The outdoors calls me so loudly that I’m completely tuned out to the inside mess. Winter coats still hang, abandoned on the coat rack. Winter boots, sporting spring mud, lay on the laundry room floor, making dust piles as they dry. Forgotten toys spill onto the living room rug, traded for much more useful objects like sticks, rocks and freshly plucked flowers growing in the crab grass. I barely coaxed the two older ones to finish their school reports today, but they’re taking a break from the sweat of the wild to glue their bottoms to their chairs for one last time this week. Pencils scratch quietly, Betty makes background noises, and the other two littles are busy with their own thing. Jack colors in his book in a detailed manner. Elsie talks to Betty and makes her laugh. Betty wants to go outside, but Elsie tells her, “Betty, you’re going to be a grown up like me! See? I can reach this thing!” as she touches the door handle to go outside. Betty is impressed.
Betty has done some of her own impressing today. She learned how to crawl back down the stairs! She is also into wearing necklaces and loves to get dolled up with hair bands and shoes and sunglasses. Breakfast always includes saying hi to herself in the mirrored tray of her vintage highchair.
Elsie loves to read. She “reads” from memory with great inflection and pronunciation. When she was telling me her memory verse (which was Genesis 1:1), she said, “God created the heavens and the sun!” (instead of earth). It was cute. She writes her name perfectly and loves to copy how to write other words. Her eyes are bright and her smile is huge when she brings me the clipboard with the words she has copied, neatly sprawled across the white page. She is on the verge of really reading, which is the earliest any of our kids have ever been ready. It’s so exciting to watch.
Nadine has a pink little vest for her bunny, Toby. He gets walked every day. It is really funny to watch people do a double take on what they think is a dog… until they see it hopping down the sidewalk. Between Toby and Jack, we go through about two pounds of carrots in a week.
To celebrate the first day of spring, Uncle Jon & Aunt Capri, along with Grandma Weldon, took us to the Philadelphia zoo! We had a blast seeing all the animals. I despise snakes, but couldn’t quite draw myself away from the rattlesnake, whose tongue kept hissing at me through the glass. The hippos were also in on the action, giving us huge yawns with jaws that kill.
We joked that Matt would have to compete with the turtle on how much salad to eat for lunch. The otters were fun, but watching Betty grin and squeal and point at their antics was the most fun of all.
Elijah let me in on a little secret this week: “You know what, Mom? When you play nicely with Elsie she’s really fun to play with!” I’m glad he discovered this so early on. He truly is a great big brother. Lately he would rather be playing with legos than eating, drinking, or sleeping. Well, maybe not sleeping. That boy likes his sleep. He amazes me with his creations and makes a good convincing argument that to buy him more legos would be very educational! This shot of him at the zoo in one of the play dinosaur eggs cracks me up. No pun intended.
His outfits as of late are something to behold. He & Elsie both have no qualms about not matching in public. That means Mommy must also have no qualms. I’m getting there. I usually don’t notice until we’re getting out of the car at our destination, anyway.
Today Jack learned how to make oats all by himself. He was so thrilled as he measured the oats into the pot, squished up the bananas in the bowl, stirred in the water and then mixed it all together. “Now I can make oats whenever I want!” he told me proudly. Of course, after you ask. That boy is either munching on oats, apples, or carrots. He is also usually airborne. He is constantly learning new flips on the trampoline, and even though his skin may be tough, his heart is tender. He is such a little boy at heart.
On the way home from the zoo, it being the first day of Spring and all, we decided to stop at Rita’s for some free water-ice! After waiting a half hour in line, it was pointless to drive away at that point. So we stayed a whole hour until we cheerfully received our free treat.
Well, the reports are finished. School is done for the week. The kids have squeezed the entire bowl of lemons to make lemonaide, and I’m going to go play outside.