I am not one to plan a wonderful birthday party, but one of my boys turned 12 today and we had a small party for him. He got to have a friend over for the night last night, and another friend’s mother brought her children for a couple of hours this morning and then took the first friend home with her so his dad could pick him up. I had imagined that the boys would spend their time playing outside–but it started raining this morning! They were out for about half an hour, but then came in. We had to quickly think up inside games for a group–not my forte, either! They ended up playing Musical Chairs, and then Elephant Stop, which is a fun variation of Blindman’s Bluff. After that, they each made an individual pizza, and while the pizzas were baking they played Pin the Tail on the Donkey. I learned how not to do that! I had printed out a donkey, on four sheets of paper, and they felt the edge of the paper. Then, they felt each other’s tails and used them as a reference point to put their own on. I decided that it would have been better to trace the donkey onto a larger sheet of paper, and then draw the tails on with pencil or marker–have to make it more challenging for my crew! They seemed to have fun, though.
This has been another normal, interesting week. The “mud” in the title comes from Wednesday evening, when the three youngest boys slipped outside after supper when I wasn’t watching. They went into the garden, which they had been told before supper not to do, and played in the mud. I’m sure it was fun–but what a mess! I didn’t get a picture of it, but it looked worse than this one from Michigan two and a half years ago! This time, they were coated from head to toe in thick, sticky clay! Because they had disobeyed, and because they knew beforehand what the penalty is for getting muddy, I had no compunctions about hosing them down with a cold-water hose. I had to hose and rub with my hands to get the quarter inch of clay mud off their clothes, then had them take off their clothes, and hosed them again, and then sent them to the bathroom to finish off with a cold shower! And it wasn’t a warm evening. They all decided they don’t want that again. While the youngest watched the other two getting cleaned up first, his lip stuck out farther and farther as he considered his coming fate.
One day this week the sun shone! I did lots of laundry (and it all got dry!) and we weeded the strawberry bed. We found a number of ripe strawberries. Yumm! We have to get them quickly or the slugs eat them.
We went to Gore Bay for a baptism this afternoon, and when I mentioned we wanted a family picture, one of the ladies there offered to help take one. It took quite a few tries to get one with everyone’s eyes open, and this is the best.
So there you have it–several tiny glimpses into our week. It was a good one!
We had a spur-of-the-moment picnic at the ocean tonight. I threw together a quick casserole by baking sausages and cutting them into little pieces, then mixing in a couple of cans of baked beans and topping it with leftover mashed potatoes, while Elijah made Ants on a Log (celery sticks with peanut butter and raisins) and Esther cut up fruit. Then, while the casserole baked, we milked quickly and then left. The children had great fun digging in the sand, while Gayle and I got to be by ourselves and walk down the beach to the rocky cliffs at the other end. What a lovely end to the day!
Did you know that eggs can stand on end–without being cracked? It can only be done twice a year–on equinox, the days that the sun crosses the equator. That is the first day of spring and the first day of autumn, so around March 20-23 and September 20-23. Today happens to be equinox, and for once we remembered to try this trick. It works! Take a look at these pictures.
About sixteen years ago, someone told my family about this, so we tried it. I have a couple of pictures of four or five eggs standing on end in our living room. I remembered that Tuesday morning, so found those pictures and took them along to Dead Boring (writing group), and told the group about this. Then, believe it or not, I would have forgotten again until too late, except that one of the moms texted me this morning about it!
Our bedrooms are totally unheated. During the winter, it is COLD back there! It never got quite down to freezing this winter, but not too far above. We’ve learned quite a good strategy for going to sleep in a cold bed, though: Bed buddies! Esther cut a sheet into long rectangles and sewed them into tubes, then filled them about half full with wheat or barley and sewed the ends shut. She made one for each member of the family, and in the evening we put them all into the oven for awhile to warm up. It’s amazing how a hot bag of wheat at your feet makes the whole bed feel warmer!
Tonight’s boy activity had to do with spear fishing from “boats” on the living room floor. Earlier, I had been hearing stories about riding sharks. It seems that you need to know how to swim before you try to ride a shark, because they might flip over and dump you! The game abruptly ended when I took a picture; the boy you see as a blur in the picture decided he was violently opposed to having his picture taken tonight, so they all decided pictures were taboo and went elsewhere so I couldn’t get another picture!
The boys found clay out in one of the paddocks this week. Actually it’s been there for a year or so, ever since our landlord drilled a new well for irrigation. Yesterday they brought some over to the house and started molding things from it, and they really got creative today. Simon wrote his story for our homeschool writing group meeting Tuesday, tonight, about making a clay cup. Here are just a few pictures of their creativity. It has kept them occupied for literally hours! They end up a mess, but it washes out.