Never Tamed

The other day, my kids convinced me to stop at the feed store to take a look at the chicks.  They had this idea that we should buy a few and try to tuck them under our mama hen, and see if she would accept them.  Alas, the chicks were too old and not the breeds we were looking for, so we went home chick-less.  The women working mentioned that they would have turkeys in the next few days though.  My first irrational thought was, “Ooooh!  Turkeys!  Let’s get some baby turkeys!”  Reason quickly returned as I recalled that Jonny is already in the middle of building two portable chicken coops (a new smaller one got started over the weekend for our mama hen and her chicks, the big one is kind of on hold right now.)  He also needs to put another stall on the goat barn for the babies that we hope are coming later this month.  We really don’t need any turkeys, definitely not, but it’s awfully easy to get infected with spring craziness.

My kids are definitely infected, especially the littlest four.  A few weeks ago, when I was planning out their Easter scavenger hunt, I bought gifts for the hunt that would encourage quiet, peaceful play (ha ha ha!!!)  Books, and a few games.  And while my plan didn’t really work (still crazy) we did add a few great books to our library and the games were good choices as well.  The book that surprised me the most was Dear Pope Francis.  I had no idea what an absolute treasure it was going to be.  It is filled with letters written to him by children.  Each letter is accompanied by a photograph of the child, the original letter itself along with a drawing, and then Pope Francis’ reply.  My kids LOVE this book.  (I’ve even caught my older boys reading it.)  I also bought a copy of The Funny Little Woman, possibly Silas’ favorite book and one that we’ve had out from the library over and over, and a new to us book, Sam and Dave Dig a Hole.  I highly recommend that one!  My little boys love it, and as always, Jon Klassen’s illustrations are great.

I bought three games, hoping to cover all ages.  The older boys received Risk, which they really like, but also find frustrating because they rarely have time to finish a game, and their younger siblings don’t really allow for setting it aside and returning to it later.  Thinking mainly of the girls, I bought Into the Forest.  They like it even more than I expected them to, and have spent hours playing.  It’s a nature heavy, food chain themed game, with lots of different variations in how you can play, from simple games perfect for the girls, to more complicated ones that appeal to my older kids too.  And finally I bought a cooperative game called Max.  Job is almost old enough to play, and the girls have been playing with Silas.  It’s a simple game, but one they are all enjoying.

Today’s task is to clean out the art and game cabinet.  Just like the pantry and the refrigerator, it seems to need a good clean out every few weeks.  Every time I re-organize it, I get rid of a few more things, and try to make everything a little easier to access both for me and my kids.  My thought every single time is, “There!  Now it won’t get so messy!”  And of course a few weeks later, I find myself looking at the same disorganized chaos with a sigh.  All things return to chaos sooner or later at our house!  And I will continue to do my best to tame it, knowing full well that this is a job that will never be finished.

For her tenth

Tenth birthdays are a big deal: two hands, two digits.  I really wanted Larkspur to feel like the day was special.  We planned a party with friends, actually her first.  And then of course we had a plumbing disaster the day before, I can’t quite kick this sinus thing, and I’m just plain tired.  Kids don’t really understand those things though, and it was important to me that Larkspur know that she was worth the effort.  I was a little worried that we wouldn’t be able to pull it off, but Jonny and the older boys worked hard to get the house put back together and cleaned up.  The day of the party I was way behind and running on very little sleep.  Thankfully, I had friends that jumped in to help chop fruit and frost cupcakes and manage the small crowd that gathered in our kitchen.  Larkspur had a wonderful time, and I do think she felt special.  She told me later that it was her best birthday ever.  That was what I wanted for her, and I’m so grateful to the friends who helped make it happen.

As her guests prepared to leave I buttoned little Bestie bracelets on their wrists, the party favors that Larkspur had requested that I make.  Over the week leading up to her birthday, I spent a little time each evening knitting them, and I’m glad that I did.  She was proud of those little bracelets.  I think she’ll remember them.

Thanks to your help with suggestions of where to buy overalls, I did find them.  Funny, most years she receives a birthday dress, but this year she wanted birthday overalls.  She also received a knitting basket like mine (only smaller), seeds for her garden, and a beautiful St. Kateri figure that I custom ordered from Sue Dow.  She loved it all.  Her friends all gave her really thoughtful gifts as well. Lark’s friend Josie made her a feather pen, walnut ink, and a stack of homemade paper and that gift inspired a flurry of paper making at our house.  I wasn’t involved at all, so I don’t even know how they knew how to do it.  Seth helped, so maybe he looked up directions, or maybe Josie told Lark how she had made the paper.  Even Silas and Job participated in what was a messy, but very fun project.

It has been a happy few days around here.  And now that Larkspur has all her seeds for this year, I guess it’s time to get outside and start getting the garden ready.  That is a very happy thought.  Lark will be growing vegetables, and I am planning to focus more on dye plants this year.  Speaking of dyeing, I am planning a shop update for the end of the week.  Honestly, I am not sure which day I’ll get it up, either Thursday or Friday (edited: It might be Monday) and probably in the evening rather than the morning.  I will put a blog post up here with details in advance, so you’ll have at least a few hours notice.  As always, thank you for encouraging me to continue with this endeavor!