homestead happenings: sing out
Last Sunday, I did some focused homeschooling with the kids (though, if you’d peeked in the window, it might look like we were just playing games and then Col was reading me Cat in the Hat while Rose practically perched on his shoulder, in hopes of missing, well, nothing EVER), and then I passed the baton to Dan, confident that he’d step in with his own brand of homeschool. As I walked out the door, I heard:
“Okay kids, we need marbles, wooden blocks and a score sheet.”
Who looks the most competitive here?
I return a few hours later and Rosie runs up to me. “Listen to what Daddy taught us. Okay, ready Coley?”
Rose: (sings) “Her name is Mommy and she dances on the sand…”
Dan nods proudly.
Rose: “How ’bout the other song, Col?”
Col: (pretends not to hear).
Rose: (sings) “Oh Mama, you’re so fine. You’re so fine you blow my mind. Hey Mama!”
And really, who am I to say that learning suspect 80’s hits doesn’t constitute learning? We may not win any academic contests, nor singing contests, but I’ll always jump up to dance with my kids, especially when all the songs are about me.
On the homestead:
:: I’ve been taking the temperature lately by walking outside and noticing if the hairs in my nostrils freeze up. Here are some extreme nostril freeze up days:
I have this philosophy that the more brutal the winter, the more glorious spring will be, like we can earn spring through pain. I’m pretty sure that’s crazy.
:: Thank you for all your good wishes on Col’s 8th birthday. Col was lucky enough to be born with the kind of mind people meditate for years trying to develop. He just doesn’t have a lot of expectations. It’s not that he has low expectations, it’s that his mind is busy answering the question: what’s the next fun and interesting thing to discover? And of course, when you see life that way, that’s how it is.
Rose’s card to Col: I like about you that you share things with me. She also got Col a gift certificate for 2 ice cream cones with toppings (one being for herself, naturally). She was so over the moon about this present that she pulled Dan into our bedroom to hyperventilate-whisper to him about it. “I got Col a cift gerstificate, I mean a shift gerstificate, I mean…”
We went to our favorite New Mexico canyon for Col’s actual birthday.
Mini ice-skating rink! Not to be confused with the pool covered with a thin layer of ice right around the corner from this rock that Rose broke through, sinking down to her chest. Needless to say, I got to experience the rush of Supermama-adrenaline, which really does serve a valuable purpose.
Rose and Nana.
And then we had a lovely party with elk-taco bar, sledding, carrot cake, hot-toddies and the dearest people.
Do I recommend setting out raw spaghetti and mini marshmallows for kids to build with? Um, no I do not. Thanks for sweeping, dear Julia.
Sled hill behind our house where the bucks come out to play in the night.
Tricky Daddy moves.
This is what it looks like to have a houseful of people you love singing Happy Birthday to you!
:: Did you know Rose has her own homeschool co-op? Here they are making suns on winter solstice. They’re the cutest little band of kindergarteners, I mean, they’re very serious and academic…because I work so hard to teach them…when I’m not squeezing on them and marveling at their little muppet-voices.
:: In Col’s homeschool co-op, in its 2nd year, we’re studying climate change, which, holy moly, is a little like telling kids that their best friend is very, very sick. They’re fairly pragmatic about the whole thing. Their current plan is to hit the road at 13, traveling around in a solar-powered bus to educate people about saving the earth. I’m sure there’s room for more kids, if yours are interested too.
:: Col and I are brewing our first batch of beer. I’ve realized that I need to grow things year round, even if I’m just midwifing chemical reactions between yeast and grain. I think this keeps me one step ahead of the winter blues.
Adding the malt.
Homegrown hops taking the plunge.
:: We took the kids cross-country skiing up at the golf course (free! 10 minute drive! everyone up there is older than me! they’re also passing me by in a muscled, grey-haired blur!).
Cross-country, which is riveting, at least to your cardio-vascular system.
Last night, Dan’s straining the thick, yellow cream off the gallon of raw milk we get every week for our coffee. And I hear him sing to the pint jar of cream: I always thought that I’d see you again. (ps: name that song, which you thought was about a girl name Suzanne, but is really about rich dairy products.)
ps: Little known fact: if you take my writing class, which starts next week, you may see me in lipstick.
pps: Lost in the Woods class almost full. Sign up asap and get your 20% discount.
ppps: Are you a huge fan of Dr. Laura Markham like I am? Yes! She will be visiting with us here next week, prepare your parenting question for her.
pppps: Anyone read Swamplandia? Holy moly. That 31 year old can write. What are you reading?
ppppps: Col’s homeschool book, The Super Candy Adventure, now available at the Durango Public Library for perusing. Propped on the EASY fiction bookcase just outside of the librarian’s office in Children’s Room.
Happy Wednesday. xo