James says the word "tomato" panato (puh-na-to) and i don't ever want it to stop. He also says his 'v's with a 'w' which means that we watch Weggie Tales, his best friend's name is Wincenzo, and he isn't allowed to touch the wiolin. I took him in to Child Find, to see if perhaps he'd qualify for services (i.e. free preschool) and he didn't. Which is good for me--I can keep encouraging his wocabulary to dewelop the way I want it to.
Abby stayed home sick a few weeks ago with some nasty cough that would not go away. She was supposed to finish her book report, but got distracted doing anything else that wasn't her book report. She prepared a wonderful Family Night lesson. She cleaned her entire room. She read some books, played with James, and didn't watch any TV. I should have her work on her book report more often.
A month ago Grace decided she really truly wants her ears pierced. So much so that she was willing to actually DO the chores on her chore chart for 4 straight weeks. Four weeks felt too far away, so she offered to clean the entire house if I'd bring it down to 3. And since I don't believe in child labor...but am no fool either, I got a shiny clean house. The chore thing only lasted 10 days, however, and she has since decided that she doesn't want her ears pierced. She had a wonderful time at High Trails, her 4th grade three-day camp. After so many months of agonizing over it, I'm proud of her for deciding to do. She's still telling me things she learned while there. The house was quiet with her gone. No fighting. But not as much laughing, either.
Eliza was beside herself with Grace gone. She refused to enjoy those three days. She literally protested playing with friends at school and enjoying herself at home. She loves her big sisters. Eliza is reading pretty well. Everyone but her is aware of this fact. If you ask her, she'll tell you that she can't read. She'll probably yell it, actually. But if you DON'T ask her to read something, she'll read it just fine. She and James have been at each others throats the past few weeks. it's been aggravating, to say the least. It took too long before i realized that I hadn't reached into my bag of bribery tricks! "If you and james can get along for ___minutes I'll let you watch a show." Workin' like a charm, that trick is.
Reid, who is always awesome, and makes me pretty much the happiest woman alive, was super dad on Mother's Day. I slept in, woke up to pancakes and farm-fresh eggs and OJ. He got the kids ready for church, didn't pressure me when it was clear that I was the one keeping us all from getting there on time, and didn't get too mad when I drove by him at the bottom of the slushy/snowy driveway and splattered mud all over him. He let me play the piano all afternoon while he got dinner ready. I played all the songs that I'd heard my mom play a gazillion times. I snuck out of our church and went to my old ward to hear a friend speak. I thought I was going to support her (since her dad had passed away just 2 days earlier) but quickly realized that it was MY soul that needed to be there that day. Without even talking with most people there, i felt reconnected, and kinda like i was back in my home ward with the people who, five years ago, supported me and loved me through such a hard time.
My brother Jared graduated with his PhD last month. Which makes me feel old. And makes him pretty freaking awesome. Dad and Nathan were there for it, which is so wonderful. Cynthia's suffering more pain than she should. I called her Dr. last week to yell at them about changing her prescription. I'm not entirely sure it worked, but it felt good to yell at someone about her situation. Julia and I are going out there next month.
I'm feeling more and more settled here in this house. I bought my spinning wheel. And every time I admit that I age three decades. The sheep are coming in a few weeks. We're not exactly ready for them, but getting there. We've got 16 teenage chickens in the small coop (which is better than the sunroom--they were stinking up the house.) And 14 old hens in the coop, missing feathers and free-loading (giving about 7 eggs/day). So, we're trying to figure out how to swap out the old with the new and not completely devastate Grace, who loves those old hens more than her siblings.
School got out on Tuesday, and we took off Wednesday morning for a 4-day vacation up to Estes Park with Reid's family. We hiked, we played, we puzzled, we fished, we relaxed and pigged out. It was a perfect start to what will hopefully be a perfect summer.