Thursday, May 29, 2008

Everything stops for Tea

Glady brought an English custom home with her, Tea! The girls take turns being the tea hostess and serving out the sugar and milk. Today it was Juliet's turn, and Glady was showing her how to use the silver sugar cube tongs she brought home with her. I find it so charming to listen to them talking about the hostess serving herself last, and how they do that in other ways during the day, too. Of course, hearing them seriously ask "one lump, or two?" always makes me want to giggle - but I don't.

They aren't the old-fashioned girls of yesteryear, but I want them to grow up to be little ladies. We teach them manners constantly, which they never remember at home, but always seem to out in public. I started Glady on embroidery last year, and this spring Juliet and Pippa insisted on joining that parade. I don't know how useful a skill it really is, but they love doing it. Glady wants to learn how to sew, and now that my machine is in the shop (it broke down last fall and I have been missing it!), I will set aside some time this summer to teaching her.

More and more as time goes by I realize that I may never teach them at home full time, but that doesn't mean I'm not teaching in every day situations. This summer I may do some formal lessons - I'm leaning towards Latin - to feed their minds. They have a tendency to veg in front of the tv too much, so Phil and I shut off the tv last week - and may not turn it back on until football season! Hah! We've had so much fun playing games together, both inside and out. Juliet has been reading aloud to Pippa and Johann, and Glady is starting to read GA Henty (woo-hoo!).

I need to go and check on my little ones. They are far too quiet in there - I don't know what I am going to do with Johann next year when it is just him home! Yikes! At least right now he and Pippa play nicely together.

I can smell the lilacs and honeysuckle through the office window. MMMMMM... intoxicating. The side-yard is looking so much better this year. I still have to get it mowed, but one battle at a time.

Oh... anyone have any ideas on how to bait a trap for a woodchuck? We have big hungry one hanging around the garden I need to get rid of!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

They grow up too quickly

Phil and I had a rare opportunity today - to spend most of the day with Glady. Nana and BoPop took the two younger girls up to visit Uncle Austin and Aunt Bobbie, so it was just the four of us. Johann has been feeling a little under the weather, so he napped from noon until 4. Phil and I taught Glady how to play Risk - and for her first time she did an excellent job! How cool to finally have a child how can and does share our joys. She only whined once, and took great delight in teaming up with her Papa to "dominate Mama! ha'ha'!"

Then we watched a little bit more of Fiddler on the Roof. Around here we almost never watch a movie from start to finish - it's always in thirty minute or so chunks. We watched the sad parts - where Huddle leaves home and Havalah runs away. It amazes me how much this movie has changed for me since having children. I think the last time I watched the movie itself (we listen to the music from it all the time) was before we had any children. Phil and I now associate ourselves much more with Tevya and Golda than we used to. I know I used to be most empathetic to Tseitel... Now it is the scenes of the daughters growing up and away that had both of us weeping. Glady didn't get the anti-Jewish scenes, so that required a history lesson, too.

Glady made dinner for us - Phil left for his gig, so it's just three here and seeming awfully quiet! - she made Toad-in-the-Hole. It smells wonderful, so I will go and hang out with my eldest and youngest and enjoy this quiet time with them.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Grampa's Buzzys

The early blueberry bush is in bloom. The bees will pollinate this bush full of flowers and turn it into berries for us. The seedling apple behind the house is blooming, too. This tree sprang up from a dropped apple many years ago, it wasn't cultivated at all, but it still has sweet fruit.
Dad checking on the bees.
The tan lump at the lower corner of the hive tool is a queen cell. This nucleus hive is small, but trying to grow their own qeen, as they do not have one now.
The bees were very calm this evening. Also, if you look at the comb in the foreground you will see the nectar they have spent all day gathering. It is hard to see - a little glint in the combs.

I caught Dad checking on his bees tonight. He's got a few hives this year, and bought some more nukes (nucleus hives). I think he plans to take them up to Toad Hall to pollinate the orchard soon. Johann met "Grampa's buzzys" a couple of weeks ago - he was stung on the arm so now he stays away!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Sometimes they make us laugh

For all that the kids sometimes drive us crazy (like Juliet sitting on the arm of my chair right now reading over my shoulder!!!) they also have the ability to crack us up like nothing else...

A few days ago Pippa came running out of her room with a pair of tights on her head and announced that she was a new superhero! Ninja Bunny! and of course, Johann had to get into the act! Now our little Ninja bunnies appear at unlikely times to dance around and accomplish special tasks, like Pippa's chore of keeping the shoes in the entryway organized.

This morning Johann trotted out of his room to go outside with his sisters who were waiting for the bus. I was laughing too hard to take his picture, but Phil did... As you can see, he dressed himself!

Juliet loves to tickle me to make me laugh. She wasn't feeling well this afternoon (we've had a tummy bug going around) and she told me that she loves cuddling me. I felt a little like a mother hen with her chick under her wing as Juliet snuggled under my arm.

Glady likes to make jokes and pull pranks. She is the biggest Goober of them all, and we have a bunch of them in the family!

Dad jumped out behind Phil and I in the parking lot at the clinic and thumped on the car. It wasn't funny at the time, because we both jumped so high (from a sitting position, even more impressive!) but it was later.

Phil was debating naptime in the car with Johann this afternoon...
"Yes, nite-nite" (Phil)
"No nite nite"
"Yes nite-nite"
"no nite nite"
"No nite nite" (Phil)
"No! you say yes nite-nite, I say no nite nite!"

OK, reverse psychology doesn't work on this kid....

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

It's almost summer!

My girls all ready for picture day! Bopop at Pippa's birthday celebration.
Nana and her dress-up dolls.
Nana and the lad.
The frog goes for a slide!

Such a lovely day today. Sun and flowers, bees and birds singing through them. The kids have been outside as much as possible, I've been out there a little, but also trying to get work done in here. I really should get out my ukelele next and start trying to catch up to Phil - who is well on his way to becoming proficient on his. I wanted to take a minute though, and post a few pictures so everyone can see Pippa, who is six now! and all the other big kids we have around here, too! LOL.