat, and did just what they were supposed to do. They built crysalids, a fascinating process, and then they sat there. And sat there. And didn’t move. And sat some more.

Really, it was only about 7 days, but that is a looooong time for a three year old.

We were rewarded though! Our patience, our willingness to beat back the shudders of revulsion and not drop the whole thing in a trash can just so I could get it out of the living room paid off! We had butterflies!

The literature warned us that not all the butterflies would emerge from their crisalids, but all of ours did! An example of fine parenting on our part, I like to believe. Did you know when they emerge that a red, blood like substance sometimes drips down the side of the netting? It’s not blood, it’s meconioum. Even in such beauty, nature is gross.

Our butterflies emerged! We gathered hyacinths in vases, we put paper towels drenched in a sugar water solution. We managed to keep all the butterflies alive until the outdoor temperatures hovered above fifty five. Well, we managed to keep almost all the butterflies alive.

When we unzipped the netting to release all our Painted Ladies, we found one floating in the water of one of the hyacinths. It must have been in there overnight. It wasn’t fighting, it wasn’t moving. Our first casualty.

I removed the flowers from the net and helped Del and Elia set them free while keeping a watchful eye on the Mikey, who sometimes likes to bat things out of the sky. I did not need our second casualty to result in the banishment of a brother. Josie fretted over her little dead butterfly the whole time, not able to watch the beauty of the others flying by. After the rest of us watched for a bit, I heard,

“Mom! Look! It’s alive! It’s alive!”

Josie had pulled the floater out of the water and was showing me how it was weakly moving it’s wings. Small signs of life indeed. Upon closer inspection, though, I found that the poor thing had been in the water long enough for it’s back legs to begin to disintegrate. The body looked a little gelatinous. I told Josie that the butterfly was suffering and the kindest thing to do would be to place it on the ground and step on it. *GASP*

Not the right thing to say.

So we delicately placed the wounded butterfly on a hyacinth. We watched it weakly flutter it’s wings and we prayed that it would get strong and fly away in the night. The butterfly was gone in the morning. I couldn’t tell you for sure what happened to it, I have my suspicions (no I did not go out and squish it, I’m not THAT mean!) but Josie insists that it got strong and flew off to warmer gardens.

And that’s my Josie.




And lest you think that everything around these parts is all maudlin sentimentality, I leave you with my favorite butterfly picture EVER.  Drawn by the Elia when she was just a few years old.  I’ve featured it on this blog before, but thought it was due for another round.  The beauty and sentiment in this simple drawing continues to amaze and delight.  I hope you enjoy it just as much as we do.

Are you ready?

>Aaaah, Spring!

>

With spring comes mulching. We enjoy mulching. Lots of hard work.
Work, work, work.
Hey you, little kid! Get to work!
Here’s your shovel, I’ll grab my rake.
Good job, Papi. Keep on working!
And shovel! And work! And spread the mulch!
And repeat!

Shovel! Work! Dig! Mulch! Work!

Shovel! Dig! Wor….
Hey! You!
Get to work!
…..And pull your pants up!

>Lonely Hearts Club Band

>So the girls were playing pic-nic in the porch and the dictator, I mean Elia, was commanding her subjects around. Do this, do that, wait here, pour me some tea, sit in that spot…

Something caught my ear, though. Did she just say that? There it goes again! Yes, yes, she Did just say that.

“Josie, don’t pour the tea yet, we have to wait for Grandma and Sgt. Pepper.”